A win by any other name

Abandoning core principles is not a win for conservatives

Congressman Joe Pitts (R-Pennsylvania), a champion of issues of concern to social conservatives and chair of the House Values Action Team, says Republican congressional campaign chief Pete Sessions is staking out an election strategy that is doomed to fail.

Rep. Sessions of Texas recently was the keynote speaker at the Dallas Chapter of the Log Cabin’s 12th annual fundraising dinner, where he argued that the GOP will continue to lose elections if it does not broaden its focus beyond issues such as “guns, God, gays [and] taxes.”

“I don’t think this is a time to abandon our principles — things like the pro-life sanctity of life ethic, the stand on marriage, some of the basic principles that are the core of our beliefs and our base,” said Rep. Pitts. “I think it’s a mistake to try to move the party in the other direction, because then all you do is undermine your base and your base has nowhere else to go.”

Pitts says the Republican Party needs to start “rebuilding from the ground up” in many areas.

The entire OneNewsNow article can be read here.

Seeing Red AZ recently ran a post containing a powerful article by Townhall’s John Hawkins on the same subject titled, Five hard truths for RINOS.  If you missed it the first time around, this column is definitely worth reading.

4 Responses to A win by any other name

  1. Sam says:

    Veering to the left does not help Republicans. If we are akin to the Democrats but NOT them, why would they want us? I (as a conservative Republican) would sure not be inpressed. A Republican-Lite party would leave me in the dust to vote Libertarian.

  2. Rich Jenkins says:

    Mr. Sessions needs to take another reading of the Republican platform. Our viewpoints championing traditional family values are already agreed upon by the majority of Republicans. “If they cannot abide by these conservative priniciples then let them go their way.”

    Mr. Sessions needs to be spreading the good news of what Republicans stand for. Not trying to reinvent what our stated principles are. We only have two years to get our good message to American households. That’s not long when you consider all the competition from MSM. Adhering to our platform is what Republicans need to win elections.

  3. Rweethere says:

    Article from Dallas Morning News: IF WE ONLY LISTENED……

    I didn’t vote for Ron Paul in the Republican primary (I was a Mike Huckabee man), nor did I write him in on Election Day (I penciled in farmer-poet Wendell Berry). But no Texan this year did more good for conservatism and his country than the congressman from the coast.

    Lord knows there was no Republican in the 2008 campaign who talked straighter.

    Dr. Paul – he’s a physician – never had a chance, of course. He is too peculiar in his opinions and doesn’t know how to spin like a TV slick. What he had was ideas, integrity and authenticity. On the most critical challenges facing America, Dr. Paul was more right than the well-funded GOP regulars who bigfooted the campaign trail.

    His best moment came in a May debate aired on Fox News. Dr. Paul asserted that too much U.S. meddling in the Middle East invites terrorist blowback – a conclusion shared by the 9/11 commission and former CIA bin Laden unit chief Michael Scheuer. Rudy Giuliani pounced, accusing Dr. Paul of trying to blame America for the Sept. 11 attacks.

    But Dr. Paul’s point – lost on the demagogic New York mayor – was simply that America should rethink its role in Iraq and the region. “We don’t understand the irrationality of Middle Eastern politics,” he said in the debate.

    Who can doubt it today, given an Iraq war debacle conceived and executed by a president and an elite team blinded by ideology? The Iraq war did deep damage to our military, our economy and our prestige – and it has destroyed the Republican Party’s credibility on national security issues.

    Ron Paul, who has always stood against U.S. imperial overreach, was right about the Iraq war. And that’s not the only thing he saw that most Republicans did not.

    His libertarian economic views are far from mainstream. For example, he’s against income taxes, period, and believes the U.S. should go back on the gold standard. Eccentricities like this keep him from being taken seriously.

    But the truth is, if U.S. economic policy looked a lot more like Ron Paul’s ideal than what we’ve had these past decades, the nation wouldn’t be tottering on the financial abyss. Dr. Paul has long argued that an economy built on easy credit, insatiable consumption and deficit spending is a time bomb. He backs a national economic model based on savings, investment and production.

    An economy that depends so heavily on government intervention to keep it afloat is one that creates of necessity an ever more powerful state. The nationalization of the banking sector only increases the power of the central government and decreases liberty. Dr. Paul warned for years against what we’re seeing happen today. But nobody – including me – listened to the old crank.

    How much better off would America be today if we had? We’ll never know. Poor us.

    It’s not true, really, that nobody listened. Dr. Paul had a relatively small but intensely devoted following and raised astonishing amounts of campaign cash for his outsider presidential bid. Unfortunately, that enthusiasm didn’t amount to much of anything in the primaries. So much for the Ron Paul Revolution, right?

    Maybe not. The same GOP establishment that mocked and reviled Dr. Paul now lies shattered. Who believes in this Republican Party anymore? The party destroyed itself with its own unprincipled recklessness, both in foreign and fiscal policy. And it has ruined its reputation among the young – the most ardent of Dr. Paul’s supporters, incidentally – who are far more likely to identify with the Democrats.

    Out of this destruction, some creative young conservatives may rise up and decide to take back the Republican Party. Perhaps they’ll run against the overweening power of the federal government and in favor of decentralizing power (but unlike today’s Republicans, they’ll actually mean it). Maybe they’ll fight for an America that lives responsibly, within its natural limits both overseas and at home. And maybe, just maybe, they might make the Republican Party worth following again.

    If that day comes, it will be thanks to the lifelong labors of Ron Paul and his 2008 campaign based on ideas. If those ideas germinate into genuine reform and restoration of sanity in our government, America will look back on Dr. Paul as a gift from Texas and a worthy nominee as Dallas Morning News Texan of the Year.

    And having once given the nation George W. Bush – and given him to our countrymen good and hard – we Texans sure as hell owe them one.

  4. BOB HARAN says:


    Duplicating the Democratic Parties’ position on the issues will not win elections for Republicans, it would just make the GOP a wing of the Democrats.

    Mr. Sessions was just doing what too many politicians are doing today, pandering to a group, simply to solicit their support. We should be thankful he was not speaking before a group of cannibals. The Log Cabin Republicans are a group of social liberal gays who are opposed to high taxation and but want to advance the gay agenda by attempting to influence or soften the GOP’s position on traditional family issues.

    If the GOP broadens its focus beyond issues such as “guns, God, gays and, taxes,” as Mr. Sessions suggest and, I’m assuming he feels we should soften our position on those issues also, we will lose more voters then we gain. If the sanctity of human life is an important issue to a voter, and the GOP was no longer firmly pro-life, why should that voter stay with the Republican Party.

    There is an ongoing debate within the GOP, should we be a big tent party, tolerant of opposing view points, or should we be a small tent, accepting only those who agree with every word of the party platform, as if it came from God. If we become too small of a tent, we can’t win election and we turn the government over to the liberal Democrats. A big tent party does have a better probability of electoral success, however, if we stand for nothing, why should anyone support us.

    As any great institution, the Republican party needs core values that set it apart from the other party. Our platform should embrace those core values in the positions we take on contemporary issues. It should be remembered however, our platform is not set in stone, it undergoes changes every four years. Issues change and so do political platforms, if this were not true our platform would still be calling for an end to slavery only in the territories but permitting it in the states, as was the position of the 1860 Republican platform. A party platform is a reflection of the consensus of the party on the issues of the day, at the time it is written. The Republican platform should be based on our core principles of: less government, more freedom; protection of the rights to life, liberty and property; commitment to the free enterprise system, preservation of family values and, peace through strength. A party platform is not a governing document as our Constitution is, but a statement of the current position of a political party on the issues of the day. Our core values however, should be more permanent and so basic as to stand the test of time.

    A political party must be just the right size to be successful, not too wide in positions on issues as to be meaningless and truly stand for nothing, but not too narrow has to become so small it becomes irrelevant. What all activists in a political party should agree on is the basic core principles of the party. If someone finds they’re in disagreement with a parties’ core principles, they should leave the party. If someone is so narrow minded however, as to be intolerant of the position of others in the party and can’t support the party because, it’s their way or the highway, they too should leave the party, they do more harm then good.