Friday, September 17, 2010

"Republicans do best when they go the most conservative"

So the inside-the-Beltway political pros are all in a tizzy that their omnipotence is being questioned by the great unwashed in the Tea Party movement.

In reaction to the Christine O'Donnell win and the part that Sarah Palin and Jim DeMint played in it, veteran consultant Mark Murphy snarked that he too was a conservative -- but that he "could do the math." The point from Murphy was that conservatives like Palin and DeMint are not smart enough to do the math that a Mike Castle win in Delaware is really what conservatives needed.

Tea party-type conservatives, according to Murphy, are not smart enough to figure out the professional math. The Murphys' polls and focus groups and formulaic opinions about the "undecideds" say so.

History says otherwise.

There have been three great elections for Republicans in modern history -- '80, '84 and '94 -- and all three were the result of a wave of conservatism. There have been five awful elections - '92, '96, '98, '06 and '08 -- and all the result of purposeful moderation.

The rest have fallen somewhere in between, with Republican success mainly the result of the Democrats doing us a favor by swerving way left. The three-decade trend is clear.

Republicans do best when they go the most conservative. They can succeed somewhat if the Democrats let their liberalism show in the campaign. But when the waters are muddied, it is always a disaster for Republicans.

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