Archive for the ‘Bush Clan’ Category

Small “r” republicanism v. Big “R” Republicans

Saturday, July 6th, 2013

Which are You?

I’m a conservative, and I’m also a “republican,” but I am the latter only in the sense of a lower-case “r.”  I believe in the republican form of government promised in Article IV, section 4, of the US Constitution.  Many Republicans (members of the political party) seem to be confused about what this means, and I suppose it is only fair to make them aware of the distinctions between the things many current Republicans now advocate that violate the platform and the principles of republicanism that their party claims to uphold.  Those who become confused about what it means to be a RINO (“Republican In Name Only”) need only consider the small “r” form of the word.  It’s easy to fill out a voter registration card and check the box beside the word “Republican,” but it’s another matter entirely to know what is republicanism.  As we debate issues of critical import to the future of the nation, it’s more important than ever that conservatives know what it is they are fighting, and what form it takes.  The outcome of 2014 and 2016 will set the course of the nation for generations, and we must win it.  This is the heart of the battle between the so-called RINOs and we constitutional conservatives, and it will determine our nation’s future.

One of the concepts that has long been associated with republicanism is that we hold in disdain the notion of a “ruling class,” a presumptively superior elite who by virtue of some unknown mechanism somehow know better than the rest of us with respect to how we ought to be governed.  Indeed, when our republic was established, it was with the experience of a people who had freed themselves from the bonds of a King, who claimed his right to rule over us by virtue of his station of birth.  I do not doubt that some people are superior to others in some particular way, but nearly everybody can claim some attribute in which they are superior to most others.  Some of that is a result of education, experience and training, while some of it results from pure genetic gifts.  There is no gene, however, that entitles one man to rule over others.  There exists no family lineage in America that can rightly claim to exercise a disproportionate power over the affairs of nations and men.  We do not have kings, and while there were a few in early America who advocated for a monarchy, the broad body of the American people rejected the idea as an apostasy aimed at thwarting the very revolution in which they had only so recently succeeded.

The only thing I hold in greater contempt than the man (or woman) who would claim the right to rule over me by virtue of family lineage or family station(a.k.a. “nobility”) is the  poor, twisted soul who would consent to such a proposition.  I am no person’s chattel, and I abhor any human being who claims membership in this species who would surrender themselves as having been of no greater significance than a possession of “better” men.  Those lacking the essential self-esteem to realize that they are by right the sovereigns over their own affairs, equal to any other on the planet, ought to immediately depart these shores to seek refuge in some Kingdom as a serf.  In this sense, it is fair to say that I not only reject a supposed “ruling class,” but also that I likewise hold in contempt the corollary premise of a “ruled class.”  Part of the republican ideal is that classes are a subjectively-defined fraud perpetrated against a people who ought not to be willing to accept it.  Why is it that so many Republicans prefer to think of Americans in a class system little different from their alleged ideological opponents, the statists?  The answer is that too many Republicans are statists themselves, having rejected the fundamentals of republicanism.

By what strange and mystical knowledge do the brothers Bush claim to have the better answer on the subject of immigration, both now pushing the Gang-ofTr8ors Bill?  Why do so many Republicans accept their claim in the unthinking form of a command received from on high?  It  is because too many Republicans have either surrendered or rejected the republican principles under whose banner they march.   If you listen closely enough, you can hear in their intentionally vague language the lost concepts that they will not name, never having believed in them from the outset.  Although a few are now catching themselves in pursuit of the betterment of their propagandists’ art, you will invariably hear them speak of democracy as the goal and the object of their advocacy.  This is not merely loose wording, but a true reflection of the form of government they seek, a form so terrible that our founders placed a stricture against it in the US constitution in the form of an endorsement of republican government.

A democracy is not a form of government most rational people would want, except that they have been taught that it is the desired form.  To hear a President say that he wishes to spread democracy to the Middle East is an arrow through the heart of republicanism.  We have seen what democracy creates in the Middle East and throughout the Arab-speaking world.  Pakistan is a democracy.  Egypt is now a democracy.  Libya is now a putative democracy. Iraq now is a sort of hybrid democracy, but in each of them, what you will observe is how the whole course of the nation is changed by political instabilities, and that the rule of law acts as no restraint upon political leaders in working their will.  Barack Obama is intent on turning the US into a democracy, because democracy is always the precursor to despotism.  Most of the worst thugs of the twentieth century came to power on a wave of popular support that defines the democratic model:  He(or she) with the biggest mob wins.  Even now, in Cairo, when the military perceived that President Morsi (the Muslim Brotherhood’s stooge,) no longer held sway over the largest mob, they placed him under house arrest and offered an interim president who will enjoy for at least a time some popular support.  Throughout the third world, it is fair to say that most countries have adopted some form of governance that lurches repeatedly and often from some sort of feigned democracy to absolute despotism.

A republican form of government is much more stable, and it has been the underlying root of our general prosperity for some two-hundred-twenty years, with a few notable exceptions, in largest measure because nearly all of the occupants of the land had accepted the orderly rule of law and the specific, constitutional methodology by which laws are to be adopted, modified, or repealed.  Having a set of rules that is inflexible, particularly with respect to changing those rules, and obtaining the consent of those who must live under them for a span of two centuries is an extraordinary feat in human history.  The dire flaw in all of this is that from the moment of its adoption, people begin to conspire to overthrow it in one fashion or another, by finding loopholes, imagining a “flexibility” that does not exist, inciting rebellion against it, or seizing power over it with which to subsequently ignore the mandates of the law.

In American history, we have seen all of these methods employed, indeed, some of them are being employed even now, as our President conspires with his cabinet to ignore the rule of law, ignoring the plain language of the law as often and as thoroughly as they believe they can manage in a particular political context.  What good is a law that those who are charged with enforcing it refuse to rise to carry it into execution?  When the public officials whose job it is to see to it that subordinate officials execute the law refuse to discipline those who will not obey, always claiming as an excuse some alleged greater “public good,” what you are witnessing is the reduction of a republic to the state of a pre-despotic democracy.

Many Americans who are demonstrably ignorant of the world’s history of governance believe that our Electoral College is anti-democratic, and on this basis, advocate its repeal, demanding instead to rely upon a majority (or plurality) of the popular vote.  While they are correct that the Electoral College is undemocratic, their ignorance is born of an educational system that has misled them to expect majoritarian rule in all cases as the preferred model.  Naturally, that same system has failed to teach them about federalism, the ninth and tenth amendments, and the whole construct that is a constitutional, representative republic, being the precise form of government the framers of the US constitution did adopt and ratify .

Informing them of this distinction, many are still suspicious of it, because it sounds strange and foreign to them, most under the age of forty having never been taught a syllable about it in the government schools.  Even in the school from which I graduated a long, long time ago, the senior-year civics class was entitled “Problems of Democracy.” Had I been a more thoroughly-engaged student, I might have questioned it then, but like virtually all of my peers, I did as I was told, never considering a word of it.  It would take years of study to unlock the knowledge of which I had been cheated, and at first, I resisted it.  How could all of this be true?  How could America not be a “democracy?”  How could democracy be a bad thing?  This is where many Americans get hopelessly stuck, because we’ve adopted the flexible language of lunatics, where we interchange words with the imprecise vulgarity of schoolyard bullies.  “The difference between a democracy and a republic won’t matter to you so much after I beat your face.”

The truth about democracy is what has always been its fatal flaw, perhaps best described by a phrase often mistakenly attributed to Benjamin Franklin, but possessed of perfectly sanguine execution, irrespective of its source:

“Democracy is two wolves and a sheep deciding what will be for lunch.”

Indeed, in a true democracy, there can be no protections of any minority but by violence.  This was the great object the framers of our constitution had hoped to impede.  They knew that majoritarian rule is no form of government for a peaceable, civil society, and that such governments are always ripe for manipulation by unscrupulous and demagogic usurpers.  The whole purpose of all their checks and balances had been to obstruct to the degree humanly possible the sort of instability made easier by democratic rule.  Their constitution set at odds every branch of government, and even divisions within branches, like the House and Senate.  It relied upon a competing fight for sovereign power between the several states and the federal government, all at odds in most cases, except when the most pressing of public crises may discipline them to more affable cooperation.  This was their plan, and their intention, and they hoped that in little-modified form, it could survive some severe tests that they knew would come, as they must for all nations.

With the onset of the progressive era in the early twentieth century, there was a move toward greater “democratization,” that brought with it a string of constitutional amendments, causing a great unwinding of our nation.  The 16th, creating an authority to tax income (and the legal establishment of a class system;) the 17th, changing the manner of election of US Senators; the 18th, instituting prohibition; the 19th finally giving women the right to full political participation all came in this era, with only one of them(the 19th) having been justifiable among civilized people, and one of them(the 18th) creating such terror that it was ultimately repealed by the 21st amendment.  Progressive Republicans of that era helped to install these amendments, and none of them did more damage to the system of checks and balances the framers had invented than the 17th amendment.  It effectively muted the voices of the states as sovereigns in the federal system. It did so by causing Senators to be popularly elected in their respective states, shutting out the state governments as a confounding, obstructive influence on the growth of centralized government.

Our republican form of government was constructed to sub-divide government into so many competing segments and interests that it would be nearly impossible for any one interest to gain supremacy.  It succeeded in many ways so long as politicians held onto the general republican ideals, for more than a century generally held by members of both parties. (It is instructive to remember that the forebears of the modern Democrat Party called themselves “Democratic Republicans” for many years before dropping the second half of their name with the ascendancy of Andrew Jackson.)  It is therefore no surprise that a Democrat party would become the party of the slave-holding South, or that the Republicans would supplant the Whigs by championing the rights of an enslaved minority.  Words, including even party labels, meant something distinct in those days.

In the progressive era, mostly for the sake of political expediency, there were a number of Republicans who began to adopt more democratic notions of governance, including the predisposition of their Democrat brethren to an elitist view of a class system not only in the general populace, but also among political offices and those who occupied them.  The influences of corporations grew, as did the corrupting influence of gangsters during prohibition.  From that era arose an establishment of Republicans who were nothing of the sort, and with few exceptions, have managed to maintain a fairly strong control over that party, most often as the minority party.  Viewed in this fashion, it could be said rightly that the Republican Party has been charged with managing the real republicans into submission.

Who are the real advocates of republicanism in the Republican Party?  Nowadays, we call them “conservatives,” although they are actually the philosophical heirs to the classical liberals of the late eighteenth century, by and large.  “Conservative” is approximately opposite of “liberal” or “progressive” in popular connotation, and since the Democrats had successfully co-opted the term “liberal,” despite being nothing of the sort, they managed to carry off a vast fraud on the American people using a sort of primitive branding that set conservatives against the liberal Democrats and the progressive Republicans.  It has been in this approximate form ever since, with the Republicans adopting “moderate” from time to time as a way to escape linkage with the frightful failures of the progressive era.

Now come we full circle to the moment that is both the beginning and the end.  The Bush clan seems to have some special public sense of duty to rule over the country, as evinced by the fact that despite having had two members of their clan accumulate two solid decades of first influence and then dominance over the Republican Party, they are far from finished. Their ideas are as progressive as any Democrat you will ever meet, the singular difference being that they seem to temper the left’s radical secularism with public professions of faith in the Almighty.  Put in plainer language, they are approximately ecumenical communists, and their particular subset of the broad statist philosophy is known as communitarianism. Whatever did you think is “compassionate conservatism?”

They don’t believe in the supremacy of the individual over the interests of the community.  Most conservatives are almost precisely opposite in philosophical leanings to the communitarian front, being Christian individualists in the main.  While they certainly work in their communities and contribute to them greatly, they believe in an individualized form of salvation, and an individual responsibility in obtaining it.  The communitarians conceive instead a form of “collective salvation.” If that term sounds vaguely familiar to you, it is because your current president has used it too.  In this sense, it is fair to say that from Bush the elder, to Barack Obama, we have been on a nonstop course of communitarianism since 1989.  They do not believe in the small “r” republicanism of our founders, and they certainly do not believe in the containment of the state, the only discernible difference being their apparent relative positions on the scale between religious and secular intent.

To demolish the United States will require demolishing its distinct culture, any sort of nationalistic sentiment among its people, and the broadening of the definitions of citizenship and nationhood.  Did you think the Senate’s amnesty bill was just about cheap labor?  It is about deconstructing the United States as a sovereign entity responsive to the interests of its inhabitants.  Now that brothers George W. and Jeb Bush are openly pushing for the Senate bill in the House, or indeed any bill at all that can be a vehicle for the Senate bill in conference, one should be able to discern quite clearly that more is at stake in the matter than cheap labor for some construction contractors.

For those of you who now wonder how any of this pertains to small “r” republicanism, it is so simple as this: Very few of your elected leaders or even your supposed “conservative” spokesmen are interested in the sort of republicanism your founders brought out of deliberations from a sweltering Philadelphia convention.  If you wish to discern who are Republicans of the “RINO” construct and who are actual republicans, you need only key on their records of adherence to lowercase “r” republican principles, including primarily their previous adherence to the US constitution and its framers’ intent. Flowery words don’t matter.  Professions of faith aren’t enough. Look at their records.  Look at their ideas and the principles upon which they rely.  If you are constitutional conservatives, you must in the name of all you cherish perfect the ability to recognize the charlatans at a mile’s distance.  In Washington DC, and in states’ capitals, Republicans are legion, while actual republicans are few, and it’s a ratio we must reverse.

Hey Jeb: Chirp This!

Monday, June 17th, 2013

Fresh off a speech in which he basically complained that Americans aren’t fertile enough to keep pace with his desire to grow the welfare state, Jeb Bush told CBN’s David Brody (H/T Weaselzippers):

“If I decide to run for office again, it will be based on what I believe, and it will be based on my record. And that record was one of solving problems completely from a conservative perspective.”

He went on:

“I will be able to, I think, manage my way through all the chirpers out there,” he said.

Chirpers?

I think I deserve a promotion to “Squawker”

Hey Jeb, psssst, Jeb, you want a bird?  I’ve got one right here for you, pal…

At least I kept it in the family…

You’re no conservative.

Fertilize that...

Jeb Bush and His Beasts of Burden

Saturday, June 15th, 2013

Road to the Minority

Jeb Bush was addressing the Faith and Freedom Coalition on Friday when he inexplicably said something that is almost certain to give him grief for a long time to come, and I promise to be among those reminding you.  His remark was aimed at the question of immigration reform, and his general point, I think, may have been that immigration sparks a certain vibrancy in an economic system(assuming it meets certain conditions,) but what Bush’s remark reveals is the reason I don’t think immigrants will wind up supporting him.  Establishment Republicans imagine immigrants as the way out of our budgetary morass, because they expect that an influx of working-age people having children will grow the tax base to the extent that it will overpower the generational problem presented by the retiring of the “baby boomers.”  The problems with this theory are many, but Republicans of the establishment mold like Bush have put on blinders.  For the better part of a half-century, the powers in post-war Europe adopted immigration policies aimed at the same basic problem:  The welfare state was unsustainable and the only way to prop it up would be by bringing in immigrants.  Europe is now paying mightily for this policy, and it is evinced by the riots we have seen across the continent as Muslim immigrants run rampant through the capitals of Europe.  Said Bush:

“Immigrants are more fertile, and they love families, and they have more intact families, and they bring a younger population. Immigrants create an engine of economic prosperity.”

The particularly egregious use of the term “fertile” aside, what Bush is here saying confirms every word I have alleged: This wave of immigration they’re now pursuing is intended to prop up our welfare state.  Bush, like his brother and father before him, doesn’t have any intention of slowing the growth of government, but merely wishes to increase the revenues available to it.  That’s it.  That’s all there really is to this, and all there’s ever been to this, and notions like assimilation go careening out the window.   There will be no border security, and no effort at assimilation, but instead a patently shrewd attempt to pad government revenues with the labor of young, “fertile” people.

I wonder if prospective immigrants understand, either waiting lawfully in line, or trying to short-cut around it, that all of this talk about compassion and coming out of the shadows is really about them taking on the yokes of beasts of burden, with nothing more or less than their ability to drag this nation along through the mire of the welfare state as as the object.  As if this isn’t bad enough, Marco Rubio now explains that we need the immigrants as new, legalized employees to pay the taxes that will fund border security.  If you have had any misunderstanding about the motives of this entire “immigration reform” bill nonsense, this must clarify the matter: It’s about funding the leviathan that has become our federal government.

People who are less politically-engaged frequently ask me what is the difference  between a Republican and a Conservative.  While the explanation is certainly worthy of an article or two all its own, the simplest way to view it seems to be that conservatives concern themselves with principles of right and wrong, while Republicans concern themselves only with how to make a thing work in a very pragmatic, morality-agnostic manner.  It doesn’t matter to Jeb Bush why existing Americans have a lower fertility rate than recent immigrants.  It doesn’t matter to him why it is that they create fewer new businesses than recent immigrants. He merely accepts it as is, and then looks for a way to fill the short-run or mid-term gaps, consequences be damned.

Since pinheads who call themselves “Republican” seem not to understand why Americans would slow their rate of reproduction, or why they would create fewer businesses, let me make it perfectly clear:  People like Jeb Bush and his family are the reason.  Rationally, once invested in life in America, it’s rather more difficult to decide to have more children if each successive child adds a substantial burden that may affect the prospects of each existing child.  When my own daughter was born, Mr. Bush’s father was President, preparing to break his “read my lips” pledge.  The economy was doing poorly, and this acted to shake up our view on whether it was proper to bring more children into the world.  We wondered if we wanted to bring more children into a world in which they would become beasts of burden for a welfare state  George H.W. Bush’s OMB director at the time projected that the net tax rate on children born in 1990(like our daughter) would wind up being around eighty percent!  Why did we have only one child?  We couldn’t afford two!

Immigrants don’t realize this yet, because they’re unaware of the nuts and bolts of our escalating welfare state from the paying side, at least initially.  Over time, they learn it, as their rate of reproduction or business creation likewise slows.  As they struggle to make a little ground against the economic forces weighing down upon them, they become disinclined to add new economic burdens to their own family situations.  Reproduction slows.  What Bush and those like him are gambling is that a new sea of immigrants freshly legalized will still be too poor, too uneducated, and too busy to notice this until they’ve created another generation or two of workers who will struggle to fill the coffers of government.

What Mr. Bush and those like him will not do is to consider why our existing population’s reproduction rate has slowed to below replacement.  What Mr. Bush will not concede is that finding new ways to fund the welfare state is not the answer.  It doesn’t need more funds.  It needs to be demolished.  The problem is that as people obtain slightly more prosperity, they tend to focus on how to maintain and extend it.  Part of obtaining that prosperity is education in one form or another, and all of these things lead people to slow their reproduction.  These things tend to make them more risk-averse, so until they cross another significant threshold, starting a new business venture is also unlikely.

What Jeb and the other members of his family(both real and political) wish for us to believe is that there is something innate about immigrants that makes them more “fertile.”  What they are unwilling to admit is that the problem isn’t with the “fertility” of existing Americans, except that in a struggle to maintain their standard of living, they have policed themselves, unless they are captive client-members of the welfare state, in which case, they’re another burden for the rest of us to carry.  Even if one is able to rationalize Jeb’s views as merely misguided pragmatism, one must confront the fact of how he views people.

Bush, like his brother and his father, seems to hold a worldview that permits him to see the issue as one of how to fulfill a need to keep the beast alive.  The fact that the beastly welfare-state is destroying the country is a matter of little significance if he can find enough human lubricant to keep its wheel turning a while longer.  Generations of Americans struggling against the growing weight of the state are of no consequence to him.  Lives of real people demolished in the process of building the leviathan are of little or no concern.  Neither his view of native-born Americans nor the legions of waiting immigrants offers any comfort when considering the future he envisions, in which the state continues to escalate as a burden upon the populace.

Some number of years into the future, Jeb Bush and those like him will appear before us to try to give us the next round of amnesty.  By then, the country will be in crippling poverty with few exceptions.  Civil strife will be rampant. The welfare state will reign supreme in all aspects of life.  The problem with his view is that he’s more interested in making it to that next occasion than he is in preventing it in the first place.  If you really wonder about the difference between a Republican and a Conservative, this then may serve as the key: Republicans don’t make waves, and go along with the flow because they wish to maintain the status quo indefinitely.  Conservatives know it cannot last.

Alternative content

Rove’s Record With “the Most Conservative Candidate Who Could Win”

Friday, February 8th, 2013

Who Me?

On Friday, Karl Rove was further exposed as misleading and disingenuous.  In an email response to his appearance on Thursday’s O’Reilly Factor, in which Rove claimed to have been the Director of Reagan’s 1980 Campaign in Texas, Reagan Biographer Craig Shirley responded via Daily Caller, explaining that Rove was no such thing.  In point of fact, Karl Rove ran Governor Clements’ effort for Reagan, but only after George W. Bush was defeated in the primary.  Do you understand?  Rove was a George H.W. Bush supporter, as was Texas Governor Bill Clements, for whom Rove worked at the time.  You see, Clements was a strong Bush supporter throughout the primaries, but there’s more to consider in this story.  First, watch Rove plead his case on Bill O’Reilly’s softball show:

You might wonder, watching Rove misrepresent his role in the Texas campaign for Ronald Reagan, whether it’s such a big deal that he first supported George H.W. Bush.  After all, it’s not that unusual for a candidate’s supporters to move over to the nominee’s campaign in some role after the primaries.  That said, there’s something very important I want you to consider, and it’s obvious as the spin flowing from Karl Rove’s lips:

In 1980, Rove chose Bush. Consider his dubious argument about supporting “the most conservative candidate who can win.”  It seems the most conservative candidate did win, but it wasn’t Rove’s choice in the primary in 1980.  Instead, Ronald Reagan won, and he was far more conservative than Rove’s choice. Of course, that’s not all you need to know.  In 1976, Ronald Reagan was fighting with Gerald Ford for the GOP nomination, and Karl Rove chose a horse to ride in that race too.  Ronald Reagan?  No, ladies and gentlemen,  Karl Rove was all aboard for Gerald Ford.  Gerald Ford lost to Jimmy Carter, and so it was true that once again, Rove apparently picked “the most conservative candidate who could win,” though neither did.

That’s the truth about Karl Rove.  In 1978, Karl Rove ran the losing George W. Bush campaign for congress. In 2000, his candidate nearly lost, and did lose the popular vote.  In 2004, his candidate barely squeaked by a very weak John Kerry.  In 2006, his strategies lost the House and Senate.  In 2012, he backed Romney early and often, and Mitt Romney lost. Karl Rove’s record of picking winners is abysmal. He clearly doesn’t know a conservative from a turnip, never mind a winner.  You must stop falling for his strategies, and as Mark Levin pointed out on Friday evening, Rove is attacking Steve King(R-IA) incessantly and dishonestly.  I repeat my sentiment to those who hope to reclaim leadership in the GOP: If you want any hope of winning, Karl Rove must go.

 

The Role of the GOP Establishment in the 2012 Disaster

Saturday, November 10th, 2012

Can it be revived?

My readers deserve the courtesy of bluntness, since it’s preferable to get the unpleasantness out of the way early.  I’ve always been a “save the good news for last” kind of fellow, and if you’ll bear with me, I’ll get to that eventually.  If you’re a loyal and strident fan of John Boehner, Mitt Romney or anybody named Bush, you may wish to exit this blog for the duration.  Let me first say that if I had to point to a date on which Mitt Romney’s loss was cemented, it would have to be after the ides of July, 2011.  At the time, we were headed for a shutdown of the federal government over the debt ceiling.  Congress must authorize the amount of money the federal government can borrow, and at the time, what was particularly disconcerting to conservatives had been how willing John Boehner seemed to be to pull the rug from beneath the feet of conservative House members.  He went through the dog-and-pony show of letting the House pass “Cut, Cap & Balance,” but only because he knew it would die in the Senate, since he already had a tentative deal worked out with Reid and Obama.

I knew this would doom Republicans in 2012, so I urged members to stand fast, and I was particularly harsh when they didn’t, perhaps undeservedly so with respect to one particular freshman representative from Florida.  Like a number of others, he was told to walk the plank and vote for the “deal” and after some fussing, he folded, and the bill was passed.  That would come back to haunt us in the election of 2012.  Giving Obama a pile of money to spend through the election would give him unlimited resources for spending on the “power of the incumbency” as the vote drew near.  That’s precisely what happened.  The Strategic Petroleum Reserve was cracked open to drive down the price of gas at the pumps. Giveaway programs including everything from foodstamps to Obama-phones accelerated to new heights.  All of this free stuff was purchased with your money, but the irony is that it is money you and your children have yet to earn.  Thank John Boehner and those operating his strings for the colossal debt incurred to keep Obama in office. The Debt Ceiling Deal of 2011 basically guaranteed it would be difficult to beat Obama, if not impossible, and at the time, there were reports that Romney had urged the deal.

You see, Mitt Romney was never supposed to win.  That may be why the Bush clan endorsed him.  They needed a fall-guy.  They needed somebody who would believe he could win, be controlled if he somehow did, but most importantly, prevent any real conservative from making it into the Oval office.  They surrounded him with their own campaign stooges, many part of the permanent political consultancy class in DC, and many of whom undoubtedly gave him counterproductive advice, and gave him false assurances about his situation in the polls. Romney believed that come election day, he would have the full support of the team, and they were going to bring new technology to the voting process, using a mobile app on smartphones among their volunteers to track and report and to try to get people to the polls.  For some odd reason, the technology failed.  That’s right, the technology failed all day long, and the passwords volunteers were supposed to use to access it didn’t work, but the good news was there was a password reset tool, and the worse news is that it didn’t work either.  Poor hapless volunteers stood around with no back-up plan, and some went home early in disgust.  As I said, whether Romney knew it or not, he wasn’t supposed to win.

Whether Mitt Romney was so inept on his own, or was instead the unwitting victim of really bad, sabotage-laden advice, we may never know, but what is clear to me now is this:  As soon as Romney conceded the race, almost before the smoke cleared, there were those in media who had prepared remarks about how this was the result of demographic changes to the country, and that the Republican Party ought to get behind “Comprehensive Immigration Reform.”  Yes, you see, the argument was that the Hispanic vote went with Obama in search of an amnesty of some sort, in the form of the “Dream Act,” or similar. I was not shocked therefore when I heard an account of John Boehner telling Dianne Sawyer in an interview on Thursday that his legislative priority would not be jobs, the fiscal cliff, Benghazi-gate, or anything of the sort, but instead: Comprehensive Immigration Reform.  You might wonder where this would originate, since it’s almost incomprehensible that Boehner came up with this on his own, and you’d be right.  Jeb Bush, the former Governor of Florida, and brother of George W. Bush, is about to publish a book on the issue.  It’s part of Jeb’s agenda: Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

Plausible Deniability

One might ask how all of this ties together, and I will admit that my evidence is thin, except for the events we’ve all witnessed in puzzled disbelief.  I believe that JEB Bush will run for President in 2016, and since the Bush clan has been hot and heavy for comprehensive immigration reform for decades, but doesn’t want the political pain involved in shoving CIR down the throats of conservatives, they’ll have Obama, Boehner and Reid get it out of the way.  In fact, the Bush clan has had a hand in subverting US sovereignty via what is known as the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America, whereby the notion of a EU-like North American Union was conceived(and you’ll doubtless notice how well the EU has come out for member nations.)  A necessary part of that union will  be open borders, and this is why the Bush presidencies never resulted in any tangible results in getting control of our borders.  The problem for the advocates of SPPNA is that to get it through, and to realize it fully, they will need a good deal more votes in the Senate.  I would ask you to view the results of Tuesday’s election in light of the SPPNA, and ask yourself if it was a positive or detrimental outcome for the SPPNA adherents.

Boehner is one of the people bringing this to us, and he wanted to eliminate through this election any members he thought might be trouble.  He succeeded in large measure, and he almost rid himself of Michele Bachmann, who received no help from the party, as she’s been a squeaky wheel.  At the same time, the establishment had to sabotage Richard Mourdock, because he wasn’t one of theirs.  Lugar had been a supporter of the SPPNA and he’s a big fan of comprehensive immigration reform. When conservatives in Indiana dumped Lugar, Mourdock couldn’t be allowed to win.  The GOP establishment and a bunch of disgruntled Lugar supporters(I call them Lugies) showed up to sabotage Mourdock in every way they could.  In fact, as I look at the candidates closely, what I notice is that those new faces who made it into the Senate tend to be people who are amenable to the SPPNA and Comprehensive Immigration Reform.

If we had 41 Senators who were staunchly opposed to CIR or SPPNA, those things would never gain ground.  It was therefore imperative that any candidates who made it into the Senate be CIR and SPPNA advocates.  Go look at the results.  I’ll leave you to draw your own conclusions, but if Jeb Bush is about to publish a book on the issue of immigration, and if he intends to run for President in 2016, one of the things you ought to consider about him is this whole business of CIR and SPPNA.  You ought to consider likewise the impact Jeb and the family Bush had on this election.  Was Mitt Romney an unwitting placeholder?  After all, the name “Bush” is still toxic even among conservatives, and that family wouldn’t want to risk that an actual conservative might get into the White House, so they could have supported Romney knowing he would lose, but knowing that with their help, he would be strong enough to freeze out the others. I’d like you to consider the whole of the 2011-2012 primary season in this light.  For those who still believe this election failure had been about “outreach to Hispanics,” I urge you to read this piece by Heather MacDonald.

For those of you who wonder at my dislike for the Bush policy agenda, let me put it in these terms: “Compassionate Conservatism” is merely Establishment Code for “We’ve got free stuff too!” If we can’t make the Bush family irrelevant in the GOP, then we’ll need to abandon the party.  They still control many levers of the party machinery, including in Texas and Florida, but also other states.  We must rid ourselves of these people.  They’ve never managed to do anything but sink us in the long run, and they have advanced the statist ball down the field more reliably than most Democrats. On Friday, it was reported that Jeb’s son George P. Bush intends to seek office.  The times article quoted a State representative in Texas:

“George P. was recently our guest down here in the Valley, where we held an event for him,” said a state representative, Aaron Pena, a Republican who represents part of Hidalgo County in the Rio Grande Valley. “The level of excitement was through the roof. Here you have arguably the most famous family in American political history, embodied in a person who is much like ourselves. After the trouncing that Republicans received in losing the Hispanic vote in the recent presidential election, George P.’s candidacy is the sort of remedy that we’re looking for.”(emphasis added)

Apart from the subtle racism  implicit in Mr Pena’s remarks, I find it troubling that yet another Bush intends to run in order to advance the family agenda.  It’s for this reason that I submit that we won’t repair the Republican Party until we finally accept the Reverend Jesse Jackson’s advice, but only this one time, and only with respect to the family Bush:

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(click “play” for Jackson’s advice)

Really people, “stay out da Bushes.”  I don’t think we’ll ever have another conservative President until we excise the Bush influence from our body politic.  America is not a land of royalty, and no single family should wield so much power over so long a span.  There is nothing peculiar to the Bush family that makes them more suited to leadership.  Nothing.  The problem is, they want the power and prestige because they have goals that supersede your interests or mine, in their view.  The SPPNA is just one of them.  They don’t mind being out of power for eight years if that’s what it takes to rehab their family name.

When you take all of this in, it stings a little, but it also begins to make sense.  I don’t believe Mitt Romney was supposed to win, and I think that the Bush family intends to restore their family name, a name that took a beating as a result of many of their policies while in power, not only from rigid leftists, but also among conservatives who have rightly noted that the Bush family seems to have extensive sympathies with statists, and with globalists who are more interested in big ideas about global governance than with American sovereignty.  The Bush family seems to wish to drag us unwillingly into their global vision, and I’m not going without a fight. Neither should you.  We conservatives simply must stop walking into these minefields.

After all, who will be their next moderate patsy, and will we go along with that one too?  If their family name is still too toxic in 2016, expect them to put up another stand-in.  I think the next one will be a big fan of donuts.  He’s shown himself willing to help, but he may now be damaged goods himself.  Time will tell.

Solution to two problems?

Insofar as Boehner, he is a cog in this machine.  The good news is that we can rid ourselves of this particular tool, and I even have an idea as to how we might do that. I realize this may be slim consolation, but we need a win. We need to start somewhere, and I think this is as good a place as any.  As you know, there is no requirement that the Speaker of the House be a voting member of the House of Representatives.  If they wanted to, they could elect Rush Limbaugh…or me. (Though if nominated, I would not run, and if elected, I would not serve…)  It just so happens that we have a plausible candidate for the position, since he’s recently been left jobless after being set up for defeat through redistricting in Florida.  He’s still contesting the results, but win or lose, Allen West would make a great Speaker of the House, and there’s no reason we shouldn’t call our respective representatives to insist on it. I’m not trying to start a movement, but I think we must finally rid ourselves of Boehner, and the best way to do that is to replace him with somebody we want.  While it’s not likely, it is possible, so that when they vote for the Speaker for the next term, we can make a difference.

For readers who want more background on the immigration argument, Heather Mac Donald also wrote this piece some time ago.

 

Obama Supporters All About the Freebies

Thursday, September 27th, 2012

Obama Phone?

If you want to know the sort of America President Barack Obama is building, check out this video.  This woman appeared among a number of protesters at a Romney event outside Cleveland, Ohio, on Wednesday.  Ladies and gentlemen, viewing this video, it is hard to understand why Republicans in Congress have refused to put a stop to some of the hand-outs, and what this woman is contending is true: There are government subsidized phones, but in truth, this actually goes all the way back to Bill Clinton, and was continued under George Bush. Still, this woman believes it is an “Obama-phone” and quite obviously, it is one more reason she supports Barack Obama.  I wonder how she would feel if she were informed that this could also be called a “Bush-Phone?”

For Mitt Romney to win the presidency, this is the mindset he will need to defeat, but sadly, it’s growing and spreading like a cancer across this nation.  Can anybody defeat this? Have we passed the tipping point whereby people who share this woman’s mindset will simply vote to install one dictatorial monster after another into the White House?

Time will tell, but if you want to know how the country is being destroyed, start with this video.

Our founding fathers must be turning in their graves.

 

Becoming a Top-Down Party of Nothing

Monday, August 27th, 2012

Mitt's Party

Deciding to walk away from the Republican Party has relieved me of becoming an accomplice in convincing people that down is up, left is right, and that crap-loads are creme-puffs.  Mitt Romney’s insider attorney, Ben Ginsberg, a long-time servant of the Bush Clan has been rigging the process.  While grass-roots conservatives have been figuring out how they’re going to swallow the bitter pill of Mitt Romney, if we can at all, he’s been busy consolidating the party’s convention process to make sure that: A.) If elected, he will be able to ensure there is never a primary challenge no matter how far to the left he moves(as we know he will,) and B.) Even if he doesn’t get elected, that the Bush Clan will have clear sailing if they put up JEB in 2016.  What this set of rules changes represents is the Bush Clan Take-over Plan for the Republican Party, and for those of you who haven’t been keeping up, that’s not a good thing for conservatism.  This is the same cadre of moderate to liberal Republicans who have pursued unfailingly the same ends as the left, and if it isn’t stopped now, you might as just well begin plans to start your own party because you will have no voice among Republicans any longer.  It’s not often that I urge readers to action, but this is one of those times when you ought to be yelling at every delegate to the RNC whose ear you are able to bend.

Even now, the Texas delegation is joining the uprising in advance of critical rules committee votes, trying to turn the tide against these dastardly rule changes that are aimed squarely at depriving the grass-roots of the party a voice in future elections by substituting the will of party bosses in the smoke-filled rooms of political patronage and payback.  This is precisely the sort of thing about which every conservative should be appalled, but there’s no point in pretending there is a great deal of time remaining to turn this around.  It’s basically now, or never, and if you don’t seek to be heard tonight and early tomorrow, you never will be, and you will see that your party is reduced to a servant of the ruling machine.  This cannot be the direction any of us would like to see the Republican party go, and yet it will be dragged there as people like Bob Dole(R-KS) actually tell us that the party must make room for different philosophies.

“We have got to be open,” he said in an interview with The Daily Telegraph. “We cannot be a single-issue party or single-philosophy party”. He added: “There’s a big split in our party. There’s this undercurrent of rigid conservatism where you don’t dare not toe the line”.

Yes, there’s a big split, and it owes to people who talk from both sides of their mouths, Senator Dole. Take it from him, he knows how to lose like nobody’s business. Let us be blunt: If Republicans do not share even a single root philosophy, it isn’t a political party, but instead a block party.  What sort of befuddled rationalization permits Senator Dole to conclude that one can have a political party composed of people who not only vary on specific issues, but disagree in part or in whole on the principled basis on which one’s position on particular issues are formed?  What Dole is offering us is a vision of a Republican party in which anything goes.  No standards.  No qualifications.  No principles.  Nothing but loyalty to the party.   This multi-philosophy party he describes immediately seems a good deal like the Democrats.  No longer a philosophical or ideological consistency, but instead a coalition of vastly disparate groups that has as its driving motive a single idea: “Win at all costs.”  This is the establishment of a second party of nothing in progress.  Does Bob Dole think a party of nothing can win something?

Of course, the truth is that the GOP establishment has two major issues about which they are concerned, and would like to take off the table.  These issues are abortion, and amnesty.  Of course, they don’t really want to deal with the big entitlements, and they really don’t want to tackle the growth of the welfare state.  Come to think of it, they really don’t want to do much of anything about any pressing matter in any respect, except to keep it all going.  They aren’t capitalists, they aren’t conservatives, and they aren’t particularly concerned with law and order.  The more you think about it, the clearer it becomes that they haven’t a single issue in which they’re willing to fight, because at the end of the day, they don’t care about any issue so long as you vote for them, and as Ben Ginsberg has made clear, they will decide who shall be the approved candidates and you will damned-well like it.

Ladies and gentlemen, you can do what you will about this, for whatever good it may do.  You can do nothing, or you can rise up and make a stink.  I will simply tell you that I am burning up phone lines and the email servers of everybody I can think to contact.  This is a shocking denigration of all the efforts of all the Tea Party folk, all the people who have turned out to support Republicans in 2010, and all those who have participated in trying to recapture the country from the runaway villains in the Democrat Party.  You’re being shafted again.  It’s as simple as that, and any argument to the contrary is simply the bleating of sheep who simply haven’t the heart for the fight.

I had been a Republican because I wanted to stand firmly for the issues we conservatives hold dear, and to stand with my fellow Americans in defense of our constitution, but under current management, the party is being turned into a party of nothing, and as the well-worn line admonishes us, “if you won’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything.” The other practical matter is that a party of nothing must ultimately become the party of no one.  The Republican Party is taking a firm step in that direction, and I am running, not walking, in the opposite direction.  If you find no satisfaction upon registering your complaints with your respective states’ delegations, I hope you will join me.  This entire procedure is despicable, but not satisfied at having rigged the process in Romney’s favor over the last year of the current election cycle, the same old crowd is rigging it in perpetuity, but their motive is clear: They don’t wish to have any reason whatever to listen to you.

 See Update Here

Shooting-Off Again: Dick Cheney Leads the Attack… on Sarah Palin

Sunday, July 29th, 2012

Still Mad, Dick?

Bless his heart, but Dick Cheney really stepped in it this time.  I want to know why the former Vice President is attacking Sarah Palin. We were all sickened when leftists publicly wished he would die, or be denied the heart transplant that has extended his life, but apparently, Vice President Cheney has no heart left for common-sense conservatives, or for the lady who bore the brunt of the left’s most vicious attacks in 2008, since he now adds to them.  Having been the frequent target of the left’s senseless harangues, one would expect that Cheney would know better, but it’s apparent that a decade in Congress, four years as Secretary of Defense, and eight years as the Vice President haven’t made him any smarter.  If I were a leftist comic, I would take the opportunity to remind readers that Cheney has a history of shooting at the wrong target.  Asked by Jonathan Karl of ABC News what advice he would offer about the process of selecting a VP candidate, given 2008 as an example, he said this:

“The test to get on that small list has to be, ‘Is this person capable of being president of the United States?’”

True enough, but then he said:

“I like Governor Palin. I’ve met her. I know her. She – attractive candidate. But based on her background, she’d only been governor for, what, two years. I don’t think she passed that test…of being ready to take over. And I think that was a mistake.”

As is the current fashion in the media, ABC used the occasion of Mitt Romney’s impending VP pick to launch an attack on the former Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin, and predictably, this representative of the Bush administration and of the GOP establishment crowd wouldn’t miss an opportunity to get his digs in.  Mark Levin was so annoyed by it that he posted to Facebook on the subject, and he’s right to be upset with the former Vice President.  After all, what is served by attacking Sarah Palin?  What’s in it for Cheney?  I believe Cheney’s criticism of Sarah Palin reveals something ugly about the Republican establishment, but also their basic view of the Presidency. In their view, the Presidency and Vice Presidency should never be held by “amateurs,” a.k.a., “non-insiders.”

When Cheney said he thinks Sarah Palin hadn’t “passed that test…of being ready to take over,” what he’s stating bluntly is that she was not qualified to be President.  There are likely millions who would disagree vociferously with that assessment, and Cheney’s criticism is one we ought to examine because he had held that office, but we should not fail to turn the question on him:  Was Dick Cheney qualified to hold that office?  Some would argue that from the moment he first exhibited substantial health difficulties, Cheney should have stepped down as Vice President, permitting President George W Bush to replace him.  After all, if something terrible or unfortunate had happened to the President, the health of the Vice President, then unceremoniously elevated to the Presidency,  would have been of immediate concern for the country.

Americans expect is their leaders will do the most responsible thing in pressing situations, but Dick Cheney failed that test.  Whatever the objections of President Bush may have been at the time, Cheney should have stepped down, for the sake of the country, if for no other reason.  He didn’t.  He could have done the responsible thing, and nobody in the country would have blamed him had he stepped aside due to ill health, and a frightening heart condition that could have claimed him at any time.  He’d have enjoyed the sympathies of millions who would have respected him for doing the responsible thing, and yet he failed that test.

While Dick Cheney gives interviews to ABC News, Sarah Palin has been out on the campaign trail doing the hard work of getting out the vote for common-sense, constitutional, conservative candidates.  Dick Cheney is giving interviews to mainstream media outlets to attack Sarah Palin.  To me, one of the most important qualifications for either the job of President or Vice President is to exhibit leadership.  What is Dick Cheney leading?  An assault on Sarah Palin?  What is Sarah Palin leading, and what has she recently led?  In 2010, she helped to lead the battle to retake the House of Representatives, and in 2012, she is helping to lead the charge to retake the Senate.  Meanwhile, Dick Cheney gives interviews offering advice to Mitt Romney on his forthcoming VP pick.  While the country is burning down around us, this is the battle in which GOP insiders like Cheney wish to engage? Nobody stops to turn the question around and ask Cheney about his qualifications, which are assumed to have been sufficient:

Cheney states: “She’d only been governor for, what, two years.”

Question: How many years was Cheney governor of a state?  Answer: None.

Cheney headed the Department of Defense under George H.W. Bush, but that’s a largely bureaucratic position more than one of leadership.  Leon Panetta is the current Secretary of Defense.  Is Panetta qualified for the presidency?  Cheney was a legislator, first and foremost, and an insider who elevated himself within the House of Representatives.  Is this the qualification for President?  Cheney was never an inspirational figure.  Did this qualify him for that office?  After all, it was Cheney who had helped to select Vice Presidential candidates before, including in 1976, and again in 2000, when he headed the search committee, but himself got the nod from George W. Bush.  It was also Cheney who was campaign manager for the Ford Campaign in 1976, and he served as Ford’s chief of staff.  I don’t know how any of that qualified him to be Vice President, or President, but if Sarah Palin ever decides she wants some advice on how to be a DC insider or political hanger-on, she should immediately contact Dick Cheney, as in this at least, one might conclude that he had been eminently qualified.

It’s not my intention here to drag Dick Cheney’s name through the mud, but I must repeat Mark Levin’s question: “Why does Dick Cheney feel the need to attack Sarah Palin?”  Cheney is an insider.  Way back in 1976, it was Cheney at the GOP convention who helped to make sure that Gerald Ford was the Republican nominee, but not Ronald Reagan.  The GOP establishment is rightly sensing a bit of a revolt forming in the rank-and-file, as many conservatives are not altogether thrilled with the presumptive Republican party nominee.  He knows there is a move afoot to ditch Mitt Romney at the convention, and he sees Sarah Palin as one of the threats to the Romney ascendancy because the grass roots of the party loves her. Whatever happens in this election cycle, it is the aim of the establishment to be sure that none but another member of the extended Bush clan rise to the nomination in 2016.  Hammering away at Sarah Palin now, in 2012, helps to solidify the notion that Governor Palin is a political has-been, and one who was never qualified for the office in the first place.

That’s garbage, but in the perceptions-driven game of politics, it contributes another few slashes in the death of one-thousand cuts.  The GOP establishment doesn’t want a Palin candidacy, now or any time in the future, and it perturbs them greatly as the collective hive-mind of the anointed class that at present, the most effective spokesperson for rank-and-file Republicans is a woman they would rather have us all forget.  Sarah Palin brought big oil to heel as Governor of her state, forcing them to live up to contracts with the state of Alaska on which they had been dallying interminably.  She exposed and throttled crooks in both parties, including the state’s own GOP establishment.  None of that sits well with the Washington crowd of which Cheney is an undeniable part.

Whatever Governor Palin’s electoral potential in the future, I find it simply astonishing that a man who had virtually nothing to recommend him as a potential President of the United States other than his appointed proximity to that office now offers Mitt Romney counsel on who to pick as his VP, and in so doing, sets out to demolish the party’s last nominee for that post.  It’s a despicable bit of politicking on Cheney’s part, and it is in such instances as this one that cause many in the grass-roots to wonder about the motives of the establishment.  It is Cheney, as part of Washington DC’s permanent political class that symbolizes the problem.  From his first day working inside the Beltway as an intern for Congressman William Steiger in 1969 until present, Cheney has been hooked into DC politics. Forty years of his influence in Washington is more than enough.  Until we begin to discard these insiders, we will never get very far in restoring our republic.

His opinion on Governor Palin was offered up as another propaganda victory to the left, as it was the sort of answer Jonathan Karl had been seeking.   An old Washington insider like Cheney couldn’t possibly have fallen into a trap of that sort, so this was said with the full intention of malice, and the manner in which it was said makes it clear there is plenty of that left in Dick Cheney’s heart.

(I suppose this evinces also the fact that one can change one’s heart but still not alter one’s mind, however small the latter chore might have been.)

 

 

It’s True: Bush Did It; Obama’s Finishing the Job

Monday, July 23rd, 2012

He Signed a Lot of Liberal Laws

As Senator Jeff Sessions(R-AL) made plain on last Thursday’s Mark Levin Show, George W. Bush in 2002 signed into law an act that made foreign nationals from Mexico eligible for food-stamps. That’s some damned-good “compassionate conservatism,” don’t you think?  What this reveals is more evidence of what I’ve been arguing right along:  What is killing our country is the unwillingness of conservatives to stand on strict principle, and the intentional undermining of conservatives by establishment Republicans at every turn.  I listened to Dr. Levin launch a tirade aimed at the policies of the former President and those like him, as well as at the government of Mexico for several minutes.  He was right in virtually every detail, and he was right to feel betrayed and put-upon by the people who are supposed to be on our side, but with all due respect to the radio giant and conservative beacon, he missed a few things.  I do not intend here to criticize Levin, but I want instead to show conservatives how he had erred, not in his appraisal of the facts, but instead regarding what we ought to do about them.  Dr. Levin’s error is the inevitable result of the contradictions too many conservatives accept,  even those with the intellectual clarity to have known better:  There is no compromise possible between liberty and tyranny, whatever one’s excuses for the latter.

Here’s the clip:

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Nearing the conclusion of his justifiable tirade, Dr. Levin began to speak of Mitt Romney.  He offered:

“I sure as Hell hope that if Romney is elected President, that he doesn’t pull these stunts.”

As Dr. Levin said this, in my own mind, there issued a challenge to the Great One:

“What if he does pull these stunts, Mark?  What will you do?  Not vote for him in 2016?”

Yeah, right…

You see, this is emblematic of why we conservatives have lost much(if not all) of our power within the Republican party.  They’ve called our bluff too many times, and on far too many of those occasions, we have gone along despite our protests.  We always rationalize it in terms of “saving the country” from this liberal demon or that leftist monster, but the fact is that when it comes down to it, we are the ones who have blinked, time and time again.  Anybody who had been confused about the matter should see it plainly now:  Conservatives have been neutered in this manner because we have largely demurred from carrying out our threatened walk-outs.   We lose our spines, the walk-outs never materialize, and therefore, we are seen by the party establishment as mere paper tigers to be managed, but never respected, let alone feared.

You might say to me “but Mark, really, we simply must win, because we won’t survive four more years of Barack Obama. The country won’t survive.”  You may be right, but then again, you may not be.  It could be argued that the country is already dead in constitutional and cultural terms, and Levin is among those who has effectively articulated that very argument.  In 2000, I was assured by establishment Republicans that if Al Gore won the presidency, the country would be over, but I told the person with whom I argued that if George W. Bush was elected, it wouldn’t be much different.  Yes, Gore would have pushed the enviro-fascist agenda harder, but then at least the Republican Congress would have opposed him.  Yes, Gore would have tried some of the same tactics of executive fiat that Obama has tried, but again, at least the Republican majority in both Houses of Congress at the time would have been more inclined to do battle with him.  They didn’t oppose George Bush as he extended the power of the presidency through ever more extra-constitutional power grabs.  Instead, we had a Republican President who had a majority Republican Congress for six of his eight years, and he did immeasurable damage to our republic, whether you’re willing to acknowledge it or not.  Yes, he defended the country after 9/11, and yes, he commanded honorably in his role as commander-in-chief, but he had many failings, and the weight of those failings multiplied by the gargantuan multiplier of Obama now smothers us.

To have signed into law a bill that provided for food-stamps benefits to illegal alien Mexican nationals was a crime against every tax-paying citizen in this country, and to all those who will be forced to pay for it over the next several generations, assuming the country survives as a political compartment.  He expanded other social programs as well, created vast new bureaucracies, and otherwise set the stage for everything Barack Obama has done to further the damage ever since he assumed the presidency in 2009.  One might argue that Bush had been well-meaning, but as you know by now, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions, and it doesn’t much matter whether they’re born in the mind of somebody with an “R” or a “D” after their names.  This is perhaps the single greatest contradiction faced by conservatives like Dr. Levin, who also have good and honorable intentions, and who usually are able to see the folly in pursuing them.

Levin lamented the fact that this isn’t a mere safety net any longer.  He implied that it was instead something monstrous, and he’s right, but let me say to the good Dr. Levin, certainly one of the most talented advocates for our constitution:  There is no rational place in which to draw a line once you begin to build a publicly-funded safety net.  The march of Progressivism throughout the 20th and 21st centuries has proven it, if you needed evidence.  In the early days of our republic, some of our early Presidents drew a firm line when Congress would undertake to create some compassionate measure intended to provide relief to this class or that, always on some construction of the concept that somehow, it could be limited, and that it could be justified in moral terms.  I am here to tell you that it cannot be true that safety nets can be limited and specific, because the primitive nature of pre-humanity is to seek the path of least resistance, or to exercise the least possible discomfort for the greatest comfort available at ease. At its founding, America had the greatest prospects in all of the world precisely because this notion was frowned-upon, and banished in a socially scathing manner, and we tended to consider the purveyors of easy money and easy solutions as con artists and frauds.

Social Security began as a program for widows and orphans.  How long did it remain as such?  The space of a generation had not elapsed before it was extended to wider and wider groups of recipients.  The entire welfare state, from the first bits of Medicaid and Medicare, to AFDC and Food-stamps have all undergone similar transformations, at first for a very limited group, to a broadened eligibility that encompasses vast segments of the American people.  This is what happens, always, once this chain of destruction commences.   It works this way: I say there should be no public safety net. Dr. Levin admits there should be a small, limited one.  His argument is based on his own subjective evaluation of what is the proper level of compulsory compassion.  George W. Bush comes along arguing for food-stamps for foreign nationals.  Levin cries foul, but after all, why is his subjective limitation on compulsory compassion any more valid than the one proposed by President Bush, or President Obama, Nancy Pelosi, or some future statist politician? Simply, it is not.

This is how it gets out of control, and it’s really quite elementary: Once it begins, there is no way to reduce it for long.  You might curtail it a little here or there, but eventually people will come to power who will advance it again, and then still more.  This is why our earliest Presidents, fresh from our post-revolutionary travails, did all they could to oppose the encroachment of any of this redistribution under the guise of “compassion.” James Madison, eventually our third President, and the man thought by many to be the father of our constitution, offered this, as he served in Congress debating a bill providing for some sustenance and relief for French refugees from the Haitian revolution.  He said:

“I cannot undertake to lay my finger on that article of the Constitution which granted a right to Congress of expending, on objects of benevolence, the money of their constituents.” -3rd Congress, Annals of Congress

This makes the matter plain.  There is no room in that statement for a public safety net of any description or purpose, and being one of the authors of the Constitution, one would suspect he understood its intended limits.  Madison would not be the last to make this sort of delineation, and subsequent Presidents actually stated the same sentiment in vetoing legislation proposing various forms of relief for this group or that.  It was not until the rise of the Progressives, in both parties in the early 20th Century that the first great transgressions of this principle began in earnest.

I would argue that Dr. Levin is right insofar as his evaluation of the Bush enactment of the law permitting the provision of food-stamps to illegal alien Mexican nationals, but I must also suggest in the strongest possible terms that Dr. Levin, and those like him of apt reverence for the constitution ought to consider the contradiction implicit in their protestations on behalf of any public safety net. Once it begins, it will not easily be stopped, and usually terminates with the death of the country in the upheaval of bloody revolution.  Only by rapidly undoing it all are we to avoid such mortal discomfort, though the time-frame to undo it all needn’t be overnight, still it mustn’t exceed much more than a half-decade.  We are living with the necessary result of the contradiction explicit in trying to create some firm boundary along the lines of flexible, subjective criteria, perpetually open to reinterpretation by whomever holds the reins of power. Our constitutional principles are fixed, but it is only our adherence to them that has been flexible.

In a letter to Edmund Pendleton, James Madison also wrote:

“If Congress can do whatever in their discretion can be done by money, and will promote the General Welfare, the Government is no longer a limited one, possessing enumerated powers, but an indefinite one, subject to particular exceptions.”

Is this not now the state our republic has attained?  We have undergone precisely the reversal here-described by James Madison, and it will be our undoing.  I am certain that a constitutional scholar with the precision and vigorous intellect of the sort made plain by Dr. Levin’s long history in service to that document and to the republic it had authored must see and be convinced of the fatal dangers of this contradiction harbored so widely, even among our greatest minds.  It is time that we decide if we are going to live in a constitutional, representative republic, or if we prefer instead to be subject to the indefinite power of a colossal government.  It is the choice made plain in the great book Ameritopia, and as a complete work in defense of our liberty, one would expect that with the fullness of time, its author will ultimately embrace the full wisdom of that which he so magnificently defends.

For we conservatives, it is long past due that we should embrace the meaning of Madison’s admonishments.  He didn’t offer exceptions to the principle, but it is only because no exceptions are rationally feasible.  The danger implied was grievous enough that Madison would not countenance its passage, despite surely being as compassionate and charitable a man as any.  He understood that the only manner in which to draw this line was to make it absolute.  He also understood that any less a proscription would lead inevitably to the national turmoil into which we are now sliding.  This is our true challenge as conservatives, because we mustn’t merely begin the already seemingly impossible chore of diminishing the size and scope of the festering blight of the welfare state, but we must begin the process of excising it from our country altogether.   This may seem a fantastical, practically impossible proposition, and yet if we are to restore the republic to the land of possibilities it had been at its beginning, no less will do.

We must undo Obama-care, rolling it back to 2009, but we must roll back to 2002, and then to 1982, and eventually to 1964, and to the 1930s.  We must keep going until it is gone, replacing government with private, volitional charity of the sort that had permitted us to take care of the truly unfortunate persons among us, but that left no room for graft of any sort at taxpayers’ expense.  One-hundred-forty-four million or so Americans now rely upon the welfare state in all its various forms.  That number is exploding, and will soon top half our population, and when it does, there will be no rolling it back, and surely no salvaging of our republic.  Our desire to help others must be restrained from the realm of government.  The contradiction explicit in attempting to have a system that regards the wealth of citizens as one part private property and one part public loot must be abolished, even if there is some temporary pain.  It’s our last chance, time is quickly running out, and I dare say time is a good deal shorter now than any of our public officials dare admit. It’s time to draw an indelible, solid line.

The Insufferable GOP Establishment Is Now Whining

Tuesday, April 3rd, 2012

The Establishment Fears You

An article appeared in the Tampa Bay Times that should strengthen your resolve and hearten your efforts to defeat the Romney machine.  It’s titled Analysis of Rubio-Bush-Ryan Plan to Stop Rick Santorum,  and if ever you wanted to know what it looks like when the GOP establishment crowd is made to sweat, this is it.  The author, Marc Caputo, fairly gushes over the three well-known GOP politicians Marco Rubio, Jeb Bush, and Paul Ryan.  When an article starts out this way, you have to know that it’s a real sob story:

Marco Rubio sounds worried. So do Jeb Bush and Paul Ryan.

Their candidate, Mitt Romney, is losing to President Barack Obama. The GOP primary is becoming “counterproductive.”

The assumptions made here are sickening.  First, there is the entitlement mentality, that suggests these guys have some right to expect their candidate to be the nominee.  What they know is what you should already know:  Romney’s presumed nomination is in trouble, as they’ve looked at the numbers and realize that 1144 delegates could be out of reach if Rick Santorum can make it through the month of April and into May.  The article acknowledges what I’ve been reporting about a potential brokered convention too:

“They are saying the only way they can win this race is by having a floor fight in Tampa in August,” Sen. Rubio said Wednesday of the “recipe for disaster” on Fox News. “I think that’s a recipe to deliver four more years to Barack Obama. And our country — forget about the Republican Party — our country cannot afford that.”

Senator Rubio is simply wrong. A floor fight isn’t a recipe for disaster unless you’re a Romney supporter.  They way the establishment has controlled, manipulated, and rigged this process is a disaster for the country.  A real recipe for disaster in November would be for Mitt Romney to lose the election because he is incapable of positioning himself to defeat Barack Obama in any argument in a general election.

Predictably, this is where the article turns its attacks on Santorum, prefacing the assault this way:

“It’s as if Obama’s campaign is writing Santorum’s attack lines about how Romney is virtually indistinguishable from the president.”

Really? It’s as if a DNC ad-man wrote the article.  Media bias is what it is, but I have tired of people purporting to be part of News organizations, posing as journalists of some sort who make statements like this:

“If Romney loses Florida, he probably loses the election. If Santorum stays in and wins the huge Texas primary May 29, it’ll continue to make Romney look uninspiring and like the weakest of frontrunners.”

Note to Mr. Caputo:  Mitt Romney is uninspiring.  He is the weakest of front-runners. He won’t win Texas.  Of course, the absolutely most laughable part of this whining, pathetic plea is this:

“Santorum and Gingrich bear some responsibility for Romney’s problems. So does gaffe-prone Romney. Also, this poll and others indicate that the GOP’s stances on contraception and abortion have hurt the party’s brand among women and independent voters. The improving economy has worked against Romney and in Obama’s favor as well.”

It’s Santorum and Gingrich who are to blame for Romney’s inadequacies?  Mitt Romney has spent tens of millions of dollars on ads absolutely hammering his opponents, and we should blame his opponents for his unpopularity and his continuing inability to sew up the nomination?  Caputo’s article concludes with a plea that should embarrass anybody who is actually in the news business:

“Will Santorum give Romney the chance to make that case in time?”

Mr. Caputo should understand, as should the whining GOP establishment: Conservatives have no obligation to cede the race to Mitt Romney, or make it easier for him, or in any way enable his candidacy.  He hasn’t shown any inclination to get out of their way either, and I want to know only one thing from Mr. Caputo and those like him:

“Will Romney give Santorum and Gingrich the chance to make the case against Barack Obama in time?”

No? Then shut up and fight.

You’ll notice how the idiotic questions they pose for conservatives are never offered to the establishment.  They hope sincerely that we will not notice the fact that every question of this sort that they throw at conservatives could be turned around and thrown right back.  For instance, they are always demanding:  “But you will support Romney if nominated, right?”  I have yet to hear anybody in the big media ask Romney: “But you will support Santorum, Gingrich, or Paul, if nominated, right?”  Of course we won’t hear that question, because it would imply Romney could lose.  Newsflash:  He could lose.  Caputo’s article is proof of that fact.

 

 

What is the Difference Between the Left and the GOP Establishment?

Monday, March 26th, 2012

How Friendly Are They?

I find it bothersome that when I listen to some of the obvious establishment hacks, what I hear from them sounds suspiciously like the things I hear coming from the left.  They attack Sarah Palin, and as Breitbart famously pointed out, it’s almost like a membership card that people in the GOP establishment throw down to prove their credentials with the leftist media and cocktail crowd. Those who want in must pay the toll, and that will mean running down actual conservatives whenever possible.  They tell us it’s because we are all blithering idiots, and that’s evidenced because we don’t understand the art of compromise, but that too has the suspiciously similar ring of disdain that we most frequently get from the left.  Worse, when a conservative overcomes the GOP establishment, they tend to think all that remains is to defeat the left, but slowly and surely, the establishment crowd works its way back in.  Conservatives frequently find themselves wondering if there’s any difference between the Left and the Republican establishment.

One could examine the politics of Alaska to get an idea of how that all works.  Sarah Palin was a marvelous reformer who defeated a bastion of the GOP establishment when she beat Frank Murkowski on her way to victory and gubernatorial success. In 2010, Joe Miller defeated Murkowski’s daughter Lisa in the GOP primary, but as an establishment insider, Murkowski ran instead a write-in campaign, and defeated Joe Miller from the left.  This is emblematic of the way the establishment plays the game, and what quickly becomes apparent is how they’ll do anything to maintain power.  Lisa Murkowski won the Senate seat, but she had to abandon the base of the party she had claimed to support in order to get it done.  The Democrats voted defensively, by supporting her over their own candidate in many cases, because they knew they’d rather have Republican Lisa Murkowski than Tea Party-inclined Joe Miller. What that will mean in the future for Alaska politics is unclear, but I suspect the Tea Party and conservative base there are seething over her actions.

Naturally, this is just a microcosm of how it works in Washington DC.  where the establishment rules the Republican roost. When you notice that Republicans have wavered on this or that, you can almost always be assured that you will find one of the establishment pack at the root of the surrender.  It leads many to wonder, nowadays openly:  Is the Republican establishment really any better or any more than a fifth column for the institutional Left?  Of course, much like the Devil, whose best trick is purported to have been to convince others he didn’t exist, the GOP establishment denies their own existence too.  It’s actually a bit of a farce for George Will to have said this, but say it he did, and they run around pretending they do not exist.  Part of it is that they’re a bit slippery, because they will pose as conservatives on this bill or that, and come up with some dandy rationalizations for their sell-outs of conservatism.

Part of what makes conservatives wonder about the possibility of a “fifth column” appearance of all of this is that without fail, these are the same people to whom the media turns when they want a “republican” or “conservative” opinion.  Asking John Boehner on to speak on behalf of conservatism is roughly equivalent to asking Joe McGinnis his opinion on Sarah Palin.  John Boehner isn’t a conservative, though he frequently claims the title.  What Boehner really represents is a mind-set that Washington DC commands all, and that sometimes one must go along to get along.   The problem with Boehner, Cantor, et al, is that they really don’t care about the underlying principles in any issue.  They’re more interested in the appearance of a deal, but the deals are always with leftists, and they never, ever work out as advertised.

The great Debt Ceiling debate of last July is an example.  Boehner was catching hell from every direction, but in the end, who did he abandon?  Did he abandon his make-nice with the President?  No.  Did he force the issue via a shutdown?  No.  Instead, he sent another bill to the Senate after the bill his whole caucus had supported was pronounced “dead on arrival” by Harry Reid.  The truth of the matter is that the deal had been done for some time, and he was looking for cracks in his own party in order to push it through.  Boehner knew it, Reid knew it, and Barack Obama knew it too.  When you know your adversary’s alleged leader is undercutting his own folks in order to make a deal, you can go a long way in really pressing your advantage.  The Debt Ceiling debate ended with a victorious Obama and a devastated Republican base.  We watched people in whom we placed a great deal of hope walk the plank for John Boehner, and all to end up in the same boat just a little later in the year.

This prompted the question among many in the Tea Party at the time, including in this blog: “With friends like these…”  Of course, at the time we were turning our attentions to the Presidential primary season, but little did we conservatives suspect, with a field brimming with actual and potential candidates that the Republican establishment had a plan brewing for this too.  They managed to manipulate the early states forward, moving up the process for a purpose I still don’t think most have grasped.  Those early states are now bound by the rules to yield half of their delegates to the National convention.  Who will be choosing them, and who do you suppose they will be?  Conservatives?  Or more establishment hacks?  So you see, that’s been part of their back-up plan too, engineered to make sure they have a number of delegates they can throw to Mitt Romney if it comes down to it.  Drudge is happily running a story pointing out that Santorum will need to win 74% of delegates in order to win, but what he’s not reporting to you is that Romney will need almost 60% from this point forward.  While Santorum’s chore is an order of  magnitude more difficult, Romney’s road isn’t easy, even with the sandbag delegates the party now has put-away for just such an emergency.

All of this is much like what they did to Ronald Reagan in 1976.  They did everything possible to stymie him and still it came within a whisker of going his way.  I suspect if they could have stopped him in 1980, they would have, but they still managed to get one of theirs on the ticket.  In many ways, the conservative base of the party has been paying a price ever since.  Let’s be blunt, if we may, and suggest that in the halls of power, and where it matters, and in the money of the GOP, George HW Bush is still a terribly powerful force, or at least his legacy has been.  They’re already preparing the next generation, both for the Presidency, and up-and-coming, and there’s little doubt that they prepare a back-bench thick with their folks, ready to retake control when the opportunity arrives.  Given the way the GOP has been run since the Bush establishment took over, I wonder if we’ll ever see a time when our country is free of them, and if it’s even possible any longer.

I tend to agree with those who say that in order to be rid of them, the GOP must ultimately go the way of the Whigs.  The GOP establishment is nearly indistinguishable in their methods and goals from the institutional Left who is our open adversary, and in any case, they’re dragging the country in the same sad direction, albeit somewhat more slowly.  Win, lose or draw, when this election cycle ends, whatever happens, we’re going to be forced to confront this issue or accept that we’ve lost our country.  We tend to think of our fight for the country in terms of our battles with the Left, but I believe we must consider amending our thinking because I don’t know that we can ever defeat the left until we oust their friends from among our number.  We must at some point ask: Are these the actions of a friend?

 

 

Why “Compromise” Has Become a Dirty Word

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Compromise or Capitulation?

Barbara Bush complained on Monday that “compromise” had become a “dirty word.”  If that’s true, it is only as a result of how it has been abused by liberal to moderate Republicans, the media, and the liberal establishment that dominates the country.   Mrs. Bush is part of that establishment, so quite naturally, she is unable to see this the way the conservative base of the party does, and since she’s one who considers herself smarter than the rest of we ignorant rubes, it is now probably high time that somebody explained the problem with “compromise,” not as it is defined in the dictionary, but as it has come to be understood by most grass-roots conservatives who recoil at the word.

A real “compromise” is the result of a process by which both parties to an exchange get some part of what they wanted in exchange for having yielded a little.  A compromise is an exchange, if you will, trading value for value as in commerce, but it extends to many intangibles.  That’s what compromise is supposed to be, but these last two decades and a bit more, that’s not what compromise has been in the United States.  Instead, compromise has come to mean something else entirely, and if you ask conservatives, they will now tell you that it is approximately this: Republicans (particularly of the Establishment class) surrendering on principle to the left, gaining nothing, and getting nothing but a promise of “getting along” that never materializes, but always winds up in another kick in the teeth.

If Mrs. Bush doesn’t understand this, it’s because in her insular view of the world, she doesn’t see the kicks in the teeth, and the principles at  stake are not hers.  It’s a relatively easy matter to yield principles belonging to somebody else, and the Bush family has a long history of doing just that.  They make a pretense at being conservative, but there’s little substance behind the claim, and if truth is told, more often than not, they’re  at the root of many of the sell-outs conservatives have suffered over the last two-and-one-half decades.  Even before the breaking of the “Read my lips” pledge of George H.W. Bush, the elder Bush administration had begun to back-track from the idea that his was a third Reagan term, which had been the basis for his election.

Of course, after the famous sell-out, the elder Bush went on to defeat, and his son George W. Bush, elected narrowly in 2000, did much the same while in office.  He worked together with Ted Kennedy in a “spirit of bi-partisanship” under a supposed “new tone”(of compromise, a.k.a: surrender) to enact the No Child Left Behind program, along with the Medicare Prescription Drugs fiasco, and of course all of the bail-outs and TARP.  The younger Bush famously offered that he had to set aide capitalism to save it.  This last was the final straw for many conservatives, because rather than letting the market work as it should, Bush intervened in order to save big banking interests and GM, but none of this translated into “saving capitalism.” Each of these had been surrenders disguised as compromise, and everybody in the conservative movement knew it.

It’s difficult to win a political debate when members of your own party are undercutting your efforts.  This was the case with all of these issues.  When the elder Bush raised taxes, including a stupendously destructive “luxury tax,” Democrats both chortled in contempt at the breaking of his pledge, while simultaneously urging him to break it more thoroughly.  When George the younger went along with Democrats on education and prescription drugs, both times the Democrats hammered him for “not doing enough” while simultaneously waving the “compromise” in the face of conservatives.  So yes, Mrs. Bush, “compromise” has become a dirty word among conservatives, and the men in your life are the cause.

Just as conservatives don’t want another false conservative getting the nomination, because it defames “conservatism” by the association, conservatives are in no mood for surrenders and sell-outs of their principles that will be disguised as “compromise.”  Every conservative in the country worth his or her salt knows that what the Bush clan offers as “compromise” or “conservatism” are not.   That may cause Mrs. Bush some consternation, but conservatives don’t need or want her advice, and while she may get her way in this primary, that doesn’t mean real conservatives will have compromised.   This one won’t. Let’s hope that as Super Tuesday gets under way, more conservatives will take this stance.

_________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

 

Barbara Bush Thinks This Campaign Is The Worst Ever

Tuesday, March 6th, 2012

Who's To Blame?

Former First Lady Barbara Bush complained on Monday that this is the worst campaign ever.  Then she went on to say that she doesn’t like the fact that people think compromise is a bad thing.  The former First Lady also recorded a Robo-Call for Mitt Romney to be used in Ohio and Vermont, and I have to wonder if she realizes how she is contributing to the “worst campaign” [she's] ever seen in [her] life?”  After all, nobody has run more negative ads than Mitt Romney, and nobody has done more to try to dominate the other by virtue of unbridled ugliness.  I can’t imagine that her words are very welcome among conservatives, so she must be addressing the RINO encampment with this nonsense:

“I think it’s been the worst campaign I’ve ever seen in my life,” Bush said Monday at a conference on first ladies at Southern Methodist University in Dallas. “I hate that people think compromise is a dirty word. It’s not a dirty word.”

Actually, one very ugly primary campaign I remember was in 1980, when the former First Lady’s husband used many of these same tactics in order to make ground against Ronald Reagan.  Of course, in the end, since her husband wound up being on the ticket as Vice President, I’m sure she’s forgotten those messy details.  “Voodoo economic,” anyone?  That’s right, it was her husband who gave life to that phrase, but what he described as “Voodoo” went on to create the greatest sustained peacetime growth in the history of the country.  Of course, I’ll bet she doesn’t remember 1998, and that “Read my lips, no new taxes…” business that became the basis for her husbands defeat in 1992 after he broke that promise.

Small wonder she doesn’t like that the word “compromise” is viewed by many conservatives as a “dirty word.”  Her husband is part of the reason, because what he called “compromise” was merely surrender, on the matter of tax increases.  He signed into law a luxury tax that drove a large number of domestic boat manufacturers out of business, and it was so bad that the Democrats repealed the law under Bill Clinton because it had created such a severe effect.  What George H.W. Bush then called “compromise” was nothing less than complete capitulation on the promise he made during the 1988 campaign.

I make no secret of the fact that I believe the Bush clan is responsible for more damage to the Republican party in general, and the conservative movement in particular.  I think the elder Mrs. Bush should keep her opinions to herself where the current race is concerned, because by her own participation in it, supporting the person she does, she’s contributing to it, and it is her wing of the party(the left wing) that has caused the trouble we’re in.  It’s her candidate who has turned this into an ugly contest, and I wish to convey only one thing to Mrs. Bush:

I will never vote for any of your descendants or even your non-familial preferences.  Never.  And no, I’m not open to compromise.

Jeb Bush Pushes the Narrative of a “Party of Fear”

Friday, February 24th, 2012

Jeb Denounces Campaign of Fear

Jeb Bush is worried about the Republican Party, and The Hill is reporting on some of his thoughts on the primary campaign for the GOP Presidential nomination.  Among everything else Bush said, there were a few nuggets that should be subjected to scrutiny, as it is increasingly clear that the former Florida governor has parted company with the conservative base of the party. This is a troubling development in my book, because it raises questions about the continued narrative that Bush would be the favored outcome of a brokered convention.  He seems to think that the current crop of GOP contenders are appealing unnecessarily to fear, but I suppose if you live in the Jeb Bush bubble, there’s nothing for anybody to fear.  We’re steaming toward catastrophe, and he will have a lifeboat, but the rest of we passengers on the Titanic know that Captain Obama is steering directly for the iceberg.

“I used to be a conservative, and I watch these debates and I’m wondering — I don’t think I’ve changed, but it’s a little troubling sometimes when people are appealing to people’s fears and emotion rather than trying to get them to look over the horizon for a broader perspective, and that’s kind of where we are,” said Bush, according to Fox News. “I think it changes when we get to the general election. I hope.”

I honestly don’t know what Bush is talking about.  He is being intentionally vague, but I noticed this much: Mr. Bush isn’t a conservative, and he seems to be hinting that the party is moving to the right.  It’s not.  The party has moved slightly leftward, but the problem is that Mr. Bush has been on the leading edge of that slide, and in fact, it’s probably accurate to say he’s been helping to pull it in that direction.  I’m not one of those who bought into the myth that George W. Bush was more conservative than his father, George H.W. Bush, or that Jeb is more conservative than either of these.  You get an indication of this when you look at his remarks on education, that he made to the National Center for Policy Analysis luncheon in Dallas on Thursday, suggesting he doesn’t like the talk of eliminating the Federal Department of Education:

Mr. Bush said, “I’d like to hear more about how important it is that we create a high growth economy where there’s more prosperity and job creation, that we transform our education system.  And what generally the questions are, what do you think the federal role is?  They answer that, that’s fine.  The policy is how do you transform the education system.”

He also cautioned against moving too far to the right:

“I think it’s important for the candidates to recognize though they have to appeal to primary voters, and not turn off independent voters that will be part of a winning coalition.”

I don’t care what Mr. Bush has to say.  Let me say this one last time:  No more Bushes.  I am finished with the Bush clan, and the reason is simple:  They pose as conservatives, but they have shown they are moderates at best, and I’m simply not interested in any more of their governance.  Everything his brother George W. Bush did on the domestic front led to the awful outcome of losing the House in 2006.  You’re free to disagree, but I can state with certainty that there’s absolutely no chance I will ever vote for another member of the Bush family. I don’t believe in political dynasties in America, as a matter of principle, just as I don’t believe in monarchies.

All of this highlights a serious problem in the Republican party, that most readers here will have noticed long ago:  The moderate wing of the party continues to drag us leftward, to the extent that in some ways, many of the presumed establishment leaders of our party frequently have more in common with the Democrats.  Of course, in the end, Governor Bush went on to explain how he believes there will be no brokered convention, and that the nominee will come from those already in the race, stipulating that there’s no way he’d be the nominee by such a process. (Video courtesy CBS 11 DFW)

I don’t see anything wrong with suggesting that the Federal Department of Education should be eliminated.  I can’t find the word “education” anywhere in our Federal constitution, so I don’t know where that authority arises, or why the Federal government has become involved.  Conservatism would not have created a Federal Department of Education, but apparently Jeb Bush would have done so, and the evidence may be his own brother’s conduct in creating the No Child Left Behind program.  This serves to demonstrate that Jeb Bush is not so conservative as he thought, but the important nugget for us is to understand that fact even if Mr. Bush doesn’t.

Bush contends that the candidates may be moving “too far to the right,” but for my tastes, they could move a good deal more.  Still, I’m less interested in temporary positions that will be dropped when the candidate is chosen.  That’s what the party rightly fears from the likes of Mitt Romney, or from any more of the Bushes, because we’ve been there before.   The truth is that the party has been sliding left for a long time, and that which Jeb Bush considers “conservative” is to the left of Franklin Roosevelt in most important ways.  I realize the party will not be reformed overnight, and I know with people like Mitt Romney leading the drive, it’s likely to get a good deal worse before it gets any better, but I’m not interested in any more talk about moderation.  We’ve moderated ourselves directly off the left edge of the map.  Mr.  Bush may not be fearful, but conservatives know better, because what we fear isn’t a particular event, but the loss of our prosperity and the character of the country upon which it had been based.

Brokered Convention Hopes: Too Good To Be True?

Tuesday, February 14th, 2012

Overthinking It?

First, I’d thank Doug Brady at Conservatives4Palin for pointing out this story, because based on timing, I might have missed it otherwise.   Like everybody at C4P, he’s a great writer, so be sure to stop by there and check them out.  The Hill has an article today titled: A brokered convention: Jeb Bush vs. Sarah Palin.  His speculation centers around the idea that if Santorum and Newt remain competitive, with Ron Paul still grabbing delegates along the way, with half the delegates yielded by the early states to the National Party, there’s a very real possibility of a brokered convention so long as nobody manages to acquire the 1144 delegates needed to sew up the nomination before the convention.  It’s clear that this has been part of Romney’s worries all along, and it’s probably part of why Romney went full-bore after Gingrich in Florida. Just a few days before the Florida primary, Jeb Bush quietly suggested that he would not be making an endorsement after all, as many had expected him to endorse Romney in the days and weeks leading up to that  state’s primary.

There have been some who have been speculating that the tentative Bush family support of Romney is aimed at making Mitt Romney a placeholder for precisely such a move, whereby Jeb Bush could jump in via a brokered convention and walk away with the nomination.  While highly speculative, naturally, that remains a possibility. What Bernie Quigley’s article on The Hill proposes is that rather than just a Bush entry through a brokered convention, you might instead have Sarah Palin placed into the mix by virtue of her overwhelming support across a broad base of the party, a factor that was inescapable if you watched her speech at CPAC on Saturday.  Every one of the candidates did their best on Friday, with Newt Gingrich probably motivating the crowd most thoroughly among them, but the three rooms worth of overflow seating added for the Keynote speech on Saturday evinced a strong preference for the message of Sarah Palin.  She clearly and thoroughly rocked CPAC as I reported, and her performance there was stunning.  Quigley didn’t miss this either:

But as The Hill’s Josh Lederman reports from the CPAC conference, the former Alaska governor received far and away the most spirited and enthusiastic reception at the convention of about 10,000 conservative activists. She drew the audience to its feet more than a dozen times during her keynote address on Saturday.

“The cheers for Palin were so loud that they drowned out her remarks again and again,” he writes. “Conference organizers had to set up three overflow rooms to accommodate the throngs of supporters eager to hear her words.”

It’s self-evident: Palins performance Saturday led many to question whether the Republican Party is running the right candidate.  After all, as was apparent Saturday, none of the actual candidates at present fill an auditorium like Palin, and none of them were able to rouse their respective crowds in so engaging a manner.  Quigley’s speculation focuses on the idea that if we actually arrived at the Republican convention without having settled on a nominee, things could become exciting if Bush and Palin have their names dropped into the hat for possible selection. After all, Bush has solid support from his home state of Florida, but he’s also a Bush, which means that many simply won’t be willing to further a dynasty, and rightly so, I might add.  The other person who might get proposed would be Chris Christie, but I think Quigley’s right to point out that none would be more eligible with respect to the party faithful than Sarah Palin.

Quigley goes on to speculate about the possible combinations of nominees and their running mates, but I suspect that while entertaining and interesting, this sort of speculation is liable to give rise to false hopes about an unlikely set of events.  The conditions for this to occur would require that the delegate count would need to continue to be split up, denying Romney (or any of the others) the opportunity to obtain the needed 1144.  That may not be possible, as Romney’s advantage in cash makes him much more able to sustain a long campaign.  Still, it’s a fascinating study in “what-if” thinking, because if Quigley’s view turned out to be correct, it would certainly invigorate this race at a time when the party will need it most, particularly since this theory assumes that the convention will have commenced without a decided nominee.  The problem is that even if it went anything like what Quigley suggests, it wouldn’t be so easy as his abbreviated narrative might suggest.  Nothing is ever that easy in politics.

Remember When Jeb Bush Wanted to Abandon “Nostalgia” for Reagan?

Monday, February 13th, 2012

No Need for Nostalgia?

I try not to be unduly inflammatory when discussing other Republicans, but these remarks, as published in the Washington Times back in May 2009, serve to remind me of why I don’t think much of Jeb Bush.  Saturday, in stark contrast throughout a speech that stirred CPAC to multiple standing ovations, Sarah Palin mentioned Ronald Reagan, and alluded to him as well, but I suppose that in the minds of Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush, she’s just “living in the past,” like so many conservatives.  The thing that crosses my mind as I consider his arguments of nearly three years ago is that what he then proposed was absurd, and as time goes on, his thesis grows only more obnoxious in my view.  How can it be said that Ronald Reagan is irrelevant if he still evokes the sort of passion we saw in the crowd’s reaction to the mention of Reagan’s name throughout the CPAC convention?  Maybe his problem is that the name “Bush” does evoke similar nostalgia.

I dare say that in light of all I know, and all that has happened in this campaign season, the thesis put forward by the former Florida governor is merely evinces the complete and thorough disconnect between the grass roots and the elites in the Republican Party.  Consider what he said in May 2009, as quoted in the Washington Times:

“So our ideas need to be forward looking and relevant. I felt like there was a lot of nostalgia and the good old days in the [Republican] messaging. I mean, it’s great, but it doesn’t draw people toward your cause,” Mr. Bush said.

Here was a former governor of a pivotal state in presidential elections, whose father and brother both boasted of their ties to President Reagan as a matter of their campaigns, and yet now we should ditch all of that in favor of what?  A Bush dynasty?  Is that the legacy of the party to which we should now point with reverence?  Please.  Here is a man who tells us this as he sat alongside Mitt Romney who had been defeated only one year before, and he bothered to tell us who he thinks is no longer relevant?  Please.  Then I consider that Jeb has been out of office for a good little while himself, and then I consider that isn’t Mitt Romney’s clinging to him merely a nostalgic reach back to an earlier time?

After all, I know any number of people who wish to bring back the Reagan era in terms of our governmental affairs, and I don’t know anybody outside the GOP establishment who shares that same view of the Bush clan.  Of course, over the years, there have been any number of people in the GOP who have made statements along these lines, and Jeb Bush wouldn’t be the worst or the first.  I need only remember the man with whom he shared the stage on that day, Mitt Romney, who told us when running for Senate in 1994:

Of course, one wonders if Jeb remembers that Mitt said “I don’t want to return to Reagan/Bush.” In any case, for the GOP establishment to continue to attempt to ditch Ronald Reagan and his principles is one of the worst political moves they could make, and the sort of statements they make publicly help cement the notion that they’re not really conservatives.

There has been this sentiment withing GOP establishment circles almost before Reagan left office, and it’s based on the fact that they really didn’t like Reagan any better than the left did, but since he was overwhelmingly popular with conservatives, they decided as a matter of expedience to ride on his legacy. The problem is that they don’t believe in it, and they have a bit of a grudge too.  Those around George HW Bush believed then and now that if only the elder Bush had been elected instead of Reagan in 1980, he would enjoy that position of favor with the American people.  Naturally, that’s a preposterous proposition, and it assumes a great deal.  For instance, the elder Bush would have cautioned against the Berlin Wall speech, as delivered, and he wouldn’t have been likely to walk out on Gorbachev at Reykjavik, Iceland.

This is part of the problem a fair number of conservatives have with the Bush family:  There’s a sense that they believe it is their role to be stewards of the party, and the nation, irrespective of whether the American people agree, and they always conclude that we would be better off forgetting Reagan in favor, I suppose, of one of their family.  At this point in history, however, I think most Americans, and perhaps particularly conservatives, simply aren’t in the mood for any more from the Bush family.  While Jeb Bush may have created a cult-like following in some segments of Florida politics, that doesn’t extend to the national stage, and given the performance of his father and his brother, both social liberals when examining their respective domestic policies, it’s clear that conservatism simply isn’t in the market for more of that in its next leader.

Perhaps rather than suggesting that we should abandon the Reagan legacy, or that we should cease looking for his logical, philosophical, and political heir, the Bush family might wish to consider that they’re a bit stuck in a past when their opinions mattered to conservatives, when we still thought there had been a chance they might be more like us. After twelve years of Bush presidencies, I don’t know a single conservative, not one, who seriously suggests that Jeb Bush is the direction we should look for national leadership, although there is no shortage of Bush clan sycophants who can’t wait to push that theme.

You might wonder why I’m reaching back to 2009, nearly three years ago, to make a point about the GOP establishment and the Bush clan, but it should be obvious that after all the nation has endured, the Bushes still think they should be running things, and influencing outcomes.  It was their guy who delivered the response to Obama’s State of the Union address this year, and Romney is their guy, inasmuch as they at least prefer him to the others, but what I frankly find galling is that while I am sure there are a few hands-full of people who can’t wait to see another Bush in office, I don’t know one of them personally.  I’m in Texas, for goodness’ sake, less than thirty miles from Crawford, and the best I can get any Texan I know to say about George W. Bush is:  “Well, he was good on national defense, but he was too liberal on domestic policy.”

Such is the legacy of Bush presidencies, and it is why I look askance at the proposition that we should ditch the legacy or “nostalgia” for Ronald Reagan.  My question is ever: “To be substituted with what?”  Clearly, Jeb Bush has his own ideas, but I don’t think a large number of people outside of Florida share them.  More, I don’t believe he wants us to look all the way back to Ronald Reagan, because I think he fears how much the records of his brother and his father will suffer in the inevitable comparisons.  Modern conservatives are not really enamored with political dynasties, and I think it’s clear that the nation is suffering Bush fatigue that will not be softened much or soon. Of course, the Bush family seems to know this, as they continue to groom a younger generation for eventual political offices, like Jeb’s eldest son, George P.G. Bush.  Whether the American people will ever accept another Bush presidency is unknown, but one thing is clear:  If conservatives are polled on which President for whom they consider worthy of nostalgia, it isn’t a Bush.  As CPAC’s event demonstrated clearly last week, it’s still Ronald Reagan, who was clearly the most-referenced figure from American political history.

Brace Yourselves for the War on Gingrich

Sunday, January 22nd, 2012

Newt Gingrich: Monster?

As I mentioned earlier, it’s going to be Hell on Earth if the people of Florida choose Newt Gingrich.  The GOP insiders hate him, because they consider him a loose canon, and a man who frequently leaves their reservation. The whiff I’m getting seems to waft in from beneath the shrubs, if you know what I mean.  It’s going to be a bloodbath because the party elites simply cannot tolerate a person they do not firmly hold in control, particularly when that person has never been one of their own.  After all, you must remember who it was that engineered the ouster of Gingrich, and it wasn’t Democrats.  The Democrats were only too happy to go along, and play their role, but the people who engineered his ouster were Republicans.

The party establishment will regale you with the tale of Republican electoral woe that is Newt Gingrich, because, they will tell you, he’s got all these “goofy big ideas,” and “you never know what Newt will say next,” but even more than this, there is something else: Gingrich has not so many friends in media.  There are many burned bridges, and the entire media establishment, left and right, is gunning for him. They know that they will have difficulty finding an inside track into a Gingrich administration, and that there will be a restriction of access to insider information.  This is a serious threat to the media, because it will put Gingrich in the position of deciding which media outlets he will deal with.

Of course, you’re going to hear that Newt is a big government guy, and it is true and honest to say he has had his flirtations with the statist reflexes I abhor, but he also has a record that is at least plausibly anti-establishment, and it’s important to note that he did push hard for government spending cuts that led to a political defeat at the hands of media-connected and favored Bill Clinton.  It’s true that he previously supported some bad ideas, but at least he has reformed and admitted that he’s learned.

The other big issue will be the matter of “electability,” and you will be told Gingrich cannot be elected despite the fact that he just managed a landslide across all but five South Carolina counties.  That’s one hell of a win for a guy you will be told is “unelectable.”  This is such a silly claim, but that won’t stop them from advancing it.  It will be repeated that Romney, the man who could not beat the man who could not beat Obama in 2008, is the most electable candidate, and that there’s every reason under the sun to vote for him if only to not have Gingrich.

Florida is going to be tight, but the national polls are reflecting the fact that Romney is collapsing, and Newt is surging.  The clue that this may be the case is the fact that Jeb Bush has decided that rather than endorse Romney, as it had been reported previously that the former Florida governor would do, instead it is being reported that Bush is now going to remain neutral. That indicates that Bush may be reading the Florida tea leaves, and protecting the brand of his endorsement by withholding it where he sees it might go down with a loser. Of course, there could be other reasons.

In any case, I suspect Romney will spend money in Florida that will make it tough for Gingrich to compete in media buys, as he has more cash available than any, but Gingrich may see an influx of cash now that he’s won, and in convincing fashion.  You can count on Romney trying to overpower Gingrich in Florida, but as we have seen in South Carolina, money alone does not always win, and even an effectively organized campaign is no guarantee of success.

This is going to be brutal, and there’s no limit to the things that will be said about Gingrich.  Don’t be surprised when it turns out that he’s a Martian with antennae concealed behind his ears, or as a blood-sucking vampire who will torment your family whenever the sun goes down.  They have no choice but to make this case, because in their view, Gingrich simply isn’t acceptable.  Romney will not be denied easily, but if he is denied in Florida, expect the GOP establishment to effectively bench him, and replace him with somebody else altogether.