Featured Post

Snapshots of the Present Condition

A mishmash of stuff. So much is going on that . . . well, here are some snapshots I have taken. Bernie in Philadelphia. Wow! I guess Berni...

Wednesday, September 4, 2013

One-and-a-Half Party System: Republicans Want to Lose

I first voted in a national election in 1972. I was one of about five on the UCLA campus who cast a ballot for Richard Nixon. I never regretted that vote. As a budding conservative, I had inchoate doubts about some Nixon policies, e.g., creating the EPA, price controls, but those never really overcame my fear of a Democrat, e.g., McGovern, running our foreign policy which was what I cared about deeply. In every election, local, state or national since, I voted straight Republican. I found the Democrats increasingly at odds with what I believed America should be and what I saw that it was. The liberal ideology became evermore repellent and destructive.

Since about 2008, when Bush caved in to demagogic demands for the Feds "to do something" about the economy, i.e., bail-outs for losers, I began to question my unswerving loyalty to the GOP. I had a hard time with McCain as the standard bearer in 2008, but look whom he ran against--a Chicago Marxist fraud. I applauded his choice of Governor Palin as a running mate, seeing it as a brilliant tactical and strategic move, but then as I feared, and later wrote on June 19, 2011,
The good Senator from Arizona, a bonafide American war hero, ran a disastrous campaign. He could not bring himself to go for the jugular of a very vulnerable and inept Democratic candidate. He made a brilliant move by picking Palin as his running mate, a move that generated enthusiasm and activated the base he needed to win, and then he sabotaged her. Her sent off to gain the respect and kudos of the mainstream media, and wasted her. He seemed to think that because the NY Times had endorsed him for the GOP nomination, they were on his side, so he sent Palin to get the same endorsement. That, of course, never came. 
McCain has not learned.
I think I am safe in doubling down on that ending statement: McCain has not learned. He continues to seek "respect and approval" from the liberal establishment, including Hollywood and the crumbling New York Times.

I liked and supported Governor Romney in 2012. Of all the candidates, he was the one, in my view, with the clearest vision on the economy and foreign policy, and again in my view, with the best chance of beating Obama. His choice of Paul Ryan was a gusty one. Ryan bought a Tea Party intensity and excitement to the GOP ticket. Ryan, of course, is the foremost Congressional expert on how the government budget process works and does not. He knows the impact of taxes on the productive sectors of the economy. He understands deficits and the tricks government accountants use to hide them. As with the choice of Palin, I was very pleased with the Ryan choice. Romney, however, proved somewhat of a prisoner to his staff, made up of good but very "moderate" and cautious Republicans.

The Romney campaign made three big mistakes (there are others , of course):

1) The surprising and unforgivable failure to understand that the Mainstream Media would give him no break, no slack;

2) Holding fire on Obama's grotesque mishandling of foreign policy, especially on Fast and Furious and Benghazi, in the belief that to corral Obama on those issues somehow would detract from Romney's economic emphasis;

3) Failing to appreciate fully how in the last few decades politics in the Western world increasingly comprise a battle between voters and taxpayers. As I wrote May 31, 2011,
In the United States, for example, we have the top one percent of earners paying 38-41% of all Federal income tax. We have nearly half of Americans who pay no income tax, and another large percentage 15-20% who pay minimal income tax (and lets not even get into "Earned Income Tax Credits".) We essentially have a society where some 25% of the income earners pay close to 90% of all Federal income taxes. That 25% does not consume anywhere near 90% of the services provided by the Feds. 
You can argue until you're blue in the face that this imbalance is "fair" because those who make more SHOULD pay more. Whether, however, you are "right" or "wrong," in socio-political terms this imbalance has set up a clash between those who pay and those who do not.
Point #3 means that it is very tough for a candidate advocating for individual responsibility and initiative to win national elections. The Democrat proposals on welfare reform, and the hideous Obamacare are nothing but further efforts to bring in more people dependent on the government, and who will vote Democrat.

We now have another situation wherein the GOP again allows the liberal media Mau-Mau machine, with the energetic assistance of the still hazy McCain, to determine its positions. I refer, of course, to the ongoing phony crisis over Syria--the real issue is Iran, and Obama ain't touching that one. I have written a lot about Syria (here, here, and here for example) and don't want to tire your patience by repeating all my arguments against intervention there. What, however, we see is a President waking up to the fact, as seen in polling, that he and "his" foreign policy team have mishandled the issue. In typical Chicagoland politics style, he seeks somebody to blame, or at least to share the blame with him, and, added benefit, sidetrack discussion of the amazing array of major scandals that swirl around his misadministration. After weeks of telling us that military intervention in Syria of some undefined sort is imperative and in the national interest; that we don't "need no stinkin' allies" or the UN; and that he, as President, has the authority to order it, he takes a break and passes the hot potato to Congress. Our "Constitutional Professor" suddenly decides that Congress should vote on the intervention, even if he reserves the right to ignore it.

As I wrote before (emphasis added),
Obama has said that, well, after all, he wants Congressional approval to engage in a limited warning strike of brief duration that will involve no major US military presence with the objective of . . . we don't know. He also undermined John "Xmas in Cambodia" Kerry by saying that, well, there is no hurry, and that we can strike whenever we want, now, tomorrow, in a week, in a couple of months, it's all good, dude . . . time for some golf with the ever-grinning Joe "The Plugs Don't Hurt Anymore" Biden. 
My recommendation, for what little value it has, is for Congress to vote "NO," unless the misadministration comes up with a real, solid thought-through proposal with goals and an exit plan. President Obama built this bizarre structure, he should get full credit for it. He should be told, you didn't want us in on the take-off, don't call us in on the crash landing.
Incredible, absolutely incredible, but the GOP leadership has announced that it intends to give Obama the authorization. Again, the GOP has demonstrated that it does not want to win, that it does not have the guts to stand up to the Obama Mau-Maus in the press and Hollywood. It will not stand up for the average American Joe, including real-life GI Joes who will be asked to put their lives on the line to save jihadi's in Syria whom elsewhere we drone to death on an almost daily basis. The GOP should say, "NO" in unmistakable terms, and, if Obama really believes in his own policy and that he has the authority to go ahead and attack Syria, then he should do that, and live with the results. The GOP leadership instead has decided to be "responsible" as defined in the Washington bubble and by the liberal media, and surrender to this mountebank of a President. Could you see a Senator Obama supporting a President McCain on a Syrian intervention?

I hope there is still some sense of honor and courage in the ranks of the Congressional GOP, and maybe even within some forgotten pocket of Democrat legislators, and that we will see a substantial "NO" vote. The GOP, as it did with its refusal to press on F&F and Benghazi, for example, is holstering a major 2014 campaign weapon; it will be forced to share in the disaster that will become our policy in Syria. If the GOP yields on this, when it has widespread public support for a "NO" vote, does anybody really believe the GOP will carry out a much tougher political fight on Obamacare and on all those scandals?

I am just about fed up with the GOP. If I wanted Democrats in charge, I would vote for them.



  1. The GOP, [Surprise! McCain and Graham] as it did with its refusal to press on ... Benghazi, for example, is holstering a major 2014 campaign weapon

    From the archives of McCain's stellar Senate floor speechifyings:

    “What I have witnessed today in Benghazi is a powerful and hopeful example of what a free Libya could be – a place where the dignity and the desires of all people for freedom and opportunity are respected. I challenge the critics of the international intervention in Libya to come here to Benghazi, to meet with these people and their leaders, and to repeat that we had no interest in preventing Qaddafi from slaughtering these Libyan dissidents, which is exactly what he had pledged to do."


    (The date was April 22, 2011. http://www.mccain.senate.gov/public/index.cfm?FuseAction=PressOffice.PressReleases

    And of course McCain gave an earlier, even more impassioned speech which, it could be argued - "forced" Obama to do the no-fly - March 2011.


    If the GOP liked Libya, They're gonna LOVE Syria!

  2. Perhaps the date of this one was purely coincidental, April 1st 2011:

    Some critics still argue that we should be cautious about helping the Libyan opposition, warning that we do not know enough about them or that their victory could pave the way for an al Qaeda takeover. Both arguments are hollow. By all accounts, the Transitional National Council is led by moderates who have declared their vision for (as their website puts it) Libya becoming "a constitutional democratic civil state based on the rule of law, respect for human rights and the guarantee of equal rights and opportunities for all its citizens."

  3. Oh Lordy,



  4. I see McCain having trouble distinguishing precisely what America is and what it should be.
    His defense today of a video purporting to show Syrian insurgents taking down an airplane with an anti-aircraft missile (I think?) while shouting "Allahu Akbar" is preposterous.
    He compares it to an American saying 'thank God'.

    Imagine a video showing a US soldier shooting down an enemy aircraft while shouting at the top of his lungs "God Reigns Supreme!"

    I don't think the phrase used is a common invective, but rather a serious expression of religious nature.

    Please correct me if I'm wrong, but we just don't do that kind of thing.
    Not that soldiers or citizens will be allowed to express religious beliefs in the near future anyways, but even if they did, I don't think it would be a glorification of carnage.
    I'm not saying our soldiers don't express exuberance, but the public is *correct* to have misgivings about that clear gulf between us and the insurgents in Syria. I share those concerns, but I feel that it is probably more dangerous to choose not pick a side in most cases.

  5. Prezactly the maze I find myself in: raising hell about the failings of worst possible candidates, pointing out the flaws of current administration tactics and strategies, detailing the logic and beauty of the founding documents. None of those energetically pursued hobbies has accomplished a single twitch of movement away from the socialized horror that the US is becoming.
    And please, you who are vanilla and resolute in your bland-ness, do not lecture about voting with the ballot box, standing quietly on your principles, or finding satisfaction with knowing that the truth will out. Because those points will have zero effect on the outcome of the destruction presently under way, and all the while the foundations of liberty and freedom are getting the shit stomped out of them by accomplished liars who pervert the truth. I know, I know. You are a radio and TV host followed by millions. You're a poor choice for a field commander in this struggle.
    We are Europe and it is 1935.
    We are black Americans and it is Selma in 1960.

    Dan Patterson

  6. Check out the names on this open letter of those calling for war:


  7. I had been waiting on immigration "reform" to leave the GOP, but maybe I will do so earlier now.

    1. Welleran,
      The republican party left us at the station years ago, it's in the last few years that people (including yours truly) are waking up this.

  8. It's not just that "in the last few decades politics in the Western world increasingly comprise a battle between voters and taxpayers".

    In the last few decades, there's an increasingly wide schism between the intellectual elites governing in Washington and the citizens of the flyover country trapped between the coasts.

    And in the last decade, the pace of worsening has accelerated. Remember the awful days of financial corruption in 1990-2001 (Enron, WorldCom, Tyco Int'l, etc) before the problem was fixed with the Sarbanes-Oxley "Public Company Accounting Reform and Investor Protection Act" Act in 2002?

    Sure you do. BEFORE SarBox fixed the problem, Ken Lay and Jeff Skilling and Andrew Fastow and Bernie Ebbers and Scott Sullivan and Dennis Kozlowski and Mark Swartz were convicted of financial fraud. Under the SarBox fix put in place by the Washington intellectual elites, who went to jail in the much worse financial disaster of 2006-2008 that almost destroyed the economy? I'm just sayin' . . . . . . . .

  9. Democratic Congresswoman Eleanor Holmes Norton said Tuesday that at the current time, the only reason she would vote in favor of an attack on Syria was out of loyalty to Barack Obama.

    Read more: http://newsbusters.org/blogs/noel-sheppard/2013/09/03/democratic-congresswoman-only-reason-i-d-vote-syrian-attack-loyalty-o#ixzz2dvUxvacq

    Only in America would someone send men and women to war and possible deaths out of "loyalty"! God, please save save us from this insanity!


  10. This why I'm adamant about put them on record. This was a very bad political move on the O's part.

  11. Let's wait and see how the vote turns out before burying the GOP.
    I've seen one person point out that the GOP House leadership states they are for it so they can't get blamed for obstructionism, and thus can blame Obama for not making the sale when it fails to pass with a bipartisan rejection.

    But maybe that's just wishful thinking.

    Still, let's see how it plays out, first.

    Although 100% agree that McCain hasn't learned a thing and shouldn't have an R next to his name.

  12. What I meant to imply, but did poorly, is that Whittle demonstrates how Republicans/conservatives (if they manage to overlap) might explain their message in ways that attract rather than alienate. It's a lot easier to convince people that they deserve "free stuff," than to argue that they'd be better people if they earned that stuff. So, we need someone who is so steeped in self-examined and well-honed conservative principles, like a Reagan, that he can SPEAK the message to the uneducated voter without having to so parse his words that he sounds phony -- it must come from the gut.

    Conservatives seem to be sadly deficient in that regard.

    “Liberty means responsibility. That is why most men dread it.” -- George Bernard Shaw

  13. When I was young I naturally assumed that those in charge were responsible, mature, serious, caring adults, who looked out for their charges, similar to my parents. Now after a long career of many CODEL, SECSTATE and POTUS visits, work as a principal's control officer, and country team meetings, I know much better. I heard Ms. Pelosi on a British internet radio show this morning babbling about the "upcoming war" and yet again she impresses with her inarticulate idiocy. Mr. McCain is way past his once admirable prime as he plays video poker at the White House meeting on Syria. I am sorry to say that our president, Mr. Obama, is the worst as he does his best to make America unexceptional. I wonder when we will run out of people who will put themselves in harm's way for this lot. jt

    1. "When I was young I naturally assumed that those in charge were responsible..."

      A lesson drawn from David McCullough's first book, The Johnstown Flood: Never assume that because people occupy positions of responsibility they are therefore behaving responsibly.

  14. Orwell would have a field day:

    President Barack Obama said Wednesday that the red line he outlined last year regarding Syria's use of chemical weapons came from international treaties and past congressional action, and now it is time for the international community to make good on its opposition to the banned armaments.
    "I didn't set a red line. The world set a red line," Obama told reporters on the first day of a four-day trip to Sweden and Russia to attend a G-20 summit in St. Petersburg.
    In particular, Obama said the global red line came when governments representing 98% of the world's population "passed a treaty forbidding (chemical weapons) use, even when countries are engaged in war."


    1. Remember when Joe Wilson shouted out "You lie" at king lispy obumbler. The shock it caused, the misgivings by the republican "leadership" because somebody had the guts to tell the truth in public.

      Yep, he was right the African king lies frequently and with no consequences because the republican party leadership is gutless.

      You had better start supporting and voting Tea Party, the republicans have become the defeatist party.

    2. Yeah I remember Joe. He became the greatest threat to American Democracy and civil discourse in our times. I am with the TP types and have had it with most of the gutless geldings in the R leadership. The biggest obstacle we have are Republicans. The biggest obstacle the Dems have are demographics and math and history.

  15. Let's hope Senator Lindsay "me too" Graham gets the boot before McCain. If McCain can't hear his echo, maybe he will think he is all alone.

  16. Scott Johnson at PowerLine:
    "When Obama cites 'the world,' I wonder about the United States. Obama’s invocation of Congress’s red line is the sheerest sophistry. We’re abiding by the treaty. The United States has no obligation to take any additional action under it. Speaking of 'red,' Obama’s blather along with his refusal to articulate our own national interest should raise a red flag."


  17. FINALLY! The Middle East explained!



  18. John Kerry let the cat out the bag today.
    It is the Saudi royalty who have determined that Assad must go.

    Obama's right, it WASN'T his red line.

    1. That actually, makes the most sense. The Saudi connection at any rate.

      In other Wahhabi news something truly inspiring:


      This group hails from Chechnya - what could possibly go wrong?

      (Thing about not being Obama's "red line" at that news conference wherein he said it, there were a heckuva lot of variations on, "a gamechanger would be MY ... My, My, My ...)

    2. Syria is a proxy war between the Shias of Iran and the Sunnis of Saudi Arabia. Most of the Muslim nations are ruled by the majority sect of Islam. The recent obvious exceptions would have been Sunni rule over Shia-majority Iraq until Saddam Hussein was deposed, and now Syria where the mystical Alawite Assad clan has been allied with the Shias but where Sunni Muslims make up a majority of the population.

      Especially now that Shia-ruled Iraq may be drifting under Iran's sway, the Sunni Saudis want to wreck the Shia crescent before it fully forms by yanking the rug out from under Assad.

      And we're going to help them do it - apparently.

  19. Just wanted to say that I think your analysis of McCain & Romney's mistakes is spot on.
    Conservatives of any stripe can't win with the media, it makes no sense to try. GW made a very smart move by recognizing this. He also probably owned the fact that he wasn't a great speaker, particularly not off-the-cuff, so he didn't have any delusions of grandeur hampering his judgment in this regard.
    Anyways, I've already mentioned this in numerous other places and wanted to express my gratitude for your putting it quite plainly.
    - Reader #1482

  20. I just spoke with DiFi's representative about her position on Syria and was read a full blown press release that shimmied and shammied to the full support of our CnC. I left her with my question of how we could be allied to the many Al Qeada elements with our war aims of degrading Assad? She promised to take that up with Senator. Imagine, the US Navy and Air Force, forces for good, allied with AQ.

    If DiFi falls for this insanity, its been proven Feynemen style, that our DC leaders are mad.

  21. Sorry, DiFi is Diane Feinstein, the Senator(D) from California.

    1. Anonymous September 1, 2013 at 8:15 AM

      "(I suspect Senators such as Feingold & McCain being seen in bed will accomplish your #s 1,2 and 3.)"

  22. This is a post worth reading, with news coming out of the hearing and especially the Kerry announcement of Arab countries proposing to pay for a full invasion.

    The Congress is beginning to make some difference, a lot of things have come out that would not have. The Senate Foreign Relations Committee vote was 10-7 in favor very close for the Senate.
    A good measure of how this is got the Dems in a bad place is the Senate waiving rules to hurry this up, the longer it goes the worse the Administration and democrats look.
    Sorry Mr. Mad about putting links on your post, I usually don't and shouldn't in the future, but this is different.

  23. Your political evolution pretty much matches mine - from first voting for Nixon, the holding my nose with McCain. The Republican establishment is indeed failing us.

    My question to those who claim that no declaration of war is needed is this: if a sovereign nation hit the US homeland with a series of missiles, would we be correct in calling that an "act of war?" How is our cruise missiles landing in Syria different from Pearl Harbor?

    General Dempsey's not backing up Kerry shows the considerable tensions between our military and the Obama Administration. Obama has been systematically purge our military, from top to bottom. Kerry has made a career of defaming it.

    Personally, I won't be accepting ANY offers to ride with Obama in Air Force One anytime soon.

  24. "General Dempsey's not backing up Kerry shows the considerable tensions between our military and the Obama Administration." I saw that and wondered if Dempsey has made a private decision to no longer support on this matter. Regardless it means the end of his career.

    1. Perhaps he was just enjoying a moment to embarrass the head of the State Department.

      The military tends to think the State Department is run by fools and staffed with idiots. I suspect that DiploMad agrees.

      But yes, this was not good for Dempsey's career or else he's betting on Obama falling somehow.

  25. Just personally speaking.

    Were Mr. Nixon to run again (I realize somebody with his strategic sense these days'd be ... a doggoned miracle) anyway - I'd vote for him again.

    They don't make Tricky Dicks like they used to.

    D___k Heads maybe.

    Yeah I know Dip, I'm fixin' to get deleted.


  26. In the style of Instapundit, "They told me if I voted for Romney, we'd end up with a bunch of crazy warmongers in the WH, and they were right!"

  27. Well Putin has gotten down to brass tacks with this;

    In remarks that could raise tension further before he hosts President Barack Obama and other G20 leaders on Thursday, Putin also said U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry lied to Congress about the militant group al Qaeda’s role in the Syrian conflict.

    “They lie beautifully, of course. I saw debates in Congress. A congressman asks Mr Kerry: ‘Is al Qaeda there?’ He says: ‘No, I am telling you responsibly that it is not’,” Putin said at a meeting of his human rights council in the Kremlin.

    “Al Qaeda units are the main military echelon, and they know this,” he said, referring to the United States. “It was unpleasant and surprising for me – we talk to them, we proceed from the assumption that they are decent people. But he is lying and knows he is lying. It’s sad.”

    Putin did not give any more details.

  28. Yup. GOP = Liberal Light.

  29. “I first voted in a national election in 1972. I was one of about five on the UCLA campus who cast a ballot for Richard Nixon.”

    One of about five? I had to laugh when I read that. All four of us—myself, and all three of my brothers—were at UCLA in 1972, and we all voted for Nixon.

    It was my first time voting in a national election, too.

    I wish we had met you back then. Two of my three brothers had been in the Marines, and had fought in Viet Nam (1967-1969), including the Tet Offensive and the Siege of Hue.

    You can probably imagine my opinion of our present Secretary of State.

    I love your blog, and am a faithful reader.

    By the way, I use my full name on the Internet because when I first started, several years ago, my brothers dared me to.

    Minta Marie Morze

  30. The irony of John Kerry sitting in testimony next to Gen Dempsey is just too rich when you think back to the footage of Kerry, fresh back from Viet Nam in 1973, testifying ( lying) before Congress.

  31. I'm another one who first voted for Nixon, cheered for Reagan, and ended up holding my nose at McCain. I also think that if the Republicans are Liberal Lite, the Democrats are Totalitarian with a Smiley Face. I'm thinking seriously as registering as Constitution Party, since the state I live in is so Deep Indigo it wouldn't make a difference.

    I'm also of the mind that the O and nobody else should be made to own the Syran mess. I'm shocked and disgusted that ANYONE would invest the prestige of the USA in backing Muslim Brotherhood and Qaida rebels.

    1. Me too. A product of northeastern ivy league "intellect" like Obama does not accept the notion that America has any prestige.....except for when he was elected President of course.

    2. Don't confuse whitewall with WhiteHALL like I did at first reading - "Did I post that?"

      His posts are pithier while mine ramble.

    3. WhiteHall...I like your posts. I must confess that when I see ours close together I sometimes grab my birth certificate- long form- and run to my mirror just to be sure :).

  32. Absolutely!

    Pity poor old John though ... brain damage from deprivations in Vietnam.

  33. A member of the Republican party had the misfortune of calling our home phone yesterday evening after work. My husband and I have voted a straight Republican ticket and could have written this post verbatim. Let's just say, we've had it! Playing poker during a 3 hour meeting on Syria??? Snark as a response. Paul Ryan, in whom we early on had great hopes embracing amnesty. (We live in Los Angeles-devout Catholics in a "sanctuary city".) Let's just say, our veins are still open to this system and we have a son presently serving as a Marine for the State Department, but if we didn't have a stalwart faith in God we would have NO HOPE for the future of this republic because as our founders understood, it was fashioned for a moral people, and WE ARE OUTNUMBERED SUBSTANTIALLY!


  34. "Our Constitution was made only for a moral and religious people. It is wholly inadequate to the government of any other."