by Michael Steele- via Big Government
These are good words to hear, especially from the head of the Republican Party.
Within our own party, we need to make it clear that from now on there will be a price to pay for abandoning conservative principles. The grassroots – activists from tea parties to town halls – have sent a message: no more ‘fake-it-until-you-make-it’ conservatives. The days of merely espousing conservative principles and then, once elected, governing or legislating without principle, are over.
At least one senator has already got this message – Arlen Specter. In early 2009, after years of distressing votes for big government, Specter’s vote for the stimulus bill provoked an outcry among Pennsylvania’s Republican grassroots. Having barely survived a 2004 primary challenge from principled conservative Pat Toomey, Specter asked me what he could do to mend fences with conservatives. I said he needed to stand with us against card check (which abolishes the secret ballot on forming unions) and against the cap-and-trade carbon cutting scheme.
He agreed, publicly declaring himself against those proposals – and soon after, he abandoned the party and became a Democrat.
All the talk about pushing Specter out of the party, or making it hard for him to stay, was just bunk. For him, the politics of reelection outweighed taking any principled position on the issues.
Since then he has switched his position on card check, and I won’t be surprised if he switches on cap-and-trade. He exposed himself as a political opportunist, and we don’t need political opportunists in our party. If he survives his next primary, my goal will be to retire him….
…outright abandonment in the name of power and acceptance and going along to get along.”
Here’s why we’ve fallen out of touch with typical Americans: we’ve acquiesced to big government, big spending, and increased federal control that diminishes the authority of families and the rights of individuals.
Over time, many of our party’s leaders abandoned conservative principles in a misguided effort to maintain and expand their political influence. We became in many ways just another party of big government. In short, we behaved like Democrats.
Republicans gave in to big government, and we paid the price. The road forward is clear: we need to reclaim conservative values. (RC emphasis)
We must explain our principles clearly and forcefully, directing our appeal to the American people as a whole—not to balkanized racial groups and competing special interests.