By Lynn R. Mitchell
Bernie Goldberg made a couple of observations in his latest column (see End the GOP civil war; sign the pledge). After explaining that some Republican candidates showed up in Iowa, he noted an accurate comment from NJ Governor Chris Christie:
As reported in the New York Times, [Chris Christie] “cautioned against requiring a candidate to pass conservative litmus tests.”
“If that’s the standard we hold each other to as a party we will never win another national election,” he told the conservative crowd.
That’s just the kind of thing that riles true-blue conservatives. But he’s right.
Goldberg went on to explain the futility and folly of that kind of thinking:
Despite what cogent thinkers like Charles Krauthammer believe, the Republicans are indeed fighting a civil war. The ideologically pure wing of the party behaves like bishops who believe it’s their mission to excommunicate non-believers – in this case, that’s anyone to the left of Ted Cruz. I have received emails through this website from people who tell me there’s no difference between the GOP moderates and Hillary Clinton. Based on what they tell me, they’ll sit out the election next year if the candidate is Jeb Bush, Mitt Romney or Chris Christie.
They say a moderate can’t win, and point to the last two presidential elections to “prove” their point. But what they haven’t figured out yet is that a big reason John McCain and Mitt Romney lost is because the purists didn’t vote. They sat home on Election Day. That’s why the purist wing of the party is also known as the suicide wing. [emphasis added]
Bernard then noted that the Democrats, though split at the moment between the Hillary camp and the Elizabeth Warren camp, eventually will come together, writing, “… that fight amounts to nothing. Warren isn’t running and her supporters will (if not enthusiastically) turn out for Hillary – unlike GOP purists who say they won’t turn out for anyone they call a RINO.” He concludes with these never-truer words:
If the Civil War continues, if the ideologically pure refuse to accept the candidate the voters choose on grounds that he’s not conservative enough, well, I hope they like President Hillary Clinton. It should matter to them that every Republican who runs will be more conservative than Hillary. Every single one.