Victory is Sweet for Those Who Know the Taste

By Troy Newman, President, Operation Rescue

The Miers nomination is now officially D.O.A., and we can be certain that she will never wear Justice O’Conner’s left leaning black robe.

This is a decisive victory that has been won by a newly energized grassroots conservative movement. This new breed of conservatives are men and women who can sense the changing culture and are moving to flex their freshly discovered-political muscle.

Unfortunately, there are many “old guard” conservatives who, for the past two decades, have been losing battles and chalking up defeats for so long it has become a way of life. Some conservatives have come to love defeat and the martyr status that accompanies it. They are having a hard time adjusting their thinking to accept the current cultural shift and the philosophy of victory.

In spite of the negativism in the conservative leadership, the neo-conservatives have been achieving success. “Steady plodding produces prosperity,” says the Bible, and the conservative movement has been slowly gaining a head of steam. We have been educating our voters, fueling talk shows, building organizations, and funding candidates. Grassroots conservative are beginning to experience the sweet taste of being both right and on the winning side. They have come to expect victory.

But the old guard isn’t quite sure. Last week I talked with a very powerful conservative organizer. He told me that conservatives just don’t have the power in Washington yet, and we need to just “grin and bear the Miers nomination” and maybe next time we will get a better candidate.

“Next time” has come sooner than he thought. And many Christian conservatives just like him have underestimated the powerful movement they helped create. The right has flexed its bicep just a bit and the disastrous Miers nomination is now a footnote in history.

In spite of the endorsement from Dr. Dobson, Jerry Falwell and Marvin Olasky, their supporters worked against the Miers nomination. The grassroots culture warriors sent two clear messages to their conservative, Christian leadership. First, they must begin exercising leadership that is in step with the ever-shifting times in order for the grass roots to continue to follow them, and that includes forsaking their defeatist mentality for the philosophy of victory. And secondly, conservatives have learned the hard way not to trust anyone unilaterally, be it George Bush, Karl Rove, or Marvin Olasky.

Let this be a warning of sorts to those who run large conservative organizations. You have trained and equipped your constituents well. They believed your letters, read your books, and have checked off your “Action Items” from your news alerts. The neo-conservative leaders must now begin to believe that conservatives have power and can win political fights as much as the people who support them. The tail cannot wag the dog forever.

This shouldn’t alarm leaders of the Christian right movement. It should empower them. We have worked hard to see the day when we have the power and influence to revive our dying culture. Now it is here.

The conservative Christian leadership must now move forward to pressure President Bush to produce a valid Supreme Court nominee with the credentials that all conservatives can unite behind. We have the power and influence to be victorious in this battle. Now is the time for our leaders to lead, follow, or get out of the way, because the neo-conservative movement is pressing forward to victory, with or without them.