Rise of the adulterers: GOP at risk of hostile takeover by the left
By David T. Pyne
Following the GOP's electoral debacle in the November 2006 mid-term elections which resulted primarily in response to widespread and increasing public opposition to President Bush's failed war in Iraq, conservatives remain in complete disarray. Perhaps in belated realization that they have been supporting a President for the past six years who does not now and never has shared their conservative principles, many have become disillusioned with the GOP. They have been discouraged due to repeated betrayals of conservative principles by Bush and other GOP leaders and are ambivalent as to whether they will vote for the GOP in the next election without major policy changes that address their concerns including either a plan for winning the war in Iraq or getting out entirely. Others have lost their way and no longer seem to know what they believe or who they should support causing conservative commentator Robert Novak to write a recent article entitled "The Conservative Void."
The problem, of course, is not that there are no conservatives running. In fact, there are at least a few good conservative presidential candidates worth supporting most notably Congressman Ron Paul (R-TX) who is probably the greatest champion of conservative principles we have seen in Congress in the past quarter century. Rep. Tom Tancredo, (R-CO) and Rep. Duncan Hunter (R-CA) are also good conservatives worth considering. Rather the problem is that so many self-described "conservatives" are lining up to support the RINO candidates like Giuliani, McCain and Romney and not surprisingly are fairly unenthusiastic in their support. For the first time in decades, it has become a legitimate question not only whether the GOP leadership is conservative, which has always been in doubt, but whether the GOP itself as measured by its grassroots members is in fact a conservative party anymore. As a lifelong conservative Republican who has never voted Democrat in his life, many of my friends may ask how and why I have come to this conclusion. The answer can to be found in the way the GOP presidential primary contest which has begun in earnest is shaping up.
Perhaps it is a measure of how liberal the Republican Party has become in recent years since the party was hijacked from conservatives by George W. Bush back in 2000, that three of the top four GOP candidates in early primary polls--Giuliani, McCain, and Romney--have been either lifelong moderates or liberals and have been longtime opponents to conservatives on a host of issues. Another disturbing fact is that Republican base voters are lining up to support the four candidates who have been the most vocal in their support for President Bush's Iraq war policy, support for which now stands, according to the latest Zogby poll at an anemic 23%, a position which proved politically radioactive during the last mid-term election and which may well be politically suicidal come the November 2008 election.
But what is most shocking and distressing for traditional conservatives like me is that the top three--Giuliani, McCain and Gingrich--are all known to have committed adultery in their recent past. It is surprising to say the least that the one who had the most recent sex scandal (following which he moved into the home of a gay couple)—Giuliani--also perhaps not uncoincidentally by far the most liberal, is presently running away with the GOP nomination with virtually no effort on his part and without even an attempt to apologize for his continued unholy embrace of cultural Marxism. Giuliani is so liberal that during his campaigns for Mayor of New York, he spurned the Conservative Party endorsement and sought and received the endorsement of the Liberal Party (which is even more liberal than the New York Democratic Party) instead. As Mayor, nearly 90% of the municipal judges that he appointed were liberal Democrats which should cause social conservatives who support the appointment of conservative federal judges to think twice before supporting him for President. What is it about this liberal, pro-partial birth abortion, pro-gay, pro-amnesty, anti-gun rights, philandering Mayor that seems to attract conservatives and other GOP base voters to support him over other more conservative, more moral and better qualified opponents?
How is it that the scarlet "A" which used to be a disqualifier for presidential candidates even on the Democratic Party side as recently as 1987 when Gary Hart withdrew from the presidential contest in the wake of the disclosure of his affair with Donna Rice and for which the GOP impeached disgraced President Bill Clinton has now become a non-issue in a party known for its support of social conservatism and family values. When John McCain ran for President in 2000 as a former adulterer it was something of a novelty. This election season, however, it is appearing increasingly to be the norm as GOP voters completely ignore or forgive such major past personal "indiscretions" in search of finding a candidate who they believe can win. In so doing, they ignore the fact that the candidates they are supporting may not actually be able to win precisely because of their past personal discretions as well as for their left of center positions on social and fiscal issues of importance to conservatives. How is it possible that anyone claiming to be remotely conservative can trust these men not to betray them and to honor their presidential oaths of office when they have betrayed their own wives and violated their marriage oaths? If one of these three men were to receive the GOP nomination for President, Democrat-supporting 527 groups would be able to tar and feather them as total hypocrites on moral and social issues while the Democrat presidential nominee distances himself/herself from these negative attack ads while ensuring their own electoral victory.
Until last month, I discounted Giuliani's chances for winning the GOP presidential nomination as non-existent because he is to the left of many liberal Democrats on the social issues which have traditionally been of greatest importance to conservatives. In every one of the past GOP presidential primary contests, it was taken for granted that a pro-abortion candidate could not be nominated. The last time pro-abortion candidates ran in 1996, both former Gov. Pete Wilson (R-CA) and Sen. Arlen Specter received so little support that they felt compelled to drop out of the race before the Iowa Caucus despite the fact that Wilson was a real pioneer on the cutting edge issue of immigration.
However, the latest USA Today/Gallup poll taken this past weekend shows that Giuliani is as much the frontrunner as was George W. Bush in 1999. With the support of 44% of Republicans polled, he has more than twice the support of McCain who had the support of 20% with Gingrich and Romney polling in single digits and competing for a distant third place. It seems self-described "conservatives" have jettisoned their social and fiscal principles in their desire to nominate someone "who can beat Hillary" even if it means nominating a Democrat in all but name for President like Giuliani. This despite the fact that true conservatives like myself would sit out the race were he to receive the GOP presidential nomination. Are grassroots conservative Republicans really willing to abandon everything they ever believed in and every conservative principle they ever supported for the illusory hope of a soulless victory? At this point the answer to this question appears to be yes.
One of the reasons that Giuliani seems to be doing so well is because despite the fact that he is outpolling everyone else in the race, none of the other candidates have taken him seriously until very recently. The conventional wisdom to which I myself subscribed has been that since Giuliani is far too liberal to have a chance to win the Republican presidential nomination, McCain, even though he is trailing Giuliani badly in the polls, is the true GOP frontrunner. As a result, the other candidates have been focusing their fire on McCain not without some success. However, this has allowed Giuliani an opportunity to sail ahead of his GOP competitors even further in recent weeks.
The other conventional wisdom has been that the race will boil down to a RINO candidate either Giuliani or McCain but probably McCain and a self-described conservative candidate who will be whichever "conservative" gets the most votes in the early contests which conventional political analysts assume to most likely be either Romney or Gingrich. But given Giuliani's success in winning not only virtually all of the Rockefeller Republican vote, but much of the conservative vote as well, the possibility that he may be able to blow away his competition while the other candidates fight amongst each other for a distant second place showing cannot be entirely discounted. The other GOP presidential candidates need to realize that Giuliani is the real target they need to focus on. They need to bombard the conservative GOP voter base with the disturbing facts about his long-held unapologetic far-left positions on social issues to knock him out of serious consideration this year to eliminate this greatest of threats to conservatism in decades.
Back in 2000 when George W. Bush was nominated as the GOP presidential nominee, amid promises to remake the Republican Party in his image and into a New Republican Party based on a moderate compassionate conservatism (Rockefeller Republicanism) in which red-meat traditional conservatives would not necessarily be welcome, he essentially hijacked control of the GOP for the moderate to liberal Republican Establishment. In 2002, he succeeded in hijacking control of the GOP for the neoconservatives (who have never agreed with conservatives on the issues of greatest importance to us) as Republican base voters lined up en masse to support his war against Iraq on very shaky grounds.
Until very recently, a significant majority of Republicans supported Bush's subsequent Clintonian nation-building endeavor in Iraq to use US troops to defend an Iranian-proxy Islamic fundamentalist Shiite regime in power at a rising cost in American blood and treasure solely because it was "democratically" elected. In a poll taken early last month, only 52% of Republicans polled now support Bush's failed no-win war in Iraq. The GOP has never been more of a house divided. If President Bush signs amnesty for twenty million illegal aliens, a GOP civil war may well erupt which will decrease GOP prospects for winning the all-important 2008 election and preventing Senator Hillary Clinton and her disgraced husband from returning to the White House even further.
If Mayor Giuliani were to win the GOP presidential nomination in 2008, he would move the GOP even further to the left than Bush has done and conservatives might decide the time has come to leave the party en masse. The result would be the transformation of what remains of the Republican Party into a "me too" Democratic Party/Democratic-Lite party which agrees with the Democrats on nearly all domestic and most foreign policy issues. Obviously, a hostile liberal Giuliani takeover of the GOP would provide the greatest chance for the formation of a conservative third party, but the downside is that the GOP would be forced into permanent minority status and the Democrats would be able to greatly increase their majorities in both houses of Congress while most likely taking back the White House in 2008. This would be a disaster of colossal proportions that must not be allowed to happen.
David T. Pyne, Esq. serves as the President of the New Mexico Republican Assembly and as a Vice President of the National Federation of Republican Assemblies. Mr. Pyne is a licensed attorney and former United States Army Officer. He holds an MA in National Security Studies from Georgetown University. Mr. Pyne has previously been published on WorldNetDaily.com and has been invited to appear on CNBC and the Regional News Network. Mr. Pyne has also been invited to serve as an occasional Fox News commentator to express his views on various public policy issues. David T. Pyne can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. © 2007 David T. Pyne