May 15, 2006

My response

I started this humble blog as an outlet for things that interest me: making beer, telling (bad) jokes, and general geekery. The 2004 election pulled me kicking an screaming into political blogging which, I might add, isn't something I actually excel at. However, Jim Geraghty reiterates his point that conservatives who choose to sit out the November elections are umm, what's the phrase? Oh yeah, here it is: fucking morons. Mr. Geraghty uses more appropriate language, of course, but it's still sounds pretty damned condescending to me. Excerpt:

doubted the strategic wisdom of conservatives sitting out this election to “teach Republicans a lesson”; several bloggers have responded.

There are still doubters and skeptics, though. What’s really stunning is this absolute certainty of angry conservatives that A) Republicans will learn the right lessons from the defeat, and not, say, respond in a panic by embracing their inner RINO and flailing around for MSM approval and B) that the Republicans can easily win back Congress in 2008, just by stiffening their spines and pledging to return to their conservative roots.

I have my doubts on both counts. For starters, why would Republicans get the message that “we need to be more conservative” in a year that conservatives were knocked out?

Who are the Republican lawmakers most angering the conservative base? Well, let’s say Sens. Trent “I’m tired of hearing about Porkbusters” Lott, Ted “Bridge to Nowhere” Stevens, John McCain for cosponsoring Kennedy’s immigration bill and campaign finance reform, Arlen Specter for being a pain in the tushie over judges, Chuck Hagel for being the New York Times’ favorite Republican senator to criticize Bush, and other minimally-conservative Republicans like Sens. Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins. Well, they’re not going to lose in 2006. Most of ‘em aren’t even up for reelection this year.

Look at the Republicans most in jeopardy in 2006. (I’m using National Journal’s most recent rankings.)

In the Senate, a bad year for the Republicans would mean the loss of Rick Santorum (who has lifetime American Conservative Union rating of 88 out of a possible 100, and a 92 in 2005) in Pennsylvania, Jim Talent (93 rating lifetime, and a 96 in 2005) in Missouri, Conrad Burns (91, and a perfect 100 in 2005) in Montana and Mike DeWine (80 lifetime, only 56 in 2005) in Ohio. Of course, Ohio voters who sit this one out will replace DeWine with Sherrod Brown, who has a lifetime rating of 8 and 4 for 2005. And they won’t get to revisit that decision until 2012.
Nice job, guys. Your effort to re-conservativize the Republican Party in Washington by staying home this year will have the effect of massacring the actual conservatives and empowering the moderates who you disdain. Perhaps we can call this counterproductive maneuver “RINO-plasty.”

But that’s okay, the staying-at-home-conservatives insist. The GOP will win back the House and Senate in 2008, establishing a true conservative majority.

Maybe. But as I mentioned, what kind of lengths do you think the Democrats will go to in order to keep power once they’ve got it? Does the “Fairness Doctrine” ring a bell? You think Pelosi and Reid wouldn’t try that tactic to hinder conservative talk radio? How about McCain-Feingold 2.0, with a particular focus on controlling “unregulated speech” on the Internet and blogs?

Think the MSM was cheerleading for Democrats in 2004? How much more fair and balanced do you think they’ll be when their task is to defend Democratic House and Senate majorities AND elect President Hillary Rodham Clinton? My guess is, they’ll make the CBS memo story look accurate and evenhanded by comparison.

Think the GOP can prevail in close races once they’re out of power? Ask the members of the military who had their ballots in Florida blocked. Ask Doug Forrester how well his anti-Torricelli campaign worked when he suddenly faced Frank Lautenberg at the last minute. Ask Dino Rossi. Ask Democrat Tim Johnson if he’s glad the last county in South Dakota to report its results just happened to have enough of a Democratic margin to put him over the top in 2002.
We usually like looking at the Daily Kos crowd insisting for an immediate pullout of the troops or impeachment hearings right this second and we laugh at them for their ludicrously unrealistic expectations.

But apparently the Kos are not the only ones with an all-or-nothing mentality. Sometimes in life you have to use the West Coast offense, nickel and diming your way down the field instead of going for the long bomb. If I want a more conservative government, I get it by electing the more conservative of the two choices, even if he isn’t as conservative as I would like. I do not get it by sitting on the sidelines and pouting, and letting the less conservative guy take the reigns of power.

For this I get labeled a “bamboobzled [sic] boob” by the likes of Bill Quick. Yeah, I’m the unreasonable one.

I will concede the point that the Democrats, once back in power, are likely to pass numerous laws which will make it more difficult for them to lose that power. Democrats will likely pass laws which further curtail our freedoms, most notably freedom of speech, and likely increase the flood of illegal immigration. And that's different from today how? Let me list what I see as the good things that have come from having Republicans control DC:

1) Nomination 2 judges for SCOTUS that look pretty good philosophically

2) Taking the fight to the enemy

That's about it. Everything else blows great big freaking chunks. I'm sick and tired of being forced to swallow my own vomit while being told that it's yummy milkshake. And for what it's worth, lecturing to me as to a small child on how stupid and irresponsible I am probably isn't the best tack to take. Want to persuade me? Don't spend all of your time telling me how bad things will get under Democrat leadership. I already know. Tell me how much better things will get if we re-elect the current Republican leadership.

What's that? I can't hear you. Cat got your tongue?

Republicans have become Democrat-lite. Increasingly, that "light" distinction has gotten heavier, like someone working his way up from skim milk to half-and-half. And I'm sick of it. If you're pushing me down the path to Hell, speed up. When the journey progresses slowly, people tend not to notice until it's much too late. If, instead, you grease the skids so that we hit rock bottom quickly, people might actually wake up and do something. Everything turning to shit usually gets attention. If not, we're lost already and we might as well get on with how things are going to turn out anyway.

So let's get it on this November. I'm ready for whatever happens and, unlike Mr. Geraghty, am unlikely to complain about the intellectual inferiority or emotional instability of the voters should they vote differently than I'd like them to. This is due, in part, to the fact that I'm an adult and don't expect things to always go my way. But hey, your mileage may vary.

Update: The Emperor suggests an idea that I can support.

If you’re lucky enough to live in a State or a District whose representative is a true conservative, and that goes for all of us who might be that lucky, vote for him or her. DO get out the vote and make your voices heard. This is NOT about stomping our feet and being silly, we leave that to the other side.

If not, however, if you happen to have an incumbent who is about as “conservative” as Harry Reid, let’s find a conservative counter-candidate for the primaries that we can back up and stump for until our fingers bleed. I volunteer whatever clout I may have for the cause and I will do anything (short of breaking the law, and the CFR doesn’t count since it’s un-Constitutional and thus I am not bound by my oath to uphold it, as a matter of fact I’m bound by it to do the exact oppposite) to boost their campaign.

Let’s get some true conservatives on the ballot, and let’s use our strength to work together, not against each other.

But if our guys don’t prevail in the primaries, don’t expect me to back the RINO “because he’s not Pelosi”, because I’m a little bit too mature to fall for Democrat campaign slogans. I’m staying at home.

Update:Mark Tapscott discusses the issue eloquently. Go there now.

Update: Good illustration over here. My only argument is that it doesn't show the critter with both heads up its own ass.

Posted by Physics Geek at May 15, 2006 11:36 AM | TrackBack StumbleUpon Toolbar Stumble It!

You might like this, then

Posted by: Robb Allen at May 15, 2006 12:22 PM

Actually, I think it does have the heads up the other ends. They're just up there so far they appear to be poking out of the other side.

Posted by: Robb Allen at May 16, 2006 12:34 PM


I do not know if I still qualify as a physics' geek (AB physics U of C, and MS physics UW), since I do not remember too much. I still think that you and too many others have a bad attitude about such things. It is certainly fine to vent (I have written several critical e-mails to my supposedly Republican senator Gordon Smith comparing him to Ron Wyden the Democrat who has been a pol for his entire life--brutal eh?); but when it comes time to vote, one must do the right thing no matter how unappealing. Politics is all about getting the best that you can. If you do not do that, then I do question your patriotism (intelligence, sanity--pick the one which annoys you the most since they all apply). Even if you know that you are only moving the ball for very short yardage, you have to stay in the game. Losing is guaranteed if you do not. I frankly see it a sign of a weak mind and character to just want to pick up the ball and go home when things get challenging. I do agree with trying to get real conservatives elected, but when that fails, voting against people such as Pelosi is the adult thing to do.


Posted by: Mike at May 17, 2006 11:13 PM