Everybody’s a victim:Apparently some social conservatives believe that they’ve gotten a raw deal from the Republican Party in recent years. This is baffling to me, as the list of efforts by the GOP on behalf of social conservatives in just the Bush years includes the Terry Schiavo intervention, Alito, Scalia, faith-based initiatives, the partial-birth abortion ban, reinstating the Mexico City Policy, introduction of a constitutional amendment to ban gay marriage, along with various state initiatives… What has the GOP not achieved on behalf of these voters that they legitimately could have, given the political reality of the Senate Democrats’ filibuster?
And yet we hear, ‘the party takes us social conservatives for granted, the elites expect us to keep our heads down and vote for whoever they tell us,’ etc. Or a variation:
“Nobody at the elite level seems to expect the economic conservatives to suck it up for the sake of party unity. What does that say about the place of social conservatives in the party all these years?”
Really? We’re supposed to interpret this as a sign that they’ve been taken for granted? The fiscal conservatives feel like they’ve been betrayed as government has grown larger during Bush’s administration and the explosion of pork. The hawks feel like the Bush administration turned into David Gergen in the second term – safe, consensus-driven, conciliatory, multilateral, slow-moving, boring. Can the social conservatives really make the case that they’ve gotten the short end of the stick?
No, they can’t, unless, of course, they’re lefties on economics and foreign policy, and thus haven’t noticed Bush’s weakness on those fronts because they buy the conventional wisdom of Bush as a heartless “neocon,” or someone with an “arrogant bunker mentality.” In other words, unless you’re Mike Huckabee.