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What does the Republican Party Want?
Dan Miller's Blog ^ | January 12, 2013 | Dan Miller

Posted on 01/12/2013 1:39:44 PM PST by DanMiller

Reelection of its incumbents and power of course, but what else matters? Anything?

An article by Scott Rasmussen published yesterday contends that

Just a few days after reaching [the fiscal cliff] agreement, an inside-the-Beltway publication reported another area of bipartisan agreement. Politico explained that while Washington Democrats have always viewed GOP voters as a problem, Washington Republicans "in many a post-election soul-searching session" have come to agree. More precisely, the article said the party's Election 2012 failures have "brought forth one principal conclusion from establishment Republicans: They have a primary problem."

As seen from the halls of power, the problem is that Republican voters think it's OK to replace incumbent senators and congressman who don't represent the views of their constituents. In 2012, for example, Republican voters in Indiana dumped longtime Sen. Richard Lugar in a primary battle.

. . . .

So, according to Politico, the Washington team is gearing up a new effort to protect incumbents and limit the ability of Republican voters to successfully challenge establishment candidates. (Emphasis added.)

That makes sense to those whose sole goal is winning a majority in Congress rather than changing the course of government policy. Seen from the outside, though, it sounds like the professional politicians are saying that the only way to win is to pick more candidates like the insiders. Hearing that message, the reaction of many Republican and conservative voters is, "Why bother?" (Emphasis added.)

That's why more than two-thirds of Republican voters believe GOP officials in Washington have lost touch with the party's base.

The Republican establishment has two choices. They can act as mature party leaders of a national political party, or they can protect their own self-interest.

There are good reasons for conservative voters to "bother." If we don't, who will? Party leaders won't; they seem comfortable with things as they are. When the time comes to vote, most "honorable members" leave their consciences if not their brains outside and do as their party leaders tell them to. Those who reject party control can be stripped of committee assignments and otherwise disciplined. Hence, few reject party control.


Video link

Here's another video. Relevant? Substitute "U.S. Senate" for "House of Peers" and it makes a bit of contextual sense. The Senate was, after all, modeled on the House of Peers as the House was modeled on the House of Commons.


Video link

Should the Senate emulate the House of Peers by doing nothing -- and doing it very well? The Senate has been doing a lot of that. However, since no legislation can pass without approval by both houses, doing nothing can be good or bad depending on what one wants done. Doing nothing well -- as in doing everything badly -- is a bit different; both houses do much of that.

More seriously, the Republican Party is evidently trying to appear "moderate" to appeal to more voters and thereby ensure the reelection of its favored incumbents. That requires it to move ever leftward in tandem with the Democrat Party. Former House Speaker Pelosi seems to like their strategy.

When fiscal cliff legislation passed with mainly Democratic votes, Republicans griped, “Who’s the Speaker?” It was humiliating for the GOP majority to play the handmaiden to minority leader Nancy Pelosi. Asked if the lopsided vote makes her the de facto Speaker of the House, Pelosi demurred, coyly saying “not quite,” and reveling in her renewed clout. After the Democrats failed to regain control of the House in last year’s election, Pelosi appeared headed for a largely symbolic role as leader of the minority party in a chamber where the majority rules with an iron hand.

Republican infighting turned that assumption on its head with Pelosi suddenly looking stronger and more relevant than anybody anticipated, and not just because of Democratic votes that avoided the fiscal cliff. Unlike her counterpart on the Republican side, Pelosi is a leader with a firm lock on her caucus.


Does Speaker Boehner want President Obama to kiss him too? Sometimes it seems as though he does.

obama kisses pelosi

It can probably be arranged. For a price -- if we are willing to pay it and if we fail to be as effective in purging librul Republicans as Speaker Boehner has been in purging conservative Republicans.

Does Speaker Boehner want the Republican Party to move further and further leftward in tandem with the Democrat Party? If so, a strategy of appealing to the largest and most diverse audience possible makes sense, just as it would if the party were peddling soap or breakfast cereal. That may be its marketing strategy, but if conservatives are to have a strong voice in Government it leaves us with little choice beyond going elsewhere.

What should be the Republican Party's job?

As a minority party, its job should be to prevent the majority party from injuring America beyond restoration, using every lawful substantive and procedural ploy in its arsenal. That it can't do so perfectly is no excuse for not trying or for backing off when it becomes inconvenient to continue. As a majority party (should that ever happen again) its job will be to rectify mistakes made by the previous majority party, to make as few more of them as possible and to move the nation bit by bit to the right. Is the Republican Party as presently constituted capable of doing that?

Beyond that, its most important job, whether in or out of power, is to demand rigorous adherence to the Constitution -- the charter upon which our Federal Government was uniquely founded. It must do that not only when it is popular but also when it is unpopular. That's one of the reasons why we have a Federal Republic, rather than a democracy based on popular vote -- something modern technology has made it easy to have if we wanted it. We don't and shouldn't.

To the extent that the Constitution is diminished so is the nation. It was intentionally made very difficult to amend. It can be amended if necessary, but in no event should it be evaded, avoided, ignored or otherwise treated as optional. We have seen the results when that happens. Want an example?

Venezuela -- a model democracy?

Anyone who hasn't been paying attention to the situation in Venezuela might want to go here and read a dozen or so recent articles. Need more? Here's an article I wrote in May of last year. Here's another.

When el Presidente Chávez took office in 1999, he began only slowly to implement his “reforms.” To a casual observer, few changes were apparent in Venezuela between 1997 when my wife and I first arrived and late 2001 when we left, probably never to return. We had a few concerns about the future of the country under Chávez but they were low on our list of reasons not to buy land and build our home in the state of Merida, up in the Andes. Mainly, we wanted to continue sailing and Merida is inconveniently far from an ocean.

Chávez’ initiatives increased dramatically in number and in magnitude only when he was well into his seemingly endless terms in office. Maybe he had heard the story of the frog put into a pleasantly warm but slowly heating pot of water. The frog failed to realize until too late that he was being boiled for dinner. By then the frog had become unable to jump out of the pot.

Boiled Frogs New

Now in his second (and, one hopes, final term) President Obama has flexibility not dramatically less than did el Presidente Chávez once his power was well on the way to becoming firmly established. Perhaps the frogs are beginning to feel the heat; perhaps that will come later.

As Chávez steps into history, should Venezuela be our nation's role model?

h/t Devil's Excrement

h/t Devil's Excrement

Where are we going?


Video link

Even leaving the Constitution aside, how many others like this are there now? Somebody has to be held accountable and pay. But gosh darn! Who should it be? As they and others in comparable circumstances continue to multiply, how many more will there be as their children mature sufficiently to reproduce and for little else? And reproduce. And reproduce. Here's a longer version if anyone is interested.

How frequently is that pitiful scene repeated across the nation now? If spending on the welfare state continues to grow, how often will the scene be repeated over the next decade or two?

free stuff

Personal responsibility? What's that? Who should take care of her children and other consequences of personal irresponsibility funded by a "compassionate" Government at the expense of us all? Should we ask el Commandante Chávez? As long as his now uncertain ability to care for his people continues, support for him can remain a viable substitute for personal responsibility. Should we ask El Commandante President Obama? He has many other important priorities.

Obama bring a gun

Freedom cannot exist without personal responsibility. Illusions of freedom can but should be unacceptable.

An illusion of freedom can be seen as real no less than can a 3D motion picture; when the movie bad guy throws a knife into the audience, some may duck but even then they understand that the knife illusion can't hurt them. In that sense, the knife illusion is preferable to a real knife. Most who prefer the illusion of freedom to actual freedom are probably aware of the differences between a real knife and the illusion of one in a 3D motion picture. Do they prefer an illusion of freedom to its reality because reality includes the freedom to fail -- and to suffer the consequences -- as well as the freedom to succeed? The illusion of freedom increasingly causes the consequences of failure to be imposed on others. Some probably like that. Others perhaps prefer the illusion without thinking; or maybe they enjoy the illusion that they are thinking about it.

Recognition of the possibility of failure is an impetus to do the work needed to succeed. The chances of success for those who do not recognize the possibility of failure -- and hence the need to pay attention to what they have to do avoid it -- are slim.

A "compassionate" Government seeks to prevent the failure of its favorites or at least to cushion their landings. The leadership of the Republican Party should realize that it is fully capable of failure and that, unlike Democrat Party supporters, the consequences of their failures are unlikely to be cushioned by a "compassionate" Democrat Government. If the Republican Party has not already failed its chances of doing so are high and increasing. If it does not take remedial action, starting now, the rest of us need to prepare for its demise by birthing its replacement. That kid had better mature and take responsibility fast, because if he doesn't it will probably be too late.

TOPICS: Government; Politics
KEYWORDS: boehner; conservatives; obama; pelosi
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What should we do? Any other ideas?
1 posted on 01/12/2013 1:39:57 PM PST by DanMiller
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To: DanMiller

Sammich maker for the Rats.

2 posted on 01/12/2013 1:41:19 PM PST by deadrock
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To: DanMiller

Get involved in you local GOP and change things. Griping on the internet is not going to get it done.

3 posted on 01/12/2013 1:50:38 PM PST by Sarabaracuda (Glenn Beck is right. Victory through peaceful resistance.)
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To: DanMiller

Stop voting Liberal

Voting for a Liberal with an R next to its name is still voting Liberal

The GOP better wake up and get over its Liberal fetish. If it think it can win with coalitions of Illegal Aliens and NE Liberals....good riddance. The conservative base will go elsewhere

4 posted on 01/12/2013 2:04:28 PM PST by SeminoleCounty (The only automatic weapon is the one Obama uses to take your paycheck)
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To: Sarabaracuda; DanMiller
"I predict future happiness for Americans if they can prevent the government from wasting
the labors of the people under the pretense of taking care of them."
... Thomas Jefferson

5 posted on 01/12/2013 2:21:48 PM PST by skinkinthegrass (who'll take tomorrow,spend it all today;who can take your income,tax it all away..0'Bozo man can :-)
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To: DanMiller
The Senate was, after all, modeled on the House of Peers . . .

Not exactly, but that aside, the Framers learned from the eleven year experience of the States since the Declaration. The first State constitutions leaned heavily on the "democratic" side, most with strong legislatures derived entirely from the people, and purposely weak governors. These popular State governments were unstable and abusive of property rights.

Our Framers knew the source of the troubles, the people and corrected the problem at the national level with a Senate NOT derived from the people. That lesson was apparently forgotten with the 17th Amendment.

Our "Senators," of six year terms present a far greater threat to our liberties that our Framers understood. They are just as subject to the whims of the popular mob, and react in the same fashion as Congressmen.

As long as the 17th Amendment, and its sister in evil, the 16th, remain, there is little hope for our republic.

6 posted on 01/12/2013 2:31:29 PM PST by Jacquerie ("How few were left who had seen the republic!" - Tacitus, The Annals)
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To: Jacquerie; BillyBoy

This notion many FReepers have that abolishing the 17th will somehow serve as a (partial) panacea for what ails Congress is a sadly misguided one. It was passed in the first place precisely because the Senate had become corrupted and unaccountable.

7 posted on 01/12/2013 2:54:58 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: DanMiller

The Republican party is a joke. Boehner and the other so-called “leaders” are Obama’s Monica Lewinksy! They even bring their own kneepads! The Republicans are done. They are as corrupt as the Democrats and serve the same true masters - the NWO elite who want to destroy this country and crush the American spirit.

8 posted on 01/12/2013 3:19:07 PM PST by Astronaut
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To: fieldmarshaldj
State governments proved in quick time that 100% popularly derived legislatures were dangerous. Our political history since passage of the 17th is more or less a reflection of that short period, 1776-1787, a muddle of populism that has damaged our property rights.

As for eliminating corruption, as the 17th was designed to do, it was a failure, yes?

I didn't say repeal of the 17th was a panacea. Repeal is necessary, but not by any means alone sufficient to restore federal government, our republic and liberty.

9 posted on 01/12/2013 3:26:10 PM PST by Jacquerie ("How few were left who had seen the republic!" - Tacitus, The Annals)
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To: Jacquerie; BillyBoy; Impy; Clintonfatigued; AuH2ORepublican; Clemenza; Perdogg; GOPsterinMA; ...

I find myself having to address the misguidedness of the anti-17thers almost weekly. Simply put, I do not trust my elected state legislators (although a GOP majority in my state, my state Senator & Rep. are leftist Dem buffoons) to elect my Senators. Indeed, it would remove the last office other than Governor I have any say in (since my U.S. House seat hasn’t elected a Republican since President Grant won reelection in 1872). Those are my personal reasons.

As for other reasons, restoring legislative selection for Senators would assure that Democrat states never have a competitive race again (as distasteful as some FReepers find Scott Brown in MA to be, it would be absolutely impossible for him to get past a legislature almost 90% Democrat). Other states like Illinois would not have been able to elect a GOP Senator since 1980. In states where we do dominate, the Republicans elected would be establishment flunkies.

Texas, for example, would’ve never allowed Ted Cruz to reach the Senate, because the liberal RINO Lt Governor David Dewhurst (AKA “DewCrist) would’ve used every method at his disposal to ensure his election (indeed, he was strong-arming legislators in the primary to pimp for his candidacy, lest they lose important committee positions).

Indeed, you would have Democrat states sending the most horrid members without an ounce of accountability to the public (Harry Reid would never have to worry about reelection in NV removing the popular vote) and Republican states would send squishies and go along to get along RINOs. If Texas wouldn’t send a Conservative under such a model, how exactly do you think the new Senate would be ?

If I thought for a moment this would be an improvement, I’d support repeal, but I’ve looked at it backwards and forwards and there’s nothing that would contribute to its reigning in of the federal government size and restoration of states’ rights. Indeed, what you’re doing is putting the full faith and trust IN government to choose your Senators. Government officials are the last people I’d want choosing them.

10 posted on 01/12/2013 4:03:13 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: DanMiller
Abandon ship.

Republicans want to win without having to either campaign or govern. The party also has this "dues paid" mentality that keeps giving us the likes of Dole, McCain, Romney, both Bushes, ad nauseum.

A lot of Republicans are very tired of voting for "not the democrat".

11 posted on 01/12/2013 4:10:34 PM PST by elkfersupper ( Member of the Original Defiant Class)
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To: DanMiller

The GOP wants Big Government and to be perpetual losers to the Democrats.

12 posted on 01/12/2013 4:15:35 PM PST by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: fieldmarshaldj

Sorry. History is on my side, not yours.

13 posted on 01/12/2013 5:22:09 PM PST by Jacquerie ("How few were left who had seen the republic!" - Tacitus, The Annals)
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To: fieldmarshaldj

My understanding of the Founding Fathers decision to elect Representatives and Senators in a different manner is that it was to serve as a check and balance. They were not going to have a House of Lords and a House of Commons (and look at how that changed), but they saw the need for representation for both the average citizen, and for the wealthy. The tyranny of the inner city voting bloc is no better than any other tyranny. It is possible that electing Senators by state legislators would still be a problem. In the more rural states, it would result in a different kind of Senator being elected. The history of politics in the US shows that there has always been an attempt by the large cities to control everything in the country, and this has been resisted by the people living outside of the cities. And, we aren’t the only country with this conflict. The Khmer Rouge forced all the people out of the cities in Cambodia to relearn the truths of an agrarian lifestyle. Their solution was to put plastic bags over the heads of the city people who disagreed with them.

14 posted on 01/12/2013 5:25:31 PM PST by blueunicorn6 ("A crack shot and a good dancer")
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To: Jacquerie

That’s not a valid argument. If you’re willing to defend repeal of the 17th, try addressing my points.

15 posted on 01/12/2013 5:27:59 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: blueunicorn6
"It is possible that electing Senators by state legislators would still be a problem."

Not only possible, but definitely. The Texas example on the GOP side alone, nevermind what Illinois, Massachusetts, California, et al, would produce on the Democrat side (and that there would be zero chance of anything Republican getting elected). Corruption and unaccountability was already an epidemic problem by the 1910s. The makeup of a Senate under a repealed 17th with an even more elitist and corrupt ultraleft Democrat membership, combined with a "moderate milquetoast RINO" big gubmint contingent would make a bad situation even worse.

16 posted on 01/12/2013 5:42:16 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: DanMiller

Eff the Republican Party. You are an American first or not. Party afilliations be damned

17 posted on 01/12/2013 8:23:47 PM PST by Figment
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To: fieldmarshaldj; DarthVader; BillyBoy; Impy; Clintonfatigued; AuH2ORepublican; Clemenza; Perdogg; ...

This is cool!

18 posted on 01/13/2013 9:28:22 AM PST by GOPsterinMA (Time to musk up.)
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To: GOPsterinMA; Perdogg

Who gets to carry Barry Nelson’s urn ?

19 posted on 01/13/2013 12:59:12 PM PST by fieldmarshaldj (Resist We Much)
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To: fieldmarshaldj; Perdogg

Not sure.

I did send a request in that you stand in for Hervé Villechaize.

20 posted on 01/13/2013 2:01:15 PM PST by GOPsterinMA (Time to musk up.)
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