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Conservatism or Tribalism?

One of the candidates for US Senate is pro-life, favors a balanced budget amendment, school choice, and term limits.

Another candidate was an 18 year legislator who is opposed to term limits and voted for the infamous Pay Raise.

Yet another self-styled “Conservative Republican” and “lifelong Conservative” has yet to actually vote in a Republican primary election.

But to listen to some folks, that first candidate would be the second coming of Arlen Specter, and represents all that is wrong with the Republican party.

True, I cherry picked the information presented. Indeed, Rohrer has been a largely stalwart conservative, and at least had the good sense to vote against Perzel in the 2007 leadership vote. (Despite being the less “conservative” position, I actually agree with Rohrer on term limits.) And yes, Smith had been active in tea party organizations, even as a Democrat.

And I obviously omitted any mention of Welch’s troublesome if brief dalliance with the political Dark Side of the Force. But amazingly enough, the folks who typically cheer “principle over party” seem very preoccupied with party registration. On the subject of Welch’s one-time support for Sestak, they love to point out that Sestak ran against Toomey. What they neglect to mention is that in 2006 Sestak was running against a sleazy incumbent Republican Congressman, and that by 2009 Welch declared his intention to challenge Sestak for the 7th Congressional seat. At no point did Welch support Sestak for Senate. Perhaps those insinuating so should apply for production positions at NBC News. I understand they may have an opening.

Ok, the party registration thing is not exactly a big selling point, to say the least, but at what point do we actually argue policy and ideology? Welch has taken on some pretty darned conservative positions. If he were to be elected on this platform he would be among the most conservative Senators in the entire body.

No, the Republican primary has descended into something more akin to tribal warfare than ideology. It seems to matter more which “team” the candidates are perceived as belonging to rather than their actual positions. “Conservative” is no longer an objective term, but a shibboleth.

April 8, 2012 at 12:09 am
5 comments »
  • April 8, 2012 at 8:34 amSam

    “One of the candidates for US Senate is pro-life, favors a balanced budget amendment, school choice, and term limits.”

    Now if he actually voted those positions, there would be a lot less interest in unseating him.

  • April 8, 2012 at 11:11 amJoe Collins

    There is no “unseating” Welch as he hasn’t been elected. He has no legislative record. Only Rohrer has a legislative record, which is generally conservative with the obvious and significant exception of the Pay Raise. Though I must say, though he voted the right way most of the time, I don’t know that Rohrer actually accomplished a lot in his tenure.

  • April 8, 2012 at 11:22 amSusan Staub

    Shibboleth: ‘Interesting use in a political context…Since no two people define “conseervative” the same, perhaps we should delete that word rather than label it a shibboleth.

  • April 15, 2012 at 7:59 pmTR Sterling

    Sestak was put up to run with Millions from the Cintons. The former republican congressmen he beat was NEVER indicted but the FBI files against him and his daughter were “leaked” in a political smear campaign. To this date, no charges have been brought against either Curt, or his daughter Karen Weldon, for anything related to the raids of 2006.

    So step off the BS platform that Welch and that the former (demoted) admiral have manufactured. Sestak was a down the line Pelosi Liberal. Welch supported him with money over the republican. For the benfit of the delusional GOP in PA, Welch will be another “Casey Conservative”. Wake up! It’s the smell San Fran Nan, the same smell as Sestak and Welch.

  • April 20, 2012 at 10:54 amRobert B. Sklaroff, M.D.

    “…in 2006 Sestak was running against a sleazy incumbent Republican Congressman.”

    Curt Weldon was/is an honorable man, and to suggest otherwise poisons the rest of this essay.

    It therefore is untrue that “the Republican primary has descended into something more akin to tribal warfare than ideology,” as noted elsewhere:

    http://www.politicspa.com/welch-video-smith-not-articulate-enough-to-take-on-casey/34396/comment-page-1/#comment-712346

    The differences between true-conervatives and Welch cannot be obfuscated, try-as-ye-might!

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