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Defending the Undefendable

February 26th, 2014 - 12:56 pm

I’ve said on many occasions that I believe one-party rule is inherently corrupting, that I vote for Democrats whenever politically feasible for just that reason, and that I think the national GOP is for the most part non-representive of conservative or libertarian interests.

This is all true. And yet I’ve been pushing (and pushing and pushing) for GOP candidates, any GOP candidates, this election cycle.

Why?

Let’s look at Ronald Reagan in 1980 and 1981. He was the nominee of a Republican Party so moderate he felt he had to take on George H W Bush as his veep to reassure the party bigwigs. He faced a hostile House headed up by Tip O’Neil with solid Democratic majorities, including the super-liberal Class of ’74. Reagan delivered the Senate that cycle, too, but with a majority even more moderate than today’s GOP Senate minority. Yet Reagan was able to accomplish some great things his first two years in office.

The reason is simple. Even the squishiest RINO will follow a strong GOP leader rather than the Democrat. Moderation is always the easier path. Cooperation always looks better on camera. But a strong leader can overcome those obstacles — and even bring along a few stragglers from the other party. Sometimes more than a few.

Tomorrow’s leaders come from today’s lower ranks. One of the reasons the GOP field was so weak in 2008 and 2012 is that the ranks had been thinned due to poor leadership from George W Bush, naming a dead-ender (Dick Cheney) as his Veep and then earning deep voter distrust in Iraq. To compound the problem, Bush betrayed small government interests on several occasions, including the Patriot Act, Medicare Part D, and TARP — just to name a three. The resulting disgust kept a lot of conservative voters home over the next few cycles, and the party has yet to recover.

If the GOP is going to recover, it’s going to mean holding the House and taking the Senate, so that the party is in a strong position to oppose the White House.

From there, we can hope, principled leadership will emerge. (I’m looking at you, Rand Paul.) If not, we’ll get another two years like the last two years. Except they’ll be even worse, because Professor Wiggleroom will enjoy even more of his beloved “flexibility.”

Do I know that such a leader will emerge? No. Do I know that if he does, the rank and file will follow? I’m on firmer ground here, but still not entirely certain.

But I do know that absent the Senate, then nothing will change. We’ll get the occasional feel-good stunt like Ted Cruz’s filibuster… and that’s about it. Owning all of Capitol Hill is vital, and if that means voting for every RINO and squish — well, it’s not like it won’t be my first trip to the voting booth wearing a clothespin on my nose.

It’s going to be a long road back. But it starts with the Senate, and it starts now.

Comments are closed.

All Comments   (16)
All Comments   (16)
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Lets take the new-years idea of sunglasses with the year 2000 as the frame, and re-do them somehow as 2016, with a clothespin for the nose bridge.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
Well Steve, WHat is your assessment of Cory Gardner's entry into the CO Senate race against Udall?
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have had to hold my nose on almost every election I have voted in.
As for Ted Cruz, it is important to stand for something every once in a while. Like they say about publicity, any is good. He represents the people better than the establishment rhinos in Washington, and he speaks well on his feet without a t-prompter or cue cards. Also note he is an very competent attorney, having argued before the Supreme Court on more than one occasion. No, I don't have Cruz worship but compared to most he looks and sounds like a winner.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Think of how much more Cruz could accomplish if he could apply pressure to the Senate Majority Leader.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Sadly, I don't think there is a way for any GOP member to pressure Reid. He prevents any debate that would be unfavorable and the MSM covers for him. The only way to put pressure on him would be to get enough of his constituents to disapprove of the way he is handling the senate. Which will not happen without media support.

Unless you mean if the GOP takes the Senate and McConnell becomes majority leader.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
I understood it as the latter.

Same for Marco Rubio. I will never trust him after his dance with the Gang of Eight, but he can deliver on every other issue. Pity about that one.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
"I will never trust him after his dance with the Gang of Eight"

Ding! Ding! Ding! Ding! We have a winner!!

That is exactly the kind of thinking which has gotten the GOP into such trouble. A candidate "fails" on a single issue, after which you can stick a fork into them; they're done. Lord forbid we reason that perhaps this almost-acceptable candidate is superior to a progressive or country-club republican holding that seat.

Our esteemed host brought up Saint Reagan (PBUH). :) One of Reagan's more noticeable traits was that he was willing to settle for half a loaf, as opposed to none. This in contrast to the large number of uncompromising wanna-bees out there who value purity over actually accomplishing things.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
I've always held that a person can have one truly epic coque-up. Heck, I was once absolutely convinced that I had three hands, for about the time it took the object I was going to hold in my middle hand to fall to my waist.

Compared to that, disagreeing with me on a political issue doesn't seem that disqualifying.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have to agree with your one party rule analysis. Unfortunately, that is precisely what we have in Wyoming.

I have sent messages to both of my senators and my House Rep. Only Barrasso has EVER replied back. Enzi and Lummis seem to think that they don't need to listen to their constituents because they are all but guaranteed to be reelected.

And they are right! The only chance they have of being unseated is during the primaries and even Liz Cheney couldn't overcome Enzi.

It really does get frustrating. I wonder how many of the people that sit out on elections do so because they feel that their vote doesn't matter?
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Glad to have you back....wherever you were.

Difference between Rand Paul and Ted Cruz. File away for later use, may be interesting in the future...then again, maybe not.

http://hotair.com/archives/2014/02/26/rand-paul-on-ukraine-some-people-on-our-side-want-to-tweak-russia-all-the-time/
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have voted in every election (4 year and off year) since 1972. As much as I might like to sit this one out - and I was just as sorely tempted in 2006 and 2008 - sitting it out serves no purpose except to avoid the issue. Like Stephen, I'll put my head down and pull the lever for the most conservative candidate available to me.
Anything else is just spiting yourself to make the "establishment" pay for their sins - and we know how well that's been working out, don't we?
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment

And yet, we have things like your previous post:

"This is one of those “unwinnable” elections, if you take your cues from the national GOP. "
http://pjmedia.com/vodkapundit/2014/02/26/sinking-sink/

I think it makes good tactical sense to vote Republican this November, no matter what. But there's way too many establishment Republicans either actively working to injure the Tea Party or withholding support for Tea Party candidates. It's no good to blame the rank and file for staying home, when the party leadership would rather see a Democrat in office than a Tea Party Republican.

Oh, and Ted Cruz's filibuster worked out just fine for the Republican party, compared to the establishment strategy of "lie back and try to enjoy it".
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Don't overlook the possibility of voting to selectively remove 'weak sister' Republicans from positions of power. Putting Boehner's Democratic opponent into the House would remove a GOP weakness and send a message to other members of the GOPe without much hurting the GOP's hold on the House.

While the Tea Party may not have the numbers to primary Boehner, it should be able, by voting for the Democrat, to get rid of him.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
I have yet to see any tangible benefit to Cruz's filibuster, but I don't think it was a bad thing, either. It happened.

The establishment will remain in power until there are alternatives. And I'll give McConnell credit for playing a smart (if unexciting) long game in the Senate.
34 weeks ago
34 weeks ago Link To Comment
Think of Sen. Cruz's filibuster as theater. As such, it worked -- it put him on the political map, and ordinary Americans (meaning those who live outside the Beltway) noticed that he has backbone. Ditto for Rand Paul.

There will come a time, perhaps sooner than we think, when we'll need GOP pols who aren't afraid of a fight, and can demonstrate that they stood up for what's right when it counted. Paul and Cruz know what they're doing.

Are they perfect? Heck no. But they're a lot better than the alternative.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
What exactly is McConnell's long game beyond acquiring chairmanships? Do you believe he is philosophically any different than Bush? He is as much as a proponent of Big Government Conservatism as Bush.
33 weeks ago
33 weeks ago Link To Comment
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