June 07, 2008
Clear Out the Deadwood

The process of truly remaking the GOP into a party that the grassroots can be proud of again requires a step that was more complicated in 2006 when there was still a majority to worry about: cheering the electoral confrontation of Republican Members of Congress currently doing more harm than good to the conservative cause.

That inevitably becomes a debatable filter and people can disagree about the primary cause of the party's 2006 losses, ranging from over-spending, the Iraq War, and the stench of assorted scandals. Regardless of the ultimate ranking of those problems, however, zeal among some significant Republicans in Congress to continue obnoxious spending practices is not only bad policy, it was - and is - a significant annoyance to the conservative grassroots.

As such, it is difficult to do anything but applaud the increasing critical mass in a primary challenge to uber-purveyor of pork, Don Young. The Club for Growth has its critics on the right at times given their aggressive efforts in some Republican primary contests. Yet, their vigorous opposition to Young is a welcome sign in the bigger picture of the spring-cleaning the still needs to occur in the Capitol Hill Republican Caucuses.

Sarah Palin's meteoric rise in national GOP eyes has much to do with her willingness and success in taking on the status quo of the Alaska Republican Party, whose descent in to corruption and pork-barrel dependency is a poster child for much of the recent decline of the Republican brand-name. Lt. Gov. Sean Parnell's run against Young is but another step in that important process.

In the long-term, we need more Palins across the country. And in the short-term we need more Republicans like Young challenged with skill and vigor. Only once such deeds are accomplished will Republicans on the Hill be able to remake themselves into something truly worth supporting in the aggregate in election cycles to come, long-past this year when John McCain over-performing the GOP brand looks like one of the party's few hopes.

For now, the message is clear regarding Congressman Young and others like him: Take. Them. Out.

Cross-posted at the Next Right.

Posted by Eric Earling at June 07, 2008 08:38 PM | Email This
Comments
1. With the national debt now at $9.4+ TRILLION and counting, the explosive growth in this number has to be turned around soon or eventually we will crash big-time, in ways that may be VERY hard to recover from; even in the long run.

And even allowing for the cost of Iraq and Afghanistan, the growth in the national debt during the 2001-2006 timeframe when (R)s had both executive and legislative control in D.C. is inexcusible. IMO the popularity of new leaders like Palin and Jindal is due to a growing sense that there does indeed need to be a break with D.C.-K-Street ''business as usual''; that ain't gonna sell anymore.

Which is another reason Senator McCain has a shot at pulling out a win in the E.C.: In an era when both (R)s and (D)s have been serial offenders in the pork-barrel game, he has NEVER put through and earmark.

Posted by: Methow Ken on June 7, 2008 08:57 PM
2. I believe that "the stench of assorted scandals" was the straw that broke the American public's patience with the GOP.

Those scandals were closely tied to massive amount of pork that greases the wheels of Congress.

Would it be possible to ban all lobbying? Probably not, but banning earmarks at least would force Congress to publicly vote on each of these projects.

With votes tied to members it wouldn't take too long before the corrupt influence peddlers were exposed.

All the 2006 election has done is switch the party to whom the lobbyists pay their lucre.

Posted by: deadwood on June 7, 2008 09:39 PM
3. You lot just don't get it. Your policies stink and your politics stink, and the people you put forward to represent your world view stink.

You have left the mainstream of politics and of governance, and it is fading fast in your rear view mirrors.

Thers at Firedoglake tells you why:

"So, last week I explained -- remarkably politely, I thought -- why I think it is perfectly all right to say (the F word) when you are treating with sociopaths who sincerely believe that the war in Iraq was a smart move strategically, or that global warming is a hoax, or that there is such a thing as "liberal fascism," or that ABC News is run by Howard Dean, or that torture makes sense as a matter of American policy and isn't morally disgusting, or that gays and lesbians are not entitled to equal rights as Americans. (This is, you understand, a partial list only.)

See, I'm not even sure why disagreeing with such people even ought to be considered a matter of engaging in serious argument in the first place. It ought to be a matter of informing a bunch of lunatics that they are totally (F word) bananas. Movement conservatism has gone flat earth, and there is not much more to say about it."

Take it issue by issue, and you lot are not only in the minority, but in a rapidly dwindling minority.

The best thing you could do in the world of Ivan is to go on insisting that "conservatism hasn't failed, it has been betrayed by those who claimed to represent it."

Go on, believe it. Insist on it. The nation is laughing at you, jeering at you, and you're impotent to stop it.

Posted by: ivan on June 7, 2008 09:48 PM
4. Ivan-

You are just as guilty as some on the right are, of casting everyone in a political party as having the same ideals. For instance:

"or that global warming is a hoax" - Uh, our own Presidential candidate doesn't think it's a hoax. Is he a Republican?

President Clinton supported the Defense of Marriage Act, is he a Democrat?

The Republican Party in the USA may be on the downswing, but around the world conservatism is going strong. Did you know a conservative was recently elected Mayor of London? People got tired of a guy called "Socialist Ken", and they put a UK Republican in charge. Same goes for Germany, France, Canada, and a bunch of other places.

Posted by: Bob on June 7, 2008 11:37 PM
5. Back to the original post-

I really think the party should start kicking out officials if they become an embarassment (i.e. Larry Craig). It's not fair that a few tarnish the good work of the many.

Posted by: Bob on June 7, 2008 11:41 PM
6. Bob says a 'few'. Pfffttttt ! 6 years of letting lobbyists write the bills and then passing them in the middle of the night. Congressmen flying all over the world on Abramoff expense accounts. Downsizing governmental oversight and turning the foxes loose in the hen house. The albatross in chief working harder to legitimize Intelligent Design than trying to solve the border problems at the same time favoring his friends with patronage rather than serving the public interest. Good job Brownie and outing people in government to maintain spin control. Larry Craig was a small problem. And Bob has the balls to say "a few'. The whole damn government went stupid under this administration. And that includes the no nads democrats. And now we hear people saying "yea but the last two years!". Christ you people are annoying!

Posted by: HappyHeathen on June 8, 2008 12:00 AM
7. The process of truly remaking the WA state GOP began this past week when record numbers of PCO candidacy aplplications made it in to the county election offices.

King COunty chairman credits the LD chairs for this record number of applications. I can not help but wonder why the LD chairs would not just appoint these people PCOs if it was truly them that are responsible?

Perhaps a more likely scenerio is these people wanting to become PCOs are doing so to get rid of the current batch of LD chairs?!?!?

Yes I think the winds of change are blowing across the state GOP.

Posted by: Lysander on June 8, 2008 02:22 AM
8. To #7,

No record number YET in King County, the Friday count was 668 - in 2006 filing was 810, in 2004 it was 850 for GOP PCO's.

It may be that the Elections Dept haven't finished entering the filings if a large number reached the office Friday.

In the 34th District the numbers are interesting, 48 filed so far. In 2006, 25 were elected. I know some of the 48 are from Ron Paul supporters. I was stirring the Paulistas to file for 4 weeks previous. A few of the precincts are now challenged with 2 candidates. The LD Chair in the 34th only won re-election by 1 vote in 2006 after a failed first vote.

King County PCO details ...
http://metrokc.gov/elections/200808/candidatefilings.asp

Posted by: WestSeattlePCO on June 8, 2008 05:43 AM
9. David Cameron's Tories are not UK Republicans. When the Republicans ditch social conservatism and adopt environmental policies identical to, if not to the left of, the Dems, then we can start making reasonable comparisons. But to use British politics as evidence that "conservatism" is still strong worldwide is, I think, wrong headed.

Posted by: Zeeb on June 9, 2008 12:17 PM
10. Thanks for the link West Seattle PCO.

I checked on firday and there were 668 candidates. Today I checked and the list is up 1190. Now I am not sure if the additional 522 candidates are all the more that will be added or if that was all they were able to type in today, we will have to wait and see... but it appears that there are far more than in 2006.

In the 34th district there are now 62
candidates. I count 6 of them share a precinct.

What do you think caused the increase this year? Hard work by the GOP leadership or dissatisfaction?

Posted by: Lysander on June 9, 2008 07:31 PM
11. "So, last week I explained -- remarkably politely, I thought -- why I think it is perfectly all right to say (the F word) when you are treating with sociopaths who sincerely believe that the war in Iraq was a smart move strategically, or that global warming is a hoax, or that there is such a thing as "liberal fascism," or that ABC News is run by Howard Dean, or that torture makes sense as a matter of American policy and isn't morally disgusting, or that gays and lesbians are not entitled to equal rights as Americans. (This is, you understand, a partial list only.)

See, I'm not even sure why disagreeing with such people even ought to be considered a matter of engaging in serious argument in the first place. It ought to be a matter of informing a bunch of lunatics that they are totally (F word) bananas. Movement conservatism has gone flat earth, and there is not much more to say about it."

Hmmm...I gather you think that holding such beliefs makes one a-to use your word-sociopath.

It seems clear to me that the sociopath is not the person who holds these beliefs, but the person who can only disagree through the use of profanity and demonization.

Posted by: Das Baron Von Zippee on June 10, 2008 10:37 AM
12. RedState.com has links to Slatecard.com, which is a utility for Republican activism. It made it very easy to donate my $25 to Sean Parnell's Primary Campaign.

Posted by: John425 on June 10, 2008 12:54 PM
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