In the 1960s, Buckley, largely through his position at the helm of National Review, displayed political courage and sanity by taking on the John Birch Society, an influential anti-Communist group whose members saw conspiracies everywhere they looked.
Fast forward half a century. The modern-day Birchers are the Tea Party. By loudly espousing extreme rhetoric, yet holding untenable beliefs, they have run virtually unchallenged by the Republican leadership, aided by irresponsible radio talk-show hosts and right-wing pundits. While the Tea Party grew, respected moderate voices in the party were further pushed toward extinction. Republicans need a Buckley to bring us back.
But his biggest challenge came from the far right, primarily in the form of the John Birch Society. During the 1950s and early '60s, Birchers demanded that the government rid itself of supposed Communists — including, according its founder, Robert Welch (no relation, thank heaven), Dwight D. Eisenhower.
Mr. Christie and Mr. Bush are ideally suited to drive extremists from the party.
The Tea Party are "modern-day Birchers"? Really? Somehow believing in individual liberty and limited government is the same as believing that Ike was a closet communist? And should be driven from the party? For standing up for the ideals that this country was founded on? This from a senior Republican member of the establishment? Wow, the GOP is just lost if that is what the GOP leadership thinks.
And this wasn't the only thing that happened in recent days. The leadership has also purged conservatives from key committee assignments for not "playing ball" and for actually and shockingly trying to keep the promises they made to their constituents. They also decided to agree to at least $800 billion in tax increases over the next 10 years, which if enacted will almost surely cause a recession.
The conservatives in the party aka the base that votes Republican year after year, needs to rise up, as we did in the past and right this ship. Before we are simply the party of slightly smaller government instead of limited government and big freedom.