Friday, February 4, 2011

The "Truce" on Social Issues: A Recipe for a Republican Loss in the Next Election

Mitch Daniels exhibited a lamentable lack of judgment in calling for a "truce" on social issues. The problem is that the hard core libertarian fringe of the conservative coalition is driving a dump truck full of homosexual marriage, abortion and other evils right through the opening he created.

A post at Red State entitled "No Truce, No Trucers" gets it right.

"The word truce is defined as “a suspension of hostilities for a specified period of time by mutual agreement of the warring parties; cease-fire; armistice.” In recent months, Indiana Governor Mitch Daniels has turned this word “truce” into a rallying cry for libertarians and a curse word for social conservatives by calling for the next president to forge a “truce” with social conservatives on the pursuit of social issues.

And then, he says, the next president, whoever he is, “would have to call a truce on the so-called social issues. We’re going to just have to agree to get along for a little while,” until the economic issues are resolved.

But you see, there were no “hostilities” to begin with. The social conservatives were minding their own business, and Daniels sucker-punched them. And that was just the start.

In November a group of “gay conservatives,” GOProud, and a mish-mash of other libertarian-leaning “Tea Party activists” joined in the fun with their own letter, asking Republicans to “resist the urge to run down any social issue rabbit holes in order to appease the special interests.”

And on Wednesday, Daniels, apparently not sufficiently stung by the storm of criticism that followed his original “truce talk,” decided to double down on his previous gaffe by stating:

“I would like to think that fixing [the debt] and saving our kids’ future could be a unifying moment for our country and we wouldn’t stop our disagreements or our passionate belief in these other questions, we just sort of mute them for a little while, while we try to come together on the thing that menaces us all”

Truce? “Rabbit holes?” “Mute button?” Ladies and gentlemen, if there weren’t hostilities before, there certainly are now.

Social conservatives have been relatively mute during the last several general elections. In 2006, few candidates ran with social conservative issues as a primary concern. In 2008, John McCain did not focus on social issues such as abortion, gay marriage, pornography, etc., yet was supported by social conservatives. In 2010, the GOP was wildly successful, in large part due to outrage stemming from the overwhelmingly leftist policies pressed by the Obama administration…and some of those outrageous policies strike the heart of the social conservative agenda - federal funding of abortion, repeal of DADT, etc. In the 2010 election, social conservatives were once again a very reliable voting bloc for the GOP, strongly supporting conservative candidates across the nation.

Read the rest here.

We have to understand that, at the end of the day, the extreme libertarians are not conservatives and they have too much in common with the romantic individualists and Marxist anarchists who inhabit the Democratic coalition. They can be in the conservative coalition if they want, but if they try to push the sexual revolution they will have to get off at the next stop.

Examine the social conservative views of the wave of Republicans elected to congress in November and then tell me that the Republicans have to cater to leftist and libertarian voters to get elected. This is nonsense.

Any Republican candidate who is nominated on the basis of a "truce" (read "compromise") on social issues will suffer the same fate as John McCain or worse if he does not have Sarah Palin making a valiant effort to pull his bacon out of the fire by firing up the social conservative base.

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