The perils of “Party Unity”

claude popeConservatives are regularly lectured by establishment types to forget the silly issues and simply “take one for the team.” Never mind that Mitt Romney pushed through in Massachusetts something about as bad — if not worse — than ObamaCare.

Never mind that Pat McCrory regularly fought against conservatives to enact tax increases while he was mayor of Charlotte.  They’re both Republicans. They stand under the emblem of the elephant.  Shut up, and be a team player. 

What happens when conservatives win one against moderate establishment types?  You get pouting, and sitting on hands. Or you get something like what we had in our 2006 GOP primary for NC House here in Moore County.  We mounted a conservative challenge to supervillain Richard Morgan.  We took Morgan out in the primary.  We assumed — as we’ve often been told by moderates — that everyone will fall in line and support the party nominee in the general election.  Nope.  The establishment crowd that backed Morgan ran an “independent” candidate against the GOP nominee in the general election.

In the 2012 general elections here in North Carolina, we were all cajoled to get in line behind Pat McCrory.  Conservatives, for the most part, did so.  Establishment types, however, did not do the same for the more conservative Council of State candidates.  The vote total for GOP candidates fell off dramatically once you started moving down the ballot from the governor’s race.

NCGOP chairman Claude Pope is lecturing every Tea Partier in sight about party loyalty.  He’s tut-tutted Tea Partiers — including THIS writer — for being divisive and splitting the party here in primary season.  (Yet, he enthusiastically supported the vice chairman candidacy of Richard Morgan acolyte Carolyn Justice.) 

Claude is at it again, this time in an email shared with us by the recipient:

[…]  The NCGOP is steadfastly neutral in the US Senate Primary, and any speculation or attempts to tie our leadership to any endorsement of a specific candidate is simply nonsense – and merely an attempt by those supporters of certain candidates to continue to try and split our party for their own gain. […]

Splitting the party?  Isn’t this primary season?  Aren’t primaries all about having internal debates on the future path of the party?  Debates involve people taking sides.  Party loyalty is important in the general election battles against the leftists.

Want a lesson on how horribly awry this party loyalty thing can go?  In Ohio, Republican governor John Kasich is enthusiastically implementing ObamaCare.  The party establishment is falling in behind his efforts.  Republicans who dared to oppose ObamaCare implementation are being accused of party disloyalty and are being denied endorsements and support by the state party.

The Communist Party held things together in their empire, during the Cold War, by demanding “party loyalty.” So did the Nazis in Germany.  Imagine if Lech Walesa in Poland and Boris Yeltsin in Russia had stayed loyal to “the party” and not led protests.  

It’s not about the party.  It’s about living up to your promises to the voters.  It’s about doing what’s right.

Primaries are all about evaluating our choices for the general election.  It’s OUR choice — not the backroom decision of party bosses.