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Sometimes Disappointed . . . Conservatives Keep Looking For Political Heroes

November 5, 2013 Featured Today No Comments

By DEXTER DUGGAN

Prominent Washington, D.C., national political observer Charles Krauthammer, MD, left medicine to become a columnist because he placed more importance on delivering commentary, he told national talk host Dennis Prager.
Krauthammer added on the October 29 radio program that if he were to advise a person with a “good heart” about whether to choose being a commentator or senator, he’d say a senator because that job has a more direct effect.
Hoping to have such a direct effect has been the motivation, too, for various pro-lifers and kindred Catholics and evangelicals entering the political world in recent decades, even if they’d previously avoided that field of endeavor.
Seeing liberal media, judges, and bureaucrats assertively imposing their personal left-wing priorities on the nation had stirred the traditionalists into contrary action.
But what happens when some conservative voters invest high hopes in electing people they wish would be their heroes in Washington, D.C.? It’s trouble when a politician gets more comfortable conforming to the Washington crowd than to his constituents.
Sometimes, disappointed conservatives may just think of giving up and retreating to the backyard barbecue. However, they know they can’t. They know that massive government, if unresisted, will never leave them alone but keep invading every little corner of everyone’s life.
As for recent news, think of the names Marco Rubio and Paul Ryan. Their missteps were major, not minor.
And although Los Angeles Archbishop José Gomez wouldn’t be mistaken for a broad-spectrum political conservative, his elbow-rubbing with radical pro-abortion California Democrats celebrating massive illegal immigration can only damage the Church’s credibility.
Florida’s inspiring Marco Rubio was a Republican freshman in the U.S. Senate when he threw his weight behind the massive “Gang of Eight” pro-amnesty bill early this year.
This gave the legislation a valuable momentary boost with some conservatives because they trusted him, even though its major backers included veteran open-borders senatorial deal-makers Charles Schumer (D., N.Y.), John McCain (R., Ariz.), and Lindsey Graham (R., S.C.).
Once conservatives sized up the facts, though, Rubio plummeted in polls showing their presidential preferences for 2016. Their disapproval eventually had an effect on him.
The bill, S. 744, is roughly 1,200 pages long. Like monstrous Obamacare, “comprehensive immigration reform” is full of complexity, deception, payoffs, waivers, and executive manipulability.
Apparently finally figuring out his self-inflicted damage, Rubio started backing away from the measure. National Review Online political reporter Andrew Stiles posted on October 29:
“Sen. Marco Rubio…has undergone what appears to be a curious conversion on the issue of immigration reform. After working for months to craft, pitch, and pass a comprehensive bill in the Senate, Rubio now thinks that a step-by-step approach is a more ‘realistic’ option, and has joined the chorus of conservatives warning against the potential pitfalls of a conference committee.”
Conservatives fear that if a House bill is sent into conference with the Senate, senators will more or less simply replace the House measure with their own “Gang of Eight” aberration for congressional approval.
Then there’s brainy number-crunching Cong. Paul Ryan (R., Wis.), widely hailed last year by conservatives when GOP presidential nominee Mitt Romney named Ryan as his vice-presidential running mate.
Of late, however, Ryan has been urging “immigration reform” and reportedly working secretly to shove it forward with left-wingers like Cong. Luis Gutierrez (D., Ill.), an open-borders, pro-abortion extremist with visions of millions of new Democratic votes for the Culture of Death dancing in his eyes. For a man who knows his numbers, Ryan seems blind to these.
Crafting legislation can involve compromise, and many voters may be willing to abide a politician who’s on the right side, as they see it, 87 percent of the time rather than 98 percent. However, these voters also have their firm priorities, and politicians violate them at their peril, as evidenced by Rubio’s plunge only after he became a key proponent of amnesty.
On the other hand, new, proudly conservative Sen. Ted Cruz (R., Texas) basically hasn’t disappointed traditionalist voters in any important way so far. Which explains why left-wing media have begun howling against him.
So it would have been advisable if former GOP Sen. Rick Santorum, a Pennsylvania conservative, had chosen his words more carefully in an October 27 Meet the Press television interview.
Santorum obviously knew liberal media had their knives out for Cruz. But, offered the opportunity to comment on the Texan, Santorum said of Cruz’s recent activity in the government shutdown/defund Obamacare controversy:
“I think he didn’t do a very good job in pointing [his objective] out. It’s one thing to have a goal, and another thing to have a plan to get you to that goal, and he didn’t figure that out.”
Although Santorum said Cruz’s goal was “laudable,” “I would say that in the end he did more harm.”
Santorum thinks Cruz “did more harm” became the words that predictably shot into national headlines.
Headlines are where a lot of the action is. Unlike conservative or liberal political activists, many people in their daily lives don’t pay much attention to major elections and personalities. And then may depend on headlines and sound bites.
I recently mentioned Santorum’s name to a woman and a man in the business world, not people who spend their days as napping couch potatoes. The woman didn’t know who Santorum is, and the man, after a little prompting, correctly recalled a “lanky guy.”
And just when Obamacare may be starting to stir up people to vote heavily Republican in 2014, the Republican establishment continues to push for approval of immigration amnesty, which would seem sure to have a deadly effect in suppressing turnout by the GOP base.
What a victory that would be for the perpetual bipartisan Washington establishment. Lowered Republican turnout helps keep intransigent Democrats in control of the Senate, which in turn blocks every effort to undo nationalized government medicine.
Interestingly, liberal media that demand the GOP show its interest in embracing Latinos never seem to notice that conservative Republican Ted Cruz is about as Latino as a U.S. citizen can be. What these media mean by “Latino” is left-wing Democrat.
Speaking of disappointments to conservatives, open-borders Los Angeles Archbishop Gomez delivered an embarrassment to the Catholic Church in the U.S. by joining with radical Culture of Death Democratic politicians to celebrate the approval of driver licenses for illegal immigrants in California.
Under the headline “Pact With the Devil,” the pro-life California Catholic Daily web site on October 25 reproduced the cover of Gomez’s archdiocesan newspaper, The Tidings, “Southern California’s Catholic Weekly,” that carried a large photo of Gov. Jerry Brown and a bevy of his pro-abortion, pro-homosexual Democratic cohorts beaming over “Driver’s Licenses for Undocumented.”
A separate Tidings photo showed Gomez at a lectern with pro-abortion Democrats, including so-called Catholic Jerry Brown, surrounding him.
LifeSiteNews.com picked up on the story and asserted that Gomez was violating the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops’ own Catholics in Political Life statement in 2004, which states: “The Catholic community and Catholic institutions should not honor those who act in defiance of our fundamental moral principles. They should not be given awards, honors, or platforms which would suggest support for their actions.”
In Brown’s news release about the driver license bill-signing ceremony, Gomez’s name was listed first among those attending, LifeSiteNews.com pointed out.
Although the LifeSiteNews.com story didn’t further quote the USCCB’s Catholics in Political Life, that statement also said:
“Our obligation as bishops at this time is to teach clearly. It is with pastoral solicitude for everyone involved in the political process that we will also counsel Catholic public officials that their acting consistently to support abortion on demand risks making them cooperators in evil in a public manner. We will persist in this duty to counsel, in the hope that the scandal of their cooperating in evil can be resolved by the proper formation of their consciences.”
The Tidings issue was dated October 11.
On October 9 Brown signed into law a radical bill allowing non-physicians to perform abortions. A Los Angeles Times news story posted October 9 about this abortion law included this paragraph: “‘It’s very disappointing, particularly from a women’s health standpoint,’ Wynette Sills, executive director of the Coalition for Women and Children, said of the governor’s signing of the bill. ‘He has put the profits of the abortion industry above the health and well-being of women and children’.”
Providing reader feedback to the California Catholic Daily story about Gomez and Brown, Sills posted a letter to Gomez and other California bishops. She wrote in part:
“As a Catholic woman, wife, and mother who is active in protecting life, I am very disappointed in your October 11 front-page photo of The Tidings showcasing Gov. Brown and other notorious pro-abortion political leaders. These state legislators recently passed and Gov. Brown signed the largest abortion-expansion efforts in decades, AB 154, which will allow non-physicians to perform abortions, and AB 980, which changes the California Building Code, allowing abortions to be performed in facilities not equipped for surgery. . . .
“This photo is a scandalous betrayal of the foundational teaching of our Church,” Sills continued. “The political leaders you have honored are active supporters of intrinsic evil, promoting abortion in every way possible, especially targeting women and babies who are poor and vulnerable, including immigrants. . . .
“These egregiously pro-abortion Democratic Party political leaders, many of whom are Catholic, need to be counseled for conversion or voted out of office, not given prominent front-page photo accolades in a Catholic publication,” Sills wrote.

Hold The Crowns

When The Wanderer asked conservative Arizona Republican strategist Constantin Querard about how political heroes can break hearts, Querard said that perhaps the heroes had been crowned too easily. In a statement he said:
“[Paul] Ryan was never a hero, just a congressman who was (and still is) good on budget and fiscal issues, who happened to be plucked to be our vice-president nominee and was momentarily on a lot of our bumper stickers.
“Rubio’s only heroic achievement was to make us all happy by beating Charlie Crist [in the 2010 Florida senatorial election], but what do you know of his record as speaker of the House in Florida? My guess is there is plenty there that wouldn’t meet our hero standards.
“Our disappointment with Rubio isn’t that he was our hero so much as we had great hope for him and he had such fantastic potential,” Querard continued. “We’re sad because right now it looks like he isn’t who we hoped he would be.
“Santorum isn’t really a hero of the movement, either. Sure, some loved him from the start and still do, but most turned to him as the ‘not Romney’ of the moment, and it should be telling that he was the last not-Romney chosen, after [Michele] Bachmann was up, then [Rick] Perry, then [Herman] Cain, then [Newt] Gingrich, then finally Santorum.
“Santorum is a quality guy who generally [voted] very well, but he also still has interest in running for president again, so he’ll take his shots at other potential competitors like Cruz when he can,” Querard said.
“Let’s be hopeful for our potential heroes, but wait until they’ve proven themselves a few times first before conferring full hero status on them,” he concluded.

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