Posts Tagged ‘Institutional Left’

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

Monday, March 26th, 2012

How Friendly Are They?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

 

 

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Why Conservatives Must Challenge the Lies and Narratives of the Left

Wednesday, March 21st, 2012

Why We Must Stand

I am frequently asked why it is that I bother debunking the arguments of obvious leftist shills, or establishment hacks.  The reasoning of those who ask me this question is approximately: “The people who fall for it aren’t inclined to support conservatives or conservatism anyway, so why bother?”  I think this is a serious mistake, and it has a companion that asks: “Why would we stoop to responding to these vile people?”  As a conservative, my answer for these questions is simplicity itself: I believe in the truth, and doing what is right, and I don’t think that permitting lies to propagate is a proposition that serves my interests, the interests of my family,  friends, or neighbors, and indeed, the country.  Call me old-fashioned, but I think that the truth is demonstrable, and that it is incumbent upon we who value it to fight on its behalf.

Propagandists of the left expect us not to challenge them, and theirs is a shrill reaction when conservatives begin to question them.  They’re not accustomed to being challenged, and most conservatives aren’t accustomed to the rough-and-tumble of the engagement.  We conservatives need to harden-up a bit, and be a bit less flexible in our resolve to expose the lies.  It’s important because when the next generation comes along, the propagandists of the left have been working on them since early childhood in many cases, so that by the time they are exposed to a conservative thought, it’s frequently so foreign, and has been so thoroughly denounced throughout their early education that if we don’t set the record straight, nobody will, and over time, we will have lost the country.

There’s another way conservatives should view this, and it’s something I taught my own daughter: Permitting a lie to go unchallenged is widely seen as an endorsement of sorts.  If nobody ever challenges a lie, it becomes the perceived truth, because it’s been permitted to go unchallenged.  Some will counter that to react in defense is seen as a denial, but that’s not necessarily the case.  One can point to far too many examples in which a lie was confronted not with a mere denial, but with the actual truth.  This is something conservatives must begin to do on behalf of capitalism.  Too often, capitalism is smeared with the sins of statism, and far too often, conservatives are willing to let it go.  I’m not.  When another leftist launches a screed against capitalism, I am willing and anxious to point it out, because I know that capitalism is the only system in which free people can function.  I am not inclined to yield the means of my existence so easily.

When it comes to politicians, like many, I have a hard time defending any of them.  Over my lifetime, I’ve seen politicians betray their supporters in so many ways and with such frequency that it’s almost to be considered “normal.”  The notion is ever that “all politicians are corrupt,” but this isn’t so, and it’s simply not proper to paint with so broad a brush.  More than this, however, is the very focused attacks aimed at particular politicians.  When it’s done by the left, what you come to realize is that it has but a single aim and that is to tarnish the conservative in question without reference to facts, history, intentions, or truth.  This is how the left functions, and what it offers you is a window into what they see as a threat.

This morning, I pointed out the vacuous attacks of Stanley Crouch on Sarah Palin.  Nowhere in his entire piece did he offer even bare substantiation of his claims, but that wasn’t his aim.  His aim was to add one more column to the growing pile that all seem to confirm what every other one has said in some form: “Sarah Palin is no good.”  None of them really offer readers an explanation.  They don’t bother with explaining it, and it’s always offered in the form of a confirmation of previous stories, all of which are no better in terms of their actual journalistic merit.  They pile them up, referencing one another, but none of them really explaining the reasons behind their claims.  The truth is that which I explained:  They oppose conservatives, and anything they say or write about them is permissible on this basis alone.

It’s why I’ve defended every Republican who has been part of this primary campaign at some point or other, because along the way from then until now, each of them has faced these sorts of attacks.  The most egregious of the attacks are those spawned by their fellow competitors for the nomination, and it is for alleged conservatives who employ such tactics that I reserve special contempt.  It’s why Mitt Romney doesn’t get my support:  His entire campaign is a load of out-of-context attacks against his rivals, designed to smear by impression rather than confront with facts.  This isn’t to say that the others have been perfect in this respect, but it is to admit that Romney has the distinction of being the worst of the lot by a wide margin with respect to this sort of campaigning.

The reason all of this matters, and the reason one should not permit lies to stand without challenge is that it will always come back around to haunt you, one way or another, in due course.  If you can’t grasp that simply doing what is right should be sufficient motivation, remind yourself that in the end, if you don’t stand up for the truth now, when it is easier, you’re going to have a hard time later when the lies have been established as truth, and you now find yourself confronting the products of the lies.

A practical example of this is evident in the health-care debate, and I want it stated bluntly whether people wish to read it or not:  When you accept the lie that the only institution that can provide for healthcare for the aged, the disabled, and the poor is the Federal government, and you don’t challenge it out front and immediately, what you permit is the notion to creep in that this is the proper role of government.  Once established as “the truth,” why is anybody surprised when this later manifests in a complete government takeover of all health-care?  You permitted the lie to remain in place, but now that it affects you directly, now, and only now do you raise your voice in opposition to the lie?  It’s a little late to try to debunk what you permitted to be accepted as the operative truth so long ago.

This can be extended into other matters.  Consider how Newt Gingrich was treated in the press in 1995-96.  Many in the conservative movement abandoned Newt Gingrich, because they didn’t want to accompany him on a magazine cover, portrayed as the Grinch, so they permitted the lies about Gingrich to fester and to build, and whatever else you may say about him, it was a damnable lie to suggest Newt Gingrich didn’t care about people then, or now.  Now you are surprised when Democrats run ads depicting Paul Ryan pushing granny in a wheelchair over a cliff?  The moral cowardice implied by the lack of a defense of Gingrich in 1995-96 has now come home to visit us, all based on the false proposition that he was a mean guy back then because he thought it wrong to permit one American to rob another with government as the stick-up man.

In 2008, or since, you may not have defended Sarah Palin when she was accused of spending wildly on wardrobe for she and her family though she had nothing to do with it, but now you enjoy the Obama family’s wild-eyed spending on vacations.  Still, the lie prevails in media, but the truth is that we’ve never had a first family who made use of the public treasure for their personal amusement like the Obamas, while Sarah Palin actually objected to the hefty price-tags on some of the clothing, to the extent that campaign staffers actually got rid of tags and concealed the costs from her at the time.   When conservatives permit these lies to be told, re-told, repeated and widely propagated without substantial challenge, what happens is that the less attentive populace perceives their silence as agreement or at least acknowledgement.   This is the premise that Andrew Breitbart lived to overwhelm: We conservatives, if we love our country and our way of life so much as we claim, must be willing to defend the truth about it, and to do so loudly and often.  We must do so in every context and venue as consistently and fearlessly as the left propagates its lies continuously and remorselessly.

Nothing we claim to value is served by permitting the left’s propaganda machine to spew lies without challenge.  Some times, it will require of us that we get down into the gutter with them, at least long enough to kick their asses and let the truth be known.  There’s only so much we should be willing to tolerate, and it should be a good deal less than has been our practice.  Refuting the left isn’t merely a matter of politics, but is instead a pressing necessity in preserving our republic.   Lies mustn’t be permitted to flourish, and the lament of of Sir Edmund Burke should echo in our minds as we respond:

“All that is necessary for evil to prevail is that good men do nothing.”

It shouldn’t surprise us when we do little or nothing to combat the left’s lies that they prevail in the long run.  Their perpetually dishonest narrative is merely subsidized by our unwillingness to combat them.  If you want to save the country, start here, and challenge everything they say or write.  Chances are, there’s good cause for your challenge if only you are willing to run the truth to ground.  A funny thing happens when you debunk the left:  They quickly change the subject lest too many observers gather the impression that this may not have been their only lie.  Most people understand that dishonesty is habitual, and once they see a few instances of the left’s lies, they simply walk away and the lies have no more effect.

When I’m asked why we conservatives should bother to debunk dishonesty of the sort that Stanley Crouch purveys, I’m inclined to remind my readers that to let the lies remain without stern refutation is to assent to their narratives by silence, but as Andrew Breitbart spent the last years of his life reminding us, conservatives should remain silent no longer.  To save this country, we’ll need to be as vocal as the left, but when we do our homework, we’ll have unassailable truth on our side.  It’s the difference from which the left should never be permitted to hide.