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Let's You And Him Fight

Lately, the left seems to have two ideas that they take turns pushing: predicting a rift in the Tea Party coalition between the Libertarians and the Christians, and trying to engineer a rift between the Libertarians and the Christians.

This is not a surprising development. But it's pretty much doomed to failure.

Both groups have lengthy histories in politics, but neither has had much success going it alone. They've been schooled quite thoroughly that America is a nation whose politics are shaped by large numbers, and neither group has the numbers to achieve their goals. They've finally learned that they need to be part of a "big tent" to have a real effect -- and this last election proved that decisively.

Coalitions are tricky things. You need to find enough common ground to appeal to a broad group, yet not so broad that they lose coherence and focus. If the goal is diluted too much, then the membership loses its enthusiasm.

With the Tea Party, it's limited its focus to smaller government, accountable government, and reductions in taxes and spending. Those are things that both liberatarians and Christian conservatives agree upon. They come to that from different directions, but they end up at the same point.

Beyond that, they have rather differing goals. For example, the Christians want a moral government; the libertarians find that thought an oxymoron. And it is those differences that the left wants to exploit.

It's doomed to fail. Because there's another lesson in coalition building that is also being learned: pragmatism. You have to look at things dispassionately. You need others -- others who don't believe in all the things you do -- to achieve your goals. So you have to evaluate all potential allies and foes with the same question: will this person or group help achieve my goals, or hurt them?

The people pushing for the split have no interest in either pushing libertarian or Christian issues. In fact, they're quite firmly against both groups. So the natural reaction to their expression of concerns about divisions within the Tea Party movement should be, "why are they so worried about it? Isn't that just what they want to see?"

Yes, of course it is. It's exactly what they want. It's exactly what they need. It's why they've been attacking the Tea Party movement all along -- this is just their latest tactic.

It's not that they're dishonest while pushing this "civil war within the Tea Party" BS. It's that they're so transparently dishonest.


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Comments (18)

If there is any 'civil war'... (Below threshold)

If there is any 'civil war' going on right now, it's in the Democratic Party.

And they've obviously forgotten that, most often, people vote their wallet.

In influence on GOP foreig... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

In influence on GOP foreign policy, I think the Palinites, the evangelist dominionists will crush the Paulites, the libertarians; ignorance over intelligence, it normally does.

Palin was raised in a type of evangelical Protestantism that sees Jesus as the Prince of War more than the Prince of Peace. Instead of pursuing spiritual warfare, as the apostle Paul urged, these Christians endorse worldly weapons against flesh and blood. This approach sanctifies secular policies no matter how far removed from the spirit of Christ.

700 world wide US military bases aren't enough for her. while Rand Paul, has been accused of being anti-semitic and anti-Israel. One of his staffers declared that, "By far the most powerful lobby in Washington of the bad sort is the Israeli government."
Paul has declared that "part of the reason we are bankrupt as a country is that we are fighting so many foreign wars and have so many military bases around the world."

Yeah, lots of common ground there, maybe not a civil war, more like a bloody battle between the Jacobins and the Girondists and just as lethal for those who know their French revoulution history.

Wow, Steve! The only thing... (Below threshold)

Wow, Steve! The only thing you left out was the TriLateral Commission and the Bilderbergers! Try and work that in next time!


Rand Paul is a libertarian the same way an 8th grader is an anarchist. Both are doing it just to try and make a scene and make others uncomfortable. Paul's incoherence on foreign policy is something akin to wishing really, really hard that the bullies will ignore you and he dismisses trade agreements with some sort of Bizzaro world thinking of "No one really wants that cheaper, better steel from China and India. They would rather pay more for substandard American steel."

As for Sarah Palin, I think I will just stick with stuff she actually has said, instead of, you know, random junk from people who claim to be able to read her mind.

Fascinating analysis techni... (Below threshold)

Fascinating analysis technique, Steve. Could you do the same for Obama, and the climate in which he was brought up? His atheist mother, his Marxist stepfather, his attending a Muslim school, his mentoring by William Ayers, and the like?

Oh, yeah, that's racist. Sarah Palin's white, so it's OK.


Since the "libertarians" ar... (Below threshold)
Jim Addison:

Since the "libertarians" are a lunatic fringe who've never exceeded 0.5% of the national vote since 1980 (the only year they managed 1%) and who just jump in front of the parade and pretend to be leading it, we don't worry much about them.

Especially when a loser like Crickmore calls them "intelligence," we can be certain they are too stupid to win even if they had the numbers. So they will just have to continue fighting for their "right" to kiddie porn, pot, and shoulder-fired missiles - and to be free of any responsibility for America's security - on their own.

I don't question Palin's r... (Below threshold)
Steve Crtickmore:

I don't question Palin's religious background, but you are talking about how right wing Christian tea partiers can find common ground with the libertarians who are serioius and far more radical on civil liberties, than the present administration. I don't think it will be easy.

Here is Ron Paul, praising wiLeaks and our right to view WiKileaks material while you still can see unless, you are in the public service including the Pentagon and can not.

the Army's unclassified, NIPRNET network in Iraq has blocked every major news website because of the Wikileaks issue," going on to say that Foxnews.com, CNN.com, MSNBC.com, the Huffington Post, and a variety of other sites are blocked on the Army's unclassified network. A spokesperson for U.S. forces in Iraq disputed that claim, saying that the web sites aren't actually blocked--it's just that attempts to access them on the unclassified network brings up a warning page saying that you're about to break the law:

'The feds have clearly lost it'

Last week if you were a soldier you could read almost anything you want, now if you look at CNN or Fox news now you are breaking the law. And this is the Obama 'liberal' Pentagon.

The wikiLeaks could be a ma... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

The wikiLeaks could be a major divisive issue of the right, as it is for the left. Pretty soon listening to Rush Limbaugh will be breaking the law for federal employees too if Rush doesn't tow the national security line that divulging the the truth is dangerous.


Frankly, I find what's in this stuff interesting. I think it's more interesting than the news the networks come up with each and every day. Give me more of this stuff.

People in the email asked: 'Why do you like these leaked cables so much, Rush?' Because they don't lie in diplomatic cables. The odds are that what we're getting here is the raw truth. People don't lie in these cables. These are not trumped up speeches, they're not written for the teleprompter. I mean this stuff is better than People magazine.

Give me more of this stuff.

That is going to be difficult now. Powerful centrists, like Clinton, Obama, GOP moderates, and the religious patriots like Palinites don't want to touch this stuff. They seek comfort in making government propaganda, or by adhering to the religious subversive wikiLeaks of the first two centuries-the New Teastament-, while the progressives, libertarians and 'irresponsibles 'like Rush think the present wikiLeaks is a gold mine.

Steve, you seem to be an ex... (Below threshold)

Steve, you seem to be an expert on what Sarah Palin thinks. You quote Rush. But when I ask you your own opinion on something, you blow it off.

And let me just say this, Steve: screw Rush. I don't listen to him, and I don't care about him. You care about him and listen to him far more than I do, and I could care less about his opinions. I have my own, and I report them, so don't bother telling me what he says -- I don't give a rat's ass. It won't sway my thinking in the least.

Add all that in with your tendency to outsource your opinions lately, and I'm wondering if you're the same Steve Crickmore I used to enjoy sparring with.


Stevie Crickmore - never ha... (Below threshold)

Stevie Crickmore - never has one has said so much, that meant so little.

Okay, point taken Jay. It w... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Okay, point taken Jay. It was the first time, maybe the last, impossible to pass up that i quoted Rush to reinforce my argument, positively.

Sarah Palin and the libertarians, sure there are some similarities. Wasn't her husband, her closest advisor a menber of the the libertarian leaning Alaska independence party, until 2002, supporting "gun rights, privatization, home schooling, and limited government" Palin attended the 2006 party convention.

I guess both strands the evangelists and libertarians want the fantasy of limited government, not much chance of that, Limited governmnt to me is like saying limited internet-it ain't going to happen-, but I suppose it is worthwhile to try in some areas.

I already have mentioned Sarah wants a larger military. She would wants to take the offence on Iran Norh Korea, Afgnhanistan you name it, so she better have `a big stick and be prepared to use it. Either Paul wants to retreat-absolutely, no more nation-building.

Hey some conservative points I agree with, if you keep giving people extended unemploymnet insurance there is no incentive to take a job that isn't as profitable as unemployment insurance; that would be heresy for the Dems to admit that.

Steve,I think you ... (Below threshold)
jim m:


I think you drastically misread the temper of the right. First you called obama a centrist, which is so insanely false I won't bother to take it up as an issue just yet. Second, the right is not glorying in the Wikileaks story. I believe that there is a great deal of concern about it. The concern is for the juvenile and asinine nature of our foreign service which has been revealed by the leaks and also for the damage that it is doing to our standing abroad. Furthermore there is concern about the incredibly flaccid and impotent response from obama. It is as if he actually wants the US reputation damaged (what am I saying! Of course he wants it damaged).

The right is not demanding to censor the wikileaks story. Some voices may be but I do not think that the right at large wants that. They do want to see something done about it. Some would like to see espionage charges. Many would like to see that soldier tried for treason and executed.

Nobody is saying that cable networks should be censored. The fact is that the info is out already. Reporting it now does not do much to further the damage. Only the fascist nature of the leftist administration is saying that we should block websites etc.

As for the nonsense about a split on the right it has not yet materialized. Social conservatives are far too concerned about the fiscal issues to worry much about the social ones. There is no point in arguing social issues if this country doesn't have any future. The direction barry has charted leads to the complete destruction of this nation. That is hardly "centrist".

My problem with the politic... (Below threshold)
James H :

My problem with the political parties is threefold.

First, the partisans on both sides, particularly the Republicans in my experience, tend toward a "my way or the highway" philosophy. If I don't agree with every item on the agenda, then I'm told there's no place for me. Highly frustrating.

Second, I've noticed a disturbing team mentality developing. Even as partisans grow more shrill with their agenda, they've also grown more interested in whether a person's wearing a blue shirt or a red shirt, and the "us vs. them" mentality invades every aspect of American life. As if the Republicanship or Democratship is superior to all else. It's God-pounding politically tribalism.

But the real irony is that all of the above is just bread and circuses. The real powerholders ... the ones at the center of it all in Washington ... seem more concerned with their petty squabbles than with the nation's welfare.

I do not believe for a second that Nancy Pelosi, John Boehnor, Rahm Emmanuel, or Mitch McConnell gives a damn about where this country's headed. It's all about sticking it to the other side and gaining and holding power in Washington.

It all makes me sick.

Wow! Steve like totally mis... (Below threshold)

Wow! Steve like totally missed the point of the post. ww

Janes H. I'm sure you are ... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Janes H. I'm sure you are right. Pelosi even said she wanted to be personally vindicated. As if that should be important for someone 70 years old. Why doesn't she want to pass the torch?

ww. I'm suggesting the Pauls could be more trouble than you expect for any new Palin tinged GOP executive, if Ron Paul is the lone politician in Washington who has praised the release of wikiLeaks. I guess Ron or Rand won't make Seceretary Of State since they would likely raise this question "When as a country did we become a place where the government gets upset when its secrets are revealed but has no problem knowing all our secrets and invading our privacy". Of course, Obama was for transparency of the executive when he was in opposition, but he never had the principles of Ron Paul.

Pelosi's only 70? Could ha... (Below threshold)

Pelosi's only 70? Could have sworn she was about 115...

I have confidence that ther... (Below threshold)

I have confidence that there will be differences, but both sides will still support the same candidates. This is the only time in a long time either side has a chance to make changes that support their cause.

Won't have much to spend this yr. during the holiday but I'll be giving out this book cause it's Americans actually taking a stand against tyranny. It's teriffic cause it's so real & about each of us. I recommend it.


Hopefully, the TeaParty can recruit more winners rather than just anybody that comes along. 2012 is closer than we realize. Good article. Thanks.

Poor Stevie Cricksmore. It... (Below threshold)
Ellie Light:

Poor Stevie Cricksmore. It's got to be hard fronting for the lunatic fringe. Let'shave a smaller military, for the strong do as they wish and the weak must accept what they are dealt and clearly Stevie lad thinks being Luxemburg is just dandy.

Its hard for someone to sell bigger government but idiots like Stevie tries hard. Trouble is one has a hard time pointing out what a successful government program is.

The slogan of 80 years of domestic policy failure just makes one appreciate our "most ethnical Congress ever" of Nacy Pelosi so much more.

The Left is bankrupt. Who ever heard of anyone fleeing a capitalist nation?

As a Christan and a Liberta... (Below threshold)

As a Christan and a Libertarian (registered Republican), I find the idea hilarious. America is a secular nation whose idol is Liberty, Freedom, Columbia; it is the best place where Christians can worship in freedom and work to bring God's Kingdom on Earth through the moral teachings of Jesus. (This effort is doomed to eventual failure, but that is our lot.)






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