Blog de KingShamus

"When an entire nation thirsted to break free from PC…Andrew Breitbart opened a big bar."–Chris Muir

Posts Tagged ‘The GOP’

Conservatives Don’t Have To Fix The National Republican Party (With Updates!)

Posted by KingShamus on January 20, 2013

Since even before Mitt Romney went down to defeat, Drew M over at Ace of Spades has been very down on the Republican Party.  Which is why I was surprised when he wrote this the other day:

A conservative country that claims to support smaller government doesn’t elect Barack Obama not once but twice (no matter how awful Romney was). A conservative country doesn’t run up annual $1 trillion deficits and a $16 trillion cumulative debt. A conservative country doesn’t accept ObamaCare as either good policy or a law within the bounds of the Constitution. A conservative country doesn’t build a welfare state that has unfunded liabilities of “$86.8 trillion, or 550% of GDP” and growing.

I could go on but you know the rest.

Far from being a bulwark against this out of control spending and growth in federal partner, the GOP has been at best an enabler and at worst a perpetrator.

And I don’t blame the GOP one bit.

Political parties and politicians are about winning elections. In the end the best way to win an election is to give a majority of the people in the electorate what they want. What far too many Americans want (even some conservative Republicans in good standing) is other people’s stuff.

How many people who voted for Mitt Romney or actual conservatives for Senate and the House want their Social Security and Medicare left untouched? How many of them give lip service to a flat tax proposal but would freak if their various tax credits and deductions were eliminated? How many of them talk a good game about getting rid of the Department of Education but would freak if aid to their kid’s district were cut?

Of course Republicans are going to respond to these people. But these people who support all sorts of government spending while talking about “the damn government” and taxes are the problem.

It’s a must read, so go ahead and hit that link.  I’ll be here when you come back.

Here’s the slightly weird situation the Republican Party finds itself in circa 2013.  The House of Reprazentin‘s GOP majority is still fairly solid, at least if you’re going by raw numbers.  Many members of the current House were elected in the 2010 anti-Obama wave.  They can cite their ’10 and ’12 elections to credibly argue that the constituencies they represent didn’t elect them to become President Leftist McDreamboat’s rubber stamp brigade.

So there are motivated conservatives in the House.  That’s great.  Problematically, they may only be a slim majority of the lower chamber’s majority.  Given how many of the GOP representatives have voted recently, that may be a wildly optimistic count.  Then, slap the number of conservatives Republicans with the all-but-extinct Blue Dog Democrats.  Add them together and it’s unclear if there is a working right-center coalition in the House that can get anything done on entitlements, spending or tax reform.

The other big hurdle to conservative reform is the fact that the American people just re-elected the most liberal president since LBJ and the most liberal Senate majority since the Oliver Cromwell took over England.  The House GOP could eliminate the income tax and replace it with a 10% VAT at 9:00 am tomorrow.  By 9:01, Harry Reid would’ve killed the bill in the Senate and by 9:02 Obama would be using page one of the statute to fire up his Parliament Ultra Lights.

In Congressional races, when the constituency is often more conservative than the general US population, a Republican can do well selling a right of center message to the voters.  This is why a solidly blue state like Illinois can still elect six Republican congress-peeps out of their 18 seat delegation.  Get beyond the House level and it’s harder for the current GOP to sell it’s message to voters in national races.

So should the Republican Party just pack it in?  Obama certainly wants them broken and divided.  The GOP has been so cowardly that there’s been talk that the National Rifle Association could become the opposition party.

Drew M suggests that conservatives focus on winning back the American culture.  That’s a very necessary thing, but not everyone is a novelist, filmmaker, musician or television director.  Non-artsy conservatives need a role in creating a more favorable political environment for the Right.

The state and local levels of government have a viable blueprint.  There the Republican Party is not just surviving, it’s thriving.  Conservative ideas are winning in Obama-fied blue states like Michigan, Wisconsin, Florida and Ohio.

Scoring victories in state races and gubernatorial elections doesn’t sound as sexxxy as vaporizing Harry Reid’s Senate majority, but it is.  Our federalist system gives conservatives fifty states to win governorships, mayors’ contests, school boards memberships, town council positions and representative races.  Getting decent people into these spots will foster a saner, less suicidal political culture at the grass-roots level.

Helping right-of-center candidates win local elections doesn’t just have an immediate positive impact on communities.  It also creates a deep bench of conservative political talent.  The Republican Party has the worst congressional leadership since the 1960’s.  The last two presidential elections have seen the party field it’s weakest candidates since FDR was trouncing Herbert Hoover and Alf Landon.  

It doesn’t have to be this way.  You want leaders that don’t cry or cower every five seconds?  Then you have to encourage anti-Boehners and non-McConnells to stand up.  The process of getting them into positions of of national power starts by getting them elected in local contests.    

The R\ght is simply too DC-centric.  We keep saying how the Beltway culture is poison to our values.  Worse, we can see that the federal government isn’t going to get any friendlier to conservative ideas any time soon.  Well, if that’s the case, then it makes sense for traditionalists to go someplace where they can actually do some good.

It’s time we stop caring so much about what Eric Cantor does.  It’s long past time that we start paying very close attention to what our state senator is saying.  Who knows, that person might just get elected President some day.

MORE TO THE STORY:  You know why else conservatives don’t owe the national Republican party jack shit?  The national GOP hasn’t really done anything for them lately.  Forget about how the Tea Party never got the credit it deserved for the 2010 midterms.  Don’t bring up the way the Republican Senate Election dudes can’t pick decent candidates to take back upper chamber.

More damning than all that is the GOP’s last two presidential picks.  They both seem purposefully designed–at least in hindsight–to alienate as much of the conservative party base as possible.  John McCain snubbed religious conservatives nearly every time he could afford to.  Mitt Romney’s pro-life/pro-gun/pro-marriage stances were of a suspiciously recent vintage.  Even more stupid than Mitt’s trying to buy conservative bona fides was his decision to defend those positions in the meekest more apologetic least forceful way possible.  If you’re gonna jump on the pro-life bandwagon, you may as well use it to your advantage.

The GOP is just not that into conservatives.  Republicans  will take right-wingers on a date and hook up with them back at the frat, but that’s as far as it’s gonna go.  Playas are gonna play after all.

It’s just one more reason why the right should forget about the establishment Republicans in Washington.  They suck at politics, they can’t win and they dislike their base.  That’s enough for me.

I hope Reince Preibus is still bosom buddoes with Sheldon Adelson.

ONE MORE THING: Bob Belvedere of the brilliant Camp Of The Saints wrote about this like three days ago.  As usual, my timing is awesome.  Check it out.

…it is time for a showdown between the forces that want to aggregate to the national government more powers than those that are enumerated in The Constitution and those of us who believe that it should be followed to the letter.

‘Legal expert’ Jeffrey Toobin, per usual, gets it wrong:

“A sheriff does not get to decide whether laws are constitutional,” he said. “Unless a court invalidates a law, he’s obligated to enforce it.”

That’s become the practice, but it is simply not the way it is or is supposed to be. All officials who take an oath to The Constitution are individually responsible for assuring that it not be violated. Further, by said oath they are obligated not to enforce any law or regulation that they believe would cause them to violate their oaths. If someone disagrees, the matter may be settled in a court of law, but oath-taking officials do have this power/responsibility. And they should not fear exercising it. It’s their duty.

The national government is beyond hope.

Emphasis mine.

Read the whole thing.

Posted in Domestic Happenings, Politicians behaving badly | Tagged: , , , , , | 7 Comments »

Notoriously Intolerant Ultra-Right Wing Christianist Comes Out In Favor Of…

Posted by KingShamus on March 9, 2012

Poke Smot!  Wait, I'm new at this.  Give me a sec...

…Marijuana Legalization

Pat Robertson truly is a blessed man; he makes liberal media narratives melt.

“I really believe we should treat marijuana the way we treat beverage alcohol,” Robertson was quoted by the newspaper as saying. “If people can go into a liquor store and buy a bottle of alcohol and drink it at home legally, then why do we say that the use of this other substance is somehow criminal?”

Robertson said he “absolutely” supports ballot measures in Colorado and Washington state that would allow people older than 21 to possess a small amount of marijuana and allow for commercial pot sales. Both measures, if passed by voters, would place the states at odds with federal law, which bans marijuana use of all kinds.

While he supports the measures, Robertson said he would not campaign for them and was “not encouraging people to use narcotics in any way, shape or form.”

“I’m not a crusader,” he said. “I’ve never used marijuana and I don’t intend to, but it’s just one of those things that I think: this war on drugs just hasn’t succeeded.”

Hey, better late than never.

But then again, that’s kinda the point. So many on the Left caricature conservatives–or in the case of Robertson, religious traditionalists–as resolutely backwards, slope-fore headed Neanderthals who have never thought out their political positions nor are capable of changing their minds. But how does that image line up with a total cultural square like Pat Robertson suddenly getting hip to the jazz cigarette craze that all the young hep-cats have been jiving to all these years? It doesn’t.

Look at the facts. Robertson, a believer in law and order, has observed what has gone on with American drug policy over the years. For a long while he was an advocate for tough legal restrictions when it came to marijuana and other narcotics. Over time, the man has come to the conclusion that the US stance on marijuana is wrong. Yes, it took him many years, but he has rethought his position and now has publicly spoke out about his revamped opinion.

Beyond the intellectual honesty of Pat Robertson, look at the Left. How many progressives would be capable of a similar change in opinion and still be part of the liberal movement? When Christopher Hitchens came out against Bill Clinton in the 90’s, he was damn near purged out of the Trotskyite caucus. When he came out in favor of the great American warlord Premier Bush’s Iraq War, the angry howls from Progland were deafening.

Hell, we don’t have to go all that far in the Wayback Machine to see what happens when somebody deviates from the liberal consensus. The recent Susan G. Komen/Planned Parenthood mudfight was an unadulterated left-wing purge designed to turn a well-respected breast cancer charity into a women-hating pariah. As soon as Komen had any public misgivings about Planned Parenthood–and remember, Komen initially defunded PP because the abortion provider wasn’t performing mammograms, not because of their pro- abortion policies–the screaming spittle-flecked progressive movement did everything they could to make Komen and their supporters into Dark Ages misogynists.

Yet here comes one-time GOP Presidential candidate and full-time Christian Coalition enthusiast Pat Robertson admitting he was wrong in the past and that he has changed his opinion. What will happen to him among his allies on the Right? It would be shocking if Robertson was ejected from the broader right-of-center movement in anything close to the same manner as the Left routinely does to its heterodox members. In fact, his belief in pot decriminalization might make him some new friends in the more libertarian-leaning sectors of American conservatism. More likely, he will still be considered a distinct voice in the conservatism wing of American politics. For all the talk of hand-wringing concern-theater worries over ‘epistemic closure’ on the Right, it’s the Left that consistently looks to purge its ranks when confronted with political apostasy.

Posted in Domestic Happenings | Tagged: , , , , | 7 Comments »

Why the Senate GOP didn’t screw the pooch

Posted by KingShamus on December 21, 2009

There are some out in conservo-land that seem to think that the Senate Republicans didn’t handle the last two weeks of the health care deform debate all that well. Look, I’m cool with calling the GOP on their bull crap when they actually do make a hash of things. But on this issue? I can’t fault them.

…judged purely as a short-term political strategy designed to derail the legislation, it’s hard to argue with the results. Public opinion has turned dramatically against the bill, and every swing-state Democrat who votes for it is courting political suicide.

Could a Republican emphasis on cost control have placed the Democrats in a similar bind? I’m skeptical. Remember that the Obama administration started out making Orszagist promises about the cost curve, and then largely gave up when Orszagism didn’t find any political traction. Would Republicans really have profited from taking up arguments that their opponents had already tried out, and then abandoned? That seems like a difficult case to make.

In the end, when the history of the health care debate is written, I don’t think any of the choices that G.O.P. lawmakers made this year will loom particularly large. The choices that they made, or didn’t make, across the last fifteen years are what made all the difference. Between the defeat of Clintoncare and the election of Barack Obama, the Republicans had plenty of chances to take ownership of the health care issue and pass a significant reform along more free-market, cost-effective lines. They didn’t. The system deteriorated on their watch instead. And now they’re suffering the consequences.

Ross Douthat’s last paragraph is the real kicker. As I said a while back, the GOP has had plenty of time to craft some sort of rational conservative-based health care reform plan. They chose not to do it.  In a Republican pantheon of epic fail, this might be the greatest mistake of the last twenty years. 

So yeah sure, the GOP could’ve done something about this a long time ago. The problem is that we’re not in 2005 or 2003 anymore. The Republicans are a minority party everywhere they look. That means that as of November and December of this year, their options were incredibly narrow. What, was Mitch McConnell supposed to kick Harry Reid in the junk whenever the Democrats uttered the phrase ‘health care’ on the Senate floor?

Yes, it would’ve been nice if the Republicans had totally killed this bill. It would also be nice if unicorns shit free gumdrops that you could put into your car instead of gasoline. The fact that the public option and the Medicare buy-in are (for now) out of the legislation is an indication of just how well the GOP fared given their precarious situation.

Now, if the Republicans fail to get the Tea Party folks on board for the 2010 elections, then we can talk about spectacular mistake.  Why?  Because that would be something over which they have direct control-namely, incorporating what should be bedrock conservative principles back into the GOP.

Posted in Domestic Happenings | Tagged: , , , | Leave a Comment »

The Stupak amendment and the Stupid Party

Posted by KingShamus on November 7, 2009

Michelle Malkin sums it up.

10 p.m.: Vote on the Stupak amendment going on now, which would bar federal funds in the health care bill from being used for abortions. Up or down on this could make a difference in the final vote on the entire bill because it might sway fence-sitting Reps. whose vote hinges on whether they’re pro-choice socialist or pro-life socialist.

Hey Republicans:  As a pro-life conservative, I get how you could be tempted to get behind Bart Stupak’s fig leaf.  The problem is, the fig leaf was actually poison sumac.  If you guys voted for the Stupak amendment, it would then rescue squishy Democrats so that they could then vote for the big enchilada without having to deal with the life issue in a meaningful way.  Why you would give the Democrats cover to vote for their ri-goddamn-diculous socialized medicine debacle?  All you’ve done is made the larger bill slightly more ‘pro-life’.  Whoop-dee fucking doo.  It’s still a big government disaster of monumental proportions.  There’s not much that is ‘pro-life’ about this thing no matter how you dress it up.

Uggggggggggggghhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhhh.

I dunno.  Maybe I’m reading this wrong.  Maybe I’m not seeing something here.  But it sure as hell seems like the GOP bought itself a Pyrrhic victory in a battle in order to better lose the war.

Posted in Politicians behaving badly | Tagged: , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

 
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