February 24, 2014

ANDREW KLAVAN: Purity or Strategy: The Debate We Need To Have.

Just to let you know where I stand emotionally, here’s a true story. The first time I made a speech before a Tea Party crowd, I felt as if I were floating two feet off the ground. I respected, admired and agreed with the Tea Partiers so completely, that my heart rose up and I began to believe that despite the Obama debacle, the country would ultimately be fine. As I was leaving the rally, I got a call from a friend asking me to come by for a drink with a couple of the highest ranking Republicans in Washington. It was me and them, having a glass together, eye to eye. By the time I left that gathering, I was so depressed by the establishment GOP’s blindness and philosophical corruption I could barely see straight. I phoned Andrew Breitbart for moral support. “I’ve just had a drink with [blank] and [blank],” I began. And he responded immediately, “Are they ***holes or what?”

All my sympathies, in other words, are with the tea party. And I would truly love to see the RINO’s skewered on their own horns.

And yet… In general, Tea Party candidates tend to do well in congressional races where small, homogenous districts are in play. In Senate races where you need votes across an entire state, a primary victory for someone like Christine O’Donnell or Todd Akin may briefly fill the conservative heart with joy, but the loss of a Senate seat that could have been won is simply too high a price to pay for that momentary triumph.

We need to talk this out with good sense and without pompous ranting. Politics is the art of the possible. Writing belligerently purist articles, blog posts or comments is relatively easy. Winning elections is hard. Barack Obama is one of the most destructive presidents this country has ever seen, but a talented politician. If stopping him in his tracks requires stomaching some RINO’s here and there, it seems a no brainer: It must be done.

Yeah, I agree. Also, a GOP-controlled Senate is necessary to block potentially horrible Supreme Court nominees. To get there requires that Tea Party activists sometimes grit their teeth. But it also requires establishment GOP types to treat the Tea Party base with respect, because when they don’t, you get 2012. This will be a test of maturity all around.