On the Real Clear Politics website today http://realclearpolitics.com, former Washington Times editorial page editor, Tony Blankley, has some words of warning for small tent Republicans.
Mr. Blankley is saying that just because a candidate is not "pure" on one issue does not mean that one is not a conservative.
Mr. Blankley takes to task critics of former Arkansas governor Mike Huckabee, including one writer who compared Mr. Huckabee to Huey Long, George Wallace and other assorted bad southern politicians. Of course, the same said writer failed to mention the worst southern pol of our time, William Jefferson Blythe Clinton. There are legitimate reasons to question Mr. Huckabee. Today on the Hugh Hewitt radio show http://hughhewitt.com, Mr. Huckabee said that he would be in favor of a nationwide smoking ban in the workplace. Not exactly a states-rights position. Also, it is a fact that Mr. Huckabee raised taxed in Arkansas. And, Mr. Huckabee did not exactly clean house of many of Gov. Clinton's appointees to state posts. Maybe Mr. Huckabee did not want to spend his whole governorship that dirty. But, these issues do not make Mr. Huckabee any less of an overall conservative.
Even the same can be said, less, of former New York City mayor Rudy Giuliani. Yes, he dead wrong on the social issues and fuzzy on immigration, but he has some conservative credentials that can not be ignored.
To elaborate on Mr. Blankley's basic point, the modern Republican party, and the conservative dominance did not and can not happen without all the three legs on the stool together. That three-legged stool are fiscal/economic/small government conservatives, social conservative and foreign policy/defense hawks. Ronald Reagan took all three groups to victory twice. George H. W. Bush brought them along in 1988, could not keep them in 1992. Former Kansas senator Bob Dole had the same problem as former President Bush, not being able to get all three groups together. President Bush has come close, but with his approval ratings in the 30 percent range, some are peeling off and going to the multitude of Republican candidates for the 2008 presidential race.
Maybe that is part of the problem. The coalition is fractured because so many are running and there is no clear front runner for the Republican nod.
We have to hope so. If it is Mr. Giuliani, he will need a miracle to put the three parts of the pie together again. Former Massachusetts governor Mitt Romney will not have the same problem as many social conservatives are beginning to warm to his candidacy. Mr. Romney has a good amount of fiscal/small government conservatives and he is a foreign/defense policy hawk. Same for former Tennessee senator Fred Thompson. Many have looked to Mr. Thompson as the next Ronald Reagan, but remember folks, there will never be another Ronald Reagan. The next president if he is a Republican has a chance of making a new chart for himself, like President Truman did from FDR and President Kennedy from President Truman. Oh, even Sen. John "F--- You" McCain at least is two out of three. One has to question the sanity of anyone who advocates open borders and still believes we are fighting a global war of Islamofacsist terror.
But, here is the crux of Mr. Blankley's argument. Stop looking for purity. Be ready to support the Republican candidate for even if it is Mr. Giuliani, that will be at least OK compared to a President Clinton, or Obama, or. . .STOP! You get the picture!