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    Our tent

    Our tent

    The Tea Party movement has been pronounced dead more times than one can count.

    Vilifying and demonizing that great unwashed semi-libertarian freedom movement has been an almost full-time focus of the mainstream media and left blogosphere; in a sign of national unity, Republicans have held the left’s hand when it comes to the Tea Party movement.

    So it’s no surprise that the Tea Party movement’s negatives have risen.

    But a funny thing happened on the way to the hatefest visited on the Tea Party movement over the past four years.

    The Tea Party movement has driven the national dialogue since 2009 over issues of national debt and deficits, taxes and entitlements, government control versus individual freedom.

    Would you like a drone with your Obamacare?

    That dialogue could not stop Obama’s reelection for a variety of reasons many of which were peculiar to the Obama phenomenon and the nature of the Republican primary system, but even Obama is talking (only talking) about the issues the Tea Party has driven to the forefront.

    Also listen to Karl Rove (the new shiny object of hate glimmering in the eye of the conservative movement at the moment) and Bill Kristol (frequently cited as part of the problematic Republican establishment) in recent interviews:

    The question normally is phrased as to whether the Tea Party movement should have a place under someone else’s tent.

    Pop quiz —

    Whose tent is it now?

    You just didn’t realize it.

    Keep on keeping on.

    And in my humble opinion, our tent should be big enough for Karl Rove and Bill Kristol, and Democrats who share our concerns. But more on that later.


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    snopercod | February 7, 2013 at 10:06 am

    Jeffrey Lord at The Spectator just published the definitive takedown of Rove and his gang in Karl Rove and the Cotton Conservatives. First, a little historical background: The Whig party of it’s day supposedly opposed slavery, but whenever a Whig president was elected, he would “compromise” with the pro-slavery Democrats. After this had gone on for decades, the Whig party split into “Conscience Whigs” who opposed slavery on constitutional and moral grounds, and “Cotton Whigs” who were willing to compromise their alleged principles and vote for slavery when it was expedient. The Whig party died – Millard Fillmore was the last Whig president – and a new party – the Republican Party led by Abraham Lincoln – took it’s place. Note that Lincoln actually did what the Whigs only advocated.

    Lord makes the case that Big Government is the slavery issue of the day and the modern Republican party has split into the Rove faction which gives only lip service to limited government, and the Tea Party faction that really means it.

    “Just as the heated charge arose from Conscience Whigs back in the late 1840s and 1850s that in some fashion slavery and its extension were acceptable to Cotton Whigs — so today do modern Conscience Conservatives suggest Cotton Conservatives really believe in Big Government. That their goal is to simply manage Big Government better than the other guy — while not really opposing Big Government at all. Merely tinkering at its edges. Barry Goldwater used to call this sort of thing the “dime store New Deal” approach.”

    Lord goes on to use Rove’s “No Child Left Behind” as an example:

    “In a microcosm, Rove’s tale of No Child Left Behind is precisely how Americans now find themselves almost $17 trillion in debt, headed down the road to Greece. There are very few areas of the massive federal leviathan that did not begin with some version of Rove’s tale: President X wanted to use the federal government to do Y. It was a wonderful cause, or even a lousy political cause. But whatever the original reason President X got his way and Y program…decades later…is still there. Now deemed essential. Untouchable. And oh so woefully underfunded.

    The question is obvious. What kind of “conservative victory” is that?”

    We keep hearing the republican insiders like Rove tell is it’s raining but they’re just peeing down our backs. Rove and his gang will fail.

      OldNuc in reply to snopercod. | February 7, 2013 at 11:39 am

      That is a pretty good summary of where we are at today. Lots of fine grain examinations and the big picture is being missed. As long as the Rovians keep selling out then they are just another type of big government control progressive and that defines them as the enemy.

    “And in my humble opinion, our tent should be big enough for Karl Rove and Bill Kristol, and Democrats who share our concerns.”

    I don’t see it happening — not until some kind of greater political bloodletting takes place. This a time of war. Karl Rove is certainly at war — in that uniquely elitist passive-aggressive but no less vicious and determined way of waging it — with the insurrectionist grassroots conservative (and libertarian) energies embodied at least in part by the Tea Party. War. They want the existential annihilation of the Tea Party. That’s just the reality (as David Bossie explained so well on Breitbart yesterday). Karl Rove and others cannot, will not, reconcile themselves to the power or prerogative of the Tea Party movement. At least not until that movement demonstrates its power to put them in their place. The movement isn’t going away, and won’t compromise on core points of principle. If the Republicans succeed in nominating another Establishmentarian like Romney in 2016 who shuns bold reformist solutions, is unable or unwilling to call out the unConstitutional nature of the Left and appears vaguely ashamed or embarrassed by conservatism, this candidate will win even fewer votes than Romney did. The tent will shrink.

    The best hope of the Republican Party is to accept more of the libertarian spirit and to fullthroatedly take up the cause of political reformism, that is, challenge the corruption, cronyism and unConstitutional erosions — and collusions with the anti-freedom Left — brought on by the Establishment GOP. Such an argument can easily be allied with the effort to find common ground with and even inspire moderate democrats, minorities and those blocs of voters which would expand the Republican Party into an unstoppable force for exciting reformist and individually-empowering policies. These policies, it can and should be argued, will strengthen the social safety net and advance our societal compassion, fairness and justice.

      Ragspierre in reply to raven. | February 7, 2013 at 1:13 pm

      “If the Republicans succeed in nominating another Establishmentarian like Romney in 2016 who shuns bold reformist solutions, is unable or unwilling to call out the unConstitutional nature of the Left and appears vaguely ashamed or embarrassed by conservatism, this candidate will win even fewer votes than Romney did.”

      This is pure revisionism. It is objectively false.

        raven in reply to Ragspierre. | February 7, 2013 at 2:00 pm

        It can’t be “objectively” false until 2016. For now, it can only be subjectively false.

        But if it was objectively true in 2012 (that is, if the monotonously repeated mainstream republican grievance that irresponsible conservatives did not get out and support Romney even against the horrible Obama was really true) why wouldn’t this prove even more true for another Romney-esque candidate against a less horrible democrat in 2016?

        Here’s what’s “objectively true.” The GOP, as it presently conformed and driven, is dying. Without radical reformation, without integrating more of the libertarisn argument and ethos, without confronting the reaity of the anti-freedom Left, and without exciting people in the idea of self-empowering policies and selling those through a dynamic anti-Establishment candidate, the GOP is dead.

          Ragspierre in reply to raven. | February 7, 2013 at 2:12 pm

          As I suspect you well know, your objectively false statements involved…

          1. eschewing bold reform

          2. failing to defend the Constitution

          3. “apologizing” for conservative positions

          The Romney campaign can be faulted on many truthful grounds…sometimes only according to opinion. You should stick to those.

          It is also objectively true…last I checked…that Romney out-performed McAnus and most senators (if memory serves).

          I think it is accurate to say that Obama’s micro-target strategy won the election, not that Romney lost (although that is a matter of interpretation).

            raven in reply to Ragspierre. | February 7, 2013 at 3:12 pm

            “As I suspect you well know.”

            What a bullsh*t pedantic condescending remark. What I said is what I know.

            Romney was a diffident, risk-averse, non-communicative bomb of a candidate. An uninspiring zilch who missed the biggest opportunity in American history to take on corruption and the Left and revitalize the American spirit at its most serious moment of need in the modern era.

            It was “objectively” clear that he had no interest in or ability to confront Obama and the Left in any way that would have risked indigestion in the MSM. In a campaign that cried for a challenge to the MSM – and given the blueprint and moral support provided by Andrew Breitbart and other actual heroic and serious fighters – Romney sh*t the bed in about as complete and abject a way as was possible. His campaign was fundamentally deluded and fearful and preordained to fail. The delusion and fearfulness — the deep anxiety about offending the Left and media — is hardwired deep in the GOP mentality and it was beautifully embodied by Romney.

            He DID NOT propose bold reforms. Nothing that would have siezed America’s attention and shaken up the politics-as-usual edifice of corruption and craziness that is our government and our American existence. Slash EPA? Dissolve the Dept. of Education and return all educational policy to states? Eliminate the IRS by end of first term? A demand for total transparency in government and CSPAN broadcast of all hearings? No more MSM-sponsored debates? No more exemptions for politicians from the laws they pass? The list of lost opportunities was endless. The boldest of all would have been an assault on crony-capitalism, something which would have united and inspired huge swaths of tea partiers and democrats and libertarians. But he never uttered the term. Palin road-tested the issue and it was his for the taking. Fail.

            And I didn’t say he failed to defend the Constitution. I said he failed to attack the Left for its unconstitutional actions.

            I didn’t say he apologized for conservative positions. I said he appeared ashamed by conservatism. He has his whole life.

            You don’t read carefully or don’t want to.

            Romney lost. This is not a “matter of interpretation.” That’s what “objective” means.

            If we can’t beat an Obama, we’re pathetic. We are pathetic. Romney was pathetic. The GOP is pathetic.

            Reform or die.

            Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | February 7, 2013 at 3:26 pm

            Let me be plain.

            You are a liar.

            Romney promised to kill ObamaCare. THAT was BOTH bold reform and constitutional defense.

            Romney proposed devolving regulatory control BACK to states. THAT was BOTH bold reform and constitutional defense.

            Romney proposed reforming the tax code. THAT was BOTH bold reform and constitutional defense.

            Romney proposed releasing the wonder of markets. THAT was BOTH bold reform and constitutional defense.

            Romney…with Ryan…proposed to reform entitlements. THAT was BOTH bold reform and constitutional defense.

            It is one thing to be an unrelenting scooper of crap on those in the arena. It is quite another to simply LIE about what they did.

            raven in reply to Ragspierre. | February 7, 2013 at 3:45 pm

            But am I an “objective” liar? The slur just doesn’t have the same oomph without the modifier.

            Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | February 7, 2013 at 3:59 pm

            Objectively, you cannot refute the plain recitation of Romney/Ryan REFORM positions, or the consonance with both conservative ideology and Constitutional fundamentals.

            Can you?

            Nor was that list exhaustive. You should at least educate yourself.

            Again, the Romney campaign is open to various criticisms. The ones you listed are simply false.

            raven in reply to Ragspierre. | February 7, 2013 at 5:12 pm

            “The ones you listed are simply false.”


            Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | February 7, 2013 at 5:19 pm

            Both objectively and obviously.

            Witness your response.

            punfundit in reply to Ragspierre. | February 7, 2013 at 5:58 pm

            No, no. Romney *claimed* he would do those things. There was nothing in his political history to suggest he would actually attempt to accomplish such once in office.

            Ragspierre in reply to Ragspierre. | February 7, 2013 at 6:48 pm

            No, no. That is

            1. a different analysis

            2. your unsupported opinion

            3. which is, in fact, fallacious

            If I tell you I will do something, what you believe does not mean I never said what I said.

            Does it?

            punfundit in reply to Ragspierre. | February 7, 2013 at 9:02 pm

            Except that Romney’s actual political history does not support his actual stated positions.

    “The Architect ” gets the money because he is of the class that gives the money. It’s not a tent, it’s a trough. We scare the bejesus out of the snouts in the trough crowd because we want to chop the trough into firewood.

    The problem is not if the Tea Party fields better candidates than Rove’s group, but whether or not both groups will provide total support to the victors of the primaries. Rove has a nasty habit of immediately trashing the winner if that person defeated the candidate he was backing. There is no doubt in my mind he was responsible for some of the defeats we’ve experienced in the past couple of elections. It is sickening to watch the Paulbots and Rovers pout like spoiled children, kick and scream and refuse to help those who prevailed.

      breakn70 in reply to gasper. | February 7, 2013 at 12:10 pm

      This lack of post primary support is one of two key issues. It could be argued that conservative support for Romney was lukewarm given the lack of Republican turnout. But that lack of support pales in comparison to the public attacks by Rove and his acolytes on victorious primary candidates like Mourdock, Angle, Akin, and O’Donnell and others. Richard Lugar best epitomizes this behavior. I consider him traitorous. Do we ever hear Democrats attacking their own candidates?

      The other key issue is the primary system. It needs to be closed, immediately. Only Republicans should vote in Republican primaries.

        scfanjl in reply to breakn70. | February 7, 2013 at 1:12 pm

        100% Agree!Our base didn’t show up for Romney, which is no different than Rove bashing candidates he didn’t support in the primary.

        We can fight in the primary but we have got to unite in the general.

        Radegunda in reply to breakn70. | February 7, 2013 at 1:41 pm

        “Do we ever hear Democrats attacking their own candidates?” — Democrats/leftists seem to understand that the top priority is defeating the other side, and that moving the ball just a few millimeters in their direction is better than letting it move the other way because they refused to vote for a candidate who didn’t meet all their criteria.

        Too many conservatives imagine that letting Democrats win somehow “sends a message” that Republican candidates need to be more conservative. No, it doesn’t.

    quiksilverz24 | February 7, 2013 at 11:30 am

    You know the problem with tents? They collapse to easily. See Steven Crowder and the union thugs.

    I’m tired of being in a tent, forced to lump all things together to be “Inclusive.” Kristol needs to STFU. Rove can do the same. I believe what I do, and will find the candidate who will echo my sentiments most closely.

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