Posts Tagged ‘Republicans’

Penetrating the Beltway Bubble: Republicans Should Notice They’re Winning

Thursday, October 3rd, 2013

What he really thinks…

It’s rather novel these days to see Republicans standing and fighting for the American people.  They always claim to agree with us, but over the last several years, it has seemed that they would start a fight, ask us to man the ramparts, and then sneak out through the secret passage in the back of the keep.  This time is different, and while I am wary of potential pitfalls, as should you be, I sense that the Republicans are discovering much to their happy amazement that Americans are supporting them in this battle over the continuing resolution and Obama-care.   What the House Republicans and not a few Republican Senators need is to get their heads out of the Washington DC murk.  In the nation’s capital, there’s little chance they’ll get a sense of sentiment throughout the country.  They hear and see the mainstream media memes, assuming what they’re hearing is actually representative of the country at large, but it’s not even close.  Republicans in Washington DC must recognize that by adhering to their principles and promises, they are going a long way to influence this fight, and the American people outside the DC bubble know what’s going on.  The Democrats know too, because the media is on their side, but back in their districts and states, they’re catching Hell.  If the Republicans will hang tough and simply do the right thing, the American people will join with them in greater numbers to beat back the Democrats.

The sad fact is that Democrats know too well how badly this is going against them, despite the mainstream media’s attempts to re-write facts in favor of Barack Obama, Harry Reid, and the whole DC mob.  Meanwhile, Republicans do not understand that the whole media picture is being aimed at influencing them.  The beltway bubble doesn’t want to divulge what the average American thinks about Obama-care or the shutdown.  Instead, it’s all about pressuring the Republicans and creating an environment in which the Republicans feel so thoroughly set-upon that they will crumble.  Of course, we have a few bone-headed Republicans who have bought into this, but the truth is that we don’t need them anyway.  Republicans should look at what’s going on in their districts, and how the average American out here in fly-over country thinks, and then realize that Obama and Reid are merely fabricating a spectacle with the special effects of the media establishment in order to make them believe they are losing.

This is why over the last twenty-four hours, the Democrats have become so shrill.  They know they are losing, and for a change, more Republicans are seeing through the smokescreen to realize they are winning where it counts: With the American people.   As evidence mounts that Obama-care is an unmitigated catastrophe for the American people and the US economy, Democrats are doing all they can to obscure this behind a torrent of inflammatory verbiage. Naturally, as it turns out, it’s the Democrats who have been losing this debate, and now it has been revealed that the national Obama-care sign up phone number is 1-800-318-2590, or 1-800-(F)(1)(U)(C)(K)(Y)(O).  Do you believe this could have been an accident?  This president has been flipping-the-bird at the American people since he was inaugurated in 2009. How well do you suppose that will go over with the American people?  The President’s “signature legislation” and biggest program can be accessed though a phone number that tells the American people the real nature of Obama-care.  The Democrats are losing, and they know it.

Now is the time in which Republicans must discover that they’re winning by standing against this national tragedy.  They should hear the voices of their constituents, to discover how terrible are the effects of Obama-care.  We must help them understand, because inside the beltway, they’re being hammered mercilessly by Democrats and media that want them to believe that they’ll take the political black eye.  They must stand now, or be finished as a political party, and at this point, they should continue to follow the strategy of sending individual funding bills to the Senate.  If, they buckle, then they will lose, because not only will America at large abandon them, but their own base will turn away in disgust.  This is no time for capitulation.  This is the moment for which much of the country has been waiting these last five years, and if the Republicans lose sight of it now, they will lose forevermore.  The truth is that they’re winning, and all they need to do to achieve victory is to stand their ground.  Now, it’s not only the right thing to do, but the only rational alternative for weak-kneed politicians.  The Democrats are self-destructing, and the more they and their cohorts in the media lie, the more Americans now see through the lies.

 

Call Your Representative: No Surrender!

Monday, September 30th, 2013

We are at that moment when less-than-courageous politicians will think to waffle, turn back, and avoid a fight.  If we’re to prevent that outcome, it’s going to take some Hell-raising on our part.  Even now, elements within the House of Representatives, in the Republican leadership, are beginning to whisper about capitulation to Obama and Reid.  In the Senate, we already know there exists a group of GOP senators who will be only too glad to put this issue behind them.  It’s going to take a Herculean effort on our part, but we need to buck-up these politicians.  This is, after all, the hard part of their job, and if they won’t stand and be counted in the tough times, who needs them?

Go to the House website.  On that site, you can find your representative, and all the relevant contact info.  Visit their pages on Facebook.  Tweet them.  Email them.  Call them.  The more they hear from you, the more inclined they will be to fight, and the more likely they will be to stand up to leadership if they begin to crumble.  Barack Obama is trying to bully them.  In the end, their own leaders may try to bully them too.  Remind them who it is that had put them in office.  Remind them of their duty. There is no reason Harry Reid should determine what goes on in the House.  Instead of getting tough with conservatives, for a change, John Boehner should be tough on Democrats.  It’s time for them to stand up, even if we will need to hand-hold them through it.

GOP Preparing to Fool Constituents on Immigration

Sunday, August 4th, 2013

Obama’s Three House Stooges

Now that we’re in August, a time when Congress goes on recess, returning home to hear from their constituents, we grass-roots conservatives have an opportunity.  Somewhere near you, members will probably hold a few town hall meetings.  You need to be there.  Leadership has coached them on the issues of immigration and funding Obama-care, but for the sake of argument, let us prioritize a bit.  The Republican leadership wants to push a bill through the House that will be a head-fake on immigration.  It will promise all sorts of seemingly nifty gimmicks on border control, but you need not be fooled: This is about passing some bill, any bill at all, so that in conference with the Senate, they can shove the Gang-of-Tr8ors bill down our throats.  Our answer to them in their town hall meetings must be plain and simple:  No bill!  Any bill they pass in the House will merely become a vehicle for a Senate bill that will grant amnesty.  They don’t really give a damn about border security, or doing anything about the millions of illegals who have ignored our laws already.  We must stop this process cold, but we must not permit ourselves to be bought-off with phony promises that will never be kept.  When the opportunity arises to tell you House members what you think, don’t miss it, and let them know you will not be fooled.  Your only answer on immigration must be: “Kill the bill.”

They really do believe we are stupid.  Our less-engaged fellow Americans give them plenty of reason to believe this, since they’re often completely distracted by other things, but that’s where we come in.  We must let our fellow citizens know that the two parties in Washington DC are conspiring against them in order to manipulate them into a position in which it appears as though they have supported the laws Congress wishes to enact.  In order to help you understand what lies ahead in the coming weeks, I’ve drawn the process as a flow-chart.  (Click it to see full-size version.)

How they’ll push the bill…

The simple fact is that the bulk of the Republican party in Washington DC wants this bill.  They are doing the bidding of big business, but also the progressive wing of the party that is for all intents and purposes a fifth-column, stealth-mode gaggle of shills for the larger leftist-progressive movement that dominates DC, and the entire media establishment.  These are the elites in the Republican party, and they hate your guts.  In order to trick you, they are preparing to put on a show that will involve pretending to gather your opinions, while hoping you’ll be too busy or distracted to offer them.  They will go through this recess and take up the bill that has been working its way through committees in the House, and move to pass it before or immediately after the Labor Day weekend.  Once passed, the bill will go to conference, and all these promises of border security and combating illegal immigration will be scrapped in favor of the Senate version.  Then it will go back to both chambers for a final vote, where mostly Democrats will support the bill in both Houses.  There is only one way for the American people to win: We must kill any House bill on immigration, even if we are compelled to heckle our own members at town-hall meetings.  This must be defeated.

I cannot repeat this point often enough: The final bill will be passed with a majority of Democrats supporting it.  That’s right, this entire process is being rigged so that it can be passed with only a couple hands-full of Republicans supporting it.  They only need a few RINOs in the Senate, and in the House, they will only need a couple-dozen Republicans of the RINO wing of the party.  The key is to push some bill through the House so they can get it to conference.  Once that’s accomplished, the RINOs can and will do whatever they please. We have discussed ad nauseum all the reasons the “immigration reforms” being pushed by the DC establishment is horrible for the country, but the most important consideration for you is this:  It’s their attempt to permanently negate the conservative wing of the party.  Once they herd 30 million new immigrants into the voting booths, it won’t matter what you think about anything.

This means that our only hope of saving the country begins and ends with the defeat of any immigration bill brought up in the House of representatives. There is no other way around it, and no other way we can expect to bring this plot of the DC statists to an end.  We need maximum participation at such town-hall meetings as Republicans may hold in the coming weeks, and we need to be fearless, loud, and clear: On the issue of immigration, the only acceptable answer is “Kill the Bill.” If we permit them to fool us, we will have missed our last opportunity to begin the process of saving the republic. Any House immigration bill must die.

Spread the word: Kill the bill, or let it kill the republic.

Beating Back the Progressive Republicans With Their Own Bludgeon

Sunday, July 7th, 2013

A New Kind of Tea Party

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Saturday, July 6th, 2013

Which are You?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Republican Conspiracy to Defeat Conservatives

Thursday, February 7th, 2013

Who’s Behind the Mask?

Discussion over the last several days has focused on the implications of Karl Rove’s Conservative Victory Project, but if you think he and Steven Law are the only people in the Republican Party seeking the defeat of conservatism, you haven’t been paying attention.  The conspirators are everywhere, and many of them don’t even realize their part in this insidious scheme. Knowing participants like Mitch McConnell and John Boehner are just the beginning. Realizing how deeply the Republican Party is infected, and considering how easily it has been corrupted and overwhelmed by a force of fifth-column Democrats in Republican clothing, you might wonder why we’d bother to save it at all.  The stunning part of this conspiracy only becomes apparent once one recognizes the true source of their devious power, seeing the real force that has been arrayed against real conservatism on behalf of the Republican conspirators, because if you’re still a Republican, the identity of their true power brokers is staring us in the face each time we gaze into the mirror:  The indispensable force upon which the various conspirators rely is ours, expressed in terms of all the times we did not walk away. It’s time to unmask and take our share of the blame.

We shouldn’t feign ignorance at the suggestion.  You know it must be the case.  Each and every time they have led us to electoral defeat, we’ve returned to them nevertheless.  We could have walked away from them, and while we complain that it’s so hard to begin without them, the truth is that too often, Rove’s critique of our actions has been correct:  He has said many time before and in many forms that we are the RINOs, because while he’s hustling campaign donations and concocting SuperPACs on behalf of the Republican Party, we’re nowhere to be seen.  We show up on election day, but we leave the running of the party to him and those like him, who are charged with the legwork of making it come together according to some kind of strategy that we leave to them to formulate.  Let me make this more clear:  Rove believes we are the real RINOs because in his view, we’re only part-time participants, and we’ll consider walking away or staying home.  He and his set are in the game all the time, without fail, and with relentless strategies, to which we are a party only when we’re expected to turn out and vote.

In all my years observing and participating in politics, I have seen instance after instance when the conservative grass-roots have become righteously enraged by some action or other of the party elite, forswearing further donations to the party apparatus, and going off on a pouting tantrum. I call it that, because the moment passions cool a few degrees, most come marching right back in to carry out the party’s bidding.  In 2011, I heard the oaths and the promises, and made a few of them myself, about how I would not support another liberal or moderate Republican for President, but in 2012, despite the huffing and puffing, on election day, desperate to oust Obama, most of us (myself included) went rushing back in to try to prop Romney up and push him over the top.  What do you suppose Karl Rove had expected us to do?  Most of us complied with his plan right down the line.  He wasn’t out to win, but merely to put on a good show to justify the massive expenditures.

Now I suppose it must be said that if it is a sign of insanity to do the same thing over and over again, expecting different results, so too must it be a sign of schizophrenia to behave in the first moment as if there is no going back, only to go back anyway.  The only other way to describe such behavior is to suggest that we had been bluffing, and that the GOP establishment had called our bluff repeatedly.  In the end, here we stand exposed, having made a holy spectacle of things, but in the end evincing none of the fiery resolve we had claimed at our initial offense.  Is it any wonder that the GOP establishment marches over us at every turn?  We keep letting them win, and in the end, supporting them, because we’re either too afraid or too lazy to strike out on our own.

There are those who will immediately chastise me, because as they will point out, building a new party cannot be done overnight, and cannot be done in time for the next congressional elections.  That may or may not be true, but extenuating the matter will not improve our predicament.  One of our laments in the face of leftist obstructionists to oil drilling who claim our goals will not be attained for a decades is that we never reap the benefits because we never begin.  We point out rightly that if we had begun drilling when they first opposed it, we’d have acquired that new source of oil by now.  The same thing can be said with respect to our talk about replacing the Republican Party.  If we had begun years ago, we’d be done by now, but we always permit the lengthiness of the task and the attending difficulties dissuade us from commencing.  We’re Americans, for goodness’ sake, and if we can decide to put a man on the moon inside one decade, ultimately completing it, and if we can decide to defeat the Soviet Union by out-producing and out-smarting them, and do so in a decade, surely we can likewise build a new party and toss the Roves and his ilk briskly to the curb in two or four years.

What then prohibits us?  Yes, they have an open conspiracy against us.  Yes, for all intents and purposes, they are in alliance with the Democrats.  Yes, between those two elements, they all but own exclusive control of the media.  So what?  Look around.  We outnumber them if only we’d have the good sense to realize it.  They cannot put a single establishment candidate into office without our active participation and support.  Cannot!  The fact is that it is we who put the Republic in the name “Republican,” and it’s about damned time we act as though it’s ours to control.  We must ditch them, or ditch the party, but either way, we must go no further down this path together with them, because they are leading us to a destination we cannot abide.  Where will go?  How will we get there? What must we do?

I haven’t any of the answers save one: We must separate or be stuck in this awful union in perpetuity, complicit conspirators in our own demise, losing election after election until there is no country and there is no way to make one from the ashes.  We must separate ourselves from them or bear the stamp of the appraisal we will have earned by our alignment with them.  Many people these last few days have made much of the Twitter hash-tag: #CrushRove. As bad as he is, and as malignant a force as we may take him to be within the Republican establishment, that entire concept possesses only so much power as our compliance and our votes lend to it.  Every time you think of him and his white-boards full of scrawled propaganda on Fox News, remember that it is in large measure your willingness to serve his conspiracy that gives him the power to defeat you.  It’s true that he is able to acquire large sums of cash in his efforts, but without the promise of ultimately delivering your votes by leaving you no alternative, Rove would be powerless, the money would dry up, and we would be finished with him.

We need to become better citizens, all of us, or pay an incredible price. This will demand of us not merely the swearing of oaths against a vague Republican establishment, but a commitment to seeing this through.  For years, decades in fact, we have largely turned the operation of the Republican party over to those who haven’t our interests at heart, and who do not share our principles.  If we are to do no more, we mustn’t complain when they run us to ruin.  It is with our silence and  compliance that they have purchased the power to decide who our candidates shall or shan’t be, and it is with the unchallenged ignorance of much of our flock that they have been able to persist.  Conservatives mustn’t permit either any longer.  I understand the reluctance of those few who would earnestly leave the Republican party behind, but have resolved that it’s their party, because I have felt much the same, but the fact is that given the activities of establishment Republicans for at least two decades, it hasn’t been our party for a long, long time.

We are fast approaching a time in American history when we will be judged for our diligence in speaking out truthfully on the state our union.  When the collapse comes, as it almost certainly must, I will not be associated with the Republican party.  It has been complicit in our national undoing, and conservatives who had worked so tirelessly against it shouldn’t be saddled with the blame, but their continuing association with a morally bankrupt party ensures that they too will be discredited in the ensuing debacle.  It’s time then for me to commence, on my own if I must, but in its present form and under the current chief influences, or any like them, I am done at long last with the Republican party.  If our founders could carve a rough-hewn nation out of the wilderness that had been the American continent, I should consider myself lucky to be an heir to their exertions, but I will not let their republic wither and die for my own lack of diligence.  The only remaining alternative before us is to join the conspiracy against her by silent assent, surrendering to the bogeyman who will have been revealed: It was us all along.

 

NY Times Expresses “Concern” for GOP by Trashing Ted Cruz

Wednesday, January 23rd, 2013

Best Use of Your Times

There’s something a bit more than preposterous about the premise of the NY Times Op-Ed suggesting that for the good of the party, Republicans leaders should ignore Ted Cruz and other conservatives in their caucuses because in that publication’s view, they’re too rigid and inflexible, and they have all the lies in the world ready to prove it. Given that this is published in the NY Times, conservatives will likely conclude as they should that the paper probably doesn’t exactly have the best interests of the Republican Party at heart, their contrived concern aside. Of course, it’s one thing to offer an opinion, but it’s a damnable shame to validate one’s opinion with lies and half-truths, but once again, the NY Times has little else to offer its readers. Remembering that this is the outfit that hid the holocaust, and covered for Joe Stalin and Fidel Castro(h/t MarkLevinShow,) it’s really not surprising to see the paper resort to this tactic. The Gray Lady sees no black or white, and holds in contempt all who do.  The paper’s motive is transparent: Marginalize conservatives in the Republican Party.

Their screed against Cruz is fundamentally wrong, in large measure because it’s based on a number of lies and distortions:

“Unlike 85 percent of the Republicans in the Senate, he would have voted against the fiscal cliff deal. He says gun control is unconstitutional. Breaking even with conservative business leaders, he would have no qualms about using the debt ceiling as a hostage because he believes (falsely) that it would produce only a partial government shutdown and not default.”

I realize it is the contention of the Times editors that gun control is constitutional, but the simple fact of the matter is that the Second Amendment protects the right of citizens to keep and bear arms just as the First Amendment protects the right of the NY Times to publish lies presented as fact.  The Op-Ed relates that Ted Cruz is willing to use the debt ceiling in order to force cuts in Federal spending, but the conclusion(a.k.a. propaganda) is that he believes a falsehood about the results of such an action. This contention is a lie.  The government of the United States takes in roughly $220-230 billion in revenues each month, and from that amount, paying the interest on the debt, paying for Social Security and Medicare, as well as paying our military can be accomplished.

What is not easily accomplished under such a scenario is to continue funding the endless string of other government programs and departments, some of which are simply bureaucratic fluff, but many of which comprise things like corporate welfare and crony capitalism, along with outrageous spending on items of dubious necessity to the operation of our government.  In short, the Times is lying.  Default is only a necessary result of a Debt Ceiling freeze if the President is unwilling to comply with his duty to pay the debts of the United States and thereby intentionally throw the country into chaos.  This is the truth the NY Times does not want you to know.  We should be so lucky as to have a Congress willing to put a stop to the out-of-control spending.  The Times wants the President to retain the propaganda tool of claiming that a Debt Ceiling impasse would lead to disaster.  It’s simply not the case.

Not satisfied with the growing influence of conservatives with a Tea Party flavor, the Times continued its farcical rant against Cruz:

“Considering the damage that this kind of thinking did to the country and the Republican Party over the last two years — a downgraded credit rating, legislative standoffs, popular anger, a loss of Republican seats — it might seem obvious that the party should marginalize lawmakers like Mr. Cruz. Instead, they continue to gain power and support. Party leaders named Mr. Cruz vice chairman of the National Republican Senatorial Committee”

Does the NY Times really expect readers to believe that Republicans had been to blame for the credit downgrade?  The only degree to which the GOP may be blamed is that in the final analysis, they compromised with President Obama, giving in and accepting a spending binge that caused credit rating services to downgrade the nation’s credit-worthiness, and before it’s over, will prompt more credit rating agencies to push the rating down. The popular anger in the country isn’t directed at Cruz, or other conservatives, unless “popular anger” is an expression used to describe the sentiment among the board of editors at the NY Times.  A winning presidential candidate is always expected to pick up seats for his party, thus the long-established political term we call “coat-tails,” just as it is long-held political convention to expect a President to lose seats in an off-year election, much like 2010.

The fact of the matter is that the NY Times is taking a shot at Ted Cruz because in his early popularity, they see the potential for damage to their left-wing agenda.  They want the Republicans to compromise with the President, but if truth be told, they’d rather there were no Republicans.  This is why they continue their campaign to marginalize conservatives, and it’s also why they apparently feel compelled to carry off an unconvincing pretense of concern for the Republican Party.  The Times isn’t interested in making the Republican Party a viable political force, but they know Republican leaders in Washington read their paper, actually believing some of the paper’s hogwash. Let’s concede that when it comes to propaganda that influences policy, the NY Times is an undeniable leader, but that doesn’t mean we must accept it as a permanent condition.  Their claim that Cruz is too rigid is simply another way of saying that he intends to keep his word to voters in Texas, where standing on principle isn’t an entirely foreign concept.

 

To Hell With the Republicans, We Must Save the Country

Friday, January 4th, 2013

Let it go…

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

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

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

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

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

 

As Though The Appointments Sell-Out Hadn’t Been Bad Enough… Another Budget Surrender

Wednesday, August 1st, 2012

Too Afraid to Fight

Early Wednesday, I brought you the story that had erupted in Washington over Republican capitulation on Presidential appointments on Tuesday evening. While Ted Cruz was winning the Republican run-off for Senate in Texas, the House Republican leadership was busy selling us out, but it didn’t end with the matter of Presidential appointments. They also came to an agreement on another temporary spending extension that will carry the budget problems until after the elections by virtue of yet another continuing resolution, as the Heritage Foundation reports.  Let’s get real: If we can’t win by standing for the constitution, let’s just quit, surrender the country, and simply lie down and die.  This is another example of the preternatural fear exhibited by Republican Congressional leadership over the prospects of a government shutdown.  I don’t understand why, because this nation has survived many shutdowns, including at least three major ones during Reagan’s administration, and at least one during Clinton’s. Of course, it is the shutdown of 1995 that leadership fears, because in that instance, Bob Dole over in the Senate undercut Gingrich because Dole was seeking the Presidency in 1996.  Now, the leadership is selling-out for Mitt Romney’s sake, but if this continues, we will have a repeat of the 2006 disaster.

Somebody should tell Speaker Boehner and Leader McConnell that they don’t answer to Mitt Romney, but more, Mitt Romney should make a case on behalf of budgetary discipline, but just like last summer, Romney didn’t say a word about the deal-making over the Debt Ceiling until it was finished, only then remarking on it. This is precisely the sort of spineless approach I have feared from Mitt Romney, and from any Congress that would work with him.  If this is what it will be like in a Romney administration, I’m not interested.  More, we shouldn’t get our hopes up too high since it’s now apparent that Boehner and the boys in the House simply don’t have the stomach for a battle.  As usual, the GOP establishment is in collusion with liberals to screw the rest of us for the sake of politics.

Here’s the list of problems Heritage offered with this latest continuing resolution(CR):

  • It stifles the economy by adding to the uncertainty among investors and employers, making them reluctant to pursue growth-producing, job-creating activities.
  • It erodes public confidence. Congress’s repeated failure with such routine matters as annual spending bills breeds cynicism about how lawmakers are handling more than $3.5 trillion of the economy’s resources each year.
  • It weakens Congress’s ability to budget at all. Each repetition makes fiscal mismanagement the norm. Past vices become present-day habits, and the chance of Congress restoring stable budgeting practices grows more remote. Without them, Congress will be unable to address the huge entitlement spending challenges that are growing larger and more imminent.
  • It risks an economic breakdown sooner than expected. Former Senator Judd Gregg (R–NH) has warned that “once reality sets in that there is going to be no improvement in leadership, whether on the fiscal cliff or on long-term deficits and debt, people and markets will react. They will not wait until January. Historically, September has been a good time for such a reaction.”

More than any of this, however, I believe it simply “kicks the can down the road” again, in search of a more favorable time to address the impending catastrophe.  By “more favorable,” they mean a time when there is no impending election, but I have news for these establishment weasels:  There’s always an election pending, and this is precisely why we never actually address these issues.  Kicking the can down the road is much less painful to politicians, but it does precisely nothing to repair our nation, and it helps to promote an eventual collapse of our system.

Congressional Republicans ought to wake the Hell up.  Mitt Romney’s campaign didn’t appoint them to office.  We elected them.  They’re in office to represent our interests, but not Mitt Romney’s electoral aspirations. This is not a winning strategy, but merely a plan for perpetual retreat. We can’t afford this sort of leadership any longer, and if this is what Romney offers, we’re better off without him too.

 

How the Republicans Can Win

Saturday, February 18th, 2012

Leading Our Leaders

There’s nothing else to say about this except that we’re in trouble.  We shouldn’t be, as Barack Obama’s war of diminution against our economy, defenses, and culture should have doomed him, particularly in the hands of able leadership.  Due to Republican ineptitude, he is turning what should have been an election more like 1980 into one much more like 1996.  That shouldn’t be possible, but it looks almost certain to be the outcome, and worst of all, as I reported on Friday evening, he may manage successfully to make enough hay over the debt ceiling to do serious damage to the GOP House majority.  We might well ask how it is that we arrived in this predicament, but looking at the onrushing elections, it’s time to think about how we can turn this around despite our ineffective Congressional leadership.  There is a way, but until we make them grasp it, we will not win this argument. If they will not lead, we must, because our nation’s future now rests in our hands.

The first thing the House of Representatives must do is to begin passing a long string of bills, all legislation that would pass muster with the American people at large, and each confined to a narrow scope of issues.  Many or even most of them can be repeal bills, striking down previously enacted bad law.  In fact, apart from such things as money already spent, they should repeal virtually everything enacted since roughly 2007.  They should begin to beat the drum about an intransigent, puppet Senate, and they should keep this up from now until the election. They should build a pile of legislation that reaches skyward, and pile it on the steps of the Capitol, showing the world what Harry Reid will not even consider.  Every day in session should be concluded with hours of special orders speeches, decrying the President’s unwillingness to lead, and Harry Reid’s unwillingness to act on legislation.  We shouldn’t be able to turn on the television without some Republican Congressman or Senator appearing on screen to criticize in indignant terms how it is that Harry Reid, and Barack Obama are harming whichever group is effected by the legislation at hand.

In short, we need the House Republicans to go to war with the left.  We need people like Allen West, Paul Ryan, Michele Bachmann, and others of that frame out there making a holy fuss.  We need Rand Paul and Marco Rubio from the Senate out there calling attention to the miserable conduct of the Senate, and Harry Reid’s disgusting parroting of the Obama line. In other words, the whole of the Republican party should go to war, minus the useless RINOs, who live in cringing fear of the next poll, that due to their cowardice, becomes a sort of self-fulfilled prophecy of failure.

The other important thing they can do is to stay well clear of the Republican nomination fight.  Leave the primary battles for the nomination to the people. Among their number, we do not need controversies or divisions, as they should be seen as a solid line opposing the forces of Obama.  A little indignant anger is good, and they shouldn’t hesitate.  They should band together in small groups on particular bills, raising hell over the failure of the bills to move through Harry Reid’s Senate.  They should never fail to mention that this is part of the Obama-Reid strategy to deny the American people their will through legislation.  In short, this must become a Tea Party.

From now until the general election, it should be an unbroken string of repudiations of Barack Obama and Harry Reid. If Barack Obama is holding a rally in their district, they must co-opt it if they can.  They need to organize groups as large as possible to show up and jeer President Obama often and loudly.  They must do this, and you must help them.  And if they won’t do this, you must do it independently, taking  the lead in your own districts.   The consequences of this election are too dire to permit the current administration to continue.  We must take the Senate, and we must take the presidency, so our options are few if we want any chance of staving off the national disaster for which Barack Obama and the Democrats have set the stage.

In the summer of 2009, Tea Parties formed, and at various town-hall meetings, the purveyors of the President’s agenda were swamped by an avalanche of public defeats.  The YouTube recordings of their ridiculous advocates went viral and they learned that they would have to push their agenda out of reach of the public eye, and control the circumstances of their public appearances.  They brought in thugs, and when that didn’t do so well, they stopped holding town-hall meetings. Then they sent their thugs to the town-hall meetings of Republicans, but that mostly fizzled.  Bear in mind that they are keenly aware of the effect on their agenda of such events.

This is not going to be an election that can be won on any level but by the most active side.  They have an advantage, because they have mobs of people who have nothing better to do with their time, but to you goes the advantage of defending your principles and your values, and indeed your country, but also the understanding of why you fight.  Their mobs really don’t know what it is for which they are fighting, but you do.  You can see the future of your children and grandchildren in the country they’re building, and you know where it leads.

It’s time we throw off this fretting over the Republican nominee, whomever it turns out to be, and while you and I may have different preferences, we both know this fight must become more focused.  We all know what is likely to happen if we fail. It’s not a future we can accept.  Like most of you, I have substantial doubts about most of these GOP Presidential candidates, and like so many of you, I wish we could broom the lot and start from scratch, but we’re not going to be able to do so.  We are the people who know how to turn a few lemons into lemonade, and in the coming election, that is what we will be compelled to do if we want any hope of victory.

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

Monday, February 13th, 2012

No Need for Nostalgia?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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.

Response to Daniels’ Response

Wednesday, January 25th, 2012

On Tuesday night, Mitch Daniels, Governor of Indiana, delivered the Republican response to the President’s State of the Union address, but to be honest, I don’t think Mitch Daniels said much of consequence that I can endorse with respect to the battle in which we’re engaged for the form and the soul of America.  I don’t believe we can afford his weak response, because it was delivered so dispassionately, and with so many contradictions that I doubt it could convince anybody but Charles Krauthammer, who I knew would love it.  Please read his response here.  Daniels responded to Obama, and now I will respond to him:

There are some Republicans who believe we must show more than a modicum of respect for the occupant of the office of President, irrespective of the level of villainous, unconstitutional tyranny issuing forth from that office, but I am not one of them.  The few points of agreement conservatives may have with Barack Obama pale in comparison to the gulf between us.   While I am happy the President has a nice, strong family, that fact has absolutely no bearing or relevance to the State of the Union or the level of contempt in which I hold his form of politics and the philosophy that supports it.  Presidents may seek to find the “sunny side of our national condition,” but if there isn’t one, I see no point in attempting to placate the media by lying supinely before him.

It is true that President Obama did not cause the economic crisis, and it is likewise true that he has deepened it, but while we’re talking about fiscal crises, I see no reason we should take advice on the matter from his predecessor’s OMB Director who made a wreck of our fiscal condition that has led ultimately to the election of Obama.  Obama isn’t trying to fix anything, and he is intentionally making matters worse, so to dismiss his programs as evidence of mere incompetence, while they really signify malice is to continue to lie to the American people.  As Americans sit idle in the gargantuan numbers you cite, Governor Daniels, you might wish to consider how they will be assisted by pretending to them that the President isn’t making things worse by strategic calculation.

It is true that Barack Obama’s spending has been unprecedented, and it is likewise true that he is racking up the largest deficits in history, but is also true that your former boss, President George W. Bush, along with your guiding hand, also accumulated what were inexcusably large deficits, particularly in 2004 and 2008.  Let us not mislead the voters either, because when your budgets ballooned, you offered nothing but excuses.

The President is certainly engaged in trickle-down something, but it’s not just government.  It’s also trickle-down poverty.  He only seems sincere in his belief that creating government jobs will build a middle class to those who are too naive to see the painfully obvious:  Mr. Obama believes in spreading the wealth, but also the misery, and for you to believe he doesn’t know exactly what  he’s doing is to pretend that Barack Obama is mortally ignorant of all history, but there is no evidence to support that claim.

I will not use the language of the left, as you have, to speak about “haves and have-nots,” or even “soon-to-haves,” because until we restrain the growth of this government, the only thing we’re “soon-to-have” is hyperinflation, economic collapse, and violent, naked, starving riots in our streets.  We are not a short way behind Greece and Spain, but actually ahead of them, because due to policies like TARP, that you supported, and other re-distributions of American wealth carried out by this and former Presidents, we now find our currency and our own fiscal health tied to their debts and fiscal irresponsibility, as well as their monetary instability.

Only an out-of-touch moderate Republican could view 2012 as an “opportunity,” rather than an exigency, because the words “maybe our last,” are intended to conceal that there will be no “maybe” about it.  We shall either change course, or watch our country wither and die.  You speak of credible and positive plans, but the truth is that all you have offered is more platitudes about “making life better.”  I’ve got news for you, Governor Daniels:  I don’t need you to make my life better, except perhaps by your going away, and taking all of your mealy-mouthed, tepid rhetoric with you.  I will make my life better, by my own efforts and labor if you will get Barack Obama and his toadies in the United States Senate out of my way.  Republicans have no duty to make our lives better, except by withdrawing government’s grip from our wallets and our liberties.  Anything else is merely a poor imitation of the same disease from which we now suffer.

It is true that business is one of humanity’s noblest pursuits, but you cannot advance that idea by offering excuses to justify it, like “if you make a profit, you’ll have something left to hire someone else, and some to donate to the good causes we love.”  Here, you fall into the statists’ trap of the ages, one that has ever been the tormenting dishonesty of statists, who pretend that the first duty of any person, having obtained a profit from honest work, must forfeit some, most, or all of it to other “causes” and in the purpose of enriching others.  To apologize for success in this manner is only to invite predation upon it. Do not permit our best ideas and the virtues they beget to languish in the verbiage of the left.

You are correct to note that Obama’s is a pro-poverty policy, but once more, you go on to say that the private sector jobs birthed of a pro-growth policy will “restore opportunity,” but will also “generate the public revenues to pay our bills.”  Pay whose bills?  Sir, I make no public debts.  I ask none to pay my bills, and I can assure you none do, but me.  Of whose bills do you speak?

You suggest “a pause” in regulation, but I must ask you: “Why only a pause, and not a cessation?”  You speak of “new domestic energy technologies,” but you do not describe them.  Of what do they consist, and what does this have to do with the operation of government, except as another customer?  By your own words, you suggest the market as the great healer of our wounds, but when the matter comes to its end, here you are discussing what the government may do.  Energy technology is not the government’s concern, and the sooner the government withdraws from that market, the sooner we will have more energy, and at less expense.

You describe our need to “save the safety net.”  For my part, I wish only to be saved from it, or more properly, for paying for it.  You speak of Social Security and Medicare as an obvious play to seniors, but I must ask you about the hundreds of other “Safety net” programs, large and small, and what you will do with these.  Being the former Director of the OMB, you should be well aware that this safety net now consumes more than 60% of all government expenditures.  What you say you would save, most people I know would scrap, and while my social grouping may not be entirely representative, it is nevertheless true that I am of the group that pays, but who also knows there will be no compensation.  You now propose making of Social Security a welfare program, because you would deny payment of those benefits to people you adjudge as “rich,” but the fundamental truth this argument ignores is that those who are “rich” have paid into the system too, and until you flatly convert Social Security into an overt welfare program, you’re being dishonest in making the rich pay for it, while calling it a “retirement.”  Your plan sounds strangely like the President’s, and just as it is immoral when uttered by a leftist president, so too is it immoral when uttered by a corporatist governor.

I do not claim that we should do nothing with Social Security.  I assert that we must end it, and return the question of retirement, and the provisioning of one’s golden years to those who will live them.  I am a man of just more than 46 years, and I will make this deal, but neither you nor any politician will accept it: I will waive all claims to Social Security, from now until the end of my days, and not even ask for one dime of my previous contributions be returned to me as an act of “public benevolence” on my part, if you and the other politicians will merely agree to stop collecting payroll taxes from me, that I may invest them on my own behalf.  That’s more than thirty years of “contributions” I will happily waive, if you will merely take no more for the remainder of my life.

You are correct that only the Republicans in Congress have taken any steps to curtail the accumulation of debt, but the problem is that even they have done too little, and they have been far too willing to go along for the sake of political expedience.  You speak in haughty terms about unity, but the divide in our country is real, and exists with those of us who earn and pay and get neither payments nor special considerations standing on one side, while you and Obama and all those who insist on this welfare state stand upon the other.

Nobody I know believes Americans “can’t cut it” any longer.  Americans are out here cutting it, every day, but there are many people in our country who haven’t the philosophy of America in their hearts and minds, and it is they who do not “cut it,” and have no intentions of doing so, since somebody else is “cutting it” on their behalf.  No sir, what doesn’t “cut it” any longer is this government, with its rampant statists and their tepid collaborators who have gotten us into this mess.  Welcome to the world you prescribe.  This is the world you have helped to build, as policies like those you advocate  have dominated the last twenty-four years of our nation’s government.

You end your remarks by suggesting that we are “still a people born to liberty,” but I must ask you “what liberty” as Governors of your ilk appoint State judges who rule that protecting one’s home even against wayward police is illegal, but the erroneous actions of the wayward police were not.  There’s our liberty, while you appoint judges who will not safeguard it.  While the elites in the Republican party speak in flowery terms about liberty and prosperity, those of us who would enjoy the one while earning the other are losing both, and it is in no small part because the brand of half-hearted defense of the country you offer has resulted in a presumably unintended bit of assistance to those who would undo our Constitution.

There are those who think you would make a fine President, and I will state to the knowing of the world that I am not among their number.  I don’t want your brand of half-property, half-loot with the attending part liberty, part tyranny.  It’s little better than the full-bore expropriation and despotism the open statists desire, and it leads us in their inevitably in their direction.  They are only too happy to take one step back for every two steps forward, because they still gain one step. What you prescribe is a delaying action, and a wilting retreat.

Yours is the same weak-kneed philosophy that urged the removal of a line from a speech Ronald Reagan was set to deliver, for fear it would be too provocative, but what we have learned in all the years since is that when standing before the Brandenberg Gate in Berlin, President Reagan’s simple words in the name of decency, honesty, and justice enabled a generation to understand and demand their liberty, it punctuated the lunacy of the proposal by those of your orientation who thought he should not, and must not say these words:

“General Secretary Gorbachev, if you seek peace, if you seek prosperity for the Soviet Union and eastern Europe, if you seek liberalization, come here to this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, open this gate. Mr. Gorbachev, Mr. Gorbachev, tear down this wall!“ 

Governor Daniels, I do not now know what my fellow man will think, but I believe we need a president who has the integrity and wisdom to utter similar words about the state of our country.  Dry, cold assurances that Republicans would not upset the apple-cart of Washington DC too much is simply unacceptable, and what you must know is that while yours is the philosophy of moderation and contrived unity, let me assure you that the American people who have borne these burdens are no longer of a mind to shoulder still more that you would maintain your centrist appeal.  It is time that you tear down a wall, and its name is appeasement, and it is the great obstacle that stands between America and its future.  We can rebuild in the wake of Hurricane Obama, but we will not do so if you or those of your political persuasion are the ones who will lead it.  We now need leaders who will plainly say that Obama is wrong, and more, that he is willfully so.  We need leaders who will say this truth without respect to which media pundit might take offense.  You are not apparently that leader, as your response has demonstrated, and so I say to you:  Go home to Indiana, and do what you can for your state, and prepare its people for the disaster awaiting us if we do no better than to discharge Obama and adopt your pastel-painted positions.  Learn to speak the words of justice and truth without fear before you make frivolous use of our time once again.

Romney to Release Tax Return – IN APRIL! – Video

Tuesday, January 17th, 2012

Mitt Romney

Mitt Romney announced on Monday that he will release his 2011 tax return in April, presumably the 15th, the ordinary filing deadline for taxpayers.  This is a problem in my book, and it’s based on the fact that by then, he will have successfully deprived most Republican primary voters of the chances to examine his records.

I find it deplorable that Mitt Romney would resort to such a transparent tactic to avoid disclosing his tax returns.  This is shameful, and it demonstrates how he remains unwilling to be open and honest with the American people, most of whom will be deprived the ability to examine these records before casting their votes.

After April 15th, the following states are the few remaining that will not have voted:

April 24, 2012
Connecticut (primary)
Delaware (primary)
New York (primary)
Pennsylvania (primary)
Rhode Island (primary)

May 8, 2012
Indiana (primary)
North Carolina (primary)
West Virginia (primary)

May 15, 2012
Nebraska (primary)
Oregon (primary)

May 22, 2012
Arkansas (primary)
Kentucky (primary)

June 5, 2012
California (primary)
Montana (primary)
New Jersey (primary)
New Mexico (primary)
South Dakota (primary)

June 26, 2012
Utah (primary)

In stark contrast, below is the list of all the states that will have held their primaries/caucuses already, making this release useless for them:

January 3, 2012
Iowa (caucus) – Complete

January 10, 2012
New Hampshire (primary) – Complete

January 21, 2012
South Carolina (primary)

January 31, 2012
Florida (primary)

February 4, 2012
Nevada (caucus)

February 4–11, 2012
Maine (caucus)

February 7, 2012
Colorado (caucus)

Minnesota (caucus)
Missouri (primary)

February 28, 2012 Arizona (primary)
Michigan (primary)

March 3, 2012 Washington (caucus)

March 6, 2012  (Super Tuesday)
Alaska (caucus)
Georgia (primary)
Idaho (caucus)
Massachusetts (primary)
North Dakota (caucus)
Ohio (primary)
Oklahoma (primary)
Tennessee (primary)
Vermont (primary)
Virginia (primary)

March 6-10, 2012 Wyoming (caucus)

March 10, 2012
Kansas (caucus)
U.S. Virgin Islands (caucus)

March 13, 2012
Alabama (primary)
Hawaii (caucus)
Mississippi (primary)

March 18, 2012
Puerto Rico (primary)

March 20, 2012
Illinois (primary)

March 24, 2012
Louisiana (primary)

April 3, 2012
District of Columbia (primary)
Maryland (primary)
Wisconsin (primary)
Texas (primary)

Now, while I’m sure this is all well and good, let’s look at what Mitt is trying to pull off here:  If he can avoid releasing his tax return until April 15th, this will be only 18 of 50 states in which voters will get to consider this information.  This is a fraud.  This is an attempt to delay the disclosure until your votes not longer matter. These 32 states in which primary elections or caucuses will have passed constitutes enough of the delegates at stake to nearly guarantee a Mitt Romney victory.

Sorry, Mitt. This isn’t good enough.  I want to know why you won’t do as your own father did when he ran for the nomination in 1968: George Romney released twelve years worth of tax returns.  (Obviously, in the primaries, since he didn’t secure the nomination.)

No disclosure, no vote!

Meanwhile, the Democrats are already cranking out campaign ads highlighting this particular flip-floppery.  Watch Romney duck and dodge this and other issues:

If we make this guy our nominee, we’ll be stuck with this.

Lastly, from Jake Tapper via Twitter: Mitt Romney’s Dad George set the standard.

GOP Commits Political Suicide By Mitt

Saturday, January 14th, 2012

2012: GOP Commits Political Suicide?

Most of you will be familiar with the concept of “Suicide by Cop,” the practice by which somebody who is unwilling to do the deed themselves, instead puts themselves a position to be threatening, thereby drawing fire from police.  In the same way, the Republican Party now seems poised to commit political suicide by nominating Mitt Romney.  It really wouldn’t take a great deal of explanation were all of my countrymen versed in the principles of capitalism.  Sadly, they are not, so let us make them plain:  Mitt Romney is not a capitalist, but he will be attacked as one.  Just like his false conservatism will lead to attacks on our philosophy, so  too will capitalism come under attack even though neither he nor we any longer practices it.

Many people have defended Mitt Romney over the last several days when he was attacked by Gingrich and Perry on the basis that his work at Bain harmed workers and destroyed jobs.  Others were quick to point out that this sounded very much like an attack on capitalism, in almost the same manner that the left attacks it.  For my part, I pointed out that Romney has enough baggage that you could easily assail his record without seeming to attack capitalism, and I offered up a few specifics.  The problem is that much of this is complicated information, and most people simply don’t have the time or patience to sort through all the details.  I find that frustrating, because we cannot render just opinions on the matter of Romney’s qualifications for the office of President if we’re not willing to chase this all the way into the weeds.

One of the concerns about Bain Capital that hasn’t been mentioned much is how it has relied upon corporate welfare to improve its profitability.  Consider the case of Steel Dynamics, which was provided various incentives and breaks in order to locate in DeKalb, Indiana, a company in which Bain was the largest domestic equity holder.  The state and county provided $37 million in incentives, and even levied a new county income tax in order to get the plant located there.  While this sort of thing isn’t all that uncommon, what it reveals is how thoroughly involved in wringing money out of tax-payers Bain’s operations had really been.

From the same LA Times article:

“This is corporate welfare,” said Tad DeHaven, a budget analyst with the Washington-based Cato Institute, which encourages free-market economic policies. DeHaven, who is familiar with corporate tax subsidies in Indiana and other states, called the incentives Steel Dynamics received “an example of the government stepping into the marketplace, picking winners and losers, providing profits to business owners and leaving taxpayers stuck with the bill.”

That’s a shocking disclosure about a man who has claimed to work in “free enterprise.”  The people of DeKalb County aren’t free, as they’re undoubtedly still paying off the debt they incurred as a result.  Some will point out that this isn’t uncommon, and I agree, but I’m not sure that’s a valid argument for doing it.  Still, the larger point in all of this is that Romney and his company were the beneficiaries of this, and that it wasn’t all “free market.”

Of course, Steel Dynamics was one of the companies that went into the total of his preposterous claim of 100,000 net jobs created, and of course we now know that this too had been smoke and mirrors.  Of course, this is just a sample of his private sector experience, but what you come to learn about Romney during his term as Massachusetts Governor is much more frightening.  While having a president with private sector experience would certainly be useful, Romney’s really not the sort of private sector person we need.  We need a person who understands Main Street, and knows what it is to make a payroll in a business with a few doen employees.  Those are the kinds of enterprises that aren’t being established in this economy, and they’re the sorts hardest hit by the ridiculous big government regulatory regime under which the economy now suffers.

Small businesses are the ones that don’t get tax breaks, and they’re the sort on which we have depended for most job creation over the last fifty years.  They’re also the kind of endeavor that provide slim profit margins, are often held together on a wing and a prayer, and are completely devastated by programs like Romneycare.

What the GOP establishment doesn’t understand is that by going along with Mitt Romney, what will be accomplished is to institutionalize the very sort of government that will destroy the economic growth we so desperately need to climb out of the gargantuan debt pit into which Obama has heaved our nation.  At Bain Capital, Romney could turn to a bankruptcy court for a company that didn’t make it, and at the state level, he could turn to the federal government for grants and similar when Romneycare ran the state short of funds, but as the President of the United States, to whom can you turn?  The Chinese? Even they have had enough of our easy-money policies.

A Romney nomination threatens to destroy the GOP, because if he fails to defeat Obama, or perhaps worse, defeats him but then goes on to govern the nation like he did the State of Massachusetts, there will be no coming back from it.   We haven’t been practicing capitalism for some time, but instead muddling through what is known as a “mixed economy,” meaning one that is neither fully dominated by the state, nor by the free market.  What we allow with Romney is the continuation of the lie that we are a capitalist nation, and yet it will be for all the flaws of statism that capitalism will take the blame. It’s little different from the phenomenon by which George Bush claimed to be a “compassionate conservative” while practicing his own nuanced form of statism.  It had been these government programs and initiatives where government failed worst under Bush, and it was in these that conservatism took the blame.

Conservatives would not implement socialist prescription drug programs.  Conservatives would not further empower a federal education establishment.  Conservatives would not resort to a government takeover of airport security on a permanent basis, and then extend that security to all manner of places as has happened with the TSA.  A Conservative would not have borrowed and spent as George Bush did for the two terms he held office, and certainly wouldn’t have closed out that administration with a program like TARP(which Romney approves.)   All of these things were done by an allegedly conservative president, so are you surprised that by 2006, conservatism was taking the blame?

Terms like “conservative” or “capitalist” are only good as short-cuts to understanding when we deny their use from labeling the things they are not.  In permitting George Bush to stand before us claiming to be both a capitalist, and a conservative, we damned both when he turned out to be neither, in fact.  Labeling McCain with these labels was ineffective because for the party’s base, they clearly weren’t true, and the labels now held a negative connotation in much of the electorate because they had been associated falsely.  It’s the reason McCain had to bring in Sarah Palin, because he had to restore credibility to the terms.  Mitt Romney will fare no better than McCain, and perhaps worse, because Obama will be able to blame conservatism and capitalism for the failings of his own ideology.  Again.  If Republicans permit this to happen again, they’re foolish, and there’s to be no going back.  Even on the slim chance that Romney is elected, he won’t save the country because his solutions are merely a slower implementation of the same statist ideas. It will throw the GOP into a banishment that may turn out to be permanent.  If the Republican party wants to commit political suicide, Mitt Romney is 2012′s perfect and perhaps final solution.

Brokaw: Republican “Jihad” Underway In South Carolina

Thursday, January 12th, 2012

He Thinks You're Jihadis

Tom Brokaw is another liberal apologist, and always has been, but just once, I’d like him to use the sort of language against Democrats that he heaps upon Republicans.  Referring to the heightened pace of attack ads Gingrich and Perry are running against Romney, Brokaw said it was the “Republican version of a Jihad.”  That’s right, campaigns in the Republican party are like Jihadis, according to Tom Brokaw.  While polls consistently demonstrate that conservatives constitute twice as large a proportion of the electorate do liberals,the media in no way represents a similar diversity.  Watch Brokaw use the term “Jihad” to describe the Republican voters of South Carolina here:

The real Jihadis in the United States are people like Brokaw, who absolutely detests the US Constitution’s limits on the growth of government.  Nobody is more intent upon over-turning the country’s founding principles. It’s astonishing to see the media continue to pretend it is an objective source of news, because increasingly, more Americans are seeking information and news on the Internet, free of the restraints of a confining mainstream media that shows us the news they want us to see, and hides from our eyes that which they don’t  want us to discover.

 

 

CBS Poll: Majority of Republicans Want More Choices

Tuesday, January 10th, 2012

In an interesting survey conducted by CBS News, 58% of Republicans want more choices for the GOP nomination.  While this isn’t exactly a stunning revelation to readers of this site, it does confirm what we’ve thought all along:  The GOP’s current crop of candidates is sub-par, and most Republicans would prefer to see somebody else altogether.  While the poll doesn’t identify any particular candidates, what it does suggest strongly is that Republicans are thoroughly dissatisfied with the current selections available.  We’ve known this for some time, but what it hints at is a serious problem for the GOP if the party should nominate another losing candidate in 2012.  The party is in deep trouble with its conservative base already, and one more Presidential defeat with a soft moderate is likely to cause a revolt.  According to the CBS poll, only 37% are satisfied with the current field of choices.

If a party cannot motivate its base of support to greater enthusiasm, it will inevitably lose any general election.  This has been the problem with this field all along:  They really don’t inspire the base, and they’re not apt to do so in any substantial fashion.  Much of that owes to the fact that none of them are seen as thorough conservatives, and none are really very dynamic speakers.  It’s clear that the GOP remains in serious trouble, and as others have pointed out, the so-called “inevitable nominee” is likely to lead the Republicans to defeat in November.  I can’t imagine how with this current crop of candidates, Republicans expect to win the White House in 2012, and it appears they don’t really expect it either.  There is a growing sense of exasperation with what is seen as ineffective leadership in the GOP, and that’s going to impose a mighty penalty in November.

As we’ve seen consistently over the last year, most Republicans seem to be looking for somebody else.  Many have settled on candidates who are clearly not a first or even a second choice, and that makes for a good deal of volatility.  As Granite-State voters go to the polls today, it’s clear Mitt Romney has a big lead in that state, but New Hampshire has never really been very representative of the Republican party in any case, so it’s not clear that this will offer us anything concrete about the direction of the nomination fight.  Most analysts expect Romney to capture 40% or more of the New Hampshire vote, although there has been a concerted tamping-down of expectations over the last few days in media.  If Romney were to capture less than 40% in New Hampshire, it would likely be a strong signal that he’s still not capturing the base of the party.  Capturing more than 40% would begin to indicate he might be on his way to locking up the nomination, but nobody is certain at this point.

The fact that we have passed into the election year of 2012 without a clear front-runner who is enthusiastically supported in the party isn’t a surprise, but the fact is that any number of people could still jump into this race and make a dramatic difference.  Whether any will is another matter, as for the moment, none seem to be so-inclined.  It is perhaps for this reason that so many Americans are looking pessimistically at the future, with Americans fearing an Obama re-election by 2-1.  That merely tells you something about how uninspiring the current crop of candidates are, and the fact that Gallup is also reporting that conservatives have begun to accept Romney as the probable nominee should tell you just how bad it has gotten. Not many are excited about it, to be sure.

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 Willingness to Walk Away

Tuesday, January 3rd, 2012

If You're Ever to Win...

This evening, I had been listening to one of my favorite talk-show hosts, Mark Levin, and I came away a little disappointed.  My disagreements with Levin are usually trivial, and I hold most of his arguments in high esteem, but this time, I am not merely unconvinced by his rationale, but utterly astonished by it.  His argument is essentially that he will support the Republican nominee, even if it’s the establishment’s guy, Mitt Romney.  Where I am concerned, there aren’t any candidates in this field who I can fully support, as I’ve recently detailed, but I don’t mean merely in the primary.  Some, I can’t support at all.  There are those who will point to Barack Obama’s ridiculous assaults on the constitution, the uniquely American culture, and the pocket-books of working men and women of every description as moral imperatives that demand we all go to the polling places in November and support whatever candidate the GOP musters.  I’ve heard it before, and I’ve heard it until I’m sick to death of hearing it.  I’ve heard it in every election in my adult life save only 1984.  I will hear it no more.  This is my challenge to the GOP:  Find an actual conservative or watch me take a powder in November.

I imagine most have you have purchased an automobile or two (or twenty) over the course of your lives,  and the first principle I always apply when shopping for a vehicle is to have a maximum number of dollars I will spend for a minimum number of features, warranties, and the like.  I try to always arrive at a dealer’s location with a check already cut if financing will be part of the deal.  I know in most instances that I will find better financing through my own credit union than most dealers will offer.  It also effectively places me in the position of being a cash customer  from the dealer’s perspective.  They aren’t so accustomed to that, because most people stumble in looking to trade because their current vehicle is probably on its last leg, and only come to deal when the current ride is looking a little long in the tooth.  Therefore, my second rule is simpler still:  Never go to a car dealer when I’m desperate for a deal.  The reason is simplicity itself.  If I’m not desperate, I will have no problem exercising that option most critical in negotiating any deal, whether for a car, a truck, a house, a business, or a presidential nominee:  You must be willing to walk away, and if your basic criteria are not met, you must exercise that option.

If you do not walk away, you will be a patsy, and once you give ground on something so basic to your previously established rules, in the future, you lose all credibility at the bargaining table. Your adversary will smell blood in the water, and will know you are desperate, so that he can (and will) shove anything he likes down your throat, and while you may complain or carry on about the unfairness of it all, in the end, you will relent and take the deal offered.  This I have learned the hard way by permitting myself to be that desperate party, and permitting myself to wind up in the situation in which I am no longer a credible negotiator, and therefore unable to leverage my position since it consisted entirely of bluff and was completely without teeth.  If you want to be a perpetual sucker, place yourself in such a position repeatedly, and whether in business or in politics, you will soon find yourself unable to negotiate even the slightest advantage.

If you doubt me, I would ask you to review the performance of John Boehner and Eric Cantor as the top Republicans in the House over the last twelve months.  They have accomplished precisely nothing worth remembering, and at every opportunity have cut and run when the President and Harry Reid boxed them in.  Nothing.  “Biggest reversal in history” and all the rest, but in the end? Not a damned thing.  From the moment the House Republicans cut a deal on the Debt Ceiling rather than insisting upon Cut, Cap & Balance, it has been all down hill, and it has all gone Obama’s way since he figured out how desperate Boehner and McConnell(Republican Leader in the Senate,) really were.  From that moment, Obama has run the table on these clowns, and in the end, it makes them look all the more foolish because they spouted, and postured, and harrumphed, but in the end, they were willing to cut a deal, any deal, to be able to walk away.  Thus died the first allegedly “Tea Party Congress.”  It died precisely because your leadership wasn’t really willing to walk away.

The same is true of individual voters in their relationship to the party’s establishment, whichever party we may be discussing.  At the moment, that party is the GOP, and it’s right that we consider it as individual voters, making a bargain with the party chieftains.  Roughly 70-75%(depending on the poll you choose) of the Republican Party wants no part of Mitt Romney.  They see in him much of what they see in Obama, but worse in many ways, also what they see in John Boehner and Mitch McConnell.  They’re right to be worried about a Mitt Romney presidency, that will be consumed with “making a deal” to the extent that it would make any deal, any place, any time, all in order to secure a deal of some sort.  Details matter not.  It is for this reason that for once, conservatives had ought to reject the voices of our friends who insist we “take the deal” (meaning: Romney.)   We must be prepared to sit out this election, at least on the presidential ballot, because we will not defeat him anyway with a guy who is in such a hurry to cut a deal, and even if he managed to win, would soon undercut us.  They’re already offering us assurances that we’ll be able to push or pull Romney to the right, but the fact is that I do not want a president who needs to be cajoled into conservative actions, because in accepting him to begin with, he will have learned something else: We’re not willing to walk away.

Armed with that knowledge, a President Romney will spend all of his time undercutting conservatives.  He’s a Keynesian, so he’ll increase taxes and/or use more massive government spending.  He will not reform entitlements, and if Obamacare is repealed, it will only be replaced by a program slightly less objectionable.  This is because Romney is a deal-maker, and he’s the guy for whom the deal is itself everything.  It’s about closing the deal, because he expects his commission, and while it may not be in cash, it will be in some false notion of prestige.

It is for this reason that I now inform the Republican Party to the knowing of the world that they either nominate a conservative, or wave at me on the sidelines, because that is where I will be.  A lifetime worth of hard lessons has taught me what I always suspected, but hadn’t the courage or patience to practice in my younger years, because they used my fear of uncertainty against me.  I don’t want the nation to collapse, and I don’t want the Marxist state they’re building, but I also know that a Mitt Romney presidency will only slow its advance, and maybe not by much.  I am no longer fearful of Obama’s predations, because I know that with another moderate Republican, those predations will continue.  I will not be driven to vote for a moral slacker because his opponent is a moral leper.

This evening I listened to a man I admire advance a notion that is ghastly to me.  He has already mentally prepared himself to accept and support a Romney candidacy, and he went on to discuss how he would demand that at least the Vice Presidential pick be a real conservative.  Why would Romney ever do that?  He might look for somebody who was somewhat more conservative, and brought something to the table, like Nikki Haley or similar, trying to energize you, but let’s be honest:  Vice Presidents don’t generally mean much.  To hear Mark Levin effectively suggest that we ought to at least get a conservative VP was saddening.  What it means is that he’s still more fearful of Obama than he is of losing the country, because in his mind, he’s merged the two, but the truth is that Obama is merely completing the job that was begun a long time ago, and has been carried on by successive presidents with damnably few exceptions, and Mitt Romney would do little of substance to change it.

You can listen to this clip from Levin’s show here:


There are those of you who will damn me for this position, but it is mine, and I’m standing by it.   I will not be herded into another vote for another moderate under any circumstance, because I know such a candidate will not likely win, and will surely not rescue the country if he somehow manages to defeat Obama.  To hear Levin saying that we “need a conservative in the second slot” is to admit he’s already conceding the first slot. What Romney and others in the Republican establishment will interpret this to mean is precisely what Barack Obama interprets Boehner’s endless concessions to mean: There’s an unwillingness to stand on principle for the sake of a politically expedient result, and one that is not guaranteed by any stretch of the imagination. They’ve placed themselves in the position whereby they’re now clearly desperately willing to “take the deal.”

You’re free to conclude what you will, but I would rather make it plain: If the Republican party nominates another moderate, I no longer fear Obama because I realize there are Republicans equally awful.   I am no longer convinced by the insipid argument that “any of these are better than Obama.”  I no longer believe that to be the case.  Some of them are every bit as bad, and to prove I believe that, and to stand by my principles, I am fully prepared to walk away. Might this lead to a second term for Obama?  Yes. Am I willing to confront that horrible reality?  Yes.  Rather than ask me if I’m willing to deal with that reality, you had better ask if you are.  You had better ask the Republican establishment that is busying itself with the chore of making Romney palatable to you.  You had better go ask your fellow conservatives, because while you can go along to get along if you like, I am prepared to walk away even if the Republican Party sends squads of establishment squawkers to damn me for it.  Watch me.  It’ll be my back side they see, as I disappear in the distance.  This year, no deals!

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.

The Politics of False Unity

Saturday, December 31st, 2011

So They Say...

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

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

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

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

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

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

The Candidate We Want But Can’t Have

Friday, December 30th, 2011

What You Want?

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

2012: Will The Progressives Run the GOP?

Friday, December 9th, 2011

Bull Moose or Moose Bull?

In 1911, Theodore Roosevelt began his second campaign for President.  Having retired from the presidency in 1909, Roosevelt tried to capture the the Republican nomination in 1912, because he was angry with President William Taft, who had served under Roosevelt as Secretary of War, and had been Roosevelt’s hand-picked successor.  Failing this, he decided instead to run as the candidate of the Progressive Party.  That party is more commonly remembered by Americans as the “Bull Moose Party,” because upon surviving an assassination attempt, Roosevelt announced he was “as fit as a Bull Moose.”  I prefer to drop that label, and focus instead on what the Progressive Party really was: A National Socialist Party that was subsequently rejected by the American people, but in 1912, resulted in a split in the Republican Party that handed the election to Democrat Woodrow Wilson, a Socialist.  It’s useful to understand the political parties of the time in evaluating the 2012 election, because if the past is prologue,  what we may be seeing now is merely a global re-run of the worst parts of the 20th century.

First, let us understand what the Progressive Party of 1912 had wanted to accomplish, and what its platform contained. Here is a sample:

  • A National Health Service to include all existing government medical agencies.
  • Social insurance, to provide for the elderly, the unemployed, and the disabled
  • Limited injunctions in strikes
  • An eight hour workday
  • A federal securities commission
  • Farm relief
  • An inheritance tax
  • A Constitutional amendment to allow a Federal income tax

These may sound familiar to you because all of them have become law in some form or fashion.  These may also sound familiar to you because these were the same ideas on which Woodrow Wilson substantially campaigned.  In fact, with the progressives under the flag of the Republican party in Congress, the progressives in both parties succeeded in putting this agenda through, and Wilson was only too happy to oblige.  In short, the “Bull Moose” Party consisted of the RINOs of their day.  They were the barely disguised fifth column of the main socialist political formation, and they managed to convince enough Americans unaware of their designs to aid them in implementing the first steps in converting our country from a Constitutional republic into a Socialist democracy.

Ask yourself this: How many of the current Republican candidates support the list of measures above?  After nearly a century, the answer is: Almost all modern Republicans accept most of the ideas outlined in the platform of the Progressive party of 1912.  So what was the difference, in 1912, between the Democrat progressives, and the Republican progressives?  The Democrat progressives were the US equivalent of European Communists who came to dominate Russia.  The Republican progressives were effectively the same as the National Socialists that would rise to prominence in Germany.  They were both brands of statism, as I’ve discussed previously.

Weigh this against our current situation.  Today, many conservatives look at Romney, or Gingrich, compare them with Obama and are frequently led to ask:  What’s the difference between leftist progressives and so-called “right-wing” progressives?  The truth is that just like in 1912, the differences are few, and you will note with some disappointment that Woodrow Wilson was able to implement most of the planks of the socialist platform outlined above because he had the support of a large number of progressive Republicans who were just enough to rule the day together with Democrats in Congress.    If this sounds familiar when considering Speaker Boehner, and the rest of the Republican sell-outs in our current House GOP leadership, you’re spot on.  The differences between today’s progressive Republicans and 1912′s “Bull Moose” Party are essentially nonexistent.   When you realize that certain powerful players financed both the Bull Moose and Republican parties in 1912, not as a political insurance policy as is so common these days, but in order to keep them at odds, and thus effectively keeping them at rough parity, giving the election to Democrats.  You can bet that this is what is being done in the US at present.

The progressives have always used their friends in the Republican party to undermine conservatives.  This is not a new tactic or practice, and in this sense, Ross Perot was much the same thing, with his runs in ’92 and ’96.  Those of you who believe the establishment wing of the Republican party would rather see Barack Obama elected than to let conservatives into power must understand that this would not be the first time such things have happened in electoral process in the United States.

This is done for no other reason than to prevent the rise of a populist conservative in the Republican party.  The progressive would win every election if they could, and they do their level best to carry that out, rigging both parties with firmly progressive candidates.  That way, while they would prefer the Democrat progressive, the very worst outcome they expect to see is a Republican progressive.  You and I are the rabble to be kept in line with appeals to patriotism, faith, and unity.

In 1992, Ross Perot arose to run on behalf of the “volunteers,” who were roughly analogous to the Tea Party today.  He was doing so well at one point that he suspended his campaign, which was enough to prevent him from winning, but not enough to allow Bush to win: He still  siphoned off enough of the electorate to give Bill Clinton a plurality.  It worked so well that in 1996, they brought him back for a second round.  Dole was a weak candidate, but Clinton had significant problems, so a little insurance was needed. Once again, Bill Clinton failed to achieve a majority of the popular vote, winning with a plurality instead. While not as stark as in 1992, it was clear that without Perot in the race, there was at least some chance Bob Dole could have won.

You might ask what any of this has to do with Teddy Roosevelt and the Progressive Party.  My answer to you is that conservatives are being set up again.    The progressives aren’t finished, and they intend to win in 2012 irrespective of the Republican Party primaries.  Enter Americans Elect.   As I’ve explained before, Americans Elect is a group that is seeking to put a candidate on the ballot in all fifty states in 2012.  They’ve not yet picked a candidate, who will be picked later on-line, but this candidate will almost certainly seek to appeal to the disaffected Tea Party types.  The purpose of that candidacy will not be to win, but to divide the center-right and allow Obama to be re-elected.  Their candidate will pose as the modern-day variant of the “Bull Moose” party, and in many ways, it will be.  Be prepared for this to play out. Increasingly, you may notice the Americans Elect ads on sites around the Internet.

All of this is contrived.  I see no way to overcome the progressives of either party in the 2012 election without some radical new thinking about our remaining choices.  Mitt Romney is currently attacking Newt Gingrich as not being conservative.  This is roughly akin to a singularity calling the kettle “black.”  While Newt certainly has his warts, Willard has more.  The conservative base generally recognizes this, which accounts for Gingrich’s meteoric climb since the beginning of Cain’s fall.   Conservatives and Tea Party folk  are looking for a real conservative, and while they are forced to overlook many flaws in Gingrich to see him as a conservative, they look at Romney and see what has been widely described in conservative circles as “Obama Lite.”  No conservative wants to vote for such a prospect, and that they’re willing to turn to Gingrich speaks volumes about their displeasure with Romney.

As this blog has reported, many of these same conservatives and Tea Party patriots would have preferred Sarah Palin to the lot of those still now in the race.  The reason for the ups and downs of the primary season thus far is largely due to the fact that conservatives are seeking a single candidate upon which they can all agree.  They look around the party, and they notice flawed candidates, and while no candidate is ever perfect, they simply see little to recommend in the ones now offered.  The worst part is: They’re right.

If you think conservatives are being set up, I have a suspicion you’re right.  Karl Rove is still out there stirring the pot, and whether he’s a Romney guy, or he’s banking on some late entry, he’s not finished either.  He represents the same progressive wing of the Republican party, so there’s little doubt but that where Rove is, trouble can’t be far behind.

Beware the “Bull Moose” or any reasonable facsimile thereof.  Be sure that a late entry isn’t designed to lead you to slaughter.  The progressive wing of the Republican party isn’t a friend to conservatives, never mind Tea Party folk, and while I have no advice to offer you on candidates to support, I nevertheless remain convinced that the progressives of the Republican party would rather assure Obama’s victory than to let an actual conservative win.  It now falls to you to decipher who that may be.  Progressives favor progressives, and they stick together irrespective of party.  The Republican progressive view themselves as the “loyal opposition,” and in this you should recognize with which ideology their loyalties lie.  It isn’t free market capitalism.  It isn’t conservatism.

 

Cain Out of Presidential Race

Saturday, December 3rd, 2011

Cain Bows Out of Race

Saying he was suspending his campaign for the GOP nomination, Herman Cain announced to a crowd of disappointed supporters that he was effectively ending his White House bid.  Despite what others may say, I think the American conservative voter will miss Herman Cain’s populist voice in this 2012 election season.  Mr. Cain’s particular strength had been his ability to resonate with voters who have regarded Washington DC as the ongoing source of our troubles, but not necessarily any solutions.  Cain’s candidacy first came under attack after several women made claims of sexual harassment, including a over-hyped media event featuring one of the accusers and Gloria Allred, her attorney.  To date, Gloria Allred still has not provided the alleged sworn statements she said she was waving around in that press conference, making it appear as though she may have known there was no truth to the allegations.  Last week, another woman of dubious credibility came out to claim she had carried on a thirteen year long affair with Mr. Cain, but just as with the others, she has provided no substantial evidence of her claims to date.

Whatever you may think of Herman Cain on the issues, what torpedoed his campaign is nothing more than press-hyped innuendo, at least thus far.  While it is possible all of these accusers are telling the truth, my own gut tells me that at least some of these charges are pure nonsense.  Part of my reasoning is that the method by which these things have been used to take down Cain have emerged is with much media fanfare, but in follow-up, very little substance.  More, when one accusation didn’t work, more were trotted out.  When the sexual harassment allegations didn’t convince voters entirely, accusations of an affair were brought forward.  One after the other, charges were made until the mantra became “it’s the seriousness of the charges,” without any real examination of evidence.

Whenever I see people begin to talk “about the seriousness of the charges” without reference to any substantive evidence, my antennae deploy in suspicion of treachery.  It’s not that Herman Cain couldn’t have done all of these things, although some surely seem farcical.  In any event, I’m disappointed to see Cain depart, if only because his views on taking power from the DC insiders was refreshing and offered hope to people for real reform.  Whether one thought the merits of his “9-9-9″ plan were great or terrible, it surely spawned debate on the question of our system of taxation.  Few conservatives will fail to remember 9-9-9 in association with tax reform, and I believe Mr. Cain deserves a good deal of credit for bringing that discussion so much attention, irrespective of these allegations about his personal conduct.

Cain was also willing to go into a forum in which he would face former Speaker Newt Gingrich in a one-on-one debate, which turned out to have been a wild success among voters who wanted to be able to gauge the candidates side by side, in isolation from the glitz and hype of a big stage production with a half-dozen or more candidates and sound-bite worthy time constraints.  Readers of this blog favored that format by a wide margin, expressing the opinion that the remainder of the debates should take on that kind of one-on-one format, since it allowed for a more free-ranging and thorough discussion of the issues based on their merits, and tended to stay away from the sort of “gotcha moments” that tend to characterize the traditional debates.  While readers of this blog thought Cain lost that debate, they nevertheless gained a good deal of respect for the man’s positions.  He also endeared himself to debate watchers in that forum. One would think other candidates would recognize the value of such debates to voters, but some candidates are more interested in winning without the voters learning anything substantial about them.

Herman Cain has been a ground-breaking candidate because he comes not from a long career of government service, but instead because from a private sector background with unique solutions to problems facing our republic.  His exit leaves another hole in the field, because the rest of the candidates have extensive government service that makes it difficult to consider them “outsiders.”  Cain said that he would continue to try to reform government from the outside in his announcement Saturday, and many Americans fervently hope he will carry that out with the same personable good nature that shows through even under duress. His announcement Saturday paid appropriate respect to his supporters, and to the country and its voters as a whole, and it’s why so many believe Cain is simply a class act. This writer certainly hopes Herman Cain will stay involved, because this country certainly needs more voices from outside government demanding real change.