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Why is it that speaking out …

… against extremists and the paranoid, suddenly gets you labeled as fearful of losing control over a movement, and fearful of grassroots action?  No one has ever said the tea party movement is a net negative.  No one has said we’re very upset about all this emotional grass roots action in the town halls.  This is all very good for our Republic, if you ask me.  I even recently criticized a talk radio host for speaking out against it.

But I have to assume that if I’m a little uncomfortable walking under a WND/Birther/Threeper banner, that others, who like most Americans, are considerably less serious about their politics, and who don’t have terribly well developed political philosophies, are going to be uncomfortable with it too.  You can’t govern a nation from the fringe.  Bad things have happened historically when that’s been allowed to come to fruition.  In a Republic, you need a majority, or at least a sizable minority, plus acquiescence of the majority, in order to govern.  If conservatives want to enjoy the power to govern, which if you want to dismantle the New Deal State, you need to do for a while, you need a bigger tent than the fringes are going to give you.

26 Responses to “Why is it that speaking out …”

  1. Yosemite Sam says:

    OK, I have to weigh in here. How is it that when someone advocates or follows a tactic that you(Sebastian) may not personally agree with that automatically makes them an extremist or paranoid? That may not be what you are implying, but it’s what is coming across and has been ever since the mess with the threepers.

    The way I see it, the so called mainstream, middle of the roaders who we are supposed to kow-tow to and to accomodate have been completely quiescent over the last year with what has been happening to this country.

    Many of us non-moderates are angry, very angry and are fighting back just as the Left did over the course of the Bush administration. The Left didn’t seem to have much use of the moderates and that didn’t seem to hurt them one iota. They have more influence than they have had in a generation. This is just the other side of the coin.

  2. Yosemite Sam says:

    Also,

    “But I have to assume that if I’m a little uncomfortable walking under a WND/Birther/Threeper banner,”

    Who says you have to do this. I think the birthers are fools and WND is a bit too much for me, but they all have their place and it is their right to advocate for what they believe in, even if it is silly and foolish.

    The only banner I walk under is my own and anyone’s attempt to shoehorn me into a slot they think I belong in is their mistake and has no bearing on what I do.

    The Left will call anyone who does not agree with them a racist and NAZI or whatever even if we are on our backs showing our bellies to them and insisting on how moderate we are. That’s just what they do.

  3. Sebastian says:

    Middle of the roaders may suck, but they represent a component of the electorate who’s support you need to govern, and if you can’t govern, you’ll never change anything.

    The left did have a lot of support of moderates, because they followed a strategy of running people who were sensitive to their districts, while simultaneously capitalizing on a lot of discontent with Republican governance, as a strategy to get back into power. And it worked.

    But now that they are in power, the left thought it was their time to take the next bold step in the New Deal. But it’s in the process of falling apart, because of their own “blue dog” strategy. You can’t get revolutionary change. Doing that is exceedingly difficult. If the Democrats ram a health care bill down the throats of the Blue Dogs, I think they will suffer for it electorally. Conservatives have a significant ideological advantage over the left. We should be able to govern long enough to dismantle some of the New Deal. But we haven’t been able to. Some say it’s because we haven’t been conservative enough, and to some degree, on some issues, I would agree with that. But a sharp turn to the right, especially heading further in the direction of the paranoid right, is going to be a serious detriment to the movement.

    The middle suck, but you need them to govern. You need to govern to change things. There’s not much getting around that.

  4. Sebastian says:

    The only banner I walk under is my own and anyone’s attempt to shoehorn me into a slot they think I belong in is their mistake and has no bearing on what I do.

    And it’s your right to do so, and vote how you see fit. This is America, after all. But that’s not a political strategy. A political strategy is getting enough people to vote for your candidate, or if you’re a party, candidates, so that you have some kind of mandate to govern. You’re correct for you, as an individual citizen, but politics is the art of humans coming together and trying to accomplish something. Any time you do that, you’re marching under some kind of banner, otherwise, how do you convince other people to join your cause? Even when we work for an employer, that employer presumably has a business plan, which could be considered a “banner.” If no one believes in it, the business will typically fail.

  5. Yosemite Sam says:

    I’m not sure if I explained what I was trying to say very well.

    There are many paths to the same destination.

    As a political policy, I think it is a good idea to bring as many people as possible into the fold, but the main thrust of the things you decry isn’t politics per se, it is groups of people fighting back because no one else would. The Republicans were all primed to roll over and show their bellies to Obama and the tea party movement put a stop to that.

    “The left did have a lot of support of moderates, because they followed a strategy of running people who were sensitive to their districts, while simultaneously capitalizing on a lot of discontent with Republican governance, as a strategy to get back into power. And it worked.”

    This kind of makes my point. The moderates who voted for the Dems. weren’t repulsed by the ranting and ravings of the crazy Left. The Republicans can do the same thing, run moderates in Democratic areas like New Jersey and draw energy from the base as they work from another tack.

    Also, the Left didn’t support the moderates, the Democratic Party did. If you talk to someone on the Left or read a Left wing blog, they hated the moderates and they loathe the Blue dogs. They want to replace them with “good” Progressive Democrats.

    Regardless, the Left went bat-shit insane over the Bush years and it didn’t seem to hurt their electability. The Right going over the top won’t hurt Repubilcan electability as well.

  6. Peter says:

    “…..WND/Birther/Threeper banner,”

    Smear much, Sebastian?

  7. Sebastian says:

    Where’s the smear? You guys put yourself out on the fringes, not me. I mean, the name itself conveys a small minority.

  8. Peter says:

    Do I really have to go through the older posts and cite each instance where you gratuitously poked at the Threepers, starting with your screed against the now infamous LTE?

    Please don’t act as though I’m stupid. Misguided, perhaps, but I am assuredly not stupid and there’s nothing wrong with my memory.

  9. Sebastian says:

    The Republicans can do the same thing, run moderates in Democratic areas like New Jersey and draw energy from the base as they work from another tack.

    If you do that, the base screams RINO! Snowe and Collins are those types. So is Specter actually, until he became a Democrat.

  10. Yosemite Sam says:

    “If you do that, the base screams RINO! Snowe and Collins are those types. So is Specter actually, until he became a Democrat”

    Of course they will just like the Dem. base screamed DINO when they ran/run moderate Democrats. If the Republicans were smart(they aren’t), they would use the so called base(many of whom are not Republicans) to keep up the pressure on Obama and the Democrats while finding and running good candidates who can win elections. That will be somewhat liberal Republicans in New Jersey and more conservative types in other areas.

  11. Sebastian says:

    Sam:

    I agree that path is the way to electoral success, but what happens when you try to push a really conservative agenda through and the RINOs say now? Just like the blue dogs are doing now with crap and trade and health care?

  12. markofafreeman says:

    Sebastian,
    Didn’t you say that conservatives have an ideological advantage? So presumably, there would be fewer RINOs than DINOs as a result of this strategy. Hence, it still may be possible to push a conservative agenda through without the rather large ‘problem’ the hard left wing of the Democrat party have with the Blue Dogs.

  13. craig henry says:

    I agree with your argument except for one little thing.

    I dispute your premise.

    Not many people were marching under WND’s banner. They were relatively invisible in the grand scheme of things.

    The professional republicans at The Next Right picked a fight they did not have to fight.

    Even then, no one would have said a peep if they had simply criticized WND for their silly arguments about Obama’s citizenship. Instead, Henke, et. al. demanded that all good conservatives denounce WND, and shun their readers.

    That last one was the killer. It’s a little too totalitarian for my taste and smacks of book burning.

  14. Sebastian says:

    markofafreeman:

    Yes, we do have an ideological advantage, but Democrats have a pretty substantial registration advantage. We should be able to get away with fewer RINOs than Dems have Blue Dogs, but Republicans often have an uphill battle in places that still lean Democratic, but are generally not left leaning districts, where Democrats have a registration advantage. Party affiliation is a powerful thing, not to be discounted. It’s certainly less powerful than it used to be, and I think this overall a good thing, but it’s still a force.

  15. Sebastian says:

    Henke, et. al. demanded that all good conservatives denounce WND, and shun their readers.

    Except that’s not what he demanded

  16. craig henry says:

    “I think it’s time to find out what conservative/libertarian organizations support WND through advertising, list rental or other commercial collaboration (email me if you know of any), and boycott any of those organizations that will not renounce any further support for WorldNetDaily.”

    How else do you read this?

    • Bitter says:

      He’s asking them not to spend their money propping up WND. That’s what support means in this context of spending money on WND resources.

  17. Sebastian says:

    How is that shunning their readers? I think saying he advocated shunning WND readers is a very different charge than calling for a boycott of organizations that supported WND.

  18. Sebastian says:

    I should also probably note that I don’t particularly agree with Henke’s call for a boycott, mostly I think it would be ineffectual. The argument that we have more important things to worry about now is a reasonable one, but I also think Henke’s concern is reasonable.

  19. craig henry says:

    Right. His call for a boycott is so broad, that there is no possible way to communicate to WND readers. Can’t run an ad, can’t rent the mailing list, can’t invite one of their writers to a conference even if he is a non-birther.

    The practical effect is shunning the reader because the Next Right wants WND to die of revenue starvation.

    One other thing, the worst of WND is no worse than the worst of the New Republic. Have you seen Henke or Ruffini call for a similar boycott of TNR?

  20. Yosemite Sam says:

    “but what happens when you try to push a really conservative agenda through and the RINOs say now?”

    Gridlock.

    Sounds good to me after 8 months of hope n change.

    Seriously, there isn’t any hope of pushing any agenda or rolling back the Left’s agenda for the next 3-1/2 years. Let’s take it one step at a time.

  21. markofafreeman says:

    I remember when Bush the elder was complaining about gridlock. My response was then, and would be now, that gridlock is a GOOD thing. I’d even go so far as to theorize that the Founders hoped for that, to prevent the mad push for bad bill after bad bill faster than anyone can read them.

    Except one problem. How do you go about *undoing* the damage and *repealing* bad law with gridlock.

  22. N.U.G.U.N. says:

    “to dismantle the New Deal State, you need to do for a while, you need a bigger tent than the fringes are going to give you.”

    Do you believe it’s possible to dismantle the New Deal State? I am not sure I believe such is possible. I do believe we can hold it at bay, delay it some decades, or maybe even push back into Liberty on a few issues (2nd Amendment, eminent domain, etc).

    But I am not sure I believe America could survive a move far away from the present New Deal State. I think that was the point of many of the policies. They’re like fish hooks. Barbed. So once implemented they can’t be undone. (ie: Social Security)

  23. Sebastian says:

    That’s a good question. I don’t honestly know the answer. But you can probably dismantle some of it.

  24. Ken says:

    “There are a couple other demagogues who appeal to our baser instincts that I would like to see CPAC decline to host, too, but this is a very positive step.”

    http://www.thenextright.com/jon-henke/fighting-for-the-right-the-worldnetdaily-story-continues

    This quote indicates to me that Jon Henke has something more sinister in mind than just taking down WND. This is just his first step in trying to shut down the entire right in talk radio and the blogosphere.

    • Bitter says:

      Have you ever been to CPAC to see the kinds of groups he may be implying with that statement? If so, what years? I’m just curious since the quality of exhibitors and speakers does seem to vary from year-to-year. I recall the difference between the first two years I was there, it was like night and day. For some reason, more fringe theory groups with all sorts of conspiracy stories to sell seemed more prevalent in 2002 than 2001.

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