Monday, December 7, 2009

Tea Party more popular than Republicans?

From Rasmussen Reports:
Running under the Tea Party brand may be better in congressional races than being a Republican.
In a three-way Generic Ballot test, the latest Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds Democrats attracting 36% of the vote. The Tea Party candidate picks up 23%, and Republicans finish third at 18%. Another 22% are undecided. . . .
Read the rest. I think what we're seeing here is a good measure of the "brand damage" problem for the GOP, a legacy of the Bush era. This does not mean that an actual third-party movement would be a viable option for disaffected conservatives. It merely points out how important it is that the Republican Party take seriously the limited-government sensibilities of the Tea Party movement.

On an unrelated note, a friend has asked me to address his concerns raised by Dennis Wheeler's collection, "The Great Southern League Race Debate."

Wheeler was -- and, so far as I know, still is -- a white separatist or white nationalist, call it what you will. In the 1996 e-mail list-server messages he collected, you will see that I argue against Wheeler's insistence that the Southern League (which subsequently became the League of the South) should adopt his own racial views. Others on my side in that debate included George Kalas and Gary Waltrip.

Wheeler's arguments did not prevail; he left the list-server and subsequently posted lengthy excerpts of the colloquy on his own site, without permission of the participants. Wheeler obviously believes himself correct, and considers the 1996 debate a vindication of his own views. It's a free country, and I can't tell him what to think.

However, by republishing the debate, Wheeler has furnished materials for me to be once again acccused of being a "white supremacist" -- and materials to disprove the accusation. Later today, I will publish a more thorough discussion of this, which will take time to write. I felt it incumbent to append this brief note, just to let my friends know that I am now aware of Patterico's post yesterday, having been informed this morning by a commenter.

P.S.: Remember to hit the tip jar to fund my trip next month to Pasadena to cover Alabama vs. Texas in the BCS championship game.

UPDATE: Fear and Loathing at Patterico.


  1. Well Patterico and his readers declared your comment racist. Oh well. Look at it this way, at least he did not say you issued a death threat.

  2. Don't you think this, in many ways, confirms the analysis of those who have noticed the Civil War in the Republican Party.

    There's so many insane maniacs in the Republican Party, that they have started to go so far as supporting socialism, by voting for a third-party candidate instead of electing a small government, anti-socialist candidate.

  3. The fact that Bush and Rove moved the GOP to the far left would be bad on its own. But they lie to us and say that their Nanny State laws are "conservative" shows how dumb they think we all are. It makes me "mad as Hell..." I have no trouble understanding how the GOP has been crushed the last 2 elections nor how it would come in a weak third in an opinion poll. The collectivists still lead the GOP and still lie about being conservative. GOP still disrespects the people who mad the party a winner!

    Rod Stanton

  4. I would like to point out that what Mr. Wheeler referred to as the "Great Southern League Debate" was neither great nor a real debate. It was a flame war confined to a few rank and file members, and was mostly between George Kalas and Dennis Wheeler (who is now deceased).

    Dr. Hill and Dr. Fleming did not debate the nature and purpose of the Southern League (now the League of the South), but only interceded to put a stop to the bickering on the League list server. No members of the Board of Directors took part in it. If you follow this narrative to its boring end, you'll see that not only was Wheeler's position of excluding minorities rejected, he was kicked out of the League.

    The League's official position on race and racism is spelled out
    here. As always, we welcome anyone who supports our mission of Southern independence. Murray Rothbard, the great economist, who was Jewish, was a charter member.

    Those who're interested in an organization that excludes on the basis of race rather than values should look into the Congressional Black Caucus.

  5. I read the whole excerpt that Patterico published. I did not read your comment as racism. I read it as n acknowedgement of inherent segregational impulses in mankind that are more instinctive than racism. For example, the conflicting pressures of modern American society vs the "old world" is a common element of literature on recent immigrants. A second-generation Asian-American is very likely to be under a certain amount of familial pressure to marry another Asian. Many small religious sects prefer their members to marry other members of the sect. They reason that if members marry outside the tradition, the culture and tradition of the group will be watered down. This is not to say it is wrong to marry outside the group in a basic moral sense, only that the first instinct of man is to embrace those who are like you and distance yourself from those who aren't. This does not seem to me a very controversial observation. I do not think that 'xenophobia' necessarily equals 'racism' because xenophobia can include instinctive aversion to others of the same race. Think Catholic v. Protestant, more in the Boomer generation than GenX. I do think we should combat our instinctive xenophobic impulses because a) our culture has decided xenophobia is amoral, and b) modern society has less need of such tribalism, since we can propagate culture by, you know, YouTube and stuff.

    Honestly, I think your critics are mistaking the word "natural" to mean that you approve of such reactions as opposed to describing our instinctive responses. It does us no favors and provides us no insight to ignore or suppress our instincts because they embarrass us. We should instead examine them closely in order to see how they affect our thinking and make conscious corrections where needed. But this is merely my own impression. I look forward to your in-depth explanation.

  6. Patterico and his commenters seem to base their judgement almost entirely on the meaning of the word, "natural," seeing it as a positive value judgement of "revulsion."

    While the Left invariably assigns a positive connotation to this word, I think it's unreasonable to believe that RSM does so, especially as a professional writer.

    A dog's breakfast is "natural," though certainly unappealing.

    I read the quote as referring to the inborn ("natural") survival trait that provokes an aversion to mutation and hybridization. Most mutations are fatal; most hybrids are less successful than either of their parents' stock. While mutation and hybridization are necessary for evolution to occur, our genes are about propagation, not experimentation, and tens of thousands of years of terrors out of the dark can easily overwhelm the civilized veneer of most people.

  7. Bluto said...
    I read the quote as referring to the inborn ("natural") survival trait that provokes an aversion to mutation and hybridization.

    There's no need to go into anything "scientific" here, Bluto, since I certainly wasn't trying to get into a conversation with Wheeler (or anyone else) about genetics or heredity. I have already begun to extend this discussion, and haven't yet gotten to this part of it. Here, however, I can briefly say that I understand man to be a tribal creature by nature, prone to appeals of group interest.

    While we today may identify ourselves by such labels as Republican or Democrat, Catholic or Protestant, Redskins fans or Cowboy fans, the underlying impulse is tribalism, and it is rooted in a basic sense of affinity that Edmund Burke addressed in his famous discourse about "little platoons." We ought to be able to discuss such things without risking the accusation of endorsing or advocating some particular opinion. But the gap between the "is" and the "ought" is as real as the gap between the reality and the perception. I am certainly no more racist than Charles Johnson, and perhaps a good deal less. Yet CJ evidently decided to advertise his moral superiority by making himself the Caped Crusader Against Racism, beginning with Pamela Geller, and you see what a fool he's made of himself in the process.

    Thank God for foolish enemies and wise friends.