Friday, May 23, 2008

We're Entering The Wilderness

Yesterday, I read John Hawkin's interview with the anonymous campaign staffer. The more I read, the madder I got. At the end, through IM poor John got sprayed with my vented spleen. If that sounds horrible, it was. He said,"Wow, you're in a bad mood." Actually, no I'm not. I'm in a great mood. I'm just fed up with the outrageous condescension emanating out of DC and Republicans in particular. I hadn't read your comments and he suggested that I do. I love you guys! You're my peeps! You said what I felt but in a far more reasoned, thoughtful way.

Later, John got me back. The New York Times dropped the piece about McCain's 90 degree turn (I can't say 180, because he only changed to the security first mantra) on amnesty. My ears are still burning from that. My reaction? Bemused. It's touching that someone actually believed John McCain. As I've said before, John McCain serves at the leisure of John McCain. We're all just along for the "I know better than you" ride.

I think it's time we face the facts, if we haven't already: The next four years are going to f*cking suck. Last week, Kim DuToit said it best:

McCain is going to screw us, every single chance he gets, as long as what he does makes him popular with the Press, or with “centrist” Democrats like Joe Lieberman, or with “moderate” Republicans like Olympia Snowe, or with “popular” figures like Ted Kennedy and Arianna Huffington, or with international bodies like the United Nations.

And occasionally, he’s going to screw us just because he hates conservatives, and because he can, and because he knows that as bad as he is, Obama would be orders of magnitude worse.
Linking to the post, I said:
P.S. Have you noticed that I have a Hillary tag and an Obama tag, but I just can't bring myself to make a McCain tag? I just. can't. do. it. Arghhhhhh! The next four years are going to be hell. Tar and feathers will be a relief.

The Republicans think that conservatives, average voters don't get it. And that's the problem. When the representatives believe they are smarter than the people they represent, they no longer represent. And that is the problem all through the House and Senate. The leaders have contempt for the opinions of those who got them there. It is no longer a representative democracy but an elected ruling class. And the ruling class thinks conservatives and libertarians who voted them into office are stupid rubes.

Illegal immigration: Security first, enrages our southern neighbor, Mexico (the world might hate us). There are millions new voters (only if amnesty passes) and the Republicans lose them all, if we're too strict on border fences (Translation: I'll lose my power). We need a cheap work force (workers as a commodity).

Earmarks, pork: You don't have to look into the eyes of big donors and tell them they aren't getting a government contract. The Democrats do it and then locals won't support Republicans. Democrats do it. We're better than them. (Translation: I'll lose my power.)

Iraq, terrorism: Americans don't like it (Translation: If I'm too supportive of the effort, I'll lose my power). No, Americans f*cking hate losing. With a purple passion, Americans hate sh*ting money away on a big pile of nothing. Do what it frigging takes, people. If that means obliterating Sadr City from the face of the planet to get the squabbling morons to pay attention, then do it and be done with it. War is bloody business. If it's a war worth fighting, then f*cking fight it. Things look like they're going better. Good. When we succeed pound away about it in the media and stop being pussies with the press.

The Press: If I'm nice, they'll be kind (Translation: I want to be re-elected and the press can help me.) The press hates you. They are progressive Leftists. Why do you give flying flap jack what they think? It is over, if it ever was, which it wasn't. You won't receive fairness from them. You won't receive balance. They will slant things, take you out of context, malign you, degrade you. Accept it. That's life. Move along and do the right thing and don't try to change reality.

Democrats: Americans want us to work with them. (Translation: Democrats are our friends and we see them at parties and we want to be polite.) No they don't. Your voters want you to stand on a principle. Fight. The Democrats will betray and sell you out every chance they get. They will be aided and abetted by the press. Stop trying to be pals with the bullies. Smash their faces (metaphorically).

Global warming: Our planet might die and it's our fault. (Translation: Everyone believes it, it must be true and we want to co-opt the issue from Democrats, because we want to sound smart and oh, by the way, we want to be re-elected.) Shut the f*ck up! You are going to kill the economy. People are also bitching about gas prices, if you haven't noticed and it's because you idiots adopt stupid policies to appease special interests like environmentalists and farmers (does anyone find these two groups an unholy alliance?). Global warming isn't caused by humans and even if it is, you buffoons aren't going to solve it. You're POLITICIANS not frigging scientists. Stop meddling in every damn thing.

Energy: We need to lower gas prices, let's ride the oil companies. (Translation: Blaming is easier than making hard political choices and I really, really want to be re-elected.) It's called drilling and exploration. Free the capitalists to do their work before we end up like Europe and paying $6 a gallon of gas.

I could go on and on. Do you notice a theme? Instead of standing on principle, the Republicans rationalize their devilish deal making by saying, "Well, if we're not in office, it will be far worse because Democrats would do worse things." And yes, I remember Reagan's quotes about conservatives unwilling to accept an 80% solution, but that's not what we're talking about here.

The Republicans don't see that if they cease to support fiscal responsibility, small government, less regulation, an open free-market, fierce self-defense, sovereignty, life, they cease to become Republicans. They are political animals buffeted about by every political wind because they're more concerned about power than principle and they justify their craven natures by saying that no principles can be supported if they aren't in power.

We'll soon find out if they're right, because the Republicans are going to lose big in the Fall. They'll be tempted, again, to blame Bush, but I suggest they look in the mirror. Return to the optimistic message that the common man is powerful and the strength of our country. Give the common man power by making sure he has as many economic choices as possible. Keep him safe from harm so he can work. Cut his taxes so he can grow. Help him educate his children by giving him educational choices.

In short, start loving the people who give you power. Respect them. They understand the political realities more than you know. Compromise is palatable if they're made on the backdrop of principle, but your voters need to believe you hold a principle. And for heaven sakes, articulate a vision. Mr. Hope-Change at least gets that. Find a charismatic, communicative, fearless Republican and have him say these things. You'll get elected, but right now, you guys have it backwards.

There is still time to turn it around. Otherwise, the wilderness will become a permanent home.

Cross-posted at Right Wing News.

4 comments:

New Sisyphus said...

Congratulations, Melissa! You're an honest-to-God Jacksonian and one of us!

From Walter Russell Mead's "The Jacksonian Tradition":

For the first Jacksonian rule of war is that wars must be fought with all available force. The use of limited force is deeply repugnant. Jacksonians see war as a switch that is either "on" or "off." They do not like the idea of violence on a dimmer switch. Either the stakes are important enough to fight for--in which case you should fight with everything you have--or they are not, in which case you should mind your own business and stay home. To engage in a limited war is one of the costliest political decisions an American president can make--neither Truman nor Johnson survived it.
The second key concept in Jacksonian thought about war is that the strategic and tactical objective of American forces is to impose our will on the enemy with as few American casualties as possible. The Jacksonian code of military honor does not turn war into sport. It is a deadly and earnest business. This is not the chivalry of a medieval joust, or of the orderly battlefields of eighteenth-century Europe. One does not take risks with soldiers' lives to give a "fair fight." Some sectors of opinion in the United States and abroad were both shocked and appalled during the Gulf and Kosovo wars over the way in which American forces attacked the enemy from the air without engaging in much ground combat. The "turkey shoot" quality of the closing moments of the war against Iraq created a particularly painful impression. Jacksonians dismiss such thoughts out of hand. It is the obvious duty of American leaders to crush the forces arrayed against us as quickly, thoroughly and professionally as possible.
Jacksonian opinion takes a broad view of the permissible targets in war. Again reflecting a very old cultural heritage, Jacksonians believe that the enemy's will to fight is a legitimate target of war, even if this involves American forces in attacks on civilian lives, establishments and property. The colonial wars, the Revolution and the Indian wars all give ample evidence of this view, and General William Tecumseh Sherman's March to the Sea showed the degree to which the targeting of civilian morale through systematic violence and destruction could, to widespread popular applause, become an acknowledged warfighting strategy, even when fighting one's own rebellious kindred.
Probably as a result of frontier warfare, Jacksonian opinion came to believe that it was breaking the spirit of the enemy nation, rather than the fighting power of the enemy's armies, that was the chief object of warfare. It was not enough to defeat a tribe in battle; one had to "pacify" the tribe, to convince it utterly that resistance was and always would be futile and destructive. For this to happen, the war had to go to the enemy's home. The villages had to be burned, food supplies destroyed, civilians had to be killed. From the tiniest child to the most revered of the elderly sages, everyone in the enemy nation had to understand that further armed resistance to the will of the American people--whatever that might be--was simply not an option.
With the development of air power and, later, of nuclear weapons, this long-standing cultural acceptance of civilian targeting assumed new importance. Wilsonians and Jeffersonians protested even at the time against the deliberate terror bombing of civilian targets in the Second World War. Since 1945 there has been much agonized review of the American decision to use atomic bombs against Hiroshima and Nagasaki. None of this hand wringing has made the slightest impression on the Jacksonian view that the bombings were self-evidently justified and right. During both the Vietnam and Korean conflicts, there were serious proposals in Jacksonian quarters to use nuclear weapons--why else have them? The only reason Jacksonian opinion has ever accepted not to use nuclear weapons is the prospect of retaliation.
Jacksonians also have strong ideas about how wars should end. "There is no substitute for victory", as General MacArthur said, and the only sure sign of victory is the "unconditional surrender" of enemy forces. Just as Jacksonian opinion resents limits on American weapons and tactics, it also resents stopping short of victory. Unconditional surrender is not always a literal and absolute demand. The Confederate surrenders in 1865 included generous provisions for the losing armies. The Japanese were assured after the Potsdam Declaration that, while the United States insisted on unconditional surrender and acceptance of the terms, they could keep the "emperor system" after the war. However, there is only so much give in the idea: all resistance must cease; U.S. forces must make an unopposed entry into and occupation of the surrendering country; the political objectives of the war must be conceded in toto.

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