- The Washington Times - Thursday, April 9, 2009

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

The leaders of the Republican Party of Virginia are mistaken in thinking that they will win in Virginia by ousting Jeffrey M. Frederick, a Reagan conservative, as party chairman and appealing to the “moderate voters in Northern Virginia” (”Frederick ousted as GOP chairman,” Page 1, Sunday). One look at the election results from the past few years will show their skewed thinking.

Why would the moderates vote for a pseudo-liberal when they can vote for the real thing? Hasn't the Virginia Republican Party learned that Republicans who act like Democrats lose, whereas Democrats who run on a conservative platform win?

Conservatism is not dead. The majority of Americans embrace the conservative ideals of family, lower taxes and limited government.

The establishment Republicans are simply looking for a scapegoat instead of taking responsibility for their own actions. I personally saw the ineptitude of the McCain campaign in my area, and it is unfair to hold Mr. Frederick accountable for someone else's mistakes.

At a time when the base needs to be energized (think of Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin), Virginia Republicans are successfully alienating it. Many of us were excited to see the Republican ticket for this year's election - Attorney General Robert F. McDonnell for governor, Lt. Gov. William T. Bolling for lieutenant governor again, and state Sen. Kenneth T. Cuccinelli II, Fairfax Republican, for attorney general. Unfortunately, our spirits fell when we heard, three weeks ago, that Mr. McDonnell came out against Mr. Frederick.

I am afraid there will be a terrible backlash against Mr. McDonnell. There are many people, myself included, who are conservatives first and Republicans second. Yet it is as if the wind has been taken out of our sails.

Nonetheless, the grass-roots movement to revitalize conservatism in Virginia is alive and well. We continue to look for a Reagan conservative who can represent us and articulate the views that have made Virginia one of the most prosperous states in the country.

If Mr. Frederick runs again, he has our family's vote along with the support of those who elected him last year. The fight for the soul of the Virginia Republican Party is far from over.

SONIA MCCULLOUGH

Springfield

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