Do you ever wonder…
If Republicans would spend as much energy and time on attacking Democrats as they do their own party, if they might actually get somewhere?
So the last couple of weeks have once again revealed that the Republican Party’s perpetual need to shoot itself in the foot. This of course is a side effect of who is in the Republican Party. Unlike the Democrats (and people who voted Santorum, and Paulbots) most Republicans (both the conservatives and libertarians in the party) tend to be free thinkers…which means we don’t march lock step with the commands of the party and/or our chosen savior to blindly follow. Unfortunately, while usually a good thing, this does lead to a little bit of a problem when trying to organize. We are all going our separate ways while our opposition, while idiotic and wrong, marches to the beat of a single drummer and provides a single, constant, well defended wall that we cannot break by not working together.
Does this mean that we should all just march lockstep just like they do? No. But it does mean we should try to think more long term than they do and work toward our long term goals rather than doing what feels good at the moment.
The shutdown is a good example. We should have never made this about Obamacare because even just a bit of forethought would tell us that if we did that then the only way to win was to hold a shutdown all the way through until the new congress is sworn in in 2015 (because we know damn well that Obama and Reid are too damn stupid to admit that their law is a horrific nightmare), and this only works if (A) Republicans hold firm (which we know isn’t going to happen) and (B) that the American people see that it’s the Democrats who are at fault and the House is doing what it’s supposed to in using the power of the purse (these are the people who voted for Obama, do you really think they’re going to see that?). If we want to get rid of Obamacare then the first, thing we need to do is get rid of the Senate. Nothing happens until then. Nothing. But we had short sighted fools going their own way saying we can stop this here and now (exactly how when we don’t hold the Senate, White House or Supreme Court is a bit beyond me… I actually saw a conservative commentator complain that the GOP is giving in even though the GOP “is in a stronger position than it was during the partial government shutdown in 1995/96.” Yes right now with control of one house we’re in such a better position than in 1995/96 when we controlled both the House and the Senate and had Dick Morris screaming in the White House to give into the GOP. We’re in such a stronger position now than we were then. (What the hell are some conservative pundits smoking?)
But no, some genius thought that Obamacare was the line in the sand to draw—to hell if Ryan’s work on saving the budget would actually lead to more long term good, to hell that letting Obamacare go forward would be its own worst enemy, no let’s draw a line in the sand on this silly item. So we shut down everything over Obamacare, and thus we killed all our other options. Good call. But once we were in the shutdown we should have not budged an inch. Yeah getting there was dumb, but, a lot like getting your girlfriend pregnant, it may have been a series of shortsighted choices that got you into this situation, but now for the sake of intelligence and character you only have one option. Did we hold firm? No. Why? Because again we can’t hold a united front. When we were holding firm we had people insulting Republicans that they were RINOs and were going to get primaries out (so if you’re a Republican who really does believe that you will hold the line better than the Democrat who would trounce your Tea Party replacement, if you really believe that you’re doing what is best for the country you have to make a deal to ensure you keep your seat and that a Democrat doesn’t take it…not saying everyone was this noble but I’m sure one or two were).
Then we were even more stupid. We had Republicans vote for the damn compromise (that gave us nothing). This I don’t quite understand. It could pass the Senate without a single Republican vote, and it could pass the House with only a few Republicans voting for it (or just staying home and not voting at all). Did we organize anything like this to at least be able to say that ‘We did not vote for this crap, this is the Democrats and all the Democrats.” Nope, we didn’t even organize that well.
And as I hinted above, it’s not just the elected officials. We attack our own, shout everyone down as RINOs at the drop of a hat. Now some will say that I’m attacking the Tea Party…actually I’m only attacking part of it. I’m beginning to notice there are two parts to the Tea Party. One is the “let’s shrink government in power, size and expenditure” let’s call this the Values Tea Party…then there seems to a second side, the “Everyone who does not agree with me 100% is a goddamn RINO and must be purged from the party.” Let’s call this the Ideological Tea Party. One side wants to win and is willing to make logical concessions if they need to but is just tired of the GOP ALWAYS making concessions even when they don’t need to…the other side wants the goddamn Spanish Inquisition (which I really wasn’t expecting) and purge all non-believers from the ranks of the Republican party (of course as it’s a constantly shifting set of values it’s hard to say what is and isn’t real conservatism to these people…but if you don’t perform a miracle right now and end Obamacare, overturn a hundred years of bad court decisions, revoke 200 years of bad executive decisions, clean the tax code, impeach Obama, destroy all terrorists, and turn water into wine you won’t vote for them…and anything short must be because you’re a filthy RINO and not, oh I don’t know, because you’re only in control of one half of one branch of the government.)
What I think some people don’t realize is that we need Republicans from all parts of the country to win (even blue states) which means that those Republicans have to be more moderate than say a Republican from a completely red state. There are Republicans who are moderate on some things (mainly social issues). There are Republicans who come from very blue states but believe they should honor their constituents beliefs on certain things (I don’t particularly like people who feel this way, but I find the people who bitch the most about these Republicans are the same ones who use “the will of the people” as justification for why legislatures should do this or that…pick one and only one, should legislatures use their own judgment (a republic) or should they be beholden to the will of the people (a democracy).
By the standards that the pundits are now setting up William F. Buckley Jr., Ronald Reagan, Barry Goldwater would be considered RINOS (let me remind you that Reagan as governor passed more liberal laws than Romney, for much the same reason, because he was dealing with a very liberal legislature, and as president he cut LOTS of deals with the Democrats).
Do you think perhaps, that as a voting block we’re beginning to get a little strange?
Yes there are few very legitimate RINOs who will sell the party out at the drop of a hat. McCain, Graham, Christie. I’m probably forgetting a couple more. BUT THE VAST MAJORITY OF GOP actually do believe in what they are doing, they may be wrong in that belief, they might get a better deal if they held out, but just because they are wrong in a tactical belief doesn’t make them liberal.
So first off to anyone talking about putting up a primary challenger to any Republican they disagree with I want you to ask two questions.
Will the Tea Party candidate you’re supporting win in an election against the Democratic challenger in that state/district?
And you need to be very, very honest here. I liked Sharon Angel and Christie O’Donnell…but they were bad calls for Nevada and Delaware…and if you don’t think it would have been better to run a more moderate Republican and remove Harry Reid from office, you’re crazy. Absolutely crazy. This is the old Buckley Rule: Vote for the most conservative candidate who can win. Because even the most moderate Republican is better than scum that is Harry Reid.
Now this may not be enough. Because let’s be honest there are scum that jump ship when the Senate gets to that 50/50 mark. And again you need to be honest here when you ask:
Will this the elected official you’re trying to get rid of jump ship if given a chance?
For people like Lindsey Graham and John McCain, yeah vote them out. They’ll backstab the Republican Party every chance they get and will switch to Democrats if they’re offered enough if the it ever gets that close (As say when Jim Jeffords back stabbed the Republicans, changed parties and gave the Senate to the Democrats in 2001). They’re Democrats already for all intents and purpose because they have no character (oh, I would like to thank Sarah Palin for supporting McCain over the Tea Party candidate…thanks Sarah, you really helped the Republic with that move.)
So if it’s yes to both answers, sure get a primary going. Even if it’s yes to just the second answer, get rid of the idiot. But if they’re just a moderate Republican who doesn’t always vote with the party but will give us control of the Senate or let us keep control of the House, they’re better than a Democrat. As we have learned, who controls the houses of Congress has massive authority and it is better that we dethrone Harry Reid even if we have to have every seat go to a moderate. Standing on principal when it will only hurt your cause in the long and short run isn’t standing on principal—it’s idiocy.
So just as a little reminder
There’s an election about a year away. We need to hold onto ALL of our seats in the Senate (which means it might not be bright to primary out a moderate if that means the libs will pick it up…even a moderate Republican can still give us control of the Senate, which we’ve learned can be a very powerful thing) and we need to pick up at least 6 more seats.
Now might be the time to remember that as much as we hate some in our party we hate the Democrats even more. We can purge the party when we’re in a position to…in the mean time I might actually like to not have to see Harry Reid’s stupid face for another few years…
Or did you want to have Harry Reid in charge of the Senate if, god help us, another Supreme Court Justice needs to be replaced?