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October 19, 2010

Tea Party Vs. RNC Question

Now, Cass, are you ever going to address the Tea Party vs the Republican Establishment issues? I double-dare ya. Chicken. Bwak-bok-bok-bok.:)

For a while now, afe has been trying to get me to comment on the Rethug establishment's reluctance to support some of the Tea Party candidates who recently won state primaries.

I'm not really sure what I can say about this, except that the issue seems to epitomize the divisions in the party. Back before Obama was elected, I seem to remember a lot of conservatives saying they were going to stay home on election day even if it meant handing power over to the Democrats. They made two arguments:

1. They were sick and tired of feeling like the party wasn't listening to them or representing their concerns and if the only way they could get the party's attention was to stay home and hand an historic election to the Dems, so be it.

2. They didn't believe that far right or "true" conservatives were unelectable.

"Just give us the chance to try", they argued.

There's really nothing wrong with either of these arguments. It's just that having argued then that you are a free spirit and the party didn't own your vote would seem to preclude arguing now that the party owes you (or your candidate) their absolute and unquestioning support in return for... what was that again? Your conditional support?

I'm not sure I agree that teaching the RNC a lesson was "worth" seeing Barack Obama in the Oval Office and the Democrats in control of Congress, but there's certainly no law against disagreement. Whether or not the party was actually taught a lesson I leave to you all. Personally, I'd say not. Which begs the question of just why it was wise to teach them a lesson they appear not to have taken on board?

Now we have essentially gotten to the #2 scenario: in several states, dark horse candidates won their primaries and the same folks who lectured people like me (who in turn lectured them about ordering from the menu) are mad as hell that the Rethug establishment - including, by the way, horrid, traitorous RINO bastards like Charles Krauthammer - have the nerve to wonder whether their candidates are electable? Or even worse, whether electing them is even a good idea?

So the question arises here: is it OK for conservatives who *don't* agree with Christine O'Donnell (or who think it may be counterproductive to put up candidates who may not command the Independent votes needed to win most elections, especially in the largely blue NE states) to heed their consciences, adhere to their principles, and stay home? And if you are one of those who argued that you were justified in doing so, on what principled basis do you now argue that others are wrong to do as you did?

This is what bothers me so much about the scorched earth bullshit rhetoric I've been reading so much lately. This isn't aimed at afe, but it's why I generally keep my mouth shut on issues like this.

I've voted solidly Rethug for over 30 years now. My Dad has been voting consistently Rethug for about 60 years now. And yet, to many of my peers, we're both no good stinking RINOs simply because we have the freaking nerve to disagree with them on a matter of political tactics? Screw that.

I've taken a fair amount of heat over the past two years for saying that there's something to be said for being a team player, that politics is the art of the possible, and that half a loaf is better than being powerless to stop abominations like the Unaffordable Care Act. I don't insist that anyone agree with me. In fact, I think I've been pretty good about honestly entertaining viewpoints I disagree with.

This is politics. Do I always agree with the RNC? Hell no. Do I think they're doing the best possible job of getting conservatives into office. No, I don't.

But I don't think it's out of bounds for people to disagree on tactics, fercryinoutloud. I think some of the candidates (not all, but some) we've put up don't reflect well on us as a party. Back in 2008 I argued that in general it's better to have a Republican in office than a Dem. If I lived in Delaware, I'd probably vote for O'Donnell because she's better than her opponent.

But I also happen to think it's quite possible that taking over Congress in 2010 may not be the best outcome for us. The opposition are foundering in a sea of their own incompetence now (which, by the way, is precisely what I said would happen right after Obama was elected). People are fed up, but I'm not sure they're fed up enough.

If we take over Congress, all we do is give them another excuse for the epic failex going on in Washington. Divided government takes the pressure off the Democrats, and I want people to remember the taste of that crap sandwich we're eating right now for a very, very long time.

I wouldn't have ordered the sandwich in the first place. I did my damnedest to prevent the sandwich from being served.

And I really, really resent (and again, this is NOT aimed at afe) a lot of what I'm reading these days from a lot of folks who are supposed to be on "my side". Back then, I argued tactics with a lot of you. I didn't say you were wrong to believe what you believe, nor did I call you names or ask that you be cast out of the party.

There is real damage being done here. I'm angrier than I can ever remember being. And that's why I haven't commented.

Posted by Cassandra at October 19, 2010 02:36 PM

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Comments

I'll wave my hat in the doorway. If the True Conservative folks think they can get elected, and fulfill all of their agenda (whatever that is) they're dreaming.

Getting legislation through, or blocked, is predicated on building coalitions. That includes, RINO's, Libertarians, and those dreaded Liberals. Let me give a quick example on blocking legislation, Cap and Trade. A bipartisan coalition of Senators from coal mining states told Harry Reid in no uncertain terms, Hell No!

There are always interlocking interests that can bring unlikely coalitions into play. It's messy, but it's the reality. If conservatives want much of their agenda to pass they are going to have to be the nice kids on the playground.

Posted by: Allen at October 19, 2010 05:28 PM

But I also happen to think it's quite possible that taking over Congress in 2010 may not be the best outcome for us.

Is this not the same belief that the scorched earthers took: It's better for us that the Rethugs don't retain POTUS/Congress in 2008?

(You'll get no argument from me that the Scorched Earthers were a helk of a lot more rude and nasty about it though.)

Secondly, I agree that the No Compromise Scorched Earthers have no leg to stand on when demanding others (RNC) to suck it up and hold their noses when they were unwilling to do the same. Tit-for-Tat is the optimal strategy.

For those of us who simply wanted our chance at the plate, however, we *have* held our noses in the past for the lesser weevil, we *will* hold our noses in the future for the lesser weevil. I think we *are* owed some support and some nose holding at the very least. But when the RNC takes the view that between the Conservative and the Dem, the Dem is the lesser weevil, I gotta say that is rather unpleasantly informative.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at October 19, 2010 05:41 PM

If conservatives want much of their agenda to pass they are going to have to be the nice kids on the playground.

And before anyone jumps on this, I gotta say, "Nice" does not necessarily mean "Soft". There are quite a few politicians who try to accomplish the former by being the latter, but it is by no means the only way.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at October 19, 2010 05:45 PM

Indeed, my point Yu-Ain, thanks. The only reasom some of the Democrat agenda was stalled was because they couldn't even play nice amongst themselves.

Posted by: Allen at October 19, 2010 06:04 PM

If I lived in Delaware, I'd probably vote for O'Donnell because she's better than her opponent.

Girlfriend! Better? At what? Smiling for the camera? I'm sure that she's a nice lady and all, but...better? Sorry. I put her right up there with Senator Al Franken as proof that the vast majority of Americans aren't capable of mustering a serious thought.

Then again, these are the same people that let Joe Biden represent them for, like, 246 years. Perhaps O'Donnell is "better" from that uniquely Delawarian point of view.

Posted by: spd rdr at October 19, 2010 06:33 PM

As usual, Yu-Ain and I are pretty much on the same sheet of music.

when the RNC takes the view that between the Conservative and the Dem, the Dem is the lesser weevil, I gotta say that is rather unpleasantly informative.

Yes, and no.

I think that individual voters have a different risk-benefit calculus from organizations. I'm not saying the RNC is right, by the way - just that they may be using a different set of criteria to decide who to support.

I'm not a politico. I make decisions on who to vote for based purely on my personal assessments. I don't have to consider the entire nation, for instance, or who will win other races when deciding whether I can stand to vote for Roscoe Freaking Bartlett one. more. time :p

I think there's an information differential in play here as well as a values differential.

That said, my general position would be to support the candidate on the menu :p

Is this not the same belief that the scorched earthers took: It's better for us that the Rethugs don't retain POTUS/Congress in 2008?

I think there's a HUGE difference b/twn a presidential election and congressional elections. Absent BO being in the White House, health care wouldn't get passed.

The impact of any one state race can't really be compared to the impact of a race for the presidency, but that's just my opinion.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 19, 2010 06:34 PM

Then again, these are the same people that let Joe Biden represent them for, like, 246 years. Perhaps O'Donnell is "better" from that uniquely Delawarian point of view.

Well, she is probably better than a former Marxist, but the prospect of her being held up as an object lesson in why electing Rethugs is a bad idea is definitely causing me to lose sleep :p

Posted by: Cassandra at October 19, 2010 06:36 PM

O'Donnell is a candidate running in a state that was a longshot to turn to Republican, even if Mike Castle was the nominee (the state is small so that there was a single congressman representing it; Mike Castle). Chris Christy endorsed Castle, but it seems it wasn't enough. Not to make too much of all this (as the media seems to), as Delaware is just one small state.

Where has compromising gotten us?
Entitlements out of control? Check.
Employment too high? Check.
Anti-business climate due to regulation, taxation and other government caused policies? Check.
Deficit spending out of control? Check.
George Bush continually rolled by the Democrats on a variety of issues. Compromise! That's the ticket!
More of the same? What will we do?

What is the antidote? What is the cure? Is there one single answer to all these problems? As my late mother told me when I was growing up, the road to Hell is paved with good intentions. Of course, they (the Congress) always meant to do the right thing for the people, the country, whatever.

To cite an oft maligned, now dead, novelist and alleged philosopher, it's a question of basic principles, or philosophy, as it were.

Should we condemn half of our children to a life in slavery or prostitution so the other half can maintain the living standard we grew up in?

Right now the future is a big toss-up as to how it's going to turn out. There is no self-satisfied determinism that the United States will right itself "because it always has".

Posted by: Don Brouhaha at October 19, 2010 08:10 PM

I just really want one house of Congress, so that there's some oversight going on. I'll feel better about the whole thing when there's subpoena power ensuring that the administration has to account for itself.

Posted by: Grim at October 19, 2010 08:17 PM

But then, you have no reason to care what I think here. I'm not a Republican. I'm moving to the Tea Party from the Democratic Party.

Posted by: Grim at October 19, 2010 09:30 PM

Hahaha Grim

Posted by: Ymarsakar at October 19, 2010 09:41 PM

Not a joke, son. I mean that seriously. I've never been a Republican. The TEA Party speaks to some things that really matter to me. The old Southern Democratic Party used to speak to those same things: limited Federal government, strict interpretation of the Constitution, Federalism, and so on.

Posted by: Grim at October 19, 2010 09:53 PM

It's just that having argued then that you are a free spirit and the party didn't own your vote would seem to preclude arguing now that the party owes you (or your candidate) their absolute and unquestioning support in return for... what was that again? Your conditional support?

That wasn't the argument they made though.

It is not that the Republican party owes a Tea Party candidate support. It is that the Republican party owes a Republican candidate their full backing, as McCain and others like him were given, once the primary is won. That's not what happened, for obvious reasons.

The base funding of the Republican party was always on conditional support. They have no right to demand people give up their cold hard cash for Republican bribes to Democrats.

I'm not sure I agree that teaching the RNC a lesson was "worth" seeing Barack Obama in the Oval Office and the Democrats in control of Congress

McCain let Obama outspend him somewhere around 4 to 1 and his own people sabotaged Sarah Palin's candidacy. Somehow the "purported leader" now gets excused by whatever was going on with the Republican base? The Republican base was going to vote, then Obama won because he had more money and more loyal staffers. And the October Surprise, a staple of various revolutoinary groups, took hold.

There's no point talking about not enough Republicans voting when the Republican party isn't even spending on the McCain campaign to match Obama in parity. What's the point of saving money at that time again? Save it so Obama can spend 50X more of it later on, perhaps.

Or even worse, whether electing them is even a good idea?

They aren't paid by the base to think who "should have won" the primary. They're paid to be political cogs and follow the rules. That's how they have sustained themselves ever since. Changing it up all of a sudden is unjustified unless they had a personal hankering for power and couldn't go cold turkey.

to heed their consciences, adhere to their principles, and stay home?

So you think a Republican candidate that sold out America so that the Democrat party could rape and village this nation, all the while giving that Republican candidate big paybacks and luxury status, is the same as a Republican candidate that refuses to do such things.

That there is some kind of equivalent "conscience" issue going on here?

If people had a conscience, they can stay home. If they had a conscience.

on what principled basis do you now argue that others are wrong to do as you did?

You already brought the point against yourself. The Presidential election is not the same as a Congressional seat.

This is what bothers me so much about the scorched earth bullshit rhetoric I've been reading so much lately.

The saying that it took a Carter to give us a Reagan isn't scorched earth. It's more like what you would call pragmatic common sense in recognizing that Republicans can't win every election but a Reagan can make the difference in one election that nobody else could.

And yet, to many of my peers

Where are these so called peers again. What part of the statistical bell curve do they occupy, per say. Bottom quartile? Top 5%? Middle 50 or 68%?

But I also happen to think it's quite possible that taking over Congress in 2010 may not be the best outcome for us.

And you are against scorched earth tactics? That makes no sense.

People are fed up, but I'm not sure they're fed up enough.

So you are fed up with the people who in 2008 didn't like to or didn't want to vote for McCain because they were sick of the Republican party antics, so now you are going to advocate something similar. Only difference being... the timing. Which is only a result of the Tea Party, created by Obama, who was elected because McCain lost.

All these mentions of Scorched Earthers is like when the Left talks about right wingers. It means whatever people decide it means. Propaganda, in other words.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at October 19, 2010 10:02 PM

Not a joke, son. I mean that seriously.

of course I know you are serious.

It was just a surprise as I hadn't heard you say anything about leaving the Democrat party. Although you did say you would leave if you had an alternative.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at October 19, 2010 10:03 PM

But then, you have no reason to care what I think here. I'm not a Republican.

I'm not sure what that could possibly have to do with anything, Grim.

I would have thought I should care about what you think because I consider you to be a friend and your opinions are worth considering on the merits.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 19, 2010 10:04 PM

I only mean that I have no standing, as the lawyers say. :)

Posted by: Grim at October 19, 2010 10:12 PM

A slight addendum. The Presidential election of 2008 does seem to be more important than the 2010 elections, if I take the descriptions at face value.

So if, say, a person decided that Obama should have lost 2008, but that the Democrats should continue to hold power in Congress through 2010 for political reasons, this would set up an interesting situation.

The justification of Republicans not voting, for anyone, in 2008 is then directly compared to Republicans not voting for candidates in 2010.

It's an interesting comparison, if you use factors such as morality and politics.

It all comes down to a basic justification. What is better for the country. If McCain had been elected in 2008, nothing would have changed fundamentally. Democrats lose elections, they win elections. They would have gained it back in no time given their March Through the Institutions 5th Column strategy. Everytime they would gain in strength and the nation would lose it.

On the other hand, if Republicans win in 2010, they could become the escape valve for Democrat largesse. That would mitigate people's feelings of outrage, but still, nothing fundamental would change in the Republican party whether a victory or defeat results.

The fundamental change only happens if the Republican party is reformed, whether from internal or external sources.

Without Obama's executive decisions, the Tea Party probably would not have gotten the bolster they did. At least, not yet. It is most likely Obama would have won in 2012, after McCain's one term. It would have just pushed the Tea Party surge later.

Compared to this timeline, not much would change. Except, perhaps, for Afghanistan. The question of morality is trickier.

After all, what loyalty did Republican voters give to a disloyal party? The loyalty of American patriots ultimately go to the US Constitution and if the Republican party is not protecting the US Constitution, there's no reason to back them with time, funding, or votes. For lack of a better answer, of course, people will say the pragmatic solution is to hold your nose and vote for the current rep. That doesn't mean it will convince certain people, however.

The issue in a free society is that people are not compelled to obey one person's vision of the right. In a freehold, loyalty is given in return for loyalty and results. The moral position would be that if voters didn't go vote for McCain because they believed that if the Republican party did not reform soon that the US Constitution would die, then different voters can also refrain from voting in 2010 should they believe their course of action offers the best chance for the protection of the US Constitution. Nobody knew for certain what was up with Obama or what he would do. He was an outlier. In 2010, there are no unpredictable candidates that can change the course of the nation. 08 was risky, but brought about a fundamental upset in the status quo power. 2010 has less unpredictability, but perhaps more risk with less rewards.

Question is, who's going to reform the Republican party? It's not like the Constitution can protect itself against the Left's army. Somebody's got to do it.

In a way, the Tea Party is what many conservatives wished to see, but could not seem to envision or manufacture. Until Obama. Freed of Republican platform limitations, the TP uses a distributed network system to organize blacks, latinos, whites, and various other socio-economic spheres without requiring a centralized leader/hierarchy.

Unlike in 2008, where there was no substitute for the Republican party if one wished to defend the US Constitution, now there is a somewhat invigorating substitute. Was it more wrong to not support the Republican party when it was the only thing around, even though it failed to protect the US Constitution? Or will it be more wrong to not support Tea Party candidates in 2010 given that finally a substitute for the Republican party has arrived on the scene?

I guess this is what free will was for.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at October 19, 2010 10:40 PM

Kudos to you, Cass, for taking up my challenge. I know this is a sore topic for you, but it is precisely because of the high level of opinions and debate on VC that I wanted to se it addressed here.

I am a paleo-conservative first, and a Republican second. If the Democrats (ha-ha) suddenly became the party of smaller govt, fiscal conservatism, and individual liberty, then I would vote democrat. I see no advantage in engaging in some kind of primitive tribalism with respect to the 2-party system. To the extent a party supports my principles, ideals, and beliefs, they will have my vote.

I first voted for Reagan. While there were policy disagreements in areas, he had conservative principles and I supported him without hesitation. I never liked the "moderate" Bush Sr., but voted for him as the lesser of two evils. He ran as Reagan II in 88, but I felt it was just a mask to get elected. I felt his lack of conservative principles would cause him to get railroaded by the Dems eventually. This proved to be the case, and he torpedoed his chances at reelection by breaking his own "no new taxes" pledge in order to make deals with the Dems.

From then, up through Bush Jr., I was a loyal supporter of Republican candidates, always buying into the "lesser of two evils" argument, even when the candidates were not conservative at all.

My views changed during Bush Jr's presidency. For the first time anyone could remember, The Republicans had full control of Washington! Surely, the long struggle would finally bear some fruit. Nope. "Establishment" Republicans proved only slightly better than Democrats. Their profligate spending, corruption, and growth of govt was sickening to behold. Is this what conservatives had fought for? It was the ultimate betrayal. Having sold out their principles for money and power, Republicans were shellacked in 2006 and 2008. They deserved it.

The conservatives had always suspected liberal Republicans/RINOs were wayward reeds blowing in the wind, and these fears were amply justified by the likes of Arlen Specter and Jim Jeffords. When your voting record is one step away from being a Democrat, turning your coat when the other side offers you a sweeter deal is no big thing.

This election cycle, you see other liberal or moderate Republicans like Castle, Murkowski, and Crist act as sore losers and waste no time in abandoning the Republican party to sabotage a more conservative Republican candidate.

I am done listening to those who expect loyalty from me to be a one-way street. I have spent years holding my nose and voting for the lesser of two evils, just to see those types of candidates flip me the finger whenever they see a better path to personal aggrandizement. In the words of The Who, I won't get fooled again.

The Rockefeller-type "establishment" Republicans are far too often just as callow, corrupt, and feckless as the Democrats. They are no longer the lesser of two evils, but just a slight variation of the same evil. If govt. continues to grow exponentially, it doesn't sooth my soul to say a Republican drove us straight over the cliff rather than a Democrat. I hope the Tea-Party tsunami cleans house in Washington, with respect to BOTH parties.

Posted by: a former european at October 19, 2010 11:26 PM

Cleaning house may take a "rinse and repeat" and a couple of election cycles.

I wouldn't say that Obama created the "Unaffordable Care Act". His election did create the conditions where such a Frankenstein Monster could be birthed. Unless he was playing some kind of political three card monte game with the pea concealed beneath a walnut shell, it's hard to see Obama's substantive policy prints on the bill.

But the fact that an extremely "progressive" President was in the White House and not likely to veto any legislative monstrosity that Pelosi and Reid came up with did allow Pelosi and Reid to "hatch" a bill larded up with every liberal health care dream from the past half century.

Posted by: Mike Myers at October 20, 2010 12:04 AM

I think that the Tea Party represents what the Republicans are supposed to be all about. Supposed to be, but rarely are, it would seem.

Candidates like Christine O'Donnell may be a bit too extreme in their views for certain people, but at least this old cynic can believe that said views are honestly held, something I cannot say with any confidence about many long time "place holders"...of both parties.

Posted by: camojack at October 20, 2010 12:40 AM

But I also happen to think it's quite possible that taking over Congress in 2010 may not be the best outcome for us.

It would be if enough *principled* people were elected. As afe noted, merely electing the "Rockefeller Republicans" won't do it.

The optimum outcome would include giving Obie his walking papers, but that's not on the table, at present...

Posted by: BillT at October 20, 2010 03:03 AM

I'm moving to the Tea Party from the Democratic Party. Took you long enough. Welcome home Old Son! :-)

Tactics eh Cassie? The RNC is wetting their pants over the Tea Party. They are scared to death of the Tea Party being a third party movement within the Repub Party. They would be correct in that assumption. Perot taught us all you cannot begin a third party and be successful. Especially with a moonbat crazy candidate. Using the cover of an established party will work. The RNC will give that up when you pry their cold dead fingers from the taxpayers' wallets.

A third party will always draw votes from the Repubs 4 to 1 and the RNC knows that quite well. Unfortunately they made a critical error in publicly attacking the movement and compounded it badly by refusing funding. The RNC elite are really not real bright when it comes to your "tactics" scenario. Plus they have balls the size of BBs. If you're gonna' go into a fight you damn well better fight to win. Since Grim and I are from the same Southern Dem background we understand that lesson very well. You take the high road all you want. Just bring a large supply of vaseline to sooth the hurt.

What the RNC should have done was accept the Tea Party into the fold, support them and then try to limit them while in office. If nothing else they would've ended up with only a portion of the party with a working voting block. Now the RNC has allowed races to tighten as the Dems start fighting in the mud and slime by losing a pretty good segment of Tea Party support. Like myself. All I see from them is nothing more than the same. Period! How many times are you going to watch opportunities squandered? The RNC is a rudderless ship that is in desperate search of another Reagan. I see that coming from the Tea Party and not the Repubs. The current powers that be can't whip their own... uh... well, you get my drift.

I totally agree that it would be best for the Repubs to pick up only enough seats to counter a Obiewon veto and watch while the Dems eat themselves. It will give the Repubs some time to actually find a pair and solidify their party. If they are smart, which is pretty much an oxymoron, they will embrace the Tea Party and actually LISTEN to what the hell we have to say. I can spot bullshit platitudes from a mile away and frankly I'm sick of them. Stroke this! The ONLY way we are going to correct this country's course is to go full out into battle with the best conservative fiscal policies that are clear and precise. Like '94 but more gooder!

What you call tactics I call stupidity. If it quacks like a duck.....

Posted by: JHD at October 20, 2010 07:59 AM

Perspective: feminist and former Democrat now working for Rethugs because they were nice enough to nominate a TP'er in my district, and well, the Dems have been hijacked by loons.

I'd like to defend Christine O'Donnell, whom I like more the more I learn about her.

I think her financial background is meaningless. Really. Do you really feel that someone's credit rating determines their character and fitness for a job? The woman did not come from money. Instead of working at a private-sector job she's worked in conservative advocacy and run for office, so she's never made money either. Running for office as a Republican in Delaware (if you're not Mike Castle) means little funding from the state party and less from citizens who don't think you have a chance in hell of beating Joe Biden. Yet she kept at it, and she now has a chance to win. Doesn't that speak to perseverance and character as much as her credit score?

Also, I took 10 years to pay off a tiny student loan because the interest rate was low and I was better off paying down high-rate credit cards. I still think that was a sensible decision.

Christine O'Donnell fights with boys. She gets in there and mixes it up. She is not afraid and she doesn't hold back. It's exactly what I want from female officeholders; I don't want genteel self-effacing ladies with soft voices that don't offend anyone. We are going to have to push the envelope in order to get the country comfortable with the idea of a woman in charge. Part of that is putting up lots of different kinds of female candidates without expecting them all to be perfect. Besides, she won the party primary, she deserves support from her state party at the least.

Posted by: alwaysfiredup at October 20, 2010 09:30 AM

Where has compromising gotten us?

Don, you are confusing Nice with Soft. Reagan got a lot of conservative principles enacted through compromise. What made him different was that while "Compromised" (They weren't called Reagan Democrats for nothing) he wasn't Soft.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at October 20, 2010 09:50 AM

I'd like to address that, and then I'm going to bow out of this discussion. Politicians make a lot of promises during campaigns. They will tell you exactly what they think you want to hear.

It doesn't take a genius to suss out the mood in this country right now. Allow me to suggest that the one iron-clad rule of politics is that candidates say one thing to get elected and then do another in office.

So yes - I will pay attention not just to what a candidate SAYS, but to what a candidate DOES because promises only matter if they're kept.

If a candidate says she believes in fiscal responsibility and not spending more than you earn, it's hardly unreasonable to look at her own life to see if her deeds match those lofty principles. I think perhaps some of you should do a bit of checking into her financial situation and then ask yourself what reasonable grounds exist for the belief that she believes in fiscal responsibility?

I took 10 years to pay off a tiny student loan because the interest rate was low and I was better off paying down high-rate credit cards. I still think that was a sensible decision.

That has NOTHING to do with O'Donnell's situation. NOTHING. I had loans and so did both my kids.

We are not talking about paying off a student loan. No one gets sued for paying off a federal loan - I was a financial aid officer for 2 1/2 years, so I know a bit about it. We are talking about a school having to sue this candidate to recover 5000 in unpaid tuition.

We are talking about the IRS having to file a $12000 lien to recover unpaid taxes from 2005.

We are talking a bank having to foreclose on a mortgage to recover $90000. I don't know about you but if you already owe money to the IRS and your college, you don't take on more debt. You don't buy a house you can't afford.

We are talking a candidate who declared income of precisely $386 a month for the last 15 or so months. Now I do not know about you, but one cannot live anywhere I'm aware of for that little money. Unless, of course, you use $20000 in campaign funds to pay your rent and living expenses.

And she has admitted this, by the way.

So no, I don't believe a word she says when she talks about fiscal responsibility. People are going on about witches and masturbation and ignoring the moose in the room.

I realize that I am not supposed to point any of this out. That is why I have stayed away from this topic. If trying to be an informed voter makes me "stupid", so be it.

I'm sorry, but I can see all sorts of reasons why the "Republican establishment" would be reluctant to back a candidate like O'Donnell. Despite having been a registered Independent for most of my adult life, I have voted staunchly Republican.

I have been dependable. I have paid my bills and I taught my kids to pay their bills too. And I'll be damned if I want to be associated in any way, shape, or form with people who preach fiscal responsibility and practice the exact opposite.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 20, 2010 10:06 AM

Cass,

Amen.Amen.AMEN! I agree with you whole-heartedly. 2008 was a disaster because Conservatives "stayed home" for God-only-knows-what-reason...or worse, voted for Obama.

It's just high school civics...party matters. The party sets the agenda, the party decides committee appointments, the party supports their own. Period.

I have punched a "straight party" ticket since...well, since Reagan. Perhaps if the Dems drop their promotion of homosexuality, abortion, and economic folly, I could consider them...until then, as far as I'm concerned the Dems are disloyal anti-life, anti-family communists. I joined the USAF in 1987 to defend my country against the Godless Commies...I'll be damned if I'll let them take over here at home.

Any "R" in Congress or the White House is better than any "D". With only a few exceptions, no matter how "RINO" a person is, they will not wander too far off the reservation or they loose the ability to (a) get re-elected or (b) have any influence in an "R"-led government. Politicians know that, and that's what keeps them in line.

Crikee...this isn't rocket surgery.

Posted by: Maximus Decimus Meridius at October 20, 2010 10:06 AM

BTW, I was calling the RNC stupid, not you. If I wanted to pick a fight with you I'd do it from somewhere like Malaysia where you couldn't find me! :-o

And I have NEVER sat out in my life. But I will vote for the most conservative candidate regardless of party if their record showns them to actually be conservative. If all things are equal I will always vote Repub or Indie.

Coons vs O'Donnell in DE? A novice freshman with questionable financial history that will have little impact vs a devout Marxist that will immediately attach himself to the socialist agenda of this admnistration? No brainer for me.

I really am hoping the Repubs don't win both houses. If they do then you will see the Tea Party splinter off and 2012 will have a third party. I just don't think that would be good for the country with the debacle that is the fiscal irresponsibility of this administration right now. I would prefer they become a voting block within the party much like us Southern Dems were before we were weakened by Carter and decimated by Clinton. The Blue Dogs used to be the fiscal conscience of the Dem party before the whack jobs took over. The Tea Party could fill the same role in the Repub party which the Repubs could sure use judging by their big spending lite policies before '08.

Ah well, guess that's why they call us Independents. We're the ones you have to win if you hold your base. Good luck with that while your leadership speaks to us with their proverbial feet in their collective mouths and withholds funding.

Posted by: JHD at October 20, 2010 11:58 AM

I'm sorry, but I can see all sorts of reasons why the "Republican establishment" would be reluctant to back a candidate like O'Donnell.

The thing is, tactically speaking, they don't even have to back her. I can't tell you the number of commercials I've seen which boil down to, Don't vote for X because X will be a rubber stamp for Pelosi.

I'm not asking the RNC to tell us how much they enjoy the crap sandwich that is O'Donnell. But when the choices are a crap sandwich (O'Donnell), and a crap sandwich soaked in urine (Coons), telling us all how bad the crap sandwich is seems to imply that they think the urine makes it better.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at October 20, 2010 12:17 PM

I'm not asking the RNC to tell us how much they enjoy the crap sandwich that is O'Donnell.

No, I didn't think you were. But I've seen quite a few folks saying the RNC should be giving her money to run her campaign. Given her previous issues with money and ethics I can see where that would be a problem for them.

By the way, the 'crap sandwich' I was referring to was Obama and his agenda, not O'Donnell.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 20, 2010 12:43 PM

Everyone's support of a political party is conditional or provisional, isn't it? There are no guarantees, and if the party no longer backs your beliefs sufficiently, why would you owe it anything? So long as they already have your contribution check (and it doesn't have 5 figures or more), I guarantee you they don't care about supporting your point of view.

The argument about voting for the lesser of two evils always struck me as a bit cowardly. We all know how election winners crow about their "mandates"...which are virtually meaningless under the lesser of two evils theory of voting. Until they allow a "None of the Above" vote to be cast, staying home is a perfect expression of discontent with both parties.

Arguably, the only leverage the Tea Party has with the Republicans is the threat to stay home on election day. This is how the mainstream party platform is made to reflect the values and concerns of the voters. It is disengenuous for the RNC to cry foul, when we can see how many of them decided to run their own spoiler campaigns when they lost the primaries.

The point being that if you were going to get a crap sandwich either way, it makes no sense to consent to the one with R-sauce instead of the one with D-sauce. But hey, everyone likes their own tactics.

I have no problem with the lesser of two evils theory, but I don't get my panties all in a twist over someone staying home either. Whatever feels best to you. I've done both over the years. But understand that voting allows your views to be amalgameted, sorted, and packaged as suppport for things you may not support. But low voter turnout is a sign of disgust more than disinterest, contrary to the propaganda drone from the MSM.


Posted by: ruralcounsel at October 20, 2010 01:41 PM

I meant to comment on this earlier:
Whether or not the party was actually taught a lesson I leave to you all.

The Republicans aren't known as The Stupid Party for nothin'.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at October 20, 2010 02:08 PM

Given her previous issues with money and ethics I can see where that would be a problem for them.

The RNC in Illinois has money leaking like Al Capone's money laundering schemes back in the day.

The RNC doesn't really care about saving money for better things. Their problem is fundamentally different.

But I've seen quite a few folks saying the RNC should be giving her money to run her campaign.

Yeah, so. Do these folks decide what the RNC does? What are they responsible for?

Are they the same people that wrote about how a certain TP candidate got the First Amendment wrong and was sniggered at for being so ignorant at a debate, jumping the gun before the truth of the Left's propaganda lies were exposed a few hours later?

Some people don't have standing to decide anything. So what does it matter what they think about the RNC's PAC funds.

If we take over Congress, all we do is give them another excuse for the epic failex going on in Washington. Divided government takes the pressure off the Democrats, and I want people to remember the taste of that crap sandwich we're eating right now for a very, very long time.

I wouldn't have ordered the sandwich in the first place. I did my damnedest to prevent the sandwich from being served.

Too bad McCain was playing around while others were working hard for him. Since when was the fault of defeat the follower's? They weren't energized enough? Or maybe Napoleon was right, and it was the officers all along.

His wife would have made a better President. McCain didn't deserve to win. And in the end, he didn't. But if he wanted to be a leader, leaders take the blame. Sunshine or storm clouds, rain or shine. In fact his wife recommended Sarah Palin because she believed in her and McCain's advisers didn't have the spine to knock her off. So they went to Plan B. They defeated themselves. Obama didn't have to do anything except talk about his Messiah complex.

Maybe they could have won with the disillusioned and routed Republican soldiers that refused to fight. But maybe it wouldn't have mattered either way, because McCain did not deserve to win. Courtesy of a very nicely rigged Republican primary system, in fact. I give a nod to the Dems for that, at least.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at October 20, 2010 03:40 PM

I'd like to defend Christine O'Donnell, whom I like more the more I learn about her.

All she has to do is to hold the corruptocrats in Congress responsible and to the witch's fire.

It doesn't matter how she spends her own money. She won't spending her OWN MONEY anyways once elected. None of them do.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at October 20, 2010 03:43 PM

Why would a person admit to having 20,000 in campaign funding expenses for living?

Does Obama admit how much his mansions cost?

Does Harry Reid and Pelosi Admit how many billions they stole from a bunch of powerless Americans? Plus the private jets?

Transparency can't be bought in DC. Not for 20k. Not for 20 billion. Yet there it is. Why.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at October 20, 2010 03:45 PM

Getting legislation through, or blocked, is predicated on building coalitions. That includes, RINO's, Libertarians, and those dreaded Liberals.

Weaklings such as those bend to power.

Coalitions are built upon power. The power tells people what to do and they do it.

The trick is not to build coalitions. The trick is to gain power. Coalitions automatically obey those with power

And the Tea Party is gaining that power in more ways than one.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at October 20, 2010 03:58 PM

Coalitions are formed not to serve power, but to control it. Unchecked power is generally short-lived because it can only command humans, not human nature, and everybody wants to be King of the Hill.

Trust, on the other hand, is far more durable, and, while difficult to earn, once establihed it is far easier to maintain than power. And far more useful.

So.... you trust any of these jamokes?

Posted by: spd rdr at October 20, 2010 04:34 PM

"Coalitions are formed not to serve power, but to control it."

Coalitions do not form without a promise of power backing the organization. No power, who's going to join you?

This is like France in 2003 saying the US needs them before invading Iraq.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at October 20, 2010 05:43 PM

It doesn't matter how she spends her own money. She won't spending her OWN MONEY anyways once elected.

And what makes you think she'll be more careful with OUR money than her own?

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at October 20, 2010 05:55 PM

Coalitions do not form without a promise of power backing the organization.

That's not true. The power of a coalition is the power of individuals joining forces and acting in concert.

I don't trust myself to respond to the comments of the last few hours. There are really only two paths to political power: force and persuasion.

If I had to describe what I wanted VC to be about, it would be the power of persuasion, and perhaps about the value of perspective.

If people don't agree with you already, calling them cowardly, stupid or weak isn't likely to make them receptive to your arguments. Persuading people who already agree with you doesn't move the ball forward. The point is to persuade those who DON'T agree with you already.

I am tired, heartsick, angry and disgusted. This is not why I've shown up here for so many years. I'm not interested in insults or coercion.

My skin just isn't thick enough for this. If we can't discuss things civilly then this is the world's biggest waste of time and I am the world's biggest fool for thinking we could put aside our emotions for a space and create something worthwhile.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 20, 2010 05:58 PM

I'm confused by your analogy, Ymar, but perhaps its because my own remarks were less than a model of clarity. My point was that Party A will not seek a coalition with Party B unless Party A is not sufficiently powerful enough to carry out its designs alone against Parties B and C. Party B, however, will not join in coalition with Party A simply to increase Party A's power against Party C, but also to prevent Party A from excercising its power against Party B. Party B's own power has not increased through the coalition (except as against Party C), and Party A's power is limited agsinst Party B. I my view, therefore, the coalition is formed as a way for the weaker party to check the stronger party's power.

A coalition based upon trust has none of these drawnbacks. Consider: A powerful man can take your home. A trusting man will give it to you.

Posted by: spd rdr at October 20, 2010 06:17 PM

Uh oh.

Posted by: spd rdr at October 20, 2010 06:20 PM

I suppose that's one way. BTW how did that whole "power comes out of the barrel of a gun," thing work out for tens of millions of dead Chinese? I happen to not prefer living under a totalitarian regime, but that's just me.

I'll take the Gipper's approach, persuasive, friendly, and perseverant.

Posted by: Allen at October 20, 2010 06:27 PM

:Hugs Cassandra:


We don't deserve your patience, ma'am, but I, at least, am grateful for it.


:Lets her go before she stomps my instep.:


I am so disgusted with -both- parties that I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion to only vote for third-party candidates, and if none of them win, that's fine with me and horrible for the country, but at least I didn't help create the horrible outcome.

It has ceased to matter "which party" wins; the public always loses.

Posted by: htom at October 20, 2010 08:53 PM

You musn't take Ymar seriously. He's still sorting things out.

I suppose the one thing I do have to add arises from the fact that I am the sort of person who would have been a Reagan Democrat -- but still a Democrat. Yet the TEA Party represents something better: not a man who understands, leading a party who doesn't, but a party founded on the principles that are correct.

The things the TEA Party is talking about are the things I've heard all my life, since I was a boy. These conversations among the old men mentioned Jefferson and the tree of liberty; they always believed that eventually we'd have to fight, because the powers that be wouldn't ever turn loose of the wealth and power they'd gathered peacefully.

Now we see just the thing they didn't believe could happen: a political party of these common people, standing up and wresting control of some levers. Maybe it will work. It may be the last hope.

It seems most likely to me that it will tear the Republican party apart, reducing it to a permanent minority status. On the other hand, it will draw in substantial support from the old Reagan Democrats. It is more dangerous to the Republican Party than to the Democratic, but it will be a new party made up of parts of both.

In the end it will fall on the Republicans to be kingmaker. And that seems to me to be a great question: Why would the party of big business and northeastern money support the TEA Party over the party of unions? The unions, after all, are best served by big business. Small business holds no interest for them; it isn't unionized. Likewise small government.

So we'll have to see. Maybe this is the last chance for politics to work.

As for persuasion, I think the problem is that the TEA Party is made up of people who understand -- and so they assume you understand, too. This isn't hard, after all: it's about working hard, keeping your word, taking care of yourself and your own. The government is meant to do all of and only its duty, hold to the laws and the rules of the Constitution, and see to its business without crossing into ours. In other words, it's simple.

Nobody has thought of how to persuade people of that, if they don't want a bargain of that type. If they want to be cared for, or paid for, what do we have to offer them? Work. Duty. Earning their own way.

Posted by: Grim at October 20, 2010 10:06 PM

You musn't take Ymar seriously.
Posted by: Grim at October 20, 2010 10:06 PM

I, for one, do not. Not since he tried preaching to me about how to handle my ill treatment on another website... ;-)

Posted by: camojack at October 21, 2010 03:45 AM

Camojack, which website are you talking about. I don't remember such an incident.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at October 21, 2010 04:19 AM

"but perhaps its because my own remarks were less than a model of clarity."

I thought you were talking about causality. Which came first, the coalition or the power?

On that topic I would necessitate that power comes first, then coalitions can be formed. Which your clarification does not seem to contradict.

Now if you are not making a statement about causality but something else, then that becomes a different issue.

I my view, therefore, the coalition is formed as a way for the weaker party to check the stronger party's power.

That looks to include the French's wish to involve themselves in a coalition with the US ON Iraq. As well as NATO. Would you not say that the coalition is formed as a way for France to control the stronger party's power?

A coalition based upon trust has none of these drawnbacks.

I would say it involves mutual interests. If people are checking each other, like in a balanced of power situation, then their interests do not align perfectly. Some ulterior motive is happening. If, however, everybody has the same interests, then if they can get past suspicion in working with everybody, they would be able to acquire teamwork.

BTW how did that whole "power comes out of the barrel of a gun,"

Not all power is based upon gunpowder. The British kind of learned that in a certain war they had in North America. Some power is derived from horses. You know of horsepower, yes? Some power is derived from men. You know of manpower, yes?

What other kinds of power can you think of, exactly.

I happen to not prefer living under a totalitarian regime, but that's just me.

On an objective level, totalitarian regimes don't tend to output as much electrical power at night as the US. Isn't it natural to want to live in a nation with more power? Seems strange to me if it was otherwise. Why would you prefer to live in a nation without power or with less power. By de facto, that could be a totaliarian regime.


Posted by: Ymarsakar at October 21, 2010 04:54 AM

And what makes you think she'll be more careful with OUR money than her own?

Because the Left and the media will attack her and try to prove she is guilty.

Humans are easy to fool and manipulate. It doesn't take much to motivate people to be disciplined or ill disciplined. She, simply knowing her enemies will do this, will be less likely to act crazy or irresponsible. If she values her own self, at least.

She, being human, may want to give in and join her enemies in corruption and deal making, much as many Republicans have done. Simply to be left alone because the pressure and pain is too great. But her enemies will force her to fight or die. They are not attacking her because they want her to join them. That is the Best and Most reliable means of allowing a predictable pattern of behavior for a single individual. A soldier that cannot flee, will fight. They are not given any other choice, after all.

If the Left liked her. If the Left treated her in the media like they treated "Maverick McCain" in the Bush years, I might start to doubt. Humans are fallible. They're weak too. They like to self-rationalize away their vices. But having an enemy concentrates the human spirit and will rather well. McD here has a lot of enemies. Almost as many as Bush and Palin does.

That's a good thing. It's also a bad thing. But in terms of whether she will do her best to perform in DC, it is more good than bad.

Much of the reason why Democrats are corrupt and do nasty things to weaker people is because they can get away with it. They know it. They're like the rich and spoiled kid who never had to pay the due because of their rich and powerful daddy. That tends to cement a bad character, as well as a lack of spine.

I don't think the Witch thinks she can get away like that. Nor can she convince her base that she needs to be corrupt and bad to defeat Dems. So she gets no breaks from either side. That, for many reasons, cultivates virtue and courage. A person that knows his society will destroy him for bad behavior and knows his enemies will destroy him if they can, has no choice but to become better. Or die in the process.

Socrates, for example, ended up dying. That was his choice. He was not a weakling because of it, however. That's my answer to whether The Witch can handle the public's money in DC.


The power of a coalition is the power of individuals joining forces and acting in concert.

My statement only concerns the requirements for a coalition to be formed. It does not state what a coalition does after it exists. That should properly explain the difference. A coalition has power, but only after the coalition exists. For the coalition to exist, power is one of the prerequisites. A coalition that does not exist, has no power.

On a related matter, I personally don't consider it acceptable or emotionally neutral to angrily lash out at people who can't defend themselves, while describing them negatively in the process. For one thing, it's hard for me to believe an emotionally angry person can accurately describe the position of those they are angry with. It's not impossible, just unlikely. This becomes a bigger problem when the position outlined is done in a fashion that makes fun of or derides the dignity of the opposition. Who knows whether it is true or not. There's no evidence for it, certainly. If there is no evidence, why then is it held in such dear belief and spoken of so strongly. Can't provide the evidence? Don't want to provide names and evidence because it would be uncivil? So is it then better to not name names, so that they can be savaged as much as desired, knowing that they are being spoken of but they don't know that they are being spoken of? I wouldn't call that better. I would call that worse.

All of this came about from where I'm looking, because somebody got angry and couldn't resolve their emotional turbulence before giving voice to thought. The better way is to never hold these things in so that it gets self-reinforced in a vacuum. It's always better to connect to the outside world and try to get a second or more objective opinion, than it is to stew in the darkness thinking dark thoughts about people that did something hurtful or unfair in a subjective sense.

Because what tends to happen is that refusing to talk about it or name names, doesn't make things better. In fact, the longer you try to hold it in, the more they become true to your sub-conscious. So that when you do talk about them, you speak of them as absolute truths. Rather than being absolute truths, they are simply derivations of subjective emotional thoughts. It can be argued either way but Once it gets stuck as an "absolute truth", arguing about it will only make you angrier. Because you are not willing to compromise on something that you have attached to your own identity and existence. Doesn't that make sense. Doesn't it make sense that your own private dark thoughts about friend A that lasted for 2 years without being spoken of or resolved feels more true to you than a temporary slight from friend B that lasted for a few minutes of argument/apology and then you forgot about it. Dark thoughts, hidden from the day, constantly felt and reinforced, become part of a person's identity. It becomes owned by that person. Trying to take it away feels like theft to that person.

It's not civil to say bad things about people, talk behind their backs, and tar their reputation and names. But civility doesn't control people's thoughts. They can think these things all the time, but never say them. Which is better, exactly?

I would say it is better to speak your peace while you still have a chance of making a rational argument. Then you can check against the outside world for whether you really perceived and judged things correctly or not. Libel or slander can be proven false, not only by argument but simply by the action or reaction of the person in question. But if you never let them know you think this of them, they are never given a chance to affirm or deny it. It just keeps going on in people's dark hearts, constantly being reinforced each time they think or feel it. A defendant has the right to face their accuser.

Eventually it gets to a bad point. It gets to the point where letting it out is impossible. It gets to the point where admitting fault or looking at one's internal emotions is too much to handle. There is no rational argument then. Fixing this problem is resource intensive. I would always wish people to avoid letting this problem get that big in the first place.

If people don't agree with you already, calling them cowardly, stupid or weak isn't likely to make them receptive to your arguments.

There are lots of people I think are cowardly, stupid, or weak. However, I make it a force of habit never to act like it is true, if I refuse to say it to them. There are many reasons why I would refuse to say it. Societal standards. Community standards. Favor of a friend. Causing too much bother to a host. Principle. Deflection of physical confrontation or verbal argument.

However, I don't keep stewing about it either. If I won't say it, then I won't think it is true either. Cause if it is true, it should be said. But if there are reasons why it shouldn't be said, then it isn't really true. Not on an objective level.

At the same time, I have known several people who had a bad opinion of others, but refused to say it to their face, only to their backs. These are hard to count, precisely because they are silent and you have to detect their real thoughts and emotions using indirect means. Or hopefully hear them gossiping. I have also known even more people who had a bad opinion of others, and simply let loose with it, but weren't corrected or argued with, so they kept doing it like a bad habit. The speech patterns reinforced their personal vindictiveness and prejudices. complete with full societal support. Coincidentally, I found most of them self-identifying themselves as Progressive. Perhaps that was just a coincidence though.

And I really, really resent (and again, this is NOT aimed at afe) a lot of what I'm reading these days from a lot of folks who are supposed to be on "my side". Back then, I argued tactics with a lot of you. I didn't say you were wrong to believe what you believe, nor did I call you names or ask that you be cast out of the party.

Back before Obama was elected, I seem to remember a lot of conservatives saying they were going to stay home on election day even if it meant handing power over to the Democrats. They made two arguments:

To this point, I have no idea who you are talking about. But you do. Why do you think that is, Cassandra. It's kind of hard to have a dialogue of any sort when one side of the conversation doesn't even exist as a name, let alone an identity.

I still don't get why it is considered socially acceptable to vent frustration at nameless individuals that can't defend themselves, when naming names and directly arguing with such parties is considered socially inacceptable. I'd think society would be better off with a bit more mutual understanding and a bit less hidden stuff going on. Is this somehow a rare position to hold?

Btw, I consider RINOs, Libertarians, and the dreaded Liberal Progressives to be weak should they engage in coalition building with each other. Why is that and who am I talking about specifically? I have a list. If anyone wants it, they can ask.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at October 21, 2010 06:47 AM

Ymar,

I do not talk behind people's backs. In point of fact, I am refusing to talk about specific people at all. Only you could twist not doing something into doing it.

I am sorry that you are unable to understand the difference between discussing the rightness or wrongness of a particular practice (which many people do and which does not require getting into personalities) and discussing a particular person.

One can discuss the act of rape (and what constitutes rape, as opposed to consensual sex) without naming a single rapist. One can discuss the pros and cons of being an Independent or a Libertarian without naming a single Independent or Libertarian. More often than not, discussions about particular people devolve into pissing contests where the person's friends defend him or her no matter what he or she may have done and those who don't like him or her do the opposite and in the end people hate each other and the discussion causes more heat than light. The *point* (whether a particular ACT is good or bad) gets lost.

I have tried to explain this to you many times but for some reason you don't get it. It's really not a difficult concept.

I don't care whether you have a list of RINOs or Libertarians because their identities are irrelevant.

When you start paying for this site, perhaps your opinions on how I ought to run it will become relevant. Until that day, I will continue to do as I see fit and I will continue to ask people to behave civilly here, whether or not you approve.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 21, 2010 07:21 AM

I am in sympathy with the Tea Party movement. I am not in sympathy with some of the moves that the GOP has made with regards to some Tea Party supported candidates. While any given Republican is not obligated to support a Tea Party-supported candidate that won a GOP primary, it seems to me that the GOP's local, state and national organizations are - the organization set the rules for the game and they won, so the organization should support the candidate.

I don't see a third party anytime soon. I think that what happens next is that the Tea Party movement folks gain power in the GOP and force it to be more conservative. I think that's what the GOP is afraid of. First, they don't trust that conservative principles will attract voters - independents, conservative-leaning Democrats and current non-voters. Second, it means that there will be changes in the current GOP power structure, and some of those current in charge will lose their jobs.

Like the Democrats, the GOP is infested with Ivy Leaguers and other such that seem to think that they were born to rule and that the kind of people who should be in charge should have particular credentials - the right kinds of families, the right schools, etc. But it has always been the genius of America that great people - or even just good ones - come from varied beginnings and often humble origins, and they don't always have the "correct" opinions or accents or professions. These guys aren't used to associating with such people, never mind taking orders from them.

Posted by: RonF at October 21, 2010 01:57 PM

I wanted to address the issue of "maybe winning Congress right now is not a good thing".

First - Obama kept hammering the theme that the GOP was the party of "No". Supposedly that was going to get people to see that the GOP wasn't actually taking action to solve the country's problems, they were just stopping his Administration and the Democratic Congress from solving the country's problems in order to defeat him politically.

Sounds good on paper. But, only to people who think that the Democratic policies were the way to solve the country's problems. Note that you don't hear Obama playing on this theme anyumore. I figure it's because the Democrats have finally figured out that for most people saying "No" was exactly what they wanted done. To them, stopping his agenda WAS progress. As we say in IT, that wasn't a bug - that was a feature. So taking over the House and possibly the Senate will enable the GOP to stop Obama in his tracks. This is a good thing for the country.

So now, how to turn this into a good thing for the GOP? When people on the left talk about the upcoming victory they have a question that approaches this issue from a different direction - "What is the GOP going to do when they gain the majority? They have no strategy, all they do is say 'No'". And you know what? They have a point.

So, let's say the GOP gains at least the House. What should they do to show the country that they have a strategy to move the country forward if only the Senate and the White House will get turned over to the GOP in 2012?

I figure that they should pass bills that a) rescind the Unaffordable Health Care Act and b) find a way to get working people working. Yes, Obama will veto a). Good. Let him. The House should pass all kinds of bills that Obama will veto or that will get shot down in the Senate. Let them be the Party of No and see what public pressure they face. But they can't just sit there, and they can't just tweak things.

As far as getting working people working, get a tax bill proposed that will give businesses the surety they need to know that they can hire people. That will mean changes to the health care bill as well. Governments don't make jobs, but they sure can prevent them. Cut any stimulus spending that would be given to pay public employees. Spend the money on roads, bridges, buildings, anything that blue collar workers will be doing. Find some actual shovel-ready projects. If there are none, get the States to start some up and remove the barriers that the various government agencies put in front of them that delay them for years. The U.S. has crumbling infrastructure from shore to shore - roads, bridges, sewer systems, you name it. Demand the filing of executive orders to remove regulatory barriers and pass bills to do so as well. A regulatory agency can effectively make law in the face of a lack of action by Congress, but they cannot override Congress should Congress act. Most regulatory law is made by the regulators, not the legislators, because the legislators deliberately leave that power to the regulators. Congress can take that power away.

Pass these bills. Let the Democrats stop them in the Senate or veto them at the WH. We'll see what the public reaction is and whether the Democrats can withstand it. But lack of action, the lack of an agenda will make "We were better off not winning in 2010" come true.

Posted by: RonF at October 21, 2010 02:23 PM

Cass, I 100% agree with you. One of the things I wish I saw this election was what I term "the contract with the RNC".

As someone who sympathizes with the TEA party movement (though I'm not as envolved as I should be), I have been seeing a lack of "solidarity" between "mainstream" Republicans and "TEA party" Republicans.

Here is the contract:

We will campaign in the primary for each of our individual candidates. If "our" candidate wins, you will support him or her 100%. If "your" candidate wins we'll do the same including vote for him/her.

The winning candidate may not be perfect, but on every issue they have to be better than the Democrat.

Fight the bloody fight in the primary, then reach down, lift up the loser, hug him or her, and link arms to cover each other's back in the general election.

Posted by: Tony at October 21, 2010 03:27 PM

Cass, after coming back to this thread due to work distractions, I must say I am really confused. I see a pretty vigorous political discussion from many different viewpoints. I, for one, enjoy debating in the marketplace of ideas. I therefore fail to see the cause of your rage against persons unknown ( I will take you at your word that you are not condemning me).

My post specifically identified those individuals who I considered dishonorable turncoats, Arlen Specter and Jim Jeffords, both liberal Republicans who jumped to the Democrats when it suited their own political aggrandizement. I also called out moderate Republicans Murkowski and Crist as "sore losers" who bailed on the Republican Party when they faile to persuade Republicans to nominate them again.

As a conservative, I realize that passing a conservative agenda means I may have to seek alliances with other non-conservatives from time to time. When going into battle, though, it is prudent to take stock of your "allies". Will they be a help or a hindrance? Can they be trusted to "hold the line", or will they break and rout at the first sign of pressure? This is prudent evaluation, not name-calling.

Posted by: a former european at October 21, 2010 06:48 PM

afe -- you're confused because of your European background, where there are multiple parties that share power like adults. In this country, there's one party (I call it the Abusive Parent Party, usually) with two faces, the Republican face ("Do what I say or I'll beat you") and the Democrat face ("Do what I say and I'll give you a treat".) Neither face is adult, and considers the citizenry to be children. Calling out particular members of the Abusive Parent Party is a waste of time; they are interested in ruling, not governing.

Posted by: htom at October 21, 2010 09:53 PM

I took the time to try to research each of the candidates/items on the ballot. I live in Austin, which has lots of liberals. Some races had Democrats running unopposed. Some races had only a Democrat and a Libertarian. I did not vote straight party. I voted for an assortment of Republicans and Libertarians and voted against $90 mil for "transportation", roads, hike & bike trails and $14 mil project that includes a pedestrian bridge on Lady Bird Lake. Not completely happy with all the choices, but I know who I DON'T want to win.... I just wish some races had better choices in the primary...

Posted by: Miss Ladybug at October 22, 2010 12:46 AM

Camojack, which website are you talking about. I don't remember such an incident.
Posted by: Ymarsakar at October 21, 2010 04:19 AM

The preaching occurred on this website, regarding an incident on another. I'm one of those individuals who doesn't appreciate being told what to do, is all. The fact of the matter is, that issue has already been resolved, so it is best left alone.

Posted by: camojack at October 22, 2010 01:41 AM

The fact of the matter is, that issue has already been resolved, so it is best left alone.

The best way to avoid being told what to do, is not to allow the subject to arise in the first place. I agree that if you wish to leave it alone, it would be best to leave it alone.

I don't care whether you have a list of RINOs or Libertarians because their identities are irrelevant.

If you take the time to speak ill of a person or organization, the least you owe yourself is to name them openly.

Making somebody's identity irrelevant isn't necessarily a Bad Thing, but if you hate them so much. Do you really think covering up their names will somehow make it better. From my observation, you don't become less angry. You become more angry. Is that a good idea?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at October 22, 2010 06:05 PM

"In point of fact, I am refusing to talk about specific people at all."

So you don't consider these "specific people" to have called you names. So you don't consider these "specific people" part of the Scorched Earth crowd.

What are you talking about, Cassandra?

Posted by: Ymarsakar at October 22, 2010 06:08 PM

And I really, really resent (and again, this is NOT aimed at afe) a lot of what I'm reading these days from a lot of folks who are supposed to be on "my side". Back then, I argued tactics with a lot of you. I didn't say you were wrong to believe what you believe, nor did I call you names or ask that you be cast out of the party.

Oh I get the point just fine, Cassandra, that people get emotional when they feel the subject pertains to a personal subject or friend or family of theirs.

The point I made was that you fall into this category because You are talking about these people in the same manner. The objective to hold things in an objective context like we're talking about the weather or something, has already failed when you take this approach in the quote.

Then it isn't about the Tea Party or whether the RNC made the right or wrong decision. Then it is about what "specific people" did to you that you didn't like. Once you start on this, it's not like it'll disappear.

Don't want to bring people's personal feelings into things? You can do that starting by not bringing in your own. Don't talk about what you resent. Don't talk about why it is bad "some specific people" are calling people names and calling for expulsion from the party.

That would accomplish the goal of neutrality and objective consideration of a "point".

And yet, to many of my peers, we're both no good stinking RINOs simply because we have the freaking nerve to disagree with them on a matter of political tactics? Screw that.

I think the reason why you don't want to speak out on these matters is because you know you can't reliably separate the personal from simply the topic in question.

"Many of your peers" would constitute those "specific people" you aren't going to name. But you mention them all the time. You talk about what they did you, how you felt when they did, and you feel that makes you feel bad.

My point, if you can do just two simple things, you wouldn't have this problem. You can stop talking about people unaware that you are doing so and whatever they did to you, when making an argument for why their side's position was wrong. Or you can name their names and openly confront their positions as it exists in an open debate or argument format.

But trying to have it both, trying to combine the topics of emotional bias with objective political positions, can get stressful after awhile. Enough for you to avoid talking about it, perhaps?

When you start paying for this site, perhaps your opinions on how I ought to run it will become relevant.

My opinions are relevant for one simple fact alone. They are an accurate, objective, non-emotional analysis of your actions and their consequences. That analysis has one result and nobody's emotional response is going to be able to deny it.

Your stated actions do not lead to your stated goals.

It doesn't matter who owns what, because nobody owns reason or logic. It's why it is called an argument and not a landowner's board.

Posted by: Ymarsakar at October 24, 2010 07:46 AM

Ymar:

Simply stating that your observations are accurate, objective, and non-emotional does not make them so :p

But keep trying.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 24, 2010 06:17 PM

My post specifically identified those individuals who I considered dishonorable turncoats, Arlen Specter and Jim Jeffords, both liberal Republicans who jumped to the Democrats when it suited their own political aggrandizement. I also called out moderate Republicans Murkowski and Crist as "sore losers" who bailed on the Republican Party when they faile to persuade Republicans to nominate them again. As a conservative, I realize that passing a conservative agenda means I may have to seek alliances with other non-conservatives from time to time. When going into battle, though, it is prudent to take stock of your "allies". Will they be a help or a hindrance? Can they be trusted to "hold the line", or will they break and rout at the first sign of pressure? This is prudent evaluation, not name-calling.

afe:

First of all, if you are confused then I am made even more so by your comment.

How many times do I need to say, "This is not aimed at afe" for you to understand that my comments were not, in fact, aimed at you? This is why I generally avoid anything that even hints at a strong opinion. I really resent people who cut me off in traffic too, but last time I checked I've somehow managed to control myself (though at any moment that could change).

No matter what I say, some of you ignore even the most clearly stated disclaimers and go on to do exactly what I asked you NOT to do (respond to criticisms that are clearly and explicitly aimed at someone else as though they applied to you).

Your comment on this post was made on October 19th around noon.

THE NEXT DAY at around 6 pm, I said I didn't trust myself to respond to the comments of the last few hours. Considering that your comment preceded mine by over 30 (which is considerably more than "a few") hours in combination with the fact that you didn't use any of the words I specifically referred to makes it a fair bet that I wasn't accusing you of name calling (or even talking about you at all).

This is the kind of thing that makes me want to quit responding to comments or even stop blogging altogether. I realize that men and women seem predisposed to react to each other in stereotypical ways, but that doesn't make it any less depressing to deal with.

Saying that I "really resent" something (after being ASKED to write about it, as opposed to being so upset that I *wanted* to write about it) doesn't fit any definition of "rage" that I can think of.

Trust me, had I felt anything approaching rage on this topic, you would not have had to ask me - repeatedly - to write about it.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 25, 2010 02:46 PM

It may also serve as a good example for Ymar, why you prefer to address the actions of nebulous "some people" rather than name those specific "some people".

The identities get in the way.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at October 25, 2010 04:11 PM

It may also serve as a good example for Ymar, why you prefer to address the actions of nebulous "some people" rather than name those specific "some people".

The personalities get in the way enough as it is. Naming and shaming would only make things worse.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at October 25, 2010 04:17 PM

Is there an echo in here?

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at October 25, 2010 04:18 PM

:)

I've addressed this question many times before, but I do thank you for letting me know that someone understood, Yu-Ain.

As I've said before, it is by no means necessary to know who did or said a thing in order to discuss it and as a matter of fact, it's my considered opinion that *not* knowing who did it allows one to discuss a topic more objectively, since personal impressions, likes, dislikes, and loyalties do not enter into the discussion.

Ymar's incessant attempts to psychoanalyze the blog princess aside, the fact is that none of us has the slightest idea why anyone else does what they do. The best we can do is guess.

I prefer to stay on firmer ground and leave the guessing to those who enjoy such pursuits.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 25, 2010 04:32 PM

Okay, Cass. I get it. I just wanted to make sure we were still good. Call it an overabundance of caution. I did feel bad about you getting upset after I asked you to create this topic. Didn't mean to have that happen, whether through me or anybody else. I just thought it was an interesting issue, and I generally enjoyed the "spirited" commentary from the VC crowd. So, in short, well done from my perspective.

Posted by: a former european at October 25, 2010 04:34 PM

afe:

We are old friends and as a fellow Taurus I hope you understand that I don't take vigorous argument amiss. I know there is never anything personal in our occasional disagreements.

I do find myself increasingly dismayed by the tone of comments I read elsewhere as well as here at VC. While I understand the frustration with the direction the country is taking, I also know for a fact that some of the most admirable people I know are committed Democrats.

Do I disagree with them? Hell yes, and I've said so on numerous occasions.

But when I get to know a person, when I see their actions in the real world and find them commendable, it offends me to see blanket condemnations. Over at Blackfive a while back, I noted that most folks would be very surprised if they knew the political affiliations of a lot of senior Marine officers. We're talking about men who have put their lives on the line for this country, who have embraced the suck of repeated deployments and long years away from their families.

And I feel honored that in some cases, these folks have been able to discuss our political differences without rancor. The truth is that many of us (conservative-leaning though most of us are) don't agree on a lot of things.

If there is an animating principle here at VC, it's that people of intelligence and good will can and will disagree. That good will is threatened when we descend into ad hominems rather than debating on the merits.

It may be very naive of me, but I firmly believe it's the ideas that matter. We humans have a hard enough time setting our emotions aside without bringing insults and personalities into the mix :)

I remain grateful for old friends, and hope that one bright spot in my life never changes.

Posted by: Cassandra at October 25, 2010 04:44 PM

Ideas are difficult enough to discuss without their baggage of authorship and personality.


... the fact is that none of us has the slightest idea why anyone else does what they do. The best we can do is guess.

Amen. I wish I could successfully guess even half the time why I have done something.

Posted by: htom at October 25, 2010 05:13 PM

I wish I could successfully guess even half the time why I have done something.

I don't have that problem... I just ask Ymar :p

*rim shot*

Posted by: Cassandra at October 25, 2010 05:15 PM

I have to admit, I have often thought of affectionately nicknaming Ymar, Dr. Sheldon Cooper.

Posted by: Yu-Ain Gonnano at October 25, 2010 05:37 PM

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