(Mark Noonan) – Thus says our very-much-a-minority “leader”:
“I think divisive primaries are hurting the Republican Party. We ought to be encouraging unity in the party instead of extremism trying to rip it apart.”
What is “extremism”, as far as Raggio is concerned? Such things as being opposed to tax increases during a recession. Supposedly, this “extremism” is ripping the party to pieces.
I don’t know about that. It might be ripping RINOs to pieces, but from what I can see, the conservative base of the GOP is ever more united behind core, conservative principles. You know, such as not increasing taxes during a recession.
In a lot of ways, the upcoming 2010 election is not so much a Republican vs. Democrat fight as a People vs. Powerful battle. As it turns out, Democrats have most of the power in Nevada and the United States, so they will bear the brunt of the peoples’ ire.
But there is still plenty of anger at those elements of the GOP who have chosen to be water-carriers for the powerful rather than representative of the people. Raggio is just the prime example of a Republican who has become a hidebound, political hack only interested in power for himself and the quiet life between elections.
Raggio might have been all a conservative Republican wanted – when he first entered office, decades ago. And therein lies the problem: he’s been in office for decades.
There is a place for the Grand Old Man of politics but we must be wary that the Old Man has become more interested in himself than in the principles he’s supposed to represent. Somewhere along the line, the system captured Raggio and now his whole life is dedicated to preserving the system as it is because that is what ensures that Raggio shall remain powerful and prosperous.
There is, of course, a recall effort afoot to get Raggio out of office. Raggio dismisses the effort, but that is the grassroots. I hope they are successful, but even if they fail they will have still made a point worth making: that the people who represent us had better pay attention to the will of the people and don’t tell us one thing on the campaign trail and then do another when in office.
This recall effort is just a sliver of a larger movement, which we might as well just lump together as the “TEA Party” movement. All around the nation, the people are waking up to the dire straights we are in and are demanding of our elected officials that they do the right thing. Raggio and others like him might want to pretend this isn’t happening or that it doesn’t matter, but I think the results in November of 2010 will show the truth of the matter.
At all events, if this effort against Raggio is extremism, then call me an extremist because, as our great hero once said, extremism in defense of liberty is no vice. The Raggios of the world might like the mild taste of go-along-to-get-along RINOism, but I – and millions like me – prefer the sharp flavor of conservatism.
(Mr. Noonan co-publishes Blogs for Victory)