FRONT PAGE CONTRIBUTOR
Easter 1916 And A Lesson For The GOP
The situation facing the Irish Republican faction in Ireland in 1916 was grim. Though thee movement had made immense strides towards Irish independence in the first decade of the 20th Century, World War I had bought it to a halt. Thousands of Irishmen joined the British Army at the outbreak of the war, many of them had died on the Western Front and at Gallipoli. The Republican forces were hamstrung not only by laws that would equate dissent with treason but by the fact that popular sympathy for Irishmen in uniform made dissent unpopular.
Feeling the pinch of a manpower shortage and legally unable to conscript within Ireland, the British government offered Ireland home rule, after the successful conclusion of the war, on the condition that conscription be introduced into Ireland.
One of the leaders of the Irish nationalist movement, John Redmond, signed onto the deal. Both his son and his brother enlisted in the British Army. Thus he had the distinction of becoming arguably the first “Republican in name only.”
A substantial faction of the nationalist movement led principally by Padraig Pearse and James Connolly saw the deal as the quintessential “I’ll gladly pay you Wednesday for a hamburger today” deal wherein a British Empire that was on the ropes was trading away something intangible to be delivered at a future date, Irish home rule, in return for something very tangible, to wit, Irish manpower, today.
On Easter Sunday, 1916, the made their move, taking possession of the Dublin General Post Office and other strategic points in that city and declaring an Irish Republic. I’ll defer here to the delightful Sean O’Casey and his autobiography, Drums Under the Windows:
There go the go-boys! Muttered an old man, half to himself and half to an elderly lady beside him who had stopped to help him stare at the Volunteers….What th’ hell are th’ up to now. They seem to be bent on disturbin’ th’ whoremony of the sacred days. Goin’ in, eh?…Can’t be wantin’ postage stamps…Be God, they’re takin’ th’ clock outa th’ window! That’s odd, now. Looka, thery’re smashin’ out th’ windows with their rifles! There’s a shower o’ glass – right over th’ passers-by! That’s goin’ beyond th’ beyond. Tha’s, tha’s just hooliganism…He says he’s speakin’ in th’ name of th’ Irish Republic…The police will soon explain matters.
The Rising lasted six days, on Saturday, April 29 they surrendered. As the surviving Volunteers were marched away to prison they were jeered and pelted with garbage by outraged Dubliners. What looked like a devastating defeat came to fruition a mere five years later on July 11, 1921 when a truce was signed between the provisional government of Ireland and Great Britain sealing Irish independence.
The lesson to be learned from this is that victory takes many shapes and winning, per se, is not the same as victory. Only six months ago, when the GOP refused to roll over for the lawless Obama regime and instead elected to shut down the government for a period of time, most of the left and many of the chestless men on our side proclaimed the GOP dead. From Politico
The Post poll also found Republicans bearing the brunt of Americans’ anger: Only 32 percent, a new low, viewed the GOP favorably, and Americans blamed them for the shutdown over Obama, 53 percent to 29 percent.
On Wednesday evening, a CNN/ORC International pollsent more bad news to members of the GOP, giving the party its lowest rating in the poll’s history; 64 percent of respondents hold an unfavorable view of the Republican Party. CNN first asked the question in 1992.
The CNN/ORC poll also showed that the Democratic Party’s unfavorability rating remains virtually unchanged since before the shutdown began Oct. 1.
Yet today the GOP is running ahead of the Democrat party, it will undoubtedly add to its House majority in November and absent heroic effort by Mitch McConnell, Brad Dayspring, and the NRSC, to drag defeat, kicking and screaming, from the jaws of victory it will take control of the Senate.
Why this turnabout? Benghazi? The IRS scandal? The refusal of Obama to obey the law? Obamacare? No. None of these wounds, wounds that would have been fatal to any Republican president, have been anything more than gnat bites in the general consciousness. Was in comprehensive immigration reform? Bowing to the proponents of superstition-as-science and going along with the global warming, of the AGW variety, nonsense?
The turnabout is due to the base and the nation having seen the House GOP actually fight for something.
It doesn’t matter what the immediate outcome was or is. Fighting on matters of principle is what is important. We can’t control whether we win or lose but we can control when we fight. Because if the GOP won’t fight, there is no compelling reason for us to vote for them.