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Elites Vs. Grassroots At CPAC

Over at Pajamas Media, this morning,  I examine the apparent rift [1]between Republican grassroots and the Republican elite at CPAC.

One such respondent placed his objections within the framework of the Republican Party being the middle-class party and therefore not needing “gimmicks” to prove their middle-class bona fides. The problem, of course, is that once those middle-class symbols are removed, or limited in their impact and exposure, the Republican Party leadership tends to forget the values of the middle class that they claim to represent. The results are predictable:

  • In election seasons, such omissions lead to the near suicidal nomination of people like John McCain for president. McCain tried to sell us on the idea that he was a “maverick” when it came to bucking the party establishment. All too often, however, he was a very public rebel against true conservative values. Back in the day, the description we used for such people was “Rockefeller Republicans.” These days, the most apt description is RINO (“Republican in Name Only”). The nomination of McCain resulted in the spectacle of Palin and Wurzelbacher gathering more people at their appearances than John McCain drew to his.
  • Under these conditions, when Republicans are in power they tend to spend more time in “go along to get along” mode than they do governing on conservative principles, essentially guaranteeing a loss at the next electoral opportunity.

In both situations, forgetting the grassroots is destructive and — as with the most recent election cycle — downright suicidal. It amazes me that this lesson has yet to be learned.

There’s already a healthy collection of comments, over there.