Brian Darling is a senior fellow in government studies at The Heritage Foundation, a conservative think-tank based in Washington, D.C. Darling has been involved in U.S. politics since the early 1990s, in roles as a congressional aide, lobbyist and legal counsel. Darling came to national media attention when he resigned as legal counsel to Republican Senator Mel Martinez of Florida after admitting he was the author of the "Schiavo memo."
It would have been impossible for the conservatives to win any of these fights without the president issuing a veto threat and the grassroots conservatives becoming active and talking about the railroad to nowhere.
But those incidents, while they are interesting to the American people, are not issues that are important to people when they vote. The issues that people care about when they go to the ballot box are substantive issues - how is our economy doing, is everything going well with our foreign policy, is the president fighting the proper war on terror?