LIFE IN THE ASYLUM
IS THE REPUBLICAN PARTY WORTH SAVING?
The Republican establishment has put all of its marbles behind making Mitt Romney our 2012 candidate, because he is “steady, moderate, and elect-able.” The deal was all but done when Mitt managed to win the endorsement of principled conservative John McCain. [In a better world, a present or future Republican candidate would run in the opposite direction from a McCain endorsement.] Incidentally, the Republican establishment gave us John McCain in 2008 because he was steady, moderate, and it was “his turn”. See Why Is This So Hard? here, and update, here, for more on this.
By all indications, McCain still has no idea why Barack Obama [hereinafter “B.O.”] is president today. Many of McCain’s handpicked, reliable campaign operatives still maintain that it was all Sarah Palin’s fault. McCain also seems to have little realization of whom he helped to elect. On January 16, 2011, McCain wrote an op-ed in the Washington Post lavishing praise on B.O.’s “terrific speech” after the Tuscon shootings. He then gushed the following:
"I disagree with many of the president's policies, but I believe he is a patriot sincerely intent on using his time in office to advance our country's cause. I reject accusations that his policies and beliefs make him unworthy to lead America or opposed to its founding ideals."
David Axelrod, who is being paid to flack for B.O., could not have done it better.
Why do the good people of Arizona continue to elect a man like this? The debacle of 2008 not being fresh enough in their minds, in 2010 they inflicted McCain on the United States for six more years. Why, you might also ask, do the good people of North Carolina elect a man like Lindsey Graham? Why did the good people of Pennsylvania elect a man like Arlen Specter? One reason is because the GOP establishment keeps serving them up as our candidates.
You might recall that one of Mitt’s backup candidates, Rick Santorum, supported Specter for reelection in 2004 against an actual conservative, Pat Toomey. Other Specter supporters included the “compassionate conservative” George W. Bush, and most of the GOP establishment. Specter won, then went on to vote for, among numerous other bad things, Obamacare. This made him unpopular among 2010 Republican primary voters, so Specter did the honorable thing: he switched to the Democratic Party. [There is a God: the Democratic voters didn’t want him either]. Santorum has yet to come up with a sufficient explanation for his support of such a quintessential RINO.
Now back to Lindsey Graham. B.O., the most nakedly radical, far left-wing individual ever to hold the office of president, got the early opportunity to make not one, but two appointments to the U.S. Supreme Court. That Court has, for decades, been steadily grabbing power unto itself that the Constitution never assigned to it, and assigning power to unelected bureaucrats that the Founding Fathers would never have tolerated [e.g. not only allowing, but virtually ordering, the EPA to declare the naturally occurring, essential-to-all-life gas CO² to be a pollutant!] Surprisingly, B.O. nominated two reliably left wing Constitution-ignorers. Not surprisingly, Lindsey Graham, particularly captivated by Elena Kagan’s “sense of humor,” voted for both of them.
Graham was joined on both of these votes by Richard Lugar of Indiana, who many years ago was considered a conservative. Lugar has spent the last thirty-four years “growing in office”, and has become an unfortunate poster boy for term limits. Both of the above were joined by Lamar Alexander, still of Tennessee, himself a long-ago moderate, steady presidential hopeful, and Kit Bond of Missouri, in voting for the “wise Latina”, Sonia Sotomayor. At least Bond had the decency to retire shortly after that vote.
In contrast to the other party, the GOP establishment seems ever ready to “reach across the aisle” to help the left wing achieve its goals. Take the nomination of Ruth Bader Ginsburg to the U.S. Supreme Court. Her resume left no doubt that she was one of the most “progressive” leftist people in the United States. On August 3, 1993, she was confirmed by a Senate vote of 96 to 3!!! Reaching across the aisle was raised to a new art form. The three who cast sensible votes are no longer in the Senate. Unfortunately, some of the more accomplished aisle-crossers still are: McCain, Lugar, Charles Grassley, Orrin Hatch, and Mitch McConnell.
By the way, there is only one Republican candidate, definitely not supported by the establishment, who has spoken out against the power-grabbing excesses of the Supreme and lower courts over the last several decades. That would be Newt Gingrich. The establishment response? Ridicule and crush Newt. Offer us Mitt instead, whose knowledge of the assigned role of the courts under the Constitution seems non-existent.
In 2010 the GOP won a substantial majority in the House of Representatives (242-193), the branch in which the Constitution requires all revenue bills to originate. Kudos to the GOP establishment, yes? No, to the Tea Party. Well, since all revenue bills must originate there, great opportunity to cut spending and massive debt, yes? No. After an entire year in charge, we are spending and borrowing more than ever before. Worse yet, the GOP majority has bargained away its power to refuse to raise the U.S. debt limit. Yes, you read that right. They shrewdly struck a deal with the other party that the debt limit will soon rise by more than $1.2 Trillion despite the House voting No to O.B.’s request to do so.
Is it just coincidence, or bad karma, or who knows what, that has the GOP establishment year after year giving us steady, moderate, electable candidates, with the inevitable result that even if they win, the left-wing ratchet clicks ever further left? Or is there more to this? Is it at last evident that the GOP establishment, the encrusted, been-there-forever, it’s-my-turn-to-chair-the-powerful-whatever-subcommittee people are as happy with the metastasizing Leviathan federal government as are their counterparts in the other party?
If they give us Mitt, he’s not going to get the electorate too excited. If he wins, he’s not going to shake things up very much. If he loses, virtually every encrusted incumbent will still be there, reaching across the aisle, cutting deals, and cementing high-level “contacts.” And even if an occasional GOP encrustee loses, he can look forward to this:
"Former senators could expect to earn somewhere between $800,000 and $1.5
million in annual salary next year at lobby firms, while ex-House members could
earn between $300,000 and $600,000, headhunters estimated. They predicted ex-Republican law-makers would draw bigger salaries than retiring Democrats. . . .
The retiring class includes lawmakers who are known for their bipartisan ties,
and others who have spent decades on Capitol Hill accruing seniority on powerful committees. That mix of attributes has many on K Street licking their chops."
The above numbers do not include a six-figure pension, another six-figures in speaking fees, and God knows what else. Note that being “known for [your] bipartisan ties” (reaching across the aisle) is very good for your post-congress earnings. And the process is certainly bipartisan. Tom Daschle (former Dem. Senator) and Trent Lott (former Rep. Senator), both of whom left the Senate under a cloud, are palling around together giving “strategic advice.” Daschle, in addition to his congressional pension, has earned in the last two years:
"$2.1 million from Alston & Bird; $2 million in consulting fees from the private
equity firm [InterMedia]; and at least $220,000 for speeches to health care, pharma-ceutical and insurance companies. He also received nearly $100,000 from health-
related companies affected by federal regulation."
It would seem that the Republican establishment has a huge incentive to be cozy with the other party, and to keep things going pretty much as they are, whether it is good for the country and its people or not. Thus we need Mitt to be our front man in an election that will be as plastic as he is. As for a candidate who might actually shake up some things (e.g. Newt Gingrich), get him outta there! Bring out the vindictive ex-wife! Bring out Ann Coulter to scream about how unelectable he is.
So to return to the question in the title of this article: No. Not as presently constituted, and not in any time frame that can save the country from irreparable damage. We would need multiple election cycles to replace all the entrenched people who need to go, if they can
be made to go at all [see John McCain]. And in the meantime we would still have to worry about the new people being seduced on a daily basis by the intoxicating atmosphere of Maharaja-like wealth and power we have allowed our elite rulers to amass.
What do we do now, in the 2012 election? The only advice this writer can offer is to not touch with a ten-foot pole any candidate being pushed by the GOP establishment. If Newt
is not your man, find somebody else. But find somebody who will not gush praise over B.O., or prattle on about how our disagreements with him are few and minor. Somebody who will call out the media, the courts, the education establishment, and both political parties as they presently stand, and tell it like it is. The country is in serious trouble, the emperor has no clothes, and we need a candidate who will shout those things out.