My Attempt to Explain “The Establishment”

 

It’s a word that gets thrown around with more frequency than anyone would really care to know. For some it means, “Those who will not commit political suicide,” while for others it means, “Those who have no spine.” But despite being near useless in explaining who is at the top of the Republican Party, the word “establishment” does have a meaning, and it does have members. The power of the establishment is debatable. On one hand, the performance of the national party inside Washington DC is more than capable of being orchestrated by these select few. After all, what good is having a leadership apparatus if it cannot exert some form of influence within its own sphere. However, on the other hand, it’s powerless to influence individuals like you or me to do anything when it comes to campaigns, including vote, if you do not succumb to their efforts. I will explain this.

First, the political establishment is made up of the folks one might expect. These would be the people in high positions of power in the Republican National Committee (RNC) and the leadership positions in the House and Senate. So yes, Reince Priebus and Sharon Day, the second in command at the RNC, would fit this description. We all know about Priebus, but who is Sharon Day? Day is someone described by the Florida paper The Sun-Sentinel as an “uber [sic] Republican.” She hails from Florida, obviously, and was elected to the number-two spot in 2011. She stays behind the scenes mostly, speaking to dedicated GOP crowds during elections, and trying to wash the smears of “War on Women” off of the GOP. Since she is from Florida, it is hard to imagine that she has not had close contact to folks like Jeb Bush or Marco Rubio, but that is pure conjecture and not enough to go on to claim that she is secretly a leftist, as many wish to paint the Establishment as being.

The Establishment members at the RNC are in charge of one thing: get Republicans elected to federal office. To the extent that they succeed in this or not is dependent on raising money. Individual donors such as you are probably not where they are gathering most of their funds for campaigns, so they must go elsewhere. Groups like the US Chamber of Commerce or private businesses such as Boeing are where the RNC garner their war chests. For the Chamber, these donations are given directly to the candidates, as depicted by the campaign finance watchdog website Open Secrets. However, the same individuals who donate to these candidates and PACs can very easily give to the National Committee. Conjecture? Sure, but sometimes assumptions have more truth to them than not. The Chamber of Commerce has made its goal for 2016 defeating Conservatives in the House and in the Senate.

Now the political leadership. The political leadership, we all know their names, but do we know their actions or their purpose? Like the RNC, these folks must get re-elected, but unlike the RNC they also have to move legislation through Congress, or stop bad legislation from getting through it. This second part is where they get into the most trouble. I am sure we have heard many times how the elected leadership constantly seeks to pass legislation that is more bad the good in the hopes of getting it out of the way, so they can focus on lower-hanging fruit in political battles that they claim to be able to win. Sometimes they do not even attempt to win battles for that low- hanging fruit, they just keep on trying to pass bad bills such as the Import-Export Bank. Who likes the Im-Ex Bank, as it is known? Read the previous paragraph.

Finally, we arrive at how the Establishment gets its message out. The RNC has a responsibility to get the message of the Party out to the people, but, human nature being what it is, when you see or hear something with the official stamp of “POLITICAL PARTY,” it is difficult imagine that message carrying any weight.So political parties must rely on talking heads in the media who carry with them a certain amount of intellectual clout to explain the process in a message that does not have the taint of “paid for by the Republican National Committee.” This is not to say that these folks do not believe in what they are saying. The most certainly do. But more importantly, they all think in terms of what is best for the country and what can win. The people who make up this cadre are George Will, Charles Krauthammer, David Brooks, and Bill Kristol.

It’s easy to dismiss this aspect of the premise, but messaging is a key component to politics and the Establishment understands this like no other when it comes to what strategy to employ when battling the Left or what candidates are acceptable or electable in a given election cycle. The four men listed above do a good job telling us what strategies will work and which ones will not. Recall just this week, when the GOP House announced that it will seek to impeach IRS head John Koskinen, that it was both George Will and Charles Krauthammer who said this will go nowhere, although with differing opinions as to whether or not to do it. Some of you might say that this is a rather disjointed message for two members of the same Establishment, but it is important to keep in mind that they both acknowledge that it will go nowhere which will give the cover to the Senate side of the Establishment to vote against it or not even bring it up.

This is but one example of how this works. Another example is foreign policy, and on most major foreign policy issues, all four, Will, Kristol, Brooks, and Krauthammer, have sounded the same alarms on Obama and international relations. Also, take a look at how they regard the possibility of a Trump candidacy in the GOP presidential primary. One might say that they are simply applying the voice of reason, but they have applied this voice with every top tier candidate not named Bush or Rubio. This election cycle it appears that the Base of the GOP is just not listening.

It is true that the Establishment does not sit around and pick the candidate with no input from voters. Rob Long is absolutely correct, we do pick our candidate. However, he is wrong to think that this is done in a vacuum, or that there is no outside influence steering the voters into what choice to make at the polls. There is a concerted effort by the Establishment, each cycle, to see to it that the right people get the nomination and that the right people implement the right strategy. To think that this does not happen is naive, simply and utterly naive. This is how politics works.

The GOP Establishment is hoping to influence you to support candidates and ideas that will not get them lambasted in the leftist press, and you can see it in the comments here on Ricochet that this influence has worked. We have people worried that Ted Cruz will get tarnished with being “for Wall Street,” yet believe that Marco Rubio will not receive the same treatment. Or that any loss by a Republican after 2013 was the result of a partial government shutdown, despite ample evidence from left-wing media that the loss had nothing to do with the shutdown, for they themselves did not tout it.

If conservatives are going to change the thinking of the GOP Establishment, we are going to have to change the leadership in its respected segments. It will do no good to just gain one or two slots here or there, because the rest of the Establishment will set out to hamper, influence, or outright destroy the people in those positions — just ask Ted Cruz or Ken Cuccinelli or Richard Murdoch of Indiana or Joe Miller of Alaska. The Establishment does have one major obstacle, and it gets back to what Rob Long always says: At the end of the day, it is we the People who select our candidates. We just have to be sure that we can see through the Establishment camouflage when we make our pick.

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  1. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    Jim Kearney:

    LilyBart:

    Jim Kearney:For practical purposes, the Republican Establishment is whoever Rush Limbaugh says it is.

    Its comments like this that help me realize that Ricochet is not fully achieving its goal to be a place where people can talk intelligently and civilly about politics and the culture.

    Being concise is being civil in an age of information overload. Sorry you don’t like my style, but the professor who taught me Understanding Media was big on brevity.

    I stand by the statement, for better or worse. Not a dig at Rush, nor do I concur every time he slams some person or policy as characteristic of the old elites. It’s just a statement of fact.

    Rush’s influence is so (deservedly) pervasive, that he is the defining catalyst of concern about the influence of certain GOP elites.

    Black Prince: Black Prince Jim Kearney:For practical purposes, the Republican Establishment is whoever Rush Limbaugh says it is. Out of curiosity, do you consider Rush part of the Establishment or not?

    Rush is not part of the GOP Establishment; he does, however, have a greater role in establishing American conservatism than anyone since Ronald Reagan.

    Yes, I didn’t see your statement as dissing Rush. It’s a fact that Rush has a huge influence on a day-by-day basis on who is giving the “establishment” line today. This changes and Rush keeps track. Rush was a huge part of the 1994 revolution and that was done by people who were not part of the establishment and were sick of 2nd place after 60 years.

    The major establishment line is with regard to the media — they and many consultants refuse to fight the media. Nothing will change until they (the media) either become professional or they give up their affiliation with the Democratic Party. To pretend that we on this side can do nothing about it is suicide. All we have to do is point it out — not to others but to the media themselves, case by case and person by person.

    • #31
  2. Klaatu Inactive
    Klaatu
    @Klaatu

    Leigh:

    Klaatu: The Senate majority leader has endorsed Rand Paul. Who are the they you speak of?

    Did he actually endorse Rand Paul in so many words? I seem to recall him saying he would “support” him in some words or other, but I don’t recall it being formulated as a definite endorsement.

    I am going by this Politico piece.

    • #32
  3. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    Zeke: I define it as anyone whose personal self-interest is tied to the institutional well-being of the Republican Party.

    To the extent that the institutional well-being of the Republican Party is still (for better or worse) our only defense against the institutional well-being of the Democratic Party, I’d say that’s most of the country…

    I know what you mean. On the flip side, though, it is both ridiculous and dangerous to see the two parties as Tweedledum and Tweedledee: that’s rarely the case. To not care about the state of the Republican Party, or to think we can throw it overboard and win without it, is to misunderstand how our system works in practice. Conservatives can change the Republican Party, and have, but we need it, and we need it to be healthy, and effective, and as conservative as possible.

    • #33
  4. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    Another identifying thing about the establishment on both sides of the aisle is how they want the polarization to stop. $19 trillion dollars debt and 30 million illegals and they still don’t see any reason why we can’t all just get along.

    • #34
  5. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    Larry Koler:Another identifying thing about the establishment on both sides of the aisle is how they want the polarization to stop. $19 trillion dollars debt and 30 million illegals and they still don’t see any reason why we can’t all just get along.

    This is the media message, too. We all just need to get along. The non-establishment people might be easier to identify than the establishment ones. When people start parroting the media memes even years later they are clearly part of the establishment, the consensus of the status quo seekers.

    • #35
  6. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Zeke: Some of my conservative friends imply that the GOP Establishment is strictly a boogey-man invented by talk radio. I define it as anyone whose personal self-interest is tied to the institutional well-being of the Republican Party. Party hacks, politicians, consultants, direct mailers, etc. I’d also give an honorable mention to media types who are dependent on the GOP status quo for access and influence.  Or for whom issues like immigration are largely abstractions–fodder for books, articles, seminars, etc.–as opposed to things that affect their everyday lives.

    Do you include Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and such in “politicians” whose personal self interest is tied to the institutional wellbeing of their party?

    Do you believe that politicians who spend a fair amount of time with immigrants and for whom their advocacy for amnesty is a personal issue of principle, like McCain, are different from those who treat it as an abstraction? Do you believe that most of those who campaign on enforcement while having policies that amount to amnesty (Trump, Cruz, etc.) are generally personally affected by illegal immigration in their day to day lives?

    • #36
  7. Robert McReynolds Inactive
    Robert McReynolds
    @RobertMcReynolds

    Klaatu:

    Robert McReynolds: It’s a word that gets thrown around with more frequency than anyone would really care to know. For some it means, “Those who will not commit political suicide,” while for others it means, “Those who have no spine.”

    Mostly it means, “Those Republicans I do not like.”

    Robert, this is as good an attempt to define the term as I have seen but it only served to further convince me the term is meaningless.

    My biggest objection to the term is the notion that conservatives are in opposition to it. Every person you mentioned (with the possible exception of David Brooks) as a member of this Establishment is conservative by any meaningful definition.

    Klaatu, I don’t dispute any of the people who I named claim to being Conservative. Are they? Of course they are. But are they more interested in preserving the status, to any extent that there is status, of the Republican Party in DC and in the media or are they interested in a philosophical advancement of the idea of limited government and its product, Liberty? That is the dispute.

    I think those who make the claim that the “Establishment” is Leftist are barking up the wrong tree. It’s kind of like arguing “Post Tribulation/Pre-Tribulation” among Christians, it’s not a salvation issue. (If you need that explained, I can do my best at it later.)

    • #37
  8. Leigh Inactive
    Leigh
    @Leigh

    Klaatu:

    Leigh:

    Klaatu: The Senate majority leader has endorsed Rand Paul. Who are the they you speak of?

    Did he actually endorse Rand Paul in so many words? I seem to recall him saying he would “support” him in some words or other, but I don’t recall it being formulated as a definite endorsement.

    I am going by this Politico piece.

    OK, thanks.

    • #38
  9. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    James Of England: Do you believe that politicians who spend a fair amount of time with immigrants and for whom their advocacy for amnesty is a personal issue of principle, like McCain, are different from those who treat it as an abstraction?

    What in the world does this mean? I don’t understand. I have to treat a number of things as abstractions (to use your word) because I am not personally affected DIRECTLY by them. The Soviet Union was an abstraction by your definition yet I felt completely justified in denouncing them as “the focus of evil in the modern world.”

    • #39
  10. Klaatu Inactive
    Klaatu
    @Klaatu

    Robert McReynolds: If conservatives are going to change the thinking of the GOP Establishment, we are going to have to change the leadership in its respected segments. It will do no good to just gain one or two slots here or there, because the rest of the Establishment will set out to hamper, influence, or outright destroy the people in those positions — just ask Ted Cruz or Ken Cuccinelli or Richard Murdoch of Indiana or Joe Miller of Alaska.

    Robert McReynolds:Klaatu, I don’t dispute any of the people who I named claim to being Conservative. Are they? Of course they are. But are they more interested in preserving the status, to any extent that there is status, of the Republican Party in DC and in the media or are they interested in a philosophical advancement of the idea of limited government and its product, Liberty? That is the dispute.

    Then why make the distinction above?

    You have also not supported your claim of a distinction based on the advancement of different interests.  Mitch McConnell is a champion in the fight against campaign finance reform, is he not?  Does that speak to a desire to advance incumbents over liberty?

    How about Boehner single handedly stopping comprehensive immigration reform?

    • #40
  11. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    Robert McReynolds: Klaatu, I don’t dispute any of the people who I named claim to being Conservative. Are they? Of course they are. But are they more interested in preserving the status, to any extent that there is status, of the Republican Party in DC and in the media or are they interested in a philosophical advancement of the idea of limited government and its product, Liberty?

    Exactly. Remember that the media has been in these trenches, too. This is why things are so confusing for people. This whole thing has to do with promoting the status quo which is in the Dems favor or in trying to actually roll back things like Newt did in his tenure as speaker.

    • #41
  12. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    Zeke: Some of my conservative friends imply that the GOP Establishment is strictly a boogey-man invented by talk radio. I define it as anyone whose personal self-interest is tied to the institutional well-being of the Republican Party.

    Everyone’s personal self-interest is tied to the institutional well-being of the Republican Party, whether they know it or not.  What bothers me about some people is that they do know it, and they attack the Party anyway.

    • #42
  13. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    Larry3435:

    Zeke: Some of my conservative friends imply that the GOP Establishment is strictly a boogey-man invented by talk radio. I define it as anyone whose personal self-interest is tied to the institutional well-being of the Republican Party.

    Everyone’s personal self-interest is tied to the institutional well-being of the Republican Party, whether they know it or not. What bothers me about some people is that they do know it, and they attack the Party anyway.

    That is absurd in the present context. As Larry (the other one) says, we are all tied to the party. What’s going on here is that we have a long line of failures with regard to the direction the country is going. Socialistic ideas seem to keep winning. There are a lot of successes but the main direction of the country is to the left. Those who don’t think our debt and our border are the most important issues are, by definition, part of the establishment — because it is that impulse that continues our drive over the cliff.

    • #43
  14. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    I should also add the denial of the Islamist threat to the above to round out the whole story. But, many establishment types of both parties do understand this one. Our present problem with regard to the war on terror can be placed at the feet of a few left-wing politicians in positions of power (Obama, Reid, Pelosi and a few more).

    • #44
  15. Klaatu Inactive
    Klaatu
    @Klaatu

    Larry Koler:

    Larry3435:

    Zeke: Some of my conservative friends imply that the GOP Establishment is strictly a boogey-man invented by talk radio. I define it as anyone whose personal self-interest is tied to the institutional well-being of the Republican Party.

    Everyone’s personal self-interest is tied to the institutional well-being of the Republican Party, whether they know it or not. What bothers me about some people is that they do know it, and they attack the Party anyway.

    That is absurd in the present context. As Larry (the other one) says, we are all tied to the party. What’s going on here is that we have a long line of failures with regard to the direction the country is going. Socialistic ideas seem to keep winning. There are a lot of successes but the main direction of the country is to the left. Those who don’t think our debt and our border are the most important issues are, by definition, part of the establishment — because it is that impulse that continues our drive over the cliff.

    Which ideas are those?

    • #45
  16. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    Klaatu:

    Larry Koler:

    Larry3435:

    Zeke: Some of my conservative friends imply that the GOP Establishment is strictly a boogey-man invented by talk radio. I define it as anyone whose personal self-interest is tied to the institutional well-being of the Republican Party.

    Everyone’s personal self-interest is tied to the institutional well-being of the Republican Party, whether they know it or not. What bothers me about some people is that they do know it, and they attack the Party anyway.

    That is absurd in the present context. As Larry (the other one) says, we are all tied to the party. What’s going on here is that we have a long line of failures with regard to the direction the country is going. Socialistic ideas seem to keep winning. There are a lot of successes but the main direction of the country is to the left. Those who don’t think our debt and our border are the most important issues are, by definition, part of the establishment — because it is that impulse that continues our drive over the cliff.

    Which ideas are those?

    Read about Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley,  Jr. Reagan gave a speech about this in 1964. Things are worse now than then.

    • #46
  17. Klaatu Inactive
    Klaatu
    @Klaatu

    Larry Koler:

    Klaatu:

    Larry Koler:

    Larry3435:

    Zeke: Some of my conservative friends imply that the GOP Establishment is strictly a boogey-man invented by talk radio. I define it as anyone whose personal self-interest is tied to the institutional well-being of the Republican Party.

    Everyone’s personal self-interest is tied to the institutional well-being of the Republican Party, whether they know it or not. What bothers me about some people is that they do know it, and they attack the Party anyway.

    That is absurd in the present context. As Larry (the other one) says, we are all tied to the party. What’s going on here is that we have a long line of failures with regard to the direction the country is going. Socialistic ideas seem to keep winning. There are a lot of successes but the main direction of the country is to the left. Those who don’t think our debt and our border are the most important issues are, by definition, part of the establishment — because it is that impulse that continues our drive over the cliff.

    Which ideas are those?

    Read about Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley, Jr. Reagan gave a speech about this in 1964. Things are worse now than then.

    Seriously?  You can’t answer the question?

    • #47
  18. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    Klaatu:

    Larry Koler:

    Klaatu:

    Larry Koler:

    Larry3435:

    Zeke: Some of my conservative friends imply that the GOP Establishment is strictly a boogey-man invented by talk radio. I define it as anyone whose personal self-interest is tied to the institutional well-being of the Republican Party.

    Everyone’s personal self-interest is tied to the institutional well-being of the Republican Party, whether they know it or not. What bothers me about some people is that they do know it, and they attack the Party anyway.

    That is absurd in the present context. As Larry (the other one) says, we are all tied to the party. What’s going on here is that we have a long line of failures with regard to the direction the country is going. Socialistic ideas seem to keep winning. There are a lot of successes but the main direction of the country is to the left. Those who don’t think our debt and our border are the most important issues are, by definition, part of the establishment — because it is that impulse that continues our drive over the cliff.

    Which ideas are those?

    Read about Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley, Jr. Reagan gave a speech about this in 1964. Things are worse now than then.

    Seriously? You can’t answer the question?

    Seriously? You don’t know what the Reagan revolution was all about? Why National Review came into being?

    • #48
  19. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    Klaatu, you are at an extreme disadvantage when reading and writing here on Ricochet if you don’t know the basics of the historical debate in this country over the last half century. It’s all about the power of the state vs the power of the individual.

    • #49
  20. Klaatu Inactive
    Klaatu
    @Klaatu

    Larry Koler:

    Klaatu:

    Larry Koler:

    Klaatu:

    Larry Koler:

    Larry3435:

    Zeke: Some of my conservative friends imply that the GOP Establishment is strictly a boogey-man invented by talk radio. I define it as anyone whose personal self-interest is tied to the institutional well-being of the Republican Party.

    Everyone’s personal self-interest is tied to the institutional well-being of the Republican Party, whether they know it or not. What bothers me about some people is that they do know it, and they attack the Party anyway.

    That is absurd in the present context. As Larry (the other one) says, we are all tied to the party. What’s going on here is that we have a long line of failures with regard to the direction the country is going. Socialistic ideas seem to keep winning. There are a lot of successes but the main direction of the country is to the left. Those who don’t think our debt and our border are the most important issues are, by definition, part of the establishment — because it is that impulse that continues our drive over the cliff.

    Which ideas are those?

    Read about Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley, Jr. Reagan gave a speech about this in 1964. Things are worse now than then.

    Seriously? You can’t answer the question?

    Seriously? You don’t know what the Reagan revolution was all about? Why National Review came into being?

    I do, I’m ask you what ideas you were specifically referring to.  Now can you provide specifics or not?

    • #50
  21. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    Klaatu:

    Larry Koler:

    Klaatu:

    Larry Koler:

    Klaatu:

    Larry Koler:

    Larry3435:

    Zeke: Some of my conservative friends imply that the GOP Establishment is strictly a boogey-man invented by talk radio. I define it as anyone whose personal self-interest is tied to the institutional well-being of the Republican Party.

    Everyone’s personal self-interest is tied to the institutional well-being of the Republican Party, whether they know it or not. What bothers me about some people is that they do know it, and they attack the Party anyway.

    That is absurd in the present context. As Larry (the other one) says, we are all tied to the party. What’s going on here is that we have a long line of failures with regard to the direction the country is going. Socialistic ideas seem to keep winning. There are a lot of successes but the main direction of the country is to the left. Those who don’t think our debt and our border are the most important issues are, by definition, part of the establishment — because it is that impulse that continues our drive over the cliff.

    Which ideas are those?

    Read about Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley, Jr. Reagan gave a speech about this in 1964. Things are worse now than then.

    Seriously? You can’t answer the question?

    Seriously? You don’t know what the Reagan revolution was all about? Why National Review came into being?

    I do, I’m ask you what ideas you were specifically referring to. Now can you provide specifics or not?

    NOT.

    • #51
  22. Klaatu Inactive
    Klaatu
    @Klaatu

    Larry Koler:Klaatu, you are at an extreme disadvantage when reading and writing here on Ricochet if you don’t know the basics of the historical debate in this country over the last half century. It’s all about the power of the state vs the power of the individual.

    And what have been the great advances in the power of the state since 1968?

    • #52
  23. Klaatu Inactive
    Klaatu
    @Klaatu

    Larry Koler:

    Klaatu:

    Larry Koler:

    Klaatu:

    Larry Koler:

    Klaatu:

    Larry Koler:

    Larry3435:

    Zeke: Some of my conservative friends imply that the GOP Establishment is strictly a boogey-man invented by talk radio. I define it as anyone whose personal self-interest is tied to the institutional well-being of the Republican Party.

    Everyone’s personal self-interest is tied to the institutional well-being of the Republican Party, whether they know it or not. What bothers me about some people is that they do know it, and they attack the Party anyway.

    That is absurd in the present context. As Larry (the other one) says, we are all tied to the party. What’s going on here is that we have a long line of failures with regard to the direction the country is going. Socialistic ideas seem to keep winning. There are a lot of successes but the main direction of the country is to the left. Those who don’t think our debt and our border are the most important issues are, by definition, part of the establishment — because it is that impulse that continues our drive over the cliff.

    Which ideas are those?

    Read about Ronald Reagan and William F. Buckley, Jr. Reagan gave a speech about this in 1964. Things are worse now than then.

    Seriously? You can’t answer the question?

    Seriously? You don’t know what the Reagan revolution was all about? Why National Review came into being?

    I do, I’m ask you what ideas you were specifically referring to. Now can you provide specifics or not?

    NOT.

    Why am I not surprised?

    • #53
  24. James Of England Moderator
    James Of England
    @JamesOfEngland

    Larry Koler:

    James Of England: Do you believe that politicians who spend a fair amount of time with immigrants and for whom their advocacy for amnesty is a personal issue of principle, like McCain, are different from those who treat it as an abstraction?

    What in the world does this mean? I don’t understand. I have to treat a number of things as abstractions (to use your word) because I am not personally affected DIRECTLY by them. The Soviet Union was an abstraction by your definition yet I felt completely justified in denouncing them as “the focus of evil in the modern world.”

    Did you read the comment to which I was replying? I completely agree that one can come down on either side of this issue whether one is pro- or anti- amnesty.

    You and I are both opposed to amnesty, despite our lives not being affected by the issue in a day to day way. This was my point, and I believe you and I agree on this.

    • #54
  25. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    Klaatu:

    Larry Koler:Klaatu, you are at an extreme disadvantage when reading and writing here on Ricochet if you don’t know the basics of the historical debate in this country over the last half century. It’s all about the power of the state vs the power of the individual.

    And what have been the great advances in the power of the state since 1968?

    I’m not your political science tutor. Ask someone else but please don’t pretend as though you don’t know what is being discussed here. If you really don’t, then read more — if you do, then work out your stuff with someone else.

    • #55
  26. Larry3435 Member
    Larry3435
    @Larry3435

    Larry Koler:

    Larry3435:

    Zeke: Some of my conservative friends imply that the GOP Establishment is strictly a boogey-man invented by talk radio. I define it as anyone whose personal self-interest is tied to the institutional well-being of the Republican Party.

    Everyone’s personal self-interest is tied to the institutional well-being of the Republican Party, whether they know it or not. What bothers me about some people is that they do know it, and they attack the Party anyway.

    That is absurd in the present context. As Larry (the other one) says, we are all tied to the party. What’s going on here is that we have a long line of failures with regard to the direction the country is going. Socialistic ideas seem to keep winning.

    So, by all means, we should form a circular firing squad and start shooting at each other.  Because that will help a bunch.

    I remember when Democrats used to do that.  I liked it better that way.  But then their side got tired of losing.  They closed ranks, and now they don’t worry about their candidate being a dynastic, corrupt, robotic insider.  They only care about winning.

    I suppose that, eventually, we will get tired of losing.  I shudder to think how much the debt will be by the time that finally happens.

    • #56
  27. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    James Of England:

    Larry Koler:

    James Of England: Do you believe that politicians who spend a fair amount of time with immigrants and for whom their advocacy for amnesty is a personal issue of principle, like McCain, are different from those who treat it as an abstraction?

    What in the world does this mean? I don’t understand. I have to treat a number of things as abstractions (to use your word) because I am not personally affected DIRECTLY by them. The Soviet Union was an abstraction by your definition yet I felt completely justified in denouncing them as “the focus of evil in the modern world.”

    Did you read the comment to which I was replying? I completely agree that one can come down on either side of this issue whether one is pro- or anti- amnesty.

    You and I are both opposed to amnesty, despite our lives not being affected by the issue in a day to day way. This was my point, and I believe you and I agree on this.

    The stuff about McCain seemed to be a non sequitur or at least confusing.

    Are you saying that McCain’s position on amnesty has more legitimacy because of dealing more intimately with it? Or are you complaining about the definition of Zeke that “personal self interest is tied to the Republican Party” and you were mentioning people on both sides of the issue but who still have the stated self interest in the party? If the latter, then sorry about that — I misread you.

    • #57
  28. Klaatu Inactive
    Klaatu
    @Klaatu

    Larry Koler:

    Klaatu:

    Larry Koler:Klaatu, you are at an extreme disadvantage when reading and writing here on Ricochet if you don’t know the basics of the historical debate in this country over the last half century. It’s all about the power of the state vs the power of the individual.

    And what have been the great advances in the power of the state since 1968?

    I’m not your political science tutor. Ask someone else but please don’t pretend as though you don’t know what is being discussed here. If you really don’t, then read more — if you do, then work out your stuff with someone else.

    I am asking you to substantiate your claim, not educate me.

    I look at the issues that the left has been pushing for the last 50 years and with the exception of Obamacare, which they had to pass over the objection of most Americans, they have been unsuccessful in implementing.

    Now if you cannot back up your claim, just admit and move on.

    • #58
  29. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    Larry3435:

    Larry Koler:

    Larry3435:

    Zeke: Some of my conservative friends imply that the GOP Establishment is strictly a boogey-man invented by talk radio. I define it as anyone whose personal self-interest is tied to the institutional well-being of the Republican Party.

    Everyone’s personal self-interest is tied to the institutional well-being of the Republican Party, whether they know it or not. What bothers me about some people is that they do know it, and they attack the Party anyway.

    That is absurd in the present context. As Larry (the other one) says, we are all tied to the party. What’s going on here is that we have a long line of failures with regard to the direction the country is going. Socialistic ideas seem to keep winning.

    So, by all means, we should form a circular firing squad and start shooting at each other. Because that will help a bunch.

    I remember when Democrats used to do that. I liked it better that way. But then their side got tired of losing. They closed ranks, and now they don’t worry about their candidate being a dynastic, corrupt, robotic insider. They only care about winning.

    I suppose that, eventually, we will get tired of losing. I shudder to think how much the debt will be by the time that finally happens.

    I don’t quite understand you here. The circular firing squad is not what is going on here. Instead, there is a huge difference on how to deal with these issues. People have to argue and debate in order to 1) clarify the issues and 2) convince other people (within the party). Are you concerned about the heated comments on both sides (Tea Partiers, Freedom Caucus, vs “establishment”)? I’m not — this is how things get hammered out.

    • #59
  30. Larry Koler Inactive
    Larry Koler
    @LarryKoler

    Klaatu:

    Larry Koler:

    Klaatu:

    Larry Koler:Klaatu, you are at an extreme disadvantage when reading and writing here on Ricochet if you don’t know the basics of the historical debate in this country over the last half century. It’s all about the power of the state vs the power of the individual.

    And what have been the great advances in the power of the state since 1968?

    I’m not your political science tutor. Ask someone else but please don’t pretend as though you don’t know what is being discussed here. If you really don’t, then read more — if you do, then work out your stuff with someone else.

    I am asking you to substantiate your claim, not educate me.

    I look at the issues that the left has been pushing for the last 50 years and with the exception of Obamacare, which they had to pass over the objection of most Americans, they have been unsuccessful in implementing.

    Now if you cannot back up your claim, just admit and move on.

    Are you saying that the size of the state — by itself — is not evidence of leftward movement? Because I’ll hang my hat on that alone.

    • #60
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