Posts Tagged ‘establishment’

A Moment of Pause Regarding Trump’s Supporters

Monday, March 7th, 2016

trump_crowd_ftOne of the things that’s become increasingly annoying to me throughout the course of this campaign, and a thing to which I may have inadvertently contributed on an occasion or two, is the meme that’s been spread like a virus through the DC Beltway echo-chamber: “Trump’s supporters are…angry…stupid…racist…thoughtless…mean…ignorant…Kool-Aid-drinkers…” After watching the race unfold on the battlegrounds of Twitter, Facebook, and in the media at large, and having watched their portrayal in the establishment media, I am prepared to state unequivocally that this is nonsense.  The vast majority of his supporters are no more than one of those things, but more, I’d urge conservatives to ignore these media portrayals for one very important reason they may not have considered: Until recently, it had been we conservatives who had been attacked with these same portrayals.  I want you to stop and think about all the election campaigns in which the media, and the GOP establishment portrayed conservatives and Tea Party folk in the very same light.  We conservatives have a responsibility first to the truth, and the truth is that whatever we may think about Donald Trump, his supporters are now being painted with the same broad brush of infamy, and in the same broad strokes, by exactly the same people.

I know a fair number of Trump supporters, both in my circle of friends and associates, and also in my extended on-line family.  None of them fit the meme described above, except in one dimension, but it is the same dimension that has aptly described conservatives for most of a generation: They, as we, are angry with Washington and the seeming one-party establishment that is comprised of an elite media, elite Democrats, and elite Republicans who all hold any opposition in complete contempt.  I think this explains another phenomenon that is genuine, though less visible due to the media’s one-sided coverage: There are a number of Bernie Sanders’ supporters whose second choice is not Hillary Clinton, but amazingly, Donald Trump.  Why would this be?  Most of us have become so jaded about the dirty tricks in campaigns these days that it would be easy to dismiss this as more Democrat trickery.  Oddly, I don’t believe that’s actually the case here.  I believe it represents something much more fundamental, and infinitely more organic: Those who support Bernie Sanders are being undercut by the same Washington DC establishment uni-party, and they see in Trump somebody who has joined the fight against a common enemy.  When I talk to the rare Sanders supporter in my broadened local circle, what I find is that Sanders’ supporter share every bit as much of the same contempt for Hillary as conservatives feel for Mitt Romney, for instance.  This common ground with Trump supporters is an interesting, but I believe wholly organic outgrowth of an overwhelming sense of disgust in the nation with Washington DC and the two parties that together rule over us.

We conservatives have been led to believe by popular media that Trump’s support is a wholly-contrived exposition of Democrat tinkering, but while I’ve seen some evidence that this has been the case in pockets, the truth is that most Trump supporters I’ve had the chance to meet are perfectly sane, rational people who have decided something more compelling than the argument that their conservative principles ought to drive their choice.  It is their general argument that Trump represents a true outsider movement, in terms of the DC Beltway uni-party establishment.  They are prepared to temporarily lay aside their deeper convictions about the particulars of various issues in order to oust the uni-party crowd.  Despite my attachment to conservative principles, I know they have a very powerful point, and in truth, we might consider it thoroughly before rejecting it outright.

Here, I think they make an argument that is difficult to contest: As long as the DC-beltway crowd remains in singular, oligopolistic control of the narrative, the law, and the whole of our national machinery of governance, we will never reverse the direction of the country, and no conservative principles will ever be adopted in the halls of power in our nation’s capital.  Their argument is that in an emergency, you might well temporarily suspend your strictest adherence to your long-held principles in order that your principles be preserved at all.  In essence, they’re applying the legal concept of the “rule of necessity” to popular politics and political philosophy. Their argument therefore rests on the plausibility of the claim that we are in some sort of national emergency.  The question we must ask is “Are we?”

Our country is now twenty trillion dollars in operating debt.  We have unfunded liabilities of two-hundred trillion dollars.  We have a monetary system that has been corrupted to fund big government and big money on Wall Street with a cheap-money bubble that cannot and will not be sustained much longer.  Our borders are porous and present no serious impediment to criminals, terrorists, or any illegal entrants.  Our national security infrastructure is in a severe state of disrepair and neglect.  Our political elites continue to enjoy fabulous wealth largely on the basis of cronyism.  Average Americans are out of work, underemployed, or simply destitute as the people who run the DC uni-party continue to enjoy record profits on the backs of the rest of the country.  The crisis is surely real, and it is clear that their position is justified.

If their position is justified, so is their inflexible support of Donald Trump.  Their basic argument is that nobody who has been a part of the Beltway Bubble ought to be trusted in this critical moment for the Republic.  You might point to Ted Cruz as an outsider, as I have done, but let’s be blunt: Ted Cruz was a part of the team that argued on behalf of George W. Bush in the 2000 election.  Ted Cruz was a clerk for Chief Justice Rehnquist. Ted Cruz may be disliked by parts or even the entire parcel of the uni-party establishment, but the case can certainly be made in earnest that he is one of them, or has long operated among them.  The argument of Trump supporters is that none who have been a part of the DC Bubble ought to be president now, and that it’s too great an emergency in terms of our national future to permit any chance that we will, at this late date, be betrayed once again.

That’s a highly patriotic position to take, among people who are quite diverse in an ideological sense, and many of them have adopted it as the basis of a movement’s justification for accepting a candidate who many of them will readily admit is an imperfect vessel for their particular views.  One of the things that Trump’s supporters fervently believe is something that is quite attractive to many voters, including this conservative: Donald Trump is the only candidate on the ballot who can explode the DC establishment. He’s the only person among all the candidates with a clear-cut motive to unmask the uni-party establishment, to expose their serial crimes, and to prosecute them.  I think this is where much of the pro-Trump fervor originates, and I also believe it is where the GOP establishment’s shrill denouncements of Trump originate.  They are terrified of him, not merely because he would wrest control from them, but that he would be in a position to unmask their deals and extensive profiteering from government operations, and then prosecute them.

That’s a powerful motivation I would concede makes a very strong argument in favor of their position.  We conservatives have known for many years that the GOP’s establishment operates in general coordination with establishment Democrats and the media, and they’ve used that coordination against us in a myriad of situations over the last three decades.  Rather than joining the DC uni-party in decrying Trump’s supporters, we might reconsider and try to see them as allies, even if we believe their chosen candidate is less than perfect as the platform for our ideas, because many of them come from among our own number, but have merely decided that defeating the DC establishment is the only way we can ever win.  On that basis, if I’ve been dismissive of Trump supporters, I’d offer an earnest apology. I had believed the general meme of the DC establishment about your character, but having come to know some of your number, or having discovered some of your number among my friends, I’ve come to understand your earnest motives.

The problem with 2016’s primary season is that it has threatened to splinter the GOP’s broadest coalition forevermore, but in truth, if I am asked whether I would prefer that conservatives keep company with Trump’s supporters or those who cleave to the GOP’s establishment in Washington DC, it’s really a no-brainer: I prefer the broad coalition of Trumpsters to the snooty, elitist Bill Kristols of the world, and I make no bones about my own enmity for the uni-party establishment in Washington DC.  The Trumpsters make a compelling argument about the importance of truly rooting out cronyism and corruption in both parties in Washington DC, long before we can ever actually implement our principled stance on any particular issue. It’s true. We conservatives should pay first respect to the truth, and we should note that the same people who have defamed conservatives in one election after the other, or masqueraded as conservatives in one election after another, are the people who are now defaming Trump’s supporters, and it should give us pause.

Syria: The Establishment’s War

Sunday, September 8th, 2013

The message went out from the establishment intelligentsia: Link Syria to Iran and talk about the Iranian nuclear weapons program, and more in Congress will buy it.  John Boehner continues to “lead” House Republicans into President Obama’s pocket, as the word circulated that if a House vote on the use of force looked like a loser, they would spare Obama the embarrassment by simply tabling the matter.  Why are House Republican leaders seeking to spare Barack Obama the humiliation of losing a vote on anything?  If Boehner were any kind of opposition leader, he would revel in it.  The plain truth of the matter is that one can imagine a vital US interest in Syria’s civil war by the most contorted linguistic machinations.  We, the American people, have no interests there, and as polls reveal, we damned-well know it.

John McCain(R-AZ) can shout down detractors at town hall meetings all he likes, but simply put, the Senator is representing somebody the interests of somebody else when he advocates sending American forces to attack Syria.  Karl Rove is pushing, and all the rest of the DC intelligentsia is demanding a war on Syrian dictator (until recently referred to simply as “President”) Bashar Assad.  What is Assad’s grave crime?  Allegedly, forces under his command employed chemical nerve agent(s) against some number of civilians, estimated by the media in the range of 1,400.  Meanwhile, in the last two years, under the horrors of civil war, nearly 100,000 people have perished.  The calculation in use by Washington DC is that because Assad is alleged to have crossed this “red line,” employing these weapons of mass destruction, he must be punished(and ejected or killed) while they deny being after regime change.

Civilian death is horrible, but it is also an ugly and sometimes unavoidable reality of war.  The US has bombed civilians into oblivion in every war since the advent of the airplane. We excused those deaths as unavoidable  “collateral damage.” I don’t believe the method much matters.  This is another instance of Washington DC imposing its morality on the rest of us.  In 1994 Rawanda, when an estimated one-million Tutsi were murdered by the Hutus, nobody in Washington DC batted an eye.  You see, they weren’t slaughtered with chemical weapons, but in the main by Hutus wielding machetes.  Once again, the Washington DC establishment is more concerned with the weapon than the fact that people died.  More Americans will die prematurely as a result of Obama-care than have died in Syria as a result of chemical weapons.  Can we consider Congress and the President war criminals too?If chemical weapons are weapons of mass destruction, what then must we call Obama-care? It’s a legalized genocide machine, but nobody in the DC establishment seems the least bit perturbed by it.

For his part, President Obama has conducted his foreign policy like a lunatic.  Since he’s a looney-tunes leftist, this isn’t much of a surprise, but what has been more maddening is the voices of establishment Republicans rushing in to support him.  Most notable among these is that daft bugger with an anger-management issue from Arizona, who cannot wait to oust dictators in the Islamic world in order to replace them with even worse enemies of freedom in the form of al-Qaeda and its affiliate groups.  What sort of madman would demand a replacement of a known quantity of evil with a potentially more vast one?  John McCain believes apparently that any change is good change.

In fact, it seems as though McCain has been on a mission to sabotage the American people.  Some will cite his status as a war hero when excusing his bizarre policy positions in favor of illegal immigration, restrictions on the Second Amendment rights of Americans, as well as the First Amendment rights against which he legislated(McCain-Feingold.)  Frankly, it doesn’t much matter whether he’s incompetent or nefarious.  The fact is that his open support of this President’s anti-American agenda is all that one needs to know that something is wrong with McCain.  McCain was openly challenged by Arizonans at his town-hall meeting this week.  Every one of his detractors appeared more sensible than did the Senator.  While some think he’s senile, I think it’s worse than a touch of dementia.

The fact is that John McCain has joined the DC establishment-class at least a decade-and-one-half ago, as he sought the GOP nomination for President in 2000.  His treatment of the American people is driven by apparent disdain, and his contempt for plain old American values is shocking.  Why would he impel our country to intervene on behalf of rebels who are linked to the people who attacked us throughout the 1990s and particularly on 9/11/2001?  There are plenty of conspiracy theories, naturally, but whatever his reasons, they simply don’t add up in the manner he’s pitching them.  Of course, it’s more than John McCain.

The entire DC establishment wants this war.  As our economy careens toward a cliff, and as Washington DC inflates our money while preparing to stiff us on amnesty/illegal immigration and the funding of the WMD known as Obama-care, they want us watching Syria.  After all, if people in a town-hall are clobbering McCain over Syria, they’re not clobbering him over immigration or Obama-care.  I’m not suggesting that Syria is entirely a distraction, except that as creatures of opportunity, the establishment doesn’t mind using it that way.  Once again, however, the people who run this country are pushing an agenda the American people largely oppose.  Obama-care, amnesty, and military action in Syria are all things to which the citizens of this nation currently stand opposed.

It is for this reason that Iran and its nuclear weapons have now resurfaced as an issue linked to Syrian action.  Meanwhile, the people in Washington continue to angle for the creation of a vast new caliphate spanning the Islamic world, and they’re willing to use US forces as the mercenaries in that pursuit, as the Saudis and others offer to pay for the costs of removing Assad.  It’s become so bizarre that McCain claimed “Allahu Akbar” means “thank God.” Literally translated as the battle-cry it has been, it means “Allah is greater[than your God.]”  For those who have bought the misplaced notion that Islam worships the same god as Christians and Jews, this might pass the sniff-test, but for those who have studied the matter, McCain’s comment reeks of a naiveté or blatant dishonesty, either of which represents a clear and present danger to our country.

We have no business in Syria, never mind assisting the radical elements there.  1,400 civilians have been killed allegedly by chemical weapons, allegedly employed by Assad, but the American people have seen no evidence.  Instead, the DC establishment chatters about “intelligence briefings” as if the same people who didn’t prevent 9/11 are some sort of omniscient Oracle that knows, or that having seen such alleged intelligence, we, the American people ought simply to believe them, and accept it without further discussion.  Honestly, we’ve been here before.

While Washington DC prepares for war against Assad, we should remain mindful that the government is largely in a war against us.  No longer interested in serving the interests of the American people, and no longer bothered by that fact being obvious, they intend to have their war whatever we may think about it. Just like Obama-care, and exactly like amnesty.  It’s all part of one war: Washington DC against us.

 

Pining For Palin: What Most Conservatives Noticed

Sunday, February 12th, 2012

Still the One

My bride wasn’t home when Sarah Palin spoke at CPAC, so she wasn’t able to view the event live.  When she arrived home, we relaxed in front of the television, and I played the event on the DVR. After watching the event, I asked my wife for her impression.  It matched most of the comments here on my little blog site, and it was comprised of a single question:  “Why in the hell isn’t she our candidate?”  Here we had the person many consider to be the most eminently qualified to lead us out of our national quagmire, and she isn’t a candidate in this race.  Here was the most thoroughly engaging and compelling speech of this entire campaign season, and it was delivered by a non-candidate who some in the GOP establishment tell us is “unelectable.”  By what standard?  For my part, I have lost all patience for this faulty argument.  After attending her speech in Indianola, Iowa last September, and having viewed this speech from afar, if Governor Palin isn’t electable, I have no idea which Republicans can fulfill that definition.

I have read a few criticisms of the speech Palin delivered on Saturday and they all seem focused on superficial nitpicking.  The most frequent of these has been that it was filled with “red meat,” but what of it?  I believe in a balanced diet, and red meat is an important component of any conservative menu.  To criticize this is to suggest what too many Republicans of a more moderate leaning have accepted for far too long: We must never openly and harshly criticize our adversaries lest we be seen as being every bit as unrefined and undisciplined as they.  I reject this too.  The willingness to explicitly and unrepentantly castigate our opponents does not speak to a lack of “refinement” as if the idea of a political campaign is purely to demonstrate one’s social graces, but it is instead to incite a little energetic and vigorous candor into an issue to which the electorate will respond.  If this is the worst of the criticisms, then let those who propose them be damned, because I see no merit in such an argument. In point of fact, I would contend that electability rides on the shoulders of the candidate’s willingness to speak in such language to those whose votes they would solicit.

Still, the reality is that Governor Palin is not now a candidate, and more is the shame of the loss implied for conservatives. When announcing her decision in October last year, she cited her need to observe her values of God, family, and country, in that precise order.  With this as her final answer, despite our desires to the contrary, there is nothing to do but accept it.  This leaves us where we’ve been, and with nothing to do but forge ahead with the remaining candidates.  On the other hand, what this will remind many conservatives is what we had missed.  At some point, as a movement that is a subset of a party, we will need to address this problem we seem to have, where for whatever reason, our best and our most able candidates, dynamic and appealing, get left on the sidelines in the most important contests of our time.

Buck up conservatives, because while it’s apparent that we’re going to be forced to settle, we still have time to decide among those remaining, in order to work out who in this bunch is the best prospect to lead our nation philosophically, and also to win.  It’s my firm conclusion that the former begets the latter.  I don’t believe candidates with alleged “electability” creates a winning philosophy, or George W. Bush wouldn’t have left office with approval in the high twenties.   I believe a candidate with firm and principled beliefs is best suited to election, and is therefore by definition most electable.  The problem in our current race is that the best-suited will not necessarily rise like cream to the top.  Money doesn’t make great candidates either, because as we all know, whomever the Republican nominee, no matter who among those remaining is selected, despite any financial advantage at present, there will be no such advantage when we arrive in the general campaign season, with Obama’s purported war-chest to exceed one billion dollars.

I think we should begin to consider which among these has made the most of the least.  After all, if we follow Governor Palin’s example, we should take note of the fact that she clearly knows how to win while having nothing like the funds of an opponent, as she demonstrated in her political career in Alaska.  Perhaps this is something we ought to consider when looking more closely at the rest because it is fairly certain that none of them will have the sort of cash on hand that will be at the disposal of the Obama campaign.  As this race goes on, we might want to reference Sarah Palin’s successes, because while she may not be running, I think there is much to be learned from her both in terms of selecting our eventual nominee, but also in combating Obama this Fall.

I think almost every conservative who viewed Saturday’s CPAC keynote will have noticed that she stands head and shoulders above our actual candidates, but as I said, that wistful, wishful thinking.  The fact that Governor Palin is not in this race doesn’t preclude victory in November, but it surely will make it a good deal more difficult, as so many viewers concluded on Saturday.  There are those who think if this drags on into summer, and we wind up with a brokered convention, it will spell doom, but I think it also presents a possible opportunity, not merely for an outcome aimed at stopping the establishment, but one more moment of pause to reconsider who all of our alternatives might include.

The Establishment Way

Saturday, January 7th, 2012

Meet the New Boss, Same as the Old Boss

I’ve been discussing this over the last week, but it is the subject from which there is no escape if we are to take this process seriously.  Maybe that’s the point to be made about the GOP’s nomination battle:  The establishment sets out to win this war every four years, and every presidential election year since 1988, they have managed to pull it off without a hitch and without recourse for the party’s base.  As Jay Cost explains in a most excellent article at the Weekly Standard, it’s rigged, and this has been the situation since the 1970s, with only Ronald Reagan breaking the trend. If you needed more evidence than this GOP primary season has provided already, you have only to consider the words of this genius, New Hampshire State Senator Gary Lambert, who offered:

“Rather than go on with the blah, blah, blah. I’d like to get right to the point. Which is – Look, we know how this movie is going to end. Mitt Romney is going to be the nominee,” he said.
“This is not about picking your favorite, it’s not about picking someone you like. It’s not about picking someone even with your own beliefs and principles. This is about picking a person that can beat Barack Obama, period.”

Here’s video(I didn’t create the “Mafia” text, although honestly, it seems apt in the context of Lambert’s diatribe):

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Vq5HetsEx4o]

Did you catch this?  He knows “how you think.”  If you were confused, let me suggest that this establishment Romney hack should have cleared it up nicely for you.  While I’d like to tell you that this guy was going to be tossed from the party for making this statement, the truth is that he’s the norm, and this is the general sentiment of those who run the party.  They don’t care for your beliefs, your opinions or your ideas.  They don’t have any regard for your preferences.  Their analysts and public relations goon-squads choose.   You’re to be herded like the compliant cattle moving through a series of chutes, and you end up penned-in, voting for their preferences.  All this, and yet they wonder why they lose as often as they win, and blame you for the defeats?  Do you really wonder why the country is going to hell?  These people are helping take you there, of course, because they know better.

Don’t worry, Tea Party.  Don’t worry, conservative grass roots activists. You still have a role to play, and it’s to sit down and shut up and vote as they instruct you.  If you’re offended by any of this, it’s only because you’re an “impractical idealist.”  Please don’t bother to explain to me why I must support somebody who holds me in such contempt.  Please don’t tell me how we “must save the country from Obama.”   These people are every bit as bad in their own way, and that we tolerate their domination of this process is a depressing statement on our own gullibility.

There will be more revelations coming out of this process, as I’ve begun to get the sense that some within the establishment want to effectively shut down the primaries altogether, skip the convention, and immediately go to the general election campaign.  I don’t quite know how they would rig the game so thoroughly in that fashion, but I think Lambert’s rant basically tips the establishment’s hand in this respect:  They aim to close this all down quickly now.  Where they’re concerned, it’s a done deal, so when I hear Herman Cain talking about an “unconventional process” on Hannity Friday, I wonder now if he doesn’t literally mean “without a convention.”  Of course, that’s just wild speculation on my part, but given the manner in which Cain stressed the “un” in “unconventional,” I’ve begun to wonder if this might be the sort of thingat which he was hinting.  In this video, Herman Cain discusses this same thing with Wolf Blitzer on the Situation Room on Friday(Again, I apologize for the poor quality, but I wanted to be sure you could form your own impressions:)

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q7vVIEu-MY8]

I’ve also been thinking about the notion of endorsements, and how effective they are(or aren’t,) and how important they are to voters generally.  My own take is that I use endorsements to draw maps of who is beholden to whom, because that’s what determines many of these endorsements, and to be quite blunt, I don’t care at all who any politician recommends in this fashion.  I’m able to make up my own mind, and I’m able to discern who I should support, or not, as I imagine is the case with the vast majority of readers here.   Nevertheless, I enjoy seeing the endorsements because it becomes a form of identification.   Remember, we were told McCain was a ‘Maverick,’ but here he is in 2012 endorsing a party guy and making quite plain that he’s ready to shut down this primary process.  So much for the “maverick.”  He’s much more like a milch-cow.  What’s interesting about the Cain video is how it reveals his willingness to manipulate his supporters for maximum effect.  He’s doing his best to keep them together, to make the best pitch he can when he finally throws his support behind Romney, which it seems that he may well do.  This will have other potential fall-out, should it pan out as my magic-decoder ring seems to indicate it will.

This soup is the end result of pouring out your best efforts and your diligent activism into a rancid broth.  The establishment runs the party, and they do so mostly without reference to we little people.  We’re only good for three things where they’re concerned:  Money, Votes, and Campaigning.  They don’t care about our ideas, our principles, or our most firmly held beliefs.  They manage us, herd us, and drive us into a stampede, with the idea being that we should all arrive simultaneously at the conclusion they’ve laid out.  That’s the game, and it’s been the play for decades.  As Jay Cost concludes his article, it’s worthwhile to consider:

“Yes, it is important to consider the big policy issues – tax reform, health care, industrial policy – but without good rules to produce good nominees who can implement those policies, then it is all for naught.”

Sadly, it’s true.

Losing the Base Again?

Thursday, January 5th, 2012

Nurture What You Don't See, Too

The cautionary tone of Sarah Palin and many in the blogosphere is that the Republican Party seems to be doing its level best to alienate part of its base, but also non-traditional or potential Republican voters.  This is not insignificant, and it bears examination, because the GOP cannot successfully nominate a candidate and recapture the White House in 2012 without all hands on deck.  The GOP can’t afford to make very many people feel as though they have no home in the so-called “big tent,” but as usual, the party’s establishment is willing to extend to cover almost ever conceivable group but their core, and the adjuncts to that core that will make all the difference in November.  If you doubt my contention, look at the comments on these pages, and what you will notice is that there is a growing body of constitutional conservatives and somewhat more independent libertarians who simply view the Republican party establishment as having become too liberal, and too progressive(a.k.a. socialist.)  This is part of the problem the party faces as it marches toward the “inevitable” nomination of Mitt Romney, as conservatives and Tea Party folks look on in horror.  The Paul-ites are preparing to evacuate altogether.

On Tuesday night, during the coverage of Iowa on FoxNews, Palin mentioned that the GOP ought to avoid alienating the approximately libertarian supporters of Ron Paul, and she’s correct.  Driving them away would be part of a potential disaster.  There’s also a broad base of people under the general banner of Tea Party who are not very happy with Romney, and are beginning to feel as though the GOP establishment has pushed them aside.  Christian conservatives aren’t altogether thrilled at the moment.  The establishment believes that it should run the party, without reference to the heart and soul that does most of the voting.  The problem is this:  Some of these subgroups have conflicting interests, and it is difficult to find a candidate who substantially satisfies all of them.  What is needed is a candidate who can unite them, and despite the variety of candidates who have entered this race to date, none have been able to bridge the divides.   The establishment is hoping that the various factions will simply come home to unite behind the eventual nominee, but that’s not happening quite so easily this year, but even if it largely happens, the fact remains that many are simply so dissatisfied and feel so thoroughly disenfranchised by the choices they now face that they are willing to sit out this presidential ballot.

On Tammy Bruce’s site on Wednesday evening, she posted a blog article by a Canadian poster who has watched what happens when a wide swath of a country’s conservatives are effectively disenfranchised, presenting a fascinating study in what happens when a party loses touch with its base, but more importantly, his article offers a distinct warning to the GOP: Don’t dismiss your grass-roots.   One of the things that happens to a party large enough to gain electoral primacy is that all too often, they forget how they arrived in that position, or worse, begin to look at their grass roots activists as people to be managed and manipulated.  This has happened repeatedly to the GOP, and its most recent occurrence began in 2006, when the grass roots stayed home.  That brought the loss of Congress, but it also ultimately brought the 2008 victory of Barack Obama, because that same base stayed home.

The GOP’s dereliction of its duty is based on some of the problems I’ve been discussing this week, and the greater factor is the deal-making for the sake of a deal that led to the robust spending by the Bush administration and the Congress that enacted its legislative agenda.  Conservatives and libertarians began to notice even before his second term that Bush had begun to substantially abandon any notion of significant entitlement reform, and had instead merely added another, while increasing spending on other liberal causes, such as the education bill, and all the rest.  This began the collapse of the GOP.

Here’s the other problem:  The libertarian faction who supports Ron Paul is not entirely enamored with the military spending that has characterized the GOP’s recent past.  Of course, the truth of the matter is that our military spending is at a historical low as a portion of GDP, but it’s a much easier target than what really drives government expenditures: Entitlements.   I think if the GOP could put up a credible candidate who would take an axe to the federal budget, bring spending under control, and perhaps tear down much of the federal regulatory leviathan, returning many issues to the purview of the states, I think it would go a long way to blunt their dissatisfaction.  Of course, they’re going to need to learn to give a little too, but I think it’s possible with the right candidate.

The Tea Party crowd is concerned primarily with economic and fiscal issues, including taxation and the general growth of government.  If they thought the nominee would take that same axe to federal spending, and get regulatory agencies out of the way of businesses and job creators, they’d be substantially willing to consider supporting the Republican party again.  The Tea Party wants to see the dramatic deconstruction of government by virtue of an ethical administration, and they have every right to demand this from the GOP in exchange for their support.  In this way, there is some significant overlap in interests between the Tea Party and the Paul-ites.

Another group that gets kicked around by the establishment is the cultural conservatives, often called the “Christian right,” who look at the devolution and diminution of our nation and point a finger quite accurately at the tendency of government to strip any notion of ethics acceptable to them from all of officialdom.  They share many concerns with the other two groups, but they particularly focus on such as abortion because they see abortion as a vast evil.  This is why Romney shifted his position, of course, and why Laura Bush and Barbara before her, were effectively  gagged on the issue for eight years, and four years, respectively.  The simple fact is that this segment of the GOP simply aren’t amenable to compromise on this issue, and without them, the GOP has recognized they cannot possibly win a national election, so the establishment largely plays “wink and nod,” making their chosen candidates at least nominally pro-life, but not actively so, and this maintains something of an uneasy peace between them.  Whether Romney’s latter-day conversion on this issue will convince them remains to be seen, but they also have significant fiscal concerns that Romney’s 59-point plan doesn’t really address even if he settles their other concerns, because they also would like to see at least a hatchet taken to government spending.

There is one more group the GOP must capture, and they are what I call the pragmatists.  They’re not attached to the cultural or Christian crowds, and they’re not activists.  They really don’t much care about any of it except inasmuch as the current condition of their own lives is concerned.  Analysts call them different things, but most call them “moderates” or “independents,” and this is the group that doesn’t really begin to watch elections until six or eight weeks before an election.  This is the group both parties try to capture, and the group both parties are willing to offend their own bases to entice.  The problem is, the analysts and hacks fundamentally misunderstand what makes this group tick, or their misunderstanding leads them to sacrifice some of the party’s base of support.  The answer is that it depends entirely on how they feel about the state of their lies when they walk into the polling places on election day.  They are governed by impressions and emotions, and their votes are not an intellectual exercise in pursuit of particular principles.

It is for the sake of capturing these moderates or independents that the party bosses sacrifice the base.  It’s for them that the party hacks slice off bits of the grass roots in the hope that they’ll gain votes in the exchange.  The problem is that as a strategy, it’s ultimately a loser.  It means that you’re dependent upon the general feeling in the electorate being one of misery in order to oust an incumbent or their relative happiness to re-elect them.  Principles don’t matter, and these voters don’t think beyond how they feel after breakfast.  For this reason, they are the most volatile group within the electorate, and this may be why they confound so many analysts.  In order to win, the expedient thing campaigns do is to appeal to this crowd on some basis, any basis at all, in order to get their votes.

That’s all well and good, but the problem is that what the party establishment is always willing to do to satisfy this crowd is to abandon the grass-roots.  The reason this remains a mistake is simple:  The moderates or independents aren’t paying such close attention to the specifics of issues, because that’s not what moves them.  What they want is the status quo of their daily expectations: Their electricity is on, the water is running, the job is there, and there are groceries in the fridge.  In this sense, they are the intellectual free-riders who don’t really care whether a socialist or a constitutionalist is president, so long as their basic conditions and expectations are being met.   This is how they could tolerate a second term of Bill Clinton: He maintained what seemed a status quo to the abysmally uninformed, even as he advanced an increasingly virulent social agenda.  This is how George Bush managed a second term, as the economy fought back from 9/11 through tougher times, but the general sense of insecurity represented in John Kerry caused this group to stay with the status quo.

Now we have a party willing to gamble its base on the notion that they won’t need them, because the general idea is that dissatisfaction militates against Barack Obama.  There are reasons to suspect this is true, and it’s one more reason that Republicans shouldn’t be pushing a moderate like Romney, but the truth is that the party bosses have never been happy with populist conservatives, and they don’t feel they can risk a 1964-style outcome, which is the basic hope of the Democrats.  They will paint any opponent to Barack Obama as a right-wing extremist, even Romney, though that claim is a lie most conservatives only wish could be the truth.  What the establishment still fails to grasp is that in such an environment, a guy like Romney will be painted at once as a right-wing extremist and too little change to be worth the risk.  More, they will have plenty of ammunition when they make the claim that Romney’s flip-flopping makes him unreliable on any issue.

The truth is that the old formula won’t work this year, and to rely upon it again is an act of stubborn intransigence on the part of the establishment.  If ever there was to be a year in which you would bring in the base without alienating the various subsets of the party, 2012 would be that sort of year, much like 1980.  This is not the sort of year in which the party can afford to anger its base.  If the establishment loses in 2012 with Mitt Romney, it’s not only over for the GOP, but perhaps the end of the country.  Dissatisfaction is also at historical highs, and all the party really needs is a competent candidate who will not offend the base.  The establishment is hoping Romney can be that candidate, but thus far, his numbers don’t support that premise.  The riddle really is a question about whether any of the current crop can substantially unite the party, but at present, the answer seems to be a resounding “no.”  Romney can’t really capture the South, but neither will Rick Santorum or Ron Paul.  Newt Gingrich might be better positioned had he performed better in Iowa, and Perry might gain some traction in the South with conservative Christians.

This is why the GOP really does need another Reagan, who can appeal to all of these disparate groups and unite them, but still not offend those independents or moderates to the degree that they feel so uncomfortable that they lose their discomfort with the status quo.  As I’ve explained throughout the last week, there are a number of reasons to believe that Romney is incapable of satisfying these criteria, and if the party goes with him, they may see not only a Presidential defeat, but perhaps worse, one on the Congressional side.  Palin stated it best in explaining that all of this is beginning to agitate in favor of yet another candidate, and while some assume she might have included herself in the list of possibilities, the truth is if it isn’t her, it would need to be somebody much like her in terms of track record, and at present, I haven’t a clue who that might be.

The Truth Many Would Rather Not Know

Wednesday, January 4th, 2012

Food for Thought?

To read the remarks of a few of you on my posting about walking away, one might think I’d stirred a hornet’s nest.  Good!  It’s not that I am after controversy for its own sake, but I think some of you have been lulled to sleep by the sweet song of surrender that is being sung by the carolers for Romney.  One of the problems I notice is that some of you argue that Obama must go because he is effectively an enemy of the country.  I agree.  My question for you, and the thing you must be willing to ask, as a few of you shout your shrill denunciations of me for my stance on all this is:  If that’s what Obama is, why isn’t the candidate you tell me can save us from Obama willing to say it?  Given the opportunity even to call him a “socialist,” Mitt Romney demurred and instead said of Obama: “He’s a big government liberal.”  Do you think he can win with that?  Do you think telling people Obama is a “big government liberal” conveys the treachery of his agenda?  What basis is there for these complaints about my unwillingness to support Romney in the general election, hurling at me a virtual accusation of treason for my unwillingness to participate?  Meanwhile, the man being held forth to conquer this vast evil named Obama is a candidate who portrays him as merely one more “big government liberal?

By your descriptions, Barack Obama is a monster, and while I will not quibble with you about that, I nevertheless wonder why you would send a disarmed fellow to engage him.  Disarmed, I say, because the reason Mitt Romney dare not call Obama a “socialist” is that it’s also an apt description of Mitt.  You see, he’s neutered. If you offer him up as your candidate, so will you be.  Let’s imagine Ronald Reagan, confronting the horrors of the Soviet Union, but unwilling to call it an “evil empire.”  Can you imagine any scenario by which the American people would have signed on to arm up to fight against an “empire of big government liberals?”  The complaint seems to be that I should get in line for this “motivating” appeal by Mitt Romney to come out and do battle with “the big government liberal.” I ask: “Which one?

One of the problems I have long observed on the right side of the philosophical aisle is this perpetual practice of describing the behavior of the opponent as a devil, but accompanied by an unwillingness to call him by name.  You think Obama is horrible?  You think he is attacking the country’s foundations?  You think he’s capable of destroying the nation, but more, that he seeks to do so?  If all these things are true, and I have no doubt that they are, why do you shrink from candidates who will point this out, and now turn to candidates who dare not say it?  How do you expect to defeat him with a candidate who helps Obama to conceal his true intentions, because to criticize Obama’s is to open that candidate to similar criticism?  How is this a winning strategy?

You don’t want to read this or hear it, but the truth is that we face a very dangerous situation in the world, from which Mitt Romney has not the ability, courage, foresight or wisdom to save us, even if he were somehow elected.    Why pretend?  Why carry out this fraud upon yourselves, when you know that with a Romney candidacy, 2012 will be a replay of 2008?  At best, Romney will pick a VP who might trend slightly more conservative to try to energize the base, but that’s not going to get him through.  You know it, and I know it, but you stubbornly refuse to admit it because you’ve begun to see him as your only option, and you’ll dutifully accept it once all the others have been cleared away.

Say it with me, and embrace the horror openly: As it stands, Mitt Romney is likely to be the GOP’s nominee, and he cannot defeat Barack Obama, in part because he is so much like Obama that he cannot effectively criticize him.  That’s the truth, isn’t it?  That’s the thing all these protests about my “unpatriotic” abandonment of the GOP in light of a probable Romney candidacy are intended to disguise.  Sure, yell at me.  I’ll, listen, but what you’re arguing is absurd in the extreme.  You say I will cause Romney to lose, but I ask you:  If he’s such a sure-fire candidate, why should my vote matter?  He should win by acclaim!   No, your real terror comes from the fact that you’ve realized it’s true, and all of your protests against my position condense down to this:  “I don’t want to lose [again.]”   If you don’t want to lose, you’d better go out and find a more suitable candidate right now, and whoever that may be, you’d better stop being dishonest with yourselves.  I am unwilling to provide you that comforting dishonesty.

In 2008, as in many cases before, Republicans nominated a soft moderate RINO, who subsequently picked a more conservative VP candidate to try to motivate the base.  Sarah Palin, even with the thundering applause to which she was greeted was not able to overcome the shortcomings at the top of the ticket.  What in the world makes you think Mitt Romney will be any different?  Who will he pick?  Nikki Haley?  Chris Christie?  Rick Santorum?  We also tried this in 1996 with Bob Dole, and Jack Kemp, if you care to remember.  In 2000, we did the same with George W. Bush and Dick Cheney, and it succeeded only because of Gore’s wooden ineptitude.   We came a hair’s breadth from “President Gore,” and he wasn’t the sitting president.  Don’t count on that sort of luck with Obama, because he is the sitting president, and he is already using the full reach of his office to buttress his own electoral fortunes.

I’m satisfied to ignore the presidential race, as I skip on to the down-ballot elections in November.   For twenty years, I’ve asked the Republican party to give me somebody to whom I could give my affirmative support.  For 20 years, they’ve given us moderate “big government liberals” with an “R” alongside their names, who choose somewhat more conservative VP candidates intended to entice us along.  Before you descend upon me with complaints about my patriotism, or my loyalty to a party, or any of that, I’d ask you to explain to me in concrete form what it is about Mitt Romney that will make him substantially different from the rest of the losers, all who have endorsed him, by the way.  It’s time for those of you who think I’m abominable for my willingness to walk away to show me in logic how Mitt Romney will defeat Barack Obama.  I don’t think he can do it, and the truth of the matter is that neither do most of you.  Don’t worry.  You don’t have to admit it publicly.

 

Note: Thanks to Carl for the image.

Virgina Attorney General Set to Intervene

Sunday, January 1st, 2012

Virginia AG Ken Cuccinelli

Virginia’s Attorney General, Ken Cuccinelli,  has decided to get involved in the matter of ballot access for the primary elections in his state.  It’s something of an oddity to see this happen because while one could certainly make the case that the late rule changes in the way petition signatures are validated, it’s likewise true that “rules are rules.”  The funny thing about this is that when it was revealed that only Ron Paul and Mitt Romney would be on the ballot, many in the GOP establishment figured they had it all sewn up.  This way, they’d be able to exclude Gingrich, Santorum, Bachmann and Perry, and thereby have a virtual walkover.  Not so fast, as I pointed out:  This opened up the possibility that Ron Paul could win that state’s primary, either purely on the basis of Virgina Republican voters in disgust at the party, or because with nobody opposing Obama in the Democrat race, they’d be free to cross over and vote for Ron Paul just to muck things up a bit for Romney.

That realization finally settled in, and then we saw the preposterous “loyalty oath” business, whereby voters in the GOP primary were to sign an oath promising to vote for the GOP candidate in the general election.  That clearly turned into an embarrassment for the Virginia GOP, and rightfully so, but thereafter they were left with no way to stave off the Ron Paul disaster they now feared they would face.  Now enters the Attorney General, who will propose to the assembly that they enact a change to ballot access, that will effectively allow all of these candidates in.  It would require only that the candidate had met the criteria and was in fact receiving federal campaign matching funds, and that would enable them to be on the ballot.

This hasn’t yet been accomplished, of course, but this is the general direction in which it’s now being steered.  The intent in this case seems to be the attempt to deny Ron Paul a shot at outright victory, and to keep the conservative side of the field otherwise diluted, in order to permit Romney to walk with the lion’s share of delegates.  Some is better than none, which would be the result if Paul won in a two-candidate race. (The primary is “winner take all” unless none obtain a majority, in which case there’s some sort of apportionment.)

This entire spectacle is a stunning revelation about the electoral process in Virginia, but it also demonstrates how disconnected the GOP is from its base in Virginia. “Loyalty oaths?” That absurd work-around should never have seen the light of day, but in the reflexive attempt to retain control of the results, they tipped their hand and showed the people of Virginia how thoroughly dominated by the party establishment the Virginia Republican Party really is.  This story really does deal a serious black eye to the Virginia GOP, and Cuccinelli’s attempt to salvage it is really too little, too late.  Besides, these are “rule of law” proponents, aren’t they?  Who changes rules in the middle of a contest?  Imagine playing blackjack with these people.  Imagine trying to carry out anything under the rules, knowing they could change at any moment.  This is as much a problem of credibility for the national party as it is for their Virginia operation, and they’ve tried to settle this quickly with minimal bad press.

Too late.

One Factor That Favors Ron Paul

Monday, December 19th, 2011

Washington's Nightmare?

I think if you ask most conservatives and Tea Party folk what makes them angriest about the Republican party, they’d tell you without much hesitation that it’s the establishment wing of the party that denies its own existence.  We all know the players, and we all know how it works:  Election after election, they trot out their conservative credentials when they think they need us, but the rest of the time, their basic answer to our complaints is roughly: “Take a hike.”  This may be the one factor that makes Ron Paul more viable than the others, inasmuch as while some have considerable heartburn with his unrealistic foreign policy, as the Washington Examiner points out, if he were to win in Iowa, the long knives would come out from all quarters to attack Ron Paul.  They make a very worthwhile comparison to Patrick Buchanan’s losing campaign, and they’re right:  If Ron Paul manages to pull off a win in Iowa, the establishment wing of the Republican party will join with the leftist media on a tactic of scorched-earth against Ron Paul.

It’s plainly true that if there’s one candidate the whole establishment in Washington DC hates, it is certainly Ron Paul.  Perhaps only Sarah Palin could have roused them to greater vitriol, but since she’s not in this race, Ron Paul may be the recipient of their rage, particularly should he manage to pull off the win in Iowa.  I would expect that within moments of such an event, the GOP would begin to trot out its spokesmen, official and otherwise, to minimize the importance of Iowa in the grand scheme of things.  You would in such a case be told that Iowa is symbolic only, and a poor predictor of electoral prospects.  In the mainstream media, dominated by leftist thought, there would be a sudden and undeniable sympathy for the GOP and its moderates, leading readers to believe that “if only we had a more moderate candidate,” there might be some hope of defeating Obama.

Those of who watch politics closely can scarcely be unaware that the only thing more frightening to Washington DC than the prospect of their opponents’ victory is when it is somebody considered out of the Washington establishment mainstream.  It’s true that Ron Paul fits this mold to a large extent, because his views on many issues are not in alignment with the party chieftains from either side of the aisle.  They will call his views on entitlements “extreme,” and he will be constantly challenged on his foreign policy ideas.  Even Republicans will scoff at the notion of cutting $1Trillion dollars of spending in his first year, as the Congressman proposes, and the notion will be quickly spread that he would feed granny dogfood and poison the water, and all of the other charges ordinarily made by Democrats against conservatives, the solitary difference being that this time, those making the charges will be Republicans, only backed up and aided by a willing leftist media.

Whatever else you may think of Ron Paul, it is undeniably true that his platform is of the sort that poses an immediate threat to much of official Washington, because it promises a return to limited government.  Most all Democrats, and all of the establishment Republicans will be on a search and destroy mission if Paul should happen to pull it off.  Polls suggest some tightening in Iowa, so it may be that he will offer a serious challenge, and if he does, expect Iowa to be minimized in its import in the reporting that follows.  While I am on record as having said repeatedly that I think his notions about foreign policy are naive and irresponsible, I favor much of what he has to say on the matter of domestic policy, and this election may favor domestic issues given the economic disaster through which we’re now living.  If something significant happened in the economic sphere, for instance the collapse of the Euro, expect for Ron Paul’s credibility in his discussion about the Federal Reserve to achieve a whole new level of political capital.

Only fifteen days from Iowa’s kick-off, we’re apt to see fireworks in the coming two weeks, and you can expect the stump speeches to become ever more heated.  So much for “tidings of comfort and joy.”

Ann Coulter’s Sad Obsession With Establishment Republicans

Thursday, November 17th, 2011

Coulter Kissing-Up to Willard

In a column entitled “If Not Romney, Who? If Not Now, When?,”  Ann Coulter laid out her stunningly unconvincing case in favor of Willard “Mitt” Romney.  What Coulter seems incapable of grasping is that the base of the party will not accept Romney, and may even abandon the party if he is the nominee.  Coulter’s argument is that Newt Gingrich sucks, so therefore, we must now accept Romney.  She attempts to herd readers into supporting Romney on the basis that Obamacare won’t be overturned if we don’t win the White House in 2012.  I’ve seen this coming for some time, but it seems many conservatives won’t flinch this time.  They shouldn’t.  We will not win the White House in 2012 with a moderate, progressive, flip-flopping Romney, and as I explained at length recently, it is because Romney is an ideological zero.  Conservatives are not satisfied with Willard, and the establishment’s attempt to scare them into Romney’s arms has begun to anger them.  Coulter is speaking for them, but not you.

Coulter’s biggest criticism of Gingrich comes from the flap over his consultancy with Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.  Gingrich earned $300,000 in consulting fees, personally, while his company was paid a total of around $1.6 million. The conclusion being drawn from Coulter(and others) is that this is evidence of some sort of crony capitalism, but given Gingrich’s history of consulting, think-tanking, and similar activities, it may not be a stretch to believe that this was a legitimate consultancy.

After assailing Newt, she moves on to make her case about Romney and Obamacare, and makes some rather bombastic claims on Romney’s behalf:

“The mainstream media keep pushing alternatives to Mitt Romney not only because they are terrified of running against him, but also because they want to keep Republicans fighting, allowing Democrats to get a four-month jump on us.

“Meanwhile, everyone knows the nominee is going to be Romney.”

Coulter seems rather certain of herself, but I remain unconvinced.  Coulter reduces criticisms of Romney to “Romneycare and Mormonism.”  To be honest, I don’t know anybody who is criticizing Willard on the latter, because most Americans are relatively accepting of religions that are not their own.   Romneycare is another matter, however, and it’s not the only instance of his statist reflex.  There was the “Welfare Wheels” program, among other things I’ve covered, and of course the whole flap over the illegal immigrants hired by his landscaping contractor, who he publicly chastised, continued to use, and who ultimately brought illegal aliens back to work on Romney’s lawn.  I’m sorry, but I don’t view Romney as a conservative.  Among conservatives, he’s consider a “Mush” Republican, a “Repubic,” and a “RINO.”  I think that’s a fair assessment, so that I am baffled by Coulter’s unceasing support of this sort of Republican.

Coulter has long claimed to be a conservative, but I have serious doubts about her claim.  She couldn’t wait to bash Sarah Palin’s voice, or anything else that may have displeased her.  She spent the majority of 2011 pushing the notion of a Chris Christie candidacy, and as soon as Christie announced he would not run, but would instead endorse Romney, Coulter spent a five minutes one day in mourning for the Christie candidacy that would not be, but then jumped into supporting Romney.  I don’t trust Romney, like many conservatives, and the reason is simple: Mitt Romney goes out of his way to avoid staking out positions that we can later reference when he ultimately screws conservatives.  It’s what the establishment does.  It puts me in a mind to remember the words of another conservative who had some troubles with  progressive Republicans:

“I have no trouble with my enemies. I can take care of my enemies in a fight. But my friends, my goddamned friends, they’re the ones who keep me walking the floor at nights!” –Warren G. Harding

Of course, with Coulter on the warpath for Romney, arguing that only Willard can save us from Obama, I am likewise reminded of Harding’s Vice President and successor, Calvin “Silent Cal” Coolidge, who famously said:

“When a man begins to feel that he is the only one who can lead in this republic, he is guilty of treason to the spirit of our institutions.” –Calvin Coolidge

 

 

 

Romney Isn’t One of Us Either

Monday, November 7th, 2011

Out Amongst the People

It’s not often that you get a chance to see how a politician behaves among ordinary people.  They’re usually surrounded by security, and mobbed by media, so on that rare occasion in which you find yourself relatively alone with one for even a moment, most people will try to exploit the moment and express their own opinions.   In these situations, some politicians bear up better than others, and some are able to disguise the actual contempt or at least ambivalence they feel for we “little people.”  The Romney campaign thought it would be a good idea to have Mitt fly coach just to be among the people.  Unfortunately, once there, he promptly ignored a fellow passenger who wanted to discuss health-care reform with him, reports a New York Times blogger, Emmarie Heutteman.  According to the article, Carolyn McClanahan of Jacksonville, Florida was seated next to Romney.

From the blog posting:

According to Ms. McClanahan, about an hour into the flight — which Mr. Romney mostly spent reading USA Today and using an iPad while wearing headphones — she told him her idea for improving the American health care system: slashing overhead costs by switching to an electronic billing system.

“He looked at me blankly and said, ‘I understand,’ then put his iPad headphones in and kept reading,” she said.

While Ms. McClanahan said Mr. Romney was probably exhausted, she was disappointed he showed so little interest. Even another passenger’s request for a restaurant recommendation in Boston elicited little from Mr. Romney, she said. “I can’t give you any,” he said, according to Ms. McClanahan. “You’ll have to ask someone else.”

This is demonstrative of the arrogance that pervades the permanent political class.  I recognize that Romney just wanted to catch his flight, but if you sit in coach in an attempt to appear to be “just one of us,” then you should expect that people will attempt to make some conversation, particularly if you’re a presidential candidate.  Mitt is just another of those politicians who want your vote, but not your opinions.  I have no idea whether Ms. McClanahan had any good ideas or not, but after all, you never know.  I’m not surprised by this, although this sort of confirmation is troubling.

Undoubtedly, this may be Mitt’s last appearance in coach, because now his campaign is catching grief.  The Times article concludes:

Ms. McClanahan said that if Mr. Romney wants to improve his image with voters, he’s going to have to do more than just fly coach.

“I think that one of the problems right now is that politicians aren’t in touch,” she said. “They’re trying to act like they’re in touch. You need to be a little more sincere about it.”

Indeed. That’s one of the problems with Mitt.  In fact, it always has been: He’s roughly as genuine as a stuffed ape holding a plastic banana.  He’s got no credibility with average Americans because he simply isn’t one of us.  He never has been, and he clearly seems out of his element when among us.  It’s only a matter of time before they put him in flannel at a skeet-shooting range, or at a NASCAR race to show us how he’s one of us.  McClanahan’s instincts are right about Romney.  He’s out of touch. He’s out of style, and if  conservatives and Tea Party folk have anything to say about it, he’ll be out of the running.  Sadly, that’s going to be more difficult than some now think.

Cain Under Fire: Can He Prevail?

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Dirty Politics or Unpreparedness?

Think whatever you like of the allegations against Cain, but what I’ve noticed has nothing to do with the details of the case, except for their absence.  Back when Herman Cain was serving as the President of the National Restaurant Association, just a relative few people would have been privy to the allegations and the case at the time.  What is now known is that the cases were to be held in confidence as part of the settlement agreements.  The parties to these cases wouldn’t have an interest in disclosing information about them, so it makes one wonder where the Politico dug all of this up.  If I was a betting man, I’d bet on somebody within the GOP establishment, or alternatively, one of the other non-establishment candidates who would like to topple Cain from the head of that pack.  Chances are, if it was a liberal, they’d have waited until after the nomination fight if Cain won, or accepted a VP offer.  While it’s true that Politico is a left-wing rag, they’ve often managed to get along with the GOP establishment when it suited their immediate political ends.

In their articles on this subject, Politico hasn’t revealed much detail, which only means they don’t have anything salacious on which to hang their hats, or it would be all over the media by now.  What this suggests to me is that whomever their sources may be, they were close enough to know there had been cases, but not close enough to have been bound by confidentiality agreements.  This suggest somebody close to the National Restaurant Association, or somebody at least somehow associated, who knew about the allegations, or the settlements, at least in that they existed, but this all has the stench of somebody with insider knowledge who tipped off somebody at Politico.

What I can’t understand about this is how Cain wasn’t prepared to see this happen.  Did he believe that because the settlement agreements had been made confidential, that nobody would spill the beans about their existence?  That seems naive for a man who spent a fair amount of time in and around Washington DC lobbying circles to know how things work.  Did he think, innocently, because there really had been nothing to the claims that nobody would dredge this up?  I don’t know, but I think it’s somewhat curious that Cain was caught short in this way. After all, if Cain has an Achilles’ heel, it is probably that he’s not quite as skilled in knowing  how the game is played, and one would have thought that he would have hired somebody who knew, and who had already been through an analysis of what the opposition would attempt.  He should have been ready to respond to this, because he should have known, or at least his advisers should have known, that this would be coming.

This is part of what makes the Beltway political scene so disgusting to so many Americans.  Examining this, all we really know is that there were some allegations made at some time by some people and that those allegations consisted of something, and that there had been some kind of settlement, but we know not a single meaningful detail about any of it. Does this sound familiar?  It should, as it is the methodology used to derail candidates year after year, campaign after campaign, and it stinks.  It’s as though the DC Establishment closes ranks to freeze out all others, and this is the manner by which they wage their war: Innuendo, implication, and smear are the tools of DC politics.

Predictably, Politico is now spinning this into a divide among conservatives, but that is mostly a pipe dream on their part, and the part of the Romney camp.  Politico is also trotting out the women’s groups, which have been conveniently absent over the matter of OWS hushing rape victims.  For this, of course, they show up.  Who would like to pretend NOW would ever endorse Herman Cain(or any Republican) over Barack Obama, anyway?

Presidential campaigns are always full of intrigue, and smears, and plain old lies.  For whatever reason, Cain seems hopelessly unprepared for the ferocity of it, and while they continue to deride him on this issue, I don’t think it’s going to matter, because this won’t be all and they’re hardly finished with him yet.  If Cain doesn’t get wise to the ways of establishment politics, they’re going to eat him alive.

The GOP Establishment Thinks You’re Stupid

Thursday, October 13th, 2011

We May Not Be So Stupid

Every day that passes, we learn more about the people who direct the Republican Party, and every day, we get new reasons not to like them.  If the people of New Hampshire let themselves be pushed into voting for Romney, they no longer need to tout the motto “Live Free or Die,” but should instead adopt the motto: “Principles don’t matter.”  Mitt Romney is using his influence in Nevada to try to push up their primary to push New Hampshire up to December.  To Republicans in New Hampshire, if you allow the Romney campaign to prod you forward, you are going to anger the people of your state.  Go ahead:  Hold your primary during the Thanksgiving-Christmas-New Year period, and prepare to reap the reward.  Allowing Mitt Romney to try to steal this primary is an unspeakable act, but polluting the holidays with partisan politics is abominable.  The GOP establishment thinks you’re stupid, and they think you will advance your primary into December in order to stay ahead of the others.  The party doesn’t care what will happen to your state, and they think you’re too stupid to notice.

Any state party that yields half of its representation at the national convention in order to permit one candidate to make a bigger splash than the others isn’t serving their electorate.  The Bush operatives still hold sway in Florida, the state that got this all rolling, and now it’s been a domino effect with New Hampshire looking as early as December to maintain its position at the front of the line.  Romney is weak in Iowa, and this is about supplanting the influence of Iowa.  You need to understand that this is an attempt to steal a primary season, to shorten it up, and to prevent any other candidate(s) from gaining traction, but more importantly, to prevent any Tea Party opposition from gaining traction. It also means there will be all those delegates yielded to the national party for the convention, which will effectively lessen the influence of every state.  The people of New Hampshire may be powerless to stop this, and they may not care to because they’ve been told the falsehood that it will improve their influence.  Either way, the country loses.

As this goes on, what you must know is that whatever the 8-pm (EST) blow-hard or his substitute on Fox News may tell you, Mitt Romney has no business being President of the United States.  Fox News has become the establishment Republican propaganda network, and the only thing they’re going to bring to mainstream conservatives is defeat in 2012.  Fox News is compromised in many ways due to the Rupert Murcoch/News Corp/phone-hacking scandal.  You can bet Obama’s DOJ will play that ace-in-the-hole next fall.  In the mean time, Obama and the Democrats are happy to see the Republicans nominate Romney because he is the one candidate in this race they are dead-certain they can defeat.

You’re being told to accept Romney because “he can win.”  I’ve got news for you: If (and that’s a giant “if,”) Mitt Romney can win, then so can anybody else, including “My Pet Goat.”  The simple fact is that Romney can’t currently top 30% in national polls, and there’s a good reason:  He’s a liberal.  He sounds vaguely conservative on a few issues, but in the end, Romney always, always shows his true intentions as a big government, progressive Republican, or as Mark Levin would call such people, “Re-pubic-ans.”

As Tammy Bruce offered today, “I’m wondering now, why the Republicans even should bother to vote in the primaries” as she explains since the Republican establishment is now telling us Romney is the guy.  Meanwhile, Cain is moving up as an answer to the establishment, but so is Gingrich.  Do you think we can beat Obama with these?  The truth is, if we nominate Romney, we deserve to lose.

It’s time to tell the GOP establishment: “No more! Enough!”  Are we willing to do that?  I am.  Here’s what I’m going to do: I’m going to treat the GOP like a dirty cop.  He should be a good guy, but he isn’t, and in most every respect, he’s as bad as the people from whom he’s been tasked to protect me.  You know what I think of such cops?  To hell with them! I love good cops, who keep the peace, shield the innocent, and do not partake of graft and corruption, and enforce the laws of our country.  When I see a bad cop, however, I don’t care what happens to him because when he battles with thugs, I simply view it as rival gangs at war.  That’s the Republican establishment, and the only way I can reduce their influence is to simply cease aggregating mine with theirs.  I’ll defend myself, thank you very much, because their sort of “protection” isn’t protection at all. It’s more like a protection racket.

I no longer care whether the Republican establishment defeats Obama or not.  If they succeed in getting their guy nominated, he’s not going to offer any relief from the attack our constitution is under, whether from Obama or his shills in the media and Congress.  The simple fact is that Romney and others like him simply won’t do what it takes.  I’ll say it again: Anybody But A RINO.

I’m going to focus on the Senate and the House, and every chance I get to stick it to the Whigs Republicans, I will take it.  The Republican party was founded in the name of a cause in search of liberty.  It will fail if it doesn’t seek to put liberty in the forefront once more, and the GOP establishment is no better than the Democrats in that respect.  None.  You voters in New Hampshire have a chance to send a message by standing this manipulative nonsense down.  Of course, the Romney people are in a hurry to tell you this will increase your influence, but they’re lying  to you.

We can’t win the sort of election we need in 2012 by being against something.  People prefer an affirmative reason to vote.  This is why McCain lost, but until his idiotic “suspended campaign,” Sarah Palin was able to boost him:  She was that affirmative feature of McCain’s campaign.  Whatever surge McCain ever had owed to her presence.  While I don’t know who Romney will pick as his VP, maybe somebody to draw in conservatives like Herman Cain, but whomever it is will not rescue his campaign.  If conservatives hope to actually reform this government, it’s going to require all  hands on deck for a real candidate, but in lieu of that, we’re going to need to learn that we can no longer afford to hold our noses.

If a “President Romney” continues the downhill slide of our country, will the left say it’s because “Romney was too liberal?” No. They will state with straight faces that it had been evidence of the failures of “conservatives” and “capitalism.”  Bank on it.

Note To The GOP Establishment: Forget It

Wednesday, October 12th, 2011

Enough is Enough

My answer to the establishment of the GOP is “No.”  I will not support a RINO.  You can put one up if you like, offering conservatives and Tea Party patriots the fools’ choice between rampant lefty statism and moderate statism, but I will have no part of it.  Do you hear me, Mitt Romney?  Do you understand me Karl Rove?  There shouldn’t be any way you people are in charge of anything given the mess you made during the Bush administration with your false doctrine of feigning conservatism while ruling as progressives.   If we conservatives get our act together in time, we’ll realize that the first enemy we must defeat is you, and then you’ll be in real trouble.   The problem for conservatives at the moment lies in deciding which of these candidates is not a shill for your purposes, and which among them you cannot easily control.  It’s my intention to see to it that we conservatives and Tea Party patriots have a real choice.  You think we’re going to roll over easily?  Forget it!

Ladies and gentlemen, here’s how we can start:  We, not me, but we can create a list of common traits upon which we can all agree and accept them as our baseline.  We can decide what it is to be a conservative, and upon which principles conservatism rests.  We’re going to need to reduce this  list down to no more than ten fundamental principles, and no more than fifteen issues,  and we’re going to prioritize them on that basis.  We should be careful to exclude things from consideration upon which there is little distinction.  We can then create a score sheet and people can offer evidence as to how a candidate may be scored on a given issue.  Long before we get to that, we need to establish the lists.  Our task will not be to endorse a particular candidate, but show how each of the existing candidates stack up against an ideal hypothetical candidate.

The truth is that this has been done by many people and groups.  The difference is that we are going to do it on a shoe-string, on the honor system, and all from our own thoughts and ideas.  We’re not going to copy anybody, if we do this.  What I want to know from you is if you’re interested.  I want to know if I’m wasting my time, or yours.  I want to know if this is worth doing at all.  What I’d like from you, if you don’t mind, is to give me some indication of your thinking about all of this.  You can leave a comment to this post, or you can signify your interest by liking it, or you can send me an email, subject: Interested!  If you have particular ideas, use the subject line: Ideas!

We are running out of time to influence this outcome.  If we’re going to do this, it will need to be grass-roots and fast.  Let me know what you’re thinking.  Myself, I cannot stand the thought of the establishment ruling the day again.  Maybe this is how we can turn the ship around.  Thank you for your attention and time!

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 Establishment’s Fake Chris Christie “Ground-swell”

Monday, October 3rd, 2011

Too Close For Comfort?

If you watch Fox News, or indeed, almost any media, suddenly, all the buzz is about New Jersey Governor Christie and his possible entry into the GOP nomination fight.  I think this is a lot of smoke and mirrors.  Christie currently has national name recognition on par with so-called second-tier candidates, and with the primary season moving up, it’s hard to imagine him building sufficient name recognition outside the Northeast corridor.  Of course, Ailes over at Fox News has been doing his best to give him more media coverage and drive up the number of people who recognize him, but this is just another example of the manufactured hype being created around Christie.  The GOP establishment is either looking for somebody new to play javelin-catcher now that Romney is back in front,  or they hope to supplant Romney with somebody they think can cause more excitement.   Either way, Chris Christie may well be just the man for the job.  As part of their bid to make Christie more palatable to the base, they placed him in the presence of Nancy Reagan last week, but this an awkward attempt at disguising Christie as a Reaganite that gains little from any but the most superficially-inclined voters.

This isn’t to say there aren’t any people genuinely interested in a Christie candidacy.  Ann Coulter has become positively unhinged over the prospect, but the truth is that there’s no real ground-swell of support for the New Jersey governor.  He simply isn’t all that well-known or liked outside the Northeast corridor.  An overbearing, loud-mouthed bullying attitude may play well in New York City, but it simply doesn’t play in Peoria.  If Christie runs, he will not capture the Tea Party segment, and he will not cut into Romney’s core of support.  This leaves one to wonder what Christie’s purpose in running might be.  The answer is simple: He’s there to try to suck up the oxygen in a bid by the establishment of the GOP to stop or at least mute a Palin entry into the field.  Nothing more.  Nothing less.

The simple fact of the matter is that apart from some high-dollar contributors of the crony-capitalist variety, Christie really doesn’t offer much to the Republican party at large.  The Northeast, liberal Republicans already have a candidate, and while they wish he would get more support, they’re satisfied enough that Ann Coulter has now come out to support Romney.  Christie’s only chance to win will depend  upon co-opting the Tea Party segment, and given his record on a number of issues, it is likely that he won’t get their support.  He’s simply too liberal, and too uninterested in issues important to the Tea Party.  He may pay lip service to some of those issues, but as Stephen Bannon pointed out in his interview of Todd Palin Sunday evening, it’s really not much of an accomplishment to cut state budgets when you have no choice, but it is a big deal to cut budgets in time of surplus.  Tea Party folk are discerning enough to recognize this vital distinction.

Chris Christie could best be understood as an exemplar of the problem with the Republican establishment: He doesn’t really believe in the things important to the conservative base of the party, never mind the Tea Party. It’s another sorry charade offered to us in the form of yet one more “savior” for the GOP, just as the line of them we’ve been presented over the last nine months.  What I found particularly telling was the Karl Rove interview by Hannity as they waited for Christie to speak at the Reagan Library last week, and Rove said:

“Well, and look, it’s not just wealthy donors. There have been fellow Republican governors, party activists, grassroots Republican movers and shakers. I mean, this has been a pretty interesting thing to watch. In a very short period of time, since his swearing-in in January of 2010, he’s become quite a figure on the national stage, because of what he’s done as governor. He took on the teachers unions. He’s blunt, he’s straightforward. He’s the every man of American politics. And he’s got a — he’s got quite a following.”

As usual, Karl Rove is trying to paint a picture that bears little resemblance to reality.  To call Christie the “every man of American politics” is a laughable attempt at positioning.  More, when he  says “…it’s not just wealthy donors,” he’s essentially lying.  That’s the vast bulk of Christie’s support, and Rove knows it.  Christie has little in common with the base of the GOP, or the Tea Party, and that’s the point insofar as the establishment is concerned.

I think you can see as well as I what is really going on here.  This is another put-up job by the establishment, and whether they expect Christie to win the primaries, stealing Romney’s base of support, or if he’s being put up as a body-block for Romney, it essentially doesn’t matter.  It’s a hoax  to call this a “ground-swell” or the result of “grassroots Republicans.”  What this really means is Rove and the rest of the GOP establishment are trying to maintain their power.  By now, nobody should be surprised about that.

Dana Perino: Party of Washington DC

Wednesday, August 17th, 2011

Which Party?

Watching Dana Perino take her well-deserved lumps on Hannity on Tuesday night was one of the few highlights of my day.  Dana Perino and the rest of the DC-insider crowd are approximately what the rest of us out here in “fly-over country” refer to as RINOs.  They serve the interests of a viewpoint that seeks to avoid conflict and confrontation with no boat-rocking while you [quietly]pay the bills.  In short, she serves the Washington DC crowd that isn’t defined by an official party, but instead the all-consuming grasping and groping for power that is the Beltway Axis.   Perino got caught by Hannity when he asked her about her earlier reaction to Iowa Tea Party organizer, Ryan Rhodes, who confronted Obama on Monday.

Perino didn’t like it, thinking it disrespectful to the office of the president that some little person(a.k.a. “Hobbit”) from out in Iowa would dare to challenge the President.  More, she actually defended Biden, who had called the Tea Party “terrorists” or at least agreed with that sentiment as expressed by Congressman Doyle.   While a Republican in name, only the party of Washington DC enjoys her loyalties.

Dana Perino, the Republican?  Yes, that one.   The former Bush Press Secretary took Obama and Biden’s side in this instance against an average guy who is an Iowa Tea Party organizer. Why would she do that?  Well, you tend to speak kindly of those who’ve appointed you to the Broadcasting Board of Governors.  You didn’t know that?  Most people don’t.  Yes, she’s a big government Republican.  Are you shocked yet?  She also works for a public relations firm, Burson-Marsteller, where she serves as a “Chief Issues Counselor,”  and she has acted as Karl Rove’s family spokesperson, informing the media about Rove’s divorce in 2009.

Knowing a bit more about Perino, it’s easier to understand how she’s part of the Washington Insider crowd.   It’s small wonder that she’s not a big fan of Tea Party folks.  The Tea Party stands opposed to the whole stinking system in which she is thoroughly entangled.  When some assert that there’s not a dime’s worth of difference between Republicans and Democrats, Dana Perino is of the sort whose behavior tends to substantiate their point.

The Republicans Dana Perino represents are the sort who think Lisa Murkowski is “a strong conservative,”  as she herself told Neil Cavuto.  She’s also the kind of Republican who doesn’t have any intention of addressing illegal immigration, and attacks those who take a strong stance against illegal immigration.    They don’t experience the problems, so it’s easy for them to sit inside their insular DC bubble and tell the rest of us how to live, and chastise us for what we ought to be willing to accept.

Then you hear Perino criticize Sarah Palin as being inauthentic?  The irony is amazing, and I’m certain Perino knows it.

If you wonder why somebody like Perino could seem to change sides so easily, it’s because you’ve misunderstood on whose side they really stand.   They stand on the side of an establishment in Washington that loves only its own interests.  They’re accustomed to being king-makers, and finishing well out of the running simply isn’t their preferred cup of tea. These are people who trade on the power of their insider connections, and that’s all they have to offer.

If you ask me, this is the larger part of what’s wrong with the Republican party.  People like Perino don’t stand for much of anything unless it’s to advance their own agendas to the detriment and the expense of the American people.  It’s time for a serious reform in the party’s structure, during which Perino and others of her ilk must be unmasked.  Along the way, it will result in the restoration of the nation.

When we go to the polls in 2012, for the primaries and in the general election, I sincerely hope it is part of our goal to show people like Perino the door.  The problem is that when it comes to Washington DC, Perino and her crowd are the home-team, and we’re just visitors, so if we send in a candidate they did not want, you can expect them to treat that President like an occupying foreigner.  They would, in such a situation, act exactly like insurgents in Iraq, seeking to undermine and sabotage such a president every step of the way.  That’s part of why they wish to defeat Palin.  They’ve seen her clean up Alaska, and they don’t want a repeat in Washington.  That’s their turf, and they intend to keep it that way.