Republicans: The Virtue of Realism

 

As I sat down to type my nth comment defending the Republican Party against claims that it is useless, has accomplished nothing, and needs to be abandoned, I decided to write a post about it instead.

If the Republican Party were a monarchy, it could announce its intentions and its loyal subjects would fall in line and march as ordered. As king, the Republican Party could use its fiat power to declare that the things it claims to support and believe in — American exceptionalism, limited government, free markets, a strong military, and the Constitution — were sacrosanct; the Party’s subjects would dutifully vote for the Party and elect its candidates.

But that isn’t how political parties work. They may lead a little, but mostly they seek to attract voters who are generally sympathetic to the party’s positions. The party doesn’t tell the people what to want, but rather tries to convince the people that the party is the best vehicle through which the people can move their own agendas forward.

We have two viable political parties. One, the Republican Party, espouses those ideas mentioned above, of limited government and traditional order; the other has a far more expansive view of the role of government, and places little value on tradition. One, the Republican Party, is dominated by a large center-right contingent that is rarely sufficiently ideological to please its more right-leaning members; the other is increasingly dominated by a hard-left radical fringe that more and more alienates its larger center-left membership.

There is no practical alternative to one of those two parties, nor will one arise in the near future. It’s important that conservatives understand this: There is no path to a successful conservative alternative to the Republican Party that does not pass through huge and sustained Democrat victories at the national level.

This is true because we live in a strongly left-leaning media space, one that reaches most Americans on a daily basis through mainstream media and social networks almost all of which are relentlessly and increasingly dishonest and biased. Any attempt to create a conservative alternative to the Republican Party would be met with glee on the left, which would correctly recognize an opportunity to confuse, mislead, and divide the conservative electorate and prevent either conservative party from achieving a viable majority. This should be obvious to anyone who gives it even a moment’s thought.

The parties exist to get their candidates elected. They attempt to do this by attracting members and supporters who agree more with their positions than with the other party’s positions. Since most Americans are neither far-right nor far-left, each party has to try to appeal to a substantial portion of the electorate closer to the middle of the political bell curve. That means that neither party can be “purist,” in the sense of taking a strong ideological stand that is at odds with a large majority of the electorate.

Conservatives have an advantage at the moment in that the Democratic Party is increasingly being directed by hard-left extremists, and it has become difficult for even a complicit mainstream media to hide that. Now is a good time for the Republican Party to reach out to an electorate increasingly disenchanted by the left’s excesses. The greater the electoral advantage the Republican Party has, the more it can safely put forward candidates who represent the Party’s more conservative positions. We should be working to increase participation in the Republican Party by pointing out what the Party represents and how that contrasts with the progressive left’s agenda. This should be a moment to build up the Republican Party, not tear it down.

If the Republican Party has not been conservative enough for my tastes, I think that has more to do with the electorate than with the Party. The Party has to strike a balance between ideology and relevance: it has to get its candidates elected, and that means competing in the large center of America’s political space. Our goal should be to increase the Party’s electoral margins, so that it can put forth conservative candidates who can be confident of broad support, and so that we can afford to choose candidates a little further to the right without fear of losing critical moderate votes.

There is no ultimate victory here. The battle between conservatism and radicalism never ends. America will never be as conservative a nation as I want her to be. The Republican Party will never be as conservative as I am — not in my lifetime, anyway, not while remaining politically viable.

But the Republican Party is the only political platform that can successfully oppose the left. Criticize it sensibly. Encourage it to embrace the best of the Trump experience and to welcome those who saw in him something missing in American politics. Push the party to live up to its own stated vision. But don’t abandon it or run it into the ground. We are seeing right now what the alternative looks like.

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  1. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    The Democrats can cheat , so can the GOP.

    The Democrats ended debate on Obama-care with 60 votes on December 23, 2009.  

    The GOP has not had more than 55 US Senate seats in more than the last 60 years.  

    Maybe a future US Senate will reduce the cloture requirement for legislation to 50 votes as has been done with judicial nominations and executive nominations.  Until that time it is going to almost impossible to get conservative legislation passed out of the US Senate.  

    • #91
  2. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    They win and win and win. Name me one thing the GOP had rolled back. One. 

    They’ve slowed down some real problems. I’m not sure of anything they’ve rolled back.

    • #92
  3. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Name one thing the GOP had rolled back.  One.

    Nothing that I can think of.  

    That’s because

    [a] there is a 60 vote requirement to end debate on legislation in the US Senate

    [b] the GOP has not had more than 55 US Senators in any Congress in the past over 60 years 

    [c] at this point neither party seems willing to reduce the 60 vote cloture requirement for legislation to 50, as has been done on budget reconciliation and executive nominations and judicial nominations.  

    So, the GOP enacts tax cuts and confirms judicial nominees and not much else.  

    • #93
  4. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    Nope.

    The Democrats can cheat, so can the GOP.

    The GOP is not seriy about winning. The Democrats are.

    They win and win and win. Name me one thing the GOP had rolled back. One.

    They rolled Trump back.  Good work, GOP.  We gave you everything you said you needed, and you went to war against us.

    Please avert your eyes, HenryR:

    Their victories are not our victories — their defeats are not our defeats.  A dishonest enemy is less dangerous than a dishonest ally.  Rewarding the socialist-lite cocktail party circuit has been debated for ten years now, and those of use who held our noses and stayed the course have finally accepted the reality of Republican virtue.

    There’s a special place in political Hell for Paul Ryan.

    • #94
  5. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    The Democrats can cheat , so can the GOP.

    The Democrats ended debate on Obama-care with 60 votes on December 23, 2009.

    The GOP has not had more than 55 US Senate seats in more than the last 60 years.

    Maybe a future US Senate will reduce the cloture requirement for legislation to 50 votes as has been done with judicial nominations and executive nominations. Until that time it is going to almost impossible to get conservative legislation passed out of the US Senate.

    They used reconciliation in a gutted bill to pass it that is fact.

    You cannot gaslight me.

     

    • #95
  6. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):
    They win and win and win. Name me one thing the GOP had rolled back. One.

    They’ve slowed down some real problems. I’m not sure of anything they’ve rolled back.

    Nothing losers.

    They cannot win crap. Facts. 

    • #96
  7. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    BDB (View Comment):
    There’s a special place in political Hell for Paul Ryan.

    I still miss him on the debt.

    • #97
  8. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    The Democrats can cheat , so can the GOP.

    The Democrats ended debate on Obama-care with 60 votes on December 23, 2009.

    The GOP has not had more than 55 US Senate seats in more than the last 60 years.

    Maybe a future US Senate will reduce the cloture requirement for legislation to 50 votes as has been done with judicial nominations and executive nominations. Until that time it is going to almost impossible to get conservative legislation passed out of the US Senate.

    They used reconciliation in a gutted bill to pass it that is fact.

    You cannot gaslight me.

    If you are thinking about Obama-care, I just finished telling you that on December 23, 2009, the US Senate ended debate on a 60 to 39 vote on Obama-care.  

    That’s why Obama-care was able to contain not only budgetary items like taxes and spending, but also regulatory items.  

    You cannot gaslight me.  

     

    • #98
  9. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    The Democrats can cheat , so can the GOP.

    The Democrats ended debate on Obama-care with 60 votes on December 23, 2009.

    The GOP has not had more than 55 US Senate seats in more than the last 60 years.

    Maybe a future US Senate will reduce the cloture requirement for legislation to 50 votes as has been done with judicial nominations and executive nominations. Until that time it is going to almost impossible to get conservative legislation passed out of the US Senate.

    They used reconciliation in a gutted bill to pass it that is fact.

    You cannot gaslight me.

    If you are thinking about Obama-care, I just finished telling you that on December 23, 2009, the US Senate ended debate on a 60 to 39 vote on Obama-care.

    That’s why Obama-care was able to contain not only budgetary items like taxes and spending, but also regulatory items.

    You cannot gaslight me.

     

    Uh huh.

     

    • #99
  10. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):
    There’s a special place in political Hell for Paul Ryan.

    I still miss him on the debt.

    I also think give Paul Ryan credit for getting the 2017 tax cut legislation through the US House.  I give Mitch McConnell credit for getting the GOP US Senate to confirm Federalist Society judicial nominees.  

    We don’t live in a conservative utopia.   We all agree on that.  

    • #100
  11. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    The Democrats can cheat , so can the GOP.

    The Democrats ended debate on Obama-care with 60 votes on December 23, 2009.

    The GOP has not had more than 55 US Senate seats in more than the last 60 years.

    Maybe a future US Senate will reduce the cloture requirement for legislation to 50 votes as has been done with judicial nominations and executive nominations. Until that time it is going to almost impossible to get conservative legislation passed out of the US Senate.

    They used reconciliation in a gutted bill to pass it that is fact.

    You cannot gaslight me.

    If you are thinking about Obama-care, I just finished telling you that on December 23, 2009, the US Senate ended debate on a 60 to 39 vote on Obama-care.

    That’s why Obama-care was able to contain not only budgetary items like taxes and spending, but also regulatory items.

    You cannot gaslight me.

    Uh huh.

    Read this link and weep.

    U.S. Senate: U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 111th Congress – 1st Session

    https://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=111&session=1&vote=00395

    • #101
  12. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):
    There’s a special place in political Hell for Paul Ryan.

    I still miss him on the debt.

    “2008 spending levels”.  Pffft.

    • #102
  13. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):
    There’s a special place in political Hell for Paul Ryan.

    I still miss him on the debt.

    I also think give Paul Ryan credit for getting the 2017 tax cut legislation through the US House.

    Big flipping deal.  You mean that he *somehow* managed to get a bill passed while his party had a majority?  Whoa, Nellie!  Paul flipping Ryan won’t get on board with the Republican President he didn’t like — don’t expect the Trump supporters to support this panty-waist party.

    We’ve had it up to here with the Bill Kristols, Mona Charens, Rick Wilsons, and their arguments, their candidates, friends, families, and the flipping horses they rode in on.

    There’s no such thing as the ineffable.

    • #103
  14. Bryan G. Stephens Thatcher
    Bryan G. Stephens
    @BryanGStephens

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Bryan G. Stephens (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    The Democrats can cheat , so can the GOP.

    The Democrats ended debate on Obama-care with 60 votes on December 23, 2009.

    The GOP has not had more than 55 US Senate seats in more than the last 60 years.

    Maybe a future US Senate will reduce the cloture requirement for legislation to 50 votes as has been done with judicial nominations and executive nominations. Until that time it is going to almost impossible to get conservative legislation passed out of the US Senate.

    They used reconciliation in a gutted bill to pass it that is fact.

    You cannot gaslight me.

    If you are thinking about Obama-care, I just finished telling you that on December 23, 2009, the US Senate ended debate on a 60 to 39 vote on Obama-care.

    That’s why Obama-care was able to contain not only budgetary items like taxes and spending, but also regulatory items.

    You cannot gaslight me.

    Uh huh.

    Read this link and weep.

    U.S. Senate: U.S. Senate Roll Call Votes 111th Congress – 1st Session

    https://www.senate.gov/legislative/LIS/roll_call_lists/roll_call_vote_cfm.cfm?congress=111&session=1&vote=00395

    So what?

    Obamacare was put into a reconciliation bill. 

    • #104
  15. Tyrion Lannister Inactive
    Tyrion Lannister
    @TyrionLannister

    Ah these are my favorite kinds of posts, and @henryracette I had been kicking around an idea for this post for a while.  

    I only read the first page so far (there’s a lot of comments!), and I sympathize with a lot of the people who think the Republican Party is worthless, but I agree with you nearly 100% on this post Henry.  

    Friends- there is no alternative to the Republican Party.  The people that make up the party are ideologically opposed to the Democrat Party, and are all going to go somewhere.  You could destroy the Republican Party tomorrow and change it’s leadership.  What happens next?  Literally everyone that was a Republican the day before is now in the new party, since most aren’t going to go to the Democrat Party.  It’s the exact same electorate- the exact same voters who will be voting for the exact same policies and exact same candidates.  Sure, the leadership would be different (temporarily), but whatever party you create that is the alternative to the Republican Party is going to be the Republican Party in fact if not in name.  

    The problem isn’t the leadership of the Republican Party- it’s the electorate.  I would love it if the country was on the far-right like I am.  I’m in a distinct minority in my views though- perhaps only 20% of the country holds them.  We can’t win elections with 20% of the vote.  

    We must have a big enough tent to win at the national level.  That means there will be a lot of disagreement on policy within our own ranks.  That’s fine- I’ve always thought there was room for disagreement.  As Reagan said, someone who agrees with you on 80% of the issues is 80% your ally, not 20% your enemy.  

    The best way forward is to convince more voters that the Republican platform is superior to the Democrat platform.  That also means vilifying the opposition as much as it means giving voters reasons to support your own side.  

    My one concern with the “failures” of the Republican Party is the political ratchet affect.  Policies constantly get passed that grow government, and rarely are we able to undo them.  There is a leftward tilt in policy over the decades.  I don’t know how to counter this.  I don’t think abandoning the Republican coalition makes sense, because as I stated above, that same electorate is going to go somewhere, and it’s going to go to the new party whether you want it to or not.  I mean, you could boot out all the squishy moderates, but then you would probably just lose elections.  I think the only way to overcome the ratchet affect might be a constitutional convention of states that could force through radical conservative policy.  To do that, we need to win a vast majority at that state level- which means supporting the Republican Party.  

    • #105
  16. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Tyrion Lannister (View Comment):
    The problem isn’t the leadership of the Republican Party- it’s the electorate.  I would love it if the country was on the far-right like I am.  I’m in a distinct minority in my views though- perhaps only 20% of the country holds them.  We can’t win elections with 20% of the vote.

    This is a ridiculous non sequitur.  20% my backside.

    The problem is ABSOLUTELY the leadership, which just mutinied against Trump.  I don’t care what your (not you personally, don’t know where you fall) reasons or rationalizations are.  I will not even listen to anybody arguing that what we need to do is just forget that we were sabotaged and then get on board with socialism-lite.  This party has proven not unable but unwilling to get things done.  Twice in recent history we gave the leadership everything they said they needed.  What did we get?  We got screwed.  The party can get bent.

    Where was all this party unity, no options, apocalyptic kumbayah when Trump was President.  You all made this sandwich.  Now eat it.

    You see, there actually IS another option, and that’s to burn this piece of garbage party to the ground.  It’s not as though history began yesterday.  This fight has been going on in the open since 2010.  And you know what?  We get it.  We’re not ignorant — we’re disgusted.  And we’re gone.

    Bring on the war.  I’ll be fine.

    • #106
  17. Tyrion Lannister Inactive
    Tyrion Lannister
    @TyrionLannister

    BDB (View Comment):

    Tyrion Lannister (View Comment):
    The problem isn’t the leadership of the Republican Party- it’s the electorate. I would love it if the country was on the far-right like I am. I’m in a distinct minority in my views though- perhaps only 20% of the country holds them. We can’t win elections with 20% of the vote.

    This is a ridiculous non sequitur. 20% my backside.

    The problem is ABSOLUTELY the leadership, which just mutinied against Trump. I don’t care what your (not you personally, don’t know where you fall) reasons or rationalizations are. I will not even listen to anybody arguing that what we need to do is just forget that we were sabotaged and then get on board with socialism-lite. This party has proven not unable but unwilling to get things done. It can get bent.

    Where was all this party unity, no options, apocalyptic kumbayah when Trump was President. You all made this sandwich. Now eat it.

    You see, there actually IS another option, and that’s to burn this piece of garbage party ot othe ground. It’s not asthough historey began yesterday. This fight has been going on in the open since 2010. And you know what? We get it. We’re not ignorant — we’re disgusted. And we’re gone.

    Bring on the war. I’ll be fine.

    I was very much pro Trump and very much opposed to the impeachment nonsense.  I’m not sure you got my point though.  I think it’s likely that you and I agree on most issues – probably 90% plus.  The problem is that the vast majority of the country doesn’t agree with us.  I don’t know the exact percentages, but I imagine it’s less than 25%.  You may be right in feeling that the R party is worthless and needs to be burned to the ground, but the problem is that there isn’t a viable alternative.  The R party- as imperfect as it is- is the best vehicle to push forward our agenda.

    Again- if you could snap your fingers and destroy the party tomorrow and create new party, what would you do?  Do you purify the party and relegate yourself to getting 20% of the vote every election?  Or do you go for a big tent even though it water’s down your platform?  If you do the latter, everyone who was in the R party is gonna join you again, and it will be the same party just with a different name.

    I’m not happy with being “socialist-lite”, but I don’t see a good alternative.  I view the libertarian vote as a waste.  Vote for the most conservative candidates who can win.  I also pointed out above that the ratchet effect to the left worries me, and I don’t have a solution for it.  I threw out the constitutional convention of states as a Hail-Mary.

    • #107
  18. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    BDB (View Comment):

    Tyrion Lannister (View Comment):
    The problem isn’t the leadership of the Republican Party- it’s the electorate.  I would love it if the country was on the far-right like I am.  I’m in a distinct minority in my views though- perhaps only 20% of the country holds them.  We can’t win elections with 20% of the vote.

    This is a ridiculous non sequitur.  20% my backside.

    So make it 30%. Or 35%.

    Once again, here’s the problem. A bunch of Republicans will not leave the party. I would be very surprised if half of all registered Republicans would go to a new party. The press would happily caricature the new party as “for people who think the Republicans aren’t fascist enough.” They’d say things like that, independents wouldn’t know which of the two conservative parties to support, and the Democrats would win. Again and again.

    Someone give me a plausible scenario that you think would prevent the press from splitting the conservative electorate. Until I see that, I’m going to assume that anyone who wants to abandon or replace the Republican Party is willing to accept multiple cycles of Democratic victories at the national level.

    BDB (View Comment):
    Where was all this party unity, no options, apocalyptic kumbayah when Trump was President.

    I was saying exactly the same thing during the Trump presidency.

    BDB (View Comment):
    Bring on the war.  I’ll be fine.

    That’s nice. But the nation will suffer through years of Democratic monopoly control. So you do you, and I’ll invest my energy in trying to prevent huge and sustained Democratic victories.

    • #108
  19. Tyrion Lannister Inactive
    Tyrion Lannister
    @TyrionLannister

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):

    Tyrion Lannister (View Comment):
    The problem isn’t the leadership of the Republican Party- it’s the electorate. I would love it if the country was on the far-right like I am. I’m in a distinct minority in my views though- perhaps only 20% of the country holds them. We can’t win elections with 20% of the vote.

    This is a ridiculous non sequitur. 20% my backside.

    So make it 30%. Or 35%.

    Once again, here’s the problem. A bunch of Republicans will not leave the party. I would be very surprised if half of all registered Republicans would go to a new party. The press would happily caricature the new party as “for people who think the Republicans aren’t fascist enough.” They’d say things like that, independents wouldn’t know which of the two conservative parties to support, and the Democrats would win. Again and again.

    Someone give me a plausible scenario that you think would prevent the press from splitting the conservative electorate. Until I see that, I’m going to assume that anyone who wants to abandon or replace the Republican Party is willing to accept multiple cycles of Democratic victories at the national level.

    BDB (View Comment):
    Where was all this party unity, no options, apocalyptic kumbayah when Trump was President.

    I was saying exactly the same thing during the Trump presidency.

    BDB (View Comment):
    Bring on the war. I’ll be fine.

    That’s nice. But the nation will suffer through years of Democratic monopoly control. So you do you, and I’ll invest my energy in trying to prevent huge and sustained Democratic victories.

    The enemy is the Democrats (and people who supported Biden, like the Lincoln Project).  Yes there is massive disagreement within our ranks- that disagreement only exists because there isn’t 50% of the country that agrees with us on everything.  We are a minority.  We need to “get out the base” while trying to appeal to the middle as much as possible (or at least making the opposition so toxic that the middle stays away from them even if they don’t come to us).  Sadly most people are not up to the rigors of the Libertarian party, which is why they get less than a percent of the vote every election.  Many libertarians actually vote for the R party because while they support the views of the Libertarian party, they realize the L party has no chance to win.

    The way I see it is we need a core set of beliefs that we are unwilling to negotiate on, and everything outside of that is room for give and take.  That way we can try to slow or stop the ratchet effect and maintain a level of purity, but still are flexible enough to attract moderate voters (and hopefully show moderates that our views are correct).

    • #109
  20. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Henry Racette (View Comment):
    Once again, here’s the problem. A bunch of Republicans will not leave the party. I would be very surprised if half of all registered Republicans would go to a new party. The press would happily caricature the new party as “for people who think the Republicans aren’t fascist enough.” They’d say things like that, independents wouldn’t know which of the two conservative parties to support, and the Democrats would win. Again and again.

    Guess we’ll just eat worms.

    Much of what you say is true.  But positing a worse press situation than now is laughable.  Not that it cannot get worse — just that it’s bad enough now.  The John McCains of the world are our problem, not the Trumps.  And the stolen election is the problem, not the voters.

    Much of your post seems to proceed from linear assumptions.  Every Republican will leave the party when it ceases to exist.  These things happen “slowly at first, and then all at once”.  I respectfully submit that the process has already begun.  I don’t know what will come next, but it will not be a simple clone of the GOP.  It will shrink along some axes and grow along others.  Vote totals in a (nominally) two-party system are reported along a single axis, but the things that matter happen in an n-dimensional space.

    • #110
  21. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):
    Where was all this party unity, no options, apocalyptic kumbayah when Trump was President.

    I was saying exactly the same thing during the Trump presidency.

    I’m not arguing against you directly, and certainly not *about* you.  Neither your words nor mine mattered at all.

    • #111
  22. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Tyrion Lannister (View Comment):
    there isn’t 50% of the country that agrees with us on everything.  We are a minority.

    I do not believe this per se.  Most people live their lives completely invested in whatever the Democrats are against.  And Trump won in 2016.  If he was “the only man who could lose to Clinton”, as we were reliably informed, then My how large our numbers must actually be!

    • #112
  23. GlenEisenhardt Coolidge
    GlenEisenhardt
    @GlenEisenhardt

    Henry Racette: If the Republican Party were a monarchy, it could announce its intentions and its loyal subjects would fall in line and march as ordered.

    The problem is the reverse. The GOP voter is supposed to donate, campaign, canvass, and fall into into line cycle after cycle so the GOP can behave as a monarchy and do what it wants and not what it was elected to do. If the GOP was honest its slogan would be ‘Let them eat cake.’

    Henry Racette: As king, the Republican Party could use its fiat power to declare that the things it claims to support and believe in

    We aren’t asking it to use fiat power. We are asking it to use power it has and has been given time and again by the blood, sweat, and tears of its voters. The GOP was founded in 1854 as an abolitionist party and less than a decade later had actually prosecuted a civil war and abolished slavery. It did what it claimed it was for in very quick fashion. Today it complains about the size of the government and doesn’t cut a penny. Since the New Deal years it has been complaining about the ever increasing government and does nothing about it in reality. If Lincoln’s GOP behaved this way slavery would exist today. To think Lincoln’s GOP in 9 years stood up and actually fought and did what it was founded for and today we make excuses about how it can’t do similar because it is not a monarchy. Well, it wasn’t then either but it abolished slavery as the abolition party. Maybe it should actually conserve something as the conservative party. It isn’t a lot to ask.

    Henry Racette: The parties exist to get their candidates elected.

    Parties exist to enact the will of their constituents. They don’t exist to get candidates elected in contravention of the reasons their constituents are voting for them.

    Henry Racette: The Party has to strike a balance between ideology and relevance: it has to get its candidates elected, and that means competing in the large center of America’s political space.

    Then why do they fall on their sword for tax cuts which a huge majority of the country is against? When it comes to the donors the GOP sure can fight. When it comes to issues their voters care about like the wall, immigration, debt, manufacturing their hands are just tied. They need to stay relevant you see.

    Henry Racette: There is no ultimate victory here.

    There was for slavery. There was for segregation. There was for Nazism. There was for the Soviet Union. To say this is to say the pink haired, gender confused, che guevara t-shirt wearing, weirdo can’t be defeated but these other much more serious  threats could. In my mind it is an admission of how worthless the GOP is.

    • #113
  24. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    GlenEisenhardt (View Comment):
    The GOP was founded in 1854 as an abolitionist party and less than a decade later had actually prosecuted a civil war and abolished slavery. It did what it claimed it was for in very quick fashion.

    Sounds like new purpose-focused parties are effective.

    • #114
  25. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    GlenEisenhardt (View Comment):

    The problem is the reverse. The GOP voter is supposed to donate, campaign, canvass, and fall into into line cycle after cycle so the GOP can behave as a monarchy and do what it wants and not what it was elected to do. If the GOP was honest its slogan would be ‘Let them eat cake.’

    Have I said “Welcome to Ricochet!” yet?

    Welcome to Ricochet!

    • #115
  26. GlenEisenhardt Coolidge
    GlenEisenhardt
    @GlenEisenhardt

    Saint Augustine (View Comment):

    GlenEisenhardt (View Comment):

    The problem is the reverse. The GOP voter is supposed to donate, campaign, canvass, and fall into into line cycle after cycle so the GOP can behave as a monarchy and do what it wants and not what it was elected to do. If the GOP was honest its slogan would be ‘Let them eat cake.’

    Have I said “Welcome to Ricochet!” yet?

    Welcome to Ricochet!

    Thanks!

    • #116
  27. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    HR,

    Great post.

    As we look at the GOP’s track record in upholding the cause of center-right issues, are there any political parties in other countries that have been more successful than the GOP?

    Take the Tories (conservatives) in the United Kingdom or the Conservatives in Canada or similar parties in Germany, Italy, France, Belgium, the Netherlands, Australia.

    How does the GOP measure up to those right of center political parties?

    It’s hard for any political party to not use its power to buy votes.

    • #117
  28. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    I’m with Bryan and BDB in this.  I will say that I agree that Henry is right in that the Republican Party is the only party to vote for and that we should vote, and also that we should talk to as many people as we can to try to persuade people to vote Republican.

    But I will say that I believe that the 2020 election was not right.  And the Time article was just the tip of the iceberg.  Besides me, I know of only one other member who has consistently harped on the importance of election counts really reflecting how real citizens vote, and believing that if any further elections are rigged, then the republic really is over.

    The deep state — as Mike Flynn pointed out in some detail — is not the aggregated entrenched liberal bureaucrats in the executive branch, or federal legislators, or even activist leftist judges, but the authoritatively and functionally higher intelligence organization of the US government, what some call the “fourth branch of government”.  Ultimately, we are not dealing with election laws, or news corporations or information tech corporations (though they play a large part) but those who give the orders to government leaders.  Mail-in ballots are a large part of this.

    Mail-in ballots, and mandatory vaccines even for the immune and the ensuing firing of non-compliant workers, and “green laws” and gas shortages to slow-walk transport of goods, and shutting down pipelines and oil extraction, and paying people to remain unemployed and bursting the budget, and Democrat-approved riots, and timely car explosions and “coincidental” police suicides, are not stupidity, confusion or incompetence but malice.

    We know that the 2020 election was either stolen or it was attempted.  There are anecdotal reports of election fraud now occurring in Virginia.  And if the Democrats get their way, this will only intensify.  State legislators need to address this across the nation, or else one of two things will happen.  Violence (if not technically war) will break out and the country will fragment, or we will be living in a Venezuela-like country in which we will have to “lower our expectations” (as I believe Jen Psaki said) for rice and noodles, for medicines, for electricity and refrigeration, for bread and powdered milk, for meat products, for toilet paper, and likely for clean drinking water.

    Doom-saying?  Yes.  Outrageous?  Yes.  Are we on track for this?  If elections are not representative, definitely Yes.  If the people cannot vote with their feet, or their pocket book, or the ballot.  Then, Yes.

    If you want to do something, call your state congressman each day and say that you want real, verifiable, policed election reform, with criminal investigations of the 2020 elections and criminals prosecuted; and if you don’t get it before the 2022 election Republicans will start voting you out.  And if that doesn’t work, Republicans will see that you eat last.

    I don’t know what else you can do.

    • #118
  29. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    Flicker (View Comment):
    But I will say that I believe that the 2020 election was not right.  And the Time article was just the tip of the iceberg.

    An ice cube on the tip. The rest of the tip was the Molly H. book. Still enough berg hidden underwater to sink the Titanic.

    (I don’t mean any particular metaphor there, by the way. But if I had to choose something to be the Titanic, maybe it could be the old-guard media.)

    • #119
  30. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    History and memory are interesting things. I am amused by how easily the dirtiest and most corrupt legislative process up until that time gets reduced to the easily chant-able “The Democrats ended debate on Obama-care with 60 votes on December 23, 2009.”

    Oh well, when history calls, history calls.

    • #120
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