Quotes of the day

posted at 9:21 pm on February 15, 2013 by Allahpundit

Among some party loyalists, there is a natural tendency to maintain that the GOP is simply suffering from a “communications problem,” that if only Republicans spoke more loudly, more insistently, and with greater purity and passion, they would broaden their appeal and proceed to sweep national elections. But that counsel, appealing as it might be to a shrinking segment of the electorate, is surely not adequate to present circumstances. More is needed than pumping up the volume.

Intellectual honesty is the first requirement of self-renewal. Republican problems are not superficial or transient

Republicans need to express and demonstrate a commitment to the common good, a powerful and deeply conservative concept. There is an impression—exaggerated but not wholly without merit—that the GOP is hyper-individualistic. During the Republican convention, for example, we repeatedly heard about the virtues of individual liberty but almost nothing about the importance of community or social solidarity, and of the obligations and attachments we have to each other. Even Republican figures who espouse relatively moderate policy prescriptions often sound like libertarians run amok.

***

Speaking of the Republican Party, we are currently seeing two different splits. The first is the establishment vs. the Tea Party. The examples here are Karl Rove vs. conservative groups, as well as Haley Barbour vs. the Club for Growth. But the second split is Washington vs. non-Washington Republicans. And the best way to illustrate this split is between Marco Rubio (Washington) and Bobby Jindal (non-Washington). As we wrote yesterday, Rubio’s State of the Union response was similar to any speech you’d hear from Mitt Romney in 2012, with the exception of Rubio’s different background and his personal story. On the other hand, Jindal has argued that his party should stop focusing so much on Washington budget battles and should instead focus on what’s taking place in the states. We single out these two Republicans because of the obvious 2016 ramifications. Both are conservatives; both appear to be what the party needs as far as looks are concerned (the party is tired of being defined as the party of white men); but both do represent two different schools of thinking of how to rebrand the party.

***

A new battle has flared inside the Republican Party in recent days as supporters of more-liberal immigration laws wage a behind-the-scenes campaign to discredit the influential advocacy groups that have long powered the GOP’s hard-line stance on the issue…

Republicans pushing the party to rethink its approach to the issue are accusing those groups — Numbers USA, the Center for Immigration Studies (CIS), and the Federation for American Immigration Reform (FAIR) — of masquerading as conservative. Critics say the groups and some of their supporters are pressing an un­or­tho­dox agenda of strict population control that also has included backing for abortion, sterilization and other policies at odds with conservative ideology.

“If these groups can be unmasked, then the bulk of the opposition to immigration reform on the conservative side will wither away,” said Alfonso Aguilar, executive director of the Latino Partnership for Conservative Principles and a leading organizer of the effort.

Officials from the groups say they are the victims of a smear campaign that unfairly characterizes their mission.

***

The worst part of the Obama campaign, remember, was its candidate: He kept saying stupid things such as “the private sector is doing fine” and “you didn’t build that” and then he totally, completely, massively flopped in the first presidential debate. He won anyway because of strategists like Plouffe, Axelrod, Messina, and this guy and because the Republicans spent most of their time warning about a fiscal crisis that hasn’t happened. The national GOP simply does not know how to reach its voters and provide them tangible benefits and positive reasons to show up at the polls. As if to prove this point, much of the Republican establishment has reacted to the party’s recent defeat by rallying behind an amnesty for people who did not and will not vote for them.

Maybe a better way to win over Americans of every ethnicity would be to present a specific economic agenda to increase take-home pay through radical changes to the way we pay for health care, reductions in payroll taxes, and a nationalist approach to trade. Also last I checked Americans of every ethnicity drive cars so they might support Republicans who called for better roads and bridges and who championed government programs to encourage telecommuting. But enough of this crazy talk. What Americans really want, I’m told, is a cut in the corporate tax rate.

***

“And we can’t be afraid to call out Rush Limbaugh,” said Goodwin’s fiancée, S. E. Cupp, a New York Daily News columnist and a co-host of ”The Cycle” on MSNBC. “If we can get three Republicans on three different networks saying, ‘What Rush Limbaugh said is crazy and stupid and dangerous,’ maybe that’ll give other Republicans cover” to denounce the talk-show host as well…

Proximus seeks to marginalize the more strident talking heads by offering itself up to — or if necessary, forcing itself upon — the party as a 21st-century mouthpiece. “If I were training a candidate who’s against gay marriage,” Cupp told me, “I’d say: ‘Don’t change your beliefs, just say legislatively this is not a priority, and I’m not going to take away someone’s right. And if abortion or gay marriage is your No. 1 issue, I’m not your guy.’”…

She went on to say, “I don’t think we win by subtraction” — meaning, by casting out the party’s right wing to entice the centrists. Instead, Cupp and her fellow travelers hope to revive Lee Atwater’s bygone “big tent,” under which gay people and Tea Party members and isolationists and neocons would coexist without rancor. But Atwater, the legendary R.N.C. chairman, did not have to worry about freelance voices like Limbaugh and Todd Akin offending whole swaths of emerging demographic groups. Nor during the Atwater era, when Ronald Reagan was president, did the party’s most extreme wing intimidate other Republicans into legislating like extremists themselves, thereby further tarnishing the party’s image. When I mentioned this to the Proximus gathering, Goodwin explained the dilemma faced by Republicans in Congress. “What forces them to vote that way, 9 times out of 10, is a fear of a primary challenge,” he said. “What we hope to accomplish is to bring more voters into Republican primaries, so that it isn’t just the far right that shows up at the polls.”

The dilemma, Goodwin acknowledged, is that the far-right rhetoric may well repel such voters from participating in G.O.P. primaries to begin with. “We recognize that this isn’t something that’s going to happen anytime soon,” he said.

***

My conversations this week with two Republican officials, along with a Democratic strategist’s timely memo, reflect a growing school of thought in Washington that social change and a disillusioned electorate threaten the entire two-party system…

Between bites of an $18.95 SteakBurger at the Palm, one of Washington’s premier expense-account restaurants, Republican consultant Scott Reed summed up the state of politics and his beloved GOP. “The party,” he told me, “is irrelevant.”

He cited the familiar litany of problems: demographic change, poor candidates, ideological rigidity, deplorable approval ratings, and a rift between social and economic conservatives.

“It’s leading to some type of crash and reassessment and change,” said Reed, who ran Bob Dole’s 1996 presidential campaign and remains an influential lobbyist and operative. “It can’t continue on this path.”

***

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Comment pages: 1 6 7 8

Solaratov on February 16, 2013 at 10:02 AM

google csdeven, the crazy is strong with these “two”.

Cindy Munford on February 16, 2013 at 11:08 AM

Anyone else think Dr. Carson (the black conservative neurosurgeon guy who separated the conjoined twins and stuck it to Obama) comes across as arrogant and stuck-up? I like him, but think he appears way too full if himself, kind of like Alan Keyes, and it’s not because of his race.

bluegill on February 16, 2013 at 5:11 AM

No, I do not. And whatever he’s full of, I sure wish there was much more to go around. He has immense pride in himself, and in his case much more than plenty other unaccomplished fools, it is vastly well-founded.

RepubChica on February 16, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Speaking of the Republican Party, we are currently seeing two different splits. The first is the establishment vs. the Tea Party. The examples here are Karl Rove vs. conservative groups, as well as Haley Barbour vs. the Club for Growth. But the second split is Washington vs. non-Washington Republicans. And the best way to illustrate this split is between Marco Rubio (Washington) and Bobby Jindal (non-Washington).

There is only one split. The Establishment Republicans against the Tea Party and Conservatives.

The Washington vs non-Washington Republicans is hogwash. Rubio, Jindal and others are all elected. The Tea Party is made up of non-elected Americans across party lines. Also the Tea Party is against Government that betray their Oath of Office and the American People and our Country.

The S.E. Cupp and others that commented are just Dem talking points.

bluefox on February 16, 2013 at 11:54 AM

RepubChica on February 16, 2013 at 11:21 AM

Just in case you haven’t noticed, this fish is the HA House troll/moby:-) She does love Sarah Palin tho, one of her biggest supporters (heavy snark)

bluefox on February 16, 2013 at 12:01 PM

Can’t you just disagree without tearing down personally those with whom you disagree?

Don L on February 16, 2013 at 6:43 AM

She can not follow her own advice, ever.

Go Dr. Carson!!!

Schadenfreude on February 16, 2013 at 12:17 PM

She can not follow her own advice, ever.

Go Dr. Carson!!!

Schadenfreude on February 16, 2013 at 12:17 PM

True. In case anyone missed Dr. Carson on Hannity for the full hour last night, it’s here:

http://www.therightscoop.com/full-interview-dr-ben-carson-on-hannity-2/

bluefox on February 16, 2013 at 12:57 PM

Anyone else think Dr. Carson (the black conservative neurosurgeon guy who separated the conjoined twins and stuck it to Obama) comes across as arrogant and stuck-up? I like him, but think he appears way too full if himself, kind of like Alan Keyes, and it’s not because of his race.

bluegill on February 16, 2013 at 5:11 AM

There is a world of difference between having justifiable personal pride in oneself and one’s accomplishments…and being arrogant (as personified by our pResident [pbuh]).

(BTW; Did you just call Alan Keyes “uppity”?)

Solaratov on February 16, 2013 at 1:02 PM

Anyone else think Dr. Carson (the black conservative neurosurgeon guy who separated the conjoined twins and stuck it to Obama) comes across as arrogant and stuck-up? I like him, but think he appears way too full if himself, kind of like Alan Keyes, and it’s not because of his race.

bluegill on February 16, 2013 at 5:11 AM

Nope, you are on your own in bigotsville, you reprobate bigot.

Keep mobying though. It is hilarious.

tom daschle concerned on February 16, 2013 at 1:05 PM

Ted Cruz is coming under attack from the left as you know. I sent him an email of thanks last week. Hope everyone here does the same.

http://www.senateconservatives.com/?c=aa9578f3e4d574984b618afe6a701953

bluefox on February 16, 2013 at 1:19 PM

Anyone else think Dr. Carson (the black conservative neurosurgeon guy who separated the conjoined twins and stuck it to Obama) comes across as arrogant and stuck-up? I like him, but think he appears way too full if himself, kind of like Alan Keyes, and it’s not because of his race.

bluegill on February 16, 2013 at 5:11 AM

Yeah, I also find him arrogant, and your right, it has nothing to do with race. Alan Keyes, whose race escapes me at the moment, is a great example of another of those people with the same problem. It has nothing to do with race, it’s just something that I’ve noticed about them. I like them, but I think sometimes that people like them just sort of forget their place, like they don’t know who their betters are. I mean that in a totally non-racist way, of course.

RINO in Name Only on February 16, 2013 at 2:01 PM

Anyone else think Dr. Carson (the black conservative neurosurgeon guy who separated the conjoined twins and stuck it to Obama) comes across as arrogant and stuck-up? I like him, but think he appears way too full if himself, kind of like Alan Keyes, and it’s not because of his race.

bluegill on February 16, 2013 at 5:11 AM

Seriously, though, you really are beyond parody.

RINO in Name Only on February 16, 2013 at 2:05 PM

I wish to sign up with a new party. The Logic Party. I think we may have a founder.

Bmore on February 15, 2013 at 9:27 PM

Don’t tell me, let me guess–is he a doctor?

predator on February 15, 2013 at 9:30 PM

All well and good if the Democratic Party would also splinter into several parties each with a meaningful share of votes…CPUSA, Socialists, Marxists, Maoists, Labor, whatever.

As it stands, third parties always benefit the Dems in national elections especially.

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 16, 2013 at 2:16 PM

As it stands, third parties always benefit the Dems in national elections especially.

Dr. ZhivBlago on February 16, 2013 at 2:16 PM

And how is that different from Boehner surrendering to Obama and the Democrat on every issue?

The Republicans have proved themselves totally useless. When they’re not complicit in the Democrat craziness they are impotent.

Sadly, the Republican Party must die so America and Americans can be successful again.

RJL on February 16, 2013 at 3:23 PM

p.s. I don’t care if it destroys the Rs. It destroys the land, financially and in all other regards.

Schadenfreude on February 16, 2013 at 12:46 AM

Only in the sense that when you talk trash about illegal immigrants, their voting children turn off any other message you might have. And the children of legal immigrants tend to do likewise, for if you are against certain forms of immigration, it’s obvious that if you had your way you’d be against ALL forms of immigration.

It is a battle you cannot win, a war you have already lost.

unclesmrgol on February 16, 2013 at 5:33 PM

Dear Republican party, I have just three words for you.

Let. It. Burn.

They keep sending me fundraising letters and that is my reply in return. You asshats had your chance and you blew it all to hell and back.

Just as bad as the Democrats in my opinion.

gdonovan on February 16, 2013 at 7:55 PM

Anyone else think Dr. Carson (the black conservative neurosurgeon guy who separated the conjoined twins and stuck it to Obama) comes across as arrogant and stuck-up? I like him, but think he appears way too full if himself, kind of like Alan Keyes, and it’s not because of his race.

bluegill on February 16, 2013 at 5:11 AM

.
(guess I’ll get on the “bandwagon”)

HEY ‘GILL ! . . . . . are there any out-spoken Christian believers you don’t think that way about?

listens2glenn on February 16, 2013 at 8:07 PM

Hey Dan, who do you support for President at this early date? I’m so interested to know.

bluegill on February 16, 2013 at 5:08 AM

I’m not terribly picky. All I want is a conservative anti-Rove candidate with a record of conservative accomplishments. You know! Someone who doesn’t bs me about how things like Romneycare [where is the freedom in ANY Mandate?]are conservative accomplishments.

I hope Johnson runs again. There are many ideas he proposes that remain worth listening to.

BTW, I won’t be one of the sheeple that lets the GOP Elitists pick my candidate for me. I think everyone knows today how DISASTEROUSLY that always seems to work out.

DannoJyd on February 17, 2013 at 1:17 AM

HEY ‘GILL ! . . . . . are there any out-spoken Christian believers you don’t think that way about?

listens2glenn on February 16, 2013 at 8:07 PM

HEY ‘GILL ! . . . . . are there any out-spoken Christian believers CONSERVATIVES you don’t think that way about?

FIFY.

DannoJyd on February 17, 2013 at 1:19 AM

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