The Other McCain

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

Could InstaVision Invite Reince Priebus On For A Chat?

Posted on | November 11, 2012 | 19 Comments

by Smitty

Dear Instapundit,

You’ve got the audience to pull the guy in. I (and perhaps other Tea Party types, I suspect) should really appreciate some re-assurance on the value of continued support of the GOP.

If the last five or so years of paying close attention to politics, and actually getting involved in supporting my local Republican Committee, the gnarly truth that politics is a hard slog has come home. Those who are quick to scream for heads on silver chargers, somehow, are not out there themselves making it happen. So the inent here is not to join the critical chorus. Here are some questions:

  1. Looking to 2014, and 2016, what fully legal aspects of the Democrat ground game does the GOP intend to incorporate?
  2. Are Tea Partiers too strident? Does it make sense to walk back the intensity on some of the rhetoric, in order actually to win elections?
  3. Could Tea Parties get assurance that there is not an unspoken Progressive Wisdom at senior levels?  That is, an understanding whereby Ruling Class, in its Democrat and Republican forms, holds the country on its current course, despite the occasional howls from the people?
  4. The Tea Party effort is acquiring a 1992 Ross Perot feel, as though it was cool to have some spontaneous grass-roots action, to spice things up in 2010. But by 2012, those zany ‘Cousin Eddie’ Tea Partiers, and the Representatives they helped get elected, sure were stinkin’ up the joint, and, arguably, didn’t get as much support as one might have liked.
  5. Are the various New Media activities like blogging, grassroots activism, and doing campaign gruntwork really maximizing the value of Tea Party efforts? That is, can we get more feedback than “Hey, thanks.”? What’s the Tea Party grade on 2012? Did the Tea Party wind up harming rather than helping? Seriously; we’re adults, and a lot’s at stake. Are we fighting for causes that are simply ‘lost’, from the vantage of Those Calling The Shots?
  6. Should SoCons veer a bit toward Ron Paul’s libertarian example on social/reproductive issues? Is the effort to impart values through legislation, instead of through personal relationships, costing elections?
  7. Can the RNC Chair attend CPAC, and spend a little time in the Blogger Lounge, and offer some unfiltered feedback on just what the deal is?

To belabor the point, the idea here isn’t to look back, or demand scalps. The Christmas Vacation reference is not meant to insult anyone, but rather to indicate taking the subject matter seriously, and the self, not so much. And yes, I’m a Social Conservative, clinging joyously to such notions as:

  • form follows function with respect to the midsection,
  • the meaning of marriage is invariant in the eyes of the Almighty, and impervious to foolishness under the sun, and
  • if you peg the beginning of life to some moment after conception, it’s likely a precursor to a murderous sophistry.

Having said all that, if the Maniacs want an altar to Baal, where they alternate between debasing themselves and butchering their children, well, better one state than losing the whole country, say I. You can build the 14th Amendment case that the unborn should be protected federally. But also note that the inflexibility is losing elections, and that some hypothetical ‘net sin’ figure may be driven upward by an absolutist view. Howl away at me.


19 Responses to “Could InstaVision Invite Reince Priebus On For A Chat?”

  1. ThomasD
    November 11th, 2012 @ 8:54 am

    I can find nothing to howl about. Well said.

    That so many of these questions lack readily apparent answers says the ‘leadership’ is nothing of the sort, while also far remote from the base.

    A stroll through the right side of the internet over the last year told anyone sentient two things – the Republicans were not using the media to their advantage, but instead were being played every step of the way; and that this election was never about the vaunted swing voter, but instead about the intensity of the base.

    My only question is: Was the Party’s concern over undecideds really nothing more than a grievous inability to sense reality, or – deep down – was really just another in a perpetual line of excuses used to justify ignoring the base again?

    My money is on the latter.

  2. Mike F.
    November 11th, 2012 @ 9:16 am

    Part of the push back to RNC criticism of tea party types should be, Dole-moderate, McCain-moderate, Romney-moderate….how did that work out for us?

  3. Thane_Eichenauer
    November 11th, 2012 @ 10:06 am

    Q3: Could Tea Parties get assurance that there is not an unspoken Progressive Wisdom at senior levels?
    A: Why ask much less listen to the answer to such a question? Actions speak louder than words. Those actions clearly state that bigger government is good.

  4. Blake
    November 11th, 2012 @ 10:18 am

    The GOP will gladly assure the TEA party there’s no progressive wisdom at work, if that’s what the GOP thinks it needs to do to get the base to vote. As soon as the GOP thinks it has the base vote wrapped up, the GOP goes back to business as usual.

  5. Lawrence T. Rupert
    November 11th, 2012 @ 10:21 am

    I’ve been thinking about this a lot on a different level. We need to reshape our party by splitting away liberal voters at a more granular level. For example, we are hearing (incessantly) about Hispanics and immigration law. Catering to such a large demographic will NEVER succeed. But what about subgroups within that larger demographic who may have important values that resonate with tea partier/libertarian conservative? Isn’t it ‘racist’ for us to lump their values into such a large demographic? The same applies to women, African Americans, etc. Sure, the progressives will paint those factions as ‘uncle toms’ or the like, but with numbers there is strength

  6. Mike Rogers
    November 11th, 2012 @ 11:04 am

    We need to be really strong on the constitution and fiscal responsibility, combined with pushing all welfare and social experimentation to the states. Want to live somewhere with good morals and ethics, do so, want abortion on demand for your transgendered “husband”, move to Gomorrah on the Pacific.
    Conservatives should decriminalize everything except treason and counterfeiting at the Federal level. Crime and punishment is a matter for the sovereign states.

  7. Mike Rogers
    November 11th, 2012 @ 11:07 am

    I had figured Reince Priebus for one of the good guys. Let us ask him (and Mitt) whether they actually spent every penny on winning, whether the teams of lawyers were actually on standby, and if they are now willing to challenge statistically improbable results?

  8. Adjoran
    November 11th, 2012 @ 4:00 pm

    As soon as I hear we “need to move more to the libertarian position on social issues” my Spidey-sense starts to tingle. Probably at least half of the GOP base is unswervingly pro-life. Gary Johnson just almost tied Ed Clark’s all time LP record for vote share by drawing just a hair under 1%. No other LP candidate, including the esteemed cult figure Dr. Paul, has ever cracked 0.5%.

    So, sure, by all means, let’s alienate and drive off over 25% of the national vote to attract the 1%. Great plan.

    The Tea Party fizzled because most of them were turned off by the reviling of the movement by the media and left. Sure, many of the most dedicated activists persevere, but the rank and file who made up those teeming crowds don’t like being demonized – especially when the movement couldn’t deliver on its candidates. They got tired of their kids asking, “Daddy, whats a teabagger?”

  9. Adjoran
    November 11th, 2012 @ 4:01 pm

    Under what law do you challenge “statistically improbable results”?

  10. Bob Belvedere
    November 11th, 2012 @ 5:27 pm


  11. Mike Rogers
    November 11th, 2012 @ 6:51 pm

    Clearly it requires detective work to determine if improbable = fraudulent. It means money and legwork.
    Their money and resources would be most welcome to the impecunious activists who are commencing study of the registrations and vote tallies now.
    Sent from my Verizon Wireless 4G LTE DROID

  12. Quartermaster
    November 11th, 2012 @ 8:20 pm

    That reviling was encouraged by the GOP establishment. OTOH, if they don’t like being reviled, then they will never win against the left because that’s all the left has.

  13. Quartermaster
    November 11th, 2012 @ 8:22 pm

    No FedGov agency should be allowed any jurisdiction off of FedGov land. Period. The only exception is the Border Patrol, and they should be a paramilitary organization. The rest are pretty much criminal conspiracies in their own right.

  14. crosspatch
    November 11th, 2012 @ 10:10 pm

    Here is what we need to do, in my honest opinion:

    We need to recognize that the USA has very different regional culture. What will sell well in Oklahoma isn’t gong to sell in Connecticut. We need to stop trying to sell Oklahoma to Connecticut.

    We need to “federalize” the GOP. We need to find a common set of positions that ALL the GOP candidates from all regions can support. Things such as fiscal responsibility, smaller federal government, shifting more responsibility to states and allowing them to solve their own problems in their own ways and possibly assisting with block grants but dismantling a lot of the bureaucracy, strong defense, immigration policy that makes sense, etc.

    What makes federal politics so divisive is that people with both conservative and liberal points of view fear the other side is going to shove their social values down the throat of the entire country from Washington DC. That wasn’t the intention of the federal government. Let those social issues be worked out at the state capitals, not the national capital.

    I believe that if we did that, a lot more people would feel comfortable crossing over and voting for a GOP candidate. No worries about someone taking away your birth control or telling you who can can or can not marry from Washington DC. Let the states sort it out and frankly, people can vote with their feet. Everyone should be able to find SOME place in this country that aligns with their cultural values. We do not need to force a monolithic social value system using the government on the entire country.

    When a candidate for a national office is asked their position on abortion in case of rape, they should reply that they are seeking a federal office and that is a question for the politicians running for state office … end of story. And Republicans across the nation should be fine with that.

    This would be, in my opinion, the federal government getting back to first principles of the founders. The federal government isn’t here to rule the people. It is here to defend the various states and provide for a healthy environment for commerce. Get these issues out of federal politics and then the question becomes a role of government issue. Republicans should be for smaller government and fiscal responsibility. If a state wants to run a socialist welfare state, fine, it can, and it can do so without walking the entire nation off the cliff.

  15. Lawrence T. Rupert
    November 11th, 2012 @ 10:22 pm


  16. crosspatch
    November 11th, 2012 @ 10:51 pm

    No, we don’t need to be more libertarian on social issues. If you have a socially conservative state like maybe Kansas or Oklahoma, you can be a conservative if you want. Be all fired up conservative. But when running for FEDERAL office you campaign on role of the federal government issues because people in Maryland or Massachusetts aren’t going to want to hear that stuff and no amount of campaigning is going to change the community values they were brought up with. Those are things that run deep in people and isn’t something you are going to sell them, one way or the other, with a TV commercial or a speech.

    Responsible government, on the other hand WILL sell to people of every cultural variety in this country.

  17. John Scotus
    November 11th, 2012 @ 10:55 pm

    As a tactic to win something on the pro-life issue, federalism might have been an option before this election. However, with the election this is foreclosed to us for the foreseeable future. It may be another twenty years before we could hope to have the votes on the Supreme Court, and it is doubtful that a constitutional amendment would pass.

    We are left then, with persuasion, rather than the ability to pass laws.

    As a principle, saying–as Ron Paul did–that abortion must be a state issue is repugnant. It exactly parallels the position many people had before the Civil War regarding slavery, and is a repudiation of everything the GOP was built on. If abortion is murder, then to say that there is no federal interest in it is simply wrong-headed.

  18. b.
    November 12th, 2012 @ 1:11 pm

    Should SoCons veer a bit toward Ron Paul’s libertarian example on social/reproductive issues? Is the effort to impart values through legislation, instead of through personal relationships, costing elections?

    Just a note that

    when gays marry, textbooks in every subject at every grade level in all public schools will have to be rewritten to include literary selections and word problems and photos predicated on the equality of families with same-sex parents. Motherless families, fatherless families.

    And it will be just like the current quota for race, gender, class, disability, age.

    This will be a lot different than other values parents impart through personal relationships… an example I like to give is,

    suppose you think gambling is right or is wrong. You can teach your own children to think gambling is right or is wrong. You can be sure that gambling just doesn’t come up in any context in the public schools.

    Not so with same-sex marriage.

  19. » There’s that Tenth Amendment again
    November 12th, 2012 @ 6:22 pm

    […] This post at The Other McCain drew a comment from “crosspatch” on how to keep the Republicans from screwing up so badly next time: We need to recognize that the USA has very different regional culture. What will sell well in Oklahoma isn’t going to sell in Connecticut. We need to stop trying to sell Oklahoma to Connecticut. […]