GOP Betrays Long-Suffering Conservatives–Again
Wing Sees Betrayals," the headline in the
Washington Times shouted last week, and it`s about
right wing did. This particular headline referred to
what had been going on inside the Republican
Convention`s platform committee, where conservatives
were given the run-around by the party establishment on
several issues dear to them.
One such issue is the
social-moral issue, specifically
abortion and "same-sex
marriage." Probably no other cause fetches in
the conservative herds like the GOP`s traditional
platform plank denouncing abortion (leave aside the
curious fact that apart from occasional rhetoric, no
Republican president has ever done boo about abortion as
a practical matter).
The platform this year keeps the
plank and thumps for a
constitutional amendment to ban homosexual marriages.
And why not? Since neither position will have any
practical impact and each seems to make
conservatives happy, the party establishment has no
reason to dump them. The "gay marriage" amendment in
fact has already been
defeated in Congress, as I
predicted some months ago it would be.
But many conservatives seemed upset
about Vice President Cheney`s recent
backing away from the amendment, so their pleasure
at receiving the rhetorical stroking in the platform
they have come to expect is somewhat diminished.
Social-religious conservative Gary Bauer of
American Values says the platform is a "fairly
solid document" but worries that "simmering discontent"
on these social issues "will cause us to be
surprised on Election Day about where our voters went."
As the Times reports, the
platform endorses President Bush`s foolish "guest worker
plan" of last January and at the same time renounces
amnesty for illegal aliens. But of course the
president`s plan is an amnesty plan, as even most of its
defenders admit. How then can the platform say what it
Tom Tancredo has the solution to this enigma.
Clintonlike doublespeak in a Republican platform,"
says the man who has
done more than anyone else in Congress on the
immigration issue. "I`m against amnesty, but let me
define what amnesty is," he says, mocking the weasel
words with which the platform smuggles amnesty into its
language and covertly commits the party to it. I suppose
Mr. Bush would reply, "It depends on what you
mean by `amnesty`."
Like Mr. Bauer, Mr. Tancredo
worries about what will happen on Election Day as a
president is wrong not to reach out to his
base, which opposes amnesty. This pandering to
Hispanic voters is going to get the president into more
trouble than if he dealt with illegal immigration
Both Mr. Bauer and Mr. Tancredo are
right to be concerned that the platform`s de-emphasis of
conservative values or its actual importation of
anti-conservative language will cause problems in
cranking out the rank-and-file conservative vote in
November, but on the other hand, the administration and
its strategists have a little secret weapon of their
own. Its name is
The administration strategy is that
while it may be necessary (still) to stroke the
right-wing of the party with rhetoric and knee-bends to
anti-abortion and immigration control measures, the
blunt reality is that those who demand the rhetoric and
knee bends have
nowhere else to go, and if they don`t support the
Republicans, they will get Mr. Kerry.
The rank-and-file conservatives
have been trained in much the same way as the Russian
psychologist Pavlov trained his dogs—to salivate on cue.
The cue this year is Mr. Kerry and the specter of a
Democratic victory. As long as the
strategists for Mr. Bush can wiggle that flag in
front of conservative noses, they need not
worry too much about what will happen on Election
Day to the party`s base.
Yet sooner or later it may occur to
that base that this is a game the party establishment
has been playing for decades and that the longer they
play it, the less reason the conservative base has to
expect that it will ever get what it wants—not just
language in the platform and the rhetoric of occasional
presidential oratory but actual policies and legislation
that, with serious presidential and party support, can
bring what conservatives believe into reality.
As long as rank and file
conservatives are content to allow themselves to be
stampeded into the Republican corral by the red flag
of a Democratic victory, they can expect the Republicans
they elect and re-elect to
betray them. If the right wing now finally sees
betrayal, as the headline reported, it really has no
one to blame but its own willingness to support those
who perpetrate betrayal
year after year, election after election.
CREATORS SYNDICATE, INC.
Sam Francis [email
him] is a nationally syndicated columnist. A selection
of his columns,
America Extinguished: Mass Immigration And The
Disintegration Of American Culture, is now available
Americans For Immigration Control.
for Sam Francis` website. Click
here to order his monograph,
Ethnopolitics: Immigration, Race, and the American