Cannibals to the Left of Me, Wimps to the Right

Former Reagan official Jeffrey Lord explains why the establishment GOP is so afraid of the conservative base today at The Spectator:

“Ford Declares Reagan Can’t Win” — Headline in The New York Times, March 1, 1980

Yet still more mush from the wimps.

To borrow a famous Reagan phrase: “Well, there they go again.”

Somewhere an exasperated Gipper is doubtless shaking his head.

The war between conservatives and the Republican Establishment — and make no mistake, this is a war — is on once more…

…Why? Why do this kind of politically senseless, totally tone-deaf thing?

There is an answer. An answer directly related to that headline above quoting former President Gerald Ford as insisting Reagan couldn’t win the general election in 1980. The same charge, by the way, that Ford made against Reagan in 1976 when the two tangled over that year’s presidential nomination.

Sarah Palin knows the answer. Governor Palin gets it.

And the former Alaska Governor, with characteristic courage, was not shy about taking the conservative fight directly to the GOP Establishment with this statement on Facebook titled “Cannibals in GOP Establishment Employ Tactics of the Left.” Starting off this way, Palin said:

The Republican establishment which fought Ronald Reagan in the 1970s and which continues to fight the grassroots Tea Party movement today….

Palin continued in this vein, adding:

But this whole thing isn’t really about Newt Gingrich vs. Mitt Romney. It is about the GOP establishment vs. the Tea Party grassroots and independent Americans who are sick of the politics of personal destruction used now by both parties’ operatives with a complicit media egging it on.

Sarah Palin is dead-on right.

If Newt Gingrich disappeared from the planet today and in his place stood only Rick Santorum — or Sarah Palin herself or some other conservative — you can be certain the Establishment GOP would have their sights trained on that conservative, running some version of precisely the same multi-gazillion dollar campaign they are running against Newt Gingrich right now. As a matter of fact, they did exactly this to Governor Palin from the very moment she stepped on the national stage in 2008. If by chance Rick Santorum emerges as the sole conservative left in this race — look out Rick.

Why is this?

The hard fact of the political matter, to give the short version, is that with the advent of the American progressive movement at the beginning of the 20th century, there were many in the Republican Party who in their own fashion went over the side, abandoning the good ship of conservative principles. It’s not that they necessarily left the GOP — although some, most prominently Theodore Roosevelt — did so. No, what happened is that they simply folded like a cheap suit, caving to what they were certain would be the eternal popularity of the progressive movement.

Read the rest here.

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