By Chip McLean
Is there anyone remaining with an IQ above room temperature who actually believes that the Republican Party believes in limited government, as defined by the U.S. constitution? If so, they have either been hibernating or have been in complete self-denial.
Every election cycle the Republican Party counts on its “conservative base” to dutifully turn out and mark their ballot for whatever candidate has been selected by the GOP leadership. We are told ad infinitum that doing so will keep the Democrat liberal demons from furthering their agenda. The inside the beltway establishment has been chanting this mantra for years and in the process we keep getting Republicans who stand for nothing except their own political gain. Many of us knew the only hope was to change the status quo. The “tea party” became the embodiment of that hope for many, and for a brief moment in 2010 it actually seemed possible that there was some momentum for taking back the “party of Reagan”.
There were many things of course, including John Boehner’s lack of a spine; not to mention the pressure exerted on freshmen congressmen to “go along to get along”. In addition, no fresh faces emerged as a presidential standard bearer and just as in 2008, the GOP nominated yet another “it’s my turn” moderate in 2012 to run against Obama. Given the Obama administration’s “achievements” of record sustained unemployment, the first downgrading ever of our national credit rating, bailouts, record numbers on food stamps and a national debt of Mt. Everest proportions amassed during the previous four years, the GOP establishment candidate was still unsuccessful in persuading enough voters to give the administration their walking papers. It should have been a slam dunk. Yes, a dumbed-down electorate replete with low-info voters wanting “goodies” was a factor, but perhaps even more so was that millions stayed home because they didn’t view Mitt Romney as anything other than just still another politico espousing bigger and better government. Once again the choice was the lesser of two evils.
So what have these geniuses in the GOP decided they should do? Get back to sound constitutional principles and actually oppose the opposition? No, in their infinite wisdom the power broker elites (think Karl Rove, Reince Priebus, Ari Fleischer, etc.) have decided that to defeat the Dems they must act more like the Dems. Another Dole-McCain-Romney clone is certain to be the blueprint for the GOP establishment.
While many have written for some time now of the GOP becoming “democrat lite” and have posed the question, “why would people vote for pseudo-democrats when they can have the real thing” - they are in reality posing the wrong question…a better question would be, “what do the establishmentarians hope to gain from positioning themselves further to the left?”
The answer, plain and simple is that the party elites are far more concerned with retaining power than they are with standing on anything as risky as principle. The two-party system has become nothing more than a dog and pony show – complete with public grandstanding in order to distract Joe Six-Pack into thinking that voting for a “party” has anything to do with a “choice”. The media has been complicit as well. Take for example their characterizations of the current GOP as being “extreme far right” when nothing could be further from the truth. The Democrats have moved so far to the left in the last several years that George McGovern would now be viewed as a “moderate”. It is only by comparison with the Dems that the GOP could in any way appear “extreme far right”.
Therein lies the problem. While principle holds no value to the GOP elites, popular perception does. Fear is a motivator and the Republican elites fear being viewed as “extreme”. After years of indoctrination by the education system and the MSM, polling data suggests that Americans are shifting their views toward favoring such things as “gay marriage”, “gun control/universal background checks”, “immigration reform” and so forth. Apparently the GOP establishment believes they need to co-opt such ideas if they are to retain position and power. Those who deviate by actually standing on principle are the subject of scorn.
If you need proof of this, look no further than the reactions to Rand Paul’s recent filibuster of Obama’s nominee for the CIA, John Brennan. You would think that the supposed party of limited government and individual liberty would have been lending support to Senator Paul – after all this filibuster was about getting this nominee and this administration to clarify if they believe they can kill Americans on their own soil with drones if they simply deem them to be a “threat”. The reactions from old guard elitists John McCain and his despicable toady Lindsey Graham were predictable. While McCain subsequently apologized for calling Paul (along with Ted Cruz) “whacko-birds”, it is plain to see that protecting US citizens from their own government is not very high on McCain’s list of priorities.
As for Rand Paul, I am not without reservations where he is concerned, as evidenced by his recent change of heart regarding amnesty for illegal aliens. Granted, he didn’t say “amnesty” and has since tried to “clarify” his remarks with talk of “border security first”, but somehow this doesn’t sound very different from “pathways to citizenship” and other similar terminology used by George W. Bush, John McCain, Lindsey Graham and of course “rising star” Marco Rubio – all of whom seem to think pandering to Hispanics by rewarding lawbreakers will “help” the GOP.
The Republican and Democrat parties are two sides of the same coin, and while public grandstanding makes for good entertainment, its real purpose is deflection. The reality is that the only real difference between the two name brand parties is that one party is destroying our republic and freedoms more rapidly than the other. Understand that the power of incumbency with its perks and trappings is intoxicating, and goes a long way in explaining why seemingly well intentioned newcomers end up becoming part of the establishment they were elected to oppose. Americans in poll after poll show an extreme disdain for congress, but somehow keep returning the same congress critters from their districts every election cycle. The dog and pony show continues because it has been proven to be effective.
So what do we do? Term limits would go a long way toward reducing the corruption that comes with an entrenched group of incumbents, but how does one get a congress comprised of incumbents to support such a notion? Obviously they won’t, but we can impose term limits by voting out the scalawags ourselves.
The real key is that we must become more involved at the state and local level. We must work toward nominating and electing those whose guiding principles are constitutionally based. I agree with fellow writer JB Williams who wrote in a recent column:
“The American people had better forget about Washington D.C. altogether and focus all energy on saving the Constitutional Republic state-by-state. They had better stop trying to play politics and start doing the right things, where they can influence the outcome, at the state and local levels.
They had also better stop waiting for anyone else to do the heavy lifting and start doing some heavy lifting for themselves. Tennessee is poised to be the first state in the union to pass a Constitutional Balance of Powers Act setting the state on a proper footing to challenge federal abuses of power. A few other states are poised to follow the lead of Tennessee.
But to save our Constitutional Republic, most of the states will have to take similar actions immediately, or the people will lose their Constitutional Republic before the end of Obama’s second term.”
Indeed. If you are among those waiting for the national GOP to save our republic, here’s a news flash: they aren’t interested in sending the cavalry. It is time to secede from the GOP – that time is now and it is the only way that we shall save ourselves.
Chip McLean is the editor/publisher for Capitol Hill Coffee House and Capitol Hill Outsider. Chip is a former broadcaster. His interest in politics began at the age of eight, when his parents took him to a Barry Goldwater rally during the 1964 presidential election. In addition to his work at CHCH News Publishing, Chip's columns have appeared in a number of online publications.