VICTORY.jpg

What is Winning?

MrFancyPants got me to thinking.  (Boy, there’s a sentence I never thought I’d write.)

In “Not another Mike Murphy post…” he says:

When people like Mr. Murphy talk about winning elections, we actually agree with him- we just don’t think winning on any term is a real victory. Because if we just win, but don’t move the pendulum back towards sanity, we haven’t won anything at al…

  1. Crow

    Beasley,

    This argument intrigues me, and with your permission I reformulate it as follows (correct me if I am mistaken): It is better to go down in defeat in the Presidential race so long as we stand on principle, raise the issues we care about, and use the publicity to sure up our Congressional and Gubernatorial races.

    Because, if that is your argument, here is my challenge to it: I think we stand a very very serious chance of taking back the Senate and a number of state houses (Governorships also) regardless of who our nominee is.

    Those candidates on the local level who win these races are more likely to be of the caliber of the sorts who won like races in 2010–those like, say, Col. West.

    in which case, my challenge is this: Is this strident Congress could hold a Democratic President in line, why do you suppose they could not hold a more moderate Republican in line? Why sacrifice the Executive branch if we can elect a moderate, and then use the Congress for leverage against one of our own a la Boehner?

  2. MrFancyPants

    And don’t forget that the President gets to appoint the heads of numerous Federal agencies and Supreme Court justices. President Obama has shown that he is more than willing to contravene the legislative branch through the bureaucracy and judiciary. The man has to go in 2012. 

    EDIT: This doesn’t mean winning at any cost, as my recent post states plainly. But the stakes are extremely high. 

  3. Basil Fawlty

    I’m not sure what winning is, but we sure have a recent example of how to lose.  Unless I miss my guess, the potent issue of the Democrat-created pathologies present in the black community has now been effectively taken off the table and rendered toxic for this election cycle as a result of the orgy of hand-wringing over the Bachmann “gaffe.”  Rather than take the issue and debate it, we’ve engaged in unilateral disarmament, allowing the left to suppress the issue once again.  Our goal appears limited to holding down black voter participation by saying nothing that might irritate some black voters. Perhaps that’s a good tactic, but it’s lousy strategy.   

  4. Sisyphus

    Full employment.

  5. Jerry Broaddus

    What is winning?

    A washed up RINO was once heard to say: ”To crush your enemies — See them driven before you, and to hear the lamentation of their women!”

    That will do for now.

    Oh, sorry. He was speaking on what is best in life.

    Same answer: Winning.

  6. Palaeologus

    Victory?

    For me victory is simple: rip out Obamacare by the roots.

    It would be a minor victory, but it would stave off a massive defeat.

    We’ve no chance if Barry keeps his seat and his veto. Once that garbage is entrenched… good luck getting a plurality to kill it.

  7. Franco

    If anyone but a conservative wins this time, I’m going to the mattresses. The GOP as we know it will be finished as a party. Not hard to predict there will be a real third party if either Obama wins or some statist Republican wins.

  8. AmishDude

    I just wanted to mention one thing that spurred my brain after listening to Murphy’s appearance and, particularly, his insistence that the GOP support some complicated thing that is amnesty in all but name.

    He seems to be under the impression that this will cause some sort of stampede of Hispanics to the Republicans.

    First, it will not.  The GOP never got credit for civil rights acts in the 60s.  If a group of people put their faith or their hope in government, they will always go with the government party.  If they want a disregarding of the law, they will never support the law-and-order party. There is a certain role that the center-right party plays and that will never change.  It certainly won’t with small policy prescriptions. 

    Second, it’s a little too cynically Machiavellian to think you can manipulate people that way.

    Third, I’m not so sure that Hispanic citizens are all that pro-amnesty, they’re just anti-anti-amnesty, but that has to do with the specific issue and not the larger point above.

  9. Michael Patrick Tracy

    My one non-negotiable requirement for the candidate that I ultimately support and vote for is that he or she have a strong right foot (no pun) to apply the brakes. That’s it. A passing familiarity with Federalism is a definite plus.

  10. Michael Patrick Tracy

    Ron Paul was such a “pure” candidate that he urged his supporters to get behind Nader and McKinney.

    How do I say <bleep> that noise, on Ricochet?

  11. Raxxalan

    I have said this before and will again.&nbsp; Winning is advancing center right and limited government policies.&nbsp; That is the strategic goal that I fear we loose sight of when we embrace the tactical goal of winning elections.&nbsp; I don’t disagree with Mr. Murphy or Crow’s Nest that winning elections is good and necessary.&nbsp;&nbsp; I think though when we nominate a “managerial republican” to use Dr. Rahe’s terms we move away from the strategic goal.&nbsp;&nbsp; Additionally,&nbsp; I am not sure I buy Mr. Murphy’s analysis.&nbsp; We have nominated RINO’s and establishment types in 76, 92, 96, 08 and lost.&nbsp; We won with a conservative message in 80, 88, and 00.&nbsp; What part of this am I missing?

  12. Western Chauvinist
    MrFancyPants: And don’t forget that the President gets to appoint the heads of numerous Federal agencies and Supreme Court justices. President Obama has shown that he is more than willing to contravene the legislative branch through the&nbsp;bureaucracy&nbsp;and judiciary. The man has to go in 2012.&nbsp;

    EDIT: This doesn’t mean winning at any cost, as my recent post states plainly. But the stakes are extremely high.&nbsp; · Jul 11 at 1:27pm

    Edited on Jul 11 at 01:37 pm

    I agree with Mr. FancyPants, which isn’t to say I’m thinking about him, per se.

    This administration is ruthless and lawless, a term first used in public by George Will, who is hardly a right-wing bomb thrower. &nbsp;They’ll use the Chicago Way by working around any obstacles, like the Constitution and the law, while Republicans keep playing by the rules. &nbsp;Winning control of Congress won’t be enough. &nbsp;We need these street thug leftists out, OUT, of the People’s House.

    Winning is having any Republican who 1) loves his country and 2) doesn’t have contempt for its people. &nbsp;A president who happens to be a limited-government free-market conservative is icing.

  13. Casey

    Is it fair to say we all agree that real victory equates to A) Stopping&nbsp;the runaway train with election night victories and B) Throwing that train in reverse after election night?

    If you accept that definition, How far back do we need to push the train?

  14. Larry Koler
    Basil Fawlty: I’m not sure what winning is, but we sure have a recent example of how to lose.&nbsp; Unless I miss my guess, the potent issue of the Democrat-created pathologies present in the black community has now been effectively taken off the table and rendered toxic for this election cycle as a result of the orgy of hand-wringing over the Bachmann “gaffe.”&nbsp; Rather than take the issue and debate it, we’ve engaged in unilateral disarmament, allowing the left to suppress the issue once again.&nbsp; Our goal appears limited to holding down black voter participation by saying nothing that might irritate some black voters. Perhaps that’s a good tactic, but it’s lousy strategy.

    Too right. And the interesting thing is that the left hadn’t even really weighed in yet. This was all done in an anticipatory way. Our side often sees things in leftist terms and responds accordingly — rather than fight them. We are so very traumatized that we are weaklings with no grit.&nbsp;But, I have to admit, it is like going into a buzz-saw.

    Coulter, Horowitz and Breitbart are treated badly by the Republican and conservative elites in anticipatory fashion.

  15. Western Chauvinist

    Ahhh! &nbsp;I agree with all of you!

    We need a real conservative president to push hard to the right.

    We’re at a moment in history where losing the election means losing the character of the country.

    As always, it’s the culture that really matters and presidents have very little ability to affect the culture.&nbsp;

    Any loss or compromise is likely to produce a real third party, which will cost us time we don’t really have.

    Nothing, including Democrats acting like Democrats, has done more damage to the country than Republicans acting like Democrats.

    Our current crop of candidates are either weak, uninspiring, un-electable, Democrat-lite, or fatally flawed.

    Eject! Eject! Eject! &nbsp;– Bill Whittle

  16. The King Prawn

    I don’t think we necessarily need to sacrifice the federal executive in order to make greater gains in the house and the senate (and state executives). However, I do dread what will happen if we repeat the Bush administration/republican majorities. The unprincipled dotards in the middle who decide all elections reacted very poorly to ’00-’08 and elected the socialist-in-chief. We cannot ever consider it a win if that is the eventual outcome of holding all the elected branches. The problem was not caused by electing republicans; rather, the problem was caused by electing those who had no conservative convictions. I suppose the only conclusion I can draw is that winning equates to electing as many principled, conservative, limited government types as possible. We’ve slowed the march to collapse by turning the house. Perhaps the house and senate will be enough to stop it. Turning it will take all three, but last time we had all three it worked against conservatism rather than for it.

  17. Beasley
    Crow’s Nest: i(f) this strident Congress could hold a Democratic President in line, why do you suppose they could not hold a more moderate Republican in line? Why sacrifice the Executive branch if we can elect a moderate, and then use the Congress for leverage against one of our own a la Boehner? · Jul 11 at 1:22pm

    Three words: George Walker Bush.&nbsp;

    If we elect another squishy republican (maybe someone whose name&nbsp;rhymes with “Shmonie”) then not 15 min. after people stop worrying about how they’re going to pay their bills, and we’ll have the same kind of spending for appeasement, kick-the-can-down-the-road, populism.

    I will absolutely grant, that these guys have shown some fight. But I’d still rather be fighting for the insurgency than apologizing for a guy who further cheapens conservatism. I won’t be dramatic and say that anything but Reagan re-incarnate is giving up. I know Supreme Court Justices/Obama-care/entitlement programs are near impossible to reverse. But we are there. Our path is unsustainable. Michael Patrick Tracy mentioned a strong braking foot, but I’m holding out for someone who can find reverse.

  18. DocJay

    Winning involves electing anyone that takes us further away from this Ayn Randian nightmare I somehow became conscious of earlier this decade.

    I feel fairly convinced that more Gubernatorial, House and Senate seats will be conservative after the next election.&nbsp; The real questions are 1)is defeating Obama a win?…yes no matter what. 2)is any conservative a win….yes but only short term without a real conservative.

    I would unfortunately conclude that any R that does not directly attack the machinery of crony capitalism is just a better brakeman.&nbsp; The Bastiat scenario of socialism where everyone is plundering everyone has come true and while it is obvious to many that a herculean effort is needed now on all entitlement spending it is also patently obvious that the richest and shrewdest have hijacked the government through lobbyists to the point where winners and losers cannot be determined without the connected ones.&nbsp; This in my belief is where GW Bush fell short and Mr Obama has embraced this folly and all its accoutrements with Chicago style moxie and a touch of Lenin.

  19. Larry Koler

    Winning is the Presidency itself. Under any circumstances. Even McCain is better than Obama. It’s an easy calculation to make — the Constitution gives the Presidency the powers that we most need. And we have invested it with so many extra-constitutional de-facto powers that it’s more than half the government.

    Only Newt in this century has been able to match the Speaker’s power with the President’s. Not completely but he came the closest — because he had a mandate.

    This is why electability is so important. But, I think electability is a very elastic quantity. It is very hard to compute. I don’t buy Murphy’s calculations this far out from the election.&nbsp;

    Just look at the effect that the Contract With America had. No one predicted that it would be as wildly successful as it was. I can’t count the number of conservative friends and acquaintances that I talked to in the elections after 1994 who wondered why it couldn’t work either every time or at least periodically. Maybe it should only be used in midterms. I don’t know, but electability is not beyond the reach of any mature candidate.

  20. Jaydee_007
    Larry Koler: I understand what you are saying but the left has us on the ropes — let’s face it. They win when they shouldn’t. We are in the majority and still we get knocked down time and again.

    Every major thing that the left in this country wants — except the Cold War where they eventually just withdrew from the field — they get.&nbsp;

    Can you name me one thing on your list that passed without the support of a Betrayer RINO Republican?

    Abortion on Demand?&nbsp; Harry Blackmun was a Nixon Appointee who was portrayed as three steps to the right of Atilla the Hun.

    The point is this thread describes the very problem in all of what you have just said.&nbsp; As long as an Olympia Snowe will come out in the face of 70 percent public opposition and say “When History calls, History calls,” just to look good for the media we aren’t winning.

    Every time a Ruth Ginsberg glides through the Senate because Republicans are too busy preening themselves rather than tending to the job they were sent there to do, we aren’t winning.

    Betrayers have provided cover for Democrats in all of the above.

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