Pay No Attention to Those Men Behind the Curtain

By Grant Davies

Matt Drudge must have thought it was important to highlight the "filibuster without a bill" (as the LA Times reporter Lalita Clozel dubbed it) on his mega influential website this morning.

Otherwise he wouldn't have made it the main headline. "Dems Declare War on the Weather" was his headline.

It's hard to tell why he thought the dog and pony show was newsworthy but one might speculate that he sought to show how crazy the Dems are on the whole "global warming/man made climate change" charade. Or maybe it was just a slow news day.

But I look at it a tad differently than most. I see it as just another diversionary tactic in the Dems war to keep the Obamacare debacle off the front pages. These senators couldn't possibly care less about the climate. Except the political climate, that is. To be fair (and it's always about fairness) this stuff is certainly not beneath the GOP politicians either.

It's hard to count the number of scandals being ignored by the mainstream media nowadays. The IRS political targeting scandal comes to mind as does the NSA spying scandal and the Detroit bankruptcy. So it's not surprising that Dems want to change the subject to the weather or the minimum wage or anything else they can conjure up.

While Harry Reid and his little band of imbeciles are behind the Wizard of Oz's curtain furiously manipulating the "dimwit knobs", I'll volunteer to play the role of Toto and try to pull back the curtain so we can direct the attention back to the stuff they want us to forget.

The Obamacare health insurance takeover train wreck, the looming debt crisis, the erosion of the currency, and the continued assault on the Constitution are the topics that are most important.

Even Dorothy figured it out eventually. I'm not at all certain that the American people will though. But hope springs eternal.


  1. There is so much ammunition available to defeat the Democrats in the midterms that it should be a cakewalk for the GOP. Every interview, every debate, every soundbite should include a litany of the scandals. It's negative politics but to be fair, it has been negative governance, The Democrats did these things or allowed them to happen. They deserve the consequences.

    All that said, it should be cakewalk. I'm sure the GOP will find a way to make it more challenging for themselves.

    1. The "stupid party" will probably find a way to lose. Dems deserve to lose, but don't underestimate the ability of the people who elect them to look the other way even if the GOP does the things you suggest. I have no doubt the President could win re-election today if he was running. In a rational world it would have been impossible for him to be reelected in 2012. Voters aren't rational, Dem voters particularly.

  2. Dems deserve to lose, yet republicans haven't earned the right to win.

    1. Maybe not, but in what is effectively a two party system, does it not come down to picking your poison?

    2. Unfortunately it does sometimes. But not as often as we assume it does. I can think of many ways to avoid doing that. And in fact I employ them on most cases. It starts with opposing the idea that we must pick the lesser of two evils and proceeds from there to proposing actionable tactics.

  3. There are indeed ways to avoid doing that. However, abstaining in protest, or voting for the libertarian candidate has consequences as well. If a Republican candidate wins anyway, it is an effective protest vote. If the Democrat wins handily the same is true. But if the Democrat beats the Republican by fewer votes than the Libertarian candidate garners, you have still effectively chosen a poison through your choice. You've probably chosen the most toxic poison too. So that course of action should be used with caution.

    Living in Canada I now benefit from a split left side of the electorate - liberals and socialists divided in their political party loyalty. The split allows the conservative party to continue to win elections (and finally a majority in parliament). For a long time the right had a similar more profound split that kept conservatives in the political wilderness for over a decade.

    I am not suggesting compromising on principles, simply that it must be done judiciously and within the confines of strategic thinking to avoid unintended consequences.

  4. It seems there is an assumption in your analysis that I disagree with. It's commonly but - in my view- incorrectly assumed that people who vote for Libertarians are merely protesting and not voting for what they want. In my view, no vote is wasted that is cast for what someone wants. Those votes do not belong to Republicans. Those people may very well feel that both other choices are equally poisonous.

    If Republicans want the votes of freedom minded people they must earn them by adopting policies that lead to more liberty, smaller govt (not just slower growing govt), fiscal responsibility, and a return to defending the constitution. The only group I disdain more than Republicans is Democrats. But I refuse to support the GOP in it's current form merely because they suck less. I'd rather take poison.

    1. I was using Libertarian voters as an example. I should have been more explicit. There are other examples I could have mentioned - voters who support smaller government but like their local Democrat Congressman and vote for him or her. Those candidates invariably end up siding with the Democrats in charge despite what they claim they are considering during a debate.

      That's someone not considering the big picture (politically speaking).

      I do not disagree with voting for what you want, nor do I believe that it is a wasted vote to do so. And I agree with the notion that the GOP needs to earn the respect and trust of voters it wishes to 'capture'. The GOP should always stand for smaller government, more liberty, fiscal responsibility and the Constitution. There are many in the party who do. Not enough, but many.

      The problem I have is with the purity test, or the all-or-nothing approach, is that it may feel good but it can result in the worst of all options resulting from the decisions of voters. This is a terrible example to use, but it is relevant from a strategic point of view. In WWII Hitler would not allow his generals to retreat, which cost him dearly in Russia and North Africa. Arguably, putting principle before the practical, may have caused Germany the War (thankfully. The immense contribution of the United States obviously played a role as well).

      The point is that the big picture needs to be considered in every voting decision. I'm merely suggesting it be a consideration not the single determining factor. Sometimes long term victory requires short term sacrifices. Liberals until the time of Obama won because they were willing to make continual small gains for decades. While it is best to roll back those poor progressive advancements overnight, the reality is that it will take decades. With not enough voters understanding the implications of big government, with an intractable bureaucracy and Byzantine political workings and tax laws etc., things are going to have to take time to change.

      It's not what I'd like to see. I'd prefer a small government conservative Republican president and Congress and enough statewide wins ASAP to be able to Constitutionally mandate balanced budgets, more government restraint etc. But I think the reality doesn't go there, hence the (far) less than ideal approach I think is necessary.

      I think we agree ideologically Grant, and on the goals. We diverge on the tactics on how to get there, and perhaps on how soon we think it can happen. Frankly, I hope you are right and I am wrong on the possibilities.

    2. We don't disagree on too much. And I would just comment that I have always taken the long view, mostly because I have been forced to. As to the purity test; I don't know anyone who votes who requires purity from any ideology when voting even if they say they do. (I'm sure there are some, but I haven't met them.) So I would doubt that it's an issue worth debating much.

      As to the Libertarian voters, I would opine that it depends entirely on the election they are voting in and why they cast their vote. The number of times that the GOP candidate lost by the margin of Libertarian votes is exceedingly small no matter what they would have you believe. Mostly Libertarians (Large L) only come out to vote for their own candidates so they are not taking votes away from the GOP. Many Libertarians are not fallen away Republicans, but rather fallen away Democrats. Those voters were never going to the GOP. Many don't realize that.

      As to the GOP having many who ACTUALLY want smaller government, etc., and not just running on such a platform, I would say that the reality is that there are damn few. One look at the Bush years when they held all three branches of govt but still expanded it wildly will tell you that it's a charade. A look at the Reagan years, during the term of the most libertarian sounding President in the last century, shows that govt grew like crazy as well.

      My tack is to try to change the hearts and minds of people, especially young people, to show them the benefits for them of a freer political life. Only then will things change, and then they can change rapidly. History shows that things can change abruptly after a long seemingly endless struggle. The dissolution of the USSR is one such case. This country (USA) is largely libertarian in philosophy according to recent polls of the last few years, so it's a matter of changing old voting habits for many people.

      Next I will tell you about what tactics I would like to see used more often.

    3. First, the GOP is finished if they stay on the same course, so voting for big govt establishment GOP candidates is not only a waste of time, it is self defeating because it sends them the message that they can rely on the lesser of two evils vote from small govt freedom voters.

      When the GOP runs one of these types I suggest NO ONE vote for them. And it matters not if Dems get elected in many places, Like Illinois for example where I live. Most Republicans in those places are actually Democrats anyway who can't get nominated by Dems so they run as the opposition. Only if these people keep getting blown out by huge margins will the party finally get the message that only freedom type candidates have a chance. They will change of necessity. In any case, how on earth are freedom minded people better off with a guy like Mark Kirk (R) (Illinois Senator) or Chris Christie in office? In my view, they aren't, even if those offices are in the Republican column.

      Next, if we keep using the tactic of demonizing Dems and telling people how stupid they are for voting for them, we will not gain any Dem leaning people. If we don't convince many Dems that the freedom way is better, nothing makes a difference because the GOP doesn't have enough people behind it anymore. They will never win a national election again if they keep being what they are.

      In my mind it would have been better if McCain got zero votes. Same thing for Romney, zero votes. They lost anyway, but if they had won, what would the freedom cause have gained? It actually would have been worse because of the long term outlook that you mentioned would have been set back many years while they governed as the "least worst" President and did exactly what the Dems did, only slower.

      Now to the purity question; many people think Rand Paul isn't pure enough in some ways. Myself among them. So why would I campaign for him tirelessly as our best hope? Because the purity thing is a myth in my mind. Paul would make a radically different kind of GOP President that would move the party and the country in the right direction. And that is what you desire if I read you right.

      There is an organization called the YAL (you may have heard of them) that I think is demonstrating what can happen when young people get involved. These kids were probably mostly Dem leaning before they saw the writing on the wall and got behind Ron Paul, and now his son Rand. IMO, we must support them if there is any chance for the GOP.

      Ron Paul didn't get a bunch of right leaning college kids on his side in the primaries from other Republican candidates. He created them. He made them into Republicans. They are new blood. They are conditional Republicans, and that's what we need. They will only support the GOP if it changes it's ways.

      So I will go out on a limb and take a guess about what you would have done if you had a US vote in the last two Presidential elections. It's dangerous to speculate, so let me know if I'm wrong. I think you would have voted for the GOP candidate both times because Obama is a disaster. And you would have been doing the logical the short term. But your own long term goals would have suffered a set back.

      I'll be totally frank with you on this. If I didn't live in a deep blue state where a GOP vote actually had a chance of making a difference, I would have done exactly as the same thing. I would have made the same mistake to help avoid the disaster in the short term. I would have been wrong, but being human, I would have voted for Romney even though I opposed him because of my fear.

      So now it's time to have courage. We cannot settle for Dem lite or we are finished as a free country and will end up as just another failed Euro type socialist nightmare.

    4. To sum up, I'll never vote for anyone who doesn't move the flag significantly toward my goal. It's not about purity, it's about a rational plan for the long term. And hopefully it won't take too long. The lesser two statists is still a statist.

      I can appreciate your points, I hope you can appreciate mine.

    5. I certainly appreciate your points Grant. Quite a bit actually. As you say, we are mostly aligned in our thinking.

      As for speculation on my vote, you would have been correct. I blogged tirelessly against Romney during the GOP primaries, but in the end I would have voted for him had I a vote. That said, I don't think the responsibility would have ended there. I still believe that holding a Republican's feet to the fire to stick to the values of small government etc., is necessary. The difference is that Romney would be more beholden to his voters than Obama would be to conservatives. Would it mean we'd win on every issue? Of course not, but we'd win on more of them than otherwise and with enough pressure, more than we'd lose. I would point to George Bush and Harriet Miers as an example of a liberal Republican caving to conservative pressure.

      I think we agree on the objectives, and to a great extent even on the tactics - just not entirely but that's okay. I respect your opinions to a great degree. It's also worth pointing out that it;s a lot more enjoyable to debate with a small government, freedom loving person like yourself than a progressive liberal where they invariably drag the debate down to pointless, cliched name-calling.

  5. The GOP will prove what it's made of if they continue to run candidates like Christie, Jeb Bush, and their ilk instead of someone like Rand Paul who will take the party in an entirely different direction. The primaries are the key if the GOP is ever to be a factor in national elections again.

    1. As far as the candidates you mention above, I agree 100%. Rand Paul is far and away the best of those options. Is Paul electable in a general election? He might be. The question is how far towards small government conservatism/libertarianism can the GOP push and still win in 2016? Push as far as you can, but no further. If you succeed, the next time you will be able to push a little it further.


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