Ron Paul Winning CPAC: Real vs. Ideal

Almost everyone who follows politics knows that at the annual Conservative Political Action Conference libertarian-republican (if you can put those two words together) Representative from Texas, Ron Paul, won the straw poll. CNN has it here:

“The results of the Washington Times CPAC straw poll of presidential candidates are in, and the winner is Texas Rep. Ron Paul, with 30 percent of the vote. Former Massachusetts Gov. Mitt Romney was the runner-up with 23 percent.

There were 3,742 ballots cast in the annual survey, which is a chance for devotees to name their pick for president in 2012. Fifty-six percent of those surveyed said they were generally satisfied with the field of potential candidates and 43 percent said they wished the GOP had a better field of potential candidates. For those surveyed, the size of the federal government was the most important issue to them.”

In a lot of ways the above straw poll shows the state of the Republican party. The debate between the ideal and the real.

The Mitt Romney’s of the Republican party are going to argue that the Ron Paul’s of the party even with their good ideas are not electable, we should settle on someone like Mitt Romney, which they consider the real. The Ron Paul’s of the party will say that we should not settle for the ideal. So who wins?

Neither of them will ever win. This is what “Republicans” have such a hard time accepting. The system, which is our laws and policies, will never elect anyone who is for limited government. It just simply can’t happen. The current system rewards those that dole out to special interests and punishes those that stand for ideals. It doesn’t matter whether your limited government candidate is a Ken doll from a liberal state or a squirrelly off the cuff texan, he who will be elected will have to have friends in high places to do so.

Why is it the Republican party cannot accept this? Think about the majority of Republican party members. They usually hold one, if not all of these characteristics:

  • Loves the Constitution
  • Loves the American Flag
  • Loves the Founding Fathers

Now, there is nothing wrong with loving these three things. But like a good love, they will break your heart. And the Republican party refuses to get over it. The founding fathers were great visionaries and they created a government that they would hope would stay limited. They did the best they could do and they should be honored for that. But that does not help us sustain a limited government.

Next is the Constitution and this is the real big one for conservatives. How many times have we heard “only if they followed the Constitution”? I know I have heard it a million times myself. But for some reason conservatives and the Republican party are okay with saying that. It’s as meaningless as a police chief throwing up his hands and saying “only if they followed the law.”

What we need to look at is why is it that the Constitution is not followed? And under what system would we have a more effective society? Is there an alternative?

Should the GOP Run Toward the “Middle”? By Jack Hunter

Today’s article of the day comes from Campaign for Liberty:

When Republican Sen. Arlen Specter defected to the Democratic Party recently, politicians and pundits everywhere heralded the move as another sign that the GOP was “too conservative.” Said liberal Republican Sen. Olympia Snowe, “If the Republican Party fully intends to become a majority party in the future, it must move from the far right back toward the middle.”

Presumably “the middle,” a pasture that so many Democrats, liberal Republicans, and others believe the GOP should now graze, is a place free of “reckless” government-slashing rhetoric. These critics believe Obama is president, the Democrats are in power, and Republicans who refuse to “change” with the rest of the country will face inevitable defeat for the foreseeable future. The Republican Party is simply “too conservative,” they say. Nothing could be more untrue.

What exactly did voters reject in 2008 that makes for such a dark future for conservatives? A government-slashing Congress? A president that cracked down on illegal immigration? A Christian right, gun zealot? No, they rejected George W. Bush, a big government, amnesty-proposing president, who was occasionally socially conservative in his rhetoric, but rarely in practice. Between the war and spending, America soured on Bush for reasons that had nothing to do with conservatism.

Does anyone really believe voters are now enamored with Barack Obama because they despise conservatism and love liberalism? Americans aren’t that ideological. After 100 days in office, Obama’s popularity remains high, with a significant majority in a recent Gallup poll saying he is doing a good job. But when the same poll asks “what is the worst thing Barack Obama has done since he became president?,” the number one answer is “stimulus spending,” the president’s most ambitious and most defining piece of legislation to date.

If the GOP must move to the middle to win elections, exactly what do Republicans gain by backing massive spending increases which even those who support Obama are uncomfortable with? Why is becoming more like the Democrats considered the path to GOP success? What’s the point of even having a Republican Party?

The GOP would do well to flee from the consensus middle and take a hard right on the top issues that continue to concern Americans across the political spectrum — out-of-control spending, outrageous debt, and our ever-expanding federal government. In other words, the Republican Party should actually become the party of small government it has always pretended to be.

But not everyone agrees, most notably Sen. Lindsey Graham. According to The New York Times, “Graham scoffed at the notion that the party was suffering because it was not conservative enough. ‘Do you really believe that we lost 18-to-34-year-olds by 19 percent, or we lost Hispanic voters, because we are not conservative enough? This is a ridiculous line of thought. The truth is we lost young people because our Republican brand is tainted.”

Graham is right. The Republican brand is tainted — by Bush Republicans like Graham.

While the 18-to-34-year-olds came out in force for Obama, the most conservative Republican presidential candidate in the last election ran a campaign defined in large part by its youth support. As usual, the old, white, Christian Republican base dutifully gravitated to conventional, Bush Republicans like McCain, but the government-slashing radical Ron Paul drew support from young and old; Republicans, Democrats, and independents; whites, blacks and Hispanics; Christians and non-believers. The much discussed, increasingly shrinking GOP is the party of lukewarm, establishment men like Graham, McCain, and Bush — not fiery conservatives like Ron Paul.

But those who believe the GOP must move to the middle are right about one thing: Thundering on and on about abortion, gay marriage, and family values at the national level is political suicide, precisely because too many Americans who might be attracted to a limited government message would be repulsed by any politician they perceive as wanting to dictate their personal lives.

Once again, Paul’s example is the best solution. This pro-life, conservative Christian believes states should decide social issues free of federal interference. Gay newlyweds in Vermont would have nothing to fear from a staunchly libertarian GOP. And neither would conservative Christians in South Carolina, who would gain more from a smaller, less intrusive government than the type of pro-Christian, big government the religious right typically supports. In any move to the middle, Republicans are more likely to find a graveyard instead of salvation. The GOP will never out-Obama, Obama.

However, it is not clear that voters are prepared to accept big government as the long-term American way. If a majority ever decides to reject it, they will require a GOP far removed from the current, middle-of-the-road consensus of both parties. And only a Republican Party that eventually opposes big government — and is not a part of it — will stand fit to put it out of its misery.

Published in: on May 18, 2009 at 6:51 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , , , ,

Tea Party Crasher

beeler

~PCCapitalist

Rush vs. Steele

matson

~PCCapitalist

Published in: on March 7, 2009 at 2:31 pm  Leave a Comment  
Tags: , , ,