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Friday, May 29, 2009
The Man in the Arena

Teddy Roosevelt's good advice notwithstanding, it isn't enough to be "in the arena." To many Beltway Republican "leaders," being part of the political process (and getting rich in the process) is an end in and of itself.

As Jonah Goldberg has noted, the Republican party is not a party of identity -- it is a party of ideas. When the ideas and principles are tossed aside, the party flounders.

Exhibit A:

Jonah Goldberg makes a good case for this argument in his recent column on NRO (emphasis added):

The conventional wisdom holds that conservatism is in trouble because the GOP is in trouble. But the two are not one and the same. Indeed, the GOP’s conservative principles aren’t necessarily the main reason for its unpopularity. Arguably, Republicans’ failure to adhere to their principles when in power hurt them more...

...The cliché is that politics is about “addition,” and the GOP needs to add more Hispanics, or gays, or women to its coalition, as if such descriptors define people more than their individual aspirations. Republicans will never win that fight, nor should they try to out-bean-count the Democrats. Persuasion should trump the pandering of “addition.” Conservatives must argue why they are right, not endlessly apologize for their alleged wrongs.

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