Tuesday, August 30, 2011

GOP Establishment Keeps On Disappointing

There are three problems with the GOP establishment class. First, they mistake K Street for the public and they mistake K Street’s crony-capitalism for genuine capitalism. Secondly, they are technocrats who don’t understand the fundamentals of politics. And third, they are cowards who would rather lose than upset anyone. In the past week, we’ve received some classic examples of this.

Example One: Peggy Noonan
The first example relates to Rick Perry and comes from Peggy Noonan. Noonan is a former Bush I speech writer who wrote the obnoxious, backhanded attack on Reaganism: “a kinder, gentler nation.” She also wrote the ultimately foolish “read my lips: no new taxes.” She spent the 2008 election attacking Sarah Palin. Now she’s after Rick Perry.

There are good reasons to be concerned about Rick Perry. He seems to be a champion of crony capitalism, and I am concerned he will wrap Big Business socialism in the mantle of conservatism, just as Bush and Obama have done. And I am hearing similar concerns from other conservatives and Tea Party people everywhere. But that’s not Noonan’s concern. Nope, she unquestioningly takes him as a “natural conservative.” What troubles her is his style:
His primary flaw appears to be a chesty, quick-draw machismo that might be right for an angry base but wrong for an antsy country. Americans want a president who feels their anger without himself walking around enraged.
Really? So she doesn’t even see or care about the danger that he might be a Big Business Trojan Horse, but she’s worried that mushy centrists might not like him speaking confidently about his beliefs? Indeed, she equates having strong beliefs with being angry. This is a clear example of what is wrong with the establishment: they don’t see any conflict between conservatism and cronyism, yet they worry when the crony doesn't appear meek enough. Pathetic.
Example Two: Jeb Bush
Jeb Bush’s supporters tell us that he’s not like the rest of his family. “He’s a genuine conservative,” they say. His record doesn’t reflect that, and sure, he supports teachers unions and open borders and RINO candidates and his son is now a Jon Huntsman supporter, but "trust us," they say. Well, I’m not buying it. The Bush family are RINOs to the core and I will not support another one. I will vote for Satan before I vote for Bush.

So what did Bush do now? On Fox Business News, Bush warned the 2012 GOP contenders that they should not attack Obama. According to Bush, they can talk about his policies, but they need to steer clear of attacking Obama himself and “ascribing bad motives to the guy." Why? Because "that’s wrong” and it "risks alienating voters."

This is so fundamentally wrong. Elections that involve incumbent Presidents are referendums on the President. They are not contests of equals. In other words, with a few exceptions, it doesn’t matter who we pick as a candidate, the public will be voting based on whether or not they want to retain Barack Obama. . . that's it. And the only way to win an election against an incumbent is to turn the public against the incumbent. That means pointing out their failures, their flaws, the things they’ve done and said that the public has not liked. It means pointing out why their motivations are bad, i.e. “ascribing bad motives to the guy.” And it means attacking them personally over all the little things the public doesn’t like about them. That is how you beat an incumbent.

What Bush is proposing is for losers. It is the rules for some country club debating society, not a political campaign to lead the country. And the fact he would try to disarm his own side, once again shows why no one should ever trust another Bush anywhere near the White House.
Example Three: Stop Praising The Bad Guys!
Finally, we come to a series of Republicans going out of their way to give aid and comfort to the Democrats:
● Chris Christie tells us that global warming is real.

● Jon Huntsman called Republicans who reject the false science behind global warming “anti-science.”

● Former Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist says that we shouldn’t repeal ObamaCare because 70% of it is good.

● Massive RINO Tom Davis, former Congressman from Virginia who supports DC statehood, can’t bring himself to point out the Obama Justice Department’s sudden investigation of S&P is retaliation for making Obama look bad. The best he can suggest is that “it almost looks retaliatory.” Right, and World War II was kinda, sorta a shooting thingy.

● John McCain and Lindsey Graham are giving the President aid and comfort on Libya, saying that the United States should be “proud of the role our country played.” McCain had previously stated that Obama made “a strong case” for the use of the military in Libya. . . even as everyone else was calling the war illegal.
This is exactly what angers average Republicans with the establishment. These are issues on which the Democrats blew it. Yet, this group of weak-kneed, "can't we all just get along" Republicans cannot stop themselves from offering aid and comfort to the struggling Democrats. This must stop. They need to learn from the Democrats that you never praise the other side and you never bail them out of their messes. And you certainly NEVER attack your own side. Until the establishment learns these lessons, they are no better than Democratic collaborators.


Notawonk said...

andrew: you brought out the big guns today. well done. you have articulated what many struggle to identify: you never praise the other side and you never bail them out of their messes. And you certainly NEVER attack your own side.

this is politics. it gets dirty. having a spine is a plus.

i'm so incredibly disappointed in our choices that i'm gonna ask bev to share her emergency hurricane vodka with me...

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Patti, it is disappointing. Even when most of the GOP is finally pointing in the right direction and the rank and file are speaking with one voice on these issues. . . the establishment crew just cannot change their stripes. They just can't stop helping the Democrats and trying to play politics like it's a chat with an old friend.

Politics is a nasty business that involves winners and losers and if you don't win, then you lose. And if you want to see your beliefs put into law, you can't be bending over backwards to rescue the people who want to crush you.

Unknown said...

Andrew: As you have aptly pointed out, the Republican establishment cannot distinguish between hardcore politics and college debating societies. The future of America is at stake, Satan sits in the White House, and the demons of hell control the Senate. OK, I went a little overboard, but something pretty close to that is what is going to be needed in the 2012 elections.

Perry's outspoken cowboy mannerisms don't bother me in the least, his crony capitalism does. Likewise for the others you mentioned. Crony capitalism is exactly what the Democrats are beating Republicans over the head with, even though Democrats are the true masters of that art. It's time for Republicans to return the favor. We need a candidate who believes in capitalism--for everyone--not just for his family and close friends.

The old expression is "give the Devil his due." Phooey! That's fine for philosophical types, but as for me, kick the Devil in the ass.

You nailed it.

AndrewPrice said...

Lawhawk, Kick the devil in the ass is right! It's time that the Republican establishment realized that the Democrats are the enemy, they aren't friends who have a few disagreements. The Democrats have been attacking everything that makes America special and they will continue to do so.

I'm with you 100% about Perry. I think his style is great. It gets noticed, people like it, and he's very good at concentrating his message. His style is not a problem... unless you're a whiny RINO who wants our side to be meek.

The real danger with Perry, the one our journalists should be looking into is the crony capitalism thing. If that's true, then we don't want him. But to dismiss that and be upset about his style upsetting a few people is just the height of what's wrong with the establishment.

Tennessee Jed said...

Peggy Noonan - wow, I haven't heard from her in a while. She always was and always will be. Agree, that while I personally liked Dubya, he never was a conservative. Neither is Jeb (that's Jeb NOT Jed btw.)

I am not a Perry fan, I am a Ryan fan. But, as you pointed out, Ryan is not running and Perry is liable to be the only alternative to Barrack. That actually would make for a good discussion: why don't real conservatives have a developmental program for candidates?

In theory, I am all for not going negative, but as others have said, we have to learn this is a no holds barred struggle.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, Don't worry, we won't get the Jeb/Jed thing wrong.

As a person, I liked George Bush a lot. As a President, he was a disaster for us. And he was absolutely not a conservative. He was basically his father all over again. And everything I hear from Jeb tells me that he will be the exact same thing.

I think Perry probably will be the nominee unless something unusual happens. He's better than Obama and I hope he's more conservative than he appears, but we'll see. I would like to see the conservative media really get to this issue of cronyism and see what he says.

Why we don't have a development program is a good question. I would say it's because conservatives have not been good at spotting the real conservatives from the fakes. Some of the fakes, like Christie, still draw conservative support even after he's shown himself to be the exact opposite of a conservative on almost every important issue.

In terms of not going negative, I think it depends on what you mean by negative. The self-appointed moderates seem to think that anything that mentions your opponent is going negative, but that's ridiculous. I agree we should avoid things like "he's a secret Muslim" but we should absolutely be blasting him over and over on everything he's done and the damage that's done to our country.

The truth is never negative (unless you're a liberal).

T-Rav said...

Patti: So am I, and I don't even drink!

Andrew: While I have fonder memories of G.W. Bush than you seem to, Jeb's comments were all wrong, not least because there's mounting evidence that attacking Obama is not only not counterproductive, but may turn out to be a valuable approach.

Crap like this is exactly why we need a Paul Ryan in the race. (I know, beating a dead horse and all, but it makes me feel better.)

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Beat away, the horse won't mind. :-)

I indeed do not have fond memories of Bush. He did a lot of harm to conservatism and if Obama hadn't overreached, I honestly think Bush would have killed conservatism for a generation. If you want, at some point, I can detail it. But that's neither here nor there at the moment.

The immediate problem is that these people keep undercutting the Republicans, both in their advice and in the aid they are offering to the Democrats to rescue them from their failures. That needs to end -- not to mention that they don't seem bothered at all by crony capitalism.

It's time for the establishment to catch up to where the rank and file are or be replaced.

And you're about the attacks on Obama, they are working. They will work particularly well on him because his popularity was based on his person rather than on any ideas he wanted to implement. So what you need to attack to undermine him with voters is that very popularity. Suggestions that we should only address his policies are a recipe for defeat.

AndrewPrice said...

By the way, in case you missed it, the Obama scapegoat for Operation Fast and Furious as "re-assigned" today, meaning he wasn't even fired. We've covered Fast and Furious here on several occasions and it's pretty shameful stuff. Let's hope the Republicans don't let this end here.

DUQ said...

I just don't understand why Republicans make themselves so weak in politics? Why can't they learn to fight? If they would stand up and fight, they would never have to face the kinds of revolts they've struggled with over things like the debt ceiling.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, That's probably true. I think their unwillingness to fight and their constant undercutting of our goals has led to a lot of distrust between average Republican voters and the establishment. So when the establishment says "trust me" the public says, "no way."

In that regard, our party is very much the opposite of the Democrats. The Democrats talk about being moderates, but then do what their rank and file want. Our party talks about doing what the rank and file want and then does the moderate thing.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, I've noticed recently that a lot of bloggers have begun referring to Obama as SCOAMF, which is an acronym for "Stuttering Cluster**** Of A Miserable Failure." I like it. Obviously GOP leaders can't come right out and repeat stuff like that, but the more such rhetoric circulates on the web, the easier it gets to go after him. If only they would take advantage of it.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I like that too. :-)

Clearly, that's not the sort of thing a politician would want to repeat. But at the same time, you don't need to be praising them. And there are ways to be insulting without ever being openly insulting. Unfortunately, the Republicans get stuck in this "respect for the office" garbage where they feel a knee-jerk need to treat Democrats like they are valuable colleagues instead of destructive monsters. These are the same Democrats who used to call Bush all kinds of names.

Moreover, it's very easy to attack someone's policies in ways that aren't over the top and yet make the points that need to be made and grab the public's attention. Unfortunately, the Republican position has almost always been to downplay any criticism. . . like they are afraid.

Instead of saying: Obama's economic policies have been a disgraceful failure that blew a hole in our economy and costs millions of Americans their jobs. . . they say, Obama faced some serious difficulties and I just don't think his policies have been very successful at overcoming those policies.

I am so sick of this cowardice. The Republicans more often than not act like they are trying to find a way to say something unpleasant about a dear relative rather than a political opponent.

If you don't have the nerve for politics, then stay out of politics!

CrispyRice said...

Amen amen amen, Andrew!! Well said.

How do I get in on the hurricane vodka?

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Crispy!

On the hurricane vodka, I think you're all going to have to see if Bev is willing to share.

Or everyone could just show up for a party at her house! ;-)

DUQ said...

Andrew, That's a really good point about the difference between the Republicans and the Democrats. I think that's also why we don't trust our establishment, whereas the Democrats ultimately do, even if they grouse about it.

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, I think that as a whole, the Democratic base is much happier with their leadership than people realize. They whine for the camera -- just as they are doing now.... this week we had unions and blacks both tell us they might not support Obama.... but that's just for show. They just want to remind the Democrats who pays the bills.

Republicans are different. We don't get nearly as much out of our side as they get out of theirs. So I think Republican support remains softer.

BevfromNYC said...

Did someone say "vodka"?? Feel free to stop by, there's plenty of hurricane vodka to be had. ;-)

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, Sounds like you bought too much... or you needed a bigger hurricane?

StanH said...

Amen Andrew! One thing that perhaps was overlooked, the establishment Republicans agree with their democrat colleagues. They will not fight because deep down inside their little statist hearts they are moving in the same direction, one just a little faster than the other. Out of the field, Perry has the momentum, but there’s a lot of politics left to be played, I still hope Palin get’s in. I don’t buy the establishment narrative that she doesn’t have what it takes, in my opinion she is the antithesis of all things Barry. They can’t heap anymore crap on her, she’s been through the wringer, that being said she may not even run. However when Jake Tapper tried to ask her a question, her reply was priceless, too paraphrase, Tapper: “Governor, could I ask you a couple serious questions?” Palin: When I get done speaking to this heifer.” The press is also our enemy folks, they must be beaten as well. We’ll see. I love your passion Andrew, that’s what we need.

Lawhawk: My wife read your post and said he may not be Satan himself, but at the very least one of the lesser demons…ha!

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Stan! We definitely do need passion. I think you're right that our establishment essentially wants to walk to where the Democrats want to run. That needs to be stopped. It's time that we got a party that represents our views... that represents conservatism and not slow-speed liberalism.

I don't know if Palin will run or not, but it is undeniable that she has the political personality that we need: we need someone who is unafraid to speak their mind and stand by what they believe without cowering in the corner and begging the Democrats to like them.

Let's hope that the new waves of Tea Party Republicans are up to the task of throwing the establishment overboard!

CrispyRice said...

"Republicans are different. We don't get nearly as much out of our side as they get out of theirs. So I think Republican support remains softer."

Really Andrew? I think we suck it up and vote for McCain or whoever they choose just as much. This is why I think the Tea Party movement is so important. It's brought out people who traditionally were too busy living their lives (and being productive) to get involved. Now we're involved. This could change things. But without them, I don't have any faith that the party will change.

Bev, I'm on my way! :)

CrispyRice said...

PS - T-Rav, I love the picture!!

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, I think our support is soft. Look at how regularly the Democrats can count on their voters to turn out for them because they know that their votes keep the goodies flowing.

Our voters turn out, but there is a 3-5% swing there that will abandon the Republicans if they thing the candidates stink. And look at the 1/3 of the public that calls itself conservative but doesn't support the Republicans!

If we were as lockstep as the Democrats, the Dems would never win another election.

CrispyRice said...

Well, I'm not saying we turn out the way Dems do, but I don't see us bucking the establishment and the way they anoint our nominees either. I don't feel like we have much say. (Maybe I'd feel differently if I lived in Iowa or New Hamster, but that's a topic for a different day perhaps...)

AndrewPrice said...

Crispy, I agree with that. That's why I said that we don't get as much out of our establishment. Our establishment talks to the base and then ignores us when they get to Washington.

Whereas, the Democrats talk to the public and then do their base's bidding in Washington.

Thus, our establishment stinks.

StanH said...

I just read the NLRB has passed “Card Check” by fiat, some of their recess appointments are running out. I hope this can be stopped, this bastard will not be happy until he kills industry in America.

I take it back Lawhawk, he is Satan.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, It can all be undone if we get the White House. Everything Obama does can be undone by Executive Order. Otherwise we need to pass legislation changing the law -- which won't work if the Dems can block the legislation in the Senate.

I heard the EPA is going to issue regulations soon too that will take another couple billion out of our economy. I hope the Republicans remember all of this when the election comes!

T-Rav said...

Thanks Crispy! I've had it for a while, I just never got around to updating my Blogger profile. Glad you like it ;-)

And folks, get with the program. Obama is not Satan. Bill Ayers is; TOTUS is only his lackey.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Something just seems wrong with calling Bill Ayers Satan. He's too small time. He is to Satan was Saddam was to Hilter... a small time imitator. I'd say he's more like Satan's cousin Winthorp.

Tennessee Jed said...

Andrew - as for going negative, I totally agree. A candidate against a sitting president should point out why this president's policies are wrong and offer their own plan as the alternative.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, I agree. I don't think it pays to attack someone in an underhanded way -- that almost always backfires. But you can never be afraid to hit them straight up with the truth about what they've done and the effects of what they've done.

Ed said...

Andrew, You put your finger right on what bothers me about the establishment. I'm sick of them. How do we dump them?

AndrewPrice said...

Ed, I'm hoping the masses of Tea Party candidates do that for us. Otherwise, I'm not honestly sure.

rlaWTX said...

Please, God, let us win the White House!!
I think that repealing the "fiat regulations" will go a long way to helping things!

RE GOP: I think that there is still a feeling w/in the establishment that the GOP is seen as the bad guys (see "Kinder, Gentler") and they are still trying to rehab the R reputation. I think they have missed the fact that rep rehab doesn't govern the country! And it hasn't really been winning elections either.
I think there is a 2-fold basis for the rep rehab that is actually self-contradicting: [1] They idolize Reagan's "Big Tent", but see it as "being conciliatory" instead of opening up the party to those who were like-minded and didn't realize it.
[2] They see the negative press about "mean Republicans" that began long ago, but spiked during Reagan, and they believe it and their feelings are hurt - without realizing that "mean Republicans" - esp Reagan - were considered "mean" because they were winning and governing! And they don't see how this contradicts #1.

T-Rav: I have fonder feelings/memories of W that "some" around here too. I think it is because of 9/11. I still think that him in charge afterward was better than any D and many Rs. However, I used to watch my lib cousins' heads spin when I told them that W wasn't conservative enough!

TOTUS isn't Satan. But as Stan's lackey, he takes his orders from him. Luckily, I think Satan is a little schizo when it comes to his orders to his various minions here and abroad, so they haven't started working together real well - YET... But I think that might be because Satan doesn't want his American minions identified as such yet...

rlaWTX said...

**Satan's lackey -- NOT Stan's!!**

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Satan's problem is that he's playing with the B-Team and always will be. So he's destined to lose, as are his minions.... like the three headed Obama/Pelosi/Reid beast.

You make a very good point about the GOP establishment -- they want to be liked and they keep hearing Republicans described as "mean" and "nasty" and they think being meek will solve that. But that is again a complete misunderstanding of politics. Your enemies will always try to make you out as evil. That's just part of the game. And if you can't live with it, then don't play.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Stan's lackey. LOL!

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