December 5, 2012

Hey, remember that GOP Big Tent?

You know, the one we lay claim to by not being True Believers and idealists, but rather by appealing to moderates and independents?

Turns out that conservatives and libertarians need not apply. Or rather, they’re welcomed in — but only so long as they follow the leadership of John Boehner and Eric Cantor. And hew to the party line, which aims at cutting deals, spinning surrender into Pyrrhic victory, and securing the power of the party leadership.

In fact, it looks like pragmatism — that is, a willingness to forgo the wishes of your base constituency (which you’ll satisfy with certain empty gestures or show votes) — is the new Purity Test, and those who fail it will be punished, either by the Party not lending help in election or re-election campaigns (and in some cases, actually coming out in support of the rival Democrat), or by punishments behind the scenes, from the petty (like staffing or office assignment) to the profound (removing conservatives and libertarians from committee roles, in an unprecedented show of pure political intra-party bloodsport).

Let me say this in no uncertain terms: the contemporary GOP establishment does not represent the interests or even the ideals of its own supposed base. It exists for its own ends, to secure its own power, which it manages to do through internal party politics and then, from there, by remaining risk averse and willing to deal with progressives — all in order to blunt the wrath of the DC culture, which permeates out to the mainstream liberal press.

That is, the GOP establishment exists solely for the sake of perpetuating itself. And to do so, it has concluded that it need rid the government of principled men and women (conservatives, libertarians, classical liberals) and replace them with party bureaucrats whose goal it is to shore up the establishment’s hold over the Party. By being cast as “open-minded” and “willing to compromise.”

It’s John McCain’s “Maverick” appellation becoming the new party identity. It the Colin Powellization of the GOP. By design. And the current GOP leadership believes that, so long as they avoid confrontation on the basis of principles — and simply cut deals where they can so long as they can lay claim to some small victory (no tax rate increases! Except for all of you who’ve lost your child tax credits, mortgage deductions, or whose family will be hit by the “death tax” or an increased corporate tax, raising the cost of nearly everything!) — then they can keep their perks, keep campaigning (and raising money) on promises to combat that to which they then meekly concede (tax pledge! Bah. I signed that before I wanted to save the country!), and keep up the ruse of a two-party oppositional system.

What the GOP leadership inside DC learned from the McCain and Romney presidential efforts is that they’ll be accepted and largely left alone, not terribly demonized, provided they keep their heads low and play their role, which is to manage the expectations of their base while granting the left its incremental changes toward “fundamental transformation.”

After all, when you spend twenty or thirty years in DC, the idea of a smaller limited federal government is but a quaint idea held by rubes who Just Don’t Know How DC Works.

Except we Hobbits do know how it works. And it disgusts us. Which is why it’s going to have to be our goal to drastically change the culture of DC — or else blow the whole thing up (figuratively speaking) and start fresh, with things like term limit pledges and the requirement that Senators and Congressman operate out of their own states, using modern videoconferencing technologies to show up for votes or caucus meetings, etc., while for the most part remaining home, close to their constituencies, where they can be directly answerable to the concerns of those who elected them.

And the movement must begin for a repeal of the 17th Amendment, as well; if states truly wish to be represented in Congress, the era of turning Senate elections into national elections — Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid poured tons of money into contested Senate seats to defeat conservatives, while the GOP establishment was itself tacitly complicit, withholding funds or (in some cases) actively denouncing their own candidates — must end.

Further, GOP governors must begin insisting that their states be removed, wherever and whenever possible, from the federal teat. Sure, they’ll lose out on lots of federal monies for high speed rail, eg., that will go to some other governor willing to play puppet and dance to the string tugs of the federal government masters — but so what? They can fight back by refusing to abide certain bureaucratic mandates, withholding monies collected by way of regulatory compliance from the federal trough.

And they must likewise find a way Constitutionally to launch effective protests against current monetary policy, which they know will at some point cripple their states with hyperinflation and worthless paper currency.

This thing isn’t over yet. But systemic changes need be made. The current GOP leadership does not represent most of us who have voted Republican, if only because we considered doing so the lesser of two evils. As such, we should stop allowing them to act on our behalf.

Boehner must go. Dragged off if needs be, mewling and cursing, leaving behind him his very own little orange Trail of Tears.

That’s a start.

Posted by Jeff G. @ 9:08am
59 comments | Trackback

Comments (59)

  1. Remember when the House had Speakers? Since the 2006 election it’s had a Shrieker and a Weeper.

  2. Perhaps, in addition to repeal of the 17th Amendment, we should look into increasing the number of members of the House, so that each member represents less people and is, therefore, more accountable.

  3. This thing isn’t over yet.

    Yeah… yeah it is. What we had a slim hope of stopping in November will be fully institutionalized and iron clad by 2016.

    Repeal the 17th amendment? Please. We can’t get Obamacare repealed now. We can’t even get a fucking budget through congress.

    The only (very, very small) chance now will take blood, and even then the results will be only regional.

    Sorry to say…

  4. I think that the reason they stopped the number of House representatives at its current count has more to do with available space than anything else. There is no other reason not to increase the numbers.

    I agree we need to repeal the 17th amendment. It is fundamentally an unconstitutional change to the constitution, and seriously damaged the structure of our government.

    I think we’re seeing the GOP imploding before our eyes. We might not have to take them out, they seem to be doing it to themselves. Still, we must do our part and encourage others to not support statists any more.

  5. Perhaps something better can arise out of the ashes of the GOP.
    Kinda like Son Volt arising from Uncle Tupelo.

  6. The GOP has outlived its useful life, like an old car that we can’t get parts for anymore. It’s time to trade and get a different model.

    I urge us to remember the good times we had with the GOP. The heady days of Reagan. The ballsy words of Newt Gingrich. It’s time to say good-bye.

  7. The GOP’s been imploding ever since G. H. W. Bush forget he’d told us to read his lips.

  8. Not true Ernst. They were rock solid in 2003. The presidency, both chambers of congress, lower taxes, full employment, (relatively) high poll numbers…THEN they imploded.

  9. if you can’t change leadership in response to new challenges you’re no better than a north fucking korean really

  10. Eight years of Clinton papered over a lot of differences. Six years of compassionate conservatism at home and unjustified (i.e. not justified rather than lacking justice) war abroad was enough to bring those differences back into the open. Four years of Nancy Pelosi was enough to paper over the rift andget the House back. Four years of Obama wasn’t enough to keep the rift papered over.

    It’s time to finish what was started in ’06.

    And yes, that means a split followed by an indefinite period out of power.

  11. This is American now.

  12. I think we’re seeing the GOP imploding before our eyes. We might not have to take them out, they seem to be doing it to themselves. Still, we must do our part and encourage others to not support statists any more.

    I think “our part” is to implement term limits. Our own. Decide as conservatives that the people we elect will remain for a set amount of time and then move on.

    The message to potential conservative candidates needs to be that we are giving them a job, not a career.

    Because the expectation that people can resist being assimilated into the (corrupt) culture in DC over many years is foolish and self-defeating. It runs completely counter to the nature of people who would be career politicians to work towards limiting their own power/authority.

  13. Levin’s characterization of Boehner yesterday was spot-on: a ladder-climbing careerist who knows how to schmooze and manipulate and cajole and coerce his way to the top of the heap, and whose First Principle is that he should be in power.

    Which means don’t rock the boat, don’t get on the MSM’s bad side, and don’t be so silly as to believe in those foolish abstractions that the hobbits are always on about.

  14. I really need to start listening to Levin in real time. I listen the next day during my “nap time” to the podcast of the previous night’s show. So I can fit it in in an hour and a half or so and skip the commercials.

    Too many times we’ve been on the same wavelength.

  15. I think we ought to blow it up any way we can. Primary RINOs, vote for Democrats over RINOs who survive primaries,

    invoke Article V.

  16. we’re running with the shadows of the night now Ernst

    Here let’s hold hands

  17. It’s pretty clear that the defining characteristic of today’s Republican party is that it’s a pro-business party. Which is fine as far as it goes. But sadly, it doesn’t go far enough.

    Hell, Barak Obama is pro-business, so long as your business is pro-Obama.

    Pay the Dane.

  18. let’s hold hands

    Sorry, you can’t be relied be upon to not let go.

  19. Hey, it’s the right thing to do as long as everything remains the same forever. And with a balanced budget, things will!
    …oh.

  20. I like what cranky-d observed, yet it seems to me we’re required to do more. If we look at Tocqueville’s own observations (and Rahe pointed them out just a couple of days ago) the characteristically American thing is to form associations to accomplish public ends: i.e., form a new party of consonant views. These things, these parties, are creatures fashioned by men. We must fashion our own.

  21. You just want the Democrats to win sdferr! Not voting for the Republicrat/voting 3rd party is the same thing as voting for the Democrat.

    stupid hobbit

  22. You just want the Democrats to win sdferr! Not voting for the Republicrat/voting 3rd party is the same thing as voting for the Democrat.

    stupid hobbit

    Yes. Though no. In a selfish respect, it is precisely the idea of winning future contests that moves me to think we should be acting decisively now in these early days just post-election, the better to leave time enough to rally organization fit to win contests coming in only two or four years from now. The longer the organization takes, the lower the chances of winning contests when they come.

  23. true enough

    Conservatives and classical liberals are presently without a home. No reason then for them not to strike out and form their own political party.

  24. Listening to Limbaugh playing tape of Ryan’s remarks was fairly persuasive to me. Decent as Ryan is, he hasn’t got the nub — which unfortunately he gently assumes the Republican Party still grasps, rather than simply admit they’ve lost the thread and in no way can be reformed. So.

    Take the other road.

  25. Rush was just saying to a caller that there isn’t any lesson to be learned here, (because the Democrats have it structured so that the lesson is that government will take care of you); there’s a country to be saved.

    Which means that it can’t be saved.

  26. I shouldn’t have worded it that way. The Government can’t be saved. Perhaps not the Federal Union. The country is greater than its government.

  27. We can’t even get a fucking budget through congress.

    FDR’s New Deal stumbled because of nine old men. Reforms needed now are blocked by just one: Harry Reid.

  28. The country is greater than its government.

    I sure hope you’re right.

  29. Y’know Rubio got elected because he sounded different than Crist. Now lately he’s starting to sound kind of like Crist did. Not good.

  30. rubio is smarmy

  31. the house leadership needs primaried

  32. marco rubio is jeb bush’s gnome

  33. it’s worrisome that so many people have somehow convinced themselves that rubio is likeable

    in real life he’s actually very off-putting

  34. They all need to be primaried.

  35. I really don’t want to talk about the next election now. We haven’t even had to swear in OJugears yet for his second term.

    I wonder how many swank parties he’s going to have for our betters™ to attend after he gets sworn in when he gets back from three weeks in Hawaii?

    Man of the People, is our Buh-rock.

  36. Levin walks right up to the edge (just now) . . . and stops. It’s hard. I don’t doubt it. But it’s also necessary. There is no choice in the matter.

  37. They all need to be primaried.

    not all of them that’s too big of a project. but 4 top peeps in gop leadership is doable considering we’re 15-20? months out from the primaries. finding 1 viable tea party type to run against each of these 4 should be the class lib stategery.

  38. I’m with you leigh. Talking about future elections right now is positively gruesome.

  39. future elections right now is positively gruesome.

    there’s not alot of options left for reforming the gop. peacefully over throwing the present gop leadership is one of the few options left. otherwise 3rd party and demonrat rule for 20 years.

  40. No more GOP for this girl.

    I need to check out Rand Paul’s stance on Israel and then put the rest of his policy positions under the hot lights.

  41. i’ve seen enough of orangeman that i assert that the chap ain’t what the times call for. primary him and is henchmen sends a clear message to bushes and rove

  42. I need to check out Rand Paul’s stance on Israel

    to the nor luap crowd

    There are few weapons as deadly as the Israeli house.

  43. over throwing the present gop leadership is one of the few options left. otherwise 3rd party and demonrat rule for 20 years.

    We got demonrat rule for the next two years at least, on top of the last six. At which point the supreme court will have switched to progressive, and a living constitution.

    They don’t need twenty years. We are already a European like socialist state. It ain’t a far shot to communism from here.

    As Jeff says though, we’ll get hung up at fascism, and make camp there.

  44. At which point the supreme court will have switched to progressive,

    is ruthy ginsberg retiring? or can congress reassert authority over the courts? can mitch mcconnel be primaried? can cons, libertards, and class libs unite and primary the gop leadership in 2014? it is there to do if you want to.

  45. effin ashley judd wants to take mcconnell out. we can do better!

  46. Think locally, act locally.

    I really don’t give a fuck who’s at the helm when the ship of state goes under. What I care about is whom I’m going to be sharing my lifeboat with –particularly any petty tyrant wannabes.

  47. Ginsberg looks like death warmed over. She either retires or kicks the bucket soon.

  48. to the nor luap crowd

    That’s Pa’s stance, not Junior’s.

  49. Think locally, act locally.

    nah 5 seats you defeat and establishment rethuglicans are gone. dazed and bush confused. we have to defeat rethuglicans now.

  50. John Cornyn needs to be primaried, most definitely.

  51. That’s Pa’s stance, not Junior’s.

    junior be trying to engage the anti jew nor luapites

  52. John Cornyn needs to be primaried, most definitely.

    nah stick to the leadership in the house and mitchy. it is doable

  53. #fireboehner

  54. we have to defeat rethuglicans now.

    Because the chinese fire drill on the weather deck will be so diverting as the distract the passenger from the water pouring over the gunwales.

  55. so diverting as the distract the passenger from the water pouring over the gunwales.

    jeez i just want to make orange guys cry.

  56. Fine with me. But I’m pretty sure the whole enterprise falls into the accept the things I cannot change category.

  57. Quite, Ernst.

  58. But I’m pretty sure the whole enterprise falls into the accept the things I cannot change category.

    too defeatist at 12 + months out. across the NATION we can find the candidate and money to defeat mr. crybaby. worth a try no? oh my what does msm say when orangeman goes down?

  59. oh my what does msm say when orangeman goes down?

    reason 8372 why the GOP is DOOMED

    same as they always say.

    This time they might even be right.

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