Posts Tagged ‘Conservatives’

Beating Back the Progressive Republicans With Their Own Bludgeon

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

A New Kind of Tea Party

There has been a great deal of discussion over the last week concerning the remarks made by Governor Palin in answer to a question from Josh Painter, regarding the possibility of a new party to supplant the GOP.  As Steve Deace covers in his own cost/benefit analysis of the idea, there are a few practical considerations to leaving the Republican Party that make for a gargantuan series of problems, including effectively surrendering the whole governance of the country to the Democrats in the short run.  As Deace also explains quite effectively,  if we don’t change the direction of the country, it won’t matter much because with the current supine and tepid leadership of the GOP, we have arrived already in that effective condition.  What opposition to the Obama agenda do conservatives see from the GOP?  There has been little evident among establishment Republicans, often behaving more like collaborators than opponents.  This conflict has been a long time in coming, but I believe we must face it squarely or surrender to  statism.  If we are going to conquer our political foes, we must clean up our own house, refusing to abandon it to the slumlords of the GOP establishment.  For once, let us do the unexpected, turning tables on them: We must build a party within the Party as the means by which to take it over, but this time, for keeps.

Ever since the days of the progressive era, there has been a class of Republicans the members of which don’t hold republican ideals.  Their manner of coming to dominate the GOP was a form of stealthy infiltration and guile.  They looked like conservatives, and they used many of the appropriate conservative buzzwords in speeches and articles, so that it was somewhat harder to recognize them.  They gained influence by building their own parallel mechanisms within the Republican Party, all aimed at supplanting conservative ideology and philosophy with their own.  Cronies were inserted all up and down the Republican totem pole, giving them vast power with which to override any conservative sentiments.  Time after time, they managed to keep conservatives out, and the few times they failed, they almost always managed to sabotage them somehow.  When Barry Goldwater(R-AZ) sought the Republican nomination in 1964, they submarined him, the Rockefeller Republicans withdrawing virtually all support, barely managing to pretend they would support Barry Goldwater.

In 1980, the same crowd finally lost another round of the RNC nomination fight, having nearly lost it four years earlier.  Ronald Reagan wasn’t getting much establishment support early on, even immediately after the nominating convention, but when they saw that the train was going to leave the station without them, they hurried to climb aboard, pointing to moderate VP choice George HW Bush as the thing that made Reagan “tolerable.”  The truth is, they saw Reagan as a plausible vehicle to install their own people at the highest levels of government, for later use, but also as a way to confound and steer the Reagan administration.  America would have its first conservative president in generations, but the establishment Republicans were going to use every bit of influence they could to turn it to their advantage. They did this as they always do, establishing their own chain of cooperation and control within the Reagan administration.  The amnesty bill of 1986 was probably the greatest evidence of their scheming, a bill that contributed to the loss of Republican control of the Senate that year by depressing conservative turnout, much as what happened in 2006 when Republicans lost the Congress after that year’s amnesty attempt.

We conservatives should take a few lessons from this, and I believe if we’re attentive to the details, it will be easier to understand what must be done and how we must do it.  Others have written extensively about how to carry out a virtual overthrow inside the Republican Party, so I won’t expend too much of your time on that.  Instead, I wish to talk about the character of what you must do.  What we need is a party within the party.  Rather than trying to become our own free-standing party, a solution we already know will take many years and even decades to complete, let us create a subset of the Republican Party and we can call it the “Freedom Faction.” Freedom of association being what it is, I’m sure the Republican Party won’t mind if some of its members are simultaneously members of another group over which they have no control.  Well, perhaps they will not mind too much, but if they do, to devil with them. They’re who we mean to defeat firstly.

This is what the Tea Parties has been, with the singular distinction that they were not officially a subset of the Republican Party, and did not seek to be.  This has permitted them independence of action and advocacy, which is a critical thing common-sense conservatives need, but it is also a detriment inasmuch as it is more difficult for them to guide the direction of the GOP.  In fact, most of us who are most desperately frustrated with the direction of the Republican Party are precisely the Tea Party folk, meaning many can merely adopt the “Freedom Faction” and move in.  My point is that despite all that has been said about the Tea Party, many of them soldier on in spite of the way they’ve been treated by Democrats and Republicans alike.  The left likes to say that “one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter,” so since they consider Tea Partiers “terrorists,” let us instead be freedom-fighters.  That’s what we really are, and that’s what our movement must embrace. We’re small “r” republicans who constitute the Freedom Faction of the Republican Party.  It was always our party, despite the RINOs and the establishment hacks, and it can still be our party if we simply act to take it back, but to do so, we’ll need to build a party within the party so that as insurgents, we can place our own in the places of influence.

The Republican Party is willing to except Democrats in open primary states to help them select establishment nominees, and since they haven’t demonstrated the will to stop that, I doubt they’ll muster the sentiment to stop us, although we do pose the larger threat.  What do my small “r” republican readers think?  Is it time to build our Freedom Faction and use it as a platform from which to recapture our party? It will take discipline, teamwork, and a broad coordination, all things of which we are capable, but which are are somewhat alien to our general dispositions. We are demonstrably an independent lot.  The establishment will know something is afoot, and they will try to thwart us, but we have an advantage demonstrated by Romney’s miserable election day ground-game: We’re more agile and fluid, while they are grinding cogs in a hopelessly malfunctioning machine.  They won’t want us.  They don’t have a choice.  Will they show their true colors and banish us from the party?  Not likely. Will they try to control, infiltrate and sabotage us?  Absolutely.  Will they send Karl “Tokyo” Rove to attack us? I can’t wait.

If a party is free to makes its own rules, it seems to me that a party within a party should be able to do the same.  The establishment Republicans never seemed to have a problem setting up rules and procedures to their liking, or rigging conventions four years in advance.  Of course, I’ve never built a party before, though I may have a few useful ideas. Nevertheless, to bring this to fruition will take more than one anonymous curmudgeon on a blog site.  If you’re interested, let me know at freedom-faction@markamerica.com. I’d love to read your ideas! Some of you have decades of experience in local political activism, so that your wisdom will be needed by younger activists who wish to establish a Freedom Faction.  If we hope to take control of  the Republican Party, while avoiding the daunting problems of simply abandoning it for a new party, I think building an explicit faction within the party is a great idea.  After all, that’s what the establishment, RINO Republicans have been doing to us for ages.  Is it not time to turn tables?

The DC insiders say the Tea Party is dead, but I don’t believe that.  I think they’re about to run into a “Tea Party” the  likes of which they’ve never imagined, and it may just be out to clean up Washington DC with a vengeance.

How Much Did Establishment Republicans Know About IRS Targeting?

Friday, June 28th, 2013

Remember This?

Given their clear penchant for betraying conservatives, and given the half-fast approach they have taken to the investigation into the IRS Tea Party-targeting scandal, and also considering the apparent reluctance of some House Republicans to seek a special prosecutor on this and related matters, I have begun to wonder if perhaps our Republicans in Washington DC are “un-indicted co-conspirators” in this IRS scandal too.  We already know that Republicans have been aware since early 2012, and perhaps a good deal sooner, but one must wonder how much they knew.  They have happily trotted-out a number of requests sent to the IRS by Democrats asking for audits of Tea Party groups, but I wonder what would be revealed if IRS correspondence with Republican members is scrutinized at some future date.  Would we find that Republicans, particularly of the Tea Party-averse establishment stripe would suddenly materialize before us?  Back in July 2011, I may have been more right than I had dared to suspect when I wrote about the bi-partisan war against the Tea Party.

It became fairly clear in the aftermath of the 2010 mid-term elections that something wasn’t quite right.  In the Spring and Summer of 2011, Tea Parties began to raise Hell even with wavering Republican members over the debt ceiling issue.  It was at this time that the split between the conservative base of the party and the establishment intelligentsia began to widen.  This is purely speculative, but I wonder if we shouldn’t insist on finding out who on the Republican side might have had a hand in the effort to quell the Tea Party.  After all, among Washington DC and establishment Republicans, there is no feeling of unity with the Tea Party, in purpose or motive, and in many cases, it would be fair to say there is some substantial enmity.   Why didn’t Darrell Issa(R-CA) throw up some sort of red flag in 2012 when the Treasury Department informed him of the problem in 2012?  More, as it turns out, Issa specifically requested that the audit be limited to IRS groups, even though there were others acknowledged to be on the so-called BOLO(Be On Look-Out) lists.  Why narrow it?  Could it be that there was far more targeting going on, perhaps directed from both sides of the aisle?

Again, while I have no direct evidence to support such an allegation, we do know with certainty that the initial foray by the House into the matter of Tea Party-targeting by the IRS was tepid, and slow in coming.  We also know there exists scant love for Tea Partiers on Capitol Hill.  Could it be that these same treacherous Republicans who have conspired to destroy the country by amnesty for illegal immigrants might also have taken part in this effort at targeting the Tea Party?  Time will tell, but if you assume the GOP establishment in Washington DC wouldn’t resort to such tactics, you may be in for a shock.  I surely hope that a special prosecutor is brought on, despite the fact that I have my doubts about any willingness on the part of the Obama administration or the Holder Justice Department to diligently investigate anything, but because I know that is and has been impossible to trust Beltway Republicans, I’d just as soon learn the truth if they had a hand in it.  Some may complain that I don’t have anything like a bullet-proof case, but the problem is that we conservatives can no longer trust the GOP in Washington, so we mustn’t take anything for granted.

To Hell With the Republicans, We Must Save the Country

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Let it go…

It’s time for conservatives to realize that the Republican party doesn’t want us, surely won’t serve our interests, and will not fight to restore our constitutional, representative republic.  The Republican Party is a walking corpse, a zombie that feels nothing, knows nothing, except to feed like their cohorts in the Democrat Party.  One person I chatted with on Twitter made the point that “at least we didn’t get Pelosi as Speaker,” but I wonder if that’s not a hollow victory.  In real terms, what would have been the difference?  I have had some difficulty in distinguishing between the two parties of late, and I’m not sure we’d be any worse off with a devil in the open uniform of Hell than a demon in Republican guise.  After all, you wouldn’t be tricked by Pelosi, but by Boehner, you might well be.  I have thought for some months that the Republican Party had become a useless hulk, from its insipid primary process, to its disgusting anti-conservative convention, and on through an election wherein conservative principles were often implied, but never stated, and certainly never adopted.  No, I won’t do it any longer.  As Alan Keyes details in other words, the GOP has nothing to offer but slavery to a different master. If this country is to be saved, we will need to do it without them, around them, and over them, but we can no longer rely upon them.

In that vein, I am looking for a few good conservatives.  Perhaps more than a few.  It’s time to discover if we can begin to put together a party that will displace the Republicans as the Republicans displaced the Whigs.  It’s been 150 years since that happened, and I think it’s time to start over again.  I certainly can’t do it alone, but if you’re interested, let me know, and we’ll get started.  We have nothing more to lose but the rapidly disappearing shreds of our liberties, and left to Boehner and his Crybaby Caucus, we won’t retain that for long.  Today in making his re-election speech as Speaker, he said that members should focus not on the demands of their constituents, but instead the demands of the times.  I want that to sink in, and I want you to hear the ugly meaning implicit in that declaration.  He’s not interested in what you think, what you believe, or what some scrap of decaying parchment may say.  No, he is going to be a “man for the times,” and he expects his members to do so also. In short, the only rule Boehner will abide is expedience.

The irony is that our crisis is as timeless as human nature.  It’s born of all the same vices, but rather than oppose them, he and his party have become the exemplars and enablers of them.  It’s time for us to stop talking about it and begin to get on with it.  If the longest journey is birthed in a single step, we must commence or never depart.  If you’re satisfied to watch it all cave in around you, with your liberties dying by the truckload, join Boehner and the Crybaby Caucus. As Ambassador Keyes writes in his excellent piece:

“The GOP has become the political vehicle in which this power-mad elitist clique gathers the conservatives who are willing to be used by the elitist faction to legitimize the political sham behind which they mean to sell out and shutter liberty’s house once and for all. Then, like disposable cameras, the duped conservatives will be thrown away, along with the liberty they profess to cherish, yet fear truly to serve. But for this faithless fear, they would get out of the GOP now. It’s late, but not too late.”

Shall we begin, or shall we whine about it?  Shall we recognize the truth of Keyes’ reproach?  It is not yet too late, but it is very late.  Short of getting out now, to return to our principles outside the bonds of that broken party, conservatives will perish for lack of the courage to walk away.  It really is about the choice we face between cowardice and courage.   If conservatives permit themselves to linger in confused, half-evasive hopefulness that the GOP will somehow regain its way, we are already lost. They will not, and we cannot force them to it by any means.  No, it’s time to wave goodbye to the Republicans as they careen toward the ash-heap of history, our only role in their midst  remaining to deliver to them the final shove.

 

This Primary Race Isn’t Over

Monday, April 2nd, 2012

Time to Stand

I wish to address this to discouraged conservatives, because I am among your number, and because I don’t think we’re done quite yet, and I don’t think we must settle for Mitt Romney.  Some of you will have rationalized this already on the basis that his alleged “inevitability” seems to be on the brink of becoming true, but let’s not set aside our beliefs in favor of going along to get along.  If Mitt Romney is nominated and loses in the fall, I don’t want it to be for lack of effort to get a better candidate to stand for the general election.  The GOP establishment and nearly the entirety of the media is telling us this is a fait accompli, but I must tell you that I don’t believe there’s yet any reason to accept that this race is over.

Part of the approach of the establishment has been to convince we conservatives that it’s all done, and that but for the formalities involved in the last three months of voting, we have nothing to gain and no chance to win for any candidate but Mitt Romney.  Let me state it bluntly:  This is a lie and its purveyors know it, but they’re hoping you’ll go along with the script.  Nearly seventy percent of self-described Republicans do not believe Mitt Romney can win, and further would like to see some other candidate.

It is for this reason that I believe the real fight against Barack Obama must be now, in the primary season when we choose our candidate.  Look at the turn-out.  Do you know why it’s down?  I can tell you, and it’s simple:  The conservative base of the party has bought the sorry notion that Romney will be our nominee because the fix is in and there’s nothing we can do about it.  The fix certainly seems to be in, but in the end, for it to succeed still requires your silence.  If you’ve supported any of the other three remaining candidates, get off your duff on your state’s primary or caucus day, and go support your candidate.

The establishment always wants you to believe your vote doesn’t matter in this process.  That’s how they manage to dominate the process in election seasons one after the next.  We conservatives seem to find our voices in off-year Congressional elections, if at all, because while the establishment has their favorites too, they campaign is much more diffuse, making it harder for them in many respects to dominate the process. What we conservatives need now to do is to remain standing firm on our principles, and show up and motivate others to show up in the name of the values we hold dear.

Nobody ever promised it would be easy to overcome the Republican establishment, and nobody should suspect they will ever  move aside.  Some have talked about third-party candidacies as a way to get around the “inevitable candidate,” but I would suggest to you that the only way for conservatives to prevail is either to reclaim the Republican party, or make it moot.  The latter holds no short-run promise, but neither does the former.  The fact is that it’s been more than 150 years since we’ve seen one party abandoned entirely to make room for another.  That was the birth of the Republican party, and it displaced the Whigs.  The Whigs had become the establishment party of its day, the functional equivalent of today’s GOP, and like today’s GOP, they didn’t go quietly or easily until the base of the party walked away.

That’s not a process that can occur in six months, and maybe not four years, but it is something we must soon consider, or find ourselves back in this same position again, four years hence, with untold damage having been done to our country if Obama remains and with four years of uncorrected damage if the establishment’s candidate somehow manages to win this November.  Our best path still remains to take the GOP over and to do that, we’ll need to stop Romney, either by defeating him outright, or by denying him a pre-convention victory. In a numerical sense, the brokered convention is still a very real possibility and offers us our best chance.

We won’t attain either if we permit the establishment’s talking points to go unchallenged, both in the media, and at the polls.  We need to stand up now more than ever and be counted or admit we entered a game unprepared for the severity of the battle.  I would hate to think that this had been true, given all the efforts of so many fine conservatives, who have given it their all despite the odds against them.  The truth is they’ve been outnumbered because we’ve not rallied our base, having let the establishment poison the well from which we must draw forth more conservatives to stand on the line beside us.

This should be the primary season in which we conservatives make a stand against the GOP establishment.  They still believe they own the party, but the truth is that when we’re motivated, we outnumber them by a wide margin.  Their tactic of discouraging conservatives will succeed only if we happen to permit it.  I’m asking you to take that stand now, because the situation finally demands it.  We won’t know what the Supreme Court has decided about Obama-care for another three months, but we must behave as though they will uphold it in order to remember why we must fight this issue on the floor of Congress, but also in our nominating convention in August.  Let’s no surrender just yet.  Too many states have yet to voice their preference, and there is nothing that says we can’t force the issue.  It’s time for conservatives to stand, because this race isn’t over unless we surrender.

The Real Woman-Haters Aren’t Conservatives

Thursday, March 8th, 2012

Lefties Need Not Apply?

Over the last week, we have been regaled with the notions of respect that Democrats have for women, and the love and compassion liberals always show them, while simultaneously being told that those mean old white guys in the GOP simply don’t understand women, their issues, or why misogyny of the sort they allege Rush Limbaugh displayed ought to be considered a generalization about all conservatives.  Of course, while offering all of this, they conveniently ignore a few things that might be relevant to this argument.  For one thing, they ignore all the leftist men who have done much more horrendous things to women in recent memory.  For another, it’s clear that despite all their posturing, the independence of women is not their actual concern.

Do we hear about how Anthony Weiner treated women on Twitter or his own wife?  No.  Do we here about John Edwards and how he treated both his wife and his mistress?  No.  Do they mention Bill Maher’s disgusting remarks about Sarah Palin?  No.  Do they bother to say a word about how Bill Clinton treated a long line of women?  No.  Do they say anything in defense of the women abused by leftist men in ways far worse than anything Rush Limbaugh ever said?  Hell no.  Teddy Kennedy? No way.  Chris Dodd? Not a chance.  Worse, when any of these liberal men came under fire, the general theme was to attack the women and question their credibility, and attack their character, in a bid to portray them as “gold-diggers” or, yes, “sluts.”  Where were the “slut-walks” in protest of all of this, then?

What you quickly realize when evaluating all of this is that while Rush Limbaugh seems genuinely sorry about his remarks, his remorse is frankly unmatched by the others mentioned above.  More, it’s astonishing how few feminist activists went after any of those mentioned above, but who can’t wait to slam Rush Limbaugh.  There is one reason for this disparity in treatment, and the answer is as plain as the nose on your face:  It’s all about politics.  These feminists who drop their professed principles when it is a liberal man involved are simply guilty of renting themselves out for the sake of ideological brothers.  There’s a name for that, but at the moment, it escapes me…

You see, the problem is that these alleged proponents of the rights of women quickly forget all of that when they think the source from which their bread is buttered may be under threat.  At that point, all of their haughty talk about their ideals and their principles most frequently goes out the window.  What you realize is that they’re really all about one thing, and nothing more: Abortion.  Anthony Weiner, and Bill Clinton, as well as Bill Maher, are rabidly pro-abortion.  Rush Limbaugh has two strikes against him, and they are that he is conservative, and he is pro-life.  This makes him a target for them from the outset, and his pro-life views have always made him a target.

Limbaugh has long poked the feminist front, casting out terms like “femi-nazi” to describe the most virulent of the post-modern feminist movement.  He’s right about them, too, and that’s the reason he’s been the object of their scorn since he first took to the airwaves.  They monitor him closely for any indication that they will have a new excuse to renew the vigor of their war against him.  The truth is that Limbaugh has a good deal of fun at the radical feminists’ expense, and truth be told, I think that’s what he set out to do in this case.  Clearly, he didn’t think it through, and said two words that have begotten all of his current troubles.

Now comes the story that Bill Maher has effectively donated one million dollars to an Obama SuperPAC.  This is the same sick man who flung the “t-word” at Sarah Palin.  Shouldn’t Obama urge the SuperPAC to return the funds, not wanting to take cash from a misogynist like Maher?  Of course, this dual standard is evident most of the time.  Occasionally, as in Maher’s case, the National Organization for Women will make some token statement about the leftist, but that’s where it generally ends.  There are no boycotts, and no demands to get the offender off the air, or any of those things, and let’s be honest:  The things Maher has said about some women make anything Limbaugh said seem quite tame by comparison.

The left claims to care about women and their issues, but the truth of the matter is that rather than seek independence for women, what the radical left seeks is to simply change upon whom it is that some women are dependent.  They seek to make government into a sugar-daddy for dependency, as a way to usher more women into the hands of socialism.  This is part of the left’s desire to re-order society in their Utopian vision, where women will be reduced to walking bearers of babies who will then become the next generation of worker-bees in the hive that is their model society.  As they posture in false bravado on behalf of Sandra Fluke, let’s not forget what these people really seek and who it is that they will ultimately harm most deeply if they have their way, and it’s not men.

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Drudge Distort: What Will Be the Reaction to the War on Gingrich?

Thursday, January 26th, 2012

The State of Dis-Union

Matt Drudge is making a lot of hay over Gingrich’s alleged anti-Reagan speech, that we know know wasn’t, and he’s clearly sympathetic to Mitt Romney, but why is it that conservatives are reacting badly against this?  The answer is simpler than most will admit, and it comes down to just two things.  First, the conservative base and Tea Party folk in the GOP are beginning to doubt media altogether, and they’re seeing through the obvious anti-Gingrich bias, but more importantly, I believe it comes down to this more than any other thing:  They are sick to death of the media and the GOP establishment selecting the Republican nominee.  I think this explains everything you need to know why conservatives and Tea Party folk look at these exaggerated, out-of-context headlines and stories, and just say “No.”

If you wish to know how dishonest Matt Drudge has been on this story, up in the top-left of his site all morning Thursday were three stories agitating against Gingrich’s alleged anti-Reagan sentiments, but the third of these, from 1988, has already been debunked. Why didn’t Drudge take this down?  No, he waited until it was thoroughly debunked, but the damage of the lie was done. He left it up in exactly the same way he allowed his anti-Newt stories of last Wednesday and Thursday to remain up most of the day, despite the fact that it had been revealed most were over-hyped re-hashings of old stories.  Drudge has relocated this a bit, but this is how it appeared just more than an hour ago:

NEWT FLASHBACK 1983: REAGAN RESPONSIBLE FOR NATIONAL ‘DECAY’…
NEWT 1986: ‘The Reagan administration has failed, is failing…
NEWT 1988: ‘If Bush runs as continuation of Reaganism he will lose’…
VIDEO…

How do I know this is dishonest?  The link to the video is a Youtube link to a highly edited clip, taken out of context, and therefore made to look as though Gingrich was anti-Reagan.  When you watch the whole video selection, in its complete context, the lie becomes obvious.  Drudge is doing this purposefully, and if he will lie to you in this instance, there is no doubt he will lie to you in others.  I don’t really care what his motive is, or why he’s doing it.  This moved his recent activities from “suspicious” in my view, to reprehensible.  Thanks to Dan Riehl for exposing the truth, and providing a link to the original, full-length C-SPAN video, with the interesting portion beginning around 2:30.

Limbaugh talked about this extensively on his show today, saying the following, among other things:

“It was everything you wish was happening today, is all I can tell you. It was everything you wish the entire Republican Party was doing today. It was led by Newt Gingrich, and what was he doing? He was defending Reagan. Now, all of this stuff that hit Drudge and everywhere else last night about Newt telling everybody the country goes to hell if they continue Reaganism and that Newt insulted Reagan and that the Reagan administration failed and Iran-Contra… I never heard any of that. I started doing this particular program in Sacramento in 1984, and I was just as immersed in national politics then as I am now, and I could honestly tell you this.”

There’s a reason Rush can’t remember it the way Drudge is broadcasting it:  It didn’t happen the way Drudge’s site would lead you to believe, and this is simply a desperately disgusting attempt to do to Gingrich what has been done to others with the distortions.  A year ago, if you had told me Drudge did things this way, I would have scoffed at it, but now…

I’m clearly coming to see Drudge in a different light.

I realize that many people have many reasons to be unhappy with Gingrich on one issue or another, and I’m inclined to be annoyed with him too, but this has gone too far, in my view, and I’m not inclined to suffer it any longer.  If Drudge is going to be a media participant in this smear-fest, let him, but I won’t be adding much to his page-view statistics any longer.

The simple truth is that American conservatives and Tea Party folk are tired of the media and the GOP establishment leading them around by the noses.  It’s not that people are so infatuated with Gingrich so much as it is that they are disgusted by these tactics, and they’re simply disenchanted with the GOP establishment controlling the outcome of our primary system.

Why Conservatives Don’t Trust Romney

Sunday, January 8th, 2012

Mandate Mitt

This has been the question that has haunted Romney since he began his half-decade campaign for the Presidency:  Why don’t conservatives trust him?  Why don’t they support him with wild-eyed abandon? One of the fundamental problems is Romney-care, but more than this alone, there is a general sense among conservatives that Mitt Romney isn’t one of us.  He doesn’t view the world or the role of government in the same way as conservatives do, and inasmuch as this may be true, he won’t be willing to reverse any of the socialist programs with which we’ve been saddled.  More, it is his indefinite pronouncements on the direction of our country that give conservatives reason to worry: He tells us we’re heading in the “wrong direction,” but without ever telling us what is concretely the “right direction,”  except in similarly vague terms.  Conservatives have heard all of this before, and we’re not enamored with where it has landed us.  Let us consider the issue of Romney-care, and what it may tell us about what drives Romney’s thinking.

Romney-care is the Massachusetts health-care program that was begun under his leadership.  He stands by that program, arguing that states may do such things as impose mandates on their citizens, but the federal government may not, and that this nuanced difference is his escape clause.  Of course, the first printing of his book told readers it was a program with national potential, but that line has been removed from subsequent printings.  Let us first assume he is correct (though he isn’t,)  and that the concept of federalism lets him off the hook, and that on such a basis, it was permissible for the state of Massachusetts to do a thing the Federal government may not.  That a thing may be done still doesn’t mean that it should be done.  What the Massachusetts health-care program’s mandate and his willingness to enact it tells us about Mitt Romney is that at some fundamental level, he doesn’t believe individuals should have sovereignty over their choices, their lives, and their bodies, even as at the same time, he held the view that women should be able to abort their children as a matter of free choice.

If you consider this contradiction, it is astonishing at first blush, and you  might wonder how he reconciled the two views.  The simple answer could be that he didn’t, but instead treated them as different matters in different contexts, however this is only possible if he has no principles whatever.  The other answer for this contradiction is that you and I are evaluating this through our lenses, but not through his.  What could make the difference in this question is that while you and I consider it under the microscope of individual liberties and rights, Mitt Romney scrutinized it under a very different lens with entirely different filters:  He viewed it as a question of what was in the best interests of the state.  Only under that sort of lens can this contradiction be erased.  From the point of view of the statist, the government has a vested interest in controlling health-care costs irrespective of individual wishes, desires or needs; likewise in the interest of the state, tamping down reproduction by any means is a good method to restrain all costs across the board.

Once you have been equipped with this alternate lens, Romney’s apparent contradiction on the matter is eliminated, but in its place is something remarkably worse: An abiding consistency to serve the interest of the state over individual rights.  In Mitt Romney’s view, the rights of individuals are fine unless and until they come into conflict with the state, at which time he defers to the governmental interest.  This is the precise problem with Romney’s Massachusetts health-care reforms, in precisely the same way as it is the problem with Obama’s.

Of course, all of that is only valid insofar as we accept his argument about federalism, and that Massachusetts has the right to violate the individual liberties of residents to a greater degree than does the Federal government.  In confronting Obamacare, various constitutional scholars are quick to point out that there is no precedent for the Federal government requiring the purchase of anything.  Romney’s crowd adheres to that position, and instead points to various states’ mandates to purchase auto insurance.  This too is a lie, because it ignores something fundamental about the nature of the car insurance policy that the state requires you to purchase:  They can only require that you purchase liability insurance.  They cannot compel you to purchase collision, comprehensive, or any other form.  Instead, all they can compel you to do is buy insurance to cover the damage or loss you and your car may impose upon others.  They can do nothing to compel you to insure against your own losses.

This is precisely what a health-care mandate requires you to do, and it’s the reason that even the phony argument about federalism falls by the wayside in this instance.  What Romney’s Massachusetts health-care plan does is to compel individuals to insure their health on the premise that the state should avoid the costs, but the problem with this is that a state’s health-care spending is entirely permissive:  There is no requirement under law or logic that a state pick up any health-care costs.  Thus is it that in order to justify the necessity of the mandate, the state must first exceed its proper role and function, and make of it a mandatory role.  This too is a consistent position of the statist, and it’s why on the issue of Romney-care, no actual conservative can support Romney in good conscience:  His is a view of individuals ultimately in compulsory service to the interests of the state.  Just like Obama.

Translating this view across every conceivable issue, what conservatives can very easily imagine is another president who casts the long shadow of the state across every aspect of their lives.  This is precisely what we do not need, and yet this is who the party establishment and the media now offer up as our “inevitable nominee.”  Conservatives are right to distrust anybody who comes to the podium and offers vague answers about the direction of the country, because what Romney dare not reveal to you is the set of lenses through which he views our problems.  Romney doesn’t see big, socialistic government as a problem, but instead only quibbles about this particular implementation of it.  That is the fact with which conservatives are now confronted, and it’s no secret that they’re almost uniformly unhappy about it, although neither do they possess a single alternate solution.  Romney-care is just one issue among many in which Romney can be seen as little different from Obama, but his view on TARP and other matters is not dis-similar either.  In the end, he said of the various bail-outs undertaken by Bush and Obama that they were necessities.  For whom?  The answer they always disguise is the same:  These actions were in the “interests of the state.”

If you want to know why conservatives don’t trust Romney, you really need look no further than this.  His reflex to accommodate the interests of the government at the expense of individuals lies at the heart of the matter. In this respect, he’s no different from every other “big government liberal” who are really just socialists, but in less “divisive”  language. Statism is a disease that grows like a cancer in the hearts of lesser men, because they do not trust to others the proper self-governance even of their own lives.  If we want a candidate who will meddle in our lives, and ignore individual liberties in the interests of the state, we might just as well re-elect Obama, because after all, if the interests of the state are to be the supreme yardstick in all cases, then all we need do is shut up and pay for it.  This is why conservatives don’t trust Mitt Romney, and it’s why we ought not nominate him, much less elect him.

The Politics of False Unity

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

So They Say...

An idea I’ve begun to hear and read with greater frequency is that conservatives must abandon the divide between they and the GOP establishment, in the name of “saving the country from Barack Obama.”  It’s no secret that this is being pushed by the Romney camp, and by the establishment media, but I reject it outright.  The divide between conservatives and the party establishment is real, and it’s not going to be patched-over by a lot of happy talk about unity.  The problem is that while the establishment denies its own existence, those who comprise it are continuing a campaign aimed at convincing conservatives they’re merely being stubborn at the expense of victory.  What conservatives know is that you can’t build a victory on the foundation of a false unity that paints over meaningful divisions in the party, and while it is true that the conservatives could surrender for the sake of expedience, they don’t seem inclined to do so in this election cycle.

If we are to accept the argument of the establishment, nothing is more important than to defeat Barack Obama, but the problem is that the tool they’ve selected for this chore isn’t up to the job.  Their strategy has been simple: Divide the conservative base among a number of somewhat more conservative candidates, and then knock them off one at a time, always leaving just enough of a residual support to ensure the division among conservatives.  The strategy seems to be working, and what it has revealed is that the party establishment merely used Tea Party support in 2010 to make gains for the Republicans they really hadn’t deserved.  With the absence of Palin from the field, the Tea Party is either divided or at least uncommitted.

This false unity being proposed by the establishment is the siren’s song they offer as consolation: “Come join with Mitt Romney, and together we’ll defeat Obama in November.”  Poppycock.  This sort of vacuous sloganeering is what has produced such thorough losers as John McCain and Bob Dole.   The very notion that Mitt Romney can fire up a conservative base and Tea Party support in any way at all is preposterous.  Obama won’t be beaten by merely running against him.  The opponent who faces Obama will need to present a clear alternative, and Romney simply is merely a less virulent form of statist.   There’s not much to differentiate, in truth, because what Romney has done is no better than Obama in terms of policy.  Tallying the scorecard, the differences are so few and so superficial that I can already see the race-card play from here:  “Admit it,” they’ll say, “the only reason you oppose Obama is that’s he’s a black man.“  You’ve already seen this card played once before, by Glenn Beck (of all people) against Newt Gingrich, but if Beck will use such a rationale against Gingrich, you can bet the Democrats will use it against Mitt Romney, and frankly, they wouldn’t need to embellish much on Romney’s record to make the policy-based end of the argument.

The main reason they will use this false idea of party unity is the same reason they’re scrambling even now to undo the mess they’ve made in Virginia:  The danger is that given the only choices of Mitt Romney and Ron Paul, you might pick Ron Paul if your contempt for the establishment is as great as they fear.  While I’m not a fan of Ron Paul, I find it almost comical that after putting the Virginia GOP in this position, first they responded with a requirement for loyalty oaths, and then when that was scorned almost universally, they trotted out their AG to propose changes that would permit others on the ballot.  The problem had been, of course, that they didn’t see Ron Paul as a real threat, so they were happy when only he and Romney made it onto the ballot.  They thought it guaranteed a Romney win, until they thought about it, or were reminded of the other possibilities in a two candidate race in which Democrats would be unencumbered by their own primary and thus free to participate, and dare I say “meddle” in the GOP primary.  Up until that moment, “rules were rules,” but when they realized what might happen, the “rules” were no longer so  important.

The real problem for the Republican Party lies in the fact that they have so thoroughly compartmentalized their base that they have made it difficult for them to really unify around a moderate-to-liberal establishment candidate.  The pro-life voters won’t go with Romney very easily, despite his latter-day renunciation of his earlier and long-held pro-abortion position.  Fiscal conservatives will not easily go along with him because he’s a big-spender and he is of the Northeastern blue-blood crowd which likes its inflationary monetary policy and its deficit spending.  He won’t do well with those who dislike the welfare state or the encroachments on individual liberty, because they see in him all of those things in the form of Romneycare to which they are fervently opposed.  Cultural conservatives won’t support him easily because of his actions as Governor of Massachusetts on gay marriage.  Tea Party types will look at him as just another all-around part of the larger problem, and those who are generally suspicious of big government will not have failed to note how indecisive he’s been, or how much he’s been in favor of secrecy and concealing his official records.  His past claim to be a social moderate and a fiscal conservative is a contradiction in terms.  One can’t be both, simultaneously.

This is why they must create this false idea of unity.  Mitt Romney has nothing else to offer, except the claim that “he can beat Obama.”  It is for all the reasons above that I know he is not likely to win, but I also don’t mind saying that if he does manage to win, he’ll have done so without my support.  People don’t want a leader who follows, but that’s all Mitt ever really does.  He’s simply not a conservative, and that’s not good enough for me. I don’t buy into contrived unity, because I know where it inevitably leads:  Betrayal, defeat, and disaster.  In truth, but without respect to calls for a false sense of unity, these are all that Mitt Romney has to offer, and I’m not interested.

The Candidate We Want But Can’t Have

Friday, December 30th, 2011

What You Want?

I’ve spent a good deal of  time looking at all of the Republican candidates, and I’m going to brutally frank and suggest that if this is the best the Republican party can do, it deserves to lose in 2012.  It’s not that each of these candidates are without good ideas, but it is to say that none of them are the complete picture of what a Republican nominee ought to be.  I have resigned myself to the notion that the establishment is going to foist Mitt Romney on us after all.  “He’s inevitable.” Fine.  So is defeat in 2012, if he is to be the party’s nominee.  The simple fact is that it will be “risen-from-poverty Obama who loves the working man and hates the rich,” against “born-to-privilege deal-maker who favors the wealthy and the privileged.”  It will be liberal versus the less-liberal.

Yes, we’re going to get our asses kicked with that.  Just four days from the Iowa caucuses, it seems nothing can save us now.  I don’t take loyalty oaths to political parties, because this isn’t the Soviet Union(yet,) and I see no reason in the world I should pretend to be happy with this slate of candidates.  Perhaps we should look ahead to 2016, with the country in ruins, and wonder what sort of Republican we’d nominate then, if we had the choice, and assuming the party hasn’t introduced nation-wide loyalty oaths by then.

My “perfect candidate” isn’t a perfect human being, but would have a perfectly honorable desire to reform our government and clean up the insider trading, the crony capitalism, and the backroom deals that characterize Washington DC.  I have found over my lifetime that while there are no infallible humans, people can possess an infallible devotion to choosing the right over the wrong given the best available information.  Such a candidate would not be indebted to the party establishment, or the media, and would simply govern according to the ideal that one ought to do what is right, even if it isn’t what is easy.  Right by what standard?  By the uniquely American standard described by those principles enshrined in our Constitution. That candidate would hold the Congress to its appointed constitutional role, and would nominate judges who actually revere our founding documents more than foreign precedents, or the meandering sentiments defined by their personal policy preferences. Most of all, that candidate would have the intellectual and moral soundness to simply say: “No.”

My  favored candidate would turn the government in defense of individual rights again, and would begin the process of restoring government to its original, limited purpose as the guarantor of those rights, and not the primary oppressor of them.  That candidate would sign a repeal of Obamacare, and strip it from the law, and reverse the trend of ever-larger governmental intrusions into our lives. That candidate would happily repeal the coming ban, starting Sunday, on incandescent light bulbs.  That candidate would tell the regulatory agencies involved that they have no business telling Americans how much water per flush their toilets must use.

My kind of candidate would have a solid record of governmental reform, but also a firm grasp on foreign affairs.    That candidate would use the military might of the United States sparingly, only when justified, and only to the degree it had been in America’s national interests, but not because some imbeciles at NATO or the UN had thought it politically expedient.  Such a candidate would understand that to permit an attack upon Israel would be to open the door to a global conflict in which many Americans would lose their lives.

My preferred candidate would place a high value on creating and maintaining the conditions necessary for all Americans to achieve prosperity, but would also understand the reality that not all Americans will attain it.  That candidate would insist on a sound monetary policy, and would institute fiscal restraint, with liberal use of the veto pen when necessary, to reduce and reverse the accumulation of public debt.  Such a candidate would know that each dollar printed reduces the value of all the others in existence, and thereby steal their value from all the men and women who have worked so hard to acquire them.

My ideal candidate would know that there is no way to have a country without controlled borders, and that the path to citizenship begins at the back of the line, just as it has for generations.  Such a candidate would know that America can grow and prosper by immigration, but it can only be diminished by the illegal variety, and that to reward the latter is to punish every person who has played by the rules.

My chosen candidate knows that America runs on energy, and that we cannot grow our economy and forge real prosperity while restricting the supply of the power that runs it.  That candidate would understand that every additional penny poured into our fuel tanks is a penny not spent on improving our lots in life, and would also know that to restore our nation would require an America that had been fueled to success by developing its own natural resources.

These are some of the things that constitute my own notion of an ideal candidate.  I don’t expect perfection, but if a candidate wants my vote for the highest office in the land, that person is required to be substantially better than Romney, Gingrich, Paul, Bachmann, Santorum, Perry and Huntsman.  Please don’t bother me about Donald Trump.  I mention him here only inasmuch as I don’t want anybody to offer him up as an alternate.  Each of these have their virtues, but none of them round out the picture of what a president ought to be.  At this moment, I find I am unable to support any of them, and I don’t believe there remains anything that I could learn about any one of these that would make me think substantially more of them.  I can see lethal flaws in all of them, and when I consider who the nominee will be called upon to oppose in the general election, I know that as imperfect a candidate as Barack Obama may be, he will be difficult if not impossible for any of these candidates to defeat.

A Republican nominee that would have any serious hope of winning would need to be clearly different in every measurable way from Barack Obama, but sadly, I can go through the list of the seven now running and find too many ways in which he’ll be able to deflect criticism by virtue of similarities:

How can Romney escape Romneycare?  How can he avoid that subject while campaigning to repeal Obamacare?  He cannot.  How can Ron Paul argue that his foreign policy is substantially different, or will make America more safe than Obama’s?  It’s not possible.  How can Newt Gingrich claim that Obama is too much like a Harvard professor and too much unlike a common sense American?  He cannot.  How will Rick Santorum argue that he’s substantially better than Obama on earmarks when his own career was spent gathering them for his own state?  He will not.  How will Michele Bachmann point out Obama’s lack of executive experience?  She dare not.  How will Rick Perry pretend that his own crony capitalism had been fine, but Barack Obama’s Solyndra mess had not?  He’ll be laughed out of the room.  How will Jon Huntsman criticize the foreign policy of a President who chose Huntsman to be an ambassador to China?  The contradiction alone would destroy him.

This is the state of your field, and if you’re satisfied with it, let me tell you flatly that I am not.  I am mindful of the sort of candidate I would prefer, and cannot find evidence that such a candidate exists in this field.  If only it were possible by some cosmic magic to create a composite candidate from the best traits of all these, one might begin to construct the sort of candidate I envision, but sadly, this is not a world in which such wishes come true.  As it stands, there is a movement of people who seem to believe much the same thing, and many of them are now engaged in what they’ve termed the Sarah Palin Iowa Earthquake, and their hope is to caucus for the former Alaska governor based on the notion that they can make a show substantial enough to convince her to reconsider her decision, as announced on the 5th of October, 2011.

This group consists of a number of very passionate people who strongly believe that Governor Palin represents the sort of leader I’ve described, but like me, they heard her announcement on October 5th, but it seems they’re not taking “no” for an answer.  Myself, I have great sympathies with the members of this group inasmuch as I have thought for more than three years that Palin represents the right kind of leader to restore our nation, but I also have some ethical problems demanding that somebody else seek a job I know I would never be willing to seek, and that I acknowledge I would never wish to hold.  In short, who am I to ask of Sarah Palin what I would not voluntarily undertake, and what I know would be a grueling and difficult task under the best of times, never mind the dire circumstances in which we now find our nation?

Others have noticed the insufficiency of the current field as well, including William Kristol and a number of other pundits, but what I find astonishing is that while they all know the answer, few of them dare say it:  Sarah Palin has the ability to unite the party and go to victory in November, because she knows how to motivate the best in the people who would follow her lead.  Her record exemplifies the characteristics most conservative Americans seek in their standard-bearer.   I realize this will not sit well with some of the establishment mindset who think her time has passed, and that she ought to remain quietly in Alaska, and come out only to rally folks for Tea Party events, but that’s not what the rank-and-file are thinking.  Even now, the Iowa Earthquake Group is running ads in that state to convince people to caucus for Palin.  The fact that this effort has gained so much traction should offer at least a glimpse of how committed they are to this cause, and how thoroughly disappointed they’ve been with a slate of candidates they see as a less than worthy.

I will take Palin’s answer of October 5th as gospel unless and until she says otherwise.  As I’ve mentioned, I have resigned myself to a shocking defeat at the hands of a man who shouldn’t have earned one term as President, never mind two.  I have resigned myself to the fact that John Boehner and the House Republicans will make it increasingly difficult to send them additional support in November, and I wonder if the Senate is now attainable at all, not because we haven’t the people, but because with the GOP’s nominee to come from this list of choices, I cannot see how that candidate will have positive coat-tails. More importantly, if that candidate cannot get the base out to the polls, I don’t see any way to win in the down-ballot races. If that turns out to be the case, I do not see how we will restore the country, or even stem the tide.

It’s for these reasons that I do not look with relish upon the coming campaign.  I look at the efforts of those hard-charging Sarah Palin Earthquake folks in Iowa, and elsewhere, and I think maybe they’ve got the right idea, even if their chosen candidate ultimately refuses.  I don’t see any way to victory with the slate of candidates we now have.  Like Bill Kristol, I now believe for Republicans to win the White House in 2012, something dramatic and different is necessary.  The Republican party needs a candidate for whom the conservative base is willing to wage a veritable war.  Many still believe Sarah Palin is that candidate, but until she changes her mind, we’re going to be left with a list of hopefuls about which we have little or no enthusiasm.  It’s impossible to fake it, and you really can’t build a winning campaign simply as a matter of opposing somebody you allege is worse.  2012 may turn out to be the year of the candidate we wanted, but couldn’t have, and if so, it is likely to be another of those critical times in American history when second-best simply wouldn’t do, and predictably didn’t.

The 2012 Betrayal of Conservatives(Updatedx2)

Friday, December 23rd, 2011

Bearing Down on 2012

Ladies and gentlemen, if you’re a conservative, or a Tea Party patriot, your worst fears are being realized even now.  Rather than selecting a candidate who fully supports your values, you are being force-fed a shrinking field of diminishing candidates who will be destroyed, one after the other until only the GOP establishment candidate remains.  This has been the aim of the party from the outset. We’ve been told since at least 2009 that the only practical method by which to save the country would be to first salvage the Republican party.  In fact, we’ve been told this same idea many times before. It sounded plausible enough, and after all, many were naive enough to believe that we could manage such a change, but the problem has been what it always winds up being:  The party is stronger in dollars and influence than our grass-roots efforts can overcome.  The party is intent upon leaving you a single choice in 2012, and that will be between an establishment candidate, whether you like it or not.  They told you to fight to salvage the party, but what they really did was send you off on a wild goose chase.   You won’t be salvaging this party with the slate of candidates now running, and you surely won’t save the country.

If this sounds terribly pessimistic, let me apologize in advance, because it’s going to be somewhat worse before I’ve finished.  There is no mitigation strategy remaining that does not saddle you with Rove’s chosen candidate, whomever that may turn out to be, with Obama as your only alternative.  Right now, that might seem to be Romney, and that’s a fair bet, as they’ve managed opinions all year long by pushing his opponents up, and then unceremoniously tearing them down, each in turn, until all that will remain at the end is a single candidate who they firmly control, whether it’s Romney or somebody as yet unannounced, like Jeb Bush, for instance.

Many of you may have looked over the field of entrants and thought, as have I, that if you could only take this part of one, and another part of the next, and so on through the field, you could build a composite candidate who was perfect in the aggregate of such a combined records and stances.   There’s a reason for this:  These candidates were picked to present you with precisely this devil’s choice of incomplete candidates.  You might think that your candidate is best, whomever it may be at present, but let me suggest to you that the whole slate of them has been picked for you.  Each was intended to get the support of one sub-group of the Republican base or another, and each has played his or her role perfectly.  Consider them with me, each according to their groups:

  • Michele Bachmann was to appeal to Tea Party folks inclined to vote for a woman.
  • Rick Santorum was to capture the cultural and religious conservatives.
  • Herman Cain was slated to win over the tax reform/fair tax crowd and those who values ‘outsiders.’
  • Ron Paul exists to get the libertarian strain.
  • Jon Huntsman is there to appeal to liberal republicans.  (You can see how many of those there are.)
  • Rick Perry is in the race to appeal to the more bombastic, tough-guy crowd.
  • Newt Gingrich is there to appeal to those who like more intellectualism.
  • Gary Johnson was sorted out as a redundancy to Ron Paul.
  • Mitt Romney is there to capture the lot of you in the end, if nobody else happens along.

I know, you’ll tell me: “Mark, you’re crazy, they can’t all be in on it.”  I will respond that they needn’t all be in on it.  All that needs to be true is that they possessed an ego common to those who seek high office.  Most of these people have monumental egos, so it really wouldn’t take much to get them to jump in.  Secretly, these people have all wanted to be president for a long while, and it didn’t take much to get them to follow their ambitions.  They needn’t be “in on it.”  Once encouraged to enter the race, they merely continued being who they are, because that’s all that was required of them.

I know, it still sounds like a conspiracy theory, and in part, I suppose it is, because it’s difficult to demonstrate that the same people pulling the strings are always the same people who’ve been pulling the strings in the GOP since two minutes after John Hinckley Jr. nearly succeeded in his assassination attempt on Ronald Reagan in 1981.  Reagan clearly regained control for a time, but by mid-way through his second term, the establishment had found inroads into every part of the administration, and were beginning to undermine Reagan at every possible turn.

The GOP establishment’s view of managing people in the political sphere is  much like a rancher managing a herd of cattle.  The one thing they don’t want is an uncontrolled stampede.  A directed stampede is useful, and that is what the Tea Party has come to be.  They couldn’t control it directly, so instead, they shaped it, molded it, and directed it.  The GOP establishment is not merely “liberal.”  They are communitarians, which is to say that they are merely communists of a different feather, who claim to revere some forms of individual liberty, but who if they get their way, wind up destroying them all.  These are the same people responsible for the notion of “smart growth” or “sustainable development” plans and schemes that fall under the general umbrella you have come to know as Agenda 21.  The Bushes are communitarians. Bill Clinton accepted many communitarian principles. To a certain extent it could be argued that Obama shares some of these ideas.

There are differences in the communitarian philosophy, with one group preferring a religious ethos, and the other wanting a purely secular moral base.  What they both offer is what might rightly be termed a “kindler, gentler” or even “compassionate” communism.  Their view has been slowly switched-in, to take the place of the “conservatism” your grandparents had known.  This is why they push a form of statism that is remarkably similar to that of the open leftists, but is disguised behind appeals to compassion or political expedience, but to the largest extent, you’ve accepted them as slightly less conservative, when in fact, they aren’t conservatives at all.

Their most important tool is the art of public relations, and they are experts in it.  If you want to see them in action, watch how Karl Rove seems to invade every show on Fox News.  After all, Ailes is one of theirs, and this is his network.  Of course, you needn’t be in their pocket to be used by them, and to the ends they have in mind.  Even your opposition can be useful to them, as I’m certain you’ve figured out already.

This primary season has increasingly caused divisions among conservatives, but it hasn’t particularly worsened the relationship between the establishment and the conservative base, which has always been rough.  Instead, the division now appear between subgroups as outlined above, and as the preferred candidate of each group has been dismissed, eliminated or minimized, the war in the party has been largely between these factions.  This is precisely what the establishment wants and needs.  Santorum supporters are too busy fighting for much of the same philosophical ground with Bachmann.  Bachmann did battle with Perry.  Perry battled Cain. Cain was shuffled out.  Gingrich steps up, and of course, the establishment goes after him with abandon, but more importantly, gets the rest of the factions to do most of their dirty work.  At the end of it all, the goal is to leave you with Romney, and if that still doesn’t work, they’ll fetch a savior like Jeb Bush or Mitch Daniels or somebody else from the Bush crew to step in.  They know that they have thoroughly marginalized Ron Paul, in part by merely getting out the way, and letting him be who he is, so that they will now try to leave him as the only other alternative.

As we now know, it’s hard to consider Bachmann, Huntsman, and Santorum serious candidates, since they could not be bothered to (or simply couldn’t) gather enough signatures to get them on the primary ballot in Virginia.  Perry and Gingrich will also be close, since they have barely enough, but by the time they begin disqualifying signatories to the petitions, they may well lose 10% or more of their totals, which would finish Perry and threaten Gingrich.  These have each been front-runners, remember?  The ones who haven’t been front-runners are now going to be sent packing by their inability to get on the ballots in various states, starting with Virginia.

I have been one of those who had long hoped that the Republican party could be reformed, and that with the input of the conservative base, be made new again, and avoid the planning and scheming of the communitarian wing.  When in 1991-, Ross Perot made noise about running, and launched a campaign, I was careful because I suspected his candidacy was a trap.  When he withdrew, when it seemed he might win, only to re-emerge once his hasty exit had tamped down enthusiasm for his candidacy sufficiently, I realized his was a spoiler candidacy.  Do you remember the ‘volunteers’?  I remember them creating a short-lived party that lasted the length of two Presidential campaigns, each time garnering just enough support to permit Bill Clinton’s election despite twice failing to achieve 50% of the popular vote.

Fast forward past the decidedly un-conservative presidency of George W. Bush, and what you find is the McCain campaign that did much the same thing when it looked like the addition of a wildly popular VP selection might indeed push them over the top.  No, McCain suspended his campaign just when it seemed it might be gaining traction, and just like Perot’s in 1992, it never recovered.  There are those who view these facts and wonder if the two parties aren’t really a multi-headed beast, like the hydra of fable and lore, but whether that’s true or simply a conspiracy theory, one must admit that the establishments of both parties seem frequently to function in concert to the detriment of the American people.

The Tea Party offered many of us new hope, giving us an outlet for that belief in constitutional government we had believed would restore the Republican party, and with it, the nation at large.  While the Tea Party has been effective in a number of ways, what has happened in the main is that they’ve not organized to the degree that would be necessary to wrest control of the GOP from the establishment.

Where does all of this leave us?  Frankly, it doesn’t seem possible that we will arrive at election day with any conservative choices, and certainly none who satisfy the criteria over which the embattled factions now fight.  As this post goes to press, Donald Trump has essentially repudiated his association with the Republican party as many of us suspected he would.  He seems destined to be the Ross Perot of 2012, and now that Mitt has George HW Bush’s endorsement, we look set for a repeat of 1992.

Let’s be blunt about it, and tell it like it is: Unless something unexpected happens to dramatically change the course of this election, or people decide that putting up with Ron Paul’s oddities is a price they are willing to pay to avoid another establishment subversion of the party, we’re going to get the latter.  We’re being left with choices about which none on the conservative end of the spectrum are particularly happy, whether they’ll admit it or not.  Apart from the Paulites and the Romneyites, most people now supporting one of the other candidates is a migrant to that support either from another candidate, or a candidate who never materialized.  What’s a conservative to do?  In 2012, it appears the answer may be: “Lose.”

Update: Perry has also been DQ’s in Virginia.

Update 2: Gingrich has also been DQ’d in Virginia.

Boehner Pushes, But You Pushed Back

Friday, December 2nd, 2011

Why Don't They Love Me?

I was gratified to read that Speaker Boehner and his Republican leadership ran into a little difficulty with Conservative House members who are getting tired of always being the people asked to “take one for the team[again.]” This means your complaints are being heard by your conservative members of Congress.  According to The Hill, meeting with House Republicans, Speaker Boehner is quoted by an unnamed attendee that he’s trying to “make chicken salad out of chicken s**t.”  To me, that sound suspiciously like his whining over being only “one-half of one-third of the government.”  Some people never learn, and while Boehner races to compromise wherever he can to try to put something on the scorecard, I think he’d be better off to go golfing with Obama: At least there, he’s not doing damage while being at least competent in his environment.  He’s ineffective as the Speaker of the House, and it’s time we sent him home.  One commenter asked how but the answer is simple: He must be challenged and beaten in the primaries.  Some warn that if he were defeated in the primary, he would be a “lame duck” speaker for the rest of the year.  My question is: What’s the difference?

To be honest with you, I’d much rather have a lame duck Speaker who is subject to replacement, and who will have no backing to pull off all of these swindles and deal-making behind closed doors with Reid and Obama than to have him actively offering sabotage to the conservatives in reward for their support.  Today was no different, as this big government hack is pushing to keep alive the payroll tax cut.  I think that’s ridiculous, and while if it fails to pass, it will cost me and my wife thousands, the truth is that it’s undermining the solvency of Social Security, bringing further instability to our current course.  After all, how long can we keep kicking the can down the road?  I’m a tax-cut champion, but this one has provided little or no stimulative effects, and what it really does is let more Americans almost completely off the hook.  We already have far too few tax-payers in the sense that too many have no real stake in our country as their hands reach for more from other folks’ pockets.

What Boehner is offering are some token measures to get conservatives aboard with this compromise, such as a reduction in some regulatory power for the EPA.  Does anybody believe it would stick with this lawless administration?  Apparently, some conservatives were not being fooled according to The Hill article:

Several Republicans stood up in the meeting to oppose the extension of the payroll-tax cut, citing concerns about Social Security and the fact that GOP leaders want to pay for one year’s worth of spending and tax relief over a decade.

Amen!  According to John Campbell(R-CA,) the leadership was caught off guard by the push-back they received:

“I think they were a little surprised by the pushback — they looked a little deflated to me,” he said, before noting his opposition to extending any of the expiring provisions.

Further, The Hill reports that one unnamed member was quite blunt:

“now we’re a part of kicking the can down the road. … But shouldn’t we try to run the country, shouldn’t we try to do the right thing, shouldn’t we try to get this deficit under control?”

Right on! I wish they had told us the source of that remark so I could send the member a letter of congratulation on “getting it.”  This is the truth, after all, and it’s part of the reason Boehner and his leadership team needs to be shown the door in 2012: We conservatives and Tea Party types understand that the Republicans only control “one-half of one-third of the government,” but as a matter of fact, it’s time to make the other guys sweat. Just as should have been the case when the House passed “Cut, Cap, and Balance,” ahead of the debt ceiling debacle, they should pass bills and send them over to the Senate and let Harry Reid explain why he’s bottling them up.  Instead, Boehner goes directly for the compromise every time.  It’s time to find a new Speaker of the House for the GOP.  This one is stinking things up, and it doesn’t smell like chicken salad.

Why Is John Boehner Sabotaging the Conservatives[Again]?

Thursday, December 1st, 2011

Embracing Obama: John Boehner Sells Out

It’s become more and more difficult to believe that John Boehner isn’t representative of some sort of progressive fifth column in the Republican party. The longer this goes on, the more obvious it becomes that Boehner and his lackeys in the House Republican leadership are simply giving away anything and everything, while sabotaging their conservative members and their legislative goals.  This time, they’ve tucked some anti-abortion provisions into the spending bill in order to push conservatives to join in approving the bill.  The basic idea is cynical DC-insider garbage: Bring in the pro-life lobby to harangue conservative members on behalf of this bill in order to get their votes, and thus pass the spending bill to which they are otherwise opposed.  Yes, it’s a damnable dirty trick, and it is brought to you by John Boehner.  This is the sort of cynical ploy common to DC politics, and it’s precisely the sort of thing to which so many of us are fervently opposed.  This is one more reason John Boehner must go.

Rather than unite his party by affirmative measures they can all support, he instead weasels his way out of that by putting this off on members, leaving them to choose between support of the anti-abortion lobby and the anti-spending lobby. In short, it’s another sick attempt to split conservatives and Tea Party types.  Why would John Boehner do this?  Why would he set his own party up for defeat and electoral disaster?  The answer is either that he is the most incompetent Speaker of the House in my lifetime, or he is intentionally sabotaging the conservatives in his party.  Why would he do that?  What would motivate him in this way?  I have only one answer:  John Boehner is an establishment sell-out whose political career consists of more crying than legislating, and more surrendering than victory.

It really doesn’t matter what his intentions may be, but if you don’t understand anything else about what he’s doing here, you must understand this:  What John Boehner is now doing will ultimately guarantee that we will not win the elections, we will lose control of the House, and have no prayer of retaking the Senate.  Obamacare will become a done deal if this happens, and you must know that there will be no repeal, no overturning, and no recovery. Ever.  You may wonder how this would be, and the answer is quite simple: Conservatives in his party promised to cut spending, and to cut the growth of government.  They promised it. Loudly. Often. Regularly.  In 2010, they appealed to the Tea Party on this basis.  The Tea Party showed up to support them, by and large.  Now, having secured their votes, and the majority in the House, the leadership is leading those conservatives to sell out their promises, or squeeze them into so doing as with this latest ploy.  What will happen to the Tea Party folk who supported them in 2010?  In November 2012, just as in 2008, and 2006, they will stay home in perfect disgust.  Who could blame them?

When the people who you place in power turn on you, and undercut you, you’re hardly to be blamed if you decide no longer to lend your support to such people.  Call a dog to you, with a firm “Come,” and then whack his nose with a rolled-up newspaper, and you’ll quickly see the dog learn to cringe and balk at your call.  This is what the Republican leadership is doing to the Tea Party and conservatives, but worse, the leadership is setting them one against the other.  That’s why Boehner’s tawdry ploy is destined to lead the GOP to defeat in 2012.  Obama is weak, but Boehner continues to improve his position by compromising endlessly with the Democrats.  How does this win support for victory?

It cannot.  If we’re to see Barack Obama replaced, and Obamacare repealed, we must discharge John Boehner and those like him from leadership.  They are a walking advertisement for the statists, because they don’t really care about the direction of the country, but only maintaining power, and lately, one would be right to wonder if they care even for that. The burdens of leadership are many, and John Boehner is incapable of or unwilling to bear them.  It is my recommendation that in the name of the Republic, never mind the Republican party, that we send him home, or at least to the back benches with all due dispatch.

ABAR: Anybody But A RINO

Tuesday, October 11th, 2011

Sorry, I've Had Enough

It has become increasingly clear that the Republican establishment is going to get in line behind Romney.  They’ve managed to freeze out Palin by moving up the primaries even if she had been inclined to run, and she was probably the one outsider who could offer a serious challenge, but with her decision not to run after lengthy contemplation and family considerations, it has left a vacuum in the party that Herman Cain is rushing to try to fill.  The problem is that Mr. Cain has no war-chest, and if he doesn’t pull in some substantial donors soon, he’s got no chance, but more importantly, it’s becoming clear based on his statements that he doesn’t actually intend to win.  Given that in 2008, Cain endorsed Romney, and considering that Romney is now running around suggesting that folks who don’t wish to vote for him should instead choose Cain, one might begin to wonder if the fix isn’t in.  Again.

We conservatives are looking down a dark tunnel, and what we’re now beginning to understand is just how the cloak of the establishment is smothering our party.  The establishment offers us another un-conservative loser, and even if we manage to get him elected, we’ve got a bigger problem: Once again, we will have a liberal republican in office who claims to be a conservative, and this will once again cause an undeserved defamation of conservatism.  We’re being told he’s the de facto winner, with a maximum currently of 30% of the GOP primary electorate.

It’s no different in function from the manner in which Capitalism has been besmirched.  We see a system that is called capitalism, but it is so overwhelmed by statism that it can in no way even approximate actual Capitalism.  The bail-outs, the exhausting controls, the increasing taxes, the ever-devaluing currency, the interventions in the market, and the endless mandates of an overgrown government guarantee that Capitalism is not now and has not been in existence in the United States for most of a century, if not longer.  Instead, what we have had throughout that period is known as a “Mixed economy” that is what its name implies:  A mixing between the appearance of capitalism and fact of a command economy.  Notice that in this argument, when something goes awry, it is always Capitalism that takes the black eye, and only seldom does the command-and-control edifice of statism ever receive criticism, particularly among the intelligentsia.

In much the same way, other things are also attacked for the sins of their substitute.  Consider the war on the Tea Party, whereby the Tea Party is labeled “terroristic” and “threatening” and “violent” and “racist,” while in fact, the “Occupy Wall Street” crowd has virtually all of those characteristics, including an undercurrent of anti-semitism bundled together with and disguised behind their hatred of the rich.  The media blamed Tea Party patriots for the downgrade just a month or so ago, but in truth, it was the statists who caused the downgrade by their intransigent inaction on deficit spending.  Notice that at no point did the major media or the responsible parties(Obama and Congress) go on record to blame anybody except the Tea Party.  As you consider this, you might recognize the trend.

In exactly this way, when George W. Bush was elected President on the basis of his “compassionate conservatism,” I knew from my experience with his administration in Texas that this merely meant he would be anything but conservative.  Some conservatives like to excuse him, saying he was “good on 9/11 and defending the country,” but let’s be honest enough to admit that even a complete buffoon like Al Gore would have defended the country, albeit probably less vigorously. Still, had Al Gore been president in 2001, I doubt whether we would have seen the GOP Congress legislating the TSA into existence.  I doubt whether subsequent social spending would have gone through, including the Bush-Kennedy education regime, or the program now known as Medicare part D.  The simple fact is that conservatives would have recognized all of these as the advance of statism, and would have mobilized against them.  Only rarely, such as in the case of Harriet Miers, did conservatives seek to challenge George Bush when he was governing in a decidedly un-conserverative fashion.

This is the reason I am most concerned about the upcoming presidential election season.  It’s true that Obama is a walking horror-show of predations against our constitution, but the truth is that Bush laid the groundwork for Obama’s misdeeds, aided six of his eight years by a Republican Congress that was sticking with their guy.  Let’s not kid ourselves about the disastrous results of another RINO in the White House.  You can pretend all you wish that in electing Romney, you are protecting the nation from Obama, but the simple truth is that you are merely helping to discredit conservatism.  In 2008, we were told that conservatism was to blame, and even now, they blame Bush for the bail-outs (while they hypocritically clamor for more,) and all along the way, what has become clear is that if conservatism is going to get the blame, then for a change, we should at least elect a conservative President.  With Palin now doing the establishment a favor by stepping aside for her personal reasons, and Christie endorsing Romney, and Cain being less than a strong candidate, it’s easy to see it coming again.

You can go to the polls and support one of these candidates if you like, but there isn’t one of them with a substantial chance to win who is also conservative, and I’m in no mood to vote for a fake.  If the Republican part establishment thinks they can get my vote with the torture of four more years of Obama as the only alternative, they’re mistaken, and I will likely sit out this presidential election.   Sure, I’ll vote the down-ballot, but I’ll leave the presidential slot unmarked.  I don’t buy the notion of “anybody but Obama.”  I’d rather an openly Marxist dolt like Obama be re-elected than to compromise my principles and help the statists propaganda against conservatism by putting forward a candidate who will be called a conservative, but will govern as a progressive.  Until the people of this country realize how thoroughly the GOP establishment has been jerking them around by continuing to put forward progressive Republicans, never mind the Marxist Democrats, there is absolutely no chance that we will recover, restore, or reform what now ails us.

I’ve grown fatigued with the notion that conservatives should shut up and get in line. I’m not interested, and for once, the moderates can get in line with me.   Those of you conservatives and Tea Party patriots who tire of this too should finally understand that you’re only undercutting yourselves when you support the establishment in the end, out of a sense of desperation.  You can tout “ABO” all you like, but I’m going to shout “ABAR” to any who will hear me: “Anybody But A RINO.”  I mean it, but until conservatives finally sit out a presidential ballot en masse, the establishment will continue to offer you pathetic choices.  They no longer take your threats seriously because so many of you haven’t held to it.  If you want real change, it truly must begin with you.

The Central Issue of 2012: Obama

Sunday, August 28th, 2011

Winning The Future?

The country is in a terrible condition.  Unemployment is high, inflation is moving upward, and record numbers now rely on government assistance in one form or another.  Worse, the GDP growth has slowed to around 1%, or less, and there’s no sign anywhere that this will improve.  With all of this, you might think a President would seek to improve conditions, but as time goes on, it’s clear that President Obama is making war against much of “fly-over country.”  His EPA is forcing the shutdown of coal-fired power plants, and since those provide more than half of the electrical power produced on an already strained grid, you can expect energy to become more scarce and much more costly.

None of these things bode well for the country, and you would think this would doom Barack Obama, but while many now accuse him of being less than intelligent, and less than diligent, I submit to you that our Marxist-in-Chief is playing it exactly as he must if he wishes to win re-election, because he knows the platitudes are not true:  We do not all want the same things.  We do not all share the same vision of freedom or prosperity.

Some might wonder if I’ve lost my mind:  The condition of the country is self-evident, and on that basis alone, surely he will be thrown out of office in the 2012 election.  How could anyone draw the conclusion that he’s making it easier on himself in his bid to retain power?  If you examine who is hurting, but more importantly, who is not, you begin to see a different picture of next year’s election taking shape.  Instead of worrying about those votes he will never capture, he is going to become the great dispenser of relief.

One of the keys to Democrat victory is that the core of the party shows up and votes.  These are the reliable Democrats, who would vote for the mythical yellow dog, so long as he’s a Democrat.  You can call them “Kool-aid drinkers,” or “drones,” or anything you like, but the sad fact is that they represent the core of the Democrat vote.  Despite a few moments here and there of voiced displeasure, they will show up in massive numbers to re-elect Barack Obama.  This will account for 35-40% of the total vote.  From there, it’s not really very hard to imagine him being able to raise another 10-15%.

Obama understands that part of the manner in which Roosevelt was able to be re-elected in 1936 owed not to an improved economic picture, but because under the auspices of the alphabet soup of new agencies and programs, FDR had become the great dispenser of relief.   In fact, we now know that many of those programs were used to coerce or extort votes.  “So you want your relief?  Then vote for FDR.”  Millions of men who had never relied upon government for anything suddenly found themselves between the rock and the hard place constituted by the choice between voting for a President about whom they were ambivalent, at best, and the prospect of losing their various relief jobs.  In yielding to Obama on the debt ceiling, our Congress has provided Obama just the funding he needed to do precisely that.

You see, he needs only move a small percentage of the remainder of the populace his direction.  Of that 10-15% he must garner among independents and moderates, he knows he may frighten senior citizens, parents, and any other person who is in some way dependent upon the system.  As the current approval numbers bear out, his core support is fairly intractable.  Many of those closer to him now saying they disapprove can be counted upon to return and vote for him in any case, because they will not  likely vote for a Republican.  Ever.

This is the same phenomenon by which the GOP establishment manages to squeeze conservatives unhappy with their choices into supporting a candidate who is not of their choosing.  Most conservatives I know were dissatisfied with John McCain in 2008, but at the end of the day, most still went to the polls to vote for him.  What they lost, however, was the winning margin: Too many conservatives simply refused to support McCain.  The introduction of Sarah Palin as his running mate certainly helped his case with conservatives, but in truth, most people know that a Vice President is mostly impotent, and only becomes relevant in the case of the worst possible circumstances.  This is, by the way, why I remind Republicans that if they nominate anybody who is not a true conservative, there is a great chance of failure in 2012.  The chant “Anybody but Obama” may sound good in theory, but people don’t generally become motivated to vote on the basis of a negative proposition like that. Smugly planning his next round of golf in his bunker at the White House, President Obama knows it too.

While it would seem on the surface that President Obama faces almost certain defeat, anybody who believes that is underestimating the scope of the problem and the size of his advantage.  With record numbers now receiving government assistance, it has strengthened his position not among the dwindling productive class, but instead among the burgeoning dependent class.  As you struggle to make ends meet, the government continues to redistribute your wealth to the purchase of more votes for Obama.  Worse, Congress has given him another $2 Trillion in credit.  How do you think this will be spent, as we await his speech on some sort of jobs program?   You and I know that such a program will likely be counter-productive, and so does he.  The difference is, he’s after an object to which you won’t relate, as instead you regard it as just one more looming failure.  He’s after the temporary boost creating nonsensical, non-productive jobs will provide, not so much to the economy, but to his electoral prospects in 2012.

That’s his game-plan.  There’s really nothing else he can do if he hopes to win re-election.  While there is some remote possibility that the economy could rebound, all the indicators are that such is unlikely.  He knows it, and all of his flunkies know it too. Rather than worrying about stimulating the general economy, he is going to focus more sharply on the economic condition of those he expects to vote for him.  Tax the rich?  No problem.  That’s more redistribution.  Watch and see how low the threshold for what is rich will ultimately go.

This leaves you with a single issue to consider, and it is this: If we are to elect any Republican, it will be a tough fight, but the fight must begin in Congress.  They’ve already retreated from the first battle, and it will cost the country dearly.  The downgrade resulted from a failure to get an agreement on the debt ceiling that would have substantially promoted budgetary sanity. Your own money, your own labor, but more, your future labor, is going to be used against you.  Congress must be made to fight, because while Republicans and Conservatives spend their time arguing over who we will put forth for election in 2012,  Obama is making other plans that will moot that choice.   While we must have those arguments, and must make the right choice, we mustn’t lose focus on the fact that the House of Representatives is still our best tool in this fight, and we must deny to the President, to whatever degree possible, from using his new spending authority to purchase more votes.

It’s true that President Obama’s performance against a rational standard should be the central issue of 2012, but if we fail to fight all along the way, he’ll be able to turn that to his distinct advantage.  What Barack Obama wants and needs to finish his agenda is another four years.  If Republicans, Conservatives, and Tea Party Patriots lose sight of the battles being waged in Congress, they may resolve who to nominate, but that nomination will have become that against which I’ve cautioned you before: “…a tale told by an idiot, full of sound and fury, signifying nothing.”(Macbeth-William Shakespeare)

Let us not permit that.