The continuing GOP identity crisis
Crisis? No crisis with me.
A strong “conservative thinker”, James Carville, recently quipped;
“I have an announcement to make. Ronald Reagan’s big tent just collapsed in Upstate New York. It no longer exists,” Democratic strategist James Carville said Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union.”
This he said following Dede Scozzafava pulling the ripcord on her campaign parachute, but I suppose prior to her proving him once again an idiot by endorsing the Democrat in the race.
I beg to differ with the likes of Carville, and more recently Allahpundit in today’s piece at Hot Air he titled “Poll: 51% of Republicans would rather risk losing elections than win with RINOs”
In it he quotes a CNN Political Ticker poll which says in part;
The poll indicates that a slight majority, 51 percent, of Republicans would prefer to see the GOP in their area nominate candidates who agree with them on all the major the issues even if they have a poor chance of beating the Democratic candidate. Forty-three percent of Republicans say they would rather have candidates with whom they don’t agree on all the important issues but who can beat the Democrats.
He says it’s not a problem at the moment, “…but if/when unemployment starts to recover and the trend stabilizes, it’s a major problem.”
First, speaking for myself I don’t foresee a huge recovery in the cards considering;
- The interest rates are artificially being kept low with the US printing money at an astronomical rate (see “hyperinflation“).
- If to forestall #1 interest rates are raised, so too raises the interest on the debt that the Obama Triad is desperately trying to triple.
America got into this mess because it bought its own information. Its best information said that you can make huge money on debt, that you can give anybody a piece of plastic and move the merchandise, and that while 30% of your cardholders will default–you’ll still make money, gazillions of it. And because money buys power, you can write your own laws. You can make it so those deadbeat thirty-percenters have no choice but to pay you. You can make it so you can take their house, their car–not that you would, just that you could–and you’d be guaranteed at least another gazillion.
I’m no economist, nor do I play one here. I just don’t see anything good coming our way financially as a nation with the fiscal storm clouds on the horizon that even I can see from the ditch I dig. I’m not rooting for failure here, I just can’t see the things being done by this government as it is currently made up leading to anything but consolidation of their power and ruin for the rest of us.
So that leaves us with what kind of party do we want?
Well, what kind of party have we had for the last, oh I don’t know; say eight years? Are you happy with it? Generally speaking, when it comes to standing for conservative principles, I’m not by any means thrilled.
How many times did I yell at the air “Why won’t you idiots fight like ya got a pair?”
The left not only fights for every scrap it gets, it comes back again and again in a mass “human wave” attack for what it didn’t get.
Amnesty; got confidence in the GOP we have today when that comes up again next year? I don’t.
Stopping Obama’s march to plant radical judges from coast to coast-how’s that working out for you? 70-29 vote today on a judge who shouldn’t even be considered? Really, we have to sit and hope they stand up in the confirmation vote and hope it turns out differently?
Speaking again for myself, I’d rather have a strong minority party that will sustain a filibuster than a majority of squishes who constantly cave to the left.
My “Big Tent” includes all races and nationalities, not all ideologies. In a case where we have a clear choice between a conservative and a moderate, or even in a case such as in California with a known conservative like Chuck DeVore versus a mostly unknown, but suspect Carly Fiorina-go with the proven conservative.
What did Reagan think?
Those GOP forces who today misquote Reagan and have misunderstood Reagan’s idea of a big-tent need look no further than Mary Dent Crisp, once a prominent leader in the Republican party, who in 1977 was appointed its co-chair.
Crisp got the message, left the convention and signed on with the third party candidacy of a more moderate/liberal Republican named John Anderson.
Although Crisp had been a Republican longer than Reagan and had worked her way up the ladder of party leadership, Reagan was now defining what the party stood for and Crisp was outraged at the party’s new values on abortion and the ERA.
“Although our party has presented the outward appearance of vibrant health, I’m afraid we are suffering from serious internal sickness,” she said during platform committee meetings in 1980. “Now we are . . . about to bury the rights of over 100 million American women under a heap of platitudes.”
The next day Reagan showcased his big-tent philosophy, telling reporters that Crisp “should look to herself and see how loyal she’s been to the Republican Party for quite some time.”
I know, this is a lot of pasted stuff, but you have to see the finale.
In Reagan’s big tent, the likes of Arlen Specter would always have been welcomed, so long as they were willing to go along with Reagan, but the moment they stood in the way, as Mary Dent Crisp did, and sought to assert their policies on his vision for the party, they were shown the door. Today, the big tent that Reagan stitched together is in disarray, but if its leaders are to return from political oblivion, they’d do well to remember how Reagan went about constructing the tent and the philosophy that swept him, and two weak Republican successors who rode his political coattails into the White House, and build a tent which stands for key principles, yet never fails to welcome those who disagree, as honored guests.
First, he did indeed have a big tent, especially in 1984, which allowed 59% of the electorate to vote for him, but it was a tent of Reagan’s design in which those who disagreed with him had little say about how the tent was constructed, but were welcome to stay anyway. Pro-choice women were welcomed into the tent as voters so long as they didn’t try to change the party’s position on the issue of abortion, one which Reagan held dearly enough to have written a book about while still in office. Union members were courted by Reagan, so long as they didn’t mind Reagan’s tough policies toward organizing which included his firing of striking air traffic controllers and eventually came to be known as “Reagan Democrats.” Those jittery over Reagan’s bellicose statements on foreign policy were also welcomed, provided they could live with his tough posture toward communism. And even Rockefeller Republicans were allowed to stay in the tent so long as they realized that they were joining his party and not the other way around, that while they would be horrified by the new boss’s position on social issues for instance, they’d find something to cheer about in his tax cuts.
Reagan’s big tent also included some unsavory characters on the extreme right. While disavowing any connection to the John Birch Society, accused by some of having racist tendencies, Reagan invited its members into his big tent saying that if members supported him it was in indication that he had “persuaded them to accept my philosophy, not me accepting theirs.”
In contrast, Reagan considered members of what has derisively come to be known as “the religious right” as not a fringe group to be courted, but a foundational element of the big tent he constructed. Meeting with Christian leaders in 1980, he famously declared “You can’t endorse me, but I endorse you,” and made sure that platform committees that were to decide party policy were heavily stacked in their favor.
Interesting things from regarding the “Third Party” infection creeping through the ranks can be found here.
Bottom line for me: when it comes to weak kneed self-seeking squish Republicans whoring out their votes strictly to self-aggrandize and obtain power;
I don’t want ’em in my tent.