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Works and Days

A Beat-up, Exhausted, and Terrified Republican Establishment

February 2nd, 2014 - 7:03 pm

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On almost every contemporary issue there is a populist, middle-class argument to be made against elite liberalism. Yet the Republican class in charge seems ossified in its inability to make a counter-argument for the middle class. Never has the liberal agenda been so vulnerable, a logical development when bad ideas have had five years to prove themselves as very bad ideas. When Obama is all done he will have taken high presidential popularity ratings, a supermajority in the Senate, and a large margin in the House and lost them all — if only the Republicans can make an adequate case that they represent the middle class, the Democrats only the very wealthy and the very dependent.

Illegal Immigration

We know the entry of 11 million illegal aliens depresses the wages of the poor and entry-level working class. Illegal immigration overwhelms state services, and that too hurts citizens most in need of help. The lower-middle classes do not have low-paid nannies, gardeners, and house-keepers. We know the illegal influx pleases La Raza activists, most of them second- and third-generation elites in government, politics, journalism and education, who without illegal immigration would not have much of a moral or legal justification for the continuance of affirmative action and identity politics, given that statistically Latinos would soon follow the pattern of other assimilated groups. (For example, is there affirmative action for Armenian immigrants? An Italian Razza movement? Punjabi Studies?)

We also know that cheap labor in the shadows benefits corporate business, eager for low-wage laborers.  So how hard is it for a Republican simply to say, “I oppose illegal immigration because (1) it is illegal. It undermines the sanctity of the law and discriminates against the law-abiding waiting in line to enter the U.S. legally. (2) It benefits corporate grandees at the expense of working people. (3) It is driven by self-serving elites of the ethnic-grievance industry to enhance their own advantage, rather than to help poor folks struggling to find decent wages and schools. Illegal immigration, in short, is the most illiberal issue of our time.

Energy

Fracking and horizontal drilling help the middle class. Stopping them on federal lands or banning Keystone makes the lower classes pay for the pipe dreams of the upper class. The Berkeley Sierra Club professor doesn’t worry whether he can find a job welding on a pipeline. He does not drive along the Westside 50 miles to work and so cares little about the price of gas for his third-hand pick-up. It is about 70 degrees year round in Menlo Park, so it is easy to jack power bills up to subsidize wind and solar, when you don’t need to survive 105 degree temperatures in Bakersfield. Discouraging energy development is a pastime of the rich, who have the money to shield themselves from the consequences of their advocacy, and do not associate with the less well-off, who always seem to suffer from elite pipe dreams. Why not headquarter the Sierra Club in Bakersfield, where the cost of electricity is real for real people? Cannot a Republican rebuttal to the State of the Union simply say, “Mr. President, you are shamelessly taking credit for gas and oil production that you did all in your power to thwart. The middle class is enjoying a temporary cut in gas prices, despite, not because of, you.”

Gun Control

How hard it is for Republicans to say to liberals, “I accuse! The wealthy have their security details, most of them armed. The underclass has access to illegal weaponry as the armed crime sprees in a Detroit or Chicago attest. Why then go after the middle class, who neither outsource their security nor break the law? Before we issue sweeping edicts aimed at the law-abiding, let us disarm all the security guards of Hollywood and Washington, D.C., and put away for good the criminals who use illegal firearms to hurt the innocent.”

The Federal Reserve

Barack Obama’s Wall Street is booming, not because of a superb business cycle, but because there is no interest on capital anywhere else to be found. The rich profit from their more sophisticated knowledge of stocks, the poor from debt relief. The middle?

What good is it to them that they played by all the rules and saved money — if only to receive no interest on any of their passbook accounts? The self-employed man who was not a pensioned employee in the public sector, who does not chat with his stock broker each week, and who is not eligible for mortgage-debt relief, student-debt relief for his children, credit-card relief, or any federal relief of any sort is a veritable fool. He socked away each month a few hundred dollars in his savings — but in an era when having cash in the bank means that inflation eats it away faster than minimal interest can preserve it.

Young People

Obamacare is a gift to the old and affluent, who use subsidized health care from the young and poor. It is the greatest tax on the youthful cohort in the history of the republic at a time when student debt already exceeds $1 trillion. How liberal is that? Or for that matter, how liberal were colleges to up their annual tuition rates higher than inflation, assured that their own pyramidal cultures (compare the disparities in salaries of the part-timer and full professor for the same class) were subsidized by federally guaranteed (and mostly high-interest) loans? How many rants on race and gender are necessary to win exemption from the exploitation in the classroom next door?

“Fairness” 

We talk about fairness. Do men and women make the same on the president’s own staff? Why does Kobe Bryant make so much and some of his gifted colleagues make so little in comparison? Does Johnny Depp really need $40 million a year when the Hollywood sound tech cannot afford a cottage in South Central L.A.? Did not the Malibu grandees hear their president say that they did not build their film careers, and at some point long ago had made enough money? Could not the gardeners or nannies of Santa Monica at least be unionized? Is there a chapter of ACORN at Google? Can graduate-school TAs get the SEIU interested in their plight? At some point cannot a conservative make the case that liberalism, as preached by its elites, is a psychological mechanism to shield wealthy progressives from the ramifications of their own ideology? Do Apple executives not outsource? Does Facebook not offshore? What is so liberal about Mark Zuckerberg besmirching his opponents as nativists, as he tries to access as much cheap labor as he can, at a time when the Other in Silicon Valley — from his gardeners to computer programmers — could not afford to rent a cot in his tool shed? Cannot a Republican ask Obama at least to forgo Martha’s Vineyard next summer or the next zillionaire golfing outing if he wants to rant about the perks of the 1%?

Green

How liberal was it that a few hundred Bay Area elites went to court over the last few years to divert about 20 million acre-feet of precious irrigation water to flow out to the sea, in vain pursuit of their fantasies about expanding bait fish populations in the delta or in hopes of seeing a salmon jump out of the river by Fresno? Tens of thousands of poor people will lose their jobs this summer, as irrigation water reserves are exhausted and acreage goes out of production. What is more liberal: allowing an out-of-work poor logger of 23 to go into the Sierra to salvage timber from a burned-out Sierra Nevada forest, or to keep him jobless and on the dole in order that the precious lumber rots and breeds precious populations? In the liberal calculus, is Coleoptera more valuable than homo sapiens? Is the distant bark beetle a more cuddly creature than the jobless, tobacco-chewing chain-sawer having a beer at the Lakeshore bar?

Diversity

Yes, let us all hail diversity and insist that it be applied across the board. Cannot California find a senior elected leader other than Dianne Feinstein, Barbara Boxer, and Nancy Pelosi? How diverse, given California’s trumpeted diversity, are three elderly multimillionaire women, with hyper-capitalist spouses, who live within commuting distance of each other in the Bay Area? Should the United States Postal service base correct its current labor profile by hiring in accordance with ethnic percentages within the population? Should Asians depart from UC Berkeley so more whites, blacks, and Latinos might enroll commensurately with their percentages in the population? Should the NFL have quotas for non-African-Americans, to give others a chance — to paraphrase Kanye West — to have insider contacts to land such lucrative athletic billets? How many Asians are on the L.A. Lakers versus the size of the Asian community in L.A. County? Have the military casualties of the last decade in Afghanistan and Iraq been computed to ensure that all groups suffered commensurately? Just when or when do we not insist on proportional representation based on ethnicity? Are the heads of Hollywood studios reflective of the rich diversity of California? And if we are going down the diversity and fairness routes, then surely Al Gore needs a sermon — after he unloaded a failed network to an anti-Semitic, carbon-burning medieval sheikdom, in failed efforts to beat the new capital gains tax that he so strenuously supported. How fair, how egalitarian, how diverse is all that? What is the ethnic profile of Sierra Club membership?

In 2014 Republicans are going to be kamikazeed by very wealthy, highly educated, and relentless operatives in the Boston-New York-Washington, D.C., nexus, with backup from the San Diego to San Francisco bookend coastal corridor. These critics mostly rest at the top of the capitalist heap, and will assail those who are not, on grounds that they are unfair to every hyphenated group in America.

To survive, Republicans must go on the offensive and point out that their accusers never live the lives they advocate for others. Liberal feminists seem to be John Edwards and Bill Clinton. Liberal men of the people are Al Gore, John Kerry, and Jon Corzine. Their populists who deplore outsourcing, offshore accounts, and non-unions are Apple and Facebook grandees who embrace all three. White privilege is not the fate of the West Virginian or West Texan working at Target, but the tiny, inbred old-boy and old-girl world of prep-school to Ivy League to the insider pull of Dad and Mom to land up with a phoned-in job in journalism, politics, finance, entertainment, the arts, and academia on the East and West coasts, followed by pro forma praise of diversity — for others. Open-borders zealots have their children behind the walls of private academies.

Surely there is a populist case to be made — or is the Republican establishment to manage a permanent, sober, and judicious out-party, as it is demagogued to death by the privileged?

(Photo by Shutterstock.com.)

Top Rated Comments   
The GOP leadership was never comfortable being the majority party. They had been the minority party for so long that they had grown into that role. They knew exactly what their role was, they were to provide an "opposition" speaking up on occasion; but mostly just sharing the perks.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
All very valid points Dr. Hanson. The reason why many of the republicans won't stand up is likely from their fear of the MSM which will use their powers like a battering ram against them. And the other 90% of republicans are RINO's - looking to fatten their own wallet at the expense of the middle class. They wouldn't say sh*t if they had a mouthful.

Seems like the old saying "The truth will out" no longer applies - the MSM runs interference for the thieves and liars that infest the congress and WH. Obama acts like a Caligula and nobody is doing anything to stop him. Even in his 'wounded' state politicians on both sides of the isle perceive he is a danger to them. I find this most baffling!

The old saying "You get the government you deserve" seems as apt as ever - sad as it is to say. We The People have looked the other way for far too long regarding our government - long enough for the tentacles of the far left to gain control. I doubt we'll wrest it back easily since the powers of the IRS EPA et al are bent on suppressing any and all troublemakers to this regime - one as blatant as anything I've ever seen in my lifetime - nobody is lifting a finger to correct the ills.

I fear it will take the citizenry to march on DC.

I stand ready - but less than hopeful that action will come.


10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
It's not so hard to figure out. The Establishment Republicans can see the flaws in the Left's logic, but they'll be damned before they will point them out because that would upend the status quo, and that's the very last thing they want. As long as the socialist Democrats allow them a place at the public trough, the RINO's will collaborate by keeping quiet and mannerly.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
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All Comments   (171)
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my friend's ex-wife makes $85 /hr on the computer . She has been without a job for eight months but last month her pay was $16032 just working on the computer for a few hours. have a peek here.......http://www.work71.com
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
One thing you won't see. or maybe you will. Repeal of both The- (wait for it) "affordable health care act" along with repeal of the "patriot act" as a compromise concession to the other constituency group. The reason why you don't see repeal in the offing is because govt has done such a job establishing its own umbilical cord into each and every one of its citizens (citizenship becoming something to dreaded, more akin to being a subject in this here pseudo-monarchy). Consider the undocumented illegal immigrant, with emphasis on 'undocumented'. He can open his own business here, without waiting five years to get the permit, as he would back home, doesn't have to bribe any of government officials to pursue his dream. can get a business loan, etc. He's not documented, i.e. attached to the national system, yet "has access" to not only health care already (and did, before the passage of ACA), but free health care and lives outside the purview of the national govt pseudo-monarchy) and enjoys freedoms that the tainted "citizens" and their citizenship just won't provide. A libertarians dream. Illegals know how messed up any govt system can be, from tales and memories from back home, and they also know that it, govt, is little more than a maffia with its turf. So why would they wan't this status quo to change? They're doing well, in fact supremely well compared to the way things are back home. They can only hope those "La Raza activists, most of them second- and third-generation elites in government, politics, journalism and education" DON'T succeed in ever getting any kind of "immigration reform" that reforms a "broken immigration "system"" passed and implemented by national govt, and find themselves arbitrarily sucked up into the system and then attached for life to the govt umbilical cord the way the rest of us are.
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9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
I'm sorry, why are we talking about Democrats here? Just because they inhabit the Republican party?

It is simple why the Republican establishment is done. They have no values, no morals, not even enough guts to say the are really Democrats.

I spit on them, I primary them, I call them Democrats. Please, continue leaving the stage post haste.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
Democrats and Republicans are two wings of a bird flying the WRONG way!

See http://www.insectman.us/articles/karls/political-bugs.htm
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
The Council on Foreign Relations hegemony calls the shots for both parties. They own the sociopathic POTUS and his twin, the sociopathic Speaker. They decide who runs and who wins. They flip us off with nominees like Obama and McCain; Christie and Clinton; persons who are morally bankrupt and experientially challenged. The mass media supports their choices, also owned by CFR bigshots.Our commander in chief has zero days of military experience, together with the moralsof an alley cat.The inventor of the late nominee's religion was a serial adulterer and a smalltime conman. They enjoy giving us a choice between an american-hating sociopath and an emotionally/intellectually challenged war hero. Either way, we lose They have their fun while we squirm in fear.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
everything in this article is true. However, Obama, should he deign to run for a 3rd term, would win in a landslide against any republican. Why, because America suffers from a collective dementia. If you are a demented grandmother, and on monday, her grandson beats her up, and on tuesday, the grandson asks for money, she will give him money-same for our electorate
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Mr. Hanson, I do not think the Republican establishment believe in the same principles nor values as conservatives. I can remember being so very disappointed when so much good could have been done when our party had the House, Senate and Presidency. That was my wake up call. These individuals have a love of wealth and power the easy way. They are there just to give the impression of opposition to the left.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
From my point of view, Republicans are just sellouts to Corporate Money and Corporate Liberalism. Fear of the MSM is BS. The Republican Establishment no longer represents the middle class or small business. They represent the International Corporate Elite that has bought them.

As a consequence, a third Party is the only solution. For all the reasons listed by VDH, the Republicans are extremely vulnerable to a third Party that will speak up for and stand behind the middle class and small business.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
The MSM is an impenetrable should keeping any message like this from getting out.
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
Remember when the FBI files of hundreds (thousands?) of Republicans were stolen by the Clinton Administration?
I wonder if those are now being used by Democrats to blackmail Republicans into RINOs (or worse).
10 weeks ago
10 weeks ago Link To Comment
BINGO!!!!
Notice that the only "Rabble-rousers"in comngress haven`t been there long enough to have immense baggage held over them by the Dems?
The rest of the jerks are way too vested to make a peep.
9 weeks ago
9 weeks ago Link To Comment
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