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. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    philo (View Comment):

    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.

    You think the “Kansas Kickback” was corrupt?

    • #121
  2. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    philo (View Comment):

    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.

    You think the “Kansas Kickback” was corrupt?

    I thought it was the Cornhusker Kickback (ala Ben Nelson).

    • #122
  3. Randy Webster Member
    Randy Webster
    @RandyWebster

    philo (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    philo (View Comment):

    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.

    You think the “Kansas Kickback” was corrupt?

    I thought it was the Cornhusker Kickback (ala Ben Nelson).

    Probably was.  My memory is going.

    • #123
  4. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    Henry Racette: 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.

    I see no reason to disagree with this. But…

    Henry Racette: 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.

    This reminds me of the mentality that Erick Erickson pushed rather hard over at RedState as far back as a decade and a half ago: “Vote conservative in the primary and Republican in the general.” Having observed this over and over again, I believe I see dynamics of this approach that are not as fruitful as the mechanical recitation of it might lead the willing to believe.

    First on all, “electoral margins” can be a deceiving metric when the uni-party agenda is on the move. The more important goal would be to put the strongest team on the field and, I submit, that is a multi-election strategy. Filling a seat now, to pad numbers in today’s election, with little more than a warm-body that happens to identify as an “R” guarantees that person the immense advantage of the incumbent and the backing of the party going forward. (In the greater numbers game, arguments about challenging the incumbent in the next primary are just silly twaddle. Never Forget Mississippi 2014!) As intended by the uni-party powers, enough of this only enhances the vote counting and horse trading game that brings us round after round of Failure Theater to keep us entertained during the long managed decline.

    Furthermore, as a “much more conservative” voter, to accept that mere “warm ‘R’ body” candidate (offense intended to actual frigid bodies, looking at you Ms. Collins) only helps to distort the “market” in the long term. The electorate as a whole comes to see that as the “R” brand which impacts voting registrations, patterns, and participation – as well as other dynamics among the citizenry – going forward. Over time, the “opposition” you rely on from the “R” party only makes a mockery of that word. We reached peak-mockery in Obama’s second term and are living the necessary and predictably unpredictable fall-out of that now.

    In short, I suspect “virtue” and “realism” are a bit more complicated than you seem to think.

    (Apologies if this rehashes in any way what others have already touched on. I didn’t really properly digest much of the previous discussion(s) on this matter.)

    • #124
  5. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    philo (View Comment): First on all, “electoral margins” can be a deceiving metric when the uni-party agenda is on the move.

    Just to clarify, this is intended to mean in a near evenly split nation. This is what we have today and what we are guaranteeing for the future with the strict adherence and mindless over reliance on the “Vote conservative in the primary and Republican in the general” mentality. 

    • #125
  6. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    philo (View Comment):
    This is what we have today and what we are guaranteeing for the future with the strict adherence and mindless over reliance on the “Vote conservative in the primary and Republican in the general” mentality.

    But, and I keep pointing this out, our cossetted betters in Washington who label themselves Republicans do not take this approach. At all. The GOPe approach is “vote for the squish in the primary and the Democrat in the general.” (See the Bushes, McCains, and Romneys for three very prominent examples.)

    • #126
  7. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    philo (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    philo (View Comment):

    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.

    You think the “Kansas Kickback” was corrupt?

    I thought it was the Cornhusker Kickback (ala Ben Nelson).

    Probably was. My memory is going.

    Politics has been corrupt since the beginning of time.  

    One key question is whether the 60 vote requirement to end debate on legislation (other then budget reconciliation bills) is a significant obstacle to enacting conservative (or socialist) legislation. 

    In the case of Obama-care the 60 vote cloture requirement didn’t prevent the legislation from passing because once Arlen Specter switched from the GOP to the Democrats, the Democrats had 60 votes (once so-called “independents” like Bernie Sanders and Agnus King are included). 

    If the Democrats filibuster conservative legislation, there’s the option of “nuking” the legislative filibuster.  But many Republican US Senators like the 60 vote requirement. 

    Perhaps that’s because the 60 vote requirement to end debate gives the GOP a ready made excuse for not passing conservative legislation.  But even if the cloture requirement were 50 votes instead of 60 votes, conservative legislation would still have to obtain the votes of Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins and other “moderate” Republicans. 

    If you don’t have the votes, you can’t pass your desired legislation.   

    • #127
  8. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    philo (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    philo (View Comment):

    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.

    You think the “Kansas Kickback” was corrupt?

    I thought it was the Cornhusker Kickback (ala Ben Nelson).

    Probably was. My memory is going.

    Politics has been corrupt since the beginning of time.

    One key question is whether the 60 vote requirement to end debate on legislation (other then budget reconciliation bills) is a significant obstacle to enacting conservative (or socialist) legislation.

    In the case of Obama-care the 60 vote cloture requirement didn’t prevent the legislation from passing because once Arlen Specter switched from the GOP to the Democrats, the Democrats had 60 votes (once so-called “independents” like Bernie Sanders and Agnus King are included).

    If the Democrats filibuster conservative legislation, there’s the option of “nuking” the legislative filibuster. But many Republican US Senators like the 60 vote requirement.

    Perhaps that’s because the 60 vote requirement to end debate gives the GOP a ready made excuse for not passing conservative legislation. But even if the cloture requirement were 50 votes instead of 60 votes, conservative legislation would still have to obtain the votes of Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins and other “moderate” Republicans.

    If you don’t have the votes, you can’t pass your desired legislation.

    Funny, even if you reply in a longer version of the same thing, my previous comment still stands. 

    • #128
  9. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    philo (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    philo (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    philo (View Comment):

    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.

    You think the “Kansas Kickback” was corrupt?

    I thought it was the Cornhusker Kickback (ala Ben Nelson).

    Probably was. My memory is going.

    Politics has been corrupt since the beginning of time.

    One key question is whether the 60 vote requirement to end debate on legislation (other then budget reconciliation bills) is a significant obstacle to enacting conservative (or socialist) legislation.

    In the case of Obama-care the 60 vote cloture requirement didn’t prevent the legislation from passing because once Arlen Specter switched from the GOP to the Democrats, the Democrats had 60 votes (once so-called “independents” like Bernie Sanders and Agnus King are included).

    If the Democrats filibuster conservative legislation, there’s the option of “nuking” the legislative filibuster. But many Republican US Senators like the 60 vote requirement.

    Perhaps that’s because the 60 vote requirement to end debate gives the GOP a ready made excuse for not passing conservative legislation. But even if the cloture requirement were 50 votes instead of 60 votes, conservative legislation would still have to obtain the votes of Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins and other “moderate” Republicans.

    If you don’t have the votes, you can’t pass your desired legislation.

    Funny, even if you reply in a longer version of the same thing, my previous comment still stands.

    Yep.  Your previous comment still stands.  Just like the Gettysburg Address.  

    • #129
  10. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    philo (View Comment):

    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.

    Yeah.  I’ve just stayed away from that unbridgeable gap.  I remember it.

    • #130
  11. Tyrion Lannister Inactive
    Tyrion Lannister
    @TyrionLannister

    philo (View Comment):

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    philo (View Comment):

    Randy Webster (View Comment):

    philo (View Comment):

    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.

    You think the “Kansas Kickback” was corrupt?

    I thought it was the Cornhusker Kickback (ala Ben Nelson).

    Probably was. My memory is going.

    Politics has been corrupt since the beginning of time.

    One key question is whether the 60 vote requirement to end debate on legislation (other then budget reconciliation bills) is a significant obstacle to enacting conservative (or socialist) legislation.

    In the case of Obama-care the 60 vote cloture requirement didn’t prevent the legislation from passing because once Arlen Specter switched from the GOP to the Democrats, the Democrats had 60 votes (once so-called “independents” like Bernie Sanders and Agnus King are included).

    If the Democrats filibuster conservative legislation, there’s the option of “nuking” the legislative filibuster. But many Republican US Senators like the 60 vote requirement.

    Perhaps that’s because the 60 vote requirement to end debate gives the GOP a ready made excuse for not passing conservative legislation. But even if the cloture requirement were 50 votes instead of 60 votes, conservative legislation would still have to obtain the votes of Lisa Murkowski and Susan Collins and other “moderate” Republicans.

    If you don’t have the votes, you can’t pass your desired legislation.

    Funny, even if you reply in a longer version of the same thing, my previous comment still stands.

    There aren’t enough conservatives in this country to pass the legislation we want.  We are a minority- so we will have to convince more people to take our views.  Until then, I wouldn’t “vote conservative in the primary and Republican in the general” but rather “vote for the most conservative candidate who can win”.  I don’t like Susan Collins, but I’m happy to have her over a Bernie Sanders knockoff, because someone like Ted Cruz can’t win in Maine.

    • #131
  12. BDB Coolidge
    BDB
    @BDB

    Tyrion Lannister (View Comment):
    There aren’t enough conservatives in this country to pass the legislation we want.  We are a minority- so we will have to convince more people to take our views.  Until then, I wouldn’t “vote conservative in the primary and Republican in the general” but rather “vote for the most conservative candidate who can win”.  I don’t like Susan Collins, but I’m happy to have her over a Bernie Sanders knockoff, because someone like Ted Cruz can’t win in Maine.

    This is the road to Hell.

    The worst thing you can do (in general) is ask for less than what you need.  Because then even when you get exactly what you asked for, you still don’t have what you need:

    “If you didn’t like these squishes/RINOs/the ‘so-called establishment’, then you shouldn’t have voted them in for twenty years.”

    See how that works?

     

    • #132
  13. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    BDB (View Comment):

    Tyrion Lannister (View Comment):
    There aren’t enough conservatives in this country to pass the legislation we want. We are a minority- so we will have to convince more people to take our views. Until then, I wouldn’t “vote conservative in the primary and Republican in the general” but rather “vote for the most conservative candidate who can win”. I don’t like Susan Collins, but I’m happy to have her over a Bernie Sanders knockoff, because someone like Ted Cruz can’t win in Maine.

    This is the road to Hell.

    The worst thing you can do (in general) is ask for less than what you need. Because then even when you get exactly what you asked for, you still don’t have what you need:

    “If you didn’t like these squishes/RINOs/the ‘so-called establishment’, then you shouldn’t have voted them in for twenty years.”

    See how that works?

    There’s a Rolling Stones song that says “You can’t always get what you want but you get what you need.”

    • #133
  14. Tyrion Lannister Inactive
    Tyrion Lannister
    @TyrionLannister

    If you want ideological purity vote Libertarian- but you probably won’t win too many elections.  I happen to agree with them on many issues, but I recognize they aren’t going to have any representatives in power.  I want that big tent because I want to win.  I figure I’ll get half of what I want with a Republican in office- but I’ll get literally nothing with a Democrat.

    The bargain has to be however that in the primary you can vote for who you want, but you to vote for the winner in the general.  So if someone like Kasich wins the primary, I would hold my nose and vote for him over Biden.  But that means if Trump wins the primary you damn well better vote for him in the general.  This goes back to the 2016 election.  I held my nose and voted for Trump even though he defeated Cruz.  I was pleasantly surprised in his admin because based on his record he was a rino but his admin was very conservative (with a couple glaring exceptions).  I want and expect the favor returned- if my guy wins the primary then support him.

    • #134
  15. Tyrion Lannister Inactive
    Tyrion Lannister
    @TyrionLannister

    BDB (View Comment):

    Tyrion Lannister (View Comment):
    There aren’t enough conservatives in this country to pass the legislation we want. We are a minority- so we will have to convince more people to take our views. Until then, I wouldn’t “vote conservative in the primary and Republican in the general” but rather “vote for the most conservative candidate who can win”. I don’t like Susan Collins, but I’m happy to have her over a Bernie Sanders knockoff, because someone like Ted Cruz can’t win in Maine.

    This is the road to Hell.

    The worst thing you can do (in general) is ask for less than what you need. Because then even when you get exactly what you asked for, you still don’t have what you need:

    “If you didn’t like these squishes/RINOs/the ‘so-called establishment’, then you shouldn’t have voted them in for twenty years.”

    See how that works?

     

    You can primary Collins if you want.  You’ll then lose Maine.  Do you think Cruz can win in California?  Or Oregon?  On the flip side, we should absolutely go after murkowski in Alaska.  

    • #135
  16. philo Member
    philo
    @philo

    Tyrion Lannister (View Comment):

    BDB (View Comment):

    Tyrion Lannister (View Comment):
    There aren’t enough conservatives in this country to pass the legislation we want. We are a minority- so we will have to convince more people to take our views. Until then, I wouldn’t “vote conservative in the primary and Republican in the general” but rather “vote for the most conservative candidate who can win”. I don’t like Susan Collins, but I’m happy to have her over a Bernie Sanders knockoff, because someone like Ted Cruz can’t win in Maine.

    This is the road to Hell.

    The worst thing you can do (in general) is ask for less than what you need. Because then even when you get exactly what you asked for, you still don’t have what you need:

    “If you didn’t like these squishes/RINOs/the ‘so-called establishment’, then you shouldn’t have voted them in for twenty years.”

    See how that works?

     

    You can primary Collins if you want. You’ll then lose Maine. Do you think Cruz can win in California? Or Oregon? On the flip side, we should absolutely go after murkowski in Alaska.

    Who knows what Maine would look like today politically if they had suffered through a Democrat Senator for a term a quarter century ago? Who would have stepped up to the fill and expand the rather insubstantial void left by not having Collins in the way? 

    BTW – “We” did go after and beat Murkowski before (2010). I wonder how much Mitch helped her in her write in campaign over the Alaskan “R” people’s choice?

    • #136
  17. DrewInWisconsin, Oaf Member
    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf
    @DrewInWisconsin

    DrewInWisconsin, Oaf (View Comment):

    philo (View Comment):
    This is what we have today and what we are guaranteeing for the future with the strict adherence and mindless over reliance on the “Vote conservative in the primary and Republican in the general” mentality.

    But, and I keep pointing this out, our cossetted betters in Washington who label themselves Republicans do not take this approach. At all. The GOPe approach is “vote for the squish in the primary and the Democrat in the general.” (See the Bushes, McCains, and Romneys for three very prominent examples.)

    And those three (four), by the way, take us right back to Reagan. President Trump was the only one to break the pattern. But once you see it, you can’t not see it.

    Both Bushes, and loser-candidates McCain and Romney all supported the Democrat in 2016 and 2020 instead of the candidate of their own party. Let that sink in. (I suspect McCain even voted for Obama in 2008. He arguably campaigned for him.)

    And you want us to keep supporting this kind of Republican? A Republican who supports the increasingly leftist Democrat party?

    No thanks.

    • #137
  18. KCVolunteer Lincoln
    KCVolunteer
    @KCVolunteer

    Henry Racette 

    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.

    Ok, where are the Republicans on holding onto Reagan and Trump Democrats? I personally know life long Democrats the will not give up their identity for that party, but voted for Trump and will continue to vote Republican, if the party will give them what Trump was giving them. A more secure boarderborder, domestic growth in manufacturing, a better atmosphere for small business to succeed. I’m sure there’s more, but it doesn’t seem the R party is interested in any of it.

    How about an other current more recent issue? International trade, specifically the throttling down of movement of containers through the California ports of LA and Long Beach due to state laws that affect what is clearly interstate commerce, the movement of containers that are headed to other states.

    The Commerce Department should nullify the laws that are creating this disparate impact. Or is it the DOJ that should sue? Clearly the Dems are unconcerned about the shortages caused, but I hear nothing from the GOP.

    Ted Cruz, and a few others, have made some noise about Garland, but Dem policies suck and never achieve what they claim, and as is the case with California laws, actually cause harm. But most conservative politicians never seem to get any of this. As a conservative I typically have to rely on other sources to even be aware of these issues. Why doesn’t the party that expects my vote actually fight on these issues?

    Does the GOP not have a clue? Or do they think that Democrat Light is the only way to get a seat at the table? This is politics, not begging for an invitation to a dinner party.

    • #138
  19. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    KCVolunteer (View Comment):

    Henry Racette

    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.

    Ok, where are the Republicans on holding onto Reagan and Trump Democrats? I personally know life long Democrats the will not give up their identity for that party, but voted for Trump and will continue to vote Republican, if the party will give them what Trump was giving them. A more secure boarder, domestic growth in manufacturing, a better atmosphere for small business to succeed. I’m sure there’s more, but it doesn’t seem the R party is interested in any of it.

    How about an other current more recent issue? International trade, specifically the throttling down of movement of containers through the California ports of LA and Long Beach due to state laws that affect what is clearly interstate commerce, the movement of containers that are headed to other states.

    The Commerce Department should nullify the laws that are creating this disparate impact. Or is it the DOJ that should sue? Clearly the Dems are unconcerned about the shortages caused, but I hear nothing from the GOP.

    Ted Cruz, and a few others, have made some noise about Garland, but Dem policies suck and never achieve what they claim, and as is the case with California laws, actually cause harm. But most conservative politicians never seem to get any of this. As a conservative I typically have to rely on other sources to even be aware of these issues. Why doesn’t the party that expects my vote actually fight on these issues?

    Does the GOP not have a clue? Or do they think that Democrat Light is the only way to get a seat at the table? This is politics, not begging for an invitation to a dinner party.

    Some Republican politicians don’t share the concerns of those “Reagan Democrats.”  For example, Susan Collins of Maine is pro-abortion and in favor of immigration (probably both legal and illegal forms of it).  

    Yet, Susan Collins won her re-election in the state of Maine in 2020 even as Donald Trump lost the state of Maine.  

    So, different GOP politicians are going to have different strategies for getting elected and they have different priorities, which might not be identical to yours or mine.  

    • #139
  20. GlenEisenhardt Coolidge
    GlenEisenhardt
    @GlenEisenhardt

    Tyrion Lannister (View Comment):
    If you want ideological purity vote Libertarian- but you probably won’t win too many elections.

    The left has gone from marriage is between a man and a woman, to gay marriage, to gender is a social construct, to men can be women and should use women’s restrooms and compete in women’s sports. They are pretty ideologically pure and they win the popular vote time and time again. The GOP is mush and articulates no coherent vision of where to take the nation other than government bad, reagan, reagan, reagan, tax cuts. There is no big tent when you can’t win the popular vote. The Democrats push hard for their vision and win on it. The republicans moderate it and force feed it to their voters. There is no real opposition party and the GOP wins only by dint of Democrat failure. If you want a real big tent conservatism needs to offer a real national vision and tell the people what the country will look like in every respect. Big government bad has lost. No one is persuaded by it or really much cares about these academic debates about the wonders of the free market. Conservatives are where the communists have been for a long time. Every communist you meet says communism was really never tried. Every conservative you meet says free market economics was never really tried and things wouldn’t be this bad if we did do it. It’s the mantra of a failed movement that can’t get what it wants. 

    • #140
  21. HeavyWater Reagan
    HeavyWater
    @HeavyWater

    GlenEisenhardt (View Comment):

    Tyrion Lannister (View Comment):
    If you want ideological purity vote Libertarian- but you probably won’t win too many elections.

    The left has gone from marriage is between a man and a woman, to gay marriage, to gender is a social construct, to men can be women and should use women’s restrooms and compete in women’s sports. They are pretty ideologically pure and they win the popular vote time and time again. The GOP is mush and articulates no coherent vision of where to take the nation other than government bad, reagan, reagan, reagan, tax cuts. There is no big tent when you can’t win the popular vote. The Democrats push hard for their vision and win on it. The republicans moderate it and force feed it to their voters. There is no real opposition party and the GOP wins only by dint of Democrat failure. If you want a real big tent conservatism needs to offer a real national vision and tell the people what the country will look like in every respect. Big government bad has lost. No one is persuaded by it or really much cares about these academic debates about the wonders of the free market. Conservatives are where the communists have been for a long time. Every communist you meet says communism was really never tried. Every conservative you meet says free market economics was never really tried and things wouldn’t be this bad if we did do it. It’s the mantra of a failed movement that can’t get what it wants.

    Most successful economies are at least partly free market economies.  People like Bernie Sanders say that they are “socialists” and then point to Denmark or Sweden.  But those counties have a lot of free market principles and are even more in favor of free trade than the United States.  Sweden doesn’t even have a minimum wage law.  

    • #141
  22. Saint Augustine Member
    Saint Augustine
    @SaintAugustine

    HeavyWater (View Comment):
    Most successful economies are at least partly free market economies.  People like Bernie Sanders say that they are “socialists” and then point to Denmark or Sweden.  But those counties have a lot of free market principles and are even more in favor of free trade than the United States.  Sweden doesn’t even have a minimum wage law.  

    Yes.

    https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Index_of_Economic_Freedom

    • #142
  23. GlenEisenhardt Coolidge
    GlenEisenhardt
    @GlenEisenhardt

    HeavyWater (View Comment):

    GlenEisenhardt (View Comment):

    Tyrion Lannister (View Comment):
    If you want ideological purity vote Libertarian- but you probably won’t win too many elections.

    The left has gone from marriage is between a man and a woman, to gay marriage, to gender is a social construct, to men can be women and should use women’s restrooms and compete in women’s sports. They are pretty ideologically pure and they win the popular vote time and time again. The GOP is mush and articulates no coherent vision of where to take the nation other than government bad, reagan, reagan, reagan, tax cuts. There is no big tent when you can’t win the popular vote. The Democrats push hard for their vision and win on it. The republicans moderate it and force feed it to their voters. There is no real opposition party and the GOP wins only by dint of Democrat failure. If you want a real big tent conservatism needs to offer a real national vision and tell the people what the country will look like in every respect. Big government bad has lost. No one is persuaded by it or really much cares about these academic debates about the wonders of the free market. Conservatives are where the communists have been for a long time. Every communist you meet says communism was really never tried. Every conservative you meet says free market economics was never really tried and things wouldn’t be this bad if we did do it. It’s the mantra of a failed movement that can’t get what it wants.

    Most successful economies are at least partly free market economies. People like Bernie Sanders say that they are “socialists” and then point to Denmark or Sweden. But those counties have a lot of free market principles and are even more in favor of free trade than the United States. Sweden doesn’t even have a minimum wage law.

    Pretty pathetic that the swedish parties had the cojones to prevent a minimum wage yet the free market preaching conservative party in the US can’t cut a dime in any federal agency. Don’t you think?

    • #143
  24. KCVolunteer Lincoln
    KCVolunteer
    @KCVolunteer

    Flicker (View Comment):

    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.

    I don’t know what what Jen’s talking about. When was the last time she went shopping? If we lower our expectations any more we won’t be eating rice and noodles, or using toilet paper. There are hardly any of these on the shelves even now.

    • #144
  25. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    GlenEisenhardt (View Comment):

    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.

    There was for slavery. There was not for segregation: it is returning now, thanks to the left. There was for the Nazi party, but we’ll always be fighting against fascistic impulses, such as we see in BLM and Antifa today. And the Soviet Union is gone, but socialism is the new darling of the American left. The point being: the fight isn’t against specific entities, but against competing worldviews. And, in America, we allow people to have different worldviews, and to struggle to impose them on everyone else.

    KCVolunteer (View Comment):
    Ok, where are the Republicans on holding onto Reagan and Trump Democrats?

    Are you a Republican? If so, what are you doing to try to hold on to Reagan and Trump Democrats?

    The point of trying to build a big tent is to create a space for people who don’t agree with us on every single issue, but who will help more conservative candidates win. Every time I hear, for example, someone complain about Marco Rubio or Chris Christie, I think, yeah, okay, he isn’t perfect, but he’s on my side.

    Shoot, even Rob Long is on my side, and he’s an anti-Trump independent (I think) with about as poor an opinion of Republicans as anyone else here. But I’ll welcome him into the tent and encourage him to vote for the guy with the R after his name, because that guy (or gal) is going to be more conservative than the Democrat.

    One more time: I believe there is no path to conservative victory that does not go through the Republican Party. And I think that situation can not be changed within just an election cycle or two. And I don’t think the nation can really endure two or three cycles of solid Democratic majorities.

    • #145
  26. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    GlenEisenhardt (View Comment):
    Pretty pathetic that the swedish parties had the cojones to prevent a minimum wage yet the free market preaching conservative party in the US can’t cut a dime in any federal agency. Don’t you think?

    Preach it, brother.

    Or, better yet, tell us what — other than tearing down the conservative party — you think we should be doing. Your negative comments are wonderfully specific. Do you have similarly specific positive suggestions?

    • #146
  27. KCVolunteer Lincoln
    KCVolunteer
    @KCVolunteer

    Henry Racette (View Comment):


    KCVolunteer (View Comment)
    :
    Ok, where are the Republicans on holding onto Reagan and Trump Democrats?

    Are you a Republican? If so, what are you doing to try to hold on to Reagan and Trump Democrats?

    I guess I’m not a member of the Republican party you advocate for, because you don’t even have the temerity to answer my question. It seemed self evident, but since it apparently wasn’t, I’ll point out that Reagan and Trumps party fought against them at every opportunity. Abandoned Reaganism almost as soon as he was out of office, and is doing its best to memory hole Trump. So it seems the answer to my question is, they are nowhere on holding on to them. It also seems you are saying Reagan/Trump Democrats aren’t to be courted. Yet the ones I know are conservative on many issues, though they may not agree with conservatives on everything, I think they are starting to realize they agree with us on more and more things than they used to. Are you aware of this?

    One more time: I believe there is no path to conservative victory that does not go through the Republican Party. And I think that situation can not be changed within just an election cycle or two. And I don’t think the nation can really endure two or three cycles of solid Democratic majorities.

    I don’t think that the Republican Party I see can delay the outcome more than two or three cycles beyond that. Yet you don’t seem to be advocating for any specific ways that you feel the party should change. Too me, they are already doing what you advocate.

    • #147
  28. Tyrion Lannister Inactive
    Tyrion Lannister
    @TyrionLannister

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    GlenEisenhardt (View Comment):
    Pretty pathetic that the swedish parties had the cojones to prevent a minimum wage yet the free market preaching conservative party in the US can’t cut a dime in any federal agency. Don’t you think?

    Preach it, brother.

    Or, better yet, tell us what — other than tearing down the conservative party — you think we should be doing. Your negative comments are wonderfully specific. Do you have similarly specific positive suggestions?

    Henry you didn’t ask me, but the best I have:

    We need a contract with America which would be installed with a Article 5 convention.  Democrats control cities and high population states, and we have an even split nationwide in reps- but- Republicans dominate the majority of states – and state legislatures.  Article 5 allows for two ways to amend the constitution, 2/3 vote in house and senate to propose an amendment , or 2/3 of state legislatures proposing at a convention.  Then it has to be voted on by 3/4 the states (38).  

    We nominate Republicans committed to the vote, and ram our proposed amendments through at the convention.  Then later they are voted on by the states.  We need to control 38 states, currently we have 61/100 chambers so we’d need at least 14 more.  We should get closer with the coming red wave in 2022.

    My proposed amendments: 

    1- repeal 17th amendment to give power back to states.  

    2- ban all federal and state unions.

    3- balanced budget amendment indexed to income from prior year 

    4- flat tax rate

    5- reduce the power of President executive orders

    6- eliminate several departments (education)

    7- ban crt in public schools

    • #148
  29. Flicker Coolidge
    Flicker
    @Flicker

    KCVolunteer (View Comment):

    Flicker (View Comment):

    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.

    I don’t know what what Jen’s talking about. When was the last time she went shopping? If we lower our expectations any more we won’t be eating rice and noodles, or using toilet paper. There are hardly any of these on the shelves even now.

    I don’t know that she actually said it.  She did snarfle at the thought of people not getting their dishwashers, refrigerators and specifically their exercise bikes on time.  But I think I did see a quote of someone in the government that we should lower our expectations; it might have been Psaki.

    • #149
  30. Henry Racette Member
    Henry Racette
    @HenryRacette

    Tyrion Lannister (View Comment):

    Henry Racette (View Comment):

    GlenEisenhardt (View Comment):
    Pretty pathetic that the swedish parties had the cojones to prevent a minimum wage yet the free market preaching conservative party in the US can’t cut a dime in any federal agency. Don’t you think?

    Preach it, brother.

    Or, better yet, tell us what — other than tearing down the conservative party — you think we should be doing. Your negative comments are wonderfully specific. Do you have similarly specific positive suggestions?

    Henry you didn’t ask me, but the best I have:

    We need a contract with America which would be installed with a Article 5 convention. Democrats control cities and high population states, and we have an even split nationwide in reps- but- Republicans dominate the majority of states – and state legislatures. Article 5 allows for two ways to amend the constitution, 2/3 vote in house and senate to propose an amendment , or 2/3 of state legislatures proposing at a convention. Then it has to be voted on by 3/4 the states (38).

    We nominate Republicans committed to the vote, and ram our proposed amendments through at the convention. Then later they are voted on by the states. We need to control 38 states, currently we have 61/100 chambers so we’d need at least 14 more. We should get closer with the coming red wave in 2022.

    My proposed amendments:

    1- repeal 17th amendment to give power back to states.

    2- ban all federal and state unions.

    3- balanced budget amendment indexed to income from prior year

    4- flat tax rate

    5- reduce the power of President executive orders

    6- eliminate several departments (education)

    7- ban crt in public schools

    TL,

    I appreciate your concrete, specific suggestion.

    I’m agnostic about Article 5 conventions because I see them as an opportunity for the left to ram through its own noxious agenda. Whether or not a convention could be kept focused is legally debatable. When one was in the offing, I assume the left would use all of its media power to call for participation by leftist special interests.

    Of course, it would still have to go though ratification by the states. So there’s that protection.

    But I wonder: could we make substantial progress through more conventional means? I mean, if we’re going to educate enough people to endorse an Article 5 convention, would that level of effort be sufficient to flip a few states and empower a serious Republican majority?

    I kind of think it might.

    • #150
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