The Other McCain

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

Vichy GOP Irritates Dan Riehl. Unwise.

Posted on | November 4, 2013 | 74 Comments

by Smitty

Over at Breitbart, “Did the NRSC’s Josh Holmes Just Cost Mitch McConnell His Primary?

Sorry, Mitch. I honestly had considered using my little platform here to try and encourage friends and fans to give you a pass, while shifting more time and money over to taking out Landrieu in LA. Thanks to your hand-picked would-be henchman at the NRSC, Holmes, that’s now an impossible position for me to take and defend. If the many phone calls I’ve had both to and from other activists in the last two days are any indication, all Holmes did was energize and incentivize the very movement against you, which you so shortsightedly dispatched him to the NRSC to try and quash.

Sending Josh Holmes to the NYT to pronounce a fatwah against associates of the Senate Conservatives Fund helps to pull the Tea Party/GOP struggle into focus.

I myself had been a part of the Silent Majority for years, and only got dragged into blogging after seeing the Google Reader touted on Slashdot, picking up Instapundit as subscription, who linked a certain Revanchist, Seditious Madman, who apparently liked my gags enough to rope me in. That was a couple of centuries back, in internet years.

Still longer ago, I had voted for Ross Perot in 1992. Still don’t regret it. At all. So the social media/blogging scene was exciting, and CPAC a rush when I attended in 2009, and got into blogging proper. Blogging a substantial number of big events on the Mall in DC (even having a hand in Hating Breitbart) was cool. I’ll look to tell my son, as we huddle about the fire for warmth, that I did try to avert the disaster. Because despite a wave election in 2010, the GOP has proven about as effective as a modern feminist in the Duggar family’s neighborhood. We saw no major event activity in 2011. I figured it was a breather from the pace of the previous year, and a gathering of steam for 2012.

After watching the lengthy series of 2012 GOP debates, which could have refined the conservative message and articulated an alternative to the course of Holy Progress currently destroying our economy, we watched the GOP nominate a milquetoast with a deep commitment to offering a spirited, principled near-victory. Which genuinely nice guy is currently endorsing Chris Christie (a sop for Double Down(?)), while Chuck Schumer has endorsed Hillary. Whiskey Tango Foxtrot, over? Has the DNC already delivered the 2016 concession speech to the Vichy GOP HQ there in Suckville, OH?

As Riehl notes in the quoted Breitbart posting, it’s getting really hard to defend the GOP. I’ve always fallen within the camp that says that reforming the GOP from within, returning it to its anti-establishment roots, has the highest probability of success. There are plenty of other fringe parties afoot in the U.S.; adding a Tea Party to those ranks will succeed in widening the fringe, while simultaneously making the Democrat’s mopping-up operations easier.

And that position’s irrefutable, as we watch the elected Tea Party reformers like Cruz, Paul, Lee in the Senate do two things (1) inspire the base, and (2) receive fatwahs from the elite. One watches the debacle of the shutdown/debt ceiling fight and stands puzzled as to how how these ancient buzzards swear that oath jazz about defending the Constitution as easily as eating pizza, without their tongues shattering in their grizzled gourds.

Let’s step back and address this: a century after Wilson, our Constitution is substantially collapsed. Progress’s job of providing cover for scuttling the Enlightenment and restoring aristocracy is mostly complete. The Vichy GOP seem more interested in protecting the shadowy status quo than the document which they swear to support at the start of a Congress. It is as though the GOP has quaffed the Progressive kool-aid, and really supports some super-Constitutional Great Truth:

There are petty lies and there are Great Truths. It’s ok to tell a lie to advance a great cause. A sign of nobility even. It’s ok to lie about sex, prior membership in the Communist party, and the deficits of the ACA. A too scrupulous regard for truth in these matters just reveals how petty and heartless the questioner is.

I think an idea such as a super-Constitutional Great Truth may be far-fetched. It would be truly a lie from the pit if it existed. Yet a theory of such does have a great deal of explanatory power for why the GOP refuses to capitalize on opportunities to limit federal government overreach in any useful way.

And so we find ourselves waking up in a country in Anno Baracki 5 that purports not to have an aristocracy, goes through seemingly endless, dirty rituals on a biennial basis to hold elections, and yet mostly retains the same louts in office.

This is the challenge of the Information Age and social media: to redistribute power, not wealth. To view coldly the events of the last century from a political vantage, good and bad, and confess “Yes, they were mostly bad.” To commit to ideas like Levin’s Liberty Amendments and get back to the kind of Republic that Franklin hoped we would keep. To convince the old warhorses like McConnell that they had better not tread on us. Ultimately, to


74 Responses to “Vichy GOP Irritates Dan Riehl. Unwise.”

  1. Dai Alanye
    November 4th, 2013 @ 8:36 pm

    Dear self-appointed arbiter of the destinies of commenters:

    I don’t read Mother Jones but, Sarah Palin-wise, I do read plenty else, and consider myself capable of distinguishing between professing conservatives and professional ones. I long ago came to the conclusion that the Huckster is on “our” side only with regard to his respect for Christianity, and otherwise is a politician of weak principles who would, should he ever reach Washington, quickly grow in office.

    As to your judgment re the RINO designation, such handles are useful even if the wise conservative voter recognizes that a good RINO is often to be preferred to a Dem.

    The battle for the conservative cause has been active since at least the time of Bob Taft’s struggle against what was then called the Eastern Establishment. For all I know it might have been going on since Harding and Coolidge. It’s a cause worth fighting for, and having a label for the weak sisters of Republicanism is not merely useful but probably necessary.

    I’ve been at the political game for a considerable time, usually in lost causes for conservatives in the primaries. After much experience I feel able to declare that a significant cause of Republican electoral weakness is the acceptance of the go-along/get-along candidate who is sure to be elected with the help of those nice independent voters.

  2. Art Deco
    November 4th, 2013 @ 8:55 pm

    You do not agree with him on issue x, y, and z and the man is an old bachelor. Other than that last, there is not much about him which suggests homosexuality – not his mannerisms, not his occupational choice, not his residences over the years. Is it really necessary to impugn his morals and dignity this way?

  3. BobBelvedere
    November 4th, 2013 @ 9:00 pm

    RT @thatMrGguy: Vichy GOP Irritates Dan Riehl. Unwise.

  4. Mike G.
    November 4th, 2013 @ 9:13 pm

    The rumor has been circulating around for years, ergo the moniker. If indeed Graham is of the homosexual bent, he keeps it well hidden because he knows if it got out, he would be toast in South Carolina.

    (Not because he (is) gay, if in fact he is, but because he was dishonest and tried to hide it.)

    I’m not a homophobe…I would have gladly voted for Bruce Carroll if he had decided to run.

  5. JBinRC
    November 4th, 2013 @ 9:45 pm

    Vichy GOP Irritates Dan Riehl. Unwise. : The Other McCain via @rsmccain

  6. Adobe_Walls
    November 4th, 2013 @ 10:12 pm

    As long as Squishy Republicans continue to get re-elected new Squishy Republicans will get elected (Rubio). Before his defenders jump on this consider how he will vote after He realizes he’ll never be president.

  7. Quartermaster
    November 4th, 2013 @ 10:30 pm

    You can carry as much as you like on this, but at every step you show how little you understand the problem. We are beset on two sides, the Dimocraps, that I expect to act as they do, and by the establishment who is looking to stab us int eh back if it is in their interest to do so. The men I list are just a sample of the traitors in out midst that MUST be purged. We also need to go after those vulnerable on the other side, but we can’t break down on any of our enemies, even when they try to bear the same political label we do.

    And, NO, if they betray us, they are no different then the Dimocraps. You may want to claim otherwise, but then there is no reason to take you seriously.

  8. Quartermaster
    November 4th, 2013 @ 10:33 pm

    He is senior enough that the only way to get him out of leadership is to get him out of the senate. It is past time Vichy Republicans like McConnell, McCain, Graham, Alexander and others were sent home to stay. They claim to be conservative, and even show off scores from various organizations, but they betray us on highly important things such Zer0care and immigration. Sorry, but a traitor is a Dimocrap and they need to be marked as such and denied any support from conservatives because they ain’t one of us.

  9. Quartermaster
    November 4th, 2013 @ 10:40 pm

    Also Sprach Adjoran ex cathedra.

  10. Art Deco
    November 4th, 2013 @ 11:38 pm

    1. You don’t answer my question.

    2. Your telling me he has some sort of obligation to make a public point of his homosexuality if that’s his problem.

  11. Adjoran
    November 5th, 2013 @ 3:34 am

    Cash has his own money, he hasn’t raised any that I know of, or if he has he is in violation of federal election law requiring disclosure.

    If you think any of the challengers is going to cause Graham any worry, you can think what you want – but you are wrong.
    I wouldn’t mind seeing Cash or Mace in the seat, but I’m realistic enough to realize that snowballs have better chances in Obama’s future home than they have of beating Graham.

  12. Adjoran
    November 5th, 2013 @ 3:39 am

    I apologize if I ever gave the impression that I care a rat’s patootie about what you think.

  13. scarymatt
    November 5th, 2013 @ 7:34 am

    It’s like you’re not even reading what I wrote.

  14. SDN
    November 5th, 2013 @ 9:03 am

    Gov. Huckabee (who tends to be regarded with disrespect by establishment Republicans and TEA partiers alike).

    That would be because Huckabee is a theocrat who loves Big Government as much as any Copperhead as long as their guns are aimed at citizens he disapproves of.

  15. SDN
    November 5th, 2013 @ 9:05 am

    That would be because you Establicans think of party loyalty as a one way street, an obligation that falls only on the serfs and never on you (see Mike Castle, Lisa Murkowski, et al).

  16. Art Deco
    November 5th, 2013 @ 10:59 am

    Rubio is not ‘squishy’. He just lied (or he is a cat’s paw of his chief of staff and readily snookered by creatures like upChuck Schumer).

  17. Art Deco
    November 5th, 2013 @ 11:01 am

    That’s bizarre.

    Take your meds.

  18. Adobe_Walls
    November 5th, 2013 @ 3:59 pm

    He supported amnesty because he thought it was the “politic” thing to do, this is indicative of a lack of principles and means he will never be president. Once he realizes that his true character will arise.

  19. scarymatt
    November 5th, 2013 @ 4:13 pm

    When did we start requiring the President to have principles?

  20. Eric Ashley
    November 5th, 2013 @ 6:40 pm

    Unfortunately, there are a lot of, or at least a lot of loud folk, who think that way. It could not be that Libertarians are bigots, could it?

  21. Eric Ashley
    November 5th, 2013 @ 6:43 pm

    And President McCain and President Romney agree 100% with you.
    More seriously, Adjoran, we, the Conservatives win, or we’re all doomed. So, be happy as you ride that flaming gas truck over the cliff, you have control of the steering wheel….

  22. Eric Ashley
    November 5th, 2013 @ 6:45 pm

    And that’s part of why I voted for the Constitution Party last time.

  23. Adobe_Walls
    November 5th, 2013 @ 8:04 pm

    Not that most have met requirement but we thought it’s been required since 1789

  24. JRose1965
    November 6th, 2013 @ 8:49 am

    Vichy GOP Irritates Dan Riehl. Unwise.