Building A Permanent Republican Majority I

By Martin A. Knight Posted in | | | Comments (121) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

The GOP Rank & File, Not Governors Or Presidents, Should Pick The Party's Leadership.

Rumors have long had it that Karl Rove harbored the ambition of becoming the 21st Century's Mark Hanna, at least before the disaster years that were 2005 and 2006. For those who don't know, Mark Hanna ran William McKinley's campaign for the Presidency before being elected (by the Ohio State Legislature - this was before the 17th Amendment) to the United States Senate. He also served as the 14th Chairman of the Republican National Committee. Hanna is credited with having created the modern American political campaign system (which he deployed against William Jennings Bryan to great effect) and having played a key part in making the GOP the majority party of the United States for most of the following three decades afterwards.

Anyway, while Rove's dreams of leaving a similarly "Permanent" Republican Majority behind him when he left Washington DC may have crashed and burned, the question of whether or not it is possible to create an actual Permanent (i.e. lasting decades) Republican Majority and how to set about if it is possible, is interesting even if just as an academic exercise.

Let's say you had the opportunity to do just that. How would you set about building the Republican Party as it is now in 2008 into the nation's majority party that not only would last for decades on the top spot, but also have the strength and direction to actually effect meaningful positive change? Remember; a Party is not a football team - it is not enough to just win elections, there is the governing to be done after the euphoria of victory on election night and the hands have come off the Holy books when the oaths are taken at last - winning (however that is done) gets our people into office, but it is the governing ultimately that keeps us there.

Read on ...

The first thing I'd do, if I had my way, is strip Republican Presidents of their power to appoint (technically they nominate and the Committeemen vote to accept or reject - but since they always do the former ...) the Chairman of the Republican National Committee. And I'd do the same down at the state level; Republican Governors would not have any say other than an endorsement of their preferred candidate for the party's top organizational role.

I'll be upfront now and say that one of the things that I am most apprehensive about with regard to John McCain being elected President is that he would make the mistake of picking an RMSP (i.e. Chafee-Whitman style) Republican "moderate" to head up the RNC. McCain might be (and indeed he actually is) substantially more conservative than the average member of the Republican "Main Street" Partnership, but in the past six years he's made it very clear that they represent the side of the Party's that he is the most comfortable associating with, and it is very likely he would want one of them to be the official face of the Republican Party while he is in the White House.

This would not be a problem if "moderate" Republicans in positions of leadership in the Party apparatus did not so regularly post up such woeful records while in those positions. I mean, it is entirely possible that an RMSP type as RNC Chairman (or woman) could be insightful enough not to take his bearings as to who or what is (or is not) "mainstream" or "too conservative" (I've never seen a politician described in the "mainstream" media as being "too liberal") from reading an liberal newspaper's editorial pages. He could use his experience as a somewhat unconventional Republican to pinpoint and recruit those Republican candidates that can compete in those bluish purple districts and over time turn them a deeper shade of red.

But, unfortunately, with the noted exception of Rep. Tom Davis (appropriately enough, he's the man in the middle presenting the RMSP's "prestigious" "[John] Chafee Award" to McCain in 2006) who did a rather credible job as NRCC Chairman from 1998 to 2002, putting a typical (non-Giuliani type) Bipartisan™ weak-sister Republican "moderate" in charge of a party's partisan electoral machines usually results in a dispirited and alienated base, unappealing (to either side) candidates and electoral catastrophes on Election Day.

Now, I know very well that conservatives in the same positions do not post up performances that are anywhere near perfect on that score (e.g. witness Liddy Dole's tenure as Chair of the NRSC), but one would not see a state Republican Party become so unmoored from any semblance of Republican/Conservative principle under a Conservative leader that it essentially transforms itself into a transitioning point for the state's next generation of Democratic politicians. Which is exactly what happened in Kansas under "moderate" Republican leadership. i.e. the former "moderate" Chairman of the Kansas state GOP until as recently as 2003 is currently the state's liberal Democratic Lieutenant Governor - and he (pictured right) was hardly the first or the last "moderate" Kansas "Republican" to happily make the leap to the other side.

But I digress. My position on this issue is really not a knock specific to John McCain or "moderates" (honest!) for that matter. I wasn't exactly happy about George W. Bush's tag team duo appointment of Mel Martinez and Mike (Sorry ... who?) Duncan in the aftermath of the "thumpin'" in 2006. The reason for my position on this is simple; the man (or woman) in charge of the party's electoral apparatus at any level should be primarily concerned with the growth, health and long-term strength of the Party rather than the transient short-term needs of the Party's current top elected official(s), even if he happens to be the President of the United States.

A typical Party Chairman owing his position to a Governor or President all-too-often just orients the entirety of the party's apparatus towards his benefactor's agenda and preferences, even when it is clear his benefactor is leading his Party off a cliff. I think it bears repeating that the two parties (yes, the Democratic Party included) really are bigger than any one man or woman, even the President (who is distinct from the institution that is the Presidency). Ultimately, we need to remember that terms end, re-election bids are sometimes lost and the current occupant of an office would one day leave and afterwards die ... and his Party would have to carry on without him/her.

I have come across more than just this one article laying the current shambles that is the AR Republican Party at the feet of Mike Huckabee and the people he chose to run the party machinery in Arkansas; (caveat: this was written during the heat of the Primary campaign) ...

Huckabee insisted on having "his people" controlling the Republican Party campaign organizations that are set up in Arkansas each election cycle. He also insisted that his guy remain as state party chairman when party leaders planned to make a change. The mismanagement and ineptness that followed was so great that the Republican Party plunged into debt and the Federal Election Commission levied the the largest fine ever against a state political party following an investigation of the 2000 and 2002 election cycles ... this [has] set back the Republican Party of Arkansas for years.

Similar stories abound about George Ryan (IL), Bob Taft (OH), George Pataki (NY) and to a lesser extent, Christine Whitman (NJ), et al. essentially turning their States' Republican Parties into extensions of their Administrations and leaving them enervated and rudderless shadows of themselves when they left (or, in the case of Ryan, kicked out of) office. I need not say that I think this happens far too often, and, in my opinion, it calls for a major reworking on the way we select our leadership. It is better that the folks holding the levers of the Party apparatus act as conduits between the base and our elected officials (who won't go anywhere without base's support) and provide a balance between the needs of the Party so it remains strong and viable as a proper choice for the voter against the Democrats, and the different needs of the men and women we elect into public office.

My point is this; while I'm not entirely unsympathetic to the argument that there are benefits to having the Party's organizational leadership regularly on the same page as the titular leaders of the Party in the White House and the Governor's mansions, to me, the potential downside from having two heads of one mind going in the wrong direction and carrying the party along with them into disaster's maw far outweigh the rather remote potential downside of the occasional intra-party struggle when the two heads disagree.

Sometimes it is absolutely necessary to cut a mistake (e.g. George Ryan) loose or to forcefully correct one - think Nicholas Sarkozy and his shedding the UMP of the anchor and albatross about their necks that was Jacques Chirac in France. In a similar fashion, I think having the Leadership of the Republican Party at all levels directly elected (using some combination of direct mail and the Internet means the logistics are not exactly financially insurmountable) by the rank and file would act as a bulwark against an incompetent Bob Taft, corrupt George Ryan or a suicidally non-combative George Bush taking the party down with them by giving the Party's organizational leadership that additional measure of independence to think beyond the short-term interests and preferences of their patrons.

Imagine if an independently elected (and needless to say, smart) GOP Chairman had read the tea leaves (as a lot of the non-experts here on RS did way back in 2005) and respectfully told the President then that it was time to lay off the "New Tone™" shtick in the interests of maintaining our hard-won Majority status? Note that the "New Tone™" is not just where the Administration's passivity in the face of torrents of bad faith political attacks and falsehoods from the Left comes from, it's also where the six year lack of vetoes has its place of origin. Now, chances are that Bush would have "stayed the course" no matter what, and there's certainly no chance that his thoroughly incompetent communications team would have woken up to notice an approval rating that was in the mid-50s after re-election now threatening to go down to the teens.

But let's say I was in Mehlman's position, as an independently elected (even if not quite as smart as Mr. Mehlman) RNC Chairman in September/October of 2005, looking forward into 2006. I've called on the President, gone on my knees and begged him to remove the "Kick Me" sign off his back. I've rudely interrupted Dan Bartlett and the rest of the White House Communications Staff mid-morning, afternoon and evening naps countless times and sent professionals to teach Scott McClellan how to not respond to hostile questions from journalists with confused blinking. I've tried everything; memos in pop-up format, kiss-o-grams, and interpretative dancers to get the Bush Administration to make the case for itself to the American people, even if just for the President's sake.

But nothing seems to be getting through - Dan Bartlett and crew have found somewhere where I can't reach them to catch up on their beauty sleep. What would I do next? Well, given that I have less loyalty to Bush than to seeing him remain a popular (and thus effective) President till his last day in office when he hands over the office to another Republican as a Republican Senate Majority Leader and a Republican Speaker of the House look on, I would make sure he knows that the "New Tone™" does not extend beyond the gates of the White House.

If the Bush Administration won't do it, then the rest of the GOP would have to gird up and swing the sword on its behalf, for our own sakes.

Everything, from sponsoring adverts and documentaries reintroducing the American people to what was known to be unquestionably true by both sides before March of 2003 about the connections between Saddam, terrorism, and terrorist groups, including Al Qaeda (as per the Clinton Administration) - exhaustively citing Democrats (Bill Clinton, Nancy Pelosi, Jay Rockefeller, etc.) and media (national and International) pieces and articles fretting about Saddam's WMDs before the invasion and throughout the 1990s - to letting loose with both barrels on Joe Wilson, Richard Clarke, and the %@#&+! New York Times, would be on the table.

I'll ensure that the "New Tone™" is dead and buried under thirty feet of concrete at the bottom of the ocean because the RNC would not engage in any punch-pulling, the moans and wails of "moderates" self-righteously rending their garments over the "bickering" notwithstanding.

From the New York Times' irresponsible exposure of the Terrorist Surveillance Program, their subsequent exposure of the unquestionably legal SWIFT program, the entire media industry's ultimately false reporting on Hurricane Katrina, the consistently negative (and often dishonest) coverage of the war, the non-coverage (or worse; negative coverage) of a good economy, the Democrats' filibusters on Court nominees, etc, I'll regularly put the White House in a position where it either has to confirm the heavy artillery fire the RNC's communications shop is putting out, or deny it and concede to the Left that they did indeed lie about Iraq, extra-legally surveil innocent Americans, routinely order soldiers to smash hammers on detainee toes and that America is indeed in a two year recession. Even an incompetent like Dan Bartlett should be able to figure out (I hope!) which way to go in that situation.

Many other issues abound. From poor communications and marketing to unchallenged media bias, from a near total lack of presence in urban areas to inexplicable failures in recruitment, from weakness at the state level to the still rather pedestrian attempts at establishing support in certain minority communities, building a Permanent Republican Majority would very likely require a significant amount of stepping on toes (including quite a few Republican ones) on the part of the men and women in charge of the party apparatus, and this in turn would require a more significant measure of independence and foresightedness beyond the short-term, than that attendant to an appointee.

This would certainly be one of many steps in the right direction to help ensure that the Republican Party becomes a much better force across the country.

I think additionally, we would really want to find someone who is an accomplished recruiter. That is something that is woefully lacking on both the national level and in many states.



Fighting for conservatism one day at a time.

All they have to do is get involved enough to force it to happen.

The party is only responsive to the people who force responses.

It's time to get active.

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I don't necessarily disagree with this analysis.

But what about this:

There will certainly be some state parties that will never adopt your proposed structuring for state parties. Unfortunately, they'd also likely be the states in the most need of a "bottom-up" approach: state parties like those in OH, IL, NJ, NY and MA. (I'll note, the examples you mentioned are the very states in which the GOP is less a party than a "patronage" outfit a la the Democrats - so you can't just blame those specific governors in those states for the mess their party is currently in.)

In those case, I've always though that an (party-)active GOP President is the only thing that bring the necessary pressure to bear to "blow these parties up" and start from scratch with them.

Unfortunately, your very proposal would likely prevent a GOP President from having the power to "pressure change" on recalcitrant state parties by taking away his authority to run the national Party. (Note: I don't believe that John McCain will be the guy who does this. Though, who knows - maybe I'm wrong...)

And I very much doubt that an "independent" national GOP Party head would have the kind of power required to come in from the outside and "fix" some of these state parties that are badly in need of a "fix".

So I think it's a chicken-egg issue: the national party would be more likely to adopt your system first, leaving a lot of state parties in the mess they're in now.

I guess I'm just not seeing how we can fix the "patronage"-dominated state GOP's in places like OH and IL and NJ.

by the time the Rezko trial is over, the leadership of BOTH parties in Illinois might be in prison. we can start from scratch in that state.

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When small men cast long shadows, it is a sign that the sun is setting on the Democrat Party

said. What I would like to see happen is for people to get actively engaged on the local and state level to find and cultivate conservatives to run for those offices. If we can find enough quality candidates for local and state positions, then it will be far easier to "work our will" on things at the national level.

On a related note, I got a begging letter disguised as an issues survey from the National Republican Senatorial Committee today. They made their pitch for my money before ever addressing the subject of the issues, of course, and then made me hoot when they gave the directions for filling out the survey. "Fill in the circle completely in the appropriate space" There were no circles. Well done, folks, well done.

The greatest problem that faces the Republican party and the conservative movement in general is not national committee chairman or state committee chairman or individual politicians at any level.

Let's face it-Free trade, tax breaks for oil companies, lowering taxes on everybody, including the rich and businesses, etc. are all sound economic policies. As political strategies, however, they are near suicidal. This doesn't have to be so-if Republicans had the ability to effectively communicate, their would not be a debate over taxes. Everybody would understand that low taxes are good for the economy.

If Republicans had the ability to communicate effectively, people would know that lower taxes lead to a larger economy, and therefore larger revenues to the government, and that the reason for deficits was overspending, not tax cuts for the rich.

If Republicans had the ability to communicate effectively, the public would know that high gas prices are the result of high world demand for crude oil, and the fact that the U.S. can't drill for more oil and hasn't built a new refinery in something like 30 years. They would know that the oil companies make no more per gallon now than they have in the past, and that the government makes the most money when they fill up their tank. Instead, they are convinced that the oil companies are gouging them and therefore they should vote for a Democrat who will soak the oil companies.

If Republicans could communicate effectively, people would know that manufacturing output in America is at an all time high, and that the reason manufacturing jobs are fewer in number is primarily because of higher productivity. They would know that free trade is good for the economy overall, because it makes prices lower for consumers. Instead, they think America manufactures less than ever, and the primary reason is free trade. Therefore, they need to vote for a Democrat who will institute protectionist policy.

And the excuse that the media won't give the Republicans a fair shake just won't cut it. Yes, it is true. But it is also true that even when they have the opportunity, such as a debate, or a presidential address or press conference, they don't try to explain the reasons for their policies to people. For example, when George Bush or John McCain talk about free trade, it might sound good to us, but most people just hear them talking about more jobs leaving the country-because Democrats have been successful in defining that issue, as they have been with nearly every economic issue. When people hear Hillary Clinton talk about the "looming recession" and decrying the need to take a more activist approach, as to the hands off approach of Herbert Hoover, they think "yeah that makes sense." When people hear McCain talk about the importance of keeping taxes low to help the economy, the think "well, taxes have been low and it hasn't seemed to help." What they should be hearing him say is that it is important to keep taxes low, and that contrary to what Senator Clinton is saying, Herbert Hoover signed trade restrictions and massive tax increases, and it only worsened the depression. Unfortunately, it is left to the Wall Street Journal to make that point. But it doesn't matter, the people who need to hear it are to busy with work and kids and life to read the Wall Street Journal.

Contrary to what everybody in the pundit class seems to think, the reason Republicans lost so badly in 06 wasn't the Iraq war(though it was certainly a factor)or earmarks or Mark Foley. It was because Democrats were successful in convincing people the things were terrible, and it was all the fault of Republicans for giving rich people and oil companies tax breaks, shipping jobs overseas, not raising the minimum wage, allowing oil companies to engage in price gouging, etc. People were successfully convinced that their own lives would be made better if Democrats soaked the rich, big oil, big pharmaceuticals, insurance companies, etc, engaged in protectionism, and so on.

What must be done? We must recruit committed, principled, and articulate conservatives. Our politicians, and us at the grassroots level must effectively demolish the myths that have been so successfully created by the left.

I think that Martin is using this as a stepping off point for his discussion. It appears from reading his article that we will not be able to do what you say without getting the party leadership responsive to the party instead of the president.



Fighting for conservatism one day at a time.

Check my diaries throughout 2005 and 2006.

I've making this point over and over again in the hope that some Republican with some juice would take notice of it.

It's amazing how much this seems to escape them.

Thanks for the comment. Good to see yet another person who takes the same view of our loss in 2006 as I do.

Romney/Pace 2008

While I like your idea about elected party officals, this is already done. You just have to go to your local party meetings. Get involved there and you can make a difference. What the heck are you still doing here?

I do however, have to take exception to the first part of this article. Contray to popular belief, the Moderate half of the Republican Party is not out to destroy the party. You make it sound like we are conspiring in the shadows to rain ruin onto the party. What will ruin the party, is to totally alienate a vital wing of your party. What happen to the "big tent party" so praised during the 2004 convention? Does party unity fly out the proverbial door once conservatives lose the nomination?

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John McCain for 2008!

One of my little quirks is that I divide moderates into two; moderates (no quotation marks) and "moderates."

I have no problem with moderate Republicans like Bill Weld, Rudy Giuliani, etc. Republicans who are on the Left (considering their locations) when it comes to social issues only don't really bother me at all. I can even be somewhat comfortable with a Republican that is perhaps no more than a 70% conservative on the fiscal side of things. A certain number of our people in Congress are even somewhat pro-union - it's not as if I think unions should be abolished in the first place. The only field I think there should be essentially no compromise on is national security.

In so far as, on the whole, one is recognizably a Republican, I think they should just be called Republicans. No qualifiers needed. First of all, because it is unnecessarily divisive for Republicans (in a way that is not for Democrats), and second, because calling one side of the party moderate (an electorally positive descriptor) as against the other, which is by definition, not moderate, is horrible for the party's image especially since it is known that the majority of Republicans do not fall under the moderate category.

"Moderates," however, I have a serious problem with. I'm talking about people like Arnold Schwarzenegger, Lincoln Chafee, Christine Todd Whitman (today), etc. Republicans who essentially make being a Republican meaningless. If you are on the Left on practically every single issue, and even on the few where you're on the right, you're just an inch away from crossing over, what good are you?

Again, I point out that a political party is not a sports team, we need to govern after we win. How is that possible when a contingent of the party is always willing to abandon all semblance of the party's animating principles and go along with the Democrats on every single issue to the false siren song of "Bipartisanship™"?

The problem is that, if liberal Democrat A, is calling for the immediate nationalization of the health industry, "moderate" Republican B's counter-offer would likely be the same idiotic thing, but maybe over five years. How exactly is that supposed to be anything but providing the electorate with the inverse of Goldwater's aphorism; an echo, not a choice? Read up on "moderate" Republicans like Clifford Case, Hamilton Fish, Jacob Javits, etc. - their voting records were atrocious.

That's the issue here; I'm all for a big tent. But there have to be limits to it or it becomes meaningless. Reagan called for the GOP to be a party of proud and "bold colors" - so that when a voter enters the voting booth, he knows what he's voting for. This explicitly rejects the weak Democrat-lite "pale pastel" philosophy of "moderate" Republicans who give credence to the pop-culture notion that being a Republican implies that one has something to apologize for.

Note also that the very same go-along-to-get-along compromising philosophy that "moderate" Republicans continue to advocate today is what held sway for the 40 years from 1954 to 1994 that the GOP spent as the nation's perpetual minority party, when an unapologetic and aggressive Newt Gingrich replaced the more passive (and beloved of "moderates") Bob Michel and promptly ascended to the Speaker's chair.

So, to end this - I don't exactly think "moderates" are actually out to ruin the party and should be run off out of it, even though a significant number seem far too comfortable (which doesn't necessarily mean actually comfortable) with the thought of switching sides (see Parkinson above) or being in the minority - e.g. Mike Castle (R-DE).

Quite frankly, they just need to be reminded that they are Republicans - and that they need to be Republicans in some recognizable fashion, not just voting for a Republican Majority Leader. At some point in time, they would have "moderated" and "Bipartisan™-ed" to such an extent that the next time they are on the ballot, the voter finds himself presented with a choice between a full-fledged and proud liberal Democrat and a cowering pale imitation of one wearing an R behind his name.

I don't believe the average voter would choose the latter.

Romney/Pace 2008

Add fiscal restraint and small government to that no-compromise list, and I'll jump on board. I'd venture to say that no small number of libertarians would also. Fiscal restraint is part of what used to define the Rebublican Party, and the need for a a federal government that doesn't overreach is codified in our Constitution.

Yes, social issues are important to me, but as a Reagan-Thompson Republican and a federalist, I believe judicial restraint, the Declaration's guarantee of "life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness" and the Bill of Rights should be sufficient guarantees that the federal government will not be engaged in the business of social engineering. Any further restraints on social issues should be made by the states.

Excellent original post, btw - one which not only provides spot-on critique, but viable solutions. I have linked to it at the Reagan Coalition Forum.

Thank you.

will require more than railing against big government. We have to demonstrate to people how big government adversely effects their lives. A great contemporary example would be ethanol.

and despite the fact that I disagree with this specific reform. I think the people do speak... they choose the President who chooses the RNC chair. If Fred Thompson was picking the RNC chair, RedStaters wouldn't be worried. But that's because RedStaters are from the conservative wing of the party.

What role should moderates have? Doing partisan activities should seem to be a good idea while conservatives handle policy (at least as from a conservative point of view).

I think the real tension in the future is less moderate vs. conservative and more McCain vs. Paul. The Paulites have become very active and started showing up at county conventions, etc. They are nominating a lot of Congressional candidates in districts that are solid blue (NC-04, VA-11, etc). They are choosing to fight within the party instead of from the outside (i.e. joining the L.P.).

I know it's popular in bad years to blame the "establishment." And there may be some truth to the problem. I think the earmark culture has hurt the R brand for good government and it will take years to repair that. But it wasn't just moderates who were porking... see Lott, Delay, etc.

The real issue at the bottom of this is that Republicans (conservatives and moderates) have stopped trying to win over voters. Conservatives, especially, had moved from "winning people over" to "demanding results." There are social conservatives who aren't happy with a Republican who appoints solid judges and pushes the pro-life message... if they don't oppose stem cell research. The goal posts kept moving.

This is exacerbated in the under 30 generation that is becoming the most Democratic generation since those coming of age under FDR. If you're under 30 and not an evangelical, there isn't much appeal to Republicanism. The other source of appeal is pure libertarianism which explains the youth wing of the Paul movement. But young professionals who aren't particularly religious used to be a part of the R tent and now don't feel any real attachment to the Party. I don't think I know many young, moderate Republicans.

I know this went a bit afield from the proposal above, but I think focusing on some moderate vs. conservative divide is missing what fissures are coming in the future.

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You are right. By setting up a moderate vs. conservative debate, you risk moderates jumping ship and either joining Democrats or a third party. Then you have people like Ron Paul who is trying to send this party in a libertarian dirrection, which I agree both moderates and conservatives should think he's bad news.

I am your young (28) Moderate Republican, Adam. By all means, pick my brains.

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John McCain for 2008!

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There are a great many of us who have been trying to send the Republican party in a more libertarian direction, all the way from Goldwater, to Milton Friedman.

The difference is that we are all not insane egoists who believe conspiracy theories, like Ron Paul.

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"
Kyle

However, much as I love Bobby Jindal (and let's say Tom Coburn if he were to succeed Brad Henry in OK), I would strip even them of the ability to appoint Party officials.

Fred Thompson too.

Romney/Pace 2008

Primaries and elections usually involve the most voters of any vote. So if they nominate a Gubernatorial candidate with 25% of the state voting, that person should pick the state chair. If you have a separate vote, then only activists will be involved (say, 1-2%). This could often lead to a GOV Rossi (WA) or Rell (CT) with a state chair like Rev. Falwell or Mr. Limbaugh.

I don't think that's a good idea. If somehow, you could have the state chair election on the same ballot as Governor, then maybe. But there are risks there.

We have primaries to determine the direction of the party and that should include the state chair.

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... I think having a party chairman that is primarily concerned with the short-term interests of the guy who put him in office poses far more of a danger to the GOP's future prospects than conflicts.

I also think that it's just as likely that the base could become better engaged (and more than 10% will vote) if they knew that the man in the Chairman's office is one of their own - or at least someone they themselves had a direct part in putting there.

Romney/Pace 2008

The Republican party should be run as a business with short term and long term goals. If you keep picking your buddies to run the department regardless of their depth of business and political acumen, you're going to keep failing. The pick your buddy system is fraught with disappointment:

1. Picking someone close to you may ease tensions when you disagree with a direction. But since the party chair must respond to the governor/President they will always do what that person wants. Even if it is to the detriment of the party.

2. The short term mentality of winning now is similar to many industries. Make the bucks now and forget about the future of where the industry is going. Over the long term, their strategies may fail - horse buggy whips. Party chairs chosen by the winner are only in it in reality for the short term

3. Businesses that succeed over long periods of time choose their leadership carefully. Or the creator of the business stays on in the leadership role...compounding success.

I think Martin has great points.

Erik

After all, we do elect the President and Governors- they do go through a Primary- so we in the rank and file already do exercise some indirect control. More so then I think would be possible from caucusing or other forms of selecting party leaders. (That's just my impression from the caucuses I've attended). It would require much more involvement by rank and file then most of have the time for to make a bottoms up organization any more responsive then the current organization. Understand I'm not in favor of the current lack of responsiveness- I'm just not sure your suggested solution will make things better.

On the broader topic of making a permanent majority- I believe such a majority requires a focus on political and ideological conversion rather then either turn out or "appealing to the middle".

As such our primary focus needs to be the destruction of the teacher unions (they are dominated by social revolutionists) and breaking the current state monopoly of education which is dominated by a curriculum of liberal world views. We need to make a strong push for the reintroduction of the perennial classics to the study of History and Literature. Currently we spend a lot of energy making sure Mathematics, Reading, and Writing are actually taught instead of becoming watered down.

We need to realize that the ultimate fight is in the English Literature and History (particularly American History). That's were the fight of ideas takes place- and currently classical liberalism is not taught. Instead the focus is modern liberalism's interpretation of literature and history.

For example, some specifics that conservatives ought to be pushing for:

Every American who graduates from High School should have read:

"Common Sense" by Thomas Paine
"Thoughts on Government" by John Adams

The fact that most Americans have not is outrageous. They are small pamphlets- they are not beyond the understanding of High School students.

For world history, Greek and Roman classical history should be a required area of study. Every High School student should read "The Peloponnesian Wars" by Thucydides. Plutarch and Tacitus should be addressed in High School history classes.

A comparison study should be made of the English Civil War, the American Revolution, and the French Revolution. Why did ours succeed while the other two failed?

If we want a permanent majority the battle must be fought in the schools. It's one of the reasons we should make school vouchers a central platform- even though it is not a political winner.

you said Every High School student should read "The Peloponnesian Wars" by Thucydides. Plutarch and Tacitus should be addressed in High School history classes.

guy, I hate to tell you this, but we are so far removed from that. I would happy if every High School graduate could read a menu, and knew where Greece was on a map.

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"
Kyle

Fred Thompson, 2008

How about we just try to fix the public schools, by breaking the backs of the unions? If we're going to push political losers, why be timid?

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"If we want to take this party back, and I think we can someday, let’s get to work." – Barry Goldwater

They have moved from unheard of to 30-40% support most places. As more studies show urban schools failing students and as more students bail out into homeschooling and private/charter schools, it's important Rs have policies to push and talk about.

I think vouchers (along with tax credits) should be part of that discussion. We aren't at a static point. Vouchers have become more popular over time and Rs can win the argument if they try. Of course, it should go without saying that vouchers are also the #1 best way to "break the backs of the unions."

I just wish some of the redder states with an R majority would take on some bold reforms. GA, TX, and FL seem to be the best opportunities. Why don't any of them pass a statewide choice program in education or at least generous tax credits to companies for private scholarships.

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At this point I question if we can win anywhere with them if we can't win over Utah with them.

And I think there's are two big reasons we can't get over the hump and get that majority:

1. Vouchers do nothing for homeschoolers, who should be our natural ally against the NEA/AFT schools
2. Too many schools will refuse to take vouchers, because they fear having government agents come in later and dictate terms.

So I'm ready to abandon the idea. I'm all for bold reform though, heh.

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"If we want to take this party back, and I think we can someday, let’s get to work." – Barry Goldwater

SD rejected an abortion ban, have you given up on the whole pro-life movement? And we've had that debate far longer than a voucher debate.

Vouchers are an issue that break for Rs. It wins over some otherwise non-R voters (minorities, urban voters). And those who oppose strongly are solid Ds (teacher unions). The "middle" is suburban parents and people who don't have children and neither cares that much so it doesn't hurt Rs there.

Perhaps states with more minorities might be better targets than Utah. But more importantly the debate is still young. We are still in the phase of making the arguments and winning people over. I think time has helped the pro-choice argument on education. I hope it will continue in that direction.

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Is that actually a demographic ?


"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

I bought the current pair in 93 its time to retire them.


"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

... in a future post.

It was basically the California referendum (that politically castrated Arnold into the girly man he is today) writ small - i.e. Republicans sat back and watched as the Democrats and their teacher union buddies went to town.

Romney/Pace 2008

Even if you could somehow destroy the teachers unions, which I doubt can be done short of some extra-Constitutional prestidigitation, public education in this country will *never* work, as long as we continue to shoe-horn 90% of school-aged children through the public school system.

Rather than trying to "fix" public schooling, we'd be better off trying to create a parallel system by vastly expanding the private and home schooling we've got.

Public schooling might actually get something close to functional if we'd stop trying to force it into being "all things to all people", and if most parents stopped trying to educate their kids "on the cheap" (and at someone else's expense).

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"If we want to take this party back, and I think we can someday, let’s get to work." – Barry Goldwater

With homeschooling, especially, it is likely to be mostly pursued by conservatives.

Private (both independent and religious) education, if done right and sold correctly, would be accepted by a much larger fraction of the population.

But, even if you're right, I don't see a downside. Even getting children of mostly conservative parents out of the public schools would be a start. That would get upwards of one quarter to one third of students out of the public school system.

That'd be a good start.

As more people homeschool in an area there is a network effect. Think about phones. Having the first one isn't worth much. The second one is better. But once 10% of people have phones, the value of the next one is even higher.

Being one of few homeschool children in an area is hard on both the parents and children. Once there is enough to create a community (which is true in more places now), it is easier to homeschool. Add in the internet for resources and the barriers to homeschooling are falling.

I suspect we will see more non-ideological homeschoolers in the future and the percentage of homeschoolers who are evangelicals will fall. That would be good overall and help the image of homeschooling insomuch as it makes homeschooling acceptable to a wider pool of people than it currently is.

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It's not that I have anything against homeschooling, it's just that the quantity of private primary & secondary education in The U.S. is woefully inadequate, when compared to places like Canada, The U.K., Australia, and even France.

Unfortunately, the same kind of trendy PC, multi-culti B.S. that dominates public schooling is also infecting some of the private schooling here and in many of those countries too (though, that's more an issue in independent than religious schools), but I think that's a somewhat separate issue - the execrable excuses that pass for (graduate) "Schools of Education" in this and the other countries. It's a separate issue that needs to be tackled.

Anyway, expanding homeschooling is all well and good. But expanding (and improving) private education is, to my mind, even better and more desirable.

Can't we ever get over the idea that every kindergartner is a potential astrophysicist? Probably half our classroom seats are occupied by people who won't learn, can't learn and will eventully find it necessary to live off the state because we insist on making academics of everyone.

You said:

On the broader topic of making a permanent majority- I believe such a majority requires a focus on political and ideological conversion rather then either turn out or "appealing to the middle".

It's more than just converting people to our side.

It's about making being a Democrat or a liberal socially (and morally) unpalatable to people.

Much of the Democrat Party's success is in making being a "Republican" socially (and often morally) unacceptable to large swaths of the populace.

We need to return the favor, in spades.
(To a large extent, we succeeded in doing that with being a "liberal", though I get the feeling that there's even been some backsliding on that lately.)

We have to tie the Dems to their historical legacy of Jim Crow and slavery. We have to tie the Dems to the thievery and corruption of urban governance. We have to tie the Democrats to the genocides and repressions of the people by the governments around the world that they either support or don't oppose. We have to tie the Democrat label to being associated with pathological control-freakiness.

In other words, we have to show real people what the Democrats are really all about.

Telling people how good and nice you are is fine, and all. But it doesn't get the job done.

Until the word Democrat causes the average person to recoil as much (if not more) than they currently do when they hear the word "Republican", I doubt the GOP will ever be a "permanent majority".

People who simply call themselves Republicans gave us the last Congress on the federal level and a majority in the Georgia legislature that only calls itself GOP but doesn't show any Goldwater-conservative conviction in its actions.

lesterblog.blogspot.com

Santorum, Delay, Allen, etc, etc are not "people who simply call themselves Republicans."

The R party is a big tent with a lot of different views in it. To just say they "need to be conservative" is a cop out.

They are mostly pro-life, anti-gay marriage, pro-Iraq War. Are they liberals? moderates? what?

Many of the leadership were Southern conservatives, but they went native and became porkers and more interested in re-election than reform. Rs need to take back the mantle of reform and change how government works... like they promised to do in 1994. That message worked in conservative districts and non-conservative ones. Rs won in the North and South. They won Rs and Is.

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That's one reason I supported McCain. He had the balls to stand up to the other Rs on issues like that.

I'm not saying the current leadership is conservative. I'm saying that it's moving the goalposts to elect Santorums, Allens, Delays, etc and then claim they aren't far enough to the right. The problem is the DC Culture and what it does to people who even believe in small government.

It might be time to bring back the term limits debate.

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for me. I'd just like to see real conviction in those who serve.

lesterblog.blogspot.com

in the last few years but our GOP majority is anything but conservative. The statewide restaurant smoking ban isn't exactly pro-business or pro-individual, for one thing, and now House Speaker Glenn Richardson is proposing a set of tax reforms that includes re-imposing the sales tax on food.

Other Georgia residents here will tell you that many of these legislators were Democrats in the past.

lesterblog.blogspot.com

while I am in favor of lower taxes, if you were to make the sales tax rate lower and offset the revenue loss by applying it to food, that might be a good thing. (I am talking about states who exempt food from otherwise high sales taxes.)

Some taxes are more efficient and less harmful to the economy than others. Generally speaking a broad based sales tax is very efficient.

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"
Kyle

doesn't exactly help the cause of building a permanent GOP majority. Otherwise I agree with the Founders that the only fair tax is one based on consumption.

lesterblog.blogspot.com

we could solve all our tax problems by passing a special excise on roadside taco stands.

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"
Kyle

Here's how the Republicans can build a permanent majority:

- Spend less time scheming with all of these "plans"
- Spend less time running up huge deficits
- Spend less time poking your noses in my bedroom
- Spend less time sermonizing
- Spend less time on poorly conceived foreign adventures
- Spend less time pandering about how the GOP is the "party of Lincoln" (I write this as a black gentleman ... I roll my eyes every time I hear this)
- Spend less time helping big businesses avoid responsibility for their mistakes in the free market, while sticking it to the little guy

- Spend more time cutting taxes for middle class workers and families
- Spend more time making a great education affordable, to improve our workforce
- Spend more time helping middle class people who work hard afford a home
- Spend more time cutting red tape for small businesses
- Spend more time getting us off of foreign oil (more renewable energy $$, more domestic drilling)
- Spend more time demonstrating, with your ACTIONS, how everyone can benefit from these policies
- Spend more time recognizing and helping the lower and middle-class people who want to help themselves
- Spend more time talking about how today's GOP is the "Party of Now"

... but we'll take a pass on the class warfare, weak foreign policy and not being organized.

By the way,

- Spend less time poking your noses in my bedroom

I hear this a lot. Did Tom DeLay or someone introduce the Missionary Position Act or something like that while I wasn't looking? Did Frist try to ban the use of mirrors?

Did that happen to you? When was the last time a nose was poked into your bedroom?

Because I've heard liberals screaming about how they can no longer do all the freaky stuff they want to do because of the Republican Federal Sex Police standing guard in their bedrooms to make sure they only do it the "Right" way ...

I'm beginning to think that's not exactly true.

Romney/Pace 2008

See, this is the problem. You have a hardened view of what a Republican is. If someone doesn't fit that standard, they're not part of your tent - and, for you, they shouldn't try. Your way or the highway. You'd rather lose elections than to lose that "purity."

As for the bedroom part, you know exactly what I mean, but you choose to be funny with words and dodge the issue. So there's no point in continuing this dialogue with you. You prefer to use talking point buzz words -- "class warfare," "not being organized" -- to substantive engagement on the issues. Funny, I remember Bill Buckley not being afraid to engage, instead of hiding behind talk like that.

I'm sure you think a lot of things aren't true, but because you are afraid to engage them, when someone like me offers a sincere dialogue, you'll never know for sure.

That's impressive.

You have a hardened view of what a Republican is. If someone doesn't fit that standard, they're not part of your tent - and, for you, they shouldn't try. Your way or the highway. You'd rather lose elections than to lose that "purity."

I'm being honest - a tent must have boundaries; I would not welcome Fascists, Communists/Socialists or people who are to a certain extent more liberal than they are conservative. i.e. If Patrick Leahy suddenly decided (because Reid slapped him in the face, for example) to switch parties and at the same time keep his 95+% Lefty voting record, I'll be right there helping everyone else kick him out of the tent.

Do you have a problem with that? Would the Democratic Party be unreasonable if they were to refuse George W. Bush membership in their party?

As for the bedroom part, you know exactly what I mean ...

No, I don't know what you mean - and flailing about citing Bill Buckley doesn't exactly clarify. You say Republicans are poking their noses into your bedroom - fine. Please cite a bill, a bullet point in the GOP platform or someone convicted thanks to a Republican written law of having sex the "wrong" way.

If you're going to talk in euphemisms and hyperbole, make sure you can back it up.

PS: You can call pitting the "little guy" (who is he by the way?) against "Big Business" (I think the "little guy" often is employed by the latter) Peppermint Ice Cream - in these parts that sort of divisive nonsense is called Class Warfare.

PPS: I'm black myself. Welcome to Redstate.

Romney/Pace 2008

I'd say that the argument that "Lawrence.v.Texas was judicial activism!" is one that will only be found on the right end of the spectrum.

People who yell "State's Rights!" when it comes to why the law in question out to be allowed to stand brings echoes (at least to my mind) to the last time that "State's Rights!" was a rallying cry. Bill Buckley, co-incidentally, apologized for the position that he held in the decade prior... and the position that he apologized for holding was the "State's Rights" position.

Man is free at the moment he wishes to be. --Voltaire

All right, let's engage.

First -- a tent must have boundaries, but you can decide the dimensions of the tent, and the characteristics of the people whom you wish to fill it with. The uber-question is, what criteria does Martin Knight use to decide whether to admit people into his tent? Does Martin's tent hold 10 people, or 60? And does Martin exclude people from his tent based on criteria that some might find to be, shall we say politely, highly objectionable?

And that flows into your second point, where you demanded:

"Please cite a bill, a bullet point in the GOP platform or someone convicted thanks to a Republican written law of having sex the "wrong" way."

Interesting way to narrow the topic from my original point -- but I redirect you to my main point, wherein I stated that I wished that Republicans would spend less time poking their noses in our bedrooms. I address that below.

I define poking a nose in the bedroom as, spending time worrying about the sexual habits of consenting adults and how they go about pursuing their happiness -- and trying to legislate that -- as opposed to focusing on more relevant concerns, such as the economy, energy, education and national security.

To elaborate, for you asked for evidence: If you will accept that the Family Research Council tends to echo the concerns of conservatives more so than liberals, I present the following evidence:

"The Family Research Council believes that homosexual conduct is harmful to the persons who engage in it and to society at large, and can never be affirmed. It is by definition unnatural, and as such is associated with negative physical and psychological health effects. While the origins of same-sex attractions may be complex, there is no convincing evidence that a homosexual identity is ever something genetic or inborn."

If you insist on harder evidence, in the form of legislation, then I present to you the House Republican Study Committee, and their sponsored legislation:

"Federal Marriage Amendment

On February 23rd, 2004, President Bush endorsed a Constitutional Amendment to ensure that marriage in the United States would remain the union between one man and one woman and to ensure that legislatures, not courts, would retain the right to define any other type of relationship. The President clearly described H.J.Res. 56, introduced by Rep. Musgrave and 112 cosponsors. Indeed, press reports already indicate that President Bush believes that the Musgrave text meets the principles he laid out."

Source: http://www.house.gov/hensarling/rsc/faith_fam.shtml

Accordingly, the same idea is echoed in the 2004 Republican Platform.

"We further believe that legal recognition and the accompanying benefits afforded couples should be preserved for that unique and special union of one man and one woman which has historically been called marriage."

Would you like more examples -- you asked for just one -- or are you satisfied with this prima facie case?

As to your final point, in my rhetoric, the "little guy" is the average lower and middle-class American man or woman. The "big guy" represents high-net worth Americans, and large American corporations and their executives. I do not begrudge people simply for having wealth, for that is my goal as well. I do begrudge wealthy people who are contemptuous of the people below them, and pervert the free market system to enrich themselves while harming the people below them.

Indeed, the term "class warfare" is a meaningless bit of rhetorical filler. It's a catchphrase of limited value. If someone who works two jobs, 60 hours a week, cannot afford a home, it is a reasonable question to ask why that is the case, and what can be done to help that worker live the American Dream. But blanket application of the phrase "class warfare" brushes aside that question without consideration of its reasonable merits. Indeed, that phrase is a rhetorical eraser.

I welcome your critique in response.

you are conflating sexual relations with recognition of relationships.

You said that Republicans were sticking their noses in the bedroom - prove it. All you said above is that many Republicans are against homosexual marriage, which is a nice way to keep from answering Martin's question.

"Lawrence v. Texas is judicial activism!"

Man is free at the moment he wishes to be. --Voltaire

I look at state and local politics differently than federal. I'm sorry that you don't like the "state's rights" argument, but it is correct, I believe, and as a libertarian, you probably would agree if it were a subject you were less interested in.

I believe in a "Right To Privacy" on top of all sorts of rights that would make you ask "where are they enumerated in the Constitution?" and then I'll start talking about the Ninth Amendment and you'll point out that the Ninth Amendment doesn't mean anything and I'll point out that the Constitution protects rights, it doesn't grant them, and we'll get all sorts of off topic.

But, to answer your original question.

You want to know why people think that Republicans put their noses into the bedroom?

Because Republicans argue that Lawrence.v.Texas was judicial activism rather than a proper limitation of the extent of State Power.

"State's Rights" is a crock. Individuals have rights. Human Beings have rights. States have enumerated powers. The fact that you think that States ought to have the "right" to pass a law making certain forms of non-violent consensual behavior between two adults in life partnerships an arrestable behavior is part of the problem.

Man is free at the moment he wishes to be. --Voltaire

I also don't deny the 10th, and it said that any unenumerated powers were given to the states and the people, not just the people. We aren't a democracy, after all. The Constitution does not limit states in the same way it does the federal government. That doesn't mean that I like many of the laws that states might pass, but unless they are infringing on an enumerated right or violating state constitutional provisions, I don't have as much of a problem.

I believe that you are putting libertarian ideals ahead of the Constitution. On a federal level, you have a case. On the state level, I don't buy it.

I believe that the Constitution is not a Good in itself, but is a mechanism for protecting things that are Goods in themselves.

Where the Constitution falls short (and it does fall short, and it has fallen short, and it will continue to fall short) is where it ensconces the "right" of the states to violate the Rights of Individuals.

Here's a fun topic:

If Dred Scott was decided differently, would it have qualified as judicial activism according to your Constitutional interpretation? If not, why not?

That last question probably deserves a diary of its own, however.

Man is free at the moment he wishes to be. --Voltaire

    To elaborate, for you asked for evidence: If you will accept that the Family Research Council tends to echo the concerns of conservatives more so than liberals, I present the following evidence:

    The Family Research Council believes that homosexual conduct is harmful to the persons who engage in it and to society at large, and can never be affirmed. It is by definition unnatural, and as such is associated with negative physical and psychological health effects. While the origins of same-sex attractions may be complex, there is no convincing evidence that a homosexual identity is ever something genetic or inborn.

And yet, the Family Research Council is at the same time not in favor of legislation being passed to criminalize homosexual behavior. They consider it harmful and sinful, as do most religious people of the orthodox persuasion, but how you translate that into Republicans wanting the government in your bedroom continues to escape me. Is there some Republican somewhere who has introduced a bill criminalizing homosexual sex?

    On February 23rd, 2004, President Bush endorsed a Constitutional Amendment to ensure that marriage in the United States would remain the union between one man and one woman and to ensure that legislatures, not courts, would retain the right to define any other type of relationship. The President clearly described H.J.Res. 56, introduced by Rep. Musgrave and 112 cosponsors. Indeed, press reports already indicate that President Bush believes that the Musgrave text meets the principles he laid out.

Again I don't see how this equates to Republicans poking their noses in bedrooms. In other words, Jack and James can get it on to their hearts content whether or not this Amendment passes. Their behavior is neither criminalized nor monitored. In case it escaped your notice, this is the withdrawal of government recognition/involvement from homosexual relationships.

Come to think of it, many libertarians would argue that this is Republicans actually making sure that the government has no interest in what goes on in bedrooms. Some would even argue that this same non-involvement should extend to normal marriages.

Honestly? I think you're a little bit confused about what it means for the government to be poking its nose into your bedroom.

I do begrudge wealthy people who are contemptuous of the people below them ...

And you will determine this ... how? You're essentially demanding that Republicans come up with some policy to somehow punish these "contemptuous" people. Do you have some sort of mechanism to determine this state of mind in wealthy people?

... and pervert the free market system to enrich themselves while harming the people below them.

This is simple enough; if they break the law, or deliberately cause harm to others, the law gets enforced, the "little guy" gets to have his day in court and if found guilty, they get to go to jail or hand over a great deal of cash to the people they bilked.

If someone who works two jobs, 60 hours a week, cannot afford a home, it is a reasonable question to ask why that is the case, and what can be done to help that worker live the American Dream.

The number of people in this condition, barring illegal immigrants who enter the US to do menial jobs for very low pay, is really miniscule and over 90% of those caught in those jobs tend to move on to better things within two to five years.

It really is not the job of government to alleviate all difficult conditions and it's not a result of some plutocratic conspiracy that a man is working multiple jobs. Each and every time governments have attempted to eliminate these low paying jobs they also made higher paying jobs scarce.

Ultimately, this attitude (which Bush has, by the way) is incompatible with your call for fiscal responsibility.

I think I'll stop here. For now.

Romney/Pace 2008

Unless you really want the umpires to throw you out of the game, you really need to keep that pine tar off the balls you're pitching.

But if you can stop your compulsive poking with PointySticks™, we might be able to have a dialog.

For starters, taking your list of 8 "to do's" - just which party is more likely to accomplish that. For instance, who, for instance, has been blocking domestic energy initiatives (not the 1-2% boutique concept, that which is going to make a real difference)? Who likes to increase regulation and block trade?

Or are you really as obsessed with bedroom behavior as the mythical SoCons you like to poke at that you ignore everything else? Or can you move beyond the bedroom and look at whose policies are going to keep our country safe and economically growing?

And Rightly So!

Neither party has been doing a good job of fulfilling my list so far. There's been a lot of talk, and no action. We're bottom line type of people, right?

While avoiding the issue of the appropriateness of your tar metaphor, I'll state happily that I have not been satisfied with Democratic policies regarding energy production. That is one of the reasons why I have been patronizing Republican websites such as this one. I do favor increased domestic production of all forms of energy, including oil.

As for regulation ... you cannot have a free market without rules that ensure fair market competition and efficiency. I also believe that consumer protection is fair game as well. I don't want to drink water with arsenic in it, and you probably don't either. I agree with Republicans when they point out certain market rules that I feel are unfair, and I agree with Democrats when they point to certain protections that ought to happen.

As for trade ... I favor globalization, with the caveats about regulation as listed above. I do not favor the aspects of globalization that allow for people to work forced overtime for unfair wages, as Abramoff and others tried to impose on the people of the Northern Marianas Islands. I don't believe that laborers who work for U.S. corps in foreign countries need to be paid at the same level at Americans -- simply at a wage that allows them to live a good standard of living in their homeland. Not too much to ask since corporations are being enriched thanks to their labor.

As for spending ... can you honestly claim that Republicans have been holding the line on deficit spending? How do you figure? The federal debt has blossomed under President Bush, and he's the one with the veto pen. McCain has actively criticized members of both parties for wasteful spending, and I'm inclined the agree with his criticism. But we've borrowed so much money to fund this Iraq adventure, that we're allowing the Chinese and the Saudis to own a large chunk of our debt. Do you agree with that? Is that conservative?

As for the nose-poking ... let me assert that the oppressed have every right to ask the oppressor to stop oppressing them, and to focus their repressive energies elsewhere. If Republicans are prepared to stop trying to ban gay marriage so that my friends can fully pursue their happiness, I'm prepared to applaud that.

A free market is devoid of regulation...

Just saying because you advocate regulated free trade. That doesn't exist.



Fighting for conservatism one day at a time.

I favor a lot of what Adam Smith has to say about trade. So in retrospect, I concede that makes me dislike some aspects of free trade. Perhaps it is more accurate to say that I like global trade, but with restrictions. So to that end, you are correct if we are being absolutist in our descriptions. But in a practical sense, in human practice, free trade does have rules. In a free trade system, tariffs aren't allowed, because that would undermine the framework of the free trade system. So in free trade treaties, there are regulations against tariffs, no?

Also, my views are consistent with respect for a capitalist economy, as also expressed by Adam Smith in Wealth of Nations. Smith wrote that the invisible hand could harm society “unless government takes great pains to prevent it.” I don't agree with everything Adam Smith wrote, but I do respect his sentiments on those issues.

My tar metaphor was a play on baseball history and your screen name - basically a plea to stick to issues rather than attacking mythical people groups.

The balance between personal freedom and community values/protection is difficult. However, past and present history indicates that we and the rest of humanity still live in a "tough neighborhood" and that our liberties and prosperity, although resting on a foundation of law, still rest more fundamentally on our ability to prevail by force against those who don't obey our laws and want to impose their will upon us (and take our stuff).

So to that extent, we need a strong military and credibility. While I believe that our execution of Iraq post military victory of Saddam's forces was quite flawed, the geopolitical grounds behind the war were valid especially vis a vis Iran and Syria. Moving forward, since we can't redo the past, the current Surge strategy offers our best hope of a reasonable solution (as Lieberman and Graham outlined today in the WSJ). The Democrats determination to pull out our forces will not only repeat the same recrminations that followed the collapse of Saigon (following our refusal to fund the SV government when NV broke treaty) - but worse, will I could well start a downward spiral that could tear apart our country and set a social and economic implosion in process - strictly self-inflicted.

As for gay marriage, while I personally don't favor it, under our federal system, this is something that should be decided legislatively at the state level. States should not be forced to give "full faith and credit" to other states decisions, as that will undermine each state's autonomy. Similarly, gay marriage should not be imposed by the courts, either state or federal, because there is no constitutional right to such by any reasonable rule of interpretation. Efforts to create such a right by fiat through "equal protection" etc, will stretch the constitutional fabric to the breaking point. The key is a consistent committment to state legislative process, however the cards may fall and regardless of which side of the issue you favor.

Government spending - there most of our Congressional representatives in both parties have miserably failed - and the discrepency between rhetoric and action falls more heavily on smaller government advocates (largely Republicans) and self-appointed guardians of cleaner government (largely Democrats, since they spent so much energy attacking the "culture of corruption"). However, there have been a few heroes, and whatever his other faults, John McCain has taken a consistent position against pork and wasteful government spending - and is certainly miles beyond Hillary or Barack).

Where I have shifted in the past few years is in the role of government to "set the rules and regulations". I agree that there are many inequities and perhaps even barriers to fair competition. However, the road to hell is paved with good intentions - that is, I do not trust the ability of government to improve conditions despite the good intentions of those proposing such interventions. As bad as the market can be rigged, it is still much harder to rig the game when millions of actors are involved in a free market than when government steps in to "improve". Unfortunately, government is moved not by economic omniscience but by mediating between power interests, whose numbers are far fewer than market players and far more insensitive to economic realities.

If you really read the various articles by blackhedd here, you will see that the Democratic TalkingPoints&TM; on the mortgage meltdown will invoke governmental actions that will bail our both lenders and irresonsible borrowers at taxpayer expense, creating a huge moral hazard and worse economic consequences. Shutting down trade agreements, as advocated by Democratic leaders, coupled with tax increases are the prescription for triggering an economic depression (compounded only by further socialistic prescriptions to "fix" the self-created problem born out of an allegiance to a mythology of FDR).

In brief, experience has taught me that while the market is imperfect, but government "solutions" are usually worse.

And Rightly So!

he's talking about the plank in our party platform where we want to make it illegal to be gay.

All they need to do is become Democrats, right?

Become Democrats? Go back and re-read what I read. Is it's your position that Democrats are the ones who engage in fiscal discipline, sound middle-class values and sound foreign policy? And that Republicans SHOULDN'T update themselves and be relevant in today's word? Because I find it hard to believe that any of that should be objectionable to you. Unless ... hmm, well what would be the reason that you have a problem with that?

It's 2008. Come out into the sun. It's warm.

Of course, as a libertarian, I find much to disagree with.

"Spend more time making a great education affordable, to improve our workforce"

The best thing that would improve the workforce is more kids spending time mopping a floor, wiping a counter, washing dishes, or waiting tables on the weekends in high school. I have friends who work with in HR and they say that they would much rather hire someone who's been an assistant manager at a Pizza Hut than someone with an MBA. They'd rather hire someone who got out of high school and worked at McDonald's for 4 years than someone who got out of high school and went to college and got a degree in Philosophy with a minor in Religious Studies (and then they always nod at me and say "no offense" and I nod back and say "none taken"). It seems to me the best way to improve the workforce is to lower the minimum wage and make it easier to hire people. There is no reason a 12-year old kid can't have a 2 hour job on a Saturday busting up cardboard boxes for a local storeowner and make 5 bucks doing it. That kid will be likely to turn into a 14-year old kid who has a 4 hour job on a Saturday sweeping and emptying trashcans. That 14-year old kid is likely to turn into a 16-year old kid who works for 16 hours a weekend. And that 16-year old kid is likely to turn into a darn good worker.

But the minimum wage laws make it impossible to hire a 12-year old kid to do 2 hours of work for you on a Saturday for 5 bucks. It costs 4 times that to just deal with the paperwork.

"Spend more time helping middle class people who work hard afford a home."

Why not allow for the housing bubble to burst and crash and crash hard? If everyone's house loses 50% of its value, it'll be easy for a middle class person to buy a house. Or, I suppose, allow for sprawl, sprawl, and more sprawl. Zoning is the issue here. Not money. Zoning. But I won't bore you with my zoning discussion.

"Spend more time cutting red tape for small businesses"

This is where I raise my hands and do a little dance.

"Spend more time getting us off of foreign oil (more renewable energy $$, more domestic drilling)"

Nuclear! Or, nukular, depending on what part of the country you're from.

"Spend more time demonstrating, with your ACTIONS, how everyone can benefit from these policies"

Dude, I don't know about you, but I have a job. With this job, I pay my mortgage. By the time I'm done with that, I don't have a whole lotta energy left to demonstrate how people will benefit from nuclear power.

"Spend more time recognizing and helping the lower and middle-class people who want to help themselves"

I hire the neighborhood kids to rake leaves in the back and shovel snow from time to time. I stand on the porch while they do this and yell "stay in school!" at them. I pay them far, far too much (Seriously, $20 for shoveling my driveway?)... what more do you want me to do?

"Spend more time talking about how today's GOP is the "Party of Now""

I don't think that this is the main selling point the GOP has.

Sadly, I think that the main selling point the GOP has is social conservativism. The whole "no gay marriage" thing? *HUGE* winner for the Republicans. State Constitutional Amendment after State Constitutional Amendment passed. If you think that gay people in committed relationships should not be allowed to sign joint customs forms when they go to Canada, both parties are against gay marriage, but only the Republicans use the phrase "State's Rights" as they explain why they think that gay people in committed partnerships should not be allowed to sign joint customs forms. The Pro-Life position? The Republicans are the only game in town. Prayer in schools? The Republicans are the only game in town. "EVOLUTION IS ONLY A THEORY" stickers on the front of Biology textbooks? Republicans are the only game in town.

When it comes to farm subsidies, NAFTA, welfare reform, the War in Iraq, and on and on and on, you can find a good handful of Democrats in support of any of these with only a little more effort than you can find Republicans who support them...

But when it comes to social conservativism, the Republicans are the only game in town.

And now, a digression... I think they need to change to a message of "Do you like to make money? Boy, I sure do! Vote GOP and we'll all make money together." And then pass laws *REPEALING* the laws passed that create barriers to entry in the market.

But that's a pipe dream.

Man is free at the moment he wishes to be. --Voltaire

I respect your views. I agree with some and disagree with most, but let me respond to a few in general.

We agree on the need to allow small businesses more freedom to operate more efficiently.

I think ... we agree that the GOP uses social conservatism as a crutch. Speaking for myself, I agree with some aspects of that message -- namely, the general idea that a person bears the ultimate responsibility for their success or failure in life. I suppose where I diverge from hardcore social conservatives is with regards to my thoughts about how society inhibits a person from reaching their full potential under their own power, and what should be done about it.

You also wrote:

["Spend more time demonstrating, with your ACTIONS, how everyone can benefit from these policies"

Dude, I don't know about you, but I have a job. With this job, I pay my mortgage. By the time I'm done with that, I don't have a whole lotta energy left to demonstrate how people will benefit from nuclear power.]

Fair enough, but don't expect others to blindly adhere to your view if you can't be bothered to explain it. I'm a busy guy, too.

You also wrote:

["Spend more time recognizing and helping the lower and middle-class people who want to help themselves"

I hire the neighborhood kids to rake leaves in the back and shovel snow from time to time. I stand on the porch while they do this and yell "stay in school!" at them. I pay them far, far too much (Seriously, $20 for shoveling my driveway?)... what more do you want me to do?]

That's pretty cynical. What I would like you to do is to encourage our government to provide the same level of health care in inner city hospitals as is received in the burbs. Ditto regarding the quality of preventative health care outside of the ER. Quality of health care correlates to quality of life, which correlates to more productivity as a student and worker. I would also like you to encourage the federal government to allow promising students of all races and social classes who cannot afford to go to the best colleges, to be able to do so. We need a much better educated workforce than we currently have. But your approach is more hands off. You're just punting the problem, and cynically so.

As for the housing bubble:

Both lenders and borrowers bear responsibility for it. So why is the federal government giving billions to bail out lenders, while essentially telling borrowers to go soak their heads? Why not let the free market be free, and let the lenders take a similar dive? Don't libertarians believe in a free market?

I said it was a selling point. (Co-incidentally, social conservativism is why I identify as a libertarian (sometimes even as a Libertarian!) and not a Republican.)

If you are socially conservative and you want your state to pass socially conservative laws, you will, most likely, be voting for Republicans. There are a handful of exceptions but I stand by this.

I don't think it's a crutch. It's a plank.

"how society inhibits a person from reaching their full potential under their own power, and what should be done about it."

Eh. I'm not parsing this.

I fear that you are saying that bad artists should be allowed to not have to get a day job even though no one wants to buy their art.

How is society inhibiting most people? I suppose I could argue that society has inhibited me from writing The Great American Novel because it has made me want Xboxes and Wiis and Playstations and Hi-Def Televisions and those things cost money and so the false consciousness imposed on my by society has resulted in my thinking that I needed to get into IT to pay for my bad habits instead of understanding that true accomplishment comes from having written something of substance rather than in being entertained by electronica.

But I wouldn't be able to say that with a straight face.

Now if you are instead arguing that being black in America sucks and it shouldn't, well... dude. You're right and you're right and I wish you weren't but I don't know how to fix that other than to say "get married to someone worth marrying and stay married and give your kids whuppins if they don't bring home B's" and even saying that communicates how helpless I feel when it comes to actually bringing about real change.

But maybe you weren't saying that and were saying something else entirely. If you were, I couldn't parse it.

"don't expect others to blindly adhere to your view if you can't be bothered to explain it"

Dude, I can't get people to agree that the 9th Amendment means anything on a policy level and I've written essay after essay after essay explaining it. And, once again, I'm a libertarian. I'm pleased when people say something other than "Oh, you're a libertarian. How's that working out for you?" Getting them to agree with the policies I recommend is a goal I haven't even dreamed about for years. My goals are now things like "gridlock".

"That's pretty cynical."

Dude. Don't get me started.

"Stuff about health care"

Dude. This deserves a diary in its own right and I don't have the time to write one in response. Just know that it does.

"Why not let the free market be free, and let the lenders take a similar dive?"

Dude, you read my mind. I totally think that the folks in charge of Bear Stearns should have crashed and crashed hard. I don't think that the government should have given them any money, I totally think that the rot should have been squeezed out of the system, I totally think that the crash we would have had for X months would have done a lot less long-term damage than the recession we're going to have for the next X years.

But, as you may have guessed, no one listens to me.

Man is free at the moment he wishes to be. --Voltaire

Haha. I'm listening. Okay, we agree on Bear Sterns. We found a place to agree. Let's briefly hit up one point, re: "how society inhibits people from reaching their full potential."

There are kids in this society who are screwed from Day One. They come in all racial types, whether it's a black kid in Chicago, or a white kid in rural Georgia, or a brown kid in Los Angeles. They'll go to an elementary school that doesn't educate them, they'll get poor health care and nutrition so they'll be less likely to properly develop and be productive, they'll live in a beat-up home that's leaching lead into their bloodstream, and they'll end up trapped in jobs and lives that aren't as productive as they could've been had they had it better. Someday one of these people might lash out and kill one of your better-off friends, as happened to me earlier this year.

Now some people say that these folks are inherently lazy, shiftless, incorrigible, etc ... those are the types of overly simplistic views that I loathe. And of course some are quite happy with the present situation, their thought being, well, we need a permanent underclass to run our economy ... instead of taking the longer view of thinking, we'll always need someone to do the crap jobs in our economy, but maybe we can cycle people up the ladder -- the people who are willing to work hard for it -- with education and health care. After all, we need engineers, mathematicians, geologists, doctors, nurses and economists, too.

As for socially conservative laws ... depends on the scope and type. Should people rely on welfare for years at a time? No, I don't think so, not unless they're permanently disabled. And should people have kids while on welfare? No way. Should people have to work while on welfare? Absolutely, unless they're an invalid. Now, those ideas are socially conservative. I can go for that. But stay out of people's bedrooms.

How does a federal marriage amendment threaten someone's ability to sleep with the partner of their choosing?



Fighting for conservatism one day at a time.

Simpson, is the issue whether the government prevents gay people from being gay, which it cannot do, or whether the government prevents gay people from enjoying the same legal benefits and protections of committed relationships that the government extends to heterosexual married couples? Which point do you suppose I'm arguing?

you seem to be arguing that the Republican platform is sticking it's nose in someones bedroom. That sounds very much like you are saying that we are trying to keep people from being gay.



Fighting for conservatism one day at a time.

The rhetoric of the people who argue that Lawrence v. Texas was judicial activism rather than a proper check/balance on excessive State power have that rhetoric too.

Man is free at the moment he wishes to be. --Voltaire

Is the following:

Go to church.
Go to school.
Keep your pants on. 2nd base is good enough until you're old enough to hold a full-time job.
Once you can hold a full-time job, hold a full-time job.
Get married.
Stay married.
Tell your kids to bring home B's or they'll get a whuppin.
Stay married.
Stay married.
Stay married.

But this is advice that 50% of marriages aren't able to follow through on so it's offered more in sadness than earnestness.

(And, for the record, I offer it as a die-hard, hard-core atheist.)

Man is free at the moment he wishes to be. --Voltaire

Spend less time scheming with all of these "plans"

"Scheming" is a charged word, something a Democrat would say. you prefer no planning?

Spend less time running up huge deficits

Agreed! If you'd been here longer than 30 seconds you'd know that most RedStaters are angry about runaway Congressional spending. You do know that it is congress that spends money, right?

Spend less time poking your noses in my bedroom

Granted, providing you're willing to stop setting up your bedroom in my living room. You want privacy? Stop trying to cram YOUR agenda down MY throat.

Spend less time sermonizing

Ditto! Will all you anti-Christians stop demanding we all accept Atheism as a state religion?

Spend less time on poorly conceived foreign adventures

RonPaul™ RonPaul™ RonPaul™ RonPaul™ RonPaul™ You out yourself, and by rights, I would end this discussion right here!

Spend less time pandering about how the GOP is the "party of Lincoln" (I write this as a black gentleman ... I roll my eyes every time I hear this)

Well, better Lincoln than the Party of Johnson -- whose Great Society destroyed the black family.

Spend less time helping big businesses avoid responsibility for their mistakes in the free market, while sticking it to the little guy

Ah yes, the little guy. Class envy is a Democrat trait. Did you say you were a Democrat? I guess you must be. Why am I wasting my time?

Spend more time cutting taxes for middle class workers and families

WELL DUH! Contrary to what YOU DEMOCRATS insist on lying about, the Bush Tex Cuts DID cut taxes on middle and lower income people, and the Democrat plans will increase your taxes. YOU IDIOT!

Spend more time making a great education affordable, to improve our workforce

ANYONE in the US can get a college education. ANYONE! It is not up to ME to pay for YOUR education. The opportunity is there, unless you are too shiftless and lazy to try. Education would be a whole lot more affordable if college tuition didn't go up at double and triple the rate of inflation. Why? Ask the teacher's unions.

OH, and you would have benefited from a "private school" high school education, since it is obvious that the public schools failed you.

Spend more time helping middle class people who work hard afford a home

You mean like legislation to require banks to loan money to people who cannot really afford their mortgage, but by regulation the banks are required to lend money within the community? Good idea...it's worked well so far.

Or, would you prefer that the government step in and artificially hold down the cost of housing by, what, eliminating the free market system? Worked well in Russia, might work here.

Spend more time cutting red tape for small businesses

MY GOD! A gem! An actual idea!

Spend more time getting us off of foreign oil (more renewable energy $$, more domestic drilling)

AND just WHICH party is standing the way of all that? You get two guesses, and the first one doesn't count!

Spend more time demonstrating, with your ACTIONS, how everyone can benefit from these policies

Dem TalkingPoint™ How is this, "I feel your pain." There, I have demonstrated compassion. Oh wait!

Spend more time recognizing and helping the lower and middle-class people who want to help themselves

Dem TalkingPoint™ We can do that by raising your taxes and restricting your freedoms. Oh, sorry, the Democrat Party is running on that platform.

Spend more time talking about how today's GOP is the "Party of Now"

Ok...stick around and read.

Sorry, I don't support Ron Paul. And a trite deconstruction of my syntax isn't the same as addressing the merits of the points. See my other posts for further discussion, as I believe those posts address a lot of the issues you raised.

Now if you feel you are "wasting your time," as you put it, responding to my points, then you shouldn't respond to them. Keep your cynicism bottled up inside of you, so you can grow old and ugly. But if you want to have a reasonable conversation without speculating about my political affiliation, or other things you don't know about me but want to suggest to score debate points, I don't have time for that. If you want to talk, let's cut out the nonsense and talk.

By the way:

By the way, congrats on recycling one of the biggest lies in U.S. political and intellectual history, that the Great Society impoverished more people than it helped. You wrote:

[Well, better Lincoln than the Party of Johnson -- whose Great Society destroyed the black family.]

You are wrong from my family's personal experience, and you are wrong from the numbers point of view as well!

Never mind the fact that the U.S. poverty rate was nearly cut in half from 1963 to 1970 as a result of those policies -- and people of all races benefitted from that, including blacks. Never mind the fact that the rates of black mortality fell, that more blacks were able to vote and be educated, and pursue their dreams under Johnson policies, than ever before. My parents were the beneficiaries of these policies, and by extension, so am I.

Johnson's policies weren't perfect, but do not lie about their efficacy as they relate to black Americans. That is pernicious and mean-spirited. If you would like to discuss the philosophy of the Great Society -- whether it was an appropriate role of government -- fair enough. But don't lie about their benefits to black people in particular, out of ignorance.

I type this and then I will be back much later. But your personal families story does not make it so. The Great Society was a boon to Black Americans, and has left Black dependent on a welfare society in which is still existent today. The creation of welfare and consistent government programs has left Blacks with this sense that there is no American Dream, just another government check. That's not mean spiritied, that is simply reality. Juding by your posts, you believe that the answer for the problems of Blacks is another government program, which will likely be as much of a failure as the rest of the welfare state. AFDC-destroyed the Black family be trading fathers for Uncle Sam. Forced integrated busing? Oh that's worked out supremely now hasn't it? But please engage me on these grand and glorious successes of the Great Society. I look forward to doing battle with you.

"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.Let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."-Barry Goldwater
Rudy/Romney for VP-because someone's got to punch the hippies.

I'm done with TPM™

I accept your call to arms. But first, a few preliminaries:

1) What do you do for a living?

2) Either the Great Society was a "boon," as you wrote, or it was a failure. Which is it? And how do you reckon?

Johnson's policies were the right thing to do at the time.

3) I've never advocated permanent welfare. Can you find any of my posts where I have?

4) Government programs alone are not "the answer." I reiterate that in today's world, government assistance should be limited and carefully targeted.

But if government funding (aka, corporate welfare) is right for Bear Stearns, and if it's right for Halliburton, surely, lower and middle-class people, and small business oweners, who demonstrate that they are willing to work hard to advance themselves -- regardless of their color -- surely they can get a little help to make themselves even more productive. Surely there is space for that in our society.

And two comments:

1. AFDC didn't destroy the black family. Years of slavery and Jim Crow did that, by selling family members to different owners, and by undermining the ability of black families to acquire and accumulate wealth in this society, and to gain access to the same resources and institutions as others. Do you deny that?

2. You write, "The creation of welfare and consistent government programs has left Blacks with this sense that there is no American Dream, just another government check."

Yes, Oprah Winfrey and Stan O'Neal are clearly waiting for their next welfare check. Their reliance on help at some point in their lives clearly runined them.

Oops ... I guess these people got ahead because they worked hard, and were given the opportunity to leverage their hard work into benefits that they might not have otherwise gotten. Those two are obviously at the extreme of my examples, but there are hundreds of thousands of middle class and upper-middle class blacks who worked hard, received government assistance (hello, student loans are government checks) and moved up the social ladder. There is nothing wrong with that in my book.

So what's your objection to that? If you have none, then we must be in agreement.

Johnson's policies did not get anyone out of poverty. And the Black Family was mostly intact just before the mid nineteen sixties. AFDC did indeed hurt the black and many white families.

also, your quip about corporate welfare is a red herring. You wont find many on this site who are in favor of it, and two wrongs don't make a right.

I also recommend that you read Jonah Goldberg's Liberal Fascism, you need it, because you need to learn a little truth.

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"
Kyle

Thanks for your suggestions. But how you can read the history of the period from 1609-1963 and pronounce the black family sound and intact and healthy defies credibility. When black men were being hung on a tree by supporters of Jim Crow near my great-grandmother's property in Texas, while the police turned a blind eye, was that keeping black families intact? When mothers were sold in Richmond and Baltimore and elsewhere, and separated from children, was that keeping black families intact? No, I guess according to you, it was peaches and cream for black families in America until that mean man LBJ took it all away from us in 1963.

European Americans built this country on the backs of slave laborers -- and they consolidated their social and economic advantage with policies designed to prevent black families and individuals from ever challenging their collective social and economic dominance. If you deny that, you are either afraid of the truth of that history, or you have a persona stake in suppressing it. We cannot make progress in this country until that truth is recognized. But now that black people want to get to where whites are today as a dominant social and economic group, we're told no, you have to do it all on your own, don't ask for help. Now why is that? It has to do with how you see people, and their inherent nature -- and your level of concern or contempt for them.

Republicans can prosper and become a truly national party by acknowledging these truths, and by actively working to counteract the barriers to the attainment of excellence for all who are willing to work for it -- including those who do need help to get to a certain level, beyond what they can do for themselves. It's not too much to ask, or at least it shouldn't be. Republicans can accomplish that, and also stand for a tough but smart foreign policy and fiscal responsibility. That is what I mean by building a Party of Now, instead of pushing a tired old Grand Old Party.

You should accept reading suggestions more often. You'll learn something.

Very few on this site support coroprate welfare.

I don't think anyone on this site would argue that black people were better off before the 1960's. We are strictly speaking of the black family. There is a difference.

Throughout the terrorism of the KKK, the oppression of Jim Crow, and the genocide of slavery, the black family remained relatively strong, even when forcible separation and rape were practiced.

What we see today is unprecedented in history, even given that shameful (for whites) history.

If you were to read black conservative authors Shelby Steele, Thomas Sowell (Black Rednecks and White Liberals) and John McWhorter, you will find a treasure trove of information. These writers do no gloss over America's racist past, but they do write compellingly on one point:

After the Civil Rights Act, poor black people were given very little chance to flourish because the government stepped in and regulated many aspects of their lives and made wealth creation and inter-generational savings nearly impossible.

"The most dangerous form in which oppression can overshadow a community is that of popular sway" -James Fenimore Cooper

You wrote:

[I don't think anyone on this site would argue that black people were better off before the 1960's. We are strictly speaking of the black family. There is a difference.]

No, there really isn't a substantive difference. How can you separate the fate of a people from the fate of their families? When people are destroyed and damaged, their families suffer. And when families are destroyed and damaged, people suffer.

As for your shot about my need to read ... I'm pretty much looking at my bookshelf right now and grinning. I'm willing to bet that I read a lot more diverse sources of information than you do, both conservative and liberal, as I formulate my views! (How much time did you spend on Daily Kos this morning for instance?) So I'll brush off that static and keep driving to the hole. I'm familiar with Mr. Sowell and Mr. Steele, thank you, and though I while I politely respect them both, I disagree strongly with their premises.

That's why you see diversity as being akin to truth and you automatically think you're smarter than everyone.

And, yes, we can separate the well-being of a people as a whole and the well being of families. One may be an indicator in many circumstances, but in this there is a separate point to tease out. If you're unwilling to see it, you can go back to Kos.

"The most dangerous form in which oppression can overshadow a community is that of popular sway" -James Fenimore Cooper

why do you sprout off the most ignorant left wing cliches'?

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"
Kyle

It is an actual fact that illegitimacy was only about 17% in the 1950's among blacks. not good, but not anything like today.
That is a fact, look it up.

it mushroomed after the late 1960's.

Go ahead and pass on those books I recommend, and stew in your on arrogance and ignorance. If you believe that socialism is any help at all to poor people instead of what it really is, a gigantic scheme to keep people in dependency. Then you are willfully ignorant.

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"
Kyle

And doctor, why do you suppose it mushroomed after the late 1960s? What was different about the period from 1968 to today, hmm genius? Would you like to discuss the change in the political climate, or do you just want to throw food? Because we can cite stats, but it's also helpful if you have the intellectual curiosity to consider the conditions that produced them -- and incidently, to engage in conversation with people without calling them a "dummy" to prove how tough a Mongoloid you are.

Also ... please learn what socialism is, and what it is not. Promoting fairness in the marketplace so all can equally compete is not socialism, no matter how badly you wish that it can be labelled as such. If you want your party to survive, then I suggest that you learn how to engage people with differences so that you don't have to beg for their votes later on to win elections. I'm sure you don't feel that you have to, but I bet you felt that way in 2006, too.

certainly, there are things government can do at the margins to help poor people that are not socialism. But we were discussing LBJ's great society which was pure socialism.

As for changes in the black family, yes, I agree there are several reasons for it's breakdown (socilism is one of them) but it was YOU who denied that any such thing even occured. So guess Ai scored that point.

I am not going to back down to you because you are a type of person I have seen very often, you know soooooo many things, you know them with a metaphysical certainty, the only problem is, most of them are not true.

What if, instead of the Great Society, instead of bad schools and social promotion, instead of raw quotas. What if, we would have had a program of low taxes, economic growth, coupled with new emphasis on Black involvement, and real Black education? And an emphasis on stability in the society instead of the splintering and alienation of the 1970's?

Don't you think, even for an instant that maybe black people, and everyone else would be better off today?

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"
Kyle

For the record, I think that this is an exceptionally important conversation.

1st off, I agree that the Black Family has been screwed over like you wouldn't believe for the last few centuries. Taken kicking and screaming onto slave ships, treated as property, split up, split up again, it was awful to the point where war was made to put an end to the abomination of how you were being treated. Reconstruction was pretty much a failure. Jim Crow and segregation was, once again, an abomination.

Your people have been treated abominably.

Here's the part where you can start to get pissed off at me. I'm going to say "but".

But.

I did not do these things to you. I am only 35 years old. When I was a kid in the 70's and 80's, I didn't do these things. I had black friends. Not in the "some of my best friends are black people... the guy who shines my shoes! The guy who sells me a newspaper! The janitor!" sense but in the "slept over at my house and watched Wrestlemania" sense.

If you say that I need to apologize for how you and yours were treated, it will be an empty apology.

I honestly don't feel like I am responsible for how you have been treated.

I agree that the way your ancestors have been treated was an abomination. Odds are (depending on your age) the way you have been treated is an abomination.

But what do you want me to do? Wait, that's not the right question. I'm not a republican and I'm thinking that you're here because you share a great many intuitions with the Republicans and feel (much like I do) that if they changed this, that, or the other thing that you could be one.

So let me ask:

What exactly do you want the Republicans to change about themselves that could get you on board? Is it the same as the list you've posted above? Having the question asked bluntly, does your list change at all?

(For me, I have (sadly) come to the conclusion that they've calculated what my vote is worth and what the vote of the 50000 votes they'd lose if they adopted my policies were worth and they went with the 50000.)

Man is free at the moment he wishes to be. --Voltaire

Thank you for respecting my concerns and getting to the hear of the matter.

You wrote:

"But what do you want me to do? Wait, that's not the right question. I'm not a republican and I'm thinking that you're here because you share a great many intuitions with the Republicans and feel (much like I do) that if they changed this, that, or the other thing that you could be one."

My response for what Republicans should do:

a) Improve the education system, so that people of all classes can get a seriously good education, and be competitive in this world if they work hard! Charter schools are fine with me! I hate the public school system, and I hate the teacher's union. And provide more government assistance for college students in the form of both grants AND loans -- especially for graduate students, because a B.A. in today's world is not enough.

b) Improve the health care system, so that people who work hard can access the same level of quality in the suburbs, downtown, in rural areas and in the urban core -- and that all workers and students afford to do so, regardless of their income level.

c) Decisively resolve the Iraq War, which is bleeding away money that could be spent to accomplish things at home.

d) Cut the deficit and get control of this economy, because that will help everyone. Stop giving special, wasteful breaks to big corporations.

e) Cut red tape so that all small-businesses, including black-owned businesses, can propser.

f) Get rid of cynical race-baiters in the party that want to divide the races to win elections (old Southern Strategists). Ken Mehlman started to do this ... continue, and prove it everyday through ACTION on the first four items, and by putting people in office who will accomplish these things, not merely talk about them. Make sure words match actions.

If we start with these issues, that would go a long way towards building my trust. Notice I didn't write "permanent welfare," "or raise taxes to pay for massive new social programs." Some of these points can be accomplished through limited spending and by passing market reforms. Others simply require courage and integrity.

This is what I mean by the Party of Now.

by that post you have just put yourself very very far to the right of most Black Americans.

Just don't come into a republican site berating us and telling us how we need to change.

Personally, and you can read my blogs on this, I am on record as saying that Republicans should NOT reach out to Black Americans.

Not because I am a racist, but because I have seen that every time we do we just get punched in the nose. Instead I believe we must stand upon, and espouse our principles of limited government, and equal opportunity.

That will attract the people we want regardless of race, sex, etc.

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"
Kyle

Please understand that there are real reasons that these things have not happened.

The education system is in thrall to the teachers unions. The teachers unions hate the idea of vouchers and they significantly dislike charter schools... but know that that is not the source of the problem. The source of the problem is that the kids aren't ready for school once they get there.

My advice: Read to your kids. Every day. Every day. Every day. Read to them. Once they're a little older, make them read to you. Every day. Every day. Every day. Once they're a little older than that, take them to the library and have them check out books. Every week. Make them read every night. Every night. Talk to them about their books. Read some of their books. Discuss what happened in the books. When they're a little older than that, argue with the kids about what happened in the books. Take a contrary position to a position that they hold and make them defend their position.

If the kids can read "There's A Monster At The End Of This Book" at the beginning of day 1 of 1st Grade and they go to the library every week, they will be in honors classes in 8th grade if they keep it in their pants and stay off of drugs. (An oversimplification but not a gross oversimplification.)

The health care system is messed up, yes... but there are things that can help that don't require a doctor. Don't smoke around the kids. Don't drink around the kids until they're 15-16. Serve square meals. Make the kids play outside in the sunshine instead of playing that Nintendo. Join the Y, if there's one nearby. Go every week. Play. These things alone would resolve at least half (and maybe more) of preventable health issues.

C? Dude. Don't get me started on C.

D? Dude. DUDE.

E? Dude, the barriers to entry are (redacted) in this country. It's all done in the name of The Children... but barriers to entry are put up and the little guy takes it in the (redacted).

F? Libertarian here. I don't feel qualified to comment.

Man is free at the moment he wishes to be. --Voltaire

This sort of thing is exactly why it is next door to impossible to have a decent and truly open conversation on race with anyone of a Leftish bent;

... how you can read the history of the period from 1609-1963 and pronounce the black family sound and intact and healthy defies credibility. When black men were being hung on a tree by supporters of Jim Crow near my great-grandmother's property in Texas, while the police turned a blind eye, was that keeping black families intact? When mothers were sold in Richmond and Baltimore and elsewhere, and separated from children, was that keeping black families intact? No, I guess according to you, it was peaches and cream for black families in America until that mean man LBJ took it all away from us in 1963.

It almost as if you're just lying in wait for anything you can pounce on to point a finger and pronounce someone as morally suspect, especially in comparison to you. I simply cannot understand how you can see in Kyle's comment that he was saying that Jim Crow and slavery did not have a negative impact on the integrity of the black family.

Not many people survive long here on RedState if they're that dumb.

That said, you have already indicated that you are well aware of the fact that the out-of-wedlock births in the black community skyrocketed from the low 20s in 1965 to almost 75% within ten years in 1975. What changed, do you reckon?

You hint that it was the political environment after 1968 - how so?

Note this; 300 years of brutal slavery and forced family disintegration followed by well more than a quarter of a century were blacks were officially less than second-class citizens, where families were destroyed because fathers, mothers and children were all too often found hanging on trees while authorities turned a blind eye. And yet, in 1965, only 25% of black kids were being born and growing up in a house without their fathers.

That's nothing short of amazing.

Ten years later, only 25% of black kids were being born with their paternal parent in the home. That's also nothing short of amazing. Somehow, something managed to wreck the basic building block of the black community (family = basic building block of any community) within ten years when nearly 400 years of slavery and oppression had failed.

And as a result, well, a street that you could stroll through at night with confidence forty or fifty years ago, you cannot walk through now in broad daylight. Schools serving black students today cannot match the results posted up by the black pupils of the segregated, under-resourced and understaffed schools of the Jim Crow era.

Personally, I don't think that a racist could have designed a better system for immiserating and destroying generations of black people than what LBJ, with his good intentioned War on Poverty (and you know the road good intentions pave) did. It may have helped your family, but the incentives it provided for a whole lot of young black girls i.e. have a child minus a man and get a place of your own and a monthly check for life, has made for a whole lot of misery and blood on the streets.

Romney/Pace 2008

I type this and then I will be back much later. But your personal families story does not make it so. The Great Society was a boon to Black Americans, and has left Black dependent on a welfare society in which is still existent today. The creation of welfare and consistent government programs has left Blacks with this sense that there is no American Dream, just another government check. That's not mean spiritied, that is simply reality. Juding by your posts, you believe that the answer for the problems of Blacks is another government program, which will likely be as much of a failure as the rest of the welfare state. AFDC-destroyed the Black family be trading fathers for Uncle Sam. Forced integrated busing? Oh that's worked out supremely now hasn't it? But please engage me on these grand and glorious successes of the Great Society. I look forward to doing battle with you.

"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.Let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."-Barry Goldwater
Rudy/Romney for VP-because someone's got to punch the hippies.

that people served by the program were no longer counted.

Test your Great Society theory against any project today where 70 percent of Black children are born out of wedlock IN SPITE OF THE FACT that the Black upper and middle classes are more numerous today than ever and largely don't share in this phenomenon.

The Great Society may have helped a few people along the way, but that in no way justifies the sweep and totalitarian nature of that redistributionist policy. Targeted poverty programs whould have worked just as well. This was simply a continuation fo the dream of the New Deal--Totalitarianism.

"The most dangerous form in which oppression can overshadow a community is that of popular sway" -James Fenimore Cooper

You must have read Liberal Fascism. I once did a report on the origins of fascism and another report on the progressive movement and yet that book contained so much I did not previously know.

It is the MUST read history book of this year.

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"
Kyle

by Amity Shlaes is another good book to help battle the notion that the Great Society was an all saving grace.



Fighting for conservatism one day at a time.

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"
Kyle

but most of my info on this count comes from the work of people like Charles Murray and Daniel Patrick Moynahan.

The Cato Institute does good work on social policy, and Commentary magazine is excellent as well.

"The most dangerous form in which oppression can overshadow a community is that of popular sway" -James Fenimore Cooper

So your information comes from someone who sees correlations between race with intelligence (Murray)? Not a good start.

And I've read Moynihan myself. What work of his do you mean to cite as support for your assertions? I'm guessing you mean the famous (and to some, infamous) 1965 Moynihan Report, regarding the state of the black family, for the Dept. of Labor?

If so, you will note one of Moynihan's key opening premises, regarding how slavery and subsequent systematic discrimination (that would be Jim Crow) horribly disfigured black society and families, leading to the problems he noted in the 1960s.

If you are relying on Moynihan' 1965 report -- and we can go there and argue it page by page if you'd like -- then either you never fully read that report, and just cherry picked pieces of it to support your ideas ... or perhaps you misunderstood what Moynihan was saying.

But if you're not citing Moynihan's 1965 report, which work by Moynihan do you cite? I'd like to know, and to read it for myself.

And read my other post and you will see that I do not slight Jim Crow, slavery, etc...

Murray is not a racist. His Bell Curve was nothing more than a sociological snapshot that looked at economic status and intelligence. It was a worthwile pursuit because it argued the opposite of racism... It said that economic empowerment effects IQ.

It is Leftist stooges who painted him as a racist, and I think you should get your own ducks in a row before you start insinuating things about people you are sharing discussions with.

I've tried to be moderately respectful, but if you ignore the lions share of someone's argument and then try to nit pick to insinuate ad hom attacks.

And I find it ironic that your handle "PineyWoods" is the term given to the southern, Scots-Irish backwoods code of justice (Pineywoods justice) that brought us lynching in the first place. (You would learn that if you read Sowell) Am I to make something out of that and use it against you rather than discussing your points?

Raspberries.

"The most dangerous form in which oppression can overshadow a community is that of popular sway" -James Fenimore Cooper

Funny, Thomas Sowell criticized The Bell Curve's premises. You say you read Sowell but you glossed over that fact during this discussion. Interests. Remind me what you think of him, again? Leftist stooge, did you say?

Sorry that you accept the Bell Curve's premises, but I suspect you do because you agree with the book's policy recommendations. The "science" is just an added benefit for you. It allows you to hate on certain people under the guise of "intellectualism."

Plus, I call myself PineyWoods because my heritage is from the Piney Woods area of Texas. It's your lack of trust and dislike of my views that has led you to insinuate otherwise.

Finger.

I think Sowell was a little bit more ... nuanced about it than you're implying here.

And as usual Sowell's correct. Both in Murray not being a racist and being wrong at the same time.

But tarring someone with the racist brush is fun, isn't it?

Romney/Pace 2008

If you want to learn about Eugenics all you have to do is study about your buddies LBJ and FDR. They loved eugenics.

What do you think the welfare state IS?

"The most dangerous form in which oppression can overshadow a community is that of popular sway" -James Fenimore Cooper

The Eugenic movement was entirely a creation of the left wing/progressive movements.

As for Murray, you may agree or disagree with the Bell Curve, but his arguments were certainly not Eugenics since that is a state program of genetic selection. In fact his views would be the opposite of calling for some sort of state program since he is a libertarian. He also wrote a lot of things about social policy.

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"
Kyle

In case you are wondering why you are receiving such harsh welcome to Redstate:

1. You join only to tell us what we should do. Try doing this with any other community and you will be dismissed much as you have been here. In my years of experience in management I learned that when I first got to a new store I would predominately lay low, observing and occasionally pitching in small bits of my two cents. Over time, after earning the respect of the other managers and the employees, then and only then would I begin to assert my opinions and try to enact the changes that I wanted to see. You have not earned the respect of anyone on this site. You have done much of the opposite.

2. Because of #1 you appear to be woefully ignorant about the mood of this site. It is by far much stronger on the fiscal and foreign policy legs of the three stools of Reagan (There is a SoCon presence, but it is not nearly as dominant).

3. Whether you choose to acknowledge it or not, you are using the far lefts talking points to paint the party as one of that which is trying to "stick it to the little guy", your focus solely on the middle class for tax cuts.

4. You rightly drew the association of Ron Paul with your "foreign adventures" comment. That is the language that many of the Ron Paul supporters were using during their invasion of our site during the primary season. The old adage about If it talks like a duck, heh?

There's a whole lot more, but I'm stopping here. It should be sufficient to point out why you have felt less than welcome.



Fighting for conservatism one day at a time.

Your use of the term neocon on the Condoleezza Rice post. That is considered a four letter word around here. It is not to be used. It is all to often thrown around to mean Republicans I don't like.



Fighting for conservatism one day at a time.

This party has lost it's brand. And no one who is in a position to do anything about it seems to care.

We get our brand back by forcing a clear choice between the parties.

There are a thousand bills and resolutions that can be introduced--with full knowledge that they will fail or be killed--to force a very public record.

When is John McCain going to hold a major press conference introduce his "Commitment to Victory" resolution? Obama or Hillary vote against it and we have a ready-made commercial. Vote for it and their own side will destroy them as it is spun to be a commitment to remain it Iraq indefinitely. Kill it before a vote and the whole party is against our troops, our military, our success--and McCain could bemoan the defeat publicly as a personal insult to a former POW who has to watch his country abandon his comrades in arms once again.

It doesn't have to be that but, something: Something to force the Democrats to vote for more taxes, more spending, more terrorism, more liberal social policy, more gun control, more abortions, more deficits, more drop-outs.

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"
Kyle

First, I'm not sure that I'd even want a permanent majority within the GOP, because I think that we've seen that a party in power for too long forgets its principles. Now that the Democrats are in power again, the GOP can take a look in the mirror and see that perhaps we were acting just as badly. If I were in charge, this is how I would look to enact a permanent majority for the GOP.
1. Overturn Roe vs Wade and return abortion to the states. Let the states handle the social issues, rather than making them national issues. The issue is getting constructionist judges, not activism from the bench. Most Americans want restrictions on abortion, allow each state to decide how much restriction.
2.Kill the Department of Education as an ineffective, botched, and poorly planned buearcracy. Allow states to control their own educational systems, which saves the American people wasted tax dollars.
3.Pass term limits. Hey remember this from that Contract with America thingy we had back in the 90s? Politicians who have their positions for life quickly lose touch with the American people. I say 5 terms maximum for the House, 2 terms for the Senate.
4.Cut taxes and remove red tape for small businesses, and stop raising the minimum wage. The higher the minimumw age goes, the less jobs that will be available. The federal government should not be regulating a private contract between and employer and an employee.
5.American exceptionalism-this is most important, although its 5th, but the GOP must maintain the doctrine of defending Ameircan exceptionalism. What I mean by this is the idea that America is the shinig City on a Hill, casting its light out to the world. Because of this we will always defend America and her interests at home and abroad. This means winning the GWOT, winning in Iraq, and not being afraid to defned ourselves and our allies across the world. When America stops being a guiding light for freedom around the world, and chooses a doctrine of weak appeasment to teror and danger, than we truly have lost our way.
6. Finally, cut spending deeply. Kill earmarks permanently through the Congress, or by vetoing ans McCain has promised every single bill that has pork in it. Americans don't like our tax dollars wasted on Bridges to Nowhere. We don't like to spend for Woodstock musuems, and we don't like Congress just picking and choosing how to spend our tax dollars without our approval. See how many of the Congresscritters can get elected once the bacon well dries up, and they have to work on actual issues. On top of that Kill the EPA, kill the farm subsidies and cut taxes and give the money back to the American people. We can spend our money better than the government.

Just a few of my ideas, which I think would be good for McCain's party platform this year.

"Extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice.Let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue."-Barry Goldwater
Rudy/Romney for VP-because someone's got to punch the hippies.

Once Republicans gained all the power they ever dreamed of having, they realized that the party in control is always criticized for doing nothing by the party out of power, which by virtue of being out of power becomes the party of "change".

Change is much easier to rally around than stasis.

When the Republicans were on the rise in the 90's, TR was the rage for many Repubs because of his (gag) progressiveness. Republican change was sold as just that...change.

Once in power, Rent-seeking became the order of the day and self-proclaimed inheritors of the Reagan legacy began passing out government largesse on a massive scale to the groups that could keep them in power. Scandals laid the emperor bare because by standing for certain values (traditional morality, small government) the hypocricy meter was sent through the roof time and again.

It is easy for democrats to engage in class warfare when the Republican party fits the stereotype so well...Fat, hypocritical, priviledged...

What the Right needs to do is regain some of its radicalism. The Right must talk about anti-totalitarianism and pro-small government, and then really mean it.

Some will say, "but goldenboy, you like McCain and he fancies himself another TR". To that I say, "McCain gives the Right the best chance to fend off obscurity by pledging to cut spending and to cut a strong figure in the world."

Many self-proclaimed "true conservatives" got us here, but very few were the real thing. By redefining our message, winning the war and starving the Beast in Washington, the Republicans can regain lost credibility.

As I said in another post, I have never been a Republican and never will (the last 8 years bears me out on this), but I have always and will continue to be a man of the Right.

I want the Republicans to remain viable as a bulwark against statism and an enemy of tyranny around the world.

Plain and simple.

"The most dangerous form in which oppression can overshadow a community is that of popular sway" -James Fenimore Cooper

against statism when we become the party of statism?

There were dozens of actual reforms that the republican congress could have enacted and they would have retained the mantle of change and reform even when in the majority.

But they chose not to.

Now we will pay the price for a generation.

"Nothing works like freedom, Nothing succeeds like liberty"
Kyle

We can defend the private sector without withdrawing from the world.

We must have a strong military, which is statist yet constitutionally separated from civil life. That wall must stand. Soldiers are not law enforcement officers or disaster relief personnel.

Some regulation is necessary, although regulation designed to protect one corporation from competition from another should be changed.

I'm not an absolutist like Ron Paul, but I do believe the Republicans can recover if they start explaining themselves a little better.

"The most dangerous form in which oppression can overshadow a community is that of popular sway" -James Fenimore Cooper

I fundamentally agree with what you are saying. Here in Indiana the way it works is that we elect Precinct Committeemen who elect the County Chair. The County Chairs elect District Chairs (Congressional Districts). The District Chairs elect the State Chair.

I am not sure exactly what you have in mind, but the way that I would implement your thoughts in Indiana would be that the Precinct Committeemen would elect all three levels of leadership.

We do have to make sure that whatever mechanics we come up with do not allow for an "Operation Chaos" to infiltrate the process. I also think some degree of republican approach (as compared to pure democracy) would be appropriate.

 
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