February 6, 2008

The Republican Party Has Left Me

Watching the returns come in on Not So Super Tuesday, I was struck by a sick feeling in the pit of my stomach. I realized that I am a man without a party (not even a lesser of two evils party). The returns, of course, favored John McCain. And as I contemplated a McCain nomination, I was struck by the fact that I was rooting for the lesser of two evils within the Republican Party in Mitt Romney. Why should I be rooting for the lesser of two evils in the very party to which I reluctantly belong? As I began to try and delude myself that Romney would indeed be a good candidate and not simply "Not McCain", the results from the south began rolling in. I heard the most devastating combination of syllables imaginable emanating from Wolf Blitzer's* mouth:

"Huckabee wins Georgia."

Huckabee wins West Virginia."

Huckabee is neck-and-neck with McCain in Missouri."

Huckabee wins Arkansas."

I frantically turned the station. Chris Matthews and Brit Hume were saying the same thing.

How could it be that Gomer Pyle was winning? I may not be comfortable with any of the candidates, but I have made no bones about where I stand on Comrade Taxabee. Suddenly, the Pat Robertson of 2008 had done something that I thought was impossible. He won in states other than Iowa. It was at that moment that it hit me.

The Republican Party has left me.

The talk of limited government, free trade, and low taxes was what drew me to the party. In certain times, like under the current president, some (and at times all) of the talk about these issues was merely lip service. However, the present crop does not even provide lip service to the issues that I am interested in. Instead, there are folks like Mike Huckabee (who I never believed could draw a single vote after Iowa) that are out on the trail painting populist dream worlds for the economically ignorant. Gomer has no knowledge of anything not contained in the Bible or Neal Boortz's book on the FairTax -- and I don't think that he even understands those two books. He has yet to locate Pakistan (when they had the debate on MSNBC and the candidates had to ask questions to one another, I was secretly hoping someone would pull out a globe and ask Huckabee to identify Pakistan). He makes up false claims about Mormonism in the New York Times to damage Romney and pretends that they are innocent mistakes. He doesn't understand his own tax proposal. He repeatedly states that finally drug dealers and prostitutes will not be exempt from taxation (ignoring the fact that their customers will because I doubt that type of consumption will be reported).

And yet Republicans are voting for this man over McCain and Romney in several states.

The GOP isn't all that grand anymore. It has become a desolate wasteland of broken promises, empty rhetoric, and now populist nonsense.

I am not leaving the Republican Party. The Republican Party has left me. I'm sure that I will be persuaded to vote for a GOP candidate from time to time, but I can no longer consider myself a member of this broken party.

* Just as a side note, as my troubled mind tried to contemplate what in the world was going on, I couldn't help but wonder if "Wolf Blitzer" is the greatest name ever? If only he were a linebacker or military general...

GOP2008 Primary Posted by Harrison Bergeron at February 6, 2008 10:21 PM

I think Dick Armey trumps Wolf Blitzer any day of the week.

"Um, Sir, i'm afraid we cannot stand up to Dick Armey. He will win."

Posted by: AlexC at February 6, 2008 11:37 PM

A hundred questions for you, hb.

First: not knowing you long or well, I am a little surprised that you ever considered yourself a Republican and the party "grand." How new is this? When Pat Buchanan won New Hampshire and Alan Keyes and Pat Robertson were on the debating stand, were you flying your flag proudly?

Second: Whatchyagonnado? Stay home and let Senator Clinton or Obama be elected because some guys who call themselves Republicans voted for a guy you didn't like? I know a pile of [L|l]ibertarians who are too cool to vote for any of the imperfect candidates provided. I always ask them" how's that working out for you? Staying home and watching the State take over more and more.

I am pretty damn disappointed in the GOP brand of late. They will not expunge Jerry Lewis and Don Young and Ted Stevens is still not in prison. But I am going to find a way to work with the West Virginians who voted for Governor Huckabee. Convince them that Frank Meyers was right. We are on the same team. I want government out of my economics and you will be better off the less government you have in your religion.

You know I was disappointed that Rudy! and Fred! didn't make it. But I realize that they both ran deeply flawed campaigns. In the marketplace of ideas, they did not have the right marketing. Y'know, Beta was better than VHS too.

But I am pretty happy with the GOP after Super Tuesday (Tuesday Weld was another great name...) I am happy that the talk-radio populists could not parley their anger and xenophobia into getting their candidate nominated. (QUICK TIME OUT: I am NOT calling all who oppose more liberalized immigration xenophobes nor all supporters of Governor Romney. I am saying that some tried to tap into that emotion to generate support for Mitt! and failed).

Rush Limbaugh lost, James Dobson lost, and Ann Coulter may be leaving the party. And you're sad?

Posted by: jk at February 7, 2008 12:21 PM

jk,

1.) I call the Republican Party the GOP because it is their nickname, not out of affinity. I have merely considered myself a Republican by default.

Also, I welcome the Huckabee's, Robertsons, and Buchanans to run for office. The problem I have with Huckabee is that he has transcended from a fringe entrant to the winner of several primaries/caucuses.

2.) I am not convinced that there is that great difference between McCain, Obama, and Clinton.

  • No matter what the Dems say, they will not bring the troops home immediately (alternatively McCain wants them there for 100 years).
  • All 3 candidates want to "fight" global warming.
  • Where is the difference on immigration? (Obama pointed out in the last debate that he worked with McCain on the bill.)
  • The Bush tax cuts will expire regardless of who is president because the legislature will be in the hands of the Dems.

3.) I recognize that a perfect candidate doesn't exist. However, I am not looking for the "perfect" candidate. I am merely looking for a candidate that appeals to me; a criteria which none of the remaining candidates can meet.

Posted by: HB at February 7, 2008 2:26 PM

Fair points. I'll only protest the "no difference between McCain, Obama, and Clinton" one.

The War is NOT Iraq. You can call it GWOT, The Long War, WWIV, The War the Terrorist declared on us, or "Harold." There is a global alliance of 7th Century madmen who think that freedom and minority rights are evil. If Clinton and McCain handle Iraq the same (Obama is offended at the idea of keeping bases there -- why would we wanna do that?) I bet they differ, substantively, on Iran. Will the next attack engender a call to the FBI or to the Marines?

Free trade?

The Bush tax cuts expire -- do you believe for a second that it stops there? Whose Social Security reform do you prefer?

I hate McCain's reimportation of drugs. So I should choose Socialized Medicine?

I had foolishly hoped that you might actually be the second guy around here who appreciates McCain's stand on immigration. Whatever. I think he's right and I am impressed that he stands up for it.

Posted by: jk at February 7, 2008 3:04 PM

jk,

I think you misunderstood my point on immigration. I wasn't ridiculing McCain on immigration (I am much closer to his position than that of the other candidates). I was merely pointing out that he doesn't differ from Obama (shockingly giving Obama a compliment).

Posted by: HB at February 7, 2008 6:20 PM

I feel your pain HB. We're in the same boat. The problem is, ours is a two-party system. Rather than attempt to create a viable third party I've contented myself to attempt reform of one of the existing ones. I concluded it's possible to shape the morality of people who believe morality exists, and impossible to do so with people who believe nothing exists, at least not objectively so.

I was heartened to see that Dr. Edward Hudgins of The Atlas Society addressed the CPAC conference yesterday (11:30).

In the meantime I celebrate what's left of my economic liberty, live in an unincorporated area, and make regular contributions to what I believe is America's (and the world's) most important PAC: The NRA-ILA.

Posted by: johngalt at February 8, 2008 3:24 PM | What do you think? [6]