Time Running Out for Conservatives

Cal Thomas | Syndicated columnist | Thursday, August 8, 2002

Time Running Out for Conservatives

I had lunch yesterday with one of conservatism's great political minds, Paul Weyrich, who heads the committee for the survival of a free Congress. Paul was also an architect of the conservative victories in the eighties and nineties. He believes Republicans face losing the House in the fall election and that liberal Democrats will add to their one-vote margin in the Senate.

The reason is that Republicans, including the President, are not regularly addressing the issues that turn out the angry voter. He cited the Pledge of Allegiance, gays in the Boy Scouts and especially immigration.

Bush won't take on the gay rights agenda for fear people will call him mean-spirited. And he won't make less government spending and smaller government an issue, because too many Republicans have voted for more spending.

Weyrich says if there is a drop of just one percent in the turnout of the GOP's conservative base, Republicans will lose. Only an October surprise liberating Iraq will turn it around, he says, and then only if it's successful and Saddam Hussein is either killed or captured and a better regime takes his place. There's still time for conservatives, but not much. I'm Cal Thomas in Washington.