While many (by "many" I am referring to those normal, non-political junkie types) think politics is dry and boring, there is actually lots of drama involved – especially recently. I'm not even talking about bimbo eruptions, intern encounters, or escort services. No, I'm referring to the classic drama that is the family fight. In the past year alone, the nomination of Harriet Miers to the Supreme Court, the Dubai ports controversy, out of control spending, and now immigration have disrupted sweet harmony in the conservative Republican family.
Perhaps emboldened by the outcome of the Miers nomination, some conservatives that issued ultimatums and threats to never vote Republican again until Miers withdrew, are now going so far as to talk about impeachment in the current debate over immigration policy. Many argued both during the Miers debate and the current immigration debate, that it might be a good idea to just sit out the upcoming elections to teach the president and the squishy Republicans a lesson.
My opinion of that strategy is in line with Jim Geraghty’s assessment:
By the way, put me down as one of those guys who cannot comprehend the argument that conservatives ought to sit out this election to "punish" the GOP so that they'll "learn a lesson" and get better/more conservative in the future.
To advocates of this position, I must respectfully ask… are you out of your flippin’ mind?
By what logic does a constituency become more influential and powerful by becoming less active, and demonstrating less capability to turn out the vote and influence elections?
Let’s say Congressman Tom Tancredo represents your views on illegal immigration. You’re angry at the GOP leadership for not espousing his positions; you’ve concluded that they don’t listen to him. Do you really think the ball will get moved in your direction by throwing the party that has Tancredo out, and replacing it with the party that doesn’t have a Tancredo figure in it at all?
Do you really think a Democratic Congress will get tough on illegal immigration?
Geraghty later did an analysis of upcoming elections and the scenario he presents shows evidence that the likely result would be more Democrat and Republican-in-name-only candidates winning, not more conservative candidates who are better on the issue of immigration.