Friday, June 14, 2013

Ben Long: A Typical "Big Tent" Republican

I remember the first time I met now former Lehigh County Republican Committeeman Ben Long. It was at the first meeting of my current term on the Lehigh County GOP Committee and the first thing he said to me was "Is it true you voted against paying the bills?" I was a little surprised. I had voted against paying the bills as a protest vote against ever increasing taxes and spending on two or three occasions during the first year or so of my time on the East Penn School Board, but Mr. Long couldn't have been more than 14 or 15 years old at the time. He doesn't even live in East Penn, he's a Parkland alum! Apparently word gets around. Now, Benjamin Long has resigned his seat as a Lehigh County Republican Committeeman representing South Whitehall because his candidate, Dean Browning, lost the primary for Lehigh County Executive...and he (Mr. Long) is now endorsing Democrat candidate Tom Muller.
This didn't come as a surprise to me. Ben told me he planned to do as much when I spoke to him at this year's Lincoln Day Breakfast.

Knowing Long was a big supporter of Dean Browning, I felt compelled to ask Dean, in private, if he planned to endorse Scott Ott should he be unsuccessful in the Primary. Dean got a little hot under the collar and said "of course I will! I'm a past chairman of the LCRC and a lifelong Republican. Please at least act like you have a brain in your head." I told Mr. Browning that I accepted his answer and just had to ask as a matter of curiosity. I asked Karen Beyer the same thing when she faced a primary (which she lost) against now-Representative Justin Simmons. Karen gave me essentially the same answer as Dean Browning...and in November of 2010, she was seen doing knock-and-drags for the Democrat candidate. Interesting how loyal "Big Tent" Republicans are when Conservatives win the Primary.

I have no idea whether or not Dean has made good on his promise to support Scott Ott. Until I hear differently, I will assume that he has been true to his word. Still, I cannot help but wonder how effective a nominee he would be since his supporters are now moving to support the Democrat.

Of course, I should not be surprised at Ben Long's decision to support a Democrat in the name of "taking back the party". His father is a member of the Parkland School Board who regularly votes to raise taxes "for the children". You see, these people believe voting against higher taxes and bigger government is radical and contrary to common sense and prudence.

The Big Tent Republicans only believe in a Big Tent so long as Conservatives sit quietly in the back, don't cause a fuss, and fall in line behind their "Common Sense" candidates. They believe that Conservatives, and not the Democrats or bigger government are the real radicals.

It's no secret that I have regularly cast protest votes against Republican elected officials who vote for increased taxes and bigger government. The "Big Tent" (really the Big Government) wing of the Republican Party needs to be driven to extinction. I'd rather see a few less elected Republicans than see Republicans who give "bipartisan" cover to the Progressive Statist agenda. I am neither reasonable nor pragmatic, and that is something of which I'm proud. I believe in a Republican Party that believes in the bold colors of Liberty, Limited Government, and Freedom and I do not much care if the GOP should go extinct if it fails to support a pro-Liberty agenda.

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