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Republican Revolutionaries' Elitism

Mark Steyn has a brilliant and must-read article about how the Republican Revolutionaries of 1994 have become that which they campaigned against. Here's a portion:

Last week, something very unusual happened: There was a story out of Washington that didn't reflect badly on the Republican Party's competence or self-discipline. It was about a Democrat! Fellow from Louisiana called William Jefferson. Corruption investigation. Don't worry, if you're too distracted by "American Idol," it's not hard to follow, you just need to know one little visual image: According to an FBI affidavit, this Democrat congressman was caught on video taking a hundred-grand bribe from a government informer and then storing it in his freezer. That's what the scandal's supposed to be: Democrat Icecapades of 2006. All the GOP had to do was keep out of the way and let Jefferson and his Dem defenders skate across the thin ice like Tonya Harding with her lumpy tights full of used twenties. It was a perfect story: No Republicans need be harmed in the making of this scandal.


So what does Hastert do? He and the House Republican leadership intervene in the case on behalf of the Democrat: They're strenuously objecting to the FBI having the appalling lese majeste to go to court, obtain a warrant and search Jefferson's office. In constitutional terms, they claim it violates the separation of powers. In political terms, they're climbing right into the Frigidaire with Jefferson's crisp chilled billfold. What does the Republican base's despair with Congress boil down to? That the Gingrich revolutionaries have turned into the pampered potentates of pre-1994 Washington, a remote insulated arrogant elite interested only in protecting the privileges of the permanent governing class. But how best to confirm it? Hmm. What about if we send the Republican speaker out to argue that congressmen are beyond the jurisdiction of U.S. law-enforcement agencies?

After all, the GOP's 1994 Contract with America stated pretty plainly that henceforth "all laws that apply to the rest of the country also apply equally to the Congress."

But that was a long time ago, wasn't it?

Steyn then writes of Congress' inverted view of congressional immunity. Although the Constitution prevents members of Congress from being arrested for anything they say on the floor of the House or Senate, they didn't use that immunity to speak the truth about the Senate's immigration bill. Instead they portrayed this bill as being America's saving grace for its immigration problem when in reality it will only exacerbate it.

Be sure to read Mark Steyn's piece.


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Comments (13)

Isn't it time we let Karl R... (Below threshold)

Isn't it time we let Karl Rove begin his final solution to the congressional question?

All the Republicans had to ... (Below threshold)
dan:

All the Republicans had to do was get out of the way? Except for one thing. The fact that Abramoff, and the K-Street project have only had their surfaces scratched. The pay go method of legislation, and campaign contributing would make any American want to hurl their cookies. What piece of major legislation has not been to the benefit of large lobbying groups (like PHARMA, The Banks, etc.) or the weatlth (tax deferrments, not cuts). DeLay even bragged about not seeing anyone that doesn't contribute to the GOP.

The Democrats could now use the exact wording of the "Contract on America" and get away with it, because the DeLay's, Cunningham's, and other sleazy criminals only listen to cash.

It took the Republicans record time to out corrupt any previous congress.

I have 2 solutions. Public financing of all elections, and inviting the press to all meetings between congressmen, their staffs, and lobbyists. No Dick Cheney style energy legislation secret meetings.

Hmmmm.1. Public fu... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmmm.

1. Public funding encourages whacko and fringe candidates who generally don't win, but do end up confusing things a great deal.


2. The Cheney energy meetings were not about legislation because Cheney as Vice-President isn't a member of the Legislative branch. The energy meetings were where industry leaders offered candid advice and opinions to Cheney on energy issues.

In order for these opinions to become legislation they'd actually have to be proposed in a bill by Congress. At which point the secretive nature of the meeting largely becomes moot.

And I hope we can put this nonsense to rest along with the "plastic turkey".


3. It's fairly obvious that this move by the liberal and moderate Republicans in the Senate is oriented towards *replacing* the conservatives in the GOP with a new constituency. It's very clear that there has been, will continue to be, a very contentious relationship between the liberals & moderates on the one side and conservatives on the other.

But in order for the liberal & moderate wings of the GOP to effectively replace the conservatives they need to find a large enough pool of unclaimed voters that can be lured into the GOP. Since there isn't any such unclaimed pool of eligible voters lying around, the liberal & moderate Republicans in the Senate have attempted to *make* one.

That is the distillation of this Senate bill. The entire point behind this bill is to quickly create a new pool of eligible voters that can be recruited to either offset the conservative influence or replace it by driving conservatives out of the Republican party.

The relationship between the GOP and conservatives is very tenuous at best, and has been strained very badly by many actions taken by the Republicans. Essentially there is an undeclared war between liberal & moderate Republicans and conservative Republicans. As long as conservatives were willing to swallow their pride and continue supporting Republicans regardless of their legislative shennigans, then all was well.

But conservatives have become vastly more assertive as of late as their relative influence in the GOP has risen. Indeed the endless calls for concerted conservative action opposing liberal & moderate Republicans clearly shows the animosity therein. Frankly I believe that there is a greater concensus between liberals & moderates, but not including the ultra-liberals, of both parties than between the liberal & moderate Republicans and the conservative Republicans. This is why most of the major legislation has included high profile Democrats such as Ted Kennedy in the No Child Left Behind act.

What's curious is that there is a simlar action going on in the Democratic Party where there is a concerted effort by the hard-left to depose of those not stringent enough such as Lieberman.

...

Evidently the tent is as big as it's going to get, it's standing room only and some people need elbow room so there's some pushing going on. What might happen is the formation of not one but two new political parties. If the conservatives are unsuccessful in defeating the liberal & moderate Republicans, then there will be a mass exodus to a new party. If the conservative Republicans win, then there will very likely be a mass exodus by liberal & moderate Republicans.

If the ultra-left Democrats are successful in purging the Democratic Party, then there will likewise likely be a mass exodus of center-left & moderate Democrats. If the ultra-left is unsuccessful then they will form a new party. If the center-left & moderate Democrats are unsuccessful then they will very likely find common cause with the liberal & moderate Republicans and combine to form a new party.

Time to break out the beer and popcorn and watch the crazies emerge.

Very thoughtful Ed. I suspe... (Below threshold)
cubanbob:

Very thoughtful Ed. I suspect this is leading to a blowout in the Republican part casting out the country club moderates ( the lite Democrats) out resulting in creation of the Conservative Party and the moderates drifting to where they belong in a reconstituted "moderate" Democratic Party after the
Democrats purge themselves of the far left communists and crazies who will eventually give up on taking over the Democratic Party and drift off to the greens and the other Marxists groups.

Ed: They're all afraid of ... (Below threshold)

Ed: They're all afraid of another Bull Moose Party (you know, the one that got Woodrow Wilson elected by splitting the Republican base). Remember WW, the Democrat who hemmed and hawed about The Great War, then sent in troops by the thousands to be slaughtered in the quagmire he helped create by isolationism, and THEN after conspiring with the Treaty of Versailles that led to WWII [ever note the same initials for the man and the wars?] created that venerable institution that ultimately became the UN we know and love today?

Forget the beer and popcorn. Dust off the webs on your 1960's bomb shelters and stock up your food, water and iodine pills.

That "pool" of new voters a... (Below threshold)

That "pool" of new voters are too far off down the road. Years down the road. What they want is an immediate fix for the crappy SS program they're so hell bent on retaining. The old one doesn't have enough contributors and the piggy bank is full of IOUs.

the Republican Rev... (Below threshold)
the Republican Revolutionaries of 1994 have become that which they campaigned against.

"...and the beards have all grown longer overnight."
--Pete Townshend, Won't Get Fooled Again

Hmmm.That... (Below threshold)
ed:

Hmmm.

That "pool" of new voters are too far off down the road. Years down the road. What they want is an immediate fix for the crappy SS program they're so hell bent on retaining. The old one doesn't have enough contributors and the piggy bank is full of IOUs.

1. Not that far off.

The thing you have to remember is that there a significant difference between the three elements of new legislation:

A. Interpretation of law into regulations.
B. Funding.
C. Enforcement.

By manipulating any combination of, or all, of these three elements it's entirely possible to completely morph one law into something completley different.

C.f. 1986 amnesty. There was supposed to be border enforcement, but the regulations created from that law were set very loosely and then the Border Patrol was severely underfunded. Additionally the employer fines and sanctions were also similarly reduced in effectiveness by the simple expedient of not assigning officers to enforcement and by simply not funding it.

So it's also extremely possible for the various federal agencies to create very loose interpretations of this Senate bill, should it become law, that wouldn't delay the citizenship status of these illegal aliens at all.

Nor does any of this preclude Congress from revisiting the issue at a later point and "simplifying" or "reforming" the process to speed it up. Once a law has been passed, it's a lot easier to "reform" it and end up with something far worse.

2. Considering that each and every illegal alien is going to be looking to bring their spouses, parents and children, along with the vastly lower incomes these illegals will be earning. I frankly don't see how it's at all possible that this won't result in a net negative for Social Security.

I am a right-wing Repub, bu... (Below threshold)
Mitchell:

I am a right-wing Repub, but dag gum it, let's just shoot our selves in each foot, and while we're at it, in the head to boot?

I used to say, "at least there is one serious political party in the U.S." Now, it looks like we're losing the other one.

Dang if the Republican lead... (Below threshold)

Dang if the Republican leadership doesn't straighten up and fly right, they're going to take all of the suspense out of the fall elections.

"They're all afraid of anot... (Below threshold)
John S:

"They're all afraid of another Bull Moose Party"

Bull Moose, hell. How about the idiot midget Ross Perot, who gave us eight years of Clinton? Clinton didn't will 50% of the vote in either election.

Then again, losing Congress to the Dems wouldn't be the end of the world (hopefully). I'm guessing they will make the U.S. thoroughly unlivable before the 2008 elections, foiling Hillary's plans. And by shutting down the War on Terror, Dems will get full blame for the next inevitable attack. (We averaged one a year during the Clinton years.)

As I have written before, s... (Below threshold)
Drew E.:

As I have written before, so many of us in both parties are sick and tired of being sick and tired. Get involved in your primary. Pony up what you can afford and work your butt off for the candidate that is the most upfront with a philosophy you share. Send a message to the "well you see it's complicated" candidate. If your candidate dosen't make it this time..well maybe you end up voting party or maybe you don't. What the party that forgets us does not get is our energy or our money.
We have sunk so low that candidates' main point is "Well I am not Cunningham" or "I am not Jefferson"
We all need to put forward serious effort to reclaim our parties. Pigs at the trough respect no party. They just respect the trough.

"Get involved in your prima... (Below threshold)
cj:

"Get involved in your primary."

Wish I could. Last few presidential primaries in Kansas have been cancelled due to lack of budget.

Funny, that.




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