The Other McCain

"One should either write ruthlessly what one believes to be the truth, or else shut up." — Arthur Koestler

Philly Layover Musings: The Republican Party Is Depraved and Decadent

Posted on | January 11, 2012 | 34 Comments

With a three-hour layover in Philly, I logged on here at the Riverbend Bar & Grill at the airport Marriot, and the first thing I find atop the Memeorandum aggregation is my buddy Dave Weigel’s thoughts on the campaign to date:

I’m thinking of a Republican primary. It starts with a candidate (John McCain/Mitt Romney) who ran once before, came in second place, and won over the party’s elite class without winning over its base. Other candidates, understandably unwilling to accept this, line up: An under-funded social conservative (Mike Huckabee/Rick Santorum), an elder statesman who’s walked to the altar three times (Rudy Giuliani/Newt Gingrich), a libertarian who wants to bring back the gold standard (Ron Paul/Ron Paul).
The conservative base is displeased. In the year before the primary, it pines for a perfect candidate. At the end of summer, on (September 5/August 13), it gets him: (Fred Thompson/Rick Perry). The dream candidate immediately rises to the top of national polls, but collapses after lazy, distaff debate performances. When the primaries arrive, he’s in single digits and reduced to attacking the front-runners. But in Iowa, he does just well enough to justify staying in the race. . . .

Read the whole thing. The basic problem is this: The sincere idealists suffer from disastrous incompetence, while the selfish cynics are rewarded for their utter lack of ethics or principles. Decent and honest people, recognizing the GOP’s systemic incentives toward moral and political corruption, are repulsed by the shabby lies and vicious compromises necessary to “success” as a Republican, leaving the party to be controlled by a ruthless gang of dishonest jackals.

How else to explain the sadistic venality of those consultants and strategists who publicly backstabbed Newt in May and then hopped the next flight to Austin, where they have spent the past six months collecting fat paychecks in the service of Texas Gov. Rick Perry, whose formerly excellent reputation his campaign staff has done everything possible to destroy. If he had quit after his humiliating fifth-place finish in Iowa, as any intelligent and honest person would have advised Perry to do, he might have preserved some shred of dignity. Instead, his consultants and strategists — knowing that Perry’s still got a few million bucks left in his campaign account — told him, “No, no, Boss! Don’t quit now! You can win this thing. Trust us.”

And so they’ll spend it all in South Carolina, continuing to pay fees, salaries and commissions to the cronies they’ve hired, and when all is said and done, they will have accomplished nothing but to turn Perry into one of the biggest laughingstocks in American political history, rivaled only by Jon Huntsman. Any politician who hires John Weaver to run their campaign deserves whatever catastrophic embarrassment subsequently befalls them.

The quality of hired help in the GOP has never been really good, and the people who donate money to Republicans ought to start making lists of operatives who hire on to disasters like the Perry and Huntsman campaigns. If any future camapign starts putting those incompetent clowns on its payroll, you’ll know not to give them a dime.

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  • Leslie Eastman
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  • Adjoran

    Have a tissue, Frances.

  • richard mcenroe

    Mitt will not get elected:

    Coming soon to an employer near you: LIQUIDATOR 2 

  • Teri

    298 days until the beltway elitist Republicans get their butt kicked by Obama for putting up the same old thing for us to vote for.  If this is the year the Republican party bites the dust, so be it.  The election is lost already.  I’m re-registering as a conservative. 

  • AngelaTC

    But the thing is this: the Republicans like to nominate people who have been on the ballot before.  Staying in the race gives him that edge in 2016, and he won’t have to run an incumbent. 

  • David West

    I agree, and add my own perspective at

  • smitty

    And Mitt will give yet another boffo concession speech! Yay, seppuku!

  • ThePaganTemple

    So why the hell are we putting up with it? I say whoever is the conservative that does the best in SC, we should all get behind him. Yes, that means Newt, but not Ron Paul. If Newt or Santorum, or for that matter Perry was the only conservative in the race, how could Mitt possibly win? Let Huntsman stay in and take two or three percent of the vote from him, maybe more.

  • Anonymous
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  • Tennwriter

    Off topic, but Dan Riehl is doing stellar work providing a fresh angle on the Bain issue, and ripping massive holes in His Anointedness, Republican Version.

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  • Pathfinder’s wife

    I have often wondered whether or not some of the GOP consultants weren’t the real Manchurian canidates…
    Nonetheless, if Perry isn’t careful he’s likely to lose TX (the Dems will probably move in for the kill if he bloodies himself further in these primaries).

    But the Democrats have their own problems: chiefly the guy in the WH.  He’s turning into a very big problem for them (for multiple reasons — one of which is likely his wife), and he’s managed to really cheese off the Chicago boys (probably not a good idea; that’s one group you probably, really shouldn’t cheese off).
    So take some solace in this: there is also a bit of a civil war going on in their party as well — it just doesn’t get reported on.

  • Anonymous

    The GOP is dead! Long live the GOP!

  • Charles

    I think AngelaTC means Rick Perry.

  • Charles

    Why not Ron Paul? If Mitt Romney lost a few primaries to Ron Paul the establishment would have to give Mitt the hook. It’s just a failure of the imagination.

  • Dan

    Yes, he is!

    That dude has gone way, way up in my estimation.

  • Drek

    The thing is, there’s an ambush ahead, we all know it’s up ahead, we all know if we continue walking down this dirtworn path we’ll get blown up.

    But the GOP elite INSIST that we walk down this path and no other.

    It reminds me of the White House during the LBJ years insisting that our Fighter/bombers approach their targets in North Vietnam along certain prescribed routes, AND NO OTHER ROUTES were allowed.

    The White House reviewed flight logs and other evidence to make sure that our guys were flying the same exact routes.

    And of course the NVA knew it, adjusted accordingly and were awaiting our pilots with the toughest air defenses in the world at the time.

    God only knows how many fine American men were killed in the process.

    This country is slowly but surely moving down the path towards domestic strife.

  • Pathfinder’s wife

    Then maybe it’s time to quit supporting the GOP (and its elite)? 
    Don’t worry, I’ve made the same arguement to disillusioned Democrats.  When the party has essentially quit you, then time to quit the party.

  • richard mcenroe

    Time and Past Time.  We owe the GOP what it thinks it owes us.

  • Quartermaster

    I would have expected you to support a fellow booger eater.

  • Quartermaster

    “We’re Probably Not the Worst Political Party in America”
    But the GOP is an evil party because it is so stupid. It’s also possible that they are intentionally putting up people like Dole, McCain, and Romney because whether they win or lose, the establishment will still win. It ain’t gonna affect what they get much.

  • ThePaganTemple

    I’m seriously starting to think about it, but I need some time to adjust. Is it true that if you close your eyes and with a little bit of hot sauce they go down kind of like oysters?

  • CO

    Mitt is Mitt
    Newt is a Progressive Technocrat
    Rick S. is a company (GOP) man.
    Ron is Ron
    Perry is a Conservative

    I don’t understand how folks have a dilemma.
    Oh, yeah, Perry blew some of his lines.  He blew
    some lines in Texas but it’s up and running better
    than any other.

    And as far as Huntsman saying Utah was number
    one.  Well, that’s not hard to do when your state
    doesn’t have the population of Waco.

  • Anonymous

    Perry is done in politics.  He will finish out his term in Texas and then cash in on those sweet, sweet, crony kickbacks.

  • The Wondering Jew

    Why would anyone give money to the Republican Party when they could hit the tip jar here instead?

  • Anonymous

    “If this is the year the Republican party country bites the dust, so be it. ”

    I’ve only been saying this since roughly Nov 2000. The Copperhead shenanigans with the selective vote counting in FL were a wakeup call. Watching the Disloyal Opposition after 9/11 only confirmed it. It’s time to clean house again. “A house divided against itself cannot stand.”

  • Anonymous


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  • johnl

    Don’t hold back. Tell us what you really think.

  • AngelaTC

    I did indeed.

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