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TeaParty to SoCons – You Need Not Apply Here

Melissa Clouthier ~ Why are we fighting already? I really do believe we’re working toward the same goal.

November 2nd ushered in 60+ new Congressmen, 6 Senators and 682 State seats with a united message from the electorate to bring fiscal control our government. Make no mistake, this was a clear repudiation of liberal big spending, big government policies embraced by the Dem controlled House, Senate and WH.

Soon after this stunning victory,  17 individuals issued a letter opening a needless divide between social cons and fiscal cons – I refer to them as “The Gang of 17

In an open letter to Senator McConnell and Representative Boehner, 17 individuals affiliated with teaparty groups reminded the politicians to  focus on fiscal issues:

“On behalf of limited-government conservatives everywhere, we write to urge you and your colleagues in Washington to put forward a legislative agenda in the next Congress that reflects the principles of the Tea Party movement,”

Great opening that is in total accord with teaparty groups around the nation. However, the rest of the letter goes completely off the rails and throws social conservatives under the Teaparty Bus:

Already, there are Washington insiders and special interest groups that hope to co-opt the Tea Party’s message and use it to push their own agenda – particularly as it relates to social issues. We are disappointed but not surprised by this development. We recognize the importance of values but believe strongly that those values should be taught by families and our houses of worship and not legislated from Washington, D.C.

We urge you to stay focused on the issues that got you and your colleagues elected and to resist the urge to run down any social issue rabbit holes in order to appease the special interests.

So much for that laser-like focus on economic freedom and limited government.

I am told this letter is in part a reaction to a recent statement from Senator Jim DeMint“You can’t be a fiscal conservative and not be a social conservative.” As a staunch supporter of limited government, Senator DeMint’s statement makes perfect sense.  Reducing the size and scope of our government will necessitate the elimination or streamlining of wasteful entitlement programs. Is that not the stated objective of this letter? Making an either/or distinction between fiscal and social conservatism is wrong.  Alienating social conservatives is a death sentence for the teaparty and by extension, the GOP.  Alienating social cons seems to be a strong preference of one of the signers of this letter; one who openly espouses his antagonism to social conservatives, specifically targeting those of the religious persuasion.

As this open letter is largely void of evidence supporting the statements contained within; I turned to the ever astute John Hawkins from Right Wing News and his analysis of  scorecards based on the voting records of U.S. Senators.  Looking at the results, he found  fiscal conservatives and social conservatives were essentially the same people:

From what I’ve seen of Republicans on Capitol Hill, the fiscal conservatives and social conservatives tend to be one in the same. On the other hand, if you show me a Republican who’s not socially conservative, I’ll show you a Republican who’s probably not fiscally conservative either.

George Bush comes to mind. Michael Medved reminds us that segregating fiscal and social issues ignores the way economics and values interact.

Most troubling about this letter is the laser-like  insinuation that social conservatives in the Teaparty are bound and determined to legislate their values from Washington DC. Again, no proof is provided in the letter of this scurrilous allegation. I challenge the authors – all seventeen of them  - to provide an example of   ‘social value’ legislation proposed by a conservative politician.

Melissa Clouthier makes an excellent point over the needless divisiveness of this letter:

All this to say, we agree so much, why divide at all? Smaller government, less taxes, less spending will help achieve the social conservative ends. I want to keep the independents on the Republican side where they belong. Putting the fiscal message first will help do that. In the meantime, social conservatism will march steadily.

If the authors of this letter had adopted a laser-like focus on reminding McConnell and Boehner of the importance of a legislative agenda supporting economic freedom and limited government, would it have been necessary to alienate social conservatives in order to underscore their point?

This was a bad move in a time when we as TeaParty supporters need to unify around common principles and not allow ourselves to be balkanized into rival factions.

Others blogging:

Dan Riehl questions the conservative creds of GOProud

Erick Erickson  - More Than One “I” in Coalition

Aaron Gardner – A Note to GOProud and Other Libertarian Tea Partiers

Joe Carter – Are Tea Party Leaders Destroying the Movement

Stix Blog – The Letter

Declaration of Conservative Leaders in Defense of Jim DeMint

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9 responses to “TeaParty to SoCons – You Need Not Apply Here

  1. Trevor Hilton

    I think Chris Christie and Rudy Giuliani are fiscal conservative/social liberal politicians.

    But, as a Southern Baptist Christian, social issues such as morality, abortion, the gay agenda, and gun control are just as important to me and fiscal conservatism.

  2. adn

    the world is becoming more and more dangerous as powerful institutions are calling for a 1 world currency – the imf bancor


  3. adn

    $54,000 in circulation for every ounce of gold – damn i should have been in the monopoly money printing biz…


  4. says:

    I do not see it as a knock or anything against Social Conservatives. The main point is that we need to get the fiscal house in order.
    The reason the social issues are put in there is to say we need to focus on the Fiscal now. Not to push all Social issues away forever. Right now we need to get the economy and fiscal policy in order.

  5. Dee

    I agree with Stix. I did not read it that way. I thought their point was that we did not send them there to get sucked into the nonsense that the libs throw out, but stay focused on the economy, jobs, and the deficit. Second to that, but not any less important are the other issues the libs keep brewing. They will not be ignored, but they won’t deter us from economy and jobs. There is no such thing as a Fiscal Conservative and Social Conservative. A Conservative is both by nature, instinct, whatever, they just are. I agree that the social issues follow with the economic issues. They go hand in hand.

  6. says:

    Simply put, what was successful in 2010 was recognition that the “TEA” ["Taxed Enough Already"] Party Movement was driven by recognition that the Original Intent of the Constitution [which informed the postures of limited-government activists] reflected the Framers’ method of applying Judeo-Christian Ethics.

    Therefore, it is intuitive that one cannot cleave these two forces; for example, although its presence in ObamaCare was noted @ a climactic point in the debate, the generic issue of public-funding of abortions will predictably arise independently in Congress.

    Therefore, the ideal approach to these issues is to recognize this linkage, plus the Constitution’s mandate that “states’ rights” be re-emphasized when engaging in public discourse about social issues.

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