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Klavan On The Culture

Purity or Strategy: The Debate We Need To Have

February 23rd, 2014 - 8:38 am
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Last week, there was one of those mommy-and-daddy-are-fighting moments on Fox News as two powerhouse conservatives debated one of the most important issues facing the right. In one corner, was the dagger-sharp and stunningly beautiful and did I mention beautiful Ann Coulter. In the other corner, was the valiant, good-hearted and, you know, perfectly presentable in his own way Sean Hannity. No one can doubt either the patriotism or the fearlessness of these two. You may sometimes disagree with one or the other, that’s fine, but it seems undeniable that both have the good of the country first and foremost in their minds. Plus Ann’s really attractive.

You can watch the video to hear the whole thing but the gist is this. Ann thinks we have to stop “shysters” who pretend to represent the Tea Party from luring us into endless primaries against “establishment” Republicans. The thinking behind this (as I’ve heard her say elsewhere) is that there is only so much campaign money to go around and it needs to be focused wholly on defeating Democrats, winning a Republican majority in both houses and using that majority to “repeal Obamacare, repeal Obamacare, repeal Obamacare.”

Sean took a more purist Tea Party line, saying there are some Republicans who “should be defeated,” and endorsing the idea that we should primary the RINOs where we can and — my words here not his — we should end the civil war within the Republican Party by winning it for the true conservatives.

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Top Rated Comments   
If/when I can tell the difference between a progressive and a RINO I'll begin once again to back RINO's. Until that happens I will not vote for a RINO.


Come on Andrew - you've met with those a$holes and know what they are and what they stand for - themselves only! So tell me - how do you tell the difference between a RINO and a progressive? I don't think you can unless you're willing to split hairs. They are of the same cut of cloth - each professing to know whats best for me/you. McCain and Reid? Whats the difference? They both hate the Tea Party and don't seem to mind piling on the debt.

And just who the hell is calling Coulter a conservative? Coulter claims that mantle - yet she was all-in for Romney - and before that? Christie! Conservatives all? Only in her dreams. She does not speak for me. She's a Karl Rove in drag!

And why is it that Rove/Coulter et al EXPECT us conservatives to get behind their RINO favs and do NOTHING but criticize conservative and Tea Party candidates?

Can you say one way street?

1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Why must it be assumed that if you put forward conservative candidates that you are therefore sacrificing strategy?

I happen to think that the GOP's biggest problem is that it - willingly - portrays itself as Dem-lite. The establishment DOESN'T want to repeal Obamacare, they want to "FIX" IT. Fixing it consists of repealing certain unpleasant aspects of Obamacare while leaving our healthcare industry firmly in the grip of government control.

What the GOP needs to do is oppose the statist ideas of Democrats and clearly explain why they oppose it. If the GOP were to truly do this, I think they would win their elections. I think they would win it with much greater margins of victory than what we've been seeing recently.

However, to do that you need representatives that honestly believe a limited government is good for America.

P.S. Before dumping on the voters of Missouri for sending Akin to the primary, remember that Democrats spent $1.5 million dollars and did get-out-the-vote drives with democrats to help him with the primary.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It is purity vs purity. The old guard Republicans are generally hapless, feckless and ineffectual.

The "all or nothing" anti-old guard are ready to pick a fight in any direction, but with absolutely no strategy.

It's an inane fight that the strongest voices and wisest sages of strategy to save the country from tyranny are now openly voicing. Thomas Sowell and Ann etc. are being vocal about not destroying the battlefield, but rather, to join forces and prep the battlefield.

This RINO crap gets us nowhere. It's baby sh**. A guy who scores 95% on conservatism, but has a live and let live attitude is NOT a RINO.

Putting up witches and warlocks and low grade imbeciles in a purple state or one that can win a Senate seat is inane.

Putting up an entire slate of B team weaklings on the purity vs purity menu is a recipe for losing Presidential elections. McCain is a buffoon and Romney is a political oaf. Crappy candidates. But the rest of the slate was just as crappy or worse. If you can't overwhelm two horrible candidates in the primary and beat the pants off them...then you WERE NOT GOING TO WIN THE GENERAL.

Think about this can't convince YOUR OWN SIDE, you are not going to sprinkle witch's brew or faerie dust on the general.

Calling Paul Ryan, Eric Cantor, Mitch Daniels, Marco Rubio, vacuous and puerile.

Losing Missouri...or Kentucky...when we need to take the beyond stupid.

It is not clear thinking.

In the other direction...attacking Ted Cruz is the height of arrogant ignorance. He has perhaps the BEST pedigree for national office, he has guts, courage of conviction AND HE IS RIGHT.

So is Jeff Sessions. We should be putting those two guys on a pedestal.

The attacks on Cruz are vapid, venal and brain dead. HE is saying what we ALL should be saying. WE should step in front of those attacks. His strategy needs work...but his brains and courage do not.

BOTH sides in this circular firing squad are wrong. Cruz is right on the articulation, wrong on strategy. The old guard are wrong on their lack of balls and piss poor articulation/messaging. We should be taking the best of both...instead we are fighting to promote the worst of both.

This is an existential threat. We need a strong, forceful manager to put the best team on the field and position the players in the lineup to score the most. We don't have that leader. We are rudderless.

This RINO crap has to stop. So does the attack on Cruz. We have an enemy looking to destroy freedom. It is time to stop acting like spoiled babies.

If that's too harsh, let me tell you...totalitarianism is harsher.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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So, according to the Ann Coulter playbook we would have just accepted the establishment Senate candidate in Texas and the incumbent Senate candidate in Utah and deprived ourselves of Ted Cruz and Mike Lee. The problem with politics being the art of the possible, is we do not know what is possible until someone (like Ted Cruz or Mike Lee) shows us the way.
51 weeks ago
51 weeks ago Link To Comment
Todd Akin was not a TEA Party candidate. Rand Paul was.

What doesn't work again? Jeff Flake, that's what. There's a TEA Party candidate that needed better vetting.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
let's break it down:

Position A: Support these Moderate Republicans to defeat Obama. The quest for perfect political purity is self-defeating.

Position B: These Moderate Republicans side with Obama on substantive issues, like legalizing 11 million undocumented Democrats. They want to keep Obamacare (modify it, but keep it). Electing pro-illegal, pro-Obamacare Republicans is self-defeating.

"Should this tax be 2.75% or 3.05%?" That's an issue Republicans can reasonably disagree about.

"Let's legalize 11 million criminal Democrat voters" is an issue of substance. It lays the groundwork for generations of Conservative defeats... and Democrats know it.

Pro-illegals is not a reasonable position. It's suicide.

Remind me again why it's important to vote for pro-suicide Republicans (who want to keep Obamacare), in order to defeat Obamacare?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I'm not sure I see how this works. I guess there's a disconnect. My goal isn't to "Have Republicans with a majority", my goal is "pass conservative legislation".

Electing liberals with an (R) instead of a (D) after their name to pass liberal legislation and block conservative legislation doesn't move the ball for me.

And in my view, having another Republican majority administration pushing higher budgets, more government, more debt, and more spending doesn't help either.

Republican "victory" with liberals elected passing liberal legislation looks like "defeat" to me, the same as not winning the elections in the first place.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I don't doubt someone already said what I am about to say and in a much better way, but here it is.

I definitely get what Ann is saying: Tea Party candidates need better vetting. There are too many run-of-the-mill politicos who think wooing the Tea Party is a fast-track to office. We need more candidates who are sincere rather than simply long-shots desperate to worm their way into the mandarin class.

That said, the problem with focusing entirely on how to get in the door is the assumption that a successfully-elected RINO will still vote along party lines. This has been proven to be an incorrect assumption. I believe that I can count on one hand the times McCain has voted along party lines.

Is it the belief that "At least he'll vote the way we want to sometimes?" Didn't the august Senator from West Virginia -- a Democrat, mind you -- call for a repeal of Obamacare? McCain hasn't even done THAT much.

The fact of the matter is that we can't trust the brand name anymore. All we can do at this point is look at track records, listen to speeches, and make a judgement call. Gone are the days we just pulled the lever for the (R) and assumed said (R) would protect our general interests.

If the likes of Boener aren't even going to put up a fight for us, why are they even there in the first place? To try to sway leftists with their speechifying? if they want to just give apologetics speeches, they should retire and take up blogging.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
I am on the side of Hannity. The past has proved that moderate Republicans are just as bad as Democrats, sometimes worse. McCain and his followers will not undo the work of Obama and the progressives. It is best to stick to principles and eventually we will win, if only because the Democrat/Republican policies collapse.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
It depends who you are. For those of us who claim to be believers in Jesus we have a strategy. In Eph. 6 it says "13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness," This is complemented by two other verses; II Thess 2:9-11 "9 The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, 10 and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved. 11 And for this reason God will send them strong delusion, that they should believe the lie," and Rev 12:11,"11 And they overcame him by the blood of the Lamb and by the word of their testimony, and they did not love their lives to the death." If you notice both of these would support purity. Of course we would have to define purity which would necessitate a belief in absolute truth. I believe absolute truth is contained in the principles of the Bible. But to take the purity route would require faith in the God of the Bible who backs those who take a stand. A secular way of putting it is. If we choose strategy over truth(purity) in order to achieve a more powerful postion; by the time we get in that position we will have lost the truth(purity).This is where the republican party is today. The democrats are fully committed to strategy(the end justifies the means) and the republicans are half committed to strategy, thus they lose. If the republicans become fully committed to strategy they will be no different than democrats(Rino's), no gain there. The only option is to take a stand win or lose. That is called a statesman. Of course for the Christian to stand for purity is to win in the end.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Let's be honest with ourselves. Establishment Republicans WILL NOT repeal Obamacare. That monstrosity alone will eventually bring America crashing down. You know it, and I know it. Establishment Republicans WILL NOT roll back anything that has to do with federal power. They just won't. Proof? Just look at their pathetic response to Benghazi and the IRS scandal, to name but two.

The global warming hoax, gun control, AMNESTY — none of the major issues that threaten a free America will be opposed in any serious manner by establishment Republicans. We have seen no evidence in the past 14 years that they will speak the truth, and stand for the truth. The Bush administration and its equally establishment Republican congress spent like drunken Marxists, and forwarded the progressive agenda in most every direction.

The only dream that establishment Republicans believe in is that one day, after compromising every and any ideal Republicans once held, the Democrat-controlled media will love them. They are delusional.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Gee, Andrew, I hope you remembered to put on the suit before you knocked down the hornets' nest!
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Point of fact: We had this argument back when W. was President, and Republicans held both houses of Congress.
Strategy won. (Over the horrified screams of the base, I might add.) In the name of a "permanent majority", purity was tossed overboard, and Republican politicians were gluttonous pigs at the trough.
That was a mistake.
It will not be repeated.
If you are a Republican politician who voted for No Child Left Behind, Medicare Part D, the Steel tariff, ad nauseam, be aware: we have not forgotten, and will not forgive.

When has the Republican party *actually* shrunken the size and scope of the Federal government? I can come up with the single example of returning speed limits to the states. Two decades ago. Yet they ask us to trust them?
Never again.
I would rather have an honest enemy than a "friend" who is certain to betray me.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
Spot on moldy... the strategy argument asks us to ignore what the Repubs have done. Like you, I cannot. Sowell seems to agree with the Coulter argument. The only way they can 'win' the argument is if they win elections AND win us over too. But isn't there a logical flaw somewhere in there?
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
The logical flaw you're looking for is: You can't go forward by going backwards. GW grew government and debt MORE than many Democrats after winning TWO elections. If we are going to lose by sticking to principle or we are going to lose by voting a RINO ... I chose to stick to principle.
1 year ago
1 year ago Link To Comment
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