No Light at Tunnel’s End?

GOP: Is the Light Fading?

I think it dawned on me two or three days ago, after the New Hampshire primary, that most of the people with whom I discuss politics are more frustrated, but it’s not evidenced in the words they’re choosing so much as in the way they’re saying them.  They’re disgusted by Obama and his power-grabs, but more than this, they are tired of watching the GOP try to lead them to slaughter again in 2012.  It’s bad enough to watch Obama  walk all over the newly-minted Republican majority in the House of Representatives, but to see that the party has done nothing to substantially improve our position in the coming elections is frustrating in the extreme.  Worse, Tea Party members are seething over many of the same things, noting that with Boehner and the boys on Capitol Hill, there’s been no willingness to stand up for our conservative values.  Watching this primary process play out has been like feeding the party’s base feet-first through a meat-grinder. Various surveys reveal that as much as 60% of the party would like more choices, which is to say more conservative choices, and it’s been apparent for some time that most are not happy with the “inevitable nominee,” Mitt Romney.

When the people with whom I discuss politics come to the subject of Speaker John Boehner, virtually every one of them regards him as weak, and most will offer some form of mimicry of tears and whining.  These are conservative people, and not a crowd of leftists to whom John Boehner should be natural fodder for mockery.  To see people who turn out in election after election for the Republican party now openly mocking the highest-ranking Republican now serving in our government is an astonishing development for which I cannot remember a precedent in all my life.  What seems to lead to this growing contempt is the sense that in all of these  elections, we go forth to the polls to support a party that walks away from us and our values in the end, and to add insult to injury, cries about it.  None of the Republicans with whom I speak are happy about the direction of the party, and worse, since this is Texas, some are noting the antics of our governor in his campaign and have begun to whisper that he’s an embarrassment too.  Most seem to think that since he’s fallen well below the 10% mark in polling, he ought to “just come on back home before he makes a fool of us all.”

So it is that the GOP is now largely being defined by dueling caricatures of a Massachusetts big-government  liberal, an outcast libertarian, a former Speaker(who at least didn’t cry), a former Senator who whiffed last time at bat, an Obama Ambassador, and a Texas gunslinger, while the rest of us are left standing in astonished dismay at the spectacle: How are we to win anything with these as our standard-bearers? This is the problem most conservatives I know now face in horror, as they try to see any reason that they should see some light at the end of the tunnel, with any of these as the vehicle.   To be sure, after more than a year of “Mitt is most electable,” emanating from the establishment media like bad gas, there is a certain group that will settle for the Massachusetts liberal because they see him as less embarrassing than the remainder.  So goes the predictable lamentations about our situation, and yet I must wonder if there isn’t some hope, somehow, that we will resurrect the Republican party, but failing that, replace it with something better.

I was having a conversation with a neighbor on Thursday, and he owns a ranch, complete with several hundred head of cattle, but he is also an entrepreneur, owning several businesses.  He’s twenty years my senior, and he doesn’t waste too many words, so when we wandered into the subject of politics, he turned his head and spat, turned back and said: “The problem with our party is that they keep trying to win with professional losers. They ought to try that Palin gal from Alaska.  At least she seems to know what the hell is going on.”  I really had no answer for that, except to nod approval, and say “Yeah, but she’s not running.”  He murmured “I know it, so you’d better get used to Obama,” as he turned his head and spat again, as if for punctuation, and finished his thought: “We’re in for pure hell…but we’ll make it through.”

It’s fair to say my neighbor isn’t probably representative of the average American.  He’s a veteran who served in Vietnam, and he bears the scars of a life of hard labor, and his skin is leathery from years under the punishing wind and Texas sun, but he is representative of a fair bit of political thought in middle America, inasmuch as he’s spent his time building and growing businesses, and running his cattle operation, and made good use of the talents with which he was gifted.  He lives a simple life, and doesn’t have a large number of frills, not because he can’t afford them, but because he doesn’t need them. When the Republican Party walks away from this man, they’re walking away from the base that shows up to elect Republicans to city councils, county precincts, and legislatures.  They walk away from a man who you will never find at a protest rally or Tea Party event, but who has never failed to show up at the polls.  The fact that this man is now resigning himself to four more years(or an eternity) of Obama should tell you something about how he views the state of the GOP, as much as it tells you about his view of the political future we face.

Part of the problem really lies with us.  For too many years, we have ceded governance to a permanent political class that rules with elections serving only as a formality that gives legitimacy to their rule over us.  Many speak in vague terms of “change,” and “throwing the bums out,” but seldom do we actually pursue that goal.  Everybody hates Congress, except for their own Congressman and Senators, so that foolish polls asking about the “approval rating of Congress” has no bearing whatsoever on the fact that in election after election, more than 90% who seek re-election return without fail.  We often lament the fact that this seems to be the best the party has to offer, but is it?  Is our mostly silent assent to be led by a party that only theoretically represents our interests a signal that we are satisfied?  The Tea Party hints that  this may not be true, but like my neighbor who never fails to vote, it’s clear we need to become a good deal more active and stop waiting for a solution from the top.  It may be the last remaining spark of light at the other end of the tunnel we have, but we should follow it nevertheless.

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  • http://rebintexas.wordpress.com RebinTexas

    Though NOT a laughing matter, the comments you quote from your neighbor had me laughing……more in how you presented him – for he and I are of the exact same mindset, maybe because of our years and all. And, I know you agree with him and me – that we just need to try that lil gal from Alaska – Sarah Palin – please God in Heaven – hear my prayers and those of millions more of my beloved nation.

    As for our marines – I'm with you and Mark Levin and Col West.
    Reb

  • hey_sherm

    This is the big question 'WHY CAN'T CONSERVATIVE SEE A CONSERVATIVE WHEN THERE STARING ONE IN THE FACE" Is it to far fetched to say they don't know what a conservative is? Its been a long time since a conservative has been able to articulate the meaning of conservatism on the big stage. Conservatives are losing the war of mass psychology. Conservative values are becoming radical thoughts, therefore people speaking those thoughts become radical them selves. This is what happened to Palin and a lot of conservatives bought in to it by saying she's unelectable.

  • http://gravatar.com/bigmamas52 bigmamas52

    At this point I'm with your neighbor and hoping that out of the ashes will come a true 3rd party….a true Conservative Party. The latest Gallup figures show the majority of Americans conider themselves conservative, including many of the vaulted "indedpendents", we are told we must have to win an election. Yet the GOP has completelly abandoned those principles and sadly I don't think trying to work from within to reform that party is going to work…the establishment is too entrenched. So I will work with anyone that is willing to stand for true conservatism and create a party that celebrates those principles and is able to articulate the value and the need of those principles to the uneducated and media duped public.

  • http://twitter.com/BDWatcher bdwatcher (@BDWatche

    I look not only at Gingrich's accomplishments, his demeanor and words, but try to figure out why he is running. Ego. I believe his running will make him another Reagan, talked about years after he is gone, how he turned around the greatest country in the world.

    For this, though it is a personality defect, it is a defect I can live with. I will vote for him.

  • http://nebraskaenergyobserver.wordpress.com neenergyobserver

    Yes, I see much the same in Nebraska, with the possible exception that we can’t tell our Democrats from Republicans anymore. I, too have friends exactly as you’ve described, in truth except for the Vietnam part, I’m one.
    I think we are seeing the end of the Republican Party as in the end of the Whigs between 1854-1860. The National Republican and/or Crongresscritters no longer have a constituency but for the fact that we haven’t come up with a vehicle to replace them yet.

    I think deep in their hearts they know this, too. Hence the absolute vitriol displayed towards the outsiders such as Palin, Cain, and even Bachmann.

    Light at the end of the tunnel, yeah there is some, I’m not yet sure if it’s daylight or an oncoming locomotive. But the American people are a tough, crude life form, who have no history of “going quietly into the good night,” and I don’t see that changing.

  • just-a-guy

    I am relatively sure that your pleadings to Sarah do not fall on deaf ears, have you considered WHY she cannot comply?

    This isnt Sarah’s first rodeo, she is a smart cookie.

    George Washington didnt start the revolutionary war, he just won it!

    All of Sarah’s political capital is a direct result of her being a strident, and earnest reformer. She watched that credibility melt away when she
    played along with the establishment Republicans to fight for a win for the Party… lies told to Sarah that the ‘establishment’ heard and was convinced of at least some of what she was saying about reform could be ammended to the platform. She was betrayed, and the establishment, with the happy cooperation of the msm and their Democrat brethren accepted the sacrificial gift with open eyes. The establishment republicans sold the nation out for what amounts to less than what the colonists paid for Manhattan – promises that nothing would be done about corruption, that it would only be expanded.

    This is why Sarah resigned as Governor, even though it might make her seem unstable to those who feed on human weakness… It was a clear signal to those she considered important that she was still an uncorrupted and voracious reformer, battling FOR THE PEOPLE.

    You ask her to be the goat, tied at the stake, to capture the tiger. You shouldnt be amazed the goat if given a chance would find another way.
    If she knew the snares and pits her constituency has laid were sure to kill or capture the beast I am sure she would go along, though it cause her injury in the process – she is just that kind of gal.

    She is and has been trying to teach you how to build the snares, where to lay the traps, what to do. What YOU should be doing, and teaching others to do to rebuild the country. BUT you little people wail and cry and beat your chests begging her to run.

    Understand she would and will run only when you the people demonstrate that you are ready to be governed, and ready to control that government.

    Elsewise it is Power for Powers sake, and absolute power as cannot be emphasized enough CORRUPTS.

    She is trying to teach you how to LEAD, not follow, how to band together to be strong. She is setting an example, and following an example
    Washington did not RUN for president, he SERVED when DRAFTED.

    I think Sarah cares less about being THE ONE, and more about definining what THE ONE should be.

    She may endorse Gingrich, if she estimates it helps more than hurts his chances – but – at any rate He is beginning to look like the last true OUTSIDER standing, and he is famous for bucking the status quo, so he stands the best chance of shaking things up.

    IF Gingrich is the last chance we have to black the eyes of the ‘establishment corruptionism’ is it an opportunity we can afford to waste.

    Even Sarah would say pick the lessor of the evils at this point, because if you dont you are just picking evil and evil wins – slow the progressives down and we still stand some slim chance of organizing a counterrevolution. It was what the minute-men were all about, they never expected an early win.

    Her contacts to the Gingrich side ( I am thinking husband Todd) have to be feeling him out to find out if he is serious about going for the win, or if this is just a money making attention getting party going on his part.

    She is the type to tell, I think and hope, we should hear something from her soon on that, I hope.

    I trust her judgement on the matter, and I have the enquiring kind of mind that just wants to know.

    mchill/tampa

    • http://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=1649923542 Thomas Dixon

      I am in awe of your and Mark’s comprehension of the political quagmire in which we find ourselves. Moreover, your analysis of Sara palin’s leadership style and method seem to me to be absolutely on-target.

      For over 100 years, Progressives have pursued acquisition of power using social ills and group welfare as a rationale. Without a “higher power” upon which to base self-discipline, for them in slang terms anything goes. That is one reason why flexible values and ends justify the means processes are inherent to their game plan. Each of them truly believes that with sufficient power they can rule the world or their portion of it. The only accounting is to those who have superior power and all those are human beings like themselves.

      Unfortunately, Progressive thought crosses party lines. One may say s/he is conservative or moderate or liberal, but in terms of power, the key is not in doing what’s best for an electorate, but rather how to retain influence. In short, we’ve been inundated with crony politicians and we let it happen. Sara knows this and unlike the savior we hoped she’d be, there is no mortal that can right this wrong (in terms of the Constitution). It IS we the people who let it come to this and only we the people can get us out of it.

      As you allude, therein lies the problem. The most voiced question of course is how? As Mark so clearly points out in each of his blog entries, supporting the national party (either one) is only going to send us deeper into this morass. And, I think most of us know what that end game looks like – Socialism lite -> Socialism dark -> Communism -> New World Order.

      Most have heard Einstein’s axiom that doing the same thing over and over again expecting different results is insanity. Well, isn’t that what we’re doing? I am not advocating a third party here, so don’t get me wrong. But, we do need to shift our paradigm and move in a different direction or the process/outcome will be just as in the past. For that shift to take place, there must be leadership (including TRUST). As I see it, right now Sara is the only one best suited in both.

      She doesn’t necessarily have to run for President to point us patriots in the right direction. Then, the American people take it from there. But, right now we’re blindly following “the system” and others are digging foxholes.

      • just-a-guy

        Patriots dont need to be pointed in the right direction, the problem here and now is that they are panicked, and confused.

        Its not surprising, what with being lied to constantly, and with even the most trusted branch of government, the judiciary having been usurped and used against us.

        Its not surprising that after an intentional forfeit in the last election, that they would not trust their instincts or worry that they have failed the country beyond repair. A move I considered cowardly at best; just plain stupid at worst, demonstrable by the simple fact that we are where we are!

        We were told voting for a WEAK conservative would only postpone the inevitable, and The People would be lulled into a false sense of security which would fail to awaken them at the proper hour, which would be now!

        The patriots are NEEDED now more than ever to get their
        act together and move as one to apply the brakes to what is going on here. and now we find surprisingly that there is no 'Great Leader' to fight the battle for us.

        The point of 'not voting for the lessor of two evils' was supposed to be the awakening – now too many are awake
        but leaderless.

        In the revolutionary period, the British started the fight, and then the colonials found their leaders from the best who would stand against them.

        Washington prooved his mettle fighting FOR the British, not against them. Gingrich prooved his when Reagan was a conservative winner with little support from the 'Establishment'
        Republicans. He masterminded the Republican takeover, but
        found later, AFTER winning all the battles that the Damn 'establishment' had undermined him at every turn. His Waterloo was trying a 'take down' on Clinton without any 'establishment' support.

        I think he learned considerable and was humbled by the outcome, but it never diminished his burning desire to put and/or keep the good old USA on the 'smart' track.

        He was telling Freddie and Fannie they needed to change the way they were creating a bubble in the housing market…that the eventual outcome of what they were doing was destructive, but 'they' had no incentive to change what was becoming a lucrative cheat on the taxpayers and a steady income for Cronies.

        He has so little love for Nancy Pelosi, you cant believe he was there conspiring to further her plans to turn 'Global warming' into a similar racket. No, sir, he was there to argue demonstrably that if Global warming were a serious issue – the science was on that side if you remember correctly. That there were ways to solve the problem without putting yet one more monkey on the back of the taxpayer and/or American business.

        The only trouble is, I cant tell if he is serious, from here he appears to be undercutting himself. Perhaps not serious about his willingness to commit to being a servant of a people NOT
        serious about making the fundamental changes in themselves
        to become once again a great and a free people.

        mc/hill tampa fla