The Washington Examiner's Philip Klein is out with a new e-book today and conservative columnist Michelle Malkin is already praising it as "exactly the right message" at the "right time." Distinguishing between the conservative movement and today's Republican Party is important, especially at a time when Republicans are working to unite the right behind Romney's nomination.
Klein offers his thoughts on why conservatives must not let conservatism become Romneyism:
If conservatives listen to calls for them to shut up and get in line, it’s more likely that Romney’s calculus will factor in their energetic support as a constant, thus making him comfortable enough to move back toward the left. But if conservatives continue to play coy with Romney and openly criticize him when he lets them down, it’s more likely his calculus will treat their support as a variable, giving him more reason to campaign and govern as a conservative.
"[I]t’s one thing for to vote for Romney over the much worse Obama, but that doesn’t mean conservatives should carry water for him in every instance and let conservatism morph into some sort of Romneyism," Klein writes today. "Doing so would represent a repeat of the mistake conservatives made when they set aside their principles to consistently defend Bush even as he pursued big government policies, and would make it far less likely that Romney pushes a conservative agenda if elected. It's important to remember that conservatism and the Republican Party, while at times allied, are entirely separate things."
"Conservative Survival in the Romney Era" is available for download here.