At the end of his HBO Show, Bill Maher presents his “New Rules,” a monologue revolving around issues of the day comprised of cheap sarcasm and hit-or-miss one liners.
With the Democratic Party seemingly in disarray following the 2004 election, Maher upbraided the Kerry campaign for its pandering to the center. From this segment, I have replaced the words “Democrat” and “liberal” with “Republican” and “conservative”
“Republicans will never win another election if they continue trying to siphon off votes from the Democrats. They will only win if they create more Republicans. And you no don’t do that by trying to leach onto issues you should be denouncing. You wind up in a goose-hunting outfit a week before the election trying to appeal to guys who would sooner vote for the goose.”
“These folks aren’t undecided. They aren’t in play.”
To paraphrase Reagan, conservatism is an ideology that has a party, not the other way around, and this is what separates us from the muddled mess of interest groups jockeying for a space at the trough that comprise the Democratic Party. If for tactical expediency, the Republican Party “goes gay” or moderates its position on abortion, it will be still be so far from the Democratic position on the issue that anyone really concerned with “gay rights” or abortion rights will still pull the lever for the Democratic nominee. All this would accomplish is to provoke stories in the mainstream press that x nominee is fighting with the base, which plays right into the hands of the Democrats.
If the time comes when wide majorities across the nation embrace gay marriage, let the Republican Party do so as well. I think Burke once said conservatism is at its best when it concedes the world is changing in ways it does not favor, but nonetheless resolves to moderate its course. As election results from California to Florida suggest, that day for emrbacing gay marriage has not yet come.
One final [edited] word from Maher:
“Republicans and conservatives stop saying you’re going to move because Obama won. Real Republicans and conservatives should be pledging to stay because Obama won.”