-By Warner Todd Huston
A party is a party. Sure, in politics there are internal fights, jealousies, and intrigues, but when the final push to election day is upon its members, a party supports the one carrying the party banner. They may be disgruntled because the man they supported didn’t win the primary, but they hold their tongue and pull the lever for the Party candidate. Many even about face and hit the hustings for the party guy even as they worked against that candidate in the primary.
Like I said. A party is a party. It’s how the game is played and Democrats play this game well.
They do it so well that when Markos Moulitsas of the far left website DailyKos attempted to destroy Connecticut’s long-serving Democrat Senator Joe Lieberman in 2006 it was big news. Further when Liberman then dumped his party affiliation and ran as an Independent — and won — it was something almost never before seen. Usually when the left and Democrats get past the primaries they rarely buck the party line and they all align dutifully behind the nominee.
Democrats know what a party is for. For the large part, all wings fold into place on election day. But Republicans cannot do this, it seems. And it’s mostly because their so-called “moderate” Republicans are party traitors. It is a fact from which there is no escape. If the moderate, countryclubbers in the GOP don’t win they work to sabotage the rest even if it means that Democrats win the election. It has been happening at least since the 1964 Goldwater campaign. It happens on a state level as well as a federal level.
Remember how the Rockefeller wing of the party whined and cried for years after Reagan won the primary for the 1980 election for president? Recall how the moderates launched a not so quiet whisper campaign to undermine Sarah Palin once McCain picked her for his VP choice in 2008?
It has been quite blatant in this election, perhaps more so than in recent memory.
A few examples of the moderates striking against the GOP in this election can be seen in the lack of support for Sharon Angle in Nevada, the assistance they gave the left in attempting to destroy Christine O’Donnell in Delaware, and the undermining of Joe Miller in Alaska.
The newest example is going on right this minute in North Carolina’s 2nd District where Republican Renee Elmers won her election against Democrat incumbent Bob Etheridge but only, as it turns out, by somewhere around 1,600 votes to date. Democrat Etheridge is now demanding a full recount and when putative winner Elmers went to the National Republican Congressional Committee for some help funding the raft of lawyers she’ll now have to hire she was refused any help even as she has won the election.
Now, one would think that the GOP would fall all over itself to come to the aid of a female candidate that beat a Democrat incumbent. But the moderate infested NRSCC refuses to help even after the election!
But the GOP moderate’s also wrecked havoc as candidates. There was the left-leaning Charlie Crist of Florida, the monarchist wannabe Lisa Murkowski in Alaska, and nearly the RINOesque Mike Castle of Delaware, all of whom either launched sudden “independent” campaigns or nearly did. They easily and quickly abandoned party loyalty and pushed their own personal interests because they felt the actual primary winners in their states were “too conservative.”
And while we cannot say that the moderates of the GOP are apostates based on the actions of two candidates, what we can say is that the moderates did not condemn these turncoats and that is revealing. In fact, the moderates secretly at least, and in some cases openly, rooted for the nouveau independent candidacies to succeed over the actual primary winners.
The fact is that conservatives have for years sullenly agreed to vote for the party choice even when not a conservative. Unfortunately, the moderates do not so easily return the favor. And for a party that has traditionally started behind in the ratings of identified voters, the fact that it cannot garner support of its own members is vexing to say the least.
The Tea Party may be changing this formula. It certainly seems that Tea Party activists won’t so easily bow to party loyalty and support RINO moderates as past groups of conservatives have. It all remains to be seen, of course, but if any group of Republicans can force moderates to heel it will be they.
In any case, while Democrats — even while loudly griping about it — fall into line and vote the party regardless of what else is going on, those so-called GOP moderates are party traitors all too often.