The Other McCain

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

2013: A Century Of Progress

Posted on | November 15, 2012 | 41 Comments

by Smitty

Conservatives should plan to mark the century since the inauguration of Woodrow Wilson on 17 January, 1913 with somber reminders of how bad the results of Progressivism have been. The 1910 census marked the end of the House of Representatives growing to represent the people. Thus, it is in danger of being the Lesser Senate. The 17th Amendment, of course, made Senators relatively more loyal to their parties than their States, and has turned the Senate into the Greater House. The Federal Reserve Act has flipped the cart and the horse, as DC borrows from the unborn to bribe the living. Meanwhile, the re-election rate for Congress is north of 95% since all this.

Thus, we have arrived, in the space of a century, at the door of a de facto aristocracy. 8 out of 10 of the richest counties voted for Obama, for all his re-election was substantially a class-warfare play. The rich Left team with the mob and crush the middle, and liberty. Does this explain the decline in voter turnout? While it may significantly be the case that conservatives bore some animus toward Romney for RomneyCare or even his faith, I submit that the larger problem may be the perception that our politics has become a farce dipped in debt:

 

To what extent has the GOP played right along with all this? Substantially, I’d say. While there has been willingness to co-op fiscal conservative energy since Ross Perot in 1992, on through the Tea Parties in 2010, a cynic might say that Tea Partiers were merely a tool to regain power for the GOP. I used to be an apologist for Boehner and the boys, saying that they needed to see some staying power from Tea Partiers, some maturity, some professional commitment to reform. If that’s the case, then the GOP elite really should consider throwing the Tea Parties a bone, because the cynical model seems to have more predictive power. Senator John McCain has been given leave to bleat about Susan Rice as Secretary of State. Why bother? Is the point to spend whatever rounds remain in the magazine on small issues, so that there is nothing left for the coming Commie Supreme Court?

There doesn’t seem to be any soft landing for this. No telling what the Ryan Budget might have done, if implemented. We appear to be on a collision course with the wall. So that bites. The only good news is that we don’t have to spend time planning what to do to reform. We already have our 1787 Constitution. The challenge is locating the will to wrest some power from DC and return it to the people.

  • Expand the House so that it again Represents the people.
  • Return the Senate to being driven by the 57 States.
  • Reform the Federal Reserve, so that we aren’t engaging in taxation without representation against the unborn.

Never in the history of humankind, I’ll venture, has a society been more stared in the face by the answer to its problems, yet not quite seemed to see it. Read and heed Schlichter:

In 1968, the Viet Cong and North Vietnamese Army insurgents rose up against the American and South Vietnamese forces in the Tet Offensive. They were wiped out, yet seven years later they were in control of the country. There are lessons there for us conservatives.
Conservatives, as opposed to the Republicans who partially overlap them on the Venn diagram of American politics, need a strategy. Strategy differs from mere tactics – it is a synchronization of potential ways (think courses of action) and available means (think resources) to achieve a long term end. Tactics are the techniques supporting the strategy. The Tea Party/conservative revolt had effective tactics – rallies, town halls – but the movement’s decentralized nature, with groups springing up around the country, kept it from developing an effective, coherent strategy this year.

The whole thing is important. Should we treat the GOP as guilty until proven innocent in this case? I’m moving in that direction.

Progressivism Delenda Est

Update: linked at The Rio Norte Line

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Comments

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    Yeah, instead of all the constant whining, just leave the GOP and start a new party. Great idea.

  • http://theothermccain.com smitty

    Past the superficialities, I’m raising the question of whether we actually have a two-party system. Empirically, it’s hard to tell.

  • fondatori

    “…a cynic might say that Tea Partiers were merely a tool to regain power for the GOP.”

    Yes, this is true at least partly, in that the GOP elite have tried to co-opt the enthusiasm and some of the policy of the Tea Partiers. On the other hand I have to point out that the GOP elite have actively worked with Dems and the media to de-legitemize many of the Tea Party candidates who either beat GOP establishment candidates or for whatever reason were not perceived as playing ball.

    Lets face it, when the GOP elite decide to portray GOP candidates as crazy and stupid it hurts those candidates, the candidates lose credibility. At the same time the Dems never throw candidates overboard, no matter how crazy, stupid or dishonest they are. Almost as if they realize that Congress and the government as a whole are composed primarily of crazy stupids.

    I don’t see why the GOP needs to actively work against flawed candidates. A Christine O’Donnell or even that Akin guy can be rehabilitated and I don’t see how they are worse than that obvious mediocrity and fraud Liz Warren.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    Great post Smitty!

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    I think you miss the point Adjoran. Whether you start a new party or reform the existing, we are still in the same place. A GOP and Democrat party “All In” with each other.

  • http://evilbloggerlady.blogspot.com/ Evi L. Bloggerlady

    With all due respect to Smitty and RSM, Christine O’Donnell was not ready for prime time. Akin self destructed (and he was not a tea party candidate anyway). All this says is the tea party has to use judgment in picking candidates and it will make mistakes. Learn from them. Many of the tea party candidates have been good. There is an effort by the Dems and lamestream media to vilify the tea party that the GOP establishment seems to vicariously enjoy.

    Lizzy Insurance Wampum Princess Warren is a disgrace.

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  • Quartermaster

    When Buchanan bolted the party he told it like it is. The Dims and Stupid Party are just two wings on the same bird of prey.

  • http://profiles.google.com/donaldsensing Donald Sensing

    I think, though, one’s optimism for the future of the Republican party needs to be tempered by the fact that America is not (as conservatives like to keep saying) a “center-right” nation. In fact, the American people as a whole are very substantially left of center, liberal-progressive and statist.

    See here.

  • http://theothermccain.com smitty

    Maybe the broader point is that talking about the nation ‘as a whole’ just doesn’t tell you much about this many people across this much territory.

  • http://theothermccain.com smitty

    There is a broad well from which to draw jokes these days.

  • http://twitter.com/richard_mcenroe richard mcenroe

    There is no overwhelming national interest in the GOP surviving as the “official” second party of America, anymore than there was for the Whigs to endure when the GOP replaced them. The Whigs did not answer to their base and passed from the national scene; the GOP is doing the same now.

    There is a basic disconnect between the GOP voter and the GOP leadership. The GOP voter wants to act to preserve the country; the GOP leadership wants to act to preserve its dwindling number of incumbencies and the attendant perks.

    This is a scenario that has already played out to its sordid end in CA and the national GOP seems committed to repeating it.

    Oh, and Smitty, if the Congress expands the Republic is doomed, for those new seats will overwhelmingly be in the Gimmistans of the East and West Coast.

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  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    If you truly believe that, how is it missing the point to suggest you start anew?

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    You blame the Federal Reserve Act for deficit spending, and speak to me of “superficialities?”

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    Too many of the “Tea Party” candidates (actually backed by groups claiming to speak for the TP without ever being elected to do so) were not ready for prime time: Joe Miller, Buck, Maese, Angle, etc. And if TP groups hadn’t pushed Steelman into the MO-SEN primary, it wouldn’t have been the three-way race Akin could win with 36%.

    O’Donnell fooled a lot of conservatives because she was an attractive young woman. Happens a lot. But she’s never been anything but a con artist.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    Well, it should be presumed that a larger House would be roughly proportioned as the present one, just with each Rep standing for fewer voters. But it’s a stupid idea that adding hundreds more politicians with $150,000 salaries, full perks, staffs and office expenses, would help in any way. There is just no reason to make that assumption.

  • http://theothermccain.com smitty

    “just no reason”

    Not the last century, the incumbency rate, the argument that people are cashing out because elected officials are too far from their constituents?

  • http://theothermccain.com smitty

    Well, you have to admit that Bernanke has done as good as Congress at job at producing a budget the last three years. But no: my argument is that the Federal Reserve has been an enabler of deficit spending, through Quantitative Easing.

  • Quartermaster

    Adjoran, I really have to wonder if you are completely awake. You seem to lack the ability to connect a few dots. Even my 11 yo grandson was able to understand where Smitty was coming from and he’s autistic.

    The Federal Reserve act is just enabling legislation. Something the FedGov has no authority to legislate on in the first place.

  • Quartermaster

    It’s kinda like saying the US is a Christian Nation. The two problems with that is the US has never been a nation. And, secondly, it ceased to be a Christian nation in the 1840s as the ruling consensus evaporated. Then we got Lincoln, and all his pomp and works, who proceeded to destroy the Republic and found a new one on the ruins of the first. That gave us Teddy Roosevelt, Wilson, FDR, LBJ, Carter, Clinton and, now, Zer0. The last was the product of a post modern population that has turned its back on the founders and what worked.

    Now we have one party masquerading as two, and both stealing us, and our great grandchildren, blind.

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  • http://theothermccain.com smitty

    There is a fine line between a con artist and a competent pol.

  • http://theothermccain.com smitty

    More importantly, the unit of analysis in Christianity is NOT, never was, and is unlikely to become, ‘the nation’.

  • Finrod Felagund

    Smaller elections are much harder to game, and they make mass-market media ads much more impractical.

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  • RichFader

    At this point, I’d sooner (per P. J. O’Rourke and Hunter S. Thompson) see the California legislature screwed by a herd of horny, acid-crazed bull elk than allowed to pick senators. Not that on the evidence of Dianne Feinstein and Barbara Boxer for the last twenty years the voters themselves are any great shakes. I’m just saying never underestimate the ability of politicians to make things worse.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    Well, maybe you and your grandson should sue if “the FedGov has no authority” – the Constitution provides a forum for settling “disputes arising under this Constitution,” doesn’t it?

    There was no prohibition against deficits from ratification. And the validity of the public debt was specifically confirmed by the 14th Amendment, which predates the FedRes Act by more than half a century.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    So you get a bunch of new blood, who instantly become incumbents with the same vested interest in reelection. So what?

    I fail to see how “the last century” argues for more idiots in DC, and I don’t understand what you even mean by “people cashing out” – if you are making an argument, you need to connect the dots better.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    You are correct about media, but it isn’t like there is a lack of money coming in. And smaller elections are not harder to game at all – in fact, the reverse is true. The bigger the electorate, the harder to game the vote.

  • http://wizbangblog.com/ Adjoran

    The problem with whining about the GOP – which has run a more conservative candidate than the Democrats in every single election since 1952 – is that some conservatives have a need to blame someone else for their failures. The fact is we have presented exactly ONE great conservative candidate in 60 years.

    As I posted earlier in response to a related lament from rdbrewer @ Ace (I’ll fix formatting later, sorry for cut & paste):

    670 Every single nominee was elected by the Republican voters in the primaries. If you want more conservative nominees, you must do one or more of the following:

    1. Attract more conservative voters
    2. Recruit better conservative candidates (Santorum, Gingrich, really?)
    3. Sell the rest of the party’s electorate on the conservative candidates

    Whine all you wish like some crazed fringe nutter about the “Establishment forcing X down our throats,” but “they” have done NO SUCH THING. Our primary process is the most democratic in the world – even more democratic than the Democratic Party because the GOP reserves far fewer
    “Super Delegate” seats for party bosses and activists, elected officials, and special interest groups.

    Every candidate starts out even. The problem is that since Reagan (and for the most part before him) the so-called “conservative” candidates have SUCKED A**.

    If your complaint is instead who gets support from big donors, tough. It’s their money, who the hell do you think you are to tell them who to donate to? But Romney in particular built his own donor base until he had the nomination wrapped up, he wasn’t a consensus pick of our big money men like, say, Dubya in 1999/2000. Neither did the others you mention, Bush the Elder, Dole, and McCain, attract the unanimity of the money men early UNTIL they had effectively wrapped up the nomination.

    So, don’t go blaming the Party because “conservative” candidates like Pat Buchanan, Phil Crane, Pete DuPont, Paul Laxalt, David Duke, Steve Forbes, Alan Keyes, Phil Gramm, Bob Dornan, Gary Bauer, Bob Smith, John
    Kasich, Herman Cain, Mike Huckabee, Fred Thompson, Duncan Hunter, Tom Tancredo, Sam Brownback, Rick Santorum, Newt Gingrich, Michelle Bachmann, and Thad McCotter just had no broad appeal in their own party.

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  • http://theothermccain.com smitty

    The crucial point is that you involve more people. The challenge we have is that people increasingly bemoan the gridlock, and don’t participate. More seats & smaller districts could lead to more involvement from groups, e.g. Asians, who have seen almost no elected representation.
    This argument is both (a) sound, and (b) would put the GOP on the forefront of the raaaaace argument.

  • http://theothermccain.com smitty

    Fair enough, but turnovers in State houses _could_ lead to a higher turnover rate in the Senate, which would help.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    Because it’s obvious you’re being sarcastic when you suggest it.

    Should Lincoln and Greeley and Bovay not have left the Whig Party and help create the GOP?

    The Whigs had become like today’s Republicans: too much like the Democrats – a pale imitation of the donkey, they made asses of themselves.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    Constantine The Great might differ with you [written with love :)].

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    How about, you two, reducing the salary and the perks. The lower house in NH may be the example to follow.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    But also, no reform like this of the House will work if you do not, at the same time, void the 17th Amendment.

  • http://thecampofthesaints.org Bob Belvedere

    Correction: Woodie was inaugurated on 04 March 1913.

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