No compromise on American values — by guest blogger Zhombre

Mike Pence asked me for money today. He seems like a good guy. I hope he wins.

Life, liberty and limited government, he wrote, these are the cherished ideals of our nation, and they are ideals from which we must never stray.

Indeed they are. Truly American ideals. As David Mamet, writes, as American as apple pie or stuffing the ballot box.

But I’m not giving money to Mr. Pence. I am tapped out at this point. I have already sent small contributions to Sharron Angle, Allen West, Dan Webster (who is running in Florida against the blunt, swaggering, third rate demagogue Alan Grayson, of course lionized by the so-called progressives), Sean Bielat (Barney Frank’s opponent), even Christine O’Donnell in Delaware (seems like a nice young lady, maybe she’s a flake, but the Senate already includes Al Franken, so the bar for flakiness has been lowered).

But I digress. The point I want to make is this: HOLD ‘EM ACCOUNTABLE. Republicans will no doubt win big in November. But, as PJ O’Rourke says, this is not an election as much as it’s a restraining order served on Democrats.

The Republican party should not get the idea that they have any intrinsic value, or merit. Damn them if they do. They got the boot in 2006 and 2008 and now want to convey the idea that “we get it.” Do they? That remains to be seen. Hornswoggle tends to outrun and outlast good intentions.

We the People are the source of political power and legitimacy. Says so in the Constitution and Constitution is the law of the land and the basis of our governance. A political party is merely an instrument of the people, a tool to be reworked or cast aside if it fails to do the job you set it to. Its institutional life is finite and its integrity can be bartered away by small weak men, and women, who believe they are something other than small weak men, and women.

So let me reiterate: the Republicans must be held accountable past November. And into 2011, and into 2012, and thereafter. The battle does not end. It’s not never-ending jihad, of course, but it is a long running conflict in the West between the people who would govern themselves,thank you very much, and the people who would rule over other people because We Know Better. Than you bitter clingers. Than you rabbit people. Than you teabaggers. Than you, well, you get the idea.

You don’t do the victory dance, get drunk and then go home to sleep it off and wake the next day to business as usual. As Franklin said (however apocryphal it may be) it’s a republic if you can keep it. Most haven’t been kept. History, like the casino, bets you lose. Study history: republics founder and fail. Machiavelli asserted so, and Cicero, for all his patriotism and fine words, got his head chopped off by Antony’s agents, with Octavian’s acquiescence. But Washington did not make himself emperor (if you want to see a contrast, google Iturbide). We’ve prided ourselves on American exceptionalism: America is the land of reinvention, restlessness and winning the trifecta. I am willing to take that bet.

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  • Don Quixote

    Don’t be so sure the Republicans will make major gains.  I don’t know what it’s like elsewhere, but here in California it looks like the tide has turned sharply against the Republican candidates.  Boxer with another six years and Jerry Brown running my state give me chills but it looks like that’s where we’re headed.

  • suek

    DQ…I _sure_ hope you’re wrong.
    Zhombre, I agree with you.  But.  Here’s what I see ahead…if the Tea Party stays active and people have actually awakened to their responsibility of keeping close watch on their elected representatives, then things will go better.  However I can tell you from experience that there’s a steep learning curve in the governing “business”.  What you’re sort of proposing is that instead of sending money to the GOP, we send it to individuals.  At this point, I agree.  What you’re also saying is that the rationale for this is that the GOP as a party no longer adheres to the principles you – and maybe most in the Tea Party – agree with.  You’re (hopefully) going to have a party that is made up of the old bulls and the young guns – and the old bulls know the ropes, the ins and outs.  They may choose to align themselves with the young guns, or they may choose business as usual.  If they choose business as usual, they can make the young guns look pretty inept.  If they do this, their goal will be to preserve _their_ goals and see the young guns swept out in the next election as incompetent.  If that happens, I think that either the Tea Party will fade out or we’ll end up with a third party.  I don’t think that’s a good thing, and I don’t think it’ll last long…but at times like these, even 2-3 election cycles can be devastating.
    Can the young guns swing the old bulls over to their principles?  Maybe…I think the old principles are still there, but the privileges and personal pride issues that are the bane of human nature may be the deciding factors.
    You know…I don’t really agree with laws that place term limits on legislators, but I certainly think that the voting public should consider time as a factor in choosing their representatives.  If the Tea Party has a future, it should be one of vetting candidates and when a candidate shows him/herself as “way too comfortable” in office, it’s time for that term limit issue to kick in.  There’s a difference between those who consider themselves as “in service” to the population and those who have acquired rank within the organization.  I don’t know how to explain it, but I know it when I see it!

  • Ymarsakar

    “BCalifornia it looks like the tide has turned sharply against the Republican candidates.”
    But who is saying this? It is one thing for the Tea Party to say this .Quite another thing for California’s media establishment to be playing up this line.

  • Ymarsakar

    America must be fundamentally reformed to ensure all  the holes the Left is drilling in the Constitution is patched up and forever more not vulnerable to the Left’s poisons.
    The Left can destroy what people have striven decades to make, in seconds. This is not a time of ease and luxury, where people can sit back and watch the interest accrue on their bank accounts. A time of desperation calls for desperate measures.

  • wrwoodman

    The lame stream media is going to play hard to make you think that the republicans will not win as big as we may think.  They will play up the democrat’s possibilities to make them sound better then they really are.  Do what you can between now and election to get many of your like minded friends and not so like minded to the polls and get them to vote for the most conservative candidate.  At least that’s what I’m doing.

  • Bookworm

    DQ:  This analysis cheered me up.  Maybe it will cheer you up too.

  • TommyC

    The way I see it, you have to elect them before you can keep them accountable.  Why don’t we worry about that first?
    Back in Sept, my wife and I budgeted $500 for this election.  So far we’ve sent $1200 to 28 candidates and who knows how much more before we are done.  And I may be out of a job come year-end.  So why, when finances are not so good, are we doing this?  This is the make or break election of my life-time (and I’ve been voting since 1972).  I realize that $25 or $50 to this and that candidate isn’t a huge amount, It adds up, though, if everyone that claims to care does their part.  But I’ve heard so many excuses: my contribution would only be a drop in the bucket; plenty of other people are giving, I don’t need to; I can’t afford it, let those with more money do the job; and so on.
    I sure hope a lot of people go above and beyond what they were planning this time around.  And if you don’t, you’d better not be belly-aching come 11/3 about how the results were disappointing.  Things look good, but this election is in not in the bag.  I could list 50 conservative House candidates that are in close races that can be won, but they need money.  Ryan Frazier here in Colorado, Ruth McClung in Arizona, Van Tran in California, Patrick Murray in Virginia, Chip Cravaack in Minn, Sean Beliat in Mass, Jon Runyan in NJ, Tim Burns in Penn, etc.  The more new blood we get in Congress, the better the chances of holding Congress accountable.

  • Don Quixote

    Actually, the MSM I’m seeing nationally seem to be doing the reverse — Playing up the Republicans’ chances so they can say it wasn’t as bad as expected on election night. 

  • Tonestaple

    Or, DQ, they are pumping up the Republicans in hopes of minimizing Republican turnout.  After the way they pumped John McCain unceasingly in 2008, I would not put any kind of devious machinations beyond them.

    I will say, living in another indigo stronghold, that it is hard to see hope.  My congresscritter, “Baghdad Jim” McDermott, will be re-elected by Stalinesque proportions.  If I just go by what I see in the local papers, or the New York Times or the Washington Post, I would have slit my wrists a long time ago.  But I consciously remind myself that most of the country is sane and that fact that I live in Crazyland is proof of nothing about the rest of the country.

  • Ymarsakar

    “Actually, the MSM I’m seeing nationally seem to be doing the reverse — Playing up the Republicans’ chances so they can say it wasn’t as bad as expected on election night.”
    That’s not the reverse. The way it is done is that the national ministry of truth try to overhype a Republican victory so that if the Republicans win but not as big, people won’t think much of it. This is tailored to go with the combination strategy of local efforts in each state to bolster the chance of Democrat victory and defense strength, in order to get out the vote.
    If Democrats were constantly told the Republicans were going to win, they would lose, at the grassroots, motivation to vote. The national media is talking to people who normally don’t pay attention. The local news is talking to people that do pay attention.
    Propaganda is specifically tailored for each audience, DQ. It’s more subtle than simply a big black letter sentence decreeing the party line.

  • Ymarsakar

    It’s also a way to allow election stealing recounts. Because people when they see a poll that says Republicans will lose by 10 points in California, but then the Republicans win by 1%, they think the Republicans cheated. Since the Secretary of State of California then decides whether recounts will be done or not, local opinion in California will count a lot more than national opinion.
    This is also known in propaganda arts as having your cake and eating it too. Using a pincer combined propaganda campaign, in which you take both sides of the argument, Republicans are slated to win and Republicans are slated to lose, allows you to isolate and freeze specific populations for further propaganda goals. It’s much more flexible than investing everything in one hard line. Because changing it is difficult and resource intensive should events demand it.
    In this case, the media will be right if Republicans win small. And they will be right if Democrats hold the line or win big. Propaganda is always designed for the Catch 22, DQ. Always look for the Catch 22.