"When faced with a problem you do not understand,
do any part of it you do understand; then look at it again."
~(Robert A. Heinlein - "The Moon is a Harsh Mistress")

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Sunday, February 05, 2012

What IS it with the Republican Party?!!!

- Some quite lethal things actually. I'm going to address two of them here.

Wed, 10 Apr 2013 - Damned near USELESS!!! - See update at end. :(

"Drunks, passed out in public places, are more truly symbolic of the USSR than is the Hammer & Sickle."    ~Robert A. Heinlein, "Inside Intourist" (1960)

He and his wife Virginia had taken a tour of the Soviet Union in 1960 and he was referring to the Russian proclivity to use vodka (often dosing themselves to unconsciousness), to insulate themselves from the absolutely soul-crushing hopelessness of life under that system.

That could be where we're heading.

Only three years into his first term, Barack Obama has already launched us well on the way. Just think of what he could manage with yet another term.

Sadly, many Republicans seem Hell-bent on making that second term all too likely.

Part 1 - The Circular Firing Squad ...
... and our shark-like feeding frenzies when going after Republican candidates with whom we disagree.  All too many of us appear to have no idea of what "Pyrrhic Victory" actually means.

Unfortunately, the Democrats do seem to understand, and consistently do a much better job of uniting behind the eventual winner of their primaries (or in this case, their virtually unopposed candidate).

"When your enemies are destroying themselves, do not interfere!"

I don't know if that saying goes back to Musashi Miyamoto, Sun Tzu, or even cave paintings, but I'd be very surprised if it's not framed on a wall above David Axelrod's desk.

When the campaigns started, I had wanted, so much, Sarah Palin as our candidate. But, that was not to be.

After her, I'd have preferred Rick Perry. But unfortunately, it appears the thing he's best at is governing. While I believed (and still do) that he would make a truly excellent President, there remains that pesky detail of winning the nomination before you get a chance at going for the job itself.

Next up was Newt Gingrich: A fighter, with an idea-a-second mind and the willingness to actually run against the system currently in place.  But he goes all over the map sometimes, following an excellent South Carolina campaign where he focused on issues, with a badly mistaken Florida campaign where he reverted to "destroy Romney" mode, losing badly as a result.

Roger L. Simon (long a fan of his) tore him a new one in Florida: Why Gingrich Lost Big and What’s Next. While Simon's post is disturbing enough, what absolutely terrifies me are the comments.

It appears that whoever emerges as the nominee, all too many of those against him will throw a tantrum, sit out the election, and then on the first Wednesday this November, will be wailing about what just happened and wondering "Who's responsible?".  Well, in that case, I suggest that you look into a mirror. And, may God Damn you to Hell! Because that's precisely what you will have done to the rest of us.

If any grown-ups remain in the Republican Party, their #1 concern absolutely has to be about getting some kind of unity behind whoever emerges victorious in the primaries, and get him all the support he needs.

Because, the safest bet on earth right now is that the Democrats will turn out in force to be damned sure their candidate makes it.

Or, would you prefer Obama getting a chance to complete the job of turning our country into the despair-ridden Hell that Robert Heinlein visited so long ago (and apparently remains the blueprint of the society Obama's administration wishes to force upon us)?

It is truly up to you.

I wrote those preceding paragraphs, about Roger L. Simon's post and the resulting comments several days ago, in the post that is replaced by this one.

Today (05 Feb 2012), he has a new post on Romney's win in the Nevada Caucus ...
Republican Nomination: The Fat Lady Sings at The Venetian but the Losers Aren’t Listening "To the candidates themselves who treat each other like they were refugees from a leper colony, when their actual views are close to identical, I say take your extreme narcissistic personality disorders and go see a reputable psychiatrist. The country is more important than you are."

... and once again the commentors scare the Hell out of me, making me hope to God they are not truly representative of the electorate, as they totally confirm what I said about them in the preceding paragraphs.

Part 2 - Kdaptist Republicans ...
The other problem is that, for an opposition party, all too often we really aren't.

We appear to have a GOP Establishment of insiders for whom the commandment is "Watch thou for the mutant."

If you recall the old Frankenstein movies in which the villagers are coming for the monster with torches and pitchforks, that is the fate of any Republican who dares to be distinguishable from a Democrat.

Do I exaggerate?  Ask Sarah Palin, or Florida Representative Col. Allen West, who's greatest enemy is not a Democratic opponent, but his own party (see Is The Florida Republican Party About To Sacrifice Congressman Allen West)

Now, divisions within our party aren't that new or unusual.  I remember Barry Goldwater's campaign in the '60s, running on the theme of his book, "A Choice; Not an Echo."

I also remember that he lost (although, what would have happened had Kennedy not been assassinated is anyone's guess;  he was in Texas that day to mend political fences -- he was in trouble. Don't forget that while he handled the Cuban Missile Crisis very well, it was his handling of the failed Cuban invasion and the rise of the Berlin Wall that set the stage for the crisis in the first place. He was not invulnerable politically at that time).

It may be that loss that has given us an inner corps of GOP insiders that are terrified of anyone distinguishable from a Democrat.  Indeed, four years later, George Wallace would run as a third-party candidate on the grounds that, of the Democrats and Republicans, "There's not a dime's worth of difference between them!"

Larry Niven wrote about those establishment types in his "Known Space" series
(and I'll bet you thought he was just writing science-fiction :-).  In it, among humankind's greatest adversaries were the Kzinti: eight-foot tall, bipedal, carnivorous cat-like aliens for whom the word aggressive is a masterpiece of English understatement.

After Louis Wu has had to challenge one (who had not yet earned a name, but was referred to by his function: "Speaker" - short for "Speaker to animals"), and an intervention from another Kzin prevented that challenge from reaching its tragic conclusion ...
  Speaker: "Louis: I found your challenge verbose.
  "A simple scream of rage is sufficient.
  "You scream and you leap!"

They had fought us many times, always losing.  In another story, when the possibility of their involvement in some mysterious happening was raised, Beowulf Schaeffer observed, "It's not like they're a real threat;  they'll always attack before they're quite ready."

In the novel "Ringworld", Speaker tells Louis about the "Kdapt-Preacher heresy": The mad Kzin Kdapt-Preacher had his road to Damascus moment and concluded that the Kzinti constantly lost their wars with man because the Creator had, in fact, made Man in his image and favored him.

So, disciples of his cult wore skins and masks made of human skin in hopes of deceiving the Creator and finally managing a victory.

"You kept winning!", Speaker explained.

Or, another example (I swear I'm still on topic here) ...

To the best of my knowledge, the AIDS virus does not harm you directly but does its damage by infiltrating your body's defenses and infecting the white blood cells that are its first line of defense, so that when you come under attack from something else you find that your guardians are on perpetual coffee break.

Are those examples the standards to which the Republican Party aspires to?  To win by only being impostors of the Democrats?

I'm not at all keen on the idea of a third party to split our opposition to Obama, but I'm leaning hard in that direction once the November election is behind us. If the Republicans insist on being only a pale shadow of the Democrats, they are damned near useless.

I've usually been opposed to the idea of term limits, but I'm reconsidering that;  the establishment types described above make a wonderful case for the notion that serving in the Executive or Legislative branch should never be a lifetime profession.

(Originally posted 1234 CST, 05 Feb 2012)

Update - Wed, 11 Apr 2013 - Damned near USELESS!!!
I originally posted this on 05 Feb 2012, and I stand by every word of it.

This item (Taxes, Guns, and Chuck Schumer as GOP Leader) on Redstate today caused me to resurrect my post and bump it to the top.

I'm frankly "Mad as Hell ...", but am not at all sure just what to do about it.  My misgivings about a third party splitting opposition to the democrats still remain, but it may very well have to come to that. My biggest hope is that the Tea Party supporters will work on (and eventually succeed in)  instigating enough of a revolt within the Republican Party to make it worth a damn again.

What I am certain of is that there is no hope in Hell of accomplishing anything useful with a party made up of democrat wannabes.

Revolution within the Republican Party, or total replacement of the party? That, I believe, is the question.


Anonymous said...

An excellent commentary on the weakness of the Republican field, but I would offer a small, minor, technical correction:

HIV is a virus. It doesn't just damage the immune system. It is quite capable of killing the infected person by itself, usually by infecting and destroying the spinal cord and/or brain. Mind you, this process may take several years, and Kaposi's sarcoma or opportunistic S. Aureus pneumonia infection usually gets them first.

Paul Gordon said...

I think my analogy, "Are those examples the standards to which the Republican Party aspires to? To win by only being impostors of the Democrats?" still stands.

Thank you for the correction.

To paraphrase someone or the other, "I'm an engineer; not a doctor!" :-)


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