GOP meltdown — and who will make the ice cubes?

Glenn Reynolds reads our very transparent minds and ponders:

WHAT SHOULD REPUBLICANS DO as the GOP seems to be committing suicide? I dunno — saving the GOP isn’t my job, and if the Democrats weren’t worse on national security I wouldn’t mind much. (And the GOP advantage there seems to be shrinking anyway).But you’ve got three basic choices: Exit, voice, and loyalty. …

Problem is, people have been exercising “voice” a lot and it’s clear that President Bush, Trent Lott, et al., don’t care and aren’t listening. … I think the GOP’s vulnerability to a third party challenge has just gone way up.

I’ll say. I’ve never been more disgusted, and that’s from a lifelong Republican and occasional activist who still voted for Clinton in 1992. Yes, I’m more disgusted than I even was then.

I never liked Trent Lott, and the fact that he was elected the Minority Leader in the Senate was a red flag. GWB has lost me completely on the immigration issue and his utter lack of leadership, right now, on just about anything. Not only that, but I am so disgusted that what I once willing to overlook for what I believed to be the Cause, I retroactively do not. The unbridled spending… the cronyism (which I have not hesitated to criticize before)… the complete surrender of the message on the Iraq war and, yes, the failure to communicate effectively about just about anything, certainly since the 2004 election.

What a squandered, ugly moment for Republicans conservatives like me. What a shame for America.

And, yes, what an opportunity for a third party candidate. And what an interesting moment for, in my view, Rudy Giuliani to ask himself if he might, perhaps, be that candidate — an idea so daft for the front-runner it just might work.

68 Responses to “GOP meltdown — and who will make the ice cubes?”

  1. Dave Says:

    We will need to do something about perpetual Congressional staff as well. They determine much of what gets done/seen by congressmen.

  2. Ron Coleman Says:

    Yes, I can hardly imagine the reasoning of those of you who believe the problem is only at the top of the ticket. Congress is so absolutely an equal or greater part of the problem and yes, it is not only the elected representatives but the K Street culture, bipartisan in the true sense of the word — for it is entirely dependent on and subservient to one thing, the “Benjamins,” which know no political party — that must be uprooted.

    And yes, McCain Feingold was the worst possible approach to doing that!

    Reform from within? I think it’s impossible. Money is all that talks. You know, before I rounded this bend I’ve spent months trying to volunteer for the Giuliani campaign. I’m decently well connected, for someone who’s not really a politico; I’m a B-list blogger who can get his message in front of thousands of people on a given day (i.e. through Dean’s World, where I am a contributor); I’m a lawyer in New York and… and…

    I cannot get any traction. I haven’t even been contacted to lick envelopes, which I will admit is not what I was shooting for, but — nothing. The “Campaign” is interested in one thing, and one thing only from me: Money.

    The same thing the GOP is interested in.

    Am I a guy with so little to contribute?

    Yes, I am, where “contribute” means only one thing, So why would I even try to participate in such a system?

  3. Scott Kirwin Says:

    Maybe you’re blogging for the wrong side. The MSM have feted the power of liberal bloggers, even trumpeting how the likes of Sen. Harry “I Surrender” Reid kowtows to them.

    No one on the right gives a rats @rse about us.

  4. Gigi Says:

    I feel your pain, but I am not willing to give it up to the Democrats.

    Post 22 states:

    “22. Forget the third party thing. At most, all it ever accomplished in the US is causing your former party to lose, ususally to no good lasting effect. See Teddy Roosevelt (1912), Ross Perot (1992, 1996) or Ralph Nader (2000) for examples. Most often, third party candidates made no difference — Strom Thurmond (1948), John Anderson (1980), for example.

    What does work is taking over a party from within. In 1960, I was near the far left end of the political spectrum. The Democrat party was oriented toward strong defense and big labor. It was the party of John Kennedy, Stuart Symington, Albert Gore, Sr., Scoop Jackson, etc. By 1968, the Vietnam war had divided the Democrat party, much like the Republican party is today. The rightmost part of the New Left decided to take over the Democrat party. We ran candidates in primaries, worked for and contributed to incumbents who switched allegience and so on. We were misguided fools, but we succeeded. By 1980, we had taken over the party and created the Democrats you see today.

    It takes sound strategy, organization, hard work, and long-term commitment, but the opportunity is there and it can be done. I think the Repulican party is in the same shape the Democrats were in 1968. The Bush administration has split the party as deeply and as surely as the Johnson administration split the Democrats.

    By the way, by 1980 I recognized the monster that we created and voted for Reagan. I have been a conservative ever since.”

    Do any of you think that Fred Thompson could be the candidate pulling together all the fragments within the GOP with a decent amount of credibility?

    It seems to me he just might be the man who could.

  5. Fred Dickey Says:

    This illegal alien legislation is far, far more important than the war. One hundred years from now, Iraq will be a historical footnote, but illegal immigration will have poored-down, made bilingual, and changed the fundamental nature of our society. Also, much sooner than that, legalizing millions of uneducated, poverty-stricken aliens will inevitably pull the GOP to the left as those politicians struggle to survive. Bush claims Hispanics will turn Republican because of “family values.” Balderdash. That statement just confirms what few of us are willing to admit–the President is DUMB!
    Fred Dickey

  6. Ron Coleman Says:

    I’ve never believed the President is dumb, but he’s sure doing something based on a political calculus that sounds absolutely wrong here — courting an Hispanic vote that will never come the GOP’s way.

    Gigi, I’ve asked continuously why there is an almost religious belief in Fred. Maybe you can tell me why you think he can be the savior: I have yet to see it.

  7. Gigi Says:

    Ron: “Gigi, I’ve asked continuously why there is an almost religious belief in Fred. Maybe you can tell me why you think he can be the savior: I have yet to see it.”

    I don’t see him as a savior as much as someone who could change the path the party has gone from within and perhaps attract some crossovers and undecideds. Quite frankly, I had never heard of him either as a senator or as a movie star, then I caught a glimpse of him in an interview on Fox and it piqued my interest. Come to find out he seems to be a man of integrity and even if he came down against the “our side” of the party on a few things, his explanations seem reasonable and thought out. His young wife is not a result of him dropping the first one to run off with a young sweet thing. His ex-wife and old girlfriends are even willing to campaign for him. The only people I can find that loathe him are hard core libertarians who are for Ron Paul and the hard core conservatives from the John Birch Society.

    For many years I have not considered myself politically savy, nor even interested in politics, since I got excited about Reagan many years ago. I don’t think Thompson is a Reagen, necessarily, but could very well blow some collective sunshine up the disgruntled majority in the GOP. IMO.

    Fred Thompson’s Inner Circle


  8. Tennwriter Says:

    My theory is that the leaders of the Republican Party would like to go back to the good old days in the Seventies when they lost and lost and lost, but the Social Conservatives and the Libertarians were safely either out of politics or totally marginalized.

    Its time for a SoCon/Tarian aka Big Dog/Little Dog alliance to take out the Country Clubbers aka Inbred Dog, and marginalize them. SoCons and Tarians have a huge amount in common, and even when they disagree, they disagree on principle. The only principle that the Country Clubbers have is Principal Donors. Its time to cleanse the moneylenders from the temple!

    Would it not be a better world where the R party agreed that Immigration Law was to be enforced, and guns were for concealed carry, and taxes needed to be dropped, and agreed to compromise along the lines of “We hate abortion and will federalize the issue/We’re willing to allow California to try soft-core drugs” than the world we have now where Immigration Law is a joke, concealed carry is not nation-wide, taxes are a constant threat, and the abortion holocaust continues to bedevil the nation and its conscience, and the war on drugs continues with what many think of as terrible effects. Would this SoCon/Tarian alliance not be a good thing for the Party and more importantly the Nation?

  9. Fred Dickey Says:

    Not dumb, eh? Are we we believe the moment Bush drops (figuratively) the microphone he becomes razor sharp? There are probably as many dumb rulers in history as smart ones, but we are loath to surrender the king-has-no-clothes syndrome. We shudder to think that there are five guys on our street smarter than him, or who at least would not have made the unholy mess he has.

  10. Ron Coleman Says:

    Fred, I think it is a big mistake to state — as you seem to be saying, though as smart as you are you are not quite clear — that because GWB is not a good extemporaneous speaker, he is dumb.

    In terms of making a mess, did he make a bigger mess than Woodrow Wilson? Almost certainly not. Yet Wilson was anything but dumb — why, he was head of the best college ever, for starters. Making policy decisions that turn out bad is an even worse criterion for evaluating intelligence, absent anything more, than equating it with glibness.

    And it is so entirely beside not only the point of this discussion, but the big point.

  11. Bob Miller Says:

    It’s possible that President Bush actually holds a number of positions opposite to those of most Republicans, and that his advocacy of these is not for expediency’s sake or for the party’s sake at all.

  12. Fred Dickey Says:

    Intelligence has to be gauged according to the demands of the task. A mathematician might not be able to fix his lawnmower, but he sure better be able to do algebra. So it is in politics: persuasiveness, articulation, a knowledge of and sense of history, and the ability to forge compromises are the measures of intelligence, and would anyone care to champion Bush is those areas? Name one thing–one thing–that he as succeeded at as president. No, not Roberts and Alito. He was forced into those appointments. Everyone knows he preferred his cronies, Gonzales and Miers.

    I mean, let’s look at the life of the man who has done more damage to my Republican Party than either Clinton ever could: When we examine his lengthy parade of catastrophe, he does evoke some grudging sympathy. We have to wince for the man who brags he can dance, but then stumbles all over the ballroom floor. We are not embarrassed by him, but for him. There must be no mirrors in his house. He is so used to shouldering the backpack of failed expectations that he is no longer aware of the weight.

    I’ve read several accounts of Bush’s time at Harvard Graduate School of Business. He obviously did not belong there among smart, high achievers, so, as one fellow student said, he sat in the back of the class dressed in blue jeans, spat tobacco juice into a cup and cracked jokes.

    In prep school, he was the smirky towel-snapper who teased other boys, but who stood behind the football players when the going got rough. Of all the things he could have inherited, he ended up with the family tangle-tongue curse. Can you imaging the poor kid trying to deliver a talk in speech class without a teleprompter?

    What does that say? Here’s a spoiled rich kid with semi-destructive behavior who doesn’t see it as risky because he knows he’s got the family feather bed below him to cushion any fall. He intuitively knows he’s of slim talent, and that gives him feelings of failure because he can’t live up to the family image. So, in the manner of a high school sophomore who can’t measure up, he engages in bratty behavior as a form of protest. Risk-free rebellion. And then he chooses easy, safe ways to minimize chances of failure while looking “bad.” Instead of joining the active-duty military, he joins the Vietnam-era National Guard where he can strut in a snappy uniform and defend Texas from Oklahoma. Then he puts on a cowboy shirt, jeans and boots and swaggers around his ranch, doing “cowboy things” but avoiding real cowboy work such as stringing barbed wire, castrating bulls, and mucking stables.

    He decides to become a big oil man, and despite luxurious access to capital and contacts, he becomes a human dry hole. Then he becomes front man for a big-league baseball club. His handlers don’t expect much of him–just drop his name as needed to get taxpayers to build a stadium, and fuel his fantasies by playing catch with Nolen Ryan.

    Whereupon, Carl Rove discovers him. He’s looking for a lump of clay to sculp, but when he meets Bush, he realizes he’s stumbled onto Carrera marble.

    Why, then, did we choose such a wee man for our leader? Easy. Countries do it all the time. Always have. Mediocrity does not frighten us, challenge us, and does not ask things of us we would rather talk about than actually do.

    So, when he makes horrendous mistakes, and even his own party rebels, he turns pouty and, stubbornly says “I’ll show you” as a form of politically spitting tobacco into a cup.

    We understand Bush because he is one of us. We lifted him from the political-store shelf, bought him, and took him home. We admired the way he snapped salutes at Marine guards; the way he said “freedom” with such feeling. But most important, we liked his chosen route because it skirted steep hills.

    However, we have to be fair–we cannot say he failed his potential. We simply failed ours.

  13. Top Posts « Says:

    […] GOP meltdown — and who will make the ice cubes? Glenn Reynolds reads our very transparent minds and ponders: WHAT SHOULD REPUBLICANS DO as the GOP seems to be […] […]

  14. Ron Coleman Says:

    Fred, interesting little essay! It’s more than I can wrestle with, except to say I disagree with a lot of it… but I’m not in much of a mood to defend GWB.

  15. Bob Miller Says:

    I wonder if Fred Dickey would like to read his own life story as written to show only the bad.

  16. Fred Dickey Says:

    Bob, that would be fair if I would presume to be president of the United States.

  17. Dean's World Says:

    Libby sentence commuted

    Hat tip to the left-wing loon who haunts my alumni email lists, but this time what he sent around is true:

    President Bush commuted the sen…

  18. Dean's World Says:

    Libby sentence commuted

    Hat tip to the left-wing loon who haunts my alumni email lists, but this time what he sent around is true:

    President Bush commuted the sen…

Attorney Ronald D. Coleman