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Friday, October 18, 2013

Let’s talk about the Republican split.

Let’s talk about the Republican split.

I was going to call it a “Civil War” but that would be an exaggeration. There is a very deep fissure in the Republican ranks. There are any number of ways it can be described, but one of the best descriptions I have read of the "establishment" Republican Party is that it's the “Not-Democrat Party.” By that I mean that the Republicans are the party you vote for when you don’t want the Democrats to win.

The Democrats have become firmly ideological. When Michelle Obama spoke about her husband wishing to fundamentally transform America, she meant it and so does he. They, and a majority in Congress, desire a socialist welfare state and are doing everything they can to transform the country into one.

Those who quibble with my use of the term - socialist - are simply playing semantic games suitable for academia.  They are trying to re-define terms.  They do that all the time.  They won't use the phrase "raise your taxes," but will talk instead of "revenue enhancement."  It means exactly the same thing but it sounds better.

You don’t have to nationalize the country’s basic industries, at least not now, when you can tell them what to do via agencies like the ACA, EPA, DOJ, NSA, HEW, SEC, IRS and a host of other agencies including those “friendly” guys in the Smokey the Bear hats at the National Park Service who are ready to follow orders, block views of Mt. Rushmore, imprison elderly tourists at Yellowstone and threaten to arrest old veterans in wheelchairs,  like good Germans.

The establishment Republicans, on the other hand, hope that the Democrats will screw up enough so that they can win some elections, get the better offices, control the committees and get more of the PAC funds to fatten their campaign coffers. But they are the polar opposite of being ideological. Oh, they remember the words and the music enough to give a rousing stump speech about the direction the country’s headed, the debt and the deficit, the need for a strong national defense. But they check their beliefs with pollsters before they utter them and pander to the Democrats in the press. They want to get good press and so, like Groucho Marx, they proclaim:
Those are my principles, and if you don't like them... well, I have others.

They come to Washington to compromise.  Not having any firm principles, they see nothing wrong with helping build the Welfare State, but hope to do it on the cheap.  But having arrived in Washington  their compromise is always with the Left, never with the Right.  The Right lives in flyover country while the Left is right outside their door. 

For too long the GOP has wooed conservatives by talking tough but acting very moderate when elected. I think you can trace it back to George H.W. Bush breaking his "no new taxes" pledge. Conservatives rallied around the elder Bush and put aside their distrust and dislike of him mostly out of respect for Ronald Reagan only to find out Bush the Elder was exactly who conservatives thought he was all old school country club Republican.

The support for his son, Bush 43, was largely a result of 9/11 and the subsequent - incredibly poorly named -  War on Terror. Outside of that his presidency was as country club as his father, with a Texas drawl. Remember his mantra: “compassionate conservatism?” What was that all about?  Did he believe the Liberal lie that conservatism was not compassionate?  Visit, if you dare, the "urban" neighborhoods of Chicago, Detroit, Philadelphia, Camden or any of the other festering sores that "Liberal compassion" has built and tell me again that Conservatives need to apologize for their positions.

What Liberals have done is created a group of people who are three days away from anarchy and starvation. Richard Fernandez at Belmont club:
Fifty million. Consider that for a moment. Most of those 50 million people live in high-density cities. Many are proud owners of Obama phones, Obama food stamps, Obama unemployment checks and Obama subsidized housing. They have absolutely no clue that the government upon which they wholly depend to put food on the table is teetering on the verge of permanent collapse. (Seriously, they cannot conceive of the idea of government “running out of money” because they do not understand where money comes from.) Because of this distorted belief, they do not prepare for any future events other than more Obama handouts. Their entire “preparedness” plan is to vote for Democrats, because that’s who they know will give them the most handouts. And they will always win the popular vote, too, because any politician promising to restore responsible fiscal spending to the government by cutting programs will be viciously accused of being “mean” or involved in “hating poor people.” So the government handouts will only ratchet higher and higher, ensnaring more and more people, until the entire system is unsustainable and collapses under its own weight.

When that system of dependence fails, those who depend on it will panic in mere hours. As proof of this, consider the fact that this mass looting of Wal-Mart stores happened in less than three hours after the Saturday EBT card glitch struck. Police had to be called in to prevent the situation from getting completely out of control, and it was offline for only part of one day.

Now imagine what will happen when EBT cards go offline for 24, 48 or even 72 hours. And imagine it happening in every U.S. city simultaneously.

Remember those young black kids in Detroit talking about Obama's stash?  Those are the people who, if the EBT cards don't work,  are not going to be looking for a job, but to ransack the Wal Mart until the shelves are bare. Don't believe me?  Read this.

Here's what the Republican establishment needs to hear:

Conservative voters are feeling neglected betrayed and unappreciated by the GOP (and I think for good reason). Instead of telling conservatives to suck it up and fight Democrats, Republicans are going to have to treat conservatives as voters they have to woo. Maybe instead of telling conservatives to shut up and fight Democrats they should spend sometime telling conservatives what the GOP has done for them (and, "but the Democrats really suck" isn't good enough). If the GOP has been so good for conservatives (and I mean small government conservatives here), it shouldn't be hard to come up with a long list of positive achievements. Of course, there will be an alternative and likely longer list of GOP actions against small government conservative interests.

Increasingly the GOP is going to have convince wayward conservatives the GOP is good for them like they try and win over any other voting bloc. You don't see the GOP berating moderates, women, minorities or other blocs that aren't assumed to be part of the base the way they do "tea party" conservatives.
The members of the Tea Party and the rest of the grass root conservatives are accustomed to being treated no better than Democrats treat blacks: they are useful for winning elections but told to get to the back of the bus at other times.  In return blacks are rewarded by a subsistence existence via welfare; Conservatives don't even get that much. 

But the members of the Tea Party are not helpless welfare cases whose monthly check comes from the government.  They are independent and, in fact, contribute to the government rather than feeding from it.  These are free people who will rebel and have the means to do it. 

Back to Fernandez:

William Galston, writing in the Wall Street Journal warns that the institutional Republican Party — the political equivalent of the Washington Generals — may have lost its audience after the longest losing streak in history. A large part of the GOP base is walking out — led by an “aroused, angry and above all fearful [Jacksonian America] in full revolt against a new elite”. They’re no longer entertained, no longer spellbound by suspense after finally being convinced that the Washington General’s secret job is to lose every exhibition match against the Democratic Party Hokum Globetrotters. 

I do not believe that the Republican establishment will listen.  They lack both the spirit and the energy to fight the Democrats; it's easier to join the Democrats and try to destroy the insurgency.  If the establishment wins, as it well could, the Republican Party will return to it's status as an irrelevant minor party.   Keep in  mind that's exactly what it was in Congress for many years until the Gingrich revolution. 

But it's possible for the Tea Party to win.  They view the last few weeks as a loss for the Republican establishment but a trumpet call for the Tea Party. 

Far from chastened by the debt debate, tea partyers and conservative groups signaled Thursday they’ve concluded they didn’t lose, but rather were sabotaged from within by weak Republicans — and they took the first steps to oust one of them.

Mississippi state Sen. Chris McDaniel announced he would challenge U.S. Sen. Thad Cochran in the Republican primary next year, a day after the GOP’s senior senator voted to end the 16-day government shutdown and grant President Obama more borrowing authority.

Mr. McDaniel immediately saw a flood of support from the outside groups that had rallied against this week’s debt and spending agreement.

“Our country can’t afford any more bad votes that stem from old friends and back-room deals,” said Daniel Horowitz, deputy political director of the Madison Project. “And as witnessed from the recent budget battle against Obamacare, we cannot win against Democrats if we don’t grow our conservative bench in the Senate.”

That doesn't sound like they're taking the establishment's advice.  The test will be in the country, not in Washington,  The country is being tested and we will see what kind of people we are. 

One more thought from Fernandez:
But the assumption that Third Party must only come from conservative ranks bears closer examination. For the Democrats need money too. In fact they need it more than anyone else, a fact underscored by their obsession to lift every limit on their credit cards. The truth is they are only one step ahead of disaster; for if once the EBT system stops working, even momentarily, there is a drastic disturbance in the force.

Nor is this surprising. It has been argued and proved by natural disasters that the entire fabric of civilization is but nine meals from anarchy. After 3 days without food most people are willing to do anything to anybody to get a meal. The hard reality is that the current deficit system will inexorably create a situation when the grub literally runs out.

Alexis de Tocqueville’s argued that slavery should be abolished because it was a money loser. “The colonies in which there were no slaves became more populous and richer than those in which slavery flourished”. That fading system was not only bad, but bad for business. Similarly it can be said wide sections of the Democratic Party have an interest in rising against The Plantation in order to survive.

In the same way that Tocqueville maintained that slavery could be condemned “in the name of the master”, so it can be said that the members of Democratic Party should also rise in the ‘name of their pensions, jobs and other expected benefits’. Without reform those ‘gains’ are toast. Lincoln Steffens once said of Soviet Russia, “I have seen the future and it works.” People with pensions should visit Detroit. That is the future and it doesn’t work.
The middle-class Democrats who want their pensions paid, the teachers and the college professors, the city and state employees by the millions need the system to stay solvent at least during their lifetimes.  They are going to find out what it means to compete with people dependent on Obama's stash as cities go bankrupt and decisions have to be made about who gets the money that remains. It's not going to be Republicans vs. Democrats but the working class versus everybody else.  The pitchforks are being shouldered and the torches are being lit, and the people in the castle are in for a surprise.


Anonymous said...

It seems to me that the conservs, who have been the real BASE for the last few decades but...they always stab themselves. As Christians did in 2012 when 4-5 million did not vote because they feared ..Mitt. And they got Obama. Yikes. Look, if the Indies, Pub-conservs there, Libertarians, TEAS, and those Evangelicals united for 2014, they could actually win some RED STATE offices in both the House and Senate where Dems now rule. And even a Purple state or two should see some changes. The RINO's simply should be ignored except when they run in their NE corridor . That is where they rule. They never compromise with the conservs and demand that the conservs always cave to them. So... unite guys and actually defeat the progressives.

Anonymous said...

Best essay I have read about the situation. Obama and his ilk are destroying America, financially and morally. Along with the help of the RINO'S. The Tea Party's agenda is alive and well. Just as our founding fathers were Patriots, we too r willing to fight for our country.

Moneyrunner said...

Anon: If we follow your advice what have we accomplished? At this point I’m not very excited about a Republican congress for the reasons I outlined in my essay. Lots of people today don’t want the old Democrat vs. Republican game because that is as important as this weekend’s football game. The Republicans did not cave because they were outvoted; they caved because they were not prepared to do something about 50 million food stamp recipients, they were not prepared apply ObamaCare to Congress, they were not prepared to do anything about 800,000 government workers who were demonstrated to be non-essential. We need more than elect a few more Republicans to public office. In reality we need to replace a lot of the Republicans in Congress.