The lesson from election night: Fear is good, but the party is where the action is

posted at 5:55 pm on November 4, 2009 by CK MacLeod

Observing the results of last night’s elections, grassroots conservatives with national concerns should note with some pleasure that we’re well past the “first they laugh at you” phase, and well into the “then they fear you” phase. That transition required, and got, some anticipatory “and then you win”‘s in the great purple Commonwealth of Virgina and the deep blue Garden State. Only in puny NY-23, a fraught race to replace the purploid Representative McHugh (a Republican who voted for Cap & Trade and joined the Obama Administration as Army Secretary), was there some minor disappointment – but nothing close to a real setback.

It always sounds hard-nosed and very Carville-Axelrod Machiavellian (apologies to Machiavelli) to treat winning as “the only thing,” but what’s true for sports and games and consultant job prospects isn’t true for our political life, where every game is equally a play in a larger game, yet every play a game in itself, and, more important, where the final scores are about people’s lives and fortunes, not just standings, bragging rights, and next year’s draft choices. So, Ed Morrissey is probably more than half right when he puts a good face on NY-23:

It’s never a best-case for the GOP when a Democrat wins, but by keeping Dede Scozzafava out of the seat, the GOP has the chance to win this seat back in a year with a better candidate — perhaps Hoffman, perhaps another Republican who shares core principles of limited government and fiscal conservatism. Dislodging an incumbent Republican would have been considerably more difficult, and a unified GOP should win this district — especially given the signals sent everywhere else to Democrats.

If the Dems lose big next year and if winner Bill Owens is forced to walk the plank on unpopular positions, the Rs could get the seat right back, but I’m not convinced that this seat will necessarily be one of the easier ones to pick up. However, I’m even less convinced that it matters much in the grand scheme of things. Never heard of the district before, and I expect it will be at most a footnote next year: No offense, Watertownies – but you’re 3,000 miles from me.

Hoffman has said he wants to give it another try, and he should be a much better prepared candidate the next time around, but this time, for all the “Mr. Smith” talk, he was neither the most dynamic nor the most firmly grounded character ever to grab the attention of an insurgent political movement. He might be a smart, decent, brave, and unpretentious fellow (with a cool car collection!), but may have come across to NY-23 voters as a little bit more carpetbagger than tea… party hero, more Don Knotts (Barney Fife, not Mr. Limpet) than Jimmy Stewart. Next time around, he may just seem like more of a known quantity, and, for NY-23 voters, “one of us.” He may be slicker without seeming slick. He might be the perfect candidate, or close enough. Or maybe not…

By no means, however, can the loss be pinned solely on Mr. Hoffman, nor are the lessons to be drawn from it merely to be applied in and around the St. Lawrence Seaway.  What’s clear from the closeness of the finish – ca. 49 -45 (and 6 to the nominal “Republican” who dropped out at the last minute and endorsed the Democrat), is that this election could have gone to the conservative if one of any of several further conditions had applied: If, in addition to capturing the imagination of conservatives nationally, and with or without a more articulate presentation and dynamic self-presentation, Hoffman had offered detailed knowledge of local concerns and/or had a more convincing, locally grounded positive message and/or had a unified and credible party organization behind him and/or hadn’t been knifed in the back in the last days by the “Republican” and/or hadn’t been forced to mount a come-from-behind, off-the-top-ballot-lines campaign in an off-year/early-voted special election… he likely would have won, and possibly would have won big.

As for movement conservatives still left with mixed feelings about what occurred, the lesson seems obvious, and is, I believe, already being absorbed: For the foreseeable future and on this side of the Apocalypse, the electoral action will remain in the R party of Chris Christie and Bob McDonnell – and Michael Steele and John Boehner and even Newt Gingrich – not in the fantasy 3rd Party of Glenn Beck’s musings or in the bloody shambles after a conservative night of the long knives. Big victories went to the unified party-movement – Virginia – not to the fractured party + movement in NY-23. For a Tea Party insurgency to start winning more often than spoiling, it would probably have to be around for a few years at least, not just a few months – and even then it would likely need a well-timed crack in the world or a civil war on the horizon to get the last bit of necessary oomph.

In the meantime, nationalizing a local election is always a tricky operation, and, for a political movement that in many ways is about re-asserting ground level, human scale control of our political life, there’s something contradictory about relying on national figures like Fred! and Sarah!, and the national rejection of the President’s or Speaker’s agenda, to empower (and finance) yourselves. We need both legs – the standing leg in the everyday lives and aspirations of voters, the kicking leg of issues that connect national and even global dangers and objectives to those voters. It’s the job of a party, though not just the party, to connect the two, and clearly the Republican Party still needs substantial legwork, at all levels.

cross-posted at Zombie Contentions

This post was promoted from GreenRoom to HotAir.com.
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Very good post.

I think the unintended benefit of Hoffman’s loss is that it removes a lot of the fuel from the 3rd party fire that was starting.

Hopefully the loss will cause conservatives to shift their focus towards taking the GOP over from within, similar to how the progressives did it to the Dems. Ruthless financial pressure on the establishment during the primary process, but no real talk of leaving the party.

BadgerHawk on November 4, 2009 at 5:57 PM

It’s all about the primaries. Conservative versus moderate Republicans duke it out early on, then unite for the general election. Primaries are important!

lawtwin on November 4, 2009 at 5:58 PM

“No offense, Watertownies – but you’re 3,000 miles from me .”

Wow! That about says it all.

Not “3000 miles from D.C.”. Not “3000 miles from NYC”. Not even “3000 miles from nowhere”.

Guess what, schmuck? YOU don’t vote for Representatives in NY 23d. Or PA 5th. Or OH 17th. Or WY 1. Or TX 13.

The Green Room was the only part of HotAir that I still took seriously. Now even this portion is home to useless psuedo-conservative neo-statists.

Here’s a little test to see if you, too, are a schmuck like CK (short for Calvin Klein, fruitcake?):
Who do you vote for?
1. A Republican who is not a Conservative; or
2. A Conservative who is not a Republican?

This is the only situation that MacLeod’s whole “argument” is relevant to.

If a candidate is both a conservative and a republican – you vote for him.

If a candidate is neither a conservative nor a republican – you vote against him.

So either CK is suggesting that YOU should vote for a Non-Conservative Republican in YOUR district (3000 miles away from HIM and therefore n insignificant backwater filled with mouth-breathing cretins and slack-jawed halfwits) simply because there is an R after his name OR he’s just wasted his, your, and my time with a meaningless NON-argument that has no point or relevance.

Eyas on November 4, 2009 at 5:57 PM

Eyas on November 4, 2009 at 6:00 PM

So where does the party’s platform come in here? Newt not only endorsed Scozzafava as a Republican, but when he was called out on it, he doubled-down and ended up spending over 900 grand on someone who endorsed the opposing candidate. Is the platform just meaningless drivel, or are there really principles underlying our party that were cast aside in NY-23 this year?

If Newt would have stopped at supporting the local party leaders, I don’t think there would have been such a backlash. What ticked me off so royally is that he put party above principle. How do I know this? Cause he pretty much out-and-out said so.

That’s one goof the Republicans are going to have to show some repentance for if they want my forgiveness (and my fundraising dollars).

gryphon202 on November 4, 2009 at 6:02 PM

If anything, it outlines deep problems in the GOP party.
Too many RINO’s and not enough Conservatives.

Kini on November 4, 2009 at 6:04 PM

he Green Room was the only part of HotAir that I still took seriously. Now even this portion is home to useless psuedo-conservative neo-statists.

Toys going out of the pram in 3… 2… 1….

Boxy_Brown on November 4, 2009 at 6:05 PM

It was a butterfly ballot with Pat Buchanan.
That’s why he lost.

NeoKong on November 4, 2009 at 6:06 PM

Well, I think the obvious is that it’s dangerous getting involved in local races. It distorts people’s right to vote locally. That tends to make voters angry right back at the usurpers.

Everyone has their own turf. And Gingrich actually started this turf war, not Palin.

AnninCA on November 4, 2009 at 6:07 PM

Good post CK MacLeod. Brace yourself for some chest thumping threat displays.

Boxy_Brown on November 4, 2009 at 6:09 PM

And don’t forget…..

Andrea Mitchell will always have NY-23.

(just can’t say it enough)

Seven Percent Solution on November 4, 2009 at 6:10 PM

Everyone has their own turf. And Gingrich actually started this turf war, not Palin.

AnninCA on November 4, 2009 at 6:07 PM

That much is obvious. The potential ramifications vis-a-vis 2010 may be a little harder to suss out for now.

But as for this guy…

Eyas on November 4, 2009 at 5:57 PM

Need I remind my dear colleagues here at HA, Gingrich himself is from Georgia, and I don’t believe he currently holds elective office. He is a College Professor by-trade. Just what was his dog in this hunt, if not an effort to position himself for future elected office?

EPIC FAIL, Newt.

gryphon202 on November 4, 2009 at 6:10 PM

Carville-Axelrod

No love for Rove in your axis of political hackery!?

ernesto on November 4, 2009 at 6:11 PM

Mindless devotion to party will kills this country just as surely as progressive agenda.

TheUnrepentantGeek on November 4, 2009 at 6:11 PM

Everyone has their own turf. And Gingrich actually started this turf war, not Palin.

AnninCA on November 4, 2009 at 6:07 PM

Actually, Obama did, by creating a NY23 special election in the first place. The infighting gave Obama his preferred outcome, one more dem seat.

ernesto on November 4, 2009 at 6:12 PM

The infighting gave Obama his preferred outcome, one more dem seat.

ernesto on November 4, 2009 at 6:12 PM

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pyrrhic_victory

TheUnrepentantGeek on November 4, 2009 at 6:13 PM

Actually, Obama did, by creating a NY23 special election in the first place. The infighting gave Obama his preferred outcome, one more dem seat.

ernesto on November 4, 2009 at 6:12 PM

And if I were in The One’s shoes, I’d have been watching the returns and sweating bullets all night. I don’t give a rat’s fat furry tail what Gibbsy said — Oba..um…uh… could not have been pleased.

gryphon202 on November 4, 2009 at 6:14 PM

OFF TOPIC!! Need imput

I am as you can guess a senior, I just frequent Michelle Malkin and Hot Air for commentary, no other sites.

To-day I received an e-mail from John Fleming Republican Congressman from the 4th Dist.in Louisiana.
I live in Arizona Never been anywhere near LA. I know this is the nest of Acorn and my name is very uncommon, I contacted them via e-mail as to how they had my name and e-mail, awaiting answer.
My question is this common since 2 yrs. ago I switched from Republican to Independant.

concernedsenior on November 4, 2009 at 6:14 PM

Politicians sell your e-mail or pass it along. It could be floating around from some list 2 years ago.

AnninCA on November 4, 2009 at 6:16 PM

Any win in such a dismal night for the Dems will be all that they talk about. That’s fair game in the political world.

But the truth is that it doesn’t matter about the label. The politics of Dede were way over in the Dem column anyway.

AnninCA on November 4, 2009 at 6:17 PM

I get email from a Dem in Chicago. Which is absolutely ridiculous.
So, yes, I would say it is common.

ORconservative on November 4, 2009 at 6:24 PM

AnninCA
But what use would I be for a Congressman in LA when I live in Arizona?

concernedsenior on November 4, 2009 at 6:24 PM

What use is a conservative in Oregon to a Chicago Democrat?

ORconservative on November 4, 2009 at 6:25 PM

Actually, Obama did, by creating a NY23 special election in the first place. The infighting gave Obama his preferred outcome, one more dem seat.

ernesto on November 4, 2009 at 6:12 PM

A dem who will campaigned against ObamaCare and whose “Republican” opponent was endorsed by KOS and other progressives.

Norwegian on November 4, 2009 at 6:25 PM

All very well, but I’m still not giving one red cent to the NRCC, RNC, etc. The GOPolitburo can go take a long walk off a short pier. I’ll be contributing only to specific candidates this year, next year, and probably for many years to come.

Mary in LA on November 4, 2009 at 6:26 PM

ORconservative

Thanks, that makes me feel a little better, with all the crap that acorn pulls it had me a little worried.

concernedsenior on November 4, 2009 at 6:26 PM

A dem who will campaigned against ObamaCare and whose “Republican” opponent was endorsed by KOS and other progressives.

Norwegian on November 4, 2009 at 6:25 PM

Still a dem. Will he be caucusing with the blue dogs?

ernesto on November 4, 2009 at 6:28 PM

You wouldn’t believe the crap I get from this Dem in Chicago. But you know what, i’ve never responded and delete them unopened. I figure that is the best way to remain anonymous.

ORconservative on November 4, 2009 at 6:29 PM

It’s came down to this with me. No money to the NRC. I will look at political races, anywhere I please, and donate, or not, depending on my opinion of the candidates position on conservative issues. I say, starve the RNC to near death and they’ll get the message. Sorry RNC.

donh525 on November 4, 2009 at 6:30 PM

AnninCA
But what use would I be for a Congressman in LA when I live in Arizona?

concernedsenior on November 4, 2009 at 6:24 PM

Money, I suppose. It is pretty odd.

AnninCA on November 4, 2009 at 6:33 PM

The leftwing wackos almost got away with it. In all honesty, they made a very good run and now the party is over. The continuous lies that emit from this administration are so ill conceived that even the brainwashed lemming tools with single digit IQs that prop these looney tunes up are getting embarrassed as they are exposed for what they are. The left has awaken a sleeping giant.

volsense on November 4, 2009 at 6:35 PM

For the foreseeable future and on this side of the Apocalypse, the electoral action will remain in the R party of Chris Christie and Bob McDonnell – and Michael Steele and John Boehner and even Newt Gingrich –

You can have them, my friend.

McDonnell and Christie won because they were the only opposition to the socialists, not because people suddenly love the party of Bush and McCain.

Conservatives took the first necessary steps in NY-23: they displaced the GOP/Whigs as the opposition. They will do that again, and again all over the country. Yes it will take a while, but they’ve made their break. Don’t think you and Newt will see conservatives back at the Whig plantation.

james23 on November 4, 2009 at 6:35 PM

I worked the polls a couple of times and all these people that come in with no legitimate ID and yet get to fill out a provisional ballot makes you wonder if they are ever really checked.
One woman came in her DL didn’t match the Reg. she pulled out another DL with the right address, I asked how she could have 2DL she said she lost it and found it after she got her second, diff. addresses??? I couldn’t stop her from voting. We need a different form of foolproof ID.or Dems will rule forever.

concernedsenior on November 4, 2009 at 6:40 PM

AnninCA
But what use would I be for a Congressman in LA when I live in Arizona?

concernedsenior on November 4, 2009 at 6:24 PM

Money, I suppose. It is pretty odd.

AnninCA on November 4, 2009 at 6:33 PM

Not odd at all. We don’t trust the national party anymore. People are sending their money where they want, not trusting the RNC, RNCC to spend their money wisely.

donh525 on November 4, 2009 at 6:43 PM

In the aftermath of NY-23 the GOP leadership has one of two choices …
Either listen to the core and act accordingly and beget leadership across this nation, OR…
Step down and allow a new breed who have the metal …Let them take the reigns …

jerrytbg on November 4, 2009 at 6:55 PM

i believe there was another R that was considered by the R braintrust when they chose Dede, don’t remember his name

if the guy is more conservative than Debe then he might be a good candidate

honestly, i don’t think that Hoffman will be ready in a year, like most people he’ll have to start at the bottom and work his way up

Palin worked her way up remember…there’s lots of trench work to be done, honorable work.

Also, CPA’s are not the most engaging people, the only people that can “burst” onto a scene are people that are in vocations that already have lots of polish (lawyers, actors, etc.)…but even there you start low

r keller on November 4, 2009 at 7:01 PM

Excellent post. This was a good race to test out the possibility of a third party conservative, and I’m happy to put a little fear into the establishment, but conservatives belong in the Republican party, and I think Hoffman has proven that.

Caiwyn on November 4, 2009 at 7:03 PM

Step down and allow a new breed who have the metal …Let them take the reigns …

jerrytbg on November 4, 2009 at 6:55 PM

I agree with you, Jerry! However, I must correct your word usage a bit:

Step down and allow a new breed who have the mettle … Let them take the reins.

Now that most people don’t depend on horses for transportation any more, those two words have become somewhat disconnected from their everyday meaning and are therefore easy to misuse.

Hope this helps, from your friendly neighborhood grammar geek! :-)

Mary in LA on November 4, 2009 at 7:11 PM

I still think with all the pictures I have seen of Doug, he should have had his teeth whitened.

Just kind of grossed me out. Anyone else see this?

I had a buddy like that. Drank a lot of Mountain Dew and ate Musketeer bars.

Never brushed. Had that plaque build up thing. Eventually he had a heart attack.

Not a slap at the guy. I would have voted for him anyway if I had lived there.

Scoreboard44 on November 4, 2009 at 7:27 PM

Mary in LA on November 4, 2009 at 7:11 PM

I stand corrected on the second alleged error…
however…not the first…think about it…

jerrytbg on November 4, 2009 at 7:29 PM

btw… i forgot… ‘)

jerrytbg on November 4, 2009 at 7:30 PM

Excellent post. This was a good race to test out the possibility of a third party conservative, and I’m happy to put a little fear into the establishment, but conservatives belong in the Republican party, and I think Hoffman has proven that.

Caiwyn on November 4, 2009 at 7:03 PM

Agreed. But with 40% of the country saying they are conservative, it might be a good idea if the Republican Party came back to the conservatives.

We can handle those moderates who wish to be a part of the Party, but they need not be in control if they wish to win.

We gave it a shot with Hoffman but he was running against time. And he and we lost in a close race. But as you said, it was a good test and Hoffman had too many things going against him that he had to fight right off the bat that would make it difficult for anyone to win in such a short time, being that he was fighting two parties and even with the vocal backing of Fred and Dick and Rush and Glenn and Sarah, it was just not enough time and he didn’t live in the district and her throwing her support behind the Dem…and on and on.

I see it as a test too. We didn’t lose….we just ran out of time and maybe, just maybe we can find conservatives who do not have so much riding against them next time so that we can all start off at the same starting line, at the same time.

Scoreboard44 on November 4, 2009 at 7:36 PM

The rebellion of Doug Hoffman with grassrooters and the Freds and Sarahs helping out is ALREADY paying dividends.

Senator Cornyn is now talking about the national leadership butting out of endorsing GOP candidates or favorites in primaries.

Sarah wins because she stuck to her principles and promise to Americans to support those who share her values/vision regardless of party and regardless if they win. Credibility, courage and integrity are in short supply in politics and she has it while nobody else does in the GOP at the national level with the charisma to boot.

Dede Scozzafava needed to be purged as the true leftist she was. Now the GOP up in NY-23 can regroup, rewrite the vision for the needs of that district, and focus on taking Owens down. The GOP there will hopefully learn from all this as those on the grassroots get more experience.

2010 could be pure Hell on Earth for the Dems if they continue the insane pull to the left, giving the GOP the perfect chance to move right of center and provide the healthy alternative to the current statists.

Sapwolf on November 4, 2009 at 7:39 PM

Please no more Hoffman. Run a competent conservative who lives in the district and we will win.

Speedwagon82 on November 4, 2009 at 7:40 PM

Speedwagon, I see your point, but rumor has it that the district itself will go away after the 2010 census…

Mary in LA on November 4, 2009 at 7:57 PM

Mary in LA on November 4, 2009 at 7:57 PM

My point Mary was really quitE simple…
Reigns = IS what it says in the context of the post…
In truth, I was going for the phonetics and by mistake used the word with the meaning I was trying to rebuke them for…
I believe METAL…speaks for itself…Think steelE…
I write poetry Mary…and I was told taking license was acceptable …
Weather it is in a couplet …simple two liner …or as one as complex as a sonnet…

jerrytbg on November 4, 2009 at 7:59 PM

one consequence of Owens win could be another ObamaCare vote.

another poetic metal is brass, as in brass knuckles, etc.

we’ll see which types of brass wins out among dems in sane districts

r keller on November 4, 2009 at 8:06 PM

CK, the point is taken. It will be difficult for all the transitions to take place that need to in order for there to be a unified voting block of mainstream conservatives. That the Republicans have a party name, long time demographic, is a better place to start than from scratch. This is where it truly gets difficult.

Conservative-based is a key thought. The Republicans have that reputation, more or less, and still lean that way more often than towards liberalism. As they’ve moved more centrist in order to appeal to more voters they’ve also become even more of an elitist crowd, something most conservatively living people are far from. And the power attached to all the bucks to spend to purchase seats, ingratiate themselves to candidates, and all in all become the antithesis of the persona of a mainstream conservative is what has diluted their effectiveness both in the voting booth and as an identity to eschew.

To start a new conservative party is quite a challenge. Although the definition of such may be relatively simple, there will be a temptation to assimilate a coherent platform with “rules, regulations, and dress code”. And so the party may enjoy some success, but to be more than a flash in the pan will take a succession of leaders that inspire a large base to a founding purpose. Argue that there are the seeds to a couple of parties already planted and you’ll be correct. What will it take to nurture and reap from this beginning. Again, leadership.

Sarah? Pat? Bobby? Who keeps all the players talking, coordinates all the independent efforts? These are interesting times to be living in.

Robert17 on November 4, 2009 at 8:07 PM

Thanks for the supportive comments, and I’m glad to see that I was better comprehended than often is the case: that is, that I didn’t set out to argue and I don’t believe I did argue for some kind of “reform” or “moderate” politics, that I’m in favor of activists, independents, and regular people continuing to pressure the Republican Party from the outside as well as the inside; and that I personally was on Hoffman’s side (from 3,000 miles away) and all in favor of Palin, Thompson, and lesser known figures lending a hand.

As for the other comments:

1. “CK” does not stand for “Calvin Klein.”

2. I can imagine scenarios under which the Republican Party ceased to be the best vehicle for a conservative resurgence – I just don’t see most of those scenarios as desirable or practical, especially since the mere threat of conservative fight and flight has already turned the machine of co-optation into higher gear.

3. Since “mettle” and “metal” sound alike and are closely related etymologically, I fear they may re-converge despite all our best efforts to preserve the distinction.

CK MacLeod on November 4, 2009 at 8:58 PM

Republicans ARE a coalition, but a coalition of social conservatives and fiscal conservatives–not a coalition of conservatives and ‘moderates’

Moderates are out there but they are less likely to vote than party-affiliated voters, and they are drawn to conservatives more than liberals ( or so they tell pollsters )

Republican candidates who appeal to both components of their coalition and run a good campaign will likely win; those who ‘reach out’ to people who likely won’t vote likely won’t win

Janos Hunyadi on November 4, 2009 at 9:21 PM

3. Since “mettle” and “metal” sound alike and are closely related etymologically, I fear they may re-converge despite all our best efforts to preserve the distinction.

CK MacLeod on November 4, 2009 at 8:58 PM

I felt my usage was obvious and found it frustrating to explain it…
However, I find myself in agreement with you…
But don’t think I won’t take license…it’s not in my nature. ;)

jerrytbg on November 4, 2009 at 9:28 PM

The Republican Party in NY State has proven it to be as I remember it when I grew up in western NY.

It is a dysfunctional party at the State level. What the Hoffman candidacy does is put the spotlight on that problem and gives a platform to a minor third party to see if it can get any traction. If you live in NY State why bother with such a party? If you want ‘party action’ then it is not the R party in Democratic Machine run NY. There is a harsh divide in NY between downstate (NYC and LI plus burbs) to Albany Axis and ‘everywhere else’. There could be two entirely different States: New York and Upper York. The Republican and Democratic parties exist in NY… NY-23 is in Upper York. The way the parties act in Upper York is with Machine mentality, and it gets lackluster candidates who have proven unable and unwilling to stop the rampant tax and spend New York spending spree which has gone on since the Erie Canal.

NY State could use a party that would actually represent Upper York. Rural, small town and small city Upper York is a far different world than NY.

In the local VA races what has taken the day are campaigns that spotlight fiscal rectitude, efficient government, dedication to family life, and in no small way spotlighting military service. These are NOT themes I have heard from the Republican party for… what… 29 years? And actually carrying through with that at the National level has proven to be difficult. How many times do we live with the promises of the Republican platform, only to see it become kindling in a month or two after an election?

If a party cannot carry through on a fiscally conservative platform, I won’t vote for it. Nice words and ‘party unity’ have gotten us into this mess.

If you say those words mean them.

And when legislation is drafted make it sharp and to the point so everyone knows you are carrying through with your promises and not burying it in mush.

I’m still waiting for that party to show up.

As it is I vote for individuals with integrity and with whom I can at least understand 40% of what they say and do. I wish the Republican party could do that, but it is sorely lacking and only a few individuals in that party can get up to that magic number. And it sure, as hell, isn’t anyone in the RNC, Newt Gingrich or the rest of that lot, thats for sure.

ajacksonian on November 4, 2009 at 9:34 PM

The Party is “where the action is,” as witnessed by GOP House members’ defense of their earmarks.
`
Washington politicians of both parties have come to assume the role of college fraternities: if you want to be in the club with us, you must pass our screening and initiations, but then you’ll be in like Flynn with a license to steal just like us!
`
So long as the GOP represents the Democrats minus 10% of the spending increases, they offer the choice between speeding towards a stone wall at 75 mph instead of the Democrats’ preferred pedal to the floor. With Republicans we won’t hit the wall for a couple more years, but when we do we’ll be just as dead.
`
There’s nothing wrong with compromise in itself. “Politics is the art of the possible,” as Bismarck observed. Even Reagan compromised, all the time – but he always did so it striking the deal as close to his principles and goals as possible, and fought for every inch as long as the fight held promise of success.
`
When the goal turns from enacting conservative policies to getting a compromise at any price, the Party forfeits any loyalty it might expect of its base.
`

Adjoran on November 5, 2009 at 3:49 AM

Bashing Beck? Wow, what a great way to motivate conservatives to support the ayatollah party, lol.

Unfortunately, it seems that Hot Air has become like the triumvirate – The GOP is the way, the truth, the political life. Maybe not insulting those that have no loyalty to any one party and understand that the GOP is as corrupt an institution as the Dems. At some point we need to make a stand, I’m not sure the GOP is the only way to do it.

True_King on November 5, 2009 at 12:45 PM

Ugh.
What is this Newt stuff, anyway?!
He’s had his chance & now he’s done.
I used to respect his intelligence & drive.
After cheating on his wife & absconding to this Global Warming crap, I am through with him.
He is no better than any other politician in my eyes for even that alone.

Badger40 on November 5, 2009 at 1:24 PM

the GOP is as corrupt an institution as the Dems
True_King on November 5, 2009 at 12:45 PM

And there it is.
They must all be purged.

Badger40 on November 5, 2009 at 1:25 PM

Don’t get carried away beating your chests yet. The Republicans have a number of very good Senators and Representatives and a lot of infrastructure. Don’t burn down the house until you’ve got someplace to live in other than the donkey stables.

flataffect on November 5, 2009 at 10:26 PM