There is an old saying among conservatives that when we send our people to Washington, they’re not our people anymore. Ronald Reagan was the exception that proved the rule, and it is a rule that conservatives have been living with since conservatives first emerged from the shadows in the 1950s. Conservatives often become disillusioned in election campaigns that a politician who is “pretty conservative” will be, well, “pretty conservative” after he gets elected. It didn’t work with Eisenhower, it didn’t work with Nixon, it didn’t work with George H.W. Bush, and it isn’t working with George W.
The conservative’s job is not to be a good Republican, but to keep Republicans honest, to hold their feet to the fire. So what is going on now is exactly what should be going on — conservatives telling the congressional leaders and the President that being “pretty conservative” (and you have to wonder what “pretty” means sometimes) isn’t good enough. If it means losing an election or two, that is the price we need to pay.
Do you miss Ronald Reagan as much as I do?