Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Will the new grading system help or hurt Utah schools?

Published: Sunday, Sept. 29 2013 12:00 a.m. MDT

Pignanelli: Debates over the degree of hatred for Obamacare and arguments regarding nominee selection are minor blips soon forgotten. There are bigger issues for the GOP "big tent" — which is getting roomier every election cycle. Increasing numbers of Americans who are not white heterosexual males feel unwelcome. Republican intransigence against changing demographics is unhealthy for our democracy.

Webb: Tea party conservatives and mainstream conservatives (like myself) agree on broad goals: low taxes, limited government, pro-growth/free-market policies, better federalism balance, and control of deficits and entitlement spending. But we often differ on tactics, and I fear the right wing of the party is hurting the cause of conservatism as much as helping it.

We can't achieve our goals unless we govern. And to govern we have to win elections. Tea party conservatives are alienating independents and moderates whose votes are needed to win elections. If only purist conservative ideologues are allowed inside the tent, we're in trouble.

As conservative commentator Michael Medved wrote: "… there is no glory in charging recklessly up a hill when you know your forces will be mowed down by enemy fire before reaching the top. Glory comes in making the enemy lose. The GOP shouldn't pursue noble defeat while standing on principle." Amen.

Republican LaVarr Webb is a political consultant and lobbyist. Previously he was policy deputy to Gov. Mike Leavitt and Deseret News managing editor. Email: lwebb@exoro.com. Democrat Frank Pignanelli is a Salt Lake attorney, lobbyist and political adviser. Pignanelli served 10 years in the Utah House of Representatives, six years as minority leader. His spouse, D'Arcy Dixon Pignanelli, is a state tax commissioner. Email: frankp@xmission.com.

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