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Thomas Sowell: Republicans Deserved to Lose (A predictable end to an unhappy year)
National Review ^ | 01/01/2013 | Thomas Sowell

Posted on 01/01/2013 11:33:27 AM PST by SeekAndFind

The beginning of a new year is often a time to look forward and look back. The way the future looks, I prefer to look back — and depend on my advanced age to spare me from having to deal with too much of the future.

If there are any awards to be given to anyone for what they did in 2012, one of those rewards should be for prophecy, if only because prophecies that turn out to be right are so rare.

With that in mind, my choice for the prediction of the year award goes to Bret Stephens of the Wall Street Journal for his column of January 24, 2012, titled: “The GOP Deserves to Lose.”

Despite reciting a litany of reasons why President Obama deserved to be booted out of the White House, Stephens said, “Let’s just say right now what voters will be saying in November, once Barack Obama has been re-elected: Republicans deserve to lose.”

To me, the Republican establishment is the eighth wonder of the world. How they can keep repeating the same mistakes for decades on end is beyond my ability to explain.

Bret Stephens said, back at the beginning of 2012, that Mitt Romney was one of the “hollow men,” and that voters “usually prefer the man who stands for something.”

Yet this is not just about Mitt Romney. He is only the latest in a long series of presidential candidates backed by a Republican establishment that seems convinced that ad hoc “moderation” is where it’s at — no matter how many of their ad hoc moderates get beaten by even vulnerable, unknown, or discredited Democrats.

Back in 1948, when the Democratic party splintered into three parties, each one with its own competing presidential candidate, Republican candidate Thomas E. Dewey was considered a shoo-in.

Best-selling author David Halberstam described what happened: “Dewey’s chief campaign tactic was to make no mistakes, to offend no one. His major speeches, wrote the Louisville Courier Journal, could be boiled down ‘to these historic four sentences: Agriculture is important. Our rivers are full of fish. You cannot have freedom without liberty. The future lies ahead . . . ’”

Does this sound like a more recent Republican presidential candidate?

Meanwhile, President Harry Truman was on the attack in 1948, with speeches that had many people saying, “Give ’em hell, Harry.” He won, even with the Democratic vote split three ways.

But, to this day, the Republican establishment still goes for pragmatic moderates who feed pablum to the public, instead of treating them like adults.

It is not just Republican presidential candidates who cannot be bothered to articulate a coherent argument, instead of ad hoc talking points. Have you yet heard House Speaker John Boehner take the time to spell out why Barack Obama’s argument for taxing “millionaires and billionaires” is wrong?

It is not a complicated argument. Moreover, it is an argument that has been articulated many times in plain English by conservative talk-show hosts and by others in print. It has nothing to do with being worried about the fate of millionaires or billionaires, who can undoubtedly take care of themselves.

What we all should be worried about are high tax rates driving American investments overseas, when there are millions of Americans who could use the jobs that those investments would create at home.

Yet Obama has been allowed to get away with the emotional argument that the rich can easily afford to pay more, as if that is the issue. But it will be the issue if no one says otherwise.

One of the recent sad reminders of the Republicans’ tendency to leave even lies and smears unanswered was a television replay of an old interview with the late Judge Robert Bork, whose nomination to the Supreme Court was destroyed by character assassination.

Judge Bork said that he was advised not to answer Ted Kennedy’s wild accusations because those false accusations would discredit themselves. That supposedly sophisticated advice cost the country one of the great legal minds of our time — and left us with a wavering Anthony Kennedy in his place on the Supreme Court.

Some people may take solace from the fact that there are some articulate Republicans like Marco Rubio who may come forward in 2016. But with Iran going nuclear and North Korea developing missiles that can hit California, it may be too late by then.

— Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institution.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Government; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2012review; boehner; brilliant; dewey; gop; gope; republicans; romney; sowell; thomassowell

1 posted on 01/01/2013 11:33:36 AM PST by SeekAndFind
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To: SeekAndFind

You beat me to it by a second. This is the best article of the New Year!


2 posted on 01/01/2013 11:35:50 AM PST by Steelfish (ui)
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To: SeekAndFind

Let’s just call them Republicaves from now on.

What a bunch of losers.


3 posted on 01/01/2013 11:36:12 AM PST by unixfox (Abolish Slavery, Repeal The 16th Amendment!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Well Tom, a few of us played the Oracle of Delphi and were soundly mocked for it.

Perhaps they will listen to you on that whole ‘stand for something’ bit, but don’t count on it. Because there are plenty more Romneys in the GOP just waiting to be adored by modern ‘conservatives’


4 posted on 01/01/2013 11:38:20 AM PST by Norm Lenhart
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To: SeekAndFind
Bret Stephens said, back at the beginning of 2012, that Mitt Romney was one of the “hollow men,” and that voters “usually prefer the man who stands for something.”

Yet this is not just about Mitt Romney. He is only the latest in a long series of presidential candidates backed by a Republican establishment that seems convinced that ad hoc “moderation” is where it’s at — no matter how many of their ad hoc moderates get beaten by even vulnerable, unknown, or discredited Democrats.

No one says it like Thomas Sowell can.

5 posted on 01/01/2013 11:40:23 AM PST by TADSLOS (I took extra credit at the School of Hard Knocks)
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To: SeekAndFind

The need of the times: a well-funded conservative political party.


6 posted on 01/01/2013 11:46:00 AM PST by Jyotishi (Seeking the truth, a fact at a time.)
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To: SeekAndFind

They are going to cave on the 2nd amendment too.


7 posted on 01/01/2013 11:47:38 AM PST by chris37 (Heartless.)
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To: TADSLOS; SeekAndFind; All
Yet this is not just about Mitt Romney.

Amen. Romney is a symptom, not a cause. As long as amoral pragmatism and statism is OK by the GOP, the GOP will lose. Romney's side, as revealed by his political record, was the WRONG side regardless of what party he belonged to.

8 posted on 01/01/2013 11:49:20 AM PST by Finny (Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path. -- Psalm 119:105)
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To: SeekAndFind
To me, the Republican establishment is the eighth wonder of the world. How they can keep repeating the same mistakes for decades on end is beyond my ability to explain.

Ha! Even someone as thoughtfully adept as Thomas Sowell can't understand it. That makes me feel better for some reason.

9 posted on 01/01/2013 11:49:47 AM PST by GBA (Here in the Matrix, life is but a dream.)
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To: SeekAndFind
Whenever I read a Thomas Sowell column, I'm overcome with the sad realization that this 82 year-old hero is almost at the end of his brilliant journey.
10 posted on 01/01/2013 11:50:52 AM PST by Madame Dufarge
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To: Finny

Yet we have a large share of those amoral and statist “pragmatics” posting on FR every election cycle, admonishing FReepers to cast away conservatism for “the win” that never comes. Go figure.


11 posted on 01/01/2013 12:03:21 PM PST by TADSLOS (I took extra credit at the School of Hard Knocks)
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To: SeekAndFind
...the Republican establishment is the eighth wonder of the world. How they can keep repeating the same mistakes for decades on end is beyond my ability to explain.

Sowell's right...it's beyond belief.

12 posted on 01/01/2013 12:12:58 PM PST by GOPJ (It's not possible to be a Progressive and not be a hypocrite. Freeper TigersEye.)
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To: Jyotishi
"The need of the times: a well-funded conservative political party."

What kind of a conservative party? Conserve what - exporting middle class jobs? entering a few more optional wars and nation building? conserving gay rights? sinking real income of workers? borrowing from China? Nah.

However if the idea is to make life better for Americans. The Democrats act for low income people. Republicans act for high income people. One lives off government the other on their wealth.

WHICH PARTY WILL DO THIS? People who want a job to earn money, a home for their family, able to see a doctor when sick, educate their children, and retire with enough bucks so they don't have to depend on anyone without inflation and real estate taxes ruining them.

13 posted on 01/01/2013 12:15:11 PM PST by ex-snook (God is Love)
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To: SeekAndFind
Republicans can't answer Democrat smears because they agree with the smears. Both Democrats and Republicans agree that “you are your brothers keeper”. To fight the Democrats, the Republicans must reject the morality behind that evil bromide. That morality is altruism. Either you have the right to your life or you don't.
14 posted on 01/01/2013 12:15:19 PM PST by Manta (Obama to issue executive order repealing laws of physics)
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To: ex-snook

What kind of a conservative party? Conserve what - exporting middle class jobs? entering a few more optional wars and nation building? conserving gay rights? sinking real income of workers? borrowing from China? Nah.

-

Bingo.

Conservatives must turn around and support America.

America.

Pretty darn simple.


15 posted on 01/01/2013 12:25:33 PM PST by Cringing Negativism Network
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To: TADSLOS
In the last election we wanted/needed reality.
Instead, we were given a choice between a snowjob and a blowjob.
So, naturally we voted for what sounded better.
And now, we're gonna get screwed!
16 posted on 01/01/2013 12:32:55 PM PST by GBA (Here in the Matrix, life is but a dream.)
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To: SeekAndFind

The Great Tom Sowell: may he live to be a hundred!

We need his wisdom now more than ever.


17 posted on 01/01/2013 12:40:17 PM PST by Travis McGee (www.EnemiesForeignAndDomestic.com)
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To: jazusamo

Sowell ping


18 posted on 01/01/2013 12:45:11 PM PST by Gene Eric (Demoralization is a weapon of the enemy. Don't get it, don't spread it!)
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To: Gene Eric

Thanks for the ping, Gene.

The list was pinged to this piece with a different title.


19 posted on 01/01/2013 12:54:06 PM PST by jazusamo ("Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent." -- Adam Smith)
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To: SeekAndFind

The “forgotten man” argument is so easy once you’ve heard it that I have to believe Republicans haven’t publicized it because they don’t believe in it. Maybe they half-heard and half-digested it, like Romney’s butchering of Calhoun’s 51% tax-eater warning. Or maybe they’re Republicans because their fathers were, or they’re all just militarists and Fat Cat pamperers as Democrats insist, and there is no principled conservatism in Washington.


20 posted on 01/01/2013 12:55:13 PM PST by Tublecane
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To: Travis McGee
The Great Tom Sowell: may he live to be a hundred!

Somehow, I don't think that's what he wants.

21 posted on 01/01/2013 1:04:34 PM PST by pilipo (GOP=Gutless Old Party)
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To: SeekAndFind
It is not just Republican presidential candidates who cannot be bothered to articulate a coherent argument, instead of ad hoc talking points. Have you yet heard House Speaker John Boehner take the time to spell out why Barack Obama’s argument for taxing “millionaires and billionaires” is wrong?

It would not matter if Boehner did make such an argument. 'Rats control the media. Coherent arguments from conservatives are not allowed. If they try to make one, they are shouted down and ridiculed by the 'Rat Alinsky media. The Doc is right in all he says as usual; but the Republicrats know they cannot get their message out and it has helped to cower them (even more). I'm not trying to make excuses, but the full-out media blitz is all but impossible to overcome. Yeah, the media was bad when Reagan was president; but they are in Obama = Fuehrer = Messiah mode 24/7 now.

IMO, the Media are the greatest threat to America because they enable our enemies, foreign and domestic.

22 posted on 01/01/2013 1:40:34 PM PST by Sans-Culotte ( Pray for Obama- Psalm 109:8)
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To: SeekAndFind

Happy New Year!


23 posted on 01/01/2013 2:02:30 PM PST by neverdem ( Xin loi min oi)
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To: jazusamo

Got it.

Happy New Year, jaz!


24 posted on 01/01/2013 2:31:53 PM PST by Gene Eric (Demoralization is a weapon of the enemy. Don't get it, don't spread it!)
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To: TADSLOS
Yet we have a large share of those amoral and statist “pragmatics” posting on FR every election cycle, admonishing FReepers to cast away conservatism for “the win” that never comes. Go figure.

And they are here still, telling us to stay with the GOP, as their leadership rearranges the deck chairs and the ocean creeps up. "Are you crazy??" they'll yell, "Those 3rd party rowboats are leaky!"

25 posted on 01/01/2013 2:46:48 PM PST by COBOL2Java (kak-is-toc-ra-cy: Government by the least qualified or most unprincipled citizens. See: GOP-e)
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To: Gene Eric

And a Happy New Year to you and yours, Gene!


26 posted on 01/01/2013 2:47:49 PM PST by jazusamo ("Mercy to the guilty is cruelty to the innocent." -- Adam Smith)
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To: SeekAndFind

“How they can keep repeating the same mistakes for decades on end is beyond my ability to explain.”

It’s the voters who keep voting for them. That’s why!


27 posted on 01/01/2013 5:35:35 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: ex-snook

“The Democrats act for low income people. Republicans act for high income people. One lives off government the other on their wealth.”

Actually both the poor and the rich live off government. One is called welfare while the other is called a subsidy, appropriation or something similar.


28 posted on 01/01/2013 5:45:11 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: ex-snook

“The Democrats act for low income people. Republicans act for high income people. One lives off government the other on their wealth.”

Actually both the poor and the rich live off government. One is called welfare while the other is called a subsidy, appropriation or something similar.

Both parties are also Progressive!


29 posted on 01/01/2013 5:45:34 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Madame Dufarge
I'm overcome with the sad realization that this 82 year-old hero is almost at the end of his brilliant journey.

Then again, an 82-year-old has about the same life expectancy as any random 20, 30, 40, or 50-year-old in any modern modern-civil-war-torn $h!thole.

30 posted on 01/01/2013 5:59:53 PM PST by meadsjn
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To: SeekAndFind

Saw this on Zero Hedge...

http://www.zerohedge.com/news/2013-01-01/house-republicans-fold

House Republicans Fold

Presented with little comment (via Bloomberg):

*HOUSE REPUBLICANS ABANDON EFFORT TO ADD SPENDING CUTS TO BILL
It appears everyone grows tired of the pantomime, even the main actors. Well that was fun while it lasted...

Is this how Boehner feels?

And is Cantor warming up his gavel?


31 posted on 01/01/2013 6:21:04 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: Jack Hydrazine

You think that Cantor shall be Speaker?


32 posted on 01/01/2013 8:35:05 PM PST by Army Air Corps (Four Fried Chickens and a Coke)
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To: SeekAndFind

The GOP Establishment did not make any mistakes; they are fully engaged in power-sharing with the Democrats, period.


33 posted on 01/01/2013 9:17:12 PM PST by Jumper
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To: SeekAndFind

Lose at all costs, RINO File.


34 posted on 01/01/2013 9:19:31 PM PST by Graewoulf ((Traitor John Roberts' Commune Obama"care" violates Anti-Trust Laws, AND the U.S. Constitution.))
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To: SeekAndFind
Re: “The Republican establishment still goes for pragmatic moderates.”

That’s only half the problem.

Republican primary voters almost always NOMINATE a pragmatic moderate.

35 posted on 01/01/2013 9:34:09 PM PST by zeestephen
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To: Army Air Corps

I’m not even going to speculate on that.


36 posted on 01/01/2013 9:51:51 PM PST by Jack Hydrazine (It's the end of the world as we know it and I feel fine!)
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To: SeekAndFind

Bump!

Also here..

http://spectator.org/archives/2013/01/02/happy-new-year


37 posted on 01/02/2013 4:36:01 AM PST by Cincinatus' Wife
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To: TADSLOS

Very few long time FReepers “admonish[] FReepers to cast away conservatism”.

Those like me unrelentingly advise “vote for the most conservative candidate who has a chance to win”, at each voting opportunity. That person differs at a primary election and general election.

I voted for Santorum in the primary, I voted for Romney in the general, for example.

Those who voted for some other candidate in the general, or who stayed home, demonstrate they have no common sense, and helped elect Obama yet again.


38 posted on 01/02/2013 8:02:53 AM PST by AFPhys ((Praying for our troops, our citizens, that the Bible and Freedom become basis of the US law again))
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To: Jack Hydrazine

Schools teach socialism, social justice, communism, which forever sets the thinking process of their students. Even when they get to higher education, it continues. So the base by which they determine what is best ... is the problem. Then the medias refuse to post truth and only tell the public very few actual truths; instead praising the Democratic voice, views and actions. We are simply having truth stolen and lies promoted day after day. It is very effective. Most people are busy living their lives and do not spend time and effort to change any of this. It seems over whelming and FUTILE. So it does not happen.

God knows. He allows us to have what it is we want, deserve and declare we want.

Israel wanted a KING, God warned them what a King would do to them. Israel wanted a King anyway.
This principle is still working today.
America wants abortions, gay marriage, drug use, etc. or the vocal voices are for such abominations.
God help those of us desiring and seeking to serve thee, in truth. In Jesus name, amen.


39 posted on 01/02/2013 9:53:58 AM PST by geologist (" If you love me, keep my commandments" John 14:15)
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