In reporting the recent efforts of the Romney campaign to “reach out” to conservatives the establishment media can never seem to grasp that, unlike Democrats and liberals, Republicans and conservatives are not the same.
While conservatives have, for more or less the past 48 years, chosen the Republican Party as the most convenient vehicle through which to seek elective office, the Republican Party has by no means adopted the conservative agenda as its governing philosophy.
This regularly results in media confusion and reporting that equates the goal of the Republican political party, mere control of the levers of government power, with the goal or goals of the conservative movement. This error not only reflects a shallow understanding of the conservative movement generally, but it prevents the establishment media from seeing the most important and compelling elements of the current presidential campaign.
Let’s be quite clear – the goal of the conservative movement is to hold the government to constitutional principles, no matter what political party is in power, and in the process rejuvenate our society and culture.
This is why movement conservatives remain so deeply skeptical of Mitt Romney’s candidacy for President. They look at his record as Governor of Massachusetts and the policies he espouses and see no commitment to the kind of transformational change the conservative movement has been working for the past 50 years to achieve.
Conservatives also look at the endorsements Romney has garnered from such establishment figures as former President George H.W. Bush and former Florida Governor Jeb Bush, and most importantly from business-as-usual Washington insiders, such as lobbyist Ed Gillespie, and they see advocates of positions they often opposed, not friends of the transformational agenda that won the Tea Party wave election of 2010.
Surveying Romney’s record and agenda, and most importantly the people he is likely to bring to Washington to implement his agenda, movement conservatives see little likelihood a Romney administration will differ from a Bush administration, or a McCain administration, or a Dole or Ford administration.
As long as the media assumes Republicans and conservatives are the same they will never understand or insightfully report why grassroots movement conservatives are prepared to back a movement conservative alternative to Romney all the way to the Convention floor.