If you're a conservative who believes in limited government, lower taxes, and modest spending - you might be experiencing a serious case of buyer's remorse these days when you look at Republicans in Washington.
The highway bill just passed by our Republican Congress (with the President's blessing), at $286.4 BILLION is the most expensive public works legislation ever passed. The National Taxpayers Union put it best when describing one of the more offensive projects in the bill,
"$220 million for a 5.9-mile bridge connecting Gravina Island (population 50) to the Alaskan mainland. The cost of the bridge alone would be enough to buy every island resident his own personal Lear jet."
It has become increasingly clear that Republicans in Washington care little or nothing about grassroots conservatives and the values they hold dear. After we spent decades defeating the Rockefeller wing of the Party it seems we have a new enemy - the Washington wing of the GOP. They're not just wasting money; they're actually massively growing government in direct contravention of everything Republicans purport to stand for.
Conservatives owe their loyalty to our principles, not Republicans in Washington - not even those Republicans with whom we know and have worked for and with over the years. We conservatives have an obligation to speak out about how Republicans have betrayed us and what we believe. We need to communicate with our organizations and constituents to make clear that our interests, as conservatives, are being seriously undermined by this new political class: long-serving Republicans in Washington more interested in keeping power than doing right by the Constitution and the American people.
If the Democrats had engaged in this level of wasteful spending, every Conservative in America would be raising their voice. We must not do less when the Republicans act like Democrats, lest we been seen - rightly - as political hacks having no principles, only concerned with power. The price of silence is hypocrisy.
One can only be reminded of 1998 when the Republican Congress - just four years after taking power, went on a similar spending spree - only to watch grassroots activists desert them in November. The GOP lost House seats in the second midterm election of a Democratic President, a failure almost unheard of in American politics.
When will the GOP learn that the party's success is directly tied to the level of commitment from its core base of conservative voters and activists? Over and over again we work to make sure that lesson is taught but it never seems to take.
But one thing is clear: if these Washington Republicans continue to prove to conservatives that there really is no difference between them and Democrats (indeed, that they even be worse), they are headed for a disappointing election night in 2006.
They cannot win without us - and we need to tell them exactly that - both privately and publicly.
This is the voice of Republicanism that I grew up listening to (several family members are GOPers). These are the people that The Boy King and his Machiavellian sycophants are alienating.
While these folks continue to walk the straight line of old-school Republicanism, Bush and the Dobsonites barrel increasingly to the right of Pol Pot. At the end of the new paradigm, my mom's going to end up calling herself a "liberal", and her grandmother will be hosting a kegger in heaven, chuckling to herself with unmitigated glee.