Sunday, May 24, 2009

Because you're wrong

Nothing is more important for conservative writers, in its current situation, than to correctly analyze the causes that led the Republican Party from the triumphant heights of 2002-04 to the abysmal defeats of 2006-08.

In a post Saturday evening, I explained that I am currently reading The Thumpin', Naftali Bendavid's account of the 2006 mid-term election in which Democrats reclaimed the majority they'd lost in 1994. I'm a fast reader.

The facts of that election are at odds with the explanations offered by those Republicans who say that the fundamental problem currently facing the GOP is that the party is "too far right," that it is too beholden to the Religious Right, or that the party has suffered for the "mean-spirited" rhetoric of Rush Limbaugh, Ann Coulter, etc.

These analyses conflict with the facts of what happened in 2006. The public expression of these mistaken analyses by soi-dissant "conservatives" or self-identified Republicans are therefore not merely useless for the immediate task of the GOP -- regaining seats in the 2010 mid-term election -- but are in fact harmful to the efforts of those who are laboring toward that task.

Whatever the relevance of intramural ideological disputes (or concern about the tone and content of the GOP "message") to the current situation, henceforth propagation of false understanding by Republican commentators must be identified and denounced as nothing but what it is: Aid and comfort to the Democrats in the electoral showdown that is now less than 18 months away.

Many of the readers and commenters at The Other McCain are also bloggers, and therefore I ask that they join me in enforcing this policy. The 11th Commandment was never intended to be a shield behind which cowardly fools could hide in safety, merely because they had an "R" beside their names or declare that they are loyal Republicans.

Defeatist rhetoric and mistaken analyses offered by "Republicans," tending to impugn, demoralize and confuse the conservative grassroots, can only be considered as objectively pro-Democrat. Such incorrect understandings of the political situation cannot be ignored, but must be actively repudiated. Idiots have the right to free speech, and we have the right to call them idiots.


  1. I'm a Conservative, not a Republican. The Republicans, may still yet, be the only vehicle we can use to drive home Conservative Values. The "Republican Leadership" is doing its level best to resist our efforts. Too much resistance and we'll have to bypass the "Leadership" entirely. Take heed: Lead, follow, or JUST GET THE HELL OUT OF OUR WAY!

  2. After failing to keep the White House after running one of the least loyal republican's for President, one would think the path to political power would be less McCain and more Reagan. McCain was the maverick, the guy on the right who could think beyond politics and see things like a lefty. Most of the time he was thinking “for” himself, he actually was mostly thinking “of” himself. That he couldn't see how he was being used by the left to undermine his own party speaks to a certain political blindness on his part, never better illustrated than by his rush to Washington to fix the banking collapse that Washington itself was responsible for. He was played like a Stradivarius on that one, and more is in store.

    Next time we are up to bat, let's be sure we send up a guy from our team. The NYT never saw such a well thought, principled Republican, until he actually had the nomination in hand and was making his run for the presidency. I don’t think we need to lend our ear to their advice any longer. To move forward, the party should distinguish itself from the social quagmire of Obamania, and embrace conservativism.

    The right move is a move to the right.

  3. I could not agree more. Why the Republican leadership is afraid of being Conservative escapes me, it always has. The "elites", I think have been educated beyond their hat sizes.

  4. Don't neglect to include Liberal Fascism in the reading list.
    It's also important to realize that, if anything, Reagan didn't go far enough in the effort to emancipate American citizens from crappy federal entitlement programs.
    The three main arguments we need to repeat are Constitution, Constitution, and Constitution.

  5. Remember, Reagan's 11th Commandment only covered people who disagreed with you 20 percent of the time.

    Not 40, 50, or 70 percent. Those folks? Have at 'em.

  6. The fact is that Ronald Reagan, once he was president, NEVER got involved in primaries like the NRSC is doing in Florida. Mr. Reagan understood that the debate had to be and whoever won got his wholehearted support. A lot of people do not realize that what is meant by the 11th commandment works BOTH ways. All these squishes saying we conservatives need to tone it down. Be inclusive. Hey, I want more people. But, those people ought to at the very least stand for limited government. And, I stand for the conservative principles of the Republican party. Moderates, man up and stand for SOMETHING besides, well moderation!

  7. It would serve true conservatives better to seek ways to divide the Left than to unify the Right.

    It's unfortunately easier to sow discord among a group of folks who have lost their self-identifying touchstones as the has so artfully proven.

    Dick Cheney is leading the way in divorcing the Left from their ideological fantasies. The results are immediate and effective. We ignore this tactic at our peril.

  8. Does this mean RS McCain is joining the GOP?

  9. The conservative program started to unravel after the '95 budget showdown. Who killed conservatism? Bill Clinton. He punked Gingrich (and the rest of us) but good.

    In general the conservative program was very successful, except for maybe the most important thing of all, controlling the size of government. There are those of old enough to remember when crime was rampant, terrifying, and liberals were for it. To remember when the Soviet Union was regarded by liberals as a completely legitimate sponsor and model of development for most of the planet.

    Conservatives succeeded with crime and Communism and became irrelevant. Liberals pick issues which the goverment can never solve and so can every election demand to be put in charge and allowed to spend money to solve them.

  10. Soi-dissant -- French for so-called--I'm impressed! :) Your article made me think of the squishy Tom Ridge and how I will never again feel anything for him but mild disgust for putting down Rush.

    I wasn't pleased with a couple of conservative blogggers either, who squealed like liberal-programed automatons over the RNC's "Pelosi-Galore" video ad.

    As Jeff at Protein Wisdom so aptly said, we need to stop inserting ourselves within the parameters devised for us by our ideological enemies.

    The ad was very mild in its satire and factually on-point.

    Before we can win again, we need to rid ourselves of these wimps and faint hearts and get down to some bare-knuckle jaw breaking and ass kicking.

  11. RS,

    I've been marking in my Blog about how to fight back. As a former NYC gang kid (small group, fought with others to save real estate for a crew who backed us), the best way to fight the Dems, is as they have done for the last 8 years: Dirty and Everywhere.

    The Country Club Republicans and the Moderates are afraid to fight, I say, for every scurrilious attack on President Bush, we hit back 10X as hard. (The Isreali metaphor)

    We hit the MSM too -- they are their allies. The MSM is our Gallipoli. Fight, Fight Hard, and fight dirty.

    Play nice when Democrats learn to stop making our people into Emmanuel Goldstein's (Bush, Rush, palin, etc. et al.).

    No quarter asked, none given. Read more in future "Republican Encyclicals," on my Blog.

  12. The Democrats won in 2006 for two reasons. First, the GOP had acted like Democrats with increased spending in an attempt to buy votes. And second, the lapdog media went "all Mark Foley, all the time" for the election season. As a result the public believed, all evidence to the contrary, in Nancy Pelosi's culture of corruption.
    In 2008, there were three reasons. The lapdog media spent the entire year tripping over their tongues, panting after Obama. Secondly, the Bush/Congressional GOP again spent like drunken sailors. And third, Republicans nominated the weakest possible candidate for President, a man whose only virtue was "electability.
    If we have no message, we will lose. The Democrats do vote buying better and will cheerfully raise the bar every time we try it. They get a billion dollars in free support from the lapdogs and have no problem with any form of cheating. This isn't a fair fight.
    I have no intention of being nice, or even fair, to Democrats and other liberals. We have treated elections as debates. They treat them as wars. I intend to repay.

    Just remember, honest Democrat is a contradiction in terms.

  13. You can't win if you don't fight and Ridge, Powell and the rest don't have the stomach for a fight. I am so tired of their whimpering. They are like a bunch of little school girls, hands on hips, stomping their foot and blathering about people being mean to them. Plainly put, they need to grow a set. The Dems haven't kicked our asses by playing nice. If the goal of the NRSC and RNC is to win they need to drop the "nice" facade and fight.

  14. You could not have made a better effort to reach across the isle and work with the opposite party than GWB, and he was mercilessly portrayed as a buffoon, with the well reasoned and sensible Dick Cheney portrayed as a power crazed, angry oil man. McCain was a gutty, principled patriot as long as he was undercutting his party. Once his hat was in the ring he was an angry, unbalanced powder keg. The left and their allies in the MSM will always portray their enemies as unbalanced, angry dolts (see Ralph Nadar for the classic fall from grace).

    Hoping we will be portrayed as nice? How pathetic. JSF is on the money. There is a nice piece on this topic over at the Hyacinth Girl

    She qualifies as a Rule #5 entry as well, so its worth a look.

    We have to project confidence and moral strength. The problem on the left is that they constantly run the risk of being discovered as being a bag of baloney. Let’s load them all up with Dan Rather and help them down the road to irrelevance.

    Being seen as worthy of the nation’s trust? That’s the other guy’s problem.

  15. Amen brother! I had already come to that conclusion and was acting on it both on my eponymous blog and at RedState.