GOP: Some Old Dogs Have No Tricks

January 31, 2009

Not Stacy McCain's usual hangover at Am-Spec. There's a bit of discussion between him and Quin Hillyer I find interesting. Unfortunately, it prompts me to probably tick off a good many conservatives.

RNC Hangover

My belief that the all-star conservative endorsements for Ken Blackwell could make him a favorite proved woefully misguided. …  Blackwell's endorsements from Steve Forbes, Ed Meese, Brent Bozell, David Keene, et al., which seemed so impressive to me and others, simply did not penetrate the opaque loyalties of the voting members.

Is there a noteworthy absence of any females in that list? With absolutely no disrespect meant to those fine gentlemen, or their organizations – which grew up with Reagan – I believe they are ultimately yesterday's GOP, though continuing to have a tremendous amount to offer. I'm aware of and have interacted with each organization at least a little bit from my time down here. To put it candidly, for the most part, what they also do to a degree is hold back a new GOP which, hopefully, will be somewhat more Libertarian, though certainly still conservative, as well. In my opinion, they are Old School as organizations, more DC-esque than grassroots now and suck up too many valuable resources, some of which would probably serve the GOP better in younger, fresher hands. And I say that as no youngster myself.

As to Quin's item, again with no disrespect intended:

What the RNC said is that the conservative movement means nothing to it.

What conservative movement?

Or do you mean that thing that gave us eight years of another Big Government Bush, … who I nonetheless still admire and salute for his fortitude? The one that out of involvement, or non gave the GOP John McCain as its standard bearer this year? Or do you mean the one that still has not managed to find a way to effectively merge the fine and important forces of the Religious Right into the GOP by incorporating values without alienating so many good minded, Right-leaning citizens who wish to participate in a civic activity that is and should be, by definition, secular?

And unfortunately, from what I can tell, while believing that Katon Dawson is not a racist, given that so many RNC members flirted so deeply with a public relations nightmare due to Mr. Dawson's country club membership at such a pivotal time in our political history, I can only assume that it is not only old guard GOP organizations that have not either kept pace, or in touch with the world we live in today.

As much as I'd like to ponder at length the phenomenon of the GOP/conservative disconnect, or contemplate the significance of the 77 votes for Katon Dawson on the final ballot, my synapses are too frayed for any serious thinking now. If anybody else has some unfatigued brain cells they'd like to apply to these Big Picture questions, please have at it.

My only hope is that two years is enough time to at least begin some much needed change and refreshing of the GOP and any aligned movement so that we might be able to gain back some ground against the now extremely powerful liberal movement holding onto all but complete power in Washington.

Frankly, that the above came to pass under the watch of today's GOP and "conservative movement" tells me about all I need to know about them both as presently comprised.

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  1. mary says:

    “Riehl World View
    This site may harm your computer’
    Anyone else getting this message when they google this site?
    The page prompts you to go at your own risk and gives you the url.

  2. mary says:

    Apologies for the triple post, don’t understand why that happened.
    Here is what comes up for your page and ace and michelle:
    “Warning – visiting this web site may harm your computer!
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    Or you can continue to at your own risk. For detailed information about the problems we found, visit Google’s Safe Browsing diagnostic page for this site.
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    If you are the owner of this web site, you can request a review of your site using Google’s Webmaster Tools. More information about the review process is available in Google’s Webmaster Help Center.
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  3. Ken Hahn says:

    I got the warning looking at pictures of dogs. Google has lost it.

  4. RTW says:

    I heard on the radio news that it was a temporary glitch in Google. Everyone was getting the warning no matter what they were searching.

  5. hitnrun says:

    “Frankly, that the above came to pass under the watch of today’s GOP and “conservative movement” tells me about all I need to know about them both as presently comprised.”
    This post is a joke, but a joke that I get, as it were.
    The conservative movement is vital, and the non-conservative Republicans who envision some “supply side atheist” or “like Obama ’08 except with more accountants” party winning something other than a few state houses northeast of Philadelphia are delusional. Some people are talking about a party whose candidate had been maintaining a 5 point lead for a couple weeks before a) Lehman Bros and b) the Palin Interviews, tearing up their alleged platform and starting over.
    With that said, conservatives have few representatives both willing and able to stand in center ring of the media circus, and one thing that Bush emphatically proved is that (security aside) taking “the closest thing” is not acceptable. Steele may not be a card carrying diehard, but he can articulate and competently defend his positions while granting a new image to the Republican party.
    If the serious consideration of Dawson proves anything, it’s that the conservative movement is a disaster area with regards to politics, which is different from policy.

  6. Peg C. says:

    The conservative movement is just sad. Here’s hoping the next 2 years concentrates its collective mind. With that said, I wanted Steele.

  7. Mike K says:

    Blackwell suffered from dissatisfaction about his race for governor of Ohio. That’s why he was not endorsed by the Ohio delegation. He was perceived to have run a poor campaign. I just hope Michael Steele is tech savvy enough and in tune with the young libertarian voters. Both are fine men.

  8. Tennwriter says:

    With McCain, we followed the RINOs off the cliff. Now Mr. Riehl wants us to follow the Libertarians off the cliff.
    We’ve already proven to the maximum that it can be proven in a human society that RINOism doesn’t work. I suppose we could do the same with Libertarianism. We could go whole hog Tarian. And once we lose pretty much every seat up for contention in 2010, maybe then the Libertarians would agree to let the proven success of Conservatism have a go at it?
    Probably not.
    Social Conservatism is more popular than Republicanism. I support many Libertarian principles not because they are popular, but because they are part of Conservatism, and are correct. I also support the social issues for the same reason.
    If I wanted to be a complete opportunist, I suppose I could forge a Traditional Value Union Supporting Populism, and the Republican Party would probably clean up at the polls. However doing such is wrong. Just as supporting Libertarianism across teh board is wrong.

  9. Tennwriter says:

    And I wish Libertarians would stop blaming Bush’s RINOism on Conservatism.

  10. M. Simon says:

    If the old dogs were turning tricks they would be more in touch with their customers.

  11. flicka47 says:

    Well maybe we should first define what secular conservatism is.
    And if it is not the take no stand RINOs ,then what is it?
    Liberals are not secular,why are conservatives supposed to be?

  12. Pink Pig says:

    Not that I want to get into the middle of a pissing contest, but is somebody here claiming that the Republican party reliably represents the interest of conservatives? If so, then conservatives must be as corrupt as Democrats. Your mileage may vary, of course.

  13. Mark says:

    No doubt Google was showing their loyalty to the Fuehrer, preparing to unleash the Unfairness Doctrine onto the Web, too.

  14. Tennwriter says:

    M. Simon,
    You and I disagree a fair bit, although you have made me think with your contention that drug use is for undiagnosed pain. However, that line of yours above is just funny.
    If only, the R party were more opportunistic and unscrupulously pragmatic they probably would be more conservative because that is of course where the votes are. Instead, they cling to outdated notions like a toddler screaming and clinging to his car seat so he can avoid a visit to Chuckie Cheeses. Its strange.

  15. Look— there are only three major political urges in today’s politics: the urge for social justice, the urge for public order (virtue) and the urge for freedom. Got that? Now—choose ONE. One is all we get to choose, because at some level any policy designed to bring about an outcome in line with any one of these three urges will necessarily conflict with the other two, forcing us to choose. This is why even though virtually every citizen possesses all three of these urges to some degree, in almost everyone you will find that one of the urges predominates, leaving the other two subordinate to the goals of the primary urge.
    In America today, the Democratic Party clearly finds social justice (the equalizing of social outcomes) to be their primary concern. They are willing to compromise the goals of freedom and public virtue in order to further the cause of social justice. The Republicans on the other hand have come to focus mainly on virtuous public order and will compromise on social justice and freedom if it furthers the cause against same-sex marriage, abortion, and reduced immigration for example.
    Now, what’s wrong with this picture? With the Democrats biased toward and thus least willing to compromise social justice policy, and the Republicans biased toward and least likely to compromise on matters of public order, that leaves the only common ground between them on which to compromise—the only political values both sides are willing to bargain away—is freedom. That’s what’s wrong. Freedom is in the crosshairs from both sides in today’s politics. As currently configured, neither party is fit to protect individual freedom, which means that the odds of us emerging from their politics with our still in possession of our rights and freedoms practically nil. If freedom is to survive in our land (or in the world for that matter), then freedom must have an advocate amongst our major parties.
    So, does anyone see the Democrats abandoning leftism in favor of property rights, gun rights, and economic freedom? Me neither. The Republican Party was the party of freedom and can be again. In the Land of the Free, such a move could only bode well for a freedom first Republican Party electorally. After all, the Republicans already know what lies at the end of the public morality first road. They’re soaking in it.

  16. David Ross says:

    Blackwell is a creationist. I can’t link here, but you can search his name and “The Evolution Trap” on Townhall. Blackwell would have driven the GOP into extinction. I’m glad we’ve got Steele instead.

  17. Dan says:

    Excellent points, Peter.

  18. Tennwriter says:

    The Republican Party was founded on the failure of Whig moderates, the mushy middle fiscal conservatives of their day, to take a moral stance on the great issue of the day. Freedom and morality are not necessarily in disagreement as slavery and abortion show quite well.
    The road we’ve been down is the one where the conservatives get a token present on good days, and the kiss-off, and a fish in the face most of the time. We’ve been down the road of Republican partisanship, the “Its good to be the King” road, and it led us to here.
    The problem is that Libertarians are helping RINOs to attack the natural leaders of the Republican Party. This Party is Abe Lincoln’s Party. Socons, standard full-bore conservatives, are the base, and the path to victory. But we get chihuahuas tangling up our ankles (that’d be Tarians) so that the Inside the Beltway Boys can keep their deathgrip on power.
    You are helping Mitch McConnell.
    You want more individual freedom? Sign on to help Standard Conservatism defeat the RINOs.
    But, too often it seems Libertarians would rather cuddle up to their strawman of ‘theocratic terror’, and make friends with the unprincipled rather than see things as they really are. Your Standard Conservative is good on values, defense, and economics. He is highly Libertarian, in not just economic issues (where he is close to complete Libertarian), but he is also more Libertarian than Democrats on social issues.
    Differences? He doesn’t want to open cocaine bars across from schools, or brothels next to churches, he believes in Creation and in God. And for those differences alone the typical prejudgiced and bigoted Libertarian is willing to sign up with people who have no love of freedom at all, and indeed don’t even understand it.

  19. Tennwriter says:

    Let me be clear. I don’t say Peter is ‘prejudgiced and bigoted.’ I don’t know him that well. However, a lot of Libertarians are just as I claim.