You heard the man
Colin McNickle, the arch-conservative editor of the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review editorial page, tells conservatives to take the GOP behind the woodshed on Election Day. He scoffs at fellow conservatives who say that the alternative--Democratic control of Congress--is far worse:
What's the definition of insanity again? In this case it's constantly returning Republicans to power and having the audacity to expect different results. And what could be more stupid than that?
Say what you want to about Colin--a former co-worker of mine--you can't challenge his conservative bona fides. Well, let me add a caveat: Colin and the Trib's editoral page represent fiscal, small-government conservatism with a strain of libertarianism. The Trib has editorialized in favor of gay marriage and has generally been neutral on the question of abortion, with some pro-choice leanings. (Which is not to say the Trib's editorial page is never in line with social conservatives.)
In other words, Colin represents the kind of conservative who lately has been taken for granted by Karl Rove and the GOP in their bid to build a permanent Republican majority. This is an interesting reversal of fortune for fiscal/libertarian conservatives, who once held sway in the GOP and kept social conservatives on a short leash, knowing they were unlikely to bolt to the Democrats.
But now small-governnment conservatives see a Republican Congress that, mired in corruption, is spending our grandchildren into hock on pork-barrel projects; is doing the bidding of the Christian right on a range of cultural issues including gay marriage; and has consented to an expansion of presidential power so great that even Richard Nixon would have blanched.
That big tent is shrinking, and it's fiscal conservatives who are being elbowed toward the exits. Come November 7 we'll see just how many follow Colin's advice.