Skip to comments.The Myth of an Impure GOP (Ideologically sound, but not always effective)
Posted on 01/16/2013 7:24:35 AM PST by SeekAndFind
Its hard for a lot of people, particularly on the right, to recognize that the conservative movements problems are mostly problems of success. But the Republican partys problems are much more recognizable as the problems of failure, including the failure to recognize the limits of that movements success.
American conservatism began as a kind of intellectual hobbyists group with little hope of changing the broader society. Albert Jay Nock, the cape-wearing libertarian intellectual he called himself a philosophical anarchist who inspired a very young William F. Buckley Jr., argued that political change was impossible because the masses were rubes, goons, fools, or sheep, victims of the eternal tendency of the powerful to exploit the powerless.
Buckley, who rightly admired Nock for many things, rightly disagreed on this point. Buckley trusted the people more than the intellectuals. Moreover, as Buckleys friend Richard Weaver said, ideas have consequences, and, consequently, it is possible to rally the public to your cause.
It took time. In an age when conservative books make millions, its hard to imagine how difficult it once was to get a right-of-center book published. Henry L. Regnery, the founder of the publishing house that bears his name, started his venture to break the wall of groupthink censorship surrounding the publishing industry. With a few exceptions, Regnery was the only game in town for decades.
Thats hardly the case anymore. While theres a higher bar for conservative authors at mainstream publishers (which remain overwhelmingly liberal), profit tends to trump ideology.
And publishing is a lagging indicator. In cable news, think tanks, talk radio, and, of course, the Internet, conservatives have at least rough parity with, and often superiority to, liberals. Its only in the legacy institutions newspapers, the broadcast networks, and most especially academia and Hollywood that conservatism is still largely frozen out. Nonetheless, conservatism is a mass-market enterprise these days, for good and for ill.
The good is obvious. The ill is less understood. For starters, the movement has an unhealthy share of hucksters eager to make money from stirring rage, paranoia, and an ill-defined sense of betrayal with little concern for the real political success that can come only with persuading the unconverted.
A conservative journalist or activist can now make a decent living while never once bothering to persuade a liberal. Telling people only what they want to hear has become a vocation. Worse, its possible to be a rank-and-file conservative without once being exposed to a good liberal argument. Many liberals lived in such an ideological cocoon for decades, which is one reason conservatives won so many arguments early on. Having the right emulate that echo chamber helps no one.
Ironically, the institution in which conservatives had their greatest success is the one most besieged by conservatives today: the Republican party. To listen to many grassroots conservatives, the GOP establishment is a cabal of weak-kneed sellouts who regularly light votive candles to a poster of liberal Republican icon Nelson Rockefeller.
This is not only not true, its a destructive myth. The Rockefeller Republicans were purged from the GOP decades ago. Their high-water mark was in 1960, when the Goldwater insurgency was temporarily crushed. Richard Nixon agreed to run on a platform all but dictated by Rockefeller and to tap Rockefellers minion Henry Cabot Lodge as his running mate. When the forebears of todays tea partiers threatened to stay home or bolt the party in 1960, Senator Barry Goldwater proclaimed, Lets grow up, conservatives!
Its still good advice. Its not that the GOP isnt conservative enough, its that it isnt tactically smart or persuasive enough to move the rest of the nation in a more conservative direction. Moreover, thanks in part to the myth that all that stands between conservatives and total victory is a philosophically pure GOP, party leaders suffer from a debilitating lack of trust some of it well earned from the rank and file.
But politics is about persuasion, and a party consumed by the need to prove its purity to its base is going to have a very hard time proving anything else to the rest of the country.
Jonah Goldberg is editor-at-large of National Review Online and a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute.
Of course Obama is liked more, he's playing Santa Claus. The Democrats have a much easier sales job. They're offering free stuff to a public that increasingly has no idea how free markets work, what made America great, etc. And sadly, Obama is a very skilled orator and a majority of Americans not only like him, but they WANT to keep liking him. There is a majority in this country that is liable to support Obama almost no matter what he does (assuming their freebies keep coming in).
This country is in a spiral downward and it is characterized by the majority voting for what they want, not what they need. Until the Republicans can find a way to change the dynamics, we are constantly fighting an uphill battle. The bad news is the fix will probably be painfully slow (assuming the economy doesn't just collapse or something). The real hard work is going to be competing with the left in academia, the media, the entertainment establishment, etc. We are going to have to make identity politics work for us instead of just letting the Democrats use it to club our political skulls in. Conservatives are going to have to make a point of fighting the left on every front ALL of our lives - not just when we get older and upset at something government does to screw up our business. We need to realize the left is in a permanent political war with traditional values, conservative ideals, etc. We need to fight that war ALL the time.
It is no myth
and how would that happen since the MSM is uniformly leftist?
Republicans are always reactive instead of being proactive like the Democrats are.
There is no teaching or persuasion going on with consevatism. Long ago the liberals realized they needed to control the education system and then the narrative regarding their agenda.
Study Reagan... name one person that has tried... Palin did but then she had no bully pulpit with which to fight back. There is NO ELECTED republican even trying.
people are dumber than 30 years ago and less engaged, there is no way for anyone to get through to the LIV’s these days
You have got me there G.
I don’t understand... if dems can’t stand us - and we can’t stand them - why not split? I’m sure if they thought about it they would be for splitting the country too. All their dreams could come true almost over night. We wouldn’t be in their country to stop them.
Tell me sick - why wouldn’t dems love the idea?
We need to talk about this... I think they’ll come on board..
They ARE the Republican Party. There's no "Elite" or "In Name Only." The entire party, with very few exceptions, is this way. If they were not, the so-called "Elites" wouldn't be in power.
Never listen to what a politician says. The words of a politician are worthless, meaningless.
Watch what he does.
You are being ridiculous now. Come on, you know the answer to that.
Besides, They know that the R side is falling apart going after each other while they are 100% united,
they now figure they can have their cake and eat it too, To rule over the red states.
And maybe million of new Hispanic Dreamer voters can turn some red states purple.
Well I listen to the ‘conservative seer’ Rush from time to time and not only is most of what he says wrong but his advice for the GOP almost seems designed to make Dems more powerful.
Rush was just upset that his taxes were going up so he insisted House Rs make sure that everyone’s would too, and commit party suicide. But no Speaker would do that.
I didnt see any of the R House members (who opposed the partial tax cut extensions, both of them) challenge Bohner as Speaker by running themselves, not one, so what do they really stand for?
They love their symbolic votes that affect nothing, their district primary voters are apparently are satisfied with those meaningless gestures while Dems take everything.
Ok, how about this.
This way (they are going now) libs can raise taxes on the Red states too, and use the money to convert their kids to their beliefs,
if the country was to spit they would lose that.
Why would they concede part of the country when they are on a winning streak? That is more a dream of those who have no hope.
How many times has Lush Rimbaugh the drug addict been divorced now?
Yep, one hell of a “Contherrrrrvative” the RINOtards got there.
But I swear I read his faulty theories and advice posted here daily(in comments witthout referencing him ), sometimes the poster completely gives themselves away by repeating a specific term that Rush made up and uses.
Long ago I started noticing that they way Rush, Hannity, ... use the term conservatism was much like the fictional term ‘The Force’ in the Star Wars movies. ‘Only the conservatism will save you Luke’
The author has a great point on purity though. There is a group in the House that does Little but stage symbolic only purity/loyalty votes in the House, like 33 repeals of O care that go no-where. They just vote for stuff that never gets to O, and against stuff that does. But no thought to actually beat O.
Meanwhile O always wins (or is seen to win anyway), gets what he wants and the Rs lose seats.
What good will come of replacing Scott Brownwith Marxist Eliz Warren?
Can the R party be fixed, or should it be scrapped? I agree that it should be scrapped.
They question I have is whether it is better to destroy it and remake it from within, or to oppose it directly with a frontal assault.
So far the TEA party has tried to gently reform the R party from within. I think the TEA party should run in all the R primaries, and after the next election emerge from the belly of the R party like the ‘Alien’ did in the movie.
You’re right: Limbaugh is right about the conservative movement not having a credible, committed leader.
And this entire column is Jonah’s waddle-over-the-shark moment.
The National Review beginnings, years in Washington and living made from media appearances. It’s all too much to expect an actual conservative to survive.
Why raise money to convert our kids when liberals can just dump conservatives - all of us? Kids included. Liberal elites won’t have to bother with our kids because our kids won’t be here to get in their way.
So that’s NOT the answer.
The only reason to ‘convert’ kids is they might stand up to liberal power. But if those kids live in a different country it stops being a problem.
Split the country into two countries.
Sickoflibs - I know you live near ‘liberal land’ you’ve talked about it before. I know you have some understanding of who these people are.. so please work with me on this... Help me figure them out.
I still don’t see why liberal elites - people like the boys at the New York Times need us when it’s obvious they can’t stand us or our values or our beliefs. Also THEY COULD HAVE IT ALL. When we move out - the place is there for them to do as they want - without opposition.
Liberal elites could make it a law that citizens must read a newspaper - or they could have the government subsidize all forms of the MSM. If we’re not here to complain - they could impose that on their citizens. It’s what they want... they can have. They can have it as soon as we’re gone.
When they have their own country, liberal elites will be able to raise taxes as high as they want without opposition.
Dems can open the borders to ALL third world hellholes and become the ‘brown’ country they speak about with such reverence. They can make every one of their cities into a Sanctuary City.
Dems can define marriage any way they want.
Dems can stop being ‘slowed down’ by Republicans - when we’re gone they can move as fast as they want.
Dems can borrow money, print money, give money away to any and all - it will allow them to feel good about themselves..
WHY, WHY do they want us here when they can have it all - right away.
Give me some more reasons sick...
Liberal elites will even be able to disarm their citizen. Totally. Well, not the criminals - but they can disarm all the rest. We won’t be here to object.
Dems can toss the Constitution and replace it with their White Liberal Elite bullshit. As soon as we’re out of here they can do any damn thing they want. What more could they want?
Outlaw talk radio? Outlaw Rush Limbaugh and FOXNews? Of course. Where we’re outta here they can do that....
SO WHY WON’T they split the country?
Are liberal elites lying about what they really want?
Liberals can have it all. And all their way. Tomorrow. They just have to allow us to leave. Then all their problems will be solved.
We need to reach out to them. I think they’ll see what we’re asking for and they want it as much as we do... right?
because liberalism is like a religion or Cult. They want to make as many others as they can true believers, and the remaining few into : outcasts, crazies, lepers, and they are succeeding with the young..
As far of your list of all the things they can get without the Red states, they are slowing getting them anyway by winning national elections.
The only argument I hear from libs that is consistent with your idea, you wont like it, is.
They complain that the Blue libs states are paying most of the taxes (NY,NJ, CA, ..) and the red states are the moochers that get MORE benefits than they pay in.
They complain about this all the time so I am serious..even though they call for higher taxes on some. Better yet, I heard some Dems say that O was using >$250K just as a burgeoning chip and that many Dems in the Blue states (in congress) wanted the income levels higher like the $400K to spare their citizen the higher taxes. So they wanted it higher but O played it like a Dem concession.
Isn't that ironic? You wont hear that from Rush i bet.
Sad as hell.
Red States ‘taking more’... that’s a great one.
Reminds me of when liberals were saying most people were killed with their own guns - (implying criminals took their guns and shot them) leaving out the fact that suicide statistics were included in that number. Liberals love to lie. This is similar - let’s look at some numbers:
For example - Mississippi has a black population of 37%.
Vermont is 1% black
Georgia is the 6th State in the Union in number of illegal ‘immigrants’ and 30% of their population is black.
New Hampshire’s population is 1% black - not enough ‘illegals’ to even mention.
Louisiana is 32% black.
Connecticut has a black population of 11%
Now I’m not saying that blacks commit more crimes, cost more, or take more government help.
I’m not saying that blacks vote 95% for Democrats.
I’m not saying blacks prop up the white liberal elite establishment - a group that would be OUT OF POWER tomorrow without dependent broken black people.
I’m not even saying the illegal immigration took a front seat when Dems feared welfare reform might work - and they would lose their grip on poor blacks.
I’m not even saying that liberal elites have pitted blacks against hispanics in order to maintain their power - and that they’ll NEVER allow blacks to be anything other than broken and dependent ( well, a majority)...
Nope, what I’m saying is that your statistics are wonderful. Technically the truth, but a lie at the same time. And that works FOR us. One more reason for dems to go their way and let us go our way.
Of course we both know the dependent broken ones will go with democrats, right sick? But without us, liberal elites wont’ need dependent blacks or hispanics. That could get ugly... at which point we would most likely take them in...and help them with the process of being productive happy citizens.
O and pelosi are not lettin you go anywhere dude, they own you.
You got the right to buy mandated O care, unless you cant afford it, then it will be provided to...
As you have already figured out, the lib eleites need you to be the goat for all the victim s problems so they dont turn on them instead,
examp :'Those inner city kids died because GOPJ insists on owning a gun"
You are entertaining :_
Look, it moved!
Is that Cain?
A better example of a tool would be Michael Steele over at MSNBC.
I love when the libs ask him for a Republican perspective everyday and he just agrees with O and says Republicans must be more like him.
TP: Mr. Cain, you recently came under fire for your comments about the kind of people you would appoint to your cabinet. Would you be opposed to appointing an openly gay but qualified person to be in your cabinet?
CAIN: Nope, not at all. I wouldnt have a problem with that at all. I just want people who are qualified, I want them to believe in the Constitution of the United States of America. So yep, I dont have a problem with appointing an openly gay person. Because theyre not going to try to put sharia law in our laws.
ALL: Run away! Run away! Run away! Run away! [splat]
If it hadn't been for Log Cabin RINOs nailing him to the perch, Herman's campaign train would've
been pushing up daisies in the wheelhouse before the cabose ever got out of the Cainyard.
That question he was asked was a pretty good got-ya question.
No nominated R candidate will ever give a outright ‘No’ on that, nor should they take that bait.
A better answer would be to say
‘I could appoint him/her if he agrees with me on my positions, one of my positions is that marriage is intended to be legal union between a man and a woman and should not be tampered with for purposes of social experimentation.’,
But such a answer requires forethought and planning, something Rs on TV are not known for.