"Those calling for ideological purity have a short memory.
Helms was repeatedly angry and frustrated at President Ronald Reagan, who would provide only lip service to such issues as abortion and school prayer.
And it was Reagan who signed a nuclear arms reduction treaty with Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev.
This is actually an old debate.
During the 1970s and 1980s, the state Republican Party was often torn by factional warfare between Helms-style conservatives and more traditional Republicans. I was present in 1988 at a GOP convention in Franklin County in which a riot broke out, with multiple fistfights.
The Republican Party grew rapidly in the '60s, '70s and '80s in North Carolina by courting conservative Democrats. But North Carolina has maintained the strongest Democratic Party in the South during the past decade by siphoning off moderate Starbucks Republicans.
As conservative British Prime Minister HaroldMcMillan (1957-63) once noted: "A successful party of the right must continue to recruit from the center and even from the left center. Once it begins to shrink into itself like a snail, it will be doomed."
Bathtub water. More revisionist history from yet another "we gots to please everyone to be relevant" sour puss. The Republican Party grew under Reagan because it touted conservative principles and that alone won the hearts and minds of Americans.
Americans I might remind you that are by and large conservative and respond appropriately when leaders exhibit conservative qualities. Reagan won in 1980 and 1984 by speaking conservative principles that conservative America could respond to.
Let's not beat about the bush. Moderates bring nothing to the party except compromise as we have seen with the healthcare debate, and during the Bush years with judges, the war, etc. They compromise because they have no core, hence the meaning of their name.
When you hear a moderate talk about "purity" it's because they've been found out. What they want is compromise. Not on the other side mind you, just us. Not compromise from liberalism, but from conservatives.
Moderates should rename themselves the "Co-Dependent Party", for they are always about pleasing the wrong side and excusing and blaming themselves for the wrong in others.