"Then Abram said to Lot, "Let there be no strife between you and me,
and between your herdsmen and my herdsmen, for we are kinsmen."
- Genesis 13:8
(Update as of 5/25/12: Redux: Some conservatives and Tea Partiers are crying in protest over Sarah Palin's endorsement of Sen. Orrin hatch. See here why she is right - again.)
Put it down under the category: The Unrealistic, Impossible-to-Pass Purity Test
Some conservative bloggers and pundits, to the amusement of the Left, were up in arms over the recent defense of Senator Orrin Hatch from Utah by Sarah Palin. Some in the Utah Tea Party are fielding a challenger to the six-term senator because of his penchant for compromising with the Democrats.
The Tea Party has been, and is, a force of good to this country. They forced our elected representatives to be accountable for their votes and actions. They brought to the forefront of our national conversations our precarious fiscal state and made Washington focus on smaller government, reduced spending and lower taxes. But our government does not revolve around one issue only. Some issues are worth standing firmly on the ground for while on some, we have to be willing to meet halfway. For our nation's sake, we should not demand that our representatives be pure conservatives nor pure progressives, guided by their own pure ideologies.
A top Pentagon brass, Admiral Mike Mullen, once famously said that the biggest, single threat to our national security is not Al-Qaeda, China, Iran or North Korea. It is our DEBT. That's why balancing our budget should, and must be, at the top of our country's priorities.
It's worth pointing out that Gov. Palin did not go all out in defending Sen. Hatch's entire legislative record. She praised him, specifically, for leading the fight on advancing balanced budget and fiscal reforms for the past two decades.
It's also worth remembering that Sarah Palin accomplished a lot as governor of Alaska because of her ability to work with the Democrats. She left behind a state with a healthy savings of $5 billion, a successful gas pipeline (AGIA) and a lower budget with a 9.5% real reduction in spending, among other things, all done with transparent, bipartisan outreach. Bill Clinton, as well, was able to leave behind a $127B budget surplus with the help of a Republican Congress. LBJ signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 that paved a wider path to the realization of MLK's dream.
There will never be one elected official whose record and positions on all issues all voters will agree with all the time. Republicans will always think that the GOP platform is the only way forward for our country while the Democrats would fight to the last vote for their progressive agenda. But digging deeper into their parties' heels just does not make sense. It'll only make America worse off than where we are right now. If PURITY in ideology is what we demand in Washington, history would be frozen in time: blacks would still be sitting in the back of the bus and drinking from water fountains for colored people only, women still could not participate in politics or even own a home, and draft would still be enforced. Compromise is good where and when it matters.
The Tea Party may not like it that Sarah Palin defended a Republican with a history of reaching across the aisle but she never promised to be a "pure" conservative. She is after all, and always will be, a COMMON SENSE CONSERVATIVE.