God Bless Joe Barton, So Long GOP -- Doug Patton) by O.C. contributor Doug Patton regarding his decision to part company with the Republican Party over the issue of Congressman Barton’s apology to BP CEO Tony Hayward during Congressional hearings on BP’s role in the gulf oil disaster. In such a decision, one has to determine one’s personal balance between values and objectives, and the impact of one’s decision on contemporary circumstances. Mr. Patton obviously determined that his values overrode pragmatism, and some unfortunate timidity on the part of Republican Congressional leadership regarding comments by Mr. Barton. I can certainly understand Mr. Patton’s frustration with what has occurred, and with some in the Republican Party hierarchy. But in the opinion of this hopefully, pragmatic, hopefully “objective” conservative, there is both right and wrong in what Congressman Barton said, in the reaction of the Republican House leadership, and that Mr. Patton’s approach might be somewhat self defeating in his reaction to what has transpired.
Let me begin with Congressman Barton. Yes, I fully agree that BP was the victim of an Obama “shake-down”, and that the Obama Administration is guilty of gross hypocrisy when it comes to the rule of law!
The next question is how should concerned Republicans / conservatives react to all of this? Mr. Patton, certainly a principled man, chooses to leave the Republican Party because of its timidity and failure to reflect the “purity” of Mr. Patton’s conservative beliefs. Personally, as a self proclaimed pragmatist, I also strongly believe that it becomes incumbent upon Republican Party activists to work to apprise their Party officials and elected representatives of their concerns, and, if necessary, dramatically lobby to demand that those representatives more vocally and effectively represent the basic ideals that have made this nation strong for over two centuries, overcoming, at the most critical moments, various monumental hurdles.
How else than through the Republican Party can this be accomplished? Certainly not by an assortment of fringe groups with various and sundry goals! Would not a third Party effectively give permanent control to the Democrat Party, controlled by the most extreme leftist elements?
A political Party is necessarily a coalition of relatively like-minded individuals, who nevertheless provide a spectrum of thought, which ultimately will coalesce around ideas and ideals that are functional AND idealistic! The political ideological pendulum swings back and forth. When it swings too far in one direction, as it has now, it becomes necessary to be vocally active, and, in some cases, to sacrifice what is necessary to achieve those goals! It has become necessary to attempt to shake Republican leadership out of their Beltway lethargy, and provide a rallying point for their constituents. At the same time, it is incumbent upon individual members of the Congress & Senate (i.e. Representatives Terry, Fortenberry, Smith, and Senator Johanns) to also provide that leadership to their constituents, and reflect that to their leadership! Let’s bring our concerns to them! Let’s let them know that they must be that first line of defense against the horrors of what we see emanating from the White House and the Democrat Congressional leadership. Perhaps Mr. Patton believes that leaving the Party will draw the necessary attention to achieve those goals. It is my considered opinion that the ONLY organ we have available to defeating the leftist onslaught is the Republican Party. Let’s do everything we can to help it get the job done!