Following the defeat of 2012, it seems as if everyone – yours truly included – has an opinion about where the conservative movement goes from here. But right now presents an excellent opportunity to rally the Right again.
Following the fiscal cliff fiasco, the next big battle inside the beltway will be the debt ceiling in March. Some Republicans who caved on the fiscal cliff are already talking tough. Take Pennsylvania Senator Pat Toomey, for example. After voting for the largest tax increase in 20 years, Toomey is one of several Republicans now saying the debt ceiling showdown may require a government shutdown if Democrats insist on more tax increases.
So with some key Republicans already throwing down the gauntlet now is the time for the conservative movement to re-assert itself. The time for the licking of wounds has past. The time for leadership has arrived. We’re at our best when we let our principles lead the way. The two times I can remember the right-of-center coalition of evangelicals, conservative Catholics, libertarians, and the pro-growth/limited taxation crowd being truly unified since the 2004 election were the 2010 midterm elections and Scott Walker’s recall in Wisconsin last year.
Because those elections were clearly about principles, and principles unite us. Unlike Democrats who join that party out of identity politics, we become Republicans because of principles like the ones found in the party platform.
And the Republican Party platform is clear about two things: the rule of law has the obligation to protect the God-given right to life, and the government big enough to give you everything you need is large enough to take away everything you have. We have been struggling for a message that puts both of these principles into practice simultaneously. One that bypasses the in-fighting plaguing our movement for years now, and mobilizes and energizes our grassroots to go on offense. The debt ceiling showdown provides us that opportunity.