- Teacher who survived Sandy Hook has book deal
- Jury awards Ventura $1.8M in defamation case
- Government OKs Arab-owned company to operate U.S. cargo port
- Defense lawyer: McDonnell’s wife had ‘crush’ on CEO
- Chinese hackers stole ‘huge quantities’ of sensitive data on Israel’s Iron Dome
- House unveils bill to speed deportations of illegal immigrant children
- Californians protest middle school for hiring white man to teach cultural studies
- Killer’s sentencing overturned because mother couldn’t find seat in courtroom
- Hillary: ‘Dead broke’ comment was ‘inartful,’ but insists it was ‘accurate’
- Fla. mom arrested for allowing 7-year-old son to walk to park alone
EDITORIAL: The urge to retreat
David Cameron can’t sell squish in Britain, either
Question of the Day
Squishy Republicans are the first to insist the party must move leftward any time an election doesn't go their way. Squish is a hard sell in other places, too, as British Prime Minister David Cameron is learning.
Mr. Cameron is the Conservative who came to power three years ago on a promise to cut the deficit and reduce the size of government. He fell prey early to the temptation to expand his popularity by embracing the central positions of the liberal orthodoxy, including global warming and homosexual marriage. He didn't broaden. He got no bump on the left, and he's taking a painful thump on the right. "Reaching across the aisle" doesn't work in London any better than it works in Washington. That aisle nearly always turns out to be a one-way alley.
Mr. Cameron worked hand-in-hand with the Labor Party last month to push the House of Commons to confer legality on homosexual marriage, driving many Conservatives to work against their leader. This lurch to the left had no political payoff. Liberals weren't drawn to Mr. Cameron, measured by a public-opinion poll by Survation. Support for Conservatives dropped 5 percentage points, as small-c conservatives defected to the U.K. Independence Party, which added 6 percentage points to its favorability.
Tories are miffed that Mr. Cameron has been blowing limited public resources to promote fringe energy sources, particularly in subsidies to large and ugly onshore wind farms that are far more expensive than traditional energy sources. More than 100 Conservative backbenchers called their party leader out in an open letter complaining about requiring taxpayers facing tough times to spend money on "inefficient and intermittent energy production." The internal party strife intensified when a senior member of Mr. Cameron's team referred to angry grass-roots Tory party backers as "swivel-eyed loons."
London's daily Independent released a poll Sunday demonstrating the extent of "Cameron fatigue," showing Labor with a prospective majority in the House of Commons, despite Mr. Cameron's watering down of Tory policies.
Comparisons are always odious, but they can be instructive if taken with salt. Sen. John McCain won no friends when he characterized three of his conservative Republican colleagues as "wacko birds." The 2014 elections are far away, but Republican moderates probably damaged the party's electoral prospects for next year with attacks on Tea Party conservatives. Establishment Republicans are always fond of hand-wringing and fret over demands to be more moderate and "inclusive" in the wake of the re-election of President Obama and the loss of a handful of seats in Congress. The Grand Old Party is always tempted to run on a platform of "vote Republican, we're not as bad as you think."
There was no comparable anguish among Democrats about the need to move to the right after the far greater "shellacking" they took in the 2010 congressional midterm elections. Democrats lost 63 seats in 2010; the Republicans lost 8 in 2012. The party's electoral problems have less to do with its message than with its timid messengers. True conservative principles, properly executed, work every time — on both sides of the Atlantic.
The Washington Times
© Copyright 2014 The Washington Times, LLC. Click here for reprint permission.
About the Author
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Time for some policy 'pars' from golfer-in-chief
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Texas law is making women safer
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Redskins partnership is a win-win
- LETTER TO THE EDITOR: No taxpayer funds for illegals
- EDITORIAL: The two faces of Mark Warner
Latest Blog Entries
TWT Video Picks
Get Breaking Alerts
- Boehner rules out impeachment: 'Scam started by Democrats'
- Federal judge grants 90-day stay in D.C. gun case
- GOP Senate candidate: Obama needs to visit Central America
- Obama thanks Muslims for 'building the very fabric of our nation'
- Smugglers, rainstorm combine to poke holes in border fence
- California's Jerry Brown cites God, 'religious call' to embrace illegals
- D.C. seeks to stay judge's order allowing gun owners to carry in public
- Kerry's credibility questioned as fighting in Gaza rages
- Hillary Clinton: Forget Obama, George W. Bush made her 'proud to be an American'
- Appeals court upholds Obamacare tax as constitutional