These days in conservative circles you often hear rash talk about how we need to purge the movement, as well as the GOP, of “Never Trumpers” and “RINOs” (Republicans in name only). You know, people like Mitt Romney, Liz Cheney, Brian Kemp, Lisa Murkowski and John Kasich. Some even want to ditch Mitch McConnell, for his intemperate remarks about how President Trump “provoked” the Capitol riot. Such talk is understandable, given the frustrations that have built up since Trump’s “defeat” in the November election.
Be that as it may, now is the worst possible time for conservatives and Republicans to form a circular firing squad. The truth is that we need all hands on deck if we’re to restrain the dastardly Democrats from implementing their expansive, radical agenda. In fact, to prevail, we’ll need a little help from the Dems themselves.
Consider that Mitt Romney may be self-righteous, but he also voted to confirm Amy Coney Barrett to the Supreme Court. That vote may prove more consequential, at the end of the day, than any other vote he has ever cast, or any remark he has ever made.
Consider that Brian Kemp may have been a wet noodle when it came to preventing fraudulent votes in Georgia in 2020, but we’ll need his assent as governor if the legislature there is going to make meaningful changes to boost election integrity in the future.
Consider that Mitch McConnell may be stamping his little feet because he believes that Donald Trump cost him his position as majority leader of the U.S. Senate, but his Machiavellian genius will come in handy as we maneuver to block tax hikes, wasteful spending, the persecution of the fossil fuel industry, court packing and other outrages.
Consider, further, that, even should all Republican officeholders unite against the most radical of the Democrats’ schemes, even that won’t be enough to stop them. Democrats control the Executive Branch, the House and the Senate. They can, if they are bound and determined, push through almost any burst of Bolshevism they please.
What this means, if we’re to keep the republic from flying off the rails entirely, is that Republicans need to hold together AND they need to build coalitions, either episodic or semi-permanent, with “moderate” Democrats based on shared interests and principles.
I can imagine the natural response of many of those reading this article: “moderate” Democrats? Are there any? How can a Democrat be “moderate” when he or she reflexively votes for any impeachment that comes down the pike, as long as it targets the arch-villain Trump? Why would any “moderate” support Biden-Harris, the most extreme Democratic ticket in history? Why would a moderate coexist in the Democratic Party with socialists like Bernie Sanders and AOC?
Those are all good questions, but the fact remains that there is a vein of moderation (relatively speaking) in the Democratic Party. Once upon a time, moderate and conservative Democrats were a major voting bloc in Congress. In Nixon’s and Reagan’s day, Republicans regularly partnered with open-minded Democrats to pass sensible legislation and to advance the national interest. This faction has been steadily winnowed down in subsequent decades. Most of the seats and states once represented by moderate and conservative Democrats have fallen to the GOP, but there are still Democrats, known as “Blue Dogs,” who make a point of emphasizing their pragmatism, their centrism and their willingness, even eagerness, to work “across the aisle.”
With Democrats in a position of mastery in two of our three branches of government, and within striking distance in the third, now is not the time to spurn these Blue Dog moderates. Whatever favors they are willing to do for Republicans, whatever concessions they are willing to make, whatever deals they are willing to strike, we should greedily embrace. That is how Republicans stay relevant during the next two years, and how we prevent the complete conquest of the federal government by quasi-Marxists.
This week, we got a taste of what such a fruitful alliance can achieve. Previously, the king of the Blue Dogs, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, announced his opposition to ending the filibuster in the Senate – the same filibuster that now makes it impossible for Democrats to pass major legislation without Republican support. On Monday, Arizona Sen. Krysten Sinema announced that she too would never support torpedoing the filibuster.
In effect, this means that the filibuster stays. It means, in fact, even more than that, because without ending the filibuster all the Dems’ fondest wishes and wildest fantasies – packing the Supreme Court with leftists, adding additional (deep blue) states to the Union, creating a government-run health care system – are as good as dead. It means, in other words, that a Biden presidency will not usher in a left-wing authoritarian regime, and that American democracy has a little life left in it.
Conservatives and Republicans should applaud these developments. Yes, we may not always agree with the Never Trumpers, the RINOs and the Blue Dogs about Trump’s merits and demerits, or about all or even most aspects of policy or ideology, but we do share one overriding common interest: a love of this country, and a desire to ensure that its government reflects the will of the people, rather than the abstract ideology of a radical fringe. And that, for the moment, ought to be enough.
As a conservative, as a Republican and as a patriot, therefore, I thank God for the Blue Dogs. The fate of our country is arguably in their hands, and happily they seem to be rising to the occasion. Long may it last.
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