Former Education Secretary William Bennett is chiding those who are advancing the notion of forming a "third party." And he is absolutely right for doing so. Such a rift within the conservative movement at this critical moment would do more to propel the liberal Democrat agenda to uncontested political dominance than any ploy envisioned by the left. Yet it appears that, despite such a risk, the movement is continuing to effervesce among the grassroots.
At last week's CPAC convention, some prominent speakers, including Glenn Beck, adamantly insisted that both major parties had become indistinguishable, and that a third party would be the only means of extricating national politics from the mire of Beltway thinking. To counter Beck's claim, Bennett held up Senators Jim DeMint (R.-SC) and Tom Coburn (R.-OK), along with Congressmen Mike Pence (R.-IN) and Paul Ryan (R.-WI) as bastions of true conservatism.
Unfortunately, certain other "Republicans" are working overtime to undermine Bennett's argument. Chief among them is former Wyoming Senator Alan Simpson. In a predictable move last week, Barack Obama impaneled a "Debt Commission" ostensibly to identify the means of reining in the spending outrages of the federal government. Of course Obama knew that the presence of a "Republican" would lend the needed pretense of "bipartisanship" to his ruse. And Simpson was only too willing to cooperate.
Long held as an icon of the GOP, Simpson is no conservative, and in truth has never been one. More significantly, he has devoted a large part of his political career to denigrating true conservatism, and attempting to expunge it from the Republican Party. Simpson was keynote speaker at the 1994 Wyoming State Republican Convention, using the occasion to castigate real conservatives as "a blight on the Republican Party."
It is profoundly illustrative of his true sentiments and character that, in the middle of the Clinton-and-Clinton first term, and barely six months before the thunderous 1994 mid-term elections in which Republicans gained control of both houses of Congress for the first time in nearly a half-century, Simpson's primary goal was to vilify and undermine any real conservative groundswell.
Throughout his public life, Alan Simpson has stridently endorsed such ideas as "gay rights" and same-sex "marriage," while insisting that the presence of Christian conservatives in the GOP constituted an effort to "rule or ruin" the party. Demonstrating a willingness to completely disengage himself from the people of the Cowboy State, Alan Simpson has at times even supported gun control measures promoted by the "moderate" administration of George H.W. Bush.
Ultimately, Alan Simpson ascribes to the mindset that he and the other elitists in Washington know what is best for the nation, and that the peasantry in the hinterlands should simply recognize this fact and be grateful for their public "service." In this his similarities far outweigh any differences he might have with Nancy Pelosi, Harry Reid, or Barack Obama. And unfortunately, he was not alone.
Pennsylvania Senator Arlen Specter, who only recently admitted that his real allegiance lies with the Democrats (a fact that real America never doubted) was able to rise to prominence within Republican ranks while regularly engaging in complete betrayals of his fellow Republicans. More telling still was the pernicious effect that Specter had on America's perception of the Republican Party, insofar as he often completely blurred any lines between Republican and Democrat, an effect that only helped the efforts of those on the left seeking cover for their abhorrent political agenda.
It is infuriating and demoralizing to consider that the Republican Party is yet so willing to embrace and exalt the likes of Specter (who eventually made his inclinations official and became a Democrat), and Simpson (who remains inside the "Big Tent" to this day, believing that he can do far more to stifle conservatism from that vantage point). In so doing, it reveals an element in the GOP which real conservatives cannot be expected to trust. Nor can they have solid confidence in the rest of the party, since its true character will ultimately be defined by the lowest standards it is willing to accept.
For far too long, Specter, Simpson, and their kind were not merely accepted within Republican ranks, but were able to guide its course. As a result, America recognized the pitfalls of empowering a "ruling class" that held no regard for the ideals on which the nation was founded, and thus would never truly seek to advance such principles in today's poisoned political climate.
Barack Obama may indeed be shrewd enough to recognize the value of a kindred spirit who calls himself "Republican." And he may believe he will benefit from the collaboration of Alan Simpson in his effort to advance liberalism. But what neither individual seems to grasp is that, since Obama's inauguration last year, the social and political landscape in this country has fundamentally changed.
The abysmal elections of 2006 were neither a statement on the Iraq War, nor an expression of mass infatuation for Nancy Pelosi or Harry Reid. And despite Obama's ongoing delusions, his 2008 electoral victory was absolutely not an embrace of either his far-left ideology or his personal "charisma." Rather, both events reflected public disillusionment with a Republican Party that, on too many fronts, had ceased to be Republican.
The resurrection of real conservatism in the past year, widely known as the "Tea Party" movement, is itself a manifestation of those same sentiments. The Republican Party can only hope to ride this wave, and thereby preclude the disastrous consequences to itself and the nation of an ill-conceived "third party," if it rejects the political cronyism of Simpson and his kind, and vigorously recommits itself to the Constitution, real conservatism, and the morality that undergirded both.
Copyright ©2010 Christopher G. Adamo