Posts Tagged ‘Progressives’

Beck Challenges Tea Party Over Gingrich, Race

Sunday, December 11th, 2011

Is it about Obama's Race?

In case you missed it, Glenn Beck appeared on FBN’s Freedom Watch with Judge Andrew Napolitano and had some provocative things to say about Newt Gingrich.  Andrew Breitbart’s has the story on what Beck had to say to the Tea Party with respect to their potential support of Gingrich.  Beck asked the following question of Tea Party folk who support Newt: “Ask yourselves this, Tea Party: Is it about Obama’s race? Because that’s what it appears to be to me.”  Now, while this is going to require some background context, what you should understand is that Beck is making a point, but I think he chose the wrong way to make it.

Beck’s known for his bombastic remarks and challenges, and it’s fair to say that this is his stock in trade, but let’s give the man his due, because he is making an important point about Newt.  His allegation is that in interviewing Gingrich, he decided that Gingrich is a Republican Progressive after Gingrich referred to Teddy Roosevelt as his favorite President.  When Beck challenged Gingrich on this, Gingrich backed away a little, qualifying his statement by saying that he liked Roosevelt before his Osawatomie, KS speech in which he came out as a full-blown progressive.  Here’s the real problem with that, and to his credit, Beck picks up on it: Theodore Roosevelt was ever a progressive.  He merely came out as a progressive, basically a socialist, in that speech. What Beck contends is that he cannot support Newt Gingrich because he is like Roosevelt before that famous speech.  On this point, Beck makes perfect fence, but like so many other instances, this is also where he “jumps the shark.”

In speaking with Napolitano on Freedom Watch, Beck explains his view on Gingrich, but then takes it that next step: He challenges the Tea Party by asking: “Is it about Obama’s race?”  Here’s what Beck is really asking:  Since Obama is a leftist Democrat progressive, and Gingrich is a Republican progressive, both are nevertheless progressives, a.k.a. “socialists,” so if the Tea Party will support one, but won’t support the other, what is the real difference upon which that support turns?  Here is where Beck wrongly plays the race card against the Tea Party.  He offers that it must be about Obama’s race.  While I understand the point he is trying to make, I think he could have made it without dragging the race card into this.  There are other simpler, more plausible reasons than race for this seeming contradiction on the part of Tea Party members who support Gingrich, but not Obama, and in order to help Beck, I’ve made a list of them:

  • Gingrich is a Republican; Obama is a Democrat: While Beck can gloss over this difference as insignificant, and in some ways he’d be right, the truth is that the people who he is challenging don’t see the difference as entirely meaningless. They have some perhaps reasonable expectation that there is a difference between Republicans and Democrats.
  • Gingrich is smarter than Obama:  Many, in the Tea Party and otherwise, see Gingrich as a more thoughtful fellow, and if faced with a choice, would rather have the smarter of the two.
  • Gingrich and Romney appear to be leading: Both men are progressives, and of the two, Gingrich is at least willing to talk to the Tea Party and reach out to them. Tea Party and conservative folk are likely making a judgment about the reality they see developing, and responding accordingly.

These are only three of a whole range of reasons you would naturally come to long before you get to some cock-eyed notion about Obama’s race, as Beck has managed to do.  I think it is folly on Beck’s part to try to play this angle on the Tea Party patriots, and rather than trying to make a point by suggesting that supporting Newt Gingrich is some sort of back-handed admission of racism on the part of those conservatives who are supporting Gingrich, he ought to instead try to educate them about the history of progressives without insulting the motives of Tea Party conservatives, or giving leftists a video clip they will later use to assail the Tea Party.

Beck’s basic point is sound: Gingrich is a progressive, and always has been, but if he’s a progressive, why should Tea Party and conservative folk support him any more than they would support Barack Obama?  One could make this same argument about Romney, and it would fit just as well.  What Beck should have done is use the moment to explain his meaning, rather than throw down the race card.  He would have served his audience and the debate in a more positive way, and we wouldn’t now have this additional distraction from the cause for which we begin now to gather: To select the candidate who will face Obama next November.  Challenging the Tea Party by suggesting their choice of Newt Gingrich is evidence of racism is simply deplorable.  I understand what he was trying to say, but I think he could have found another device for demonstrating his point.  The race card is over-used in American politics, and to see Beck making this argument was disappointing.

You can watch the video here.

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.