November 8, 2012

The best thing about embracing your Hobbitry…

…Is that you can stop caring what the GOP establishment and its mouthpieces think about you.

And you can say things like this:  if Chris Christie or Jeb Bush are ever put up for national office, I’ll actively campaign against them.

Or this:  any “conservative” pundit or website that is talking about the need to appeal to Latinos (or any other ethnic or identity group) in a way that effectively surrenders first principles for a chance at taking power — deeming this move “realistic” or pragmatic, while sneering at the “purists” who simply Don’t Know How Things In DC Work — is not, in fact, conservative; is not, in fact, a constitutionalist; and is not, in fact, part of your “team.”

In truth, they despise you, because they see you as an impediment to regaining power and to reasserting the status quo on the right.  They are embarrassed by you.  And while the left likes to keep you around so they can point to you as fringe extremists, the establishment right will work actively to sabotage your influence and dictate to you the terms of your political choice.

These are mere political creatures who for one reason or another have chosen one team over the other (perhaps they like lower taxes; or more business-friendly regulations) from which to base themselves.  And having done so, they fight for the party brand, because it is part and parcel of their political identity.

Well, they can keep their damned brand.  Because as I noted yesterday, their brand couldn’t turn out enough voters to defeat a disastrous President running on myths and lies.  So what good is it?

Don’t fret, though.  Because now they’re getting serious. Doing a lot of navel gazing.  How can we get the demographics to return ourselves to power? they keep asking.  How do we bring over single women or LatinosHow do we prevent social conservatives from smearing us with their decidedly non-cosmopolitan worldviews, which are routinely used against them by an antagonistic press, and as a result, spread to the rest of the partyHow can we make sure we run only thoroughly vetted and party-approved candidates, and that we don’t mess with our incumbents?  Because it’s about numbers, not ideology.  Winning is paramount.  Everything else is secondary.

And they’re coming up with answers:  we need to run a more moderate candidate with  more broad-spectrum appeal!  Someone who speaks to the hopes and fears of Latinos. Someone who understands that the world is made up of varying shades of gray and who will be willing to sell bi-partisan compromise in exchange for an opportunity to take power.  Someone like, say, a Jeb Bush!  Or maybe a Chris Christie!  Or, short of that, we can find ourselves a minority candidate and pimp the shit out of him or her.  Because that’ll show that we embrace all people, not just angry old white cranks like those who make up the odious TEA Party movement.  And it’s all about optics nowadays. We may not like it, but that’s Just How Things Are — and we realists, unlike the hidebound purists who are holding us back (how dare they fail to turn out for Mitt!  He won independents!  It should have been a landslide!) — understand that we have to make certain sacrifices to compete in a game of vote haggling.

Of course, these are the wrong answers, based on faulty assumptions (for instance, while it’s true a number of TEA Party candidates for Senate lost, it’s also true that more liberal and moderate Republican candidates lost, a fact that is bracketed by the “serious and sober” Republican “realists”). And they are also the same answers they always come up with.  Nominating moderate after moderate to appeal to the independent voter, they fail to energize the conservatives in their base — at least, those conservatives who don’t as we do spend so much time digging into the daily game of national politics.  People want conviction.  They want someone with vision.  What they don’t want, evidently, is the hamfisted and obvious us too!-ism that has become the hallmark of the establishment GOP.

That is to say, they’re trying to forge a candidate to compete with Dems on Dems’ terms.  And it shows.  Painfully, often times.  Embarrassingly.

But here’s the truth of demographics, and it has nothing to do with pandering to Latinos or single women in need of free rubbers or “the middle class”:  fewer and fewer people are turning out for national Republican candidates because fewer and fewer people believe that the Republican Party at the national level cares a whit about individual liberty, smaller government, or constitutional first principles. They are dispirited.  And they seem particularly averse to polished politicians or long-time Washington insiders.

More and more, people have left the Democrat Party.  More people registered as Republican this cycle.  Independents are even skewing right.  So yes, I do believe this is still a center right country, and that arguments to the contrary are being floated to rationalize the need for pandering and compromise.  The problem the GOP has, however, is that it’s losing its appeal to the right by trying to appeal to the largely mythical middle.  And I say largely mythical not because they don’t exist, but rather because the way they’re conceived is in error.  Rather than pander to them — as if that’s what they want, proof that you aren’t what the media would characterize as “extreme” — circumvent the media, belittle its predictable stable of smear tactics, and sell potential voters on principles.  Fiercely and proudly advocated and defended.  Otherwise, they stay at home or will vote the status quo.

I said many months ago that I believed the GOP would collapse as a national party if it wasn’t changed significantly from within.  We still have one more election season to try to change it — and those of us who plan to resist tyranny in all its forms will work over these next two years to do so.  Bemusedly, of course.

But that’s the end.  An attempt to run a Jeb Bush/Marco Rubio ticket in 2016 will spell the end for the GOP.  And that’s going to happen no matter how many pundits or realists explain to the mouthbreathing hordes and hairy-footed Hobbits how it’s the only “electable” ticket, or that we need to sacrifice certain principles in order to broaden our appeal.

Pro tip:  if you want to pick up votes, appeal to those inclined to vote for you in the first place  And appeal to them based on what they want.  Because in the end, your job is going to be to represent the constituency.  It’s not your job merely to win elections.  That’s just a means to an end.

Insert something about trees and forests and the vision necessary to negotiate them here.

Oh. And outlaw.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 9:18am
74 comments | Trackback

Comments (74)

  1. we need to run a more moderate candidate

    Bob Dole. McCain. Romney. Oh, and Bush the elder and his scion, although one won due to Reagan’s coattails and the other one won due to Al Gore/Clinton fatigue. A more moderate candidate would win? Sure, if you define Joe Lieberman as a moderate.

    A majority remains in the House, with a large number of them conservative/Tea Party types. Yet the presidency remained out of reach. Hmm. Why is that? Oh right: because Romney wasn’t moderate enough.

    I told Bill Quick that if Romney won, I would actively work to destroy the GOP. Since he lost, I see no reason to alter my plans.

  2. Winning is paramount. Everything else is secondary.

    Everything else? There is no everything else. There is only winning and the loot they can rake in from it.

    VDH gets it:

    Some are terrified that we are witnessing the final establishment of the long-feared dependency majority, where half the country is not paying federal income taxes and are on the receiving end of government largess and expect “them” to pay their fair share to pay for it.

    We have never quite had the present perfect storm of nearly half not paying federal income taxes, nearly 50 million on food stamps, and almost half the population on some sort of federal largess — and a sophistic elite that promotes it and at the same time finds ways to be exempt from its social and cultural consequences. For an Obama, Biden, Kerry, Pelosi, or Feinstein, the psychological cost for living like 18th-century French royalty is the promotion of the welfare state for millions of others who for now will be kept far away, in places like Bakersfield or Mendota.

    In Michigan in September I had a talk with a retired auto worker who did not care that the bailout cost $25 billion, was not sustainable, shorted the legal first-in-line creditors, shorted politically incorrect managerial pensioners, or ensured the Volt debacle. He simply said to me, “Obama saved my son’s job and I don’t care about much else.”

    Rather than pander to them … — circumvent the media, belittle its predictable stable of smear tactics, and sell potential voters on principles.

    Principles such as “Obama saved my son’s job and that’s all I care about?”

    Jeff, you’re still assuming that pouring spring water into the cesspool will help purify it. That’s no longer possible, or even desirable.

    Quarantine Washington D.C.

    Refuse to comply.

    Aim to cause mischief.

    Go Galt.

    Spit yourself out from the system.

    They will destroy themselves, because they’ve built their houses on the sand. Instead, find ways to make your locality more self-sufficient, more constitutional, less corrupt. If you have to, move to Texas or Arizona, where people have the cojones to tell Washington to stuff it.

    Whittle was right about having to create a parallel society-within-a-society. He was right that we have to write off Washington and the Left and the Proggs and the clueless. (Though if he thinks they won’t do everything in their power to assimilate us, he’s dead wrong.)

    Your kids won’t grow up in the same America you did, but in some ways that’s a good thing. We grew up in an America that was on a rocket-sled to hell, though it seemed to be a much slower sled at the time. You can go all Sarah Connor on your kids: teach them how to rebuild when the house on the sand washes away. Make them vessels of virtue (the old Yankee virtues of self-reliance and love for the rule of law and the Enlightenment), leadership, and intelligence.

    We may not see the Republic again in our lifetimes. Ensure that they see it in theirs.

  3. Nominating moderate after moderate to appeal to the independent voter, they fail to energize the conservatives in their base — at least, those conservatives who don’t as we do spend so much time digging into the daily game of national politics. People want conviction. They want someone with vision. What they don’t want, evidently, is the hamfisted and obvious us too!-ism that has become the hallmark of the establishment GOP.

    I don’t know if this is an idea worth exploring or not, but it’s something I’ve been noodling over since last night.

    One party’s candidate ran on the economy (albeit ineffectively) and ran away from social issues. The other party’s candidate ran away from the economy (because he had no choice) and ran instead on social issues(albeit not social issues as the right generally concieves of them). Whose candidate won?

  4. We need to pander to Hispanics. Why? Because as anyone can plainly see, the difference in this election was New Mexico. Sure, we won Texas and Arizona. But, if we had won New Mexico, we’d be buying tickets to Romney’s inauguration. Yes, sir.

  5. That might have been better put as: one candidate ceded social issues in order to focus on the economy, and the other didn’t. Who benefited?

  6. An excellent reference, JG. (I encourage you to tag it into a library of such things — they’ll only become more and more relevent.)

    Don’t fret, though. Because now they’re getting serious. Doing a lot of navel gazing. How can we get the demographics to return ourselves to power? they keep asking. How do we bring over single women or Latinos? How do we prevent social conservatives from smearing us with their decidedly non-cosmopolitan worldviews, which are routinely used against them by a antagonistic press, and as a result, spread to the rest of the party? How can we make sure we run only thoroughly vetted and party-approved candidates, and that we don’t mess with our incumbents? Because it’s about numbers, not ideology. Winning is paramount. Everything else is secondary.

    Notice too the sheer volume of balls juggled, all to try and compete with the left on common ground.

    Which is to say the left’s ground.

    Which is to say the emotional and decidedly irrational ground.

    Which is to admit defeat.

    This morning I emailed you some thoughts on messaging that may dovetail to this. I suggested that I, for one, had no interest in branding the right in such a way as to make it suddenly rational to the left. (I may have gotten on the wrong side of this point a couple days ago here at PW, implying that with structural principles and structure itself being fundamentally and classically liberal, the messaging — to your point above — could get stuffed. What I missed was that the usual messaging is faulty in a way that you’ve just confirmed.)

    To be sure, messaging is important. Where the election of 2012 failed, messaging-wise, was in allowing the left to continue to own the faulty narrative that the right’s GOP was the post-Sixties Party of Authoritarianism. That the right’s GOP was the Party of oppression and uterine domination and WHITE! people and MALE PERSONS! and BIG BUSINESS! and TEH CORPORATION AND IMPERIAL GLOBAL DOMINATION!!!

    When, in fact, it’s the left doing these things.

    Back to messaging. Since it is indeed the left that’s become the movement of statism and social control and moral order (of a deeply perverse fashion) and compliance and all the fascist, authoritarian strength to enforce it, then the truth emerges that the right had indeed lost the messaging.

    It’s just not lost the messaging of Republicanism, which is fundamentally both authoritarian and authoritarian-looking, even if, as far as the left is concerned, falsely, after a hundred years that left being the classically authoritarian movement.

    What the right just lost, messaging-wise, was not the message of GOPism — that message just cost it the election. What the right lost was the message of the reality of what is in effect already a third party. A third party intellect and soul. (I saw it myself at the Liberty rally in Tampa this summer.)

    The right actively denied the classically liberal/libertarian/liberty/soft Occupy axis. Ridiculed it, called it names, and even recently the Reynolds and Greens and Whittles implored us to abandon it. The right lost the message of anti-authoritarianism because it’s establishment movement — the GOP — rejected that entire base even while predicting and thoroughly expecting a GOP landslide.

    The establishment right is indeed going back to gaze at its navel. It should introspect for some time. When it emerges, it must reject its own myth that it lost the message of Republicanism in a purely two political party system and start realizing that the real fight is not for a now-obsolete fraction of that system but is ripe for the soul of a nascent Third Party built on actual principle.

    That principle, oddly, is the renewal of Sixties independence married to the enlightened conventional right’s tradition of self-sufficiency. That message is one of the only individualism that can occur, which is that of liberty being the sole, inevitable outcome of doing the right thing, and that authoritarianism is always the wrong thing.

    Drop all those balls, GOP, you and your press. There is one principle at play here. Live free or die. But in this instance you simply must come to realize and embody that “to die” is as much a passive condition of authoritarianism as the entire slogan is a denial of the theft that eternally is leftism.

    In our case, post election 2012, that authoritarianism is you, one dangling vestige to just a deeper, stronger statist authority.

  7. Jeff, you’re still assuming that pouring spring water into the cesspool will help purify it. That’s no longer possible, or even desirable.

    Yeah, that sounds like me alright.

    Listen: what I’m saying is that we infiltrate DC as best we can. With conservatives. Who can do some disrupting of their own. But I’ve ALSO said that the future is going to mean Governors have to step up and tell the feds to fuck right off. And in those states where they do so, you’ll see demographic shifts. In fact, I might have been one of the first on the right in the blogosphere to advocate such 9th and 10th amendment resistance.

    This was the soft civil war I wrote about back in, what, 2005? A war of demographic shifts and logistical change. A war of resistance to tyranny brought about by conviction and evident in a changing political geography. Yes, we resist locally. If we can find governors with balls.

    But it certainly doesn’t hurt to have rearguard action manifested by constitutionalists causing fits in DC.

  8. Colorado, Florida, Iowa OCBill.

    I exclude California, New York because their problems are more structural than demographic.

    I really have no idea about Illinois or Michigan, but the same holds for them as well.

  9. “We need to pander to Hispanics. Why?”

    Ah, but not “Why?” — rather, How? To which end I jest.

    Teach the Spics to read Attic Greek and Latin, as well as English, German, French and . . . . . . . . . presto-change-o: Classical Liberals!

  10. Hey, ain’t it about time for Boner to burst into tears and give the Dems everything they want on a silver salver?

  11. the future is going to mean Governors have to step up and tell the feds to fuck right off.

    Exactly, because at the rate we’re going one can just as easily see the GOP sweep at the State level to be a surrender to local austerity in favor of federal benevolence. I’m not going to even think about cheering that “victory” until that potential is disproved and denied.

  12. Well, technically, a Jeb Bush/Marco Rubio ticket would be at an Electoral College disadvantage, unless Jeb leaves Florida. Otherwise, Florida electors would have to withhold votes from the VP nominee.

    Which could mean Biden’s running mate, Patrick Starfish, would end up as veep if it’s a close election.

  13. …and La Raza would just hate that.

  14. I think jHoward has it. We should have run as an anti-regulation party. We should have pointed out all the ways that the Dems want to intrude into your life (For some reason, I had Charlie Daniels’ song about “leave this long haired country boy alone” running through my head a lot this election.) We could have pointed out all the ways that Obama took over Bush’s policies and enhanced them. Most folks were clueless about the drone attacks on American citizens because the MSM didn’t cover that. We could have talked about how Chrysler DID go bankrupt and how unfairly that was handled.

    I was very suspicious of Romney because the Republican establishment gave us McCain. And I will give Romney credit for running a lot harder than I thought he would. But we can’t continue to run for election with the other side getting in our faces all the time and then demanding we be respectful of them. We need to get right back in their faces. And why didn’t we bother to point out how badly Obama’s policies have failed black people? It’s getting old to be the party of respectfulness and civility.

  15. But here’s the truth of demographics, and it has nothing to do with pandering to Latinos or single women in need of free rubbers or “the middle class”: fewer and fewer people are turning out for national Republican candidates because fewer and fewer people believe that the Republican Party at the national level cares a whit about individual liberty, smaller government, or constitutional first principles.

    This is the nugget of truth, for me at least. We’re engaged in a generations-long war between liberty and dependency, and we’re stuck with a political party that refuses to address the fight in those terms. The closest they’ll come is “deficit reduction” or “regulatory reform,” and that’s just weak tea in the scheme of things.

    What I want to see, and what I think the nation needs, is a leader who will stand up and defend liberty as liberty. To remind our countrymen that their forebears struggled to build this nation, and fought and died to keep us free, and that this freedom is what makes us exceptional. To remind all the would-be moochers that all the “free” goodies they’re promised come with strings attached, and that before long these strings become shackles.

    In the end, if liberty is to die in this country, at the very least I want it to die honorably, in open conflict, and not just left to wither away unnoticed. If our countrymen decide that subservience is their preference, so be it. But we at least owe it to ourselves to make that choice plain, and not allow it to be couched in terms of “fairness” and “compassion” and “efficient central planning.” When the Gods of the Copybook Headings come calling, I don’t want any of my neighbors to complain “We didn’t realize what we were doing.”

    Freedom has appeal. Freedom sells. It would be really fucking nice if somebody in Washington cared to try it.

  16. An excellent bit of writing, Jeff. I’ll link extravagantly from my home box.

    Because the Left’s power structure is based on attracting the mindless using ‘our’ media and ‘our’ tax and (through Unions) personal monies, We must actively

  17. Amen.

  18. …(damned tiny droid keypad!) …not support any Union-assembled product or service. Especially cars and other big-ticket items. Find out if a shop or supplier supports left-leaning entities, and if so, noisly pull back your cash.

    They do this effectively to us all the time. We must fight back using every tool we have.

  19. I really could not believe it when the FauxNewz panel last night starting spouting this crap about “trying to win the Latino vote.” And the chief issue that all Latinos care about is, apparently, whether Mexicans who are here illegally will be allowed to stay (officially, I mean, because unofficially that’s a done deal) and be citizens who will then be allowed to get money from the government. I guess that would be “conservatives” caving in to the pressure and buying themselves a voting block, too.

    They are stuck in a rut. They truly believe that Mittens lost because he wasn’t moderate enough, ignoring the fact that he got fewer votes than McCain, another moderate, even after a disastrous first term from Obama that should have brought out the base in droves. They cannot seem to realize that those millions stayed because they could not see a reason to vote for someone who obviously did not share their principles. Heck, I barely voted for the guy.

    The GOP will move to the left, as will the majority of the pundits. They will move themselves too far from the classical liberals to even have a chance of winning a national election. I still see a slim chance to get TEA Party types into the House and Senate as ostensible GOP candidates, but otherwise the party will be dead after 2016, if it isn’t dead already.

  20. Yeah, that sounds like me alright.

    Listen: what I’m saying is that we infiltrate DC as best we can. With conservatives.

    Me, I’m done with Washington. Why climb aboard the sinking ship? Let it sink, then build another.

  21. Jeff – First post here so be gentle.

    I respect you and your site a great deal. I’m slowly coming over to your way of seeing things.

    I’ve been speaking with many Republican Latinos this election cycle. Most of them tell me that most Latinos really do not want Amnesty like we think they do. They say that there are Latinos pushing for it (like La Raza, etc…) but by and large they are simply here for the opportunity (legally or illegally) to do better for themselves and their families. What they tell me is that we need not pander to Latinos and offer them free stuff. They are a natural Republican/Conservative constituency.

    Instead what they want to see is more engagement. More people/candidates coming into their communities and talking with them, asking questions, listening to them and explaining why our views are the natural fit for them. For all his faults, GWB did this and he was rewarded with 44% of the Latino vote as a result of his outreach into the Latino community. This time around, my friends tell me that there was none. There were no ads for Romney on Spanish speaking stations (just Obama). And when there are Reps. who say “round ‘em all up and ship them home” they react to that negatively and instantly you have created a wall you will have a hard time getting through (the old “its not what you say its how you say it” scenario). When you automatically give up the field to your opponent and have no counter narrative (other than something they will visceral recoil against), you shouldn’t be surprised when less and less vote for you.

    So I’m with you on this post. I don’t think we need to do anything to betray our principles. I just think we can do a better job of engaging with Latinos, blacks, etc… instead of essentially ignoring them.

    I think that we don’t need to change our principles. We simply need to do like Reagan and convince people why our principles are the correct ones. We cannot do that if we don’t properly engage people.

  22. The TEA Party is dead. 2010 was it’s moment in the sun.

  23. I’m sitting here trying to think of why Romney wouldn’t make at least an effort at community outreach. It’s staggering.

    I still say the best solution to the Mexican immigration issue is to annex Mexico. sew stars for all the existing Mexican states on the flag, adopt English and Spanish as the two official languages, and then de-regulate that oil industry.

    Because, at the rate our government is growing, it’s eventually going to become rapacious for foreign capital anyway. Trajan marched all the way to the Euphrates; Emperor Biden should be able to make Nunavut and the Yucatan wihtout too much trouble.

  24. The issues that inspired the tea party rallies are alive and well. Either they’ll take over the GOP, or they’ll form their own party.

  25. You’re right, Jerry.

    And some are taking that tack. For instance, Mark Levin is having Liberty and Tyranny printed in Spanish. I’m developing a series on language that shows the way out of our current enslavement to PC and identity politics.

    The GOP has failed us. We constitutional conservatives and classical liberals need to take over the messaging and the “realists” can either follow along with us or not.

  26. Andrew: perhaps he relied on his biography a bit too much in that regard.

  27. “annex Mexico”

    Heh, while we’re at it, why not conquer and reverse colonize merry ol’ England and the British Isles? At least they sort of speak the lingo.

  28. I’ve been speaking with many Republican Latinos this election cycle. Most of them tell me that most Latinos really do not want Amnesty like we think they do. They say that there are Latinos pushing for it (like La Raza, etc…) but by and large they are simply here for the opportunity (legally or illegally) to do better for themselves and their families. What they tell me is that we need not pander to Latinos and offer them free stuff. They are a natural Republican/Conservative constituency.

    Rush is saying that City Journal‘s Heather MacDonald has crunched the numbers and concluded that hispanics are voting Democrat because they like free money* the same as everybody else.

    * And by free I of course mean money earned by somebody else.

  29. I’ve been reading a variety of post mortems on blogs and twitter and I’m seeing a basic pattern. “What I thought before the election has been confirmed by this election.” Never mind that those varied thoughts stand completely at odds with one another.

    I doubt we have a viable coalition at this point. From foreign policy to social issues to economic proposals the base isn’t a base, it’s a fractured set of disagreements.

    [If you want to argue that “I’m right and they’re wrong” you’re missing my point. Or, rather, you’re making it. This is descriptive, not prescriptive.]

  30. Obama ran a campaign of negative ads and had his surrogates go negative even to the point of throwing out lies that were ridiculous. This was from his standpoint a get out the base election and going negative does that. It worked.

    The problem with our moderates campaigns is not their positions as much as that they refuse to go hugely negative on their opponent, at least in the general election as they see no such limitation in the primaries.

    As for the “problem” of Soc-cons running for election, the problem is that the moderates line up with the progressives to go negative on their own Party’s candidates. They seem to think that this will gain them votes. It doesn’t. It simply suppresses their own base vote.

    They also think that by smearing the dumb hicks they are showing how rational, modern, scientific they are. They are not. The “science” of the Left is irrational, pre-modern, and is as based on science as Lysenko’s was.

    Don’t side with the Left’s twaddle. Their “conventional wisdom” is not wise and should be thrown back in their face with the added accusation that they only believe their crap because they just aren’t that smart. Slice, dice and mock. It’s not that hard. Or shouldn’t be but it will have the effect of losing out on those invites to the “best” parties, there’s the real rub.

  31. I’m sitting here trying to think of why Romney wouldn’t make at least an effort at community outreach. It’s staggering.

    The entire primetime line-up of the Republican Convention was nothing but outreach.

    But that doesn’t count for some reason.

  32. I’ve been reading a variety of post mortems on blogs and twitter and I’m seeing a basic pattern. “What I thought before the election has been confirmed by this election.” Never mind that those varied thoughts stand completely at odds with one another.

    I’ve noticed the same thing. Suddenly none of the culpable are culpable.

  33. I’m sitting here trying to think of why Romney wouldn’t make at least an effort at community outreach. It’s staggering.

    What’s staggering is that Romney didn’t at least make an effort at fundamentals.

  34. We haven’t had a viable coalition since ’06.

    Also it started fracturing in ’90.

    Which leads me to conclude that it’s never really been all that stable. Which in turn may explain why we’re still living with the New Deal party system 80 years on.

  35. The TEA Party is dead. 2010 was it’s moment in the sun.

    Sarcasm?

  36. It’s a fractured set of disagreements in many cases because there’s no set of core principles being rallied around.

    And just to help you make your point, I’ll say this: I’m right and they’re wrong.

  37. As we tend to agree, Jeff, I don’t have any problem with you proving my point. [Insert emoticon here.]

    I’m not so sure that there is great agreement on core principals though. Reading the comments on this blog alone — I use it as an example because people like one another and are arguing in good faith — I think we collectively have disagreements.

    I can bring them up but then I think we’ll just start arguing about them rather than figuring out how we deal with them.

  38. Sarcasm?

    Yeah. The spirit is willing, but the intellect is weak with many of the standard bearers. There are too many factions within an undeclared party trying to seize the mantle of authority.

    For instance, I saw some clown from the XYZ TEA Party coalition being interviewed on television and referring repeatedly to the ‘physical cliff’ and ‘physical sanity’. Now, I knew what he meant, but surely there is a better spokesman available.

    In short, if the TEA party is indeed a party, it’s time to organize.

  39. I agree with her. The Tea Party as currently constituted is dead.

    Struck down like Obi Wan Kenobi.

  40. Well, by core principles I mean only constitutional principles and the mindset that goes along with embracing those: individual liberty, free market capitalism, and so on.

    The devil is oftentimes in the details, admittedly: in many respects, the abortion question is about individual liberty, but we’re dealing with two distinct individuals simultaneously with competing interests.

    So I do think there are a set of core principles that a liberty-loving people can rally around. Many just want to be left unmolested by the government and allowed to turn their labor into what they wish to turn it into. And they want a stable rule of law to help guide them with respect to boundaries.

    What were you thinking of? Bring them up, I say. Now’s the time.

  41. What’s staggering is that Romney didn’t at least make an effort at fundamentals.

    That’s because he confused fundamentals with lighting his hair on fire. Also, he believed the base believed his SuperPAC’s bullshit from the primaries.

    Except 3 million of them didn’t.

  42. Another good point from Rush just now. If hispanics share conservative values, why don’t we try running on them?

  43. I’m remembering somebody who said during the primaries that a vote to nominate Romney was a vote to re-elect Obama.

    Not sure who that was. Had a mustache and a cowboy hat.

    He seemed to drop out of sight after Benghazi; maybe now he’ll turn up again.

  44. Speaking of real rubs, I got the “2nd Annual Bill Maher in Hawaii” rotating ad when I went over to Coulter’s piece.

    Beware the Bill Maher dick toucher.

  45. On Michigan. The turnout was only down compared to 2008 and was at about 63% which is right in the normal range for Presidential years. The weird thing is that of the 6 ballot proposals 3 were designed to change our constitution to mandate things that the Democratic left is losing out on because they do not hold the governorship, both legislative houses and the supreme court majority here. Their final play was to change the State constitution and that failed.

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  47. This is where it’s a shame that we don’t live in a comic book version of reality where we can pop ourselves into an alternate reality.

    It would be interesting to know whether Santorum could have pulled in those 3 million votes without losing the half million or so Romney voters necessary to put him over the top.

    Or Gingrich Or Cain etc.

  48. All I can say, Ernst, is that Santorum would have beaten up on Obama the way he deserved to be beaten up on.

    Instead, well. You were there. You saw it.

  49. Okay, I’ll bring them up but I’d like to explicitly state that I’m truly more interesting in how we handle them as a coalition rather than who’s right and who’s wrong. I’m going to try and phrase these neutrally but if I fail, my apologies.

    Entitlements: Some would like to reform and preserve them along more market oriented lines. Others would like to do away with them as they’re outside the proper realm of government.

    Foreign policy: Some see active global engagement as part of the proper role of government and necessary in our ever-smaller world. Others say the money simply isn’t there and we’re greatly over-reaching regardless.

    Social issues/drug war/etc: Don’t want to break it all down but it’s the standard tension between Burkean conservatism vs libertarianism that will always be there.

    The Fed/fiat currency: I’ve read a trillion different perspectives on this one but let’s just sum it up by saying that either we get rid of both or the coalition will have an extremely hard time getting some votes.

    Social markers: I wouldn’t have included this one awhile ago and I’m not even sure how to describe this but there is more disdain between groups than I realized. Older <> younger, coastal<>inland, watch HBO <> watch CMT. Why this is an issue? I’m not sure so I can’t really even describe it, but it seems like it’s become one somehow.

  50. Yeah. The [TEA Party] spirit is willing, but the intellect is weak with many of the standard bearers. There are too many factions within an undeclared party trying to seize the mantle of authority.

    In one sense I couldn’t disagree more. As I wrote above, the principles are universal and that makes them simple to the point of a singular ethic: Stop.

    Stop spending, stop foreign entanglements, stop the authoritarian State, stop bad money, stop illegal institutions, stop anti-constitutionality.

    Everyone knows what this is when they see it, leigh, but mostly everybody knows it when they feel it. It’s singular, organic, universal, and unstoppable.

    In another sense I agree: TEA/Liberty just doesn’t have a unified voice. It’s a victim of the one party Two Party System and I think that up until some point in the next 24 months it’s been too kindly to act.

    For instance, I saw some clown from the XYZ TEA Party coalition being interviewed on television and referring repeatedly to the ‘physical cliff’ and ‘physical sanity’. Now, I knew what he meant, but surely there is a better spokesman available.

    None of this is going to go well if a tiny handful of ideals either constitute or obstruct the entire movement. As spectacularly stupid as the nation is right now, individuals are much smarter than that. What’s needed is a core and that core is already present; the statesmen will emerge.

    In short, if the TEA party is indeed a party, it’s time to organize.

    Yes, and to speak with complete conviction, discard the GOP, cull the pragmatists, and stop fighting the minor issues. Pot and gun rights and abolishing the State educational system are actually all part of the same spectrum, which should call us to strip power from the central State. We need to stop fighting stupid battles and losing the war.

    We need to identify what liberty is and what tyranny is and shovel every issue into one or the other bucket before we divide ourselves again. Fragmenting those issues gives us factions who will never beat the thieves ever massing on the left.

  51. bh says November 8, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Every one of those issues boils down to liberty versus authority.

  52. Put another way, moderate pragmatism just reelected the most dangerous statist this nation ever knew.

  53. It wasn’t Romney vs Obama, it was ORCA vs NARWHAL. People? Ideas? Policies? Phooey. Its hacker vs hacker. Two automated vote getting, data mining, programs in cyber-war with each other.

  54. I think a lot of the specific disagreements get bracketed if we can rally around a constitutionalist starting point. Libertarians, classical liberals, and constitutional conservatives are a natural alliance. And as I pointed out back when Santorum was being hammered for being an unelectable social con, I think in a lot of ways social conservatives, in that they fight to keep the government from obstructing their religious liberties, fit well into that coalition, too. We just have to make the point. Federalism needs to be reasserted.

    On foreign policy, the litmus test is American interests. Isolationism or disengagement in a world that is growing increasingly hostile and increasingly capable of delivering weapons that can wipe out entire cities or more is not in our best interests, I don’t think. Again, there’s wiggle room here: we don’t need (and can’t afford) to give money to countries that aren’t acting as our allies, nor do we need to provide military service to countries who, because they need not pay for their own, wallow in the very soft-socialism that is overtaking the US. But we’re starting to see what happens when we don’t support certain odious governments who act as our allies, if doing so is in our own best interests as a nation. Nowhere do I see conservatives doing this in places where the people are longing for liberty in the Enlightenment sense. Mostly it’s happening in places where the alternative is far more dangerous to us. That’s realism. And foreign policy-wise, that’s prudent. Perhaps the Paulites can be made to see just that.

    I think a message that sticks with liberty, individual autonomy, smaller (or, if you prefer, less intrusive) government, free-market capitalism, fiscal responsibility, sound monetary policy, and peace through strength would draw a lot of support. At least, it did for Reagan.

  55. JHo, agreed, mostly. The TEA Party needs to take on a big picture mentality if there is any hope. It needs to learn to pick its battles or the war is already lost. As you say above: Liberty versus Authority.

    Big issues require sharp, clear thinking and and a smart message. In our soundbyte society, most aren’t willing or perhaps lack the mental accuity to listen to a lecture that covers topics in depth and often times in language that is unfamiliar and may sound stilted to the untrained ear. Worse, to the untrained mind of the listener.

    Naturally, many of the persons who are well-spoken on these matters, eg.; Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann (and some others whose names escape me at the moment), have wrongly been demonized and ridiculed so that their message is now so much noise to many who actually agree with the message. I am of a mind that part of this is their own fault through lack of disipline in the messaging. Rather than sticking to the topic, womanlike* they get off into the weeds and when they try to get back on track, the message has been lost because the listener has become stuck on a point that is not germane to the topic, but was part of the digression.

    The digression becomes the topic when the media seizes it and the message is obscured and by association with the digression, becomes a tainted version of itself. Like a game of Telephone, the more the lie is repeated, the more the truth is obscured.

    We need new messengers and a sharper message. We also need more listeners and I suspect that we will have them by next spring when the magnitude of the Leviathon becomes real to more and more people.

    *I say this as a woman who has been guilty of the same.

  56. Social markers: I wouldn’t have included this one awhile ago and I’m not even sure how to describe this but there is more disdain between groups than I realized. Older younger, coastalinland, watch HBO watch CMT. Why this is an issue? I’m not sure so I can’t really even describe it, but it seems like it’s become one somehow.

    I’m going to stick with my view here that this is an area that the Left has poured effort into since the 60s to produce their own “new soviet person.” Reversing it will also require our own effort and especially a defunding, dismantling of theirs.

  57. I’ll think on those thoughts, fellas.

  58. And when there are Reps. who say “round ‘em all up and ship them home” they react to that negatively

    Clarification: Nobody on the right says this. That’s what the Left says that we say. Never concede that point to the Left. NEVER.

    Our closest position to that is to prevent businesses from hiring illegals, and people will go home themselves.

    (a) What they tell me is that we need not pander to Latinos and offer them free stuff.
    (b) Hispanics are voting Democrat because they like free money* the same as everybody else.

    That’s because there are two kinds of Hispanics up here: the ones that trabajan como burros and the ones who have absolutely no shame about coming up here to get free stuff. (AFAIK, “too proud to accept charity” was never a THANG in Latin America.)

    I’ve known Latinos who come up here and plan to go on welfare from the get-go. Some of them get pregnant so that they can get WIC. Some get baptized as Mormons to get church welfare. Some do a combination of all three.

    I also know Latinos who are such good Americans that if they weren’t already here, we’d beg them to come, and we’d swap several dozen of our own moochers for just one of them (except Mexico won’t take ‘em).

    It’s dumb to not enter the Latino community and run ads in Spanish. They don’t know our founding principles because they’re not taught in Latino schools, oddly enough. It’s dumb to not have conservative talk radio in Spanish.

    We wouldn’t win over all of the Latinos, but the ones we did win over would be worth it.

  59. Just secure the border. Do that, and then we work on the rest.

    Also, we need to follow our own laws or else insist they’re repealed. Immigrants aren’t supposed to be able to come here and get on welfare programs right from the get-go.

    The left doesn’t mind because it bolsters their constituency. I mind because many of those people don’t bother learning about the country that’s feeding and housing them, and their vote to continue my funding of them cancels out my vote insisting that I will not.

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  61. bh says November 8, 2012 at 11:48 am

    Entitlements: Some would like to reform and preserve them along more market oriented lines. Others would like to do away with them as they’re outside the proper realm of government.
    Foreign policy: Some see active global engagement as part of the proper role of government and necessary in our ever-smaller world. Others say the money simply isn’t there and we’re greatly over-reaching regardless.
    Social issues/drug war/etc: Don’t want to break it all down but it’s the standard tension between Burkean conservatism vs libertarianism that will always be there.
    The Fed/fiat currency: I’ve read a trillion different perspectives on this one but let’s just sum it up by saying that either we get rid of both or the coalition will have an extremely hard time getting some votes.
    Social markers: I wouldn’t have included this one awhile ago and I’m not even sure how to describe this but there is more disdain between groups than I realized. Older younger, coastalinland, watch HBO watch CMT. Why this is an issue? I’m not sure so I can’t really even describe it, but it seems like it’s become one somehow.

    JHoward says November 8, 2012 at 11:51 am

    Every one of those issues boils down to liberty versus authority.

    I would say that it boils down to liberty versus order

    It’s the other side that’s chock-a-block with authoritarians

    Good list, and well presented bh.

  62. The establishment GOP can’t fight anything but its own would be supporters for not fitting in enough with their left derived ideas of popularity and presentability. Dems know that the GOP cognoscenti will freak out and slap compulsively at the GOP fringes (half the base) LONG before they ever dare risking a semi-harsh word to an actual Dem on the other side of the argument. Then they’ll send the people they just bashed fund raiser letters and try to bully them into showing up. Then they waffle around and lose and blame their own ranks for loss on account of they are so dumb and ugly.

  63. “I would say that it boils down to liberty versus order”

    An appearance of order in the short term maybe.

    Detroit’s not such an orderly place though. Nor is east Baltimore , Chicago, or even San Francisco any more. Not to mention New Orleans and Saint Louis.

  64. My mom, who lived briefly in Germany, used to marvel at the local Germans taking off for walks into their forests to tidy things up: and tidy they did, to hear her tell it.

  65. I would say that it boils down to liberty versus order

    Order is liberty, Ernst, and liberty is order. It is the “right’s” common and logically unsupportable myth that order comes from authority. Suppression, oppression, coercion, fear, war, violence, and all sorts of negative things come from forced external order, which is authority. The State can only break things and break people.

    Liberty derives naturally from internal order. Liberty is the natural result of my doing the right thing around you and you reciprocating.

    The way to deal effectively with the wrong thing is certainly not the authoritarian State — which in 90% of the topics on this blog, IMO, we agree on simply because we know morality cannot be enforced while commonly it defies agreement — but the minimal rule of law enacted and enforced not by the State but by a collection of individual peers with a firm grasp on the power that faceless, typically runaway, collective State is ever allowed to hold.

    Developing the point further, each of those areas bh lists must be viewed as a distillation of a very simple variable: Each of them have authoritarian domestic consequences, foreign policy certainly included, and yet the State should have virtually zero social consequence if liberty is to exist within it. Authority falls to us and our deeply decentralized and civilly responsible legal system. Philosopher kings are right out.

    It is a false dichotomy to see chaos as the inevitable result of liberty and it is one hundred times more destructive to instead use the central State to do nearly everything and then niggle about which three or six of its policies might better be reduced by even half. In other words, when was the last time you heard a Republican call for the end of federal education, federal medicine, federal banking, federal housing, and federal finance and retirement.

    Much less a Republican tempering our foreign policy and stripping it of its industrial component. Yet these are “conservatives”.

  66. Detroit’s not such an orderly place though. Nor is east Baltimore , Chicago, or even San Francisco any more. Not to mention New Orleans and Saint Louis.

    That’s because they’re all run by authoritarians who require a large dependent class to keep them in the style to which they have become accustomed.

    The malcontent is a bug, sure, but they’ll work it out if they just believe hard enough.

  67. Order is liberty, Ernst, and liberty is order. It is the “right’s” common and logically unsupportable myth that order comes from authority. Suppression, oppression, coercion, fear, war, violence, and all sorts of negative things come from forced external order, which is authority. The State can only break things and break people.

    Liberty derives naturally from internal order. Liberty is the natural result of my doing the right thing around you and you reciprocating.

    Concurring in part and dissenting in part:

    Our side is struggling to find the right balance between liberty and order.

    Their side is all authoritarian: Everything Not Prohibited is Mandatory.

    They’re not quite there yet, but forward they move.

  68. Am I clearer if I qualify liberty with individual and order with public, as in balance individual liberty with public order?

  69. Ernst, I think we need to center on not assuming that liberty and order are mutually exclusive. For example, the opposite of love is not hate. Since love is action, its opposite is apathy, or the denial of extending love. Liberty and order are too related, but they are not in tension.

    I propose that liberty and authority are in tension. Without authority I am still free to choose to do right. Without natural order I shall not remain free from you and you shall not remain free from me. Likewise our State concerning both of us. Conversely, we know tyranny is disorder to natural law and rights — fear of authority is what the original American States were originally constructed in mind of.

    If I do not do right, structural American principle allows that I be prevented or restrained by my peers acting in their authority in a structurally minimal system of law; which does restore order but from which order does not flow — that would be the progressive’s dysfunctional philosophy, which apparently assumes inherent individual evil and thus absolute control by the greater and superior State. The notion of a very local, very limited authority is also mutual with the 2nd Amendment, which allows me the right of both instantaneous and systemic self defense.

    Like liberty, order is the natural result of functional systems and persons, not of authority.

  70. My mom, who lived briefly in Germany, used to marvel at the local Germans taking off for walks into their forests to tidy things up: and tidy they did, to hear her tell it.

    That’s one thing that impressed me strongly during my bus tour of Germany: even the countryside was neat and tidy. The sides of the roads looked like someone’s yard.

    Of course, anal-retentiveness is a common characteristic of serial killers (at least on Criminal Minds), so evaluate that as you will.

  71. From the moment Mittens refused to repudiate his Massachusetts version of forced health insurance the base was against him. He tried to overcome it, but couldn’t.
    Bam-Bam ran on a tissue of lies, distortions and half-truths that would have been wiped out by a functional media, but the water-carriers in the major channels happily switched to covering the storm instead of pushing for answers on the Benghazi debacle.
    This will be among the excuses from the Rino National Committee for Mittens’ defeat and their continued search for the moderate who can out-liberal a democrat.

  72. Joan Jett did a song about guys like these two. Christie better understand Community Organizers only have flunkies and targets, no friends.

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