The leaders of 45 conservative and religious groups co-signed an open letter to Republican members of Congress urging them to resist compromise with Democrats that “would be a disaster for conservative principles.”
They warn that any who cave in to Democratic demands on fiscal cliff negotiations will face strong primary opposition at the next election.
"Let us … remind you that a great many potent conservative organizations and millions of conservative and liberty-loving voters do not believe in the divine right of incumbents to be re-nominated,” says the letter written by Liberty Institute president Morton Blackwell, in his capacity with The Weyrich Lunch.
Conservatives know how to recruit and support candidates,” he adds.
"In recent election cycles the left has virtually eliminated 'moderate' Democrats from the Congress," the letter points out. "And you have no conservative Democrat colleagues at all.
"At the same time, those election cycles have resulted in the nomination and election of fewer and fewer Republicans who play footsie with liberal Democrats.”
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The letter, dated Nov. 30 was signed by a veritable Who's Who of American conservatives including Brent Bozell, Phyllis Schlafly, Ed Meese, Gary Bauer, Richard Viguerie, Al Cardenas, Erick Erickson, Foster Friess and Andrea Lafferty.
It stresses that despite losing seats, Republicans still hold a sizeable House majority. "Right now it is generally but incorrectly believed that Republicans aren't able to negotiate from a position of strength," it reads.
"The whole leftist apparatus is gearing up to panic you and to force you to cave in," it reads. "Don't do it.
"All of them, the liberal Democrats, the labor unions, the leftist ideologues in the so-called 'progressive' movement, and their allies in the print, broadcast, and online media will try to convince you that your political careers will be over if you don't cave in.
"Let us remind you that these same people have always tried to defeat you — yet you won election.
"Whether your resistance to their current power grabs collapses or not, they will work just as hard to defeat you next time. But if you are seen to cave in now, next time they will be stronger."
The letter starts by telling the members of both houses of Congress, “You are entering into a period of testing. In the House, the nation elected in 2012 one of the largest Republican majorities in the past 100 years. You have a mandate to fight for conservative principles that is arguably much broader than the one that narrowly re-elected President Barack Obama claims to have for his leftist agenda.”
In addition to using their majority in the house, the letter says that the 45 GOP members of the Senate hold enough power to stop “many bad decisions there.”
In the letter, Blackwell lays out two scenarios the conservative leaders fear would harm the country.
“First, just enough Republicans could vote with the Democrats and against most other Republicans to pass what Obama, Pelosi, and Reid want passed,” it says, continuing, “second, the Republican leadership could negotiate a "deal" with the Democrats and take most Republican Representatives and Senators with them.
"Either of those two courses would be a disaster for conservative principles because they would result in permanent advances for the 'fundamental changes' the left wants to impose on our country," the letter warns.
The letter comes after a growing number of Republican senators and representatives publicly distancing themselves from Grover Norquist’s anti-tax pledge, which most Congressional Republicans signed when first running for national office.
“If Republicans cave in now, when it really counts, next time you will be weaker, because your conservative base will be outraged,” the letter says. “Many who worked hard to elect you in the past will never lift a finger for you again.”
It concludes by pointing out that a hard-line stance may be unpopular, but it is needed. "If Republicans provide a consistent, conservative alternative, the time will come, probably sooner than later, when most Americans will become fed up with the left's failed agenda and be ready for a change to 'throw the bums out' and restore limited, Constitutional government.
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"So it's in the interest of the country and in your personal interest for you to use the power you unquestionably have now to stand firm and not surrender your conservative principles, no matter how loud the clamor of people whose central interest is to advance the left's agenda."
The letter follows one sent by Bozell to Republican National Committee chairman Reince Priebus in which he warned that he would pressure groups on the right not to donate to the party in the future if it agrees to tax increases during talks on avoiding the fiscal cliff.
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