I believe in God, and I’m a Christian. I believe in the Second Amendment as the Founders meant it, and that as a law-abiding citizen I’m a member of the “militia” as defined under the US Code Title 10. I love guns; I own guns, including “assault weapons”; I shoot my guns regularly. I’m a veteran. I’m against granting amnesty, under whatever name, to illegal aliens. I think abortion is wrong, and is not solely just “a woman’s right to choose”. I consider myself a member of the Tea Party.
Guilty as charged. Mea culpa.
And because of my views and beliefs, I’ve been castigated and excoriated by Democrats and their fellow socialists in this country for decades. It’s reached the point where if I state my views and I don’t hear insults in return, I have to wonder if I’m actually speaking clearly, or have made some other mistake in communication. Did I garble my sentences? Speak in tongues? Have a “cerebral incident”? What?
My political opponents on the Left have called me a “radical”, a reactionary, a fanatic, a zealot, an “extremist”… and that’s when they’re in a good mood and feeling polite. Early in his first term Commissar Obama’s Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano branded small-government gun-owning veterans who are pro-life (that would be me) “potential terrorists”.
All well and good. The sun is in the sky and things are right with the world.
But wait! What’s that I hear?
Why… the same criticisms coming at me from my other flank! Power players in the Republican Party seem to have gulped the Democrat Kool-Aid and decided that we people who believe in these principles actually are part of the political “fringe”! Hold on a sec… aren’t these the exact same principles the GOP claims to represent?
Well, according to Karl Rove, among others in the Establishment GOP, apparently not. It seems that actual principles are okay, as long as they don’t interfere with just winning elections, and those who actually believe that elections are about advancing actual principles really are members of the extremist “fringe”, an inconvenient group that must be ignored if not outright shunned.We saw it in practice after the 2010 election, when new House Speaker John Boehner completely marginalized the Tea Party-backed conservatives who were newly elected to their seats in the House, giving the GOP the majority status there. “Thank you, now go sit in the corner and shut up” was the message then.
Rove and his cohorts have formalized that message with the formation of a couple of PACs (Link) whose goal will be to influence elections, starting with the primary process, with the aim of having “the most electable” candidates win. The problem is, of course, what their definition of “electable” means.
Rove and the others are the same people who backed Bush’s two attempts at amnesty for illegal aliens; who backed Bush’s TARP and “bailout”, as well as his expansion of Medicare; who are now talking about “sensible, common sense” gun control; who supported Charlie Crist (who later defected to the Democrats) over Marco Rubio; who backed Arlen Specter (who also later defected to the Dems) over Toomey; and who constantly and reliably disparage the Tea Party and other traditionally conservative factions of the electorate.
In other words, these are the self-anointed geniuses who regularly spit in the eyes of what would reasonably be considered their “base” – the very voters they actually need in order to win – and then turn around and scratch their heads and wonder why they end up losing elections, especially at the national level.
One of Rove’s group’s goals is to “… protect Senate incumbents from challenges by far-right conservatives and Tea Party enthusiasts who Republican leaders worry could complicate the party’s efforts to win control of the Senate.” In other words, party uber alles, principles be damned.
But what does that really mean? Abandoning core principles the GOP has traditionally claimed to represent, in the hopes of stealing some of the Democrats’ reliable base? Then what’s the point, if all they want to be is a modified form of Democrat, the Dem-Lite Party? Why would anyone vote for them at all? And why are they intent – whether by design or not – on redefining the political spectrum leftward? And how did the Tea Party – whose main issues are fiscal prudence and limited power in government – become defined as “far right”? Isn’t that a fundamental principle, and “centrist” by definition?
Rove, Boehner, and the rest of the Establishment GOP hacks are exactly the reason why in 2008, when the GOP nominated that idiot McCain, I quit my GOP registration of almost 40 years and re-registered as an Independent. I’d had a bellyful of that party of clowns who didn’t care one bit about principles. Their entire raison d’être is simply to “win” elections, though they’ve completely lost any sense of purpose as to WHY that win could actually be important as anything other than a simple power grab.
A complete disconnect from any sense of real purpose or underlying ideology or philosophy, coupled with an uncanny ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, all wrapped in a cloak of sanctimony and hypocrisy.
© Brian Baker 2013