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Learning from History

The blog “4 Quarters, 10 Dimes” is run by a historian who specializes in the political culture of the early USA, so — as he says — “I actually DO know what this country was founded upon”. For most of his life, he as been an independent, voting for whichever party’s candidate he agreed with. A few weeks ago he posted a most excellent rant about how the Republican party has gone way beyond the pale, and he backs it up with specific facts. You really should read the whole post, but I’ll give you a taste with a an extended quote:

As we slide down the greased banister of politics toward the big round testicle-level newel at the bottom that is the impending election, however, it occurs to me that I can now save myself the trouble of investigating individual candidates, because an entire group of them have taken themselves out of serious consideration.

As of right now, I simply cannot foresee a time when I would voluntarily cast a ballot for a Republican candidate for any office, no matter how inconsequential. Even if I know that candidate to be a decent and honorable person individually, the fact that they have seen fit to tie themselves to that howling morass of a party would outweigh any such consideration – nobody running on the Republican ticket today is worth my vote for that reason alone, regardless of any other factors.

It’s as simple as that.

This is a shame. The United States in general and our political system in particular need an organized, responsible, adult voice for conservatives to make themselves heard. Conservatives serve the useful function of putting a brake on the random undirected enthusiasms of liberals, in the way that liberals serve the useful function of kicking conservatives out of their deep dark caves. The two sides need each other. Unfortunately the Republican Party has abdicated its responsibility to be responsible and adult. It has rushed headlong into the realm of batshit insanity thinly disguised as … well, more batshit insanity, really. It has mounted a savage attack on all who do not adhere to the new, extremist, ideological purity demanded of its members and has expelled any who dare dissent from the party line. In doing so it has become a malignant caricature of its former self. There is no responsible voice for conservatives in the US in 2012. None.

Unless you count Barack Obama, who is essentially Dwight Eisenhower without the Army uniform.

There would have to be a wholesale shift in the ideology, platform and base of the Republican Party before any responsible adult could possibly consider voting Republican, and I just don’t see that happening without a seismic and cataclysmic blow to their organizational structure. They have to lose and lose convincingly – they need to be shattered on the rock of their own malfeasance, ignorance, and treachery – before responsible conservatives can return and turn it into something useful again.

Until then, no. Just, no.



  1. ebdoug wrote:

    Well, there is someone who has refected what I’ve been saying since 2004. “I will not vote for a Republican” I tell my local candidate that “if you are running on the Republican ticket, I can not in principle vote for you in this life time.”
    And I’ve been saying how great a President Eisenhower was. He sort of did everything right between his golf games. I’d better bookmark that site.

    Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 6:28 am | Permalink
  2. Dan wrote:

    Perfectly sums it up. People talk about Romney this and that, but the elephant in the room, as this post (and actually Bill Maher a few weeks back) pointed out, is party politics. If you elect Romney, no matter which version of him, you get the entire GOP ticket with him, and legitimization for the army of tea party members of congress, etc.

    Saturday, November 3, 2012 at 7:42 am | Permalink
  3. Anonymous wrote:

    I’m a registered republican and deeply regret having voted for Bush. I haven’t nor can I imagine voting Republican agaom.

    Sunday, November 4, 2012 at 9:26 am | Permalink
  4. drew wrote:

    I refuse to even consider voting for any Republican at the national level as long as the Tea Party still holds sway in the House, but I still commit to researching all of the local candidates on the ballot. It seems like it gets easier every election, though. This year I made it about three sentences into the web site of the Republican candidate for state senate and saw that he had a plan to increase revenue by cutting state income taxes, and thought, “Thanks, that was easy.” The Republicans running for county office were not much better, either, which is unfortunate, because the Democrats at the local level here are pretty far out in left field in my opinion.

    Monday, November 5, 2012 at 11:38 am | Permalink
  5. Iron Knee wrote:

    Drew, you are a better man than I am.

    Monday, November 5, 2012 at 10:59 pm | Permalink
  6. Don in Waco wrote:

    I only vote R in the R primary. Otherwise, unless I move to San Antonio, Dallas, Austin, Houston, far west Texas, the Valley, etc., I won’t have a lot to vote for. Yeah, I could move out of Texas, but I’m too lazy to cook my own brisket. In the meantime, I’ll gladly do without the traffic and other downsides of urban living. Far WTX isn’t urban (except El Paso) but non oil field jobs are rare. Retirement relocation perhaps. Hopefully I’ll live long enough to see a D rebound.

    Monday, November 5, 2012 at 11:03 pm | Permalink