Conservative groups are sending written warnings to both congressional Republicans and the Republican National Committee. If Republicans sign on to a deal that raises taxes, they risk an open break with large portions of their base. “This is a time of testing for you,” more than 70 conservative leaders write in an open letter sent Friday morning to every GOP member of Congress. They warn that if a budget deal that raises taxes is passed with GOP fingerprints on it, conservatives will “see that the current leadership is not an acceptable alternative to the left. Conservatives would then likely repeat what they did in the 1970s, when they systematically and successfully undertook a multi-year effort to replace Republican congressional leadership.”
The letter goes on to warn that there are two ways President Obama and liberal Democrats could turn their economic agenda into law. First, just enough Republicans could vote with the Democrats to provide a narrow majority for tax hikes. Or the Republican leadership in both houses could negotiate a “deal” and pressure Republican congressmen and senators to approve it. “Either of these two courses would be a disaster for conservative principles because they would result in permanent advances for the ‘fundamental changes’ the left wants to impose on our country,” the conservative leaders warn.