Nov 08 2006

The Physics Of Purity

Published by at 7:04 pm under 2006 Elections,All General Discussions

The anger at the American peoples’ verdict on the Republicans is understandable – but it is causing Rep and Cons to miss the lesson here. I have heard a lot of normally smart and observant people conclude the right was not far enough right! Wrong answer. As I posted this morning, the country turned their backs on the Reps because the reps have been on a ‘purity’ binge the last year or so beating up on Bush for not being conservative enought. It first raised its ugly head on Myers. And no, I could care less whether Myers was confirmed – my point has always been she deserved to be heard before we rejected her, not because David Frum had a personal ax to grind. I don’t care about that either.

The purity effort results in deroguetory comments like “RINO” and “True Republicans”, like there is some requirement to agree with a single dogma. It was really bad in the immigration debate when the House would not allow those conservatives that wanted to document and background check the workers here already and instead would only build a fence. And this was after the tone was set by claims we should round people up and toss them out of the country if they don’t have a work permit. The penalty for the lack of a permit was back taxes, a background check and no break for applying for US citizenship. I would have added a processing fee as well to fund the effort. But those penalties were considered amnesty. And if you challenged this view you were a RINO or a moderate. Whatever the name, you were impure.

Not being a Republican this meant nothing to me, but it took a toll on people who share 50-80% of the Republican vision and who were willing to work on those aspects. For those who couldn’t stomach the liberal solution working with Reps on common ground was fine – as long as it was respectful. Well the purity police are out again, because they have been rejected at the polls. There answer – move farther right, become more pure, cede more of the middle to conservative Dems (or at least people dressed up as conservatives)

Because folks, that is how the Reps got beaten. Democrats fielded candidates that represented those aspects of the conservative philosophy that have broad agreement. They highjacked conservatism from the Reps. Let me use an example. The country agrees on parental notification and partial birth abortion, but doesn’t accept making abortion illegal. They just are not there yet. So Reps were doing fine when they were not only making progress, but outlining why the next step was also good policy. Until they get impatient and start calling those who want to step towards the goal less than pure, not true conservatives

So the dems tapped these people on the shoulder and said “we see what you are thinking, we will work with you”. And they may. Mark Levin was commiserating with Delay on the radio tonight saying the Dems will let the facade drop and the voters will get buyer’s remorse. I don’t think the dems will. I think they will start stepping America leftward in small, acceptable steps building confidence as they go. At least they should if they want to hold power. And we all know they want to hold power.

There is something about purification that is unavoidable. The process is widely used to remove impurities and create a monolithic product with no variations or imperfections. The problem is, in all purification processes, the amount of material you end up with is a fraction of the material you start with. The more you purify the less you have at the end. If the Reps decided to go farther right and eliminate diversity so they don’t have to expend the effort to debate, convince and – yes – compromise. Then they will be sitting comfortably in a small echo chamber talking about what ‘could be’. There is blame to go around, but the first thing is to understand the left stole a part of conservatism. They had to give up some liberalism in the process. Look at Bob Casey! He is pro-life and supports the NSA program. There is not enough distance between Casey and the commonly supported conservative principles to make it a big penalty to oust a fine man – Santorum. I think Santorum is the better of the two, but if Casey respects diversity and is willing to look for common ground he will win over someone who won’t (and I am not talking about Santorum – I know he was not like this). But Reps earned a bad reputation every time they tried to impose purity standards. Every call of RINO violated Ronald Reagan’s 12th commandment. Lincoln Chafee may have little common ground with us, but at least he voted for Rep control of the Senate. Insulting Olympia Snowe and John McCain insults everyone who finds these people to be honorable, reasonable, good Americans (not good Republicans) through implication. If the Reps think purification is the answer, then they really have totally missed the point. If you find Americans to be the best people on earth, then don’t insult their verdict. Work to change that verdict and again work with them to find common ground. Where there is no common ground, instead of purity-insults try being patient and allowing adjustment time and steps. Be flexible when the right path is being taken and don’t get too frustrated the pace is not to your liking. Leaders of large groups sometimes have to allow the pace to be set by those who walk the slowest – if they want the group to stay together.

35 responses so far

35 Responses to “The Physics Of Purity”

  1. Brandon says:

    Ok the initial reaction that Republicans are too conservative and conservatism lost is wrong. As a general rule Conservatism works every time it’s tried. Not withstanding certain districts in San Francisco, New York, Boston. If this was truly an anti conservatism election then Ned Lament would have won, Lincoln Chaffee would have won. No the democrats won by putting forth candidates that could be believable conservative democrats.

    You look at the data and while Iraq was a central issue, other big issues included immigration, and too much spending.

    The bottom line is Republicans lost because the acted like liberals…

  2. Steve_LA says:

    Brandon,

    You’re not the first that I have read after yesterday who used that line,

    “The bottom line is Republicans lost because the acted like liberals… ”

    Not to poke at you, but in what ways or on what issues do you think the Republicans have been acting in the same way as liberals.

    My list of heartburn issues with the Republican majority in no order would be:

    Fiscal Conservatism out the window
    Too far too fast on social conservative issues
    Too little pressure on the President on the conduct of the war from those who agree with him in general but want more accountability.

  3. For Enforcement says:

    Steve_LA, does LA mean Ca or La? Im in La
    Anyhow you cracked me up, you asked a question and then put this list together.

    Fiscal Conservatism out the window
    Just like Liberals
    Too far too fast on social conservative issues
    well, like libs, only the opposite.
    Too little pressure on the President on the conduct of the war from those who agree with him in general but want more accountability.
    Just like liberals in the past.

    But let’s expand list
    Corruption, not quite as bad as Libs yet, but headed that way.
    Interested in power, not good gov. just like libs

    Main way they are not like Liberals, Repubs and Conserv generally like America. Libs generally don’t

  4. wiley says:

    Though not monolithic as in past, the biased MSM did have an impact as did the unchecked smear campaigns and untruths flooding the airwaves. And you’re fooling yourselves if you think the dems will suddenly be bi-partisan or attempt in any meaningful fashion to work with reps & Bush (only if Bush goes way left). The good news is that the margins are slim enough so that they will be prevented from doing much harm. And hopefully, the reps will learn to get back to core conservative values. If so, 2008 will be fruitful & 2006 a minor wayward step.

  5. Steve_LA says:

    Enforcement,

    LA as in LA LA Land, but weird enough I am originally from La, go figure, Ya’ll.

    The list was a calibrate point, engineer speak, for where I was coming from. I’m a bit slow at times so I am building a decoder ring for what some of these terms like “Republicans acting like Liberals” and other snappy ripostes being used sense yesterday really mean.

    I’ve so far figured out that that one plain language version of the above is a reputation of Senate Republicans and the President on the issue of illegal immigration. I agree with the President BTW.

    Glad I made you laugh, but hopefully not like “Ken” does…LOL

  6. MerryJ1 says:

    Then there’s another factor, and it’s the (pardon the expression) donkey in the room we’re all aware of but not looking at:

    Suburban and small-town newspapers get their national news via AP or Reuters, and from the old standard-news icon, the “Gray Lady.” Most suburban and small town residents, get their news from both their local newspapers and usually Network news.

    And, there’s another little worm in the mix, and that’s the fact — and it is a fact — that an approximate 65% of those who get their political views from television, get them from late-night comics (During the Clinton impeachment trial, the percentage of his approval was an identical match to the late-night comic view-adopters, a coincidence I used as a pull-quote in a library newsletter item about “eternal vigilance as the price of liberty”).

    Excluding those who would rely on punchlines for issue positions and candidate endorsements (no hope other than that they don’t bother to vote), the sincere majority of every political view, who take the time and make the effort to inform themselves by reading one or more daily newspapers, maybe a couple of weekly news magazines, and pay attention to news broadcasts, have reasonable expectations that they are informed.

    Based on the slanted, or worse, misleading, material they inform themselves with and believe to be gospel, they reach reasonable conclusions, believe and vote accordingly.

    Most of us who regularly check this site, Mac, AmerThinker, etc., also regularly digest information from across a broad ideological spectrum, so it’s relatively easy to spot and discard slanted data and misinformation, and we tend to mistrust sources until confirming consistent reliability (I think they call it suspicious natures).

    But the reality is that no one can know what they simply don’t know. If enough “reliable sources” are printing and broadcasting ‘can’t win in Iraq,’ ‘Bush lied us into war,’ ‘Hastert knew and put politics ahead of protecting children,’ ‘culture of corruption,’ and ‘Steele hates puppies’ … well, everybody KNOWS it, so it must be true.

  7. Limerick says:

    ‘A lie told often enough becomes the truth.’ – Lenin

    ‘The press should be not only a collective propagandist and a collective agitator, but also a collective organizer of the masses.’ -Lenin

  8. AJStrata says:

    Apache,

    You need to read my blog on Filibusters, Myers, Dubai Ports, Immigration and you will see where a I part with the Reps. Most of it is not opposing an issue, but how far to go on an issue. Just go to those categories and start reading.

  9. Brandon says:

    Steve_LA,

    My sincere apologies if I used the same line that others have. I had not done so intentionally. With that said, you look at many of the house seats that were picked up they were picked up on the basis that the democrat ran to the right of the republican on immigration and/or spending.

    I agree that fiscal conservatism died long about 1998 with the republican congress. As for Iraq and the War on Terror I believe we are missing the point. The left says we should get out of Iraq, Iraq was a mistake, etc. I am sorry there are two fundamental facts that everyone is missing.

    1) Since 9/11 we have an obligation to fight terrorism on any front, in any country. We must go in and stop fighting nice wars, as I first heard from Rush many moons ago the point of the military is to kill people and break things. We don’t do a good job of that anymore.

    2) Since 2001 our military has liberated nearly 50 million people from tyrants and dictators. That is what our military does, they secure freedom for those who don’t have it, they keep our freedom secure. There is no more noble a mission in history than that of our military securing freedom for those that don’t have it.

    The Republican party is in real danger. If we don’t make our party’s leaders understand that they have got to stop giving money away, and we must take any and all measures to secure our borders, then we run the risk of turning this republic into a socialist society like most of the Europe.

  10. apache_ip says:

    I happen to agree with Hugh Hewitt about McCain and the gang of 14. I held that opinion before learning that Mr. Hewitt also holds it.

    McCain and his gang of 14 put a stranglehold on the Senate and I don’t believe he did it for the good of the Country. I sincerely believe he did it for his own self-interest.

    It would have been better to have stood up and fight the filibuster than to acquiesce to the Democrats and the gang of 14. I realize that we did manage to get two SCOTUS judges approved thanks to the gang of 14, but how many judges could we have gotten approved if they had stood their ground and fought them head on? Have you ever thought about it from that perspective? Two Supreme Court Justices in 6 years was good, but they weren’t the only justices awaiting confirmation.

    By caving in they were just kicking the can down the road. Passing the buck to the next Senate. And now look what that has gotten us.

    I see both sides of the Myers issue. On one hand, she was nominated by the President and as such deserved a fair hearing. On the other hand, she was an unknown quantity to everyone but the President and the base was hoping for a known quantity. I think both sides should share the blame equally on that one.

    Dubai Ports, that’s an interesting one. One of my Apache students was from the UAE. Really nice kid.

    The UAE are definitely our allies. They have never to my knowledge stabbed us in the back, although now that I think about it, didn’t they originally offer Sadam sanctuary and then retract the offer? Man. Looking back on it now, that could have dramatically changed world events.

    Anyway, here was the big problem as I saw it, you will probably disagree. We are in the middle of a global war on terror and we were going to depend upon a foreign company to help run our ports. Kind of hard to take this whole “war on terror” seriously when not only are our borders wide open, but you are also letting a foreign company (from the Middle East) help us run our ports.

    Granny is getting a cavity search just so that she can fly to visit the grandkids, but God knows who is streaming across our open borders, and now you want to invite a foreign company to help run our ports.

    That was basically a big WTF moment for a lot of people. It was the proverbial straw.

    I saw both sides of that one as well. There was no winner.

    Immigration, the mother of all issues.

    Here’s the deal, and you will have to trust me on this one. Americans have big hearts and the conservative base would have been content to allow amnesty for those already here if ONLY the President and the Senate would have listened to their concerns and secured the damn border. They got pissed off, and rightly so, when the President wanted to talk more about granting amnesty than he wanted to talk about securing the border. That plus the gang of 14′s bill in the Senate was total crap. Did you read that? I read small portions of it and OMG! It was exactly what you would expect from a bill originally written by Ted Kennedy.

    The President’s unwillingness to address border security first (and then talk amnesty) plus that horrible bill in the Senate is what caused the strong backlash from the Conservative base. The President and the gang of 14 are responsible for that mess.

    I thought we deserved to lose the Senate (they were a major disappointment), but I don’t think we deserved to lose the House. The House was the only body that held their ground on immigration and they were the reason we would have (that’s surely gone now – no financing) built a fence on the border. We can kiss that goodbye now.

    Damn, I really hate losing this election. I still can’t believe it happened. I can’t believe the American voters just voted to -
    1. retreat in Iraq – that will haunt us for many generations
    2. raise taxes (possibly retroactively)
    3. give up the fight for good judges
    4. have completely open borders
    5. give social security benefits to illegal immigrants
    6. give illegal immigrants the right to vote in many states – WTF?

    I call it Socialism creep and I am beginning to think it is unavoidable. It will be our ruin if we can’t figure out a way to stop it.

    Apache IP

  11. Limerick says:

    Sorry I didn’t respond to those who asked me questions about RINOhood…….wifey had me by the ear making me do horrible things.

    I sometimes(often) don’t get my point across with my less then college degree education. My original post about RINOhood was because today, after this election, my positions as stated on several conservative blogs, have been attacked AS BEING A RINO. I consider myself no such thing. I’m an R.

    As far as compromise…..yep I can do that. Everything is open to give and take. The stance on abortion is my line in the sand. It is the one issue I feel most strongly about.

  12. For Enforcement says:

    Limerick

    The stance on abortion is my line in the sand. It is the one issue I feel most strongly about.

    As I understand your position on this, it is: If it’s a choice between the life of the mother or the child, you choose the child,
    Is that correct?

    Well, I certainly respect that. I am against abortion also, but if me and my wife have 3 children and she’s pregnant with the 4th and it becomes a choice of her dying or having an abortion. Easy choice.
    For me, my wife would survive. We could have another child, but my other children couldn’t get another mother. Thankfully this is not a situation many people ever have to face. Abortion certainly shouldn’t be a form of birth control.
    But thank God we have freedom to believe as we want to in this country. At least for now.

    I too am a Conservative and Republican. NOT A RINO.

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  14. Limerick says:

    Enforcement……yes…it is probably the hardest choice anyone could possibly make. I think my view comes from my wife. She made me promise such a promise and I thank God that I never had to be faced with that. I am not taking the position that I would never support a candidate who was for ‘options’ in the abortion issue. As a ‘part-time’ church goer it is not the church that guides my conviction on this issue it is something I can’t put my finger on, but it is real inside of me and I have to trust that. No other issue is filled with so much paradox.
    Because of that I can support a candidate who does not see it 100% my way.

    I get so tired of being a RINO because of my immigration/taxes views. To me both have common sense solutions, but my common sense is one mans trechery and another mans tyrrany.

  15. Ken says:

    For Enforcement:

    We are not winning the war, which would require a draft
    and higher taxes. Simple enough?