Monday, November 2, 2009

Rick Moran and the Comatose Nuthouse

by Smitty

Shorter Moran: 'passion' == 'bad'.

In The Anti-Reason Conservatives, we're treated to a post that only Bob Dole could love. Let's review a few points:And now on to Moran:
In the case of far right conservatives who think that they can turn their meager numbers into a ruling majority all by themselves, the disconnect from reality would normally call for an intervention - except they reject anything from anybody who doesn't agree with them 100%. Nor can they seem to grasp complex political realities that would complicate their simplistic, ignorant view that their idea of what constitutes a "conservative" reigns supreme all across the land.
Whose goal is this 'ruling majority' again? What if Federalism reigned contra-supreme across the land, hm?
The recent Gallup poll showing that 40% of Americans see themselves as "conservative" was leapt upon by these morons as "proof" that their brand of anarcho-conservatism dominates the political landscape. Would that it were true. The fact that there are a dozen different definitions of "conservative" depending on where you live doesn't seem to penetrate. And the pogrom they wish to carry out against "moderates" who agree with them on 90% of the issues they hold dear but fail their ever more spastic "litmus tests" guarantees Democratic dominance for the foreseeable future.
No, Moran: the argument is that centralization has been the downfall of the country. Follow the links at the top of this post: the dollars are relatively honest on this one.
Why the name calling? Why the harsh, unyielding language? Because I too, believe this country is in enormous trouble. But the way the base is going about trying to overcome the political deficit that George Bush and his cronies placed the Republican party will only lead to permanent minority status for conservatives. In truth, the gloating being done on the far right over the ravaging of Scozzafava has led to a belief that the template used to stick it to the establishment in NY23 can be grafted on to other districts where "RINO's" are running - GOP incumbents be damned.
Why are you blaming Bush, Mr. Moran? The problems go to 1913. The very education problems you cite for ignorance of the definition of 'conservative' are rooted in this inability to analyze history. The Sixteenth Amendment, The Seventeenth Amendment, and the Federal Reserve Act have been the triptych of destruction over last century. Face it: Progressivism has been an ugly baby, along with the bathwater. Incumbency sucks. Pournelle's Iron Law of Bureaucracy has born its inedible fruit.
Skipping past the Gellar quotation.
A couple of hundred thousand conservatives fill up the mall on September 12 and Gellar thinks conservatives have been "driven underground?" What kind of utter nonsense is that? Gellar is a full throated member of the Anti-Reason Conservatives - those who reject reality in favor of persecution complexes, wildly exaggerated hyperbole, and a frightening need for vengeance against their imagined "enemies" - despite the fact that those imagined foes agree with them on virtually everything they think they stand for.
The idea that Newt Gingrich should be "relegated to the dustbin of history" - a not uncommon sentiment I've read over the past week - demonstrates a determined refusal to objectively analyze the political realities of the unique situation in NY23 and deliberately remain ignorant of the consequences that would have accrued if the Republican party had failed to support the Republican candidate in the district.
I can nearly track you here. I think that Newt, and, by extension, the rest of the GOP brass, should be put on a re-habilitation plan. The essential problem is that all the professional pols have forgotten they work for the people.

You can blame the people, to a degree, for having been spectators these decades. Pre-internet, it was arguably less easy for information to swirl around. The shock felt high and low is about:
  1. The people realizing that the professional politicians have an elitist view of the situation, and
  2. The politicians realizing that the people are wide awake and rejecting that elitism, resulting in incontinence.
It's a national come-to-Beavis meeting. Between your Hamlet-esque navel-gazing and Pamela's sheer adrenalin, we'll get there. If we blow out a few GOP headz, so what? There is plenty of leadership below. It's the principles, not the personalities, silly.
A good case can be made that Gingrich especially could have kept his mouth shut about conservatives rightly gravitating to Hoffman. His petulance with national conservatives who sought to replace the liberal Scozzafava with a more palatable choice was uncalled for and further demonstrates his unfitness for the presidency.
But kick him out of the party? Marginalize one of the only public intellectuals on the right who can speak to a broad cross section of America with authority and credibility? Perhaps that’s Newt’s real problem; the anti-intellectualism on the far right that sees any independent thinking deviating from their worldview as suspect. Or perhaps it’s just the idea that Gingrich, through his years of service to the conservative and Republican causes, has become a part of the establishment and hence, a target.
Newt needs to sweat a bit. He needs to be taken to the edge and shown the seriousness of the people.
Who do these louts think the party establishment should have supported in NY23? There would have been no real difference if the DC Republicans had supported Hoffman or the Democrat Owens over Scozzafava. The result would have been exactly the same; the national party spitting in the face of local Republican organizations who chose Scozzafava - regardless of her admitted liberalism and regardless of whether her candidacy was rammed through by powerful New York state GOP bigwigs.
The pragmatism demonstrated by the national Republicans in giving Scozzafava the support they felt necessary for her to win is lost on the ideologues who can't seem to wrap their heads around the idea that majorities are crafted by addition, not subtraction. Scozzafava would have been a beastly congresswoman, as unreliable a Republican vote on the issues as could be imagined. But Congress is governed as much by procedure as it is ideas, and when the whip is cracked by the leadership, she probably would have been with the party most of the time.
I'll presume you wrote this ahead of her going into full-on Arlen Specter mode.
In effect, the base is criticizing the Republican establishment for acting like a political party and not a college debating society. The advantage of belonging to the latter is that you can pick and choose members based on whatever subjective criteria you wish. Don't like the cut of a man's suit or women with red hair? Fine. But don't apply your ridiculous litmus tests to a political party trying to fashion a majority.
See, here's the question: is the Constitution more important than the Party? If the Party (Democratic, Republican or both) is a major component of the problem, then what are you going to do? You can't bargain with cancer, Mr. Moran! And cancer is exactly what the last century of American centralization has been for the country.

Now, whole people are certainly more intelligent than lone tumor cells. So there can be room for getting people to re-examine their principles in ways that you just aren't doing with that lump in the lung.

But the crucial point is that More Of Same Will Not Do. Awake from your coma, Right Wing Nuthouse!

Update: American Power liked Pamela's post.

Update II: Linked at Daily Pundit


  1. Nuthouse? Perhaps. Right Wing? Not hardly. RINO? Check.

  2. I wonder if Rick would consider you an anachronistic conservative know opposing the 20th century. Stop the Direct election of senators! is hardly a rallying cry destined to carry Palin into the White House. "Federalism" as a cute turn of a phrase on States' Rights failed to get Wallace elected in a much more white and fearful country.

    Opposing the Fed? Is somebody angling for a guest shot on Glen Beck's show? The coalition of Northeastern money, Southern Whites and "values voters" is the only hope cons have of winning.

    You think Wall Streeters worth a hundred million apiece and fascinated with no new taxes and Ayn Rand are gonna let a bunch of Southerners mess with the Fed? News flash, Stacy, Democrats are just easy to buy as Republicans (ask Tim Geithner and Charles Schumer). Attacking the Fed and the direct election of Senators while telling Rick Moran you aren't some loon is as ironic as it is wrong. Someone needs to leave the enclave some time

  3. Moran had a decent argument going until he quoted Andi Sullivan as the expert on conservatism. Thanks for playing Rick.

  4. Stacy:

    You have my sympathy for having had to read Moran's drivel in order to Fisk it.

    You want to see his head explode? Ask him what, in "his" Republican party, social conservatives WOULD be allowed to talk about.

    Social Cons have gotten very little from their support of Republicans - words, mostly - and people like Moran want to take even that away. He wants Republicans to "de-emphasize" social conservative issues to the point where conversation about them is not even accepted as legitimate (which is the Democrat position now) but they should all show up and vote "R".

    Look, the only way social cons will ever get policy to their liking is if they engage in the public debate over those issues & policy. There's no reason they should support a party which keeps saying "Will you shut up about that for now, please?"

    A party unwilling to even talk about an issue is never going to do anything about it.

  5. Moran is the very definition of a partisan: One who puts the advancement of the party ahead of all other considerations. Such persons have made the GOP into what it is today: an enemy of freedom, Constitutionalism, and American interests abroad. If any identifiable group should bear the odium for the conservative revolt against the GOP, it is they.

  6. @Choward
    Attacking the Fed and the direct election of Senators while telling Rick Moran you aren't some loon is as ironic as it is wrong.

    Did you follow any of the links at the top? Acting as if the last century has offered a good direction for the country is the quintessential "loon" move.

    No, I don't expect the fat cats suddenly to quit raping the country. It's going to take massive effort over significant time to recover the mess.

  7. "But above all of that, I believe in victory. And if that is not paramount in your mind, then you might as well switch parties and vote for the Democrat."

    This is the sentence that gives the game away. For some people, the Republicans are like their favorite football team. They have to root for them to win, and who cares what happens after that? Just prepare for the next election and win again. Principles? Rolling back the federal government? Who needs any of that? Might risk a loss.

  8. Riiiiiight!!! And what all of these people continue to ignore is that in Virginia, in New Jersey (NEW JERSEY!!!) and NY23, the independents are ALSO in the majority voting for the Republican candidates or Hoffman. Aren't Virginia and NY23 supposed to be "purple"? Who is kidding who here?

    Moran and the rest aren't paying attention and are going along with the national news media's narrative. And, quite frankly, giving the left and the moderate Republican party leaders in DC cover.

  9. I dunno. Gallup says 23% of Americans lean libertarian.

    Seems to me like 23% + 40% is a heck of a combination. But a Culture War is not going to win that 23%. At least not for long.

    BTW I'm in the 23% and support Palin and Hoffman. But if they start up with the Culture War Crap I'm going for the Communists for an election or two. Just to punish them. In the same way the Conservatives are punishing the RINOs. Heh.

    Conservatives seem just as susceptible to I WON as Captain Zer∅. And you know that is not sustainable.

    Hubris is a terrible disease. Get the cure. A servant's heart (thank you Sarah).

  10. Uh, Rick who? Or is it Who cares?

    "Because I too, believe this country is in enormous trouble. But the way the base is going about trying to overcome the political deficit that George Bush and his cronies placed the Republican party will only lead to permanent minority status for conservatives."

    ...and your solution, Mr. Who?, is to support, like Newt, another liberal that calls herself a Republican. Not me. Newt made a huge mistake and, by doing so, marginalized his effectiveness. Where is he now? He could have gone to New York and campaigned for Hoffman today. Instead he is hiding somewhere licking his wounds. Too bad. Admit your error, Newt, and come on back home.

  11. Small "l" libertarians have gotten very little from their support of Republicans.

    Do you suppose we could work together to end the $50 bn a year wasted on the drug war? Nah. Well I guess I'm going to have to support the Communists from time to time.

    BTW I agree about the direct election of Senators. It killed the power of the States.

  12. Socons can win the debate and lose the election.

    That old hubris thing. Keep an eye on it.

    So what is the minimum that we can acceptably agree on?

    1. Smaller government
    2. Lower spending
    3. Lower taxes

    Stick with that and you have a long term winner.

  13. I first crossed swords with Moran in 2004 and realized what a moron he is. I decided then that he had nothing to say worth my time. I see he hasn't changed.

  14. I know you say that for effect. Mr. Simon, but don't even joke about such things, it's been bad enough with the first year of this popular front

  15. What Moran (and a lot of others) miss is that the Republican Party has nothing to lose by going Conservative.

    Anybody who truly believes that communitarian policies and mass centralization is a good thing is going to vote for the Democrat. Trying to attract that vote by moving the "big tent" to the left is a futile endeavor. If they want Democrats, they'll vote for Democrats, not Republican imitations.

    So Republicans gain nothing by moving left, and lose the conservative base. Moving right would attract right-leaning independents, who currently have no place to look. I don't see the downside, even using the "sports team" analogy.


  16. I almost felt sorry for the guy after reading it, but then I thought about it for a few seconds and said 'Nahhhhhh!'.

    Quoted from and Linked to at: NY-23 LINK RALLY

  17. I used to read RWNH quite a bit a few years ago, but, Rick slowly started going down the same road that some other squishy RINO's were going. Like Ballon Juice. Folks who seem to want to stick their fingers in the air like Clinton, to see which way they should show their beliefs.

    What they do not get is that Conservatives hold basic beliefs, regardless of which way the wind blows. The Constitution, State's Rights, National Defense, the primacy of the individual, limited government, minimal taxation, power of The People. Did I mention the primacy of the individual? In essences, the 3 Cores of Classical Liberalism: the government stays out of our personal lives (Moral Core,) limited involvement in the economy (Economic Core,) and is open and fair (Political Core.)

    After that, you get into niche values, such as gay marriage, illegal immigration, abortion, etc. To each his/her own.

    What wishy washy folks like Rick do not get is that we expect Republicans to act like Conservatives, not Democrat Lite.

  18. Smitty:

    First, apologies to you for directing the post to Stacy. I TRY to keep an eye on "Who's on first......"

    Second, for M. Simon -

    23% + 40% is only "something" if both are present in the coalition - 23% isn't going to get very far on its own, so maybe it's going to have to learn to (gasp) "tolerate" some things in the 40% that aren't its cup of tea.

    Which (IMO) is about 90% of the problem with the Morans, et al. - they seem to think Republicans are entitled to social conservative votes, that they have an obligation to show up & vote "R" regardless of whether they ever get anything for their trouble. Which, come to think of it, pretty well explains that arrogant dismissive attitude Moran, et al. have toward social cons.

    What Moran, et al. demonstrate with this response to NY 23 is they're not interested in a "big tent" at all - not if it's going to mean actually doing anything to earn social con votes.

  19. narciso,

    I actually was faced with the choice between a Culture Warrior and a Communist in the 2004 Senate elections in my State. I voted for the Communist as did a LOT of other Republicans.

    Look up Bush/Kerry and Keyes/Obama in Illinois in 2004 and do the math. It will astound you.

    Of course in 2008 I was McCain all the way (You know "F^*k It McCain '08). And then Sarah got the nod and I was actually happy. And why not. Sarah had pretty good libertarian creds.

    Why McCain Picked Palin

    And I'm voting against the Communist no matter what in 2012. And if I'm alive in 2016 and the Rs put up a Culture Warrior in 2016 I will vote Communist.

    I want limited government and I mean it. And I intend with my feeble voice to punish which ever (or both) Party doesn't get it.

    Why? Because I agree with Jefferson:

    I would rather be exposed to the inconveniences attending too much liberty than those attending too small a degree of it.
    Thomas Jefferson

    The Rs had better figure it out. And it wouldn't hurt if the Ds got the message as well.

    I want LIMITED government and I'm willing to destroy the country (at the ballot box) and start over if I have to to get it.

    I'm sick and tired of the Rs who pay lip service to fiscal responsibility. I'm sick and tired of Rs who pay lip service to limited government.

    I'm sick and tired of the Drug War. I'm sick and tired of the anti-gay politics (I don't give a damn what people think in their private lives) of the Ds and the Rs. The D's attack on Larry Craig was most hypocritical.

    And the one thing I can say positive about Mr. Obama is that he at least recognizes Federalism when it comes to Medical MJ. Kudos for him even if it is baby steps.

    So is the Republican Party really a big tent or is it the Social Conservative Party? We shall see.

  20. BD,

    You don't get it. Social Conservatives think they are Entitled to libertarian votes.

    Let us take the HOT button of abortion:

    I am against government paying for it. I am against them forcing doctors and hospitals to perform them.

    I'm also against making it illegal. More from practical grounds than moral ones although my moral objections are not very strong. And what is my objection: the US does not need another black market. The drug war should be instructive in that regard if Republicans have wit enough to learn from it. Esp. with RU-485 about and the possibility of using birth control pills as a morning after solution.

    And then there is the political angle. The subject is political suicide if the Rs go with the social Conservative position (which is inconsistent) that abortion is murder. And why is it inconsistent? Because you have no intention of charging women who have abortions with pre-meditated murder.

    Put the subject in the social sphere where it belongs.

  21. BD,

    Since you don't understand politics let me explain it to you. But first let me say that the Republicans have to get more in line with their fiscal conservative, limited government rhetoric.

    But there are other considerations too. The limits of what are possible for a Presidential candidate are the swing voters. How far can a candidate go and attract enough swing voters to win a national election? Or even State wide elections.

    One only need look at how social conservatives have destroyed Republican chances in California. Giving the State to Democrats who have destroyed the State. And why has Arnie caved? Well he was not very principled. But that is only part of the problem. He has no significant support in the legislature.

    I don't see why Republicans can't take that message to heart.

    The difficulty is that social conservatism is concentrated in the South. It may be 40% of the nation but 60 to 80% of that 40% is concentrated in the South. So the votes of social Conservatives are diluted every where else.

    That means that outside the South the Party must become more libertarian to attract the swing voters. It is just like they say in the military. You can't win wars if you can't read a map.

    And what does that mean overall? A National Party will likely be around 50% libertarian even if their % of the party is only 30 to 40%.

    I'm against big spending RINOs. I favor limited government libertarians (fiscally conservative, socially liberal) where only they can win. You know - California, Illinois, Wisconsin, Oregon, Washington, New York, New Jersey, etc.

    And the party platform should reflect that even if social conservatives are the majority of the party.

    That is a basis for a national political party. And from what I can tell so far it is Palin's strategy. She is one very smart lady. She can read a map.

  22. I have revised and extended my remarks and given you a link at:

    A National Party

  23. Newt cannot and should not be rehabilitated. He's a total sleeze and he needs to go away forever.

    Weathervane politicians like him are desperate to get control of the tea party movement, and they must not be allowed to do so, as they will takeover, and neutralize what the movement represents.

    Doesn't anyone remember that the contract with American never shrunk the size of government? In fact they actually increased the budgets of 95 of the programs the contract promised to eliminate.

    Please. We don't need that liar. The fact that he could actually consider running for president, given his background as a serial adulterer, and not be heckled to death by is a sad commentary on how low we have sunk as a culture.

    Oh, and note to Mrs. Newt---good Catholic girls don't go fishing for husbands in the married pond.

  24. Alright calling Rick a moron is a bit over the top. You don't agree with his politics fine, but can we stop with trashing him that way? I like the guy, even if I disagree with his takes being libertarian/fiscal conservative.

    "You don't get it. Social Conservatives think they are Entitled to libertarian votes. "

    Oh so true... but funny how the favour is never given back to libertarians.

  25. Smitty
    "Great minds think alike"!

    I agree 100%

    an old exJarhead
    Cerritos, CAl

  26. The function of government should be the defense of the inherent rights of the individual citizen, business between states, and the common defense.

    Every thing else is overreach by a tyranny in waiting. If being committed to resisting such overreach makes me unpalatable to the RINO GOP marks me as "brain dead" or a "tea bagger" (dealt with an individual who used that appelation to my face just this past weekend. He forgot that keyboards and flatscreens are not nearly reality) then the GOP has formally abandoned its reason for existence and it must be replaced as completely and expeditiously as possible with a national party dedicated to Constitutional government.

    We are at the precipice but there is still time to halt the catastrophe.

    However, if the high profile local elections being held today become a text book case of the fraud and theft that the Left intends for 2010, and we allow such acts to stand, then all bets are off.

  27. M. Simon:

    First, get off your high horse - I doubt you can teach me much about politics & I've read enough of your stuff to tell you you have no standing to exhibit such condescension and arrogance.

    Second, at 23%, your "libertarians" aren't the senior partner of anything and don't get to dictate, not to conservatives or, for that matter, to liberals (should you choose to go that way). In politics, as in all things, you get to decide whether, on balance, you're going to do business with someone. The moment you get into telling the 40% "I'm not staying if you're going to talk about issues you care about which I don't like", you're out the door.

    Third, everyone invents this boogie-man of social conservatives that doesn't exist. "Make aboriton illegal"?

    Do you care more about people wanting something that's a 50+ year project (if it's even possible) or the folks who could adopt public funding of abortion tomorrow?

    If you tell Democrats "Hey, we're with you, but no public funding" are they going to say "Oh, sure ... we didn't know it bothered you so"? Or would they politely tell you "We're committed to unrestricted abortion, which means public funding"?

    The Dem position isn't hard to figure out: absolute right to abortion - unlimited partial birth abortions, no parental notice or consent, no restriction on referral of minors to abortion provider and public funding at any stage of pregnancy.

    All of which they could adopt by majority votes & a presidential signature.

    As opposed to people who, you say, want to make abortion illegal, which would require

    * reversal of Roe and is progeny, because no such statute would survive a constitutional challenge if Roe, et al. is alive;

    * reversal of any and all state Supreme Courts which have found "Roe" rights in their state constitutions;

    * after all that, adoption of state and/or federallaws which make abortion illegal.

    * and then, after all that, the existence of local officals willing to enforce those laws.

    Like you, I can see the groundswell of support for the local state attorney who chose to prosecute a young lady for having an abortion .... (sarcasm intended).

    In short, there's not a scintilla of a smidgen of a chance of a law outlawing abortion being adopted, let alone being enforced, any time soon, but you're more worried about people who wish for such a thing than people who can help blow up the budget (which you say is your prime concern) by adopting public financing laws right now.

    Why is that? You stake out a "middle" position for libertarians (leave it alone, but no public funding), yet you train your fire only on the side with little to no chance of getting its preferred policy while practically ignoring the one that's working legislation through Congress which will most likely result in exactly what you say you're against?

    And that's your big "single issue"???

    With all due respect, you don't care about fiscal sanity very much.

    As far as California is concerned - oh please ... don't even try for a second to blame the sorry state of the Republican Party in California on "social conservatives." Not even as a bad joke.


    Social cons aren't "entitled" to libertarian votes (and I never said they were).

    No one is entitled to a vote, period. They have to be earned (John Houseman comes to mind).

  28. BD,

    Who said anything about dictating? I believe that is the job of the socons.

    I'm suggesting how it might be possible to gather Republican votes outside socon strongholds once the Obama scare is over.

  29. BD,

    Here is a data point Illinois 2004:

    Obama 3,597,456
    Keyes 1,390,690

    Total 4,988,146


    Kerry 2,891,550
    GBush 2,345,946

    Total 5,237,946

    I leave it to you to tease some meaning out of those numbers.

  30. BD,

    So BD did you learn something from NY23?

    Do you still think that listening to libertarian Republicans is beneath you?

    Well you know how it goes. After hubris comes nemesis.

    It is quite possible that you might want to re-evaluate your position on a libertarian/social conservative coalition after what happened in NY23 on Tuesday.

    And pardon for recycling part of another comment. It just seemed so apt. If somewhat redundant.

  31. M. Simon: women were not, and would not be charged with murder for procuring an abortion. It is the doctors that the law goes after.

    The argument that it has to stay legal because people will do it anyway is absurd. If that was a valid argument we could legalize rape too, since people obviously still do it anyway.

  32. You mean the women are not at least accomplices in premeditated murder? Then abortion is not really murder is it?

    Suppose there is no doctor. Just a black market RU-485 pill. Or ergot. Or oxytocin. Or a heavy dose of birth control pills. Still not murder?

    It would be really nice to see a person with real conviction arguing that abortion is murder. I have yet to find one.

    The question for me is enforcement. How intrusive will the government have to get to make it work? Weekly pregnancy tests? (the Drug War precedent) And of course with new technology coming on line - maybe electronic sniffers to look for changes in the body. Then every miscarriage becomes a murder investigation.

    Wouldn't it be safer for your liberties to keep government out of it and just convince women not to have an abortion?

  33. I have revised and extended my remarks at

    Abortion Is Murder

    The comments are not pre-moderated (and I moderate with a very light hand) so the discussion should be a tad livelier.

    I invite my social conservative friends to comment.

    And for the moderator here. I link back.