"Conservative activists are preparing to do battle with allies of Sen. John McCain in advance of September's Republican National Convention, hoping to prevent his views on global warming, immigration, stem cell research and campaign finance from becoming enshrined in the party's official declaration of principles."
The McCain folks, of course, would probably prefer that these conservatives trouble-makers just keep their mouths closed. After all, they would argue, causing trouble today would only help ensure Obama wins in November.
But this argument is made every four years by supporters of the party nominee (this, by the way, was even true of some of Reagan's people). So why fight? As Morton Blackwell -- one of the conservative leaders always fighting to keep the GOP plank conservative -- often says, "nothing moves in politics unless it's pushed."
Simply put, if conservatives are "good soldiers" and always put their interests aside "for the good of the party," they will slowly see the party lurch further and further leftward until we eventually don't recognize the GOP at all.
While conservatives and Republicans can -- and do -- work together, they should not confuse their roles. The role of the Republican Party is to elect Republicans. The role of conservatives is to advance a conservative agenda. And that often times means having to fight for it.