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The Myth of an Impure GOP
National Review, by Jonah Goldberg

Original Article

Posted By:Oblio, 1/16/2013 7:39:51 AM

It’s hard for a lot of people, particularly on the right, to recognize that the conservative movement’s problems are mostly problems of success. But the Republican party’s problems are much more recognizable as the problems of failure, including the failure to recognize the limits of that movement’s success. American conservatism began as a kind of intellectual hobbyists’ group with little hope of changing the broader society.


Post Reply  

Reply 1 - Posted by: StormCnter, 1/16/2013 8:06:13 AM     (No. 9119410)

FTA: For starters, the movement has an unhealthy share of hucksters eager to make money from stirring rage, paranoia, and an ill-defined sense of betrayal with little concern for the real political success that can come only with persuading the unconverted.

Amen, Jonah, amen.

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Reply 2 - Posted by: noproblems, 1/16/2013 8:06:57 AM     (No. 9119412)

no offense jonah, but you live inside the NY/DC bubble and your ignorance is profound.

The Republican is indeed finished as a national party because of the establishment republicans (used to be called Rockefellers).

The evidence is easy to see if you look at the republican presidential nominations since Reagan (who by the way was despised by the republican establishment).

a new political party will fill the vacuum.

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Reply 3 - Posted by: govlawyer, 1/16/2013 8:12:34 AM     (No. 9119424)

The hell with ideologically pure, how about constitutionally pure?
I live in NY and just got my 2A rights put into the shredder by the GOP Senate.

I guess winning elections on principal is passe these days.

We´ll see in 2014.

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Reply 4 - Posted by: Passion, 1/16/2013 8:15:05 AM     (No. 9119431)

The purity issue is only part of the equation, the more important part is that our candidates and consultants are downright foppish about standing up for even those things we all do agree on. Our losing has as much to do with our tonal wimpiness as it does anything else.

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Reply 5 - Posted by: gwmcclintok, 1/16/2013 8:16:58 AM     (No. 9119434)

What a bunch of tripe! This article and mindset is so full of bs it is hard to comment on.
Tell me sir, what is a ´good liberal argument´ you speak of? Give us one, just one. I would like to hear so I can agree with you.
The Republican establishment you speak of never endorses conservatives, only future democrats: Charlie Crist, Arlen Specter, Bob Bennet, Richard Lugar, David Dewhurst over Ted Cruz, also against Rand Paul. And more.
In the primaries the moderate Romney and McCain rain filthy attack campaigns, but against democrats they run nice campaigns.
Ronald Reagan was not liked by National Review. Or the establishment and the Bush´s.
John Boehner, Colin Powell, Mitch McConnel, Mike Murphy, Karl Rove, Bob Dole, Chris Christie, David Frum, John McCain, Reince Priebus and more are not of us. Like Jeb Bush, they will never represent us, the base you speak ill of.
I think Mr. Goldberg you prefer the company of the above with your article than Ronald
Reagan. And don´t forget, Bush kicked out all Reaganites who served under him when he took over.

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Reply 6 - Posted by: nonsense, 1/16/2013 8:26:27 AM     (No. 9119456)

Conservatives know that our Republican representatives are inundated with phone calls, letters, petitions, etc. asking our reps to do the right thing. Yet nothing every changes about the way they do our business. Can´t help but be discouraged about the destruction they foster.

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Reply 7 - Posted by: MissMolly, 1/16/2013 8:30:27 AM     (No. 9119467)

A lot of the above posters are making Jonah´s argument. At some point, we have to decide who is our enemy. Hint: It´s not other members of the GOP who vary from our own rigid expectations.

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Reply 8 - Posted by: Grambo, 1/16/2013 8:34:03 AM     (No. 9119477)

Perhaps politics is classically about persuasion, but it’s not about persuasion right now. NRA membership increased by 250,000 in one month. You don’t need to persuade these people, just lead them.

The Beltway country club Eastern elitist Republicans are clueless about what’s happening in this country right now, and have become an instant vestigial appendage of the party.

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Reply 9 - Posted by: Rakasha, 1/16/2013 8:36:08 AM     (No. 9119484)

It’s not that the GOP isn’t conservative enough, it’s that it isn’t tactically smart or persuasive enough to move the rest of the nation in a more conservative direction.

I´m sorry to disagree, sir, but it does not take persuasiveness to vote against things like pork additions to a disaster relief bill. The only persuasiveness involved in getting the Republican controled House to do traditionally conservative things like vote to uphold the Constitutionally mandated budget proposal reqirement or to limit the debt ceiling is what it takes to convince certain members of the Republican Party to do their jobs and to vote as a representative of the people who elected them. The fact that some can´t be persuaded to this does indeed indicate that there is a cabal of weak-kneed sellouts in the Republican Party.

You also fail to point out a very serious ill of mass marketing conservatism; failure to retain the brand. As many on this board have pointed out, there is no longer a standard for the conservative movement. The term has become all things to all people, even allowing for radical progressives and big government types like Bloomberg and Christie to be put forth as examples, not only by the press but by those in the party who are actively trying to cut out the standards that once defined the movement.

It is not a matter of ´purity´ or ´impurity´. It is a matter of metamorphoses and transmogrification, and there are many of us who don´t think those changes are a good thing. Persuading the unconverted is only going to come about when they see the results of us standing by what we believe in. When their freedoms are restored and their economy and livelihood are restored by removing the hand of government from their throats, they will be persuaded.

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Reply 10 - Posted by: LZK, 1/16/2013 8:39:28 AM     (No. 9119490)

Well -- let´s beat each other up and then wonder why WE have a black eye....

It´s normal for the party out of the White House to feel lost....

I´m old enough to remember our party when Nixon left DC. The media was convinced that We were finished...

It ain´t over till the fat lady sings -- and hillary´s recuperating from a drunken fall....


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Reply 11 - Posted by: ramona, 1/16/2013 8:40:59 AM     (No. 9119495)

Calmly, now: Love Jonah and I agree that part of the problem is in persuasiveness.Too many Republican party elites cannot speak persuasively about Conservative ideas because they do not themselves understand or hold them. It is the party elites who consider Conservatives like Herman Cain, Sarah Palin, Alan West, etc. "impure" - for not having the good breeding of the Rockefeller heirs.

Even John McCain, when asked in a debate with Obama if he considered health insurance to be a right, answered correctly "no" -but he wasn´t able (or willing) to point out that our rights are enshrined in our founding documents and to add health insurance would require a constitutional amendment. So we have all these low info voters who missed an opportunity to understand why Conservatives oppose this travesty,

Or when Mitt Romney had a chance to explain the same, and to say boldly that Conservatives would rather see young people fully employed rather than on their parent´s insurance until they are nearly middle-aged. Instead he said he supported this provision of Obamacare. These are just small examples, but time and again we get frustrated with the Party spokespeople throwing away opportunities to clarify Constitutional, Conservative positions.

Ramona ( the Pest) ps Bravo to #10 for a most excellent post and for working ´transmogrifcation" into it!

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Reply 12 - Posted by: foggybottom, 1/16/2013 8:44:00 AM     (No. 9119501)

Surrender Dorothy.

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Reply 13 - Posted by: RosietheObserver, 1/16/2013 8:57:25 AM     (No. 9119528)

Government by little kid is certainly a good description of the Dems.

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Reply 14 - Posted by: Wizard of IS, 1/16/2013 9:02:22 AM     (No. 9119533)

Ah, Jonah! Love ya, but this one is off the mark. It´s the Rino leadership that strips conservatives of their committee assignments. isn´t it? You really must spend more time outside the Beltway.

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Reply 15 - Posted by: tocsin, 1/16/2013 9:05:16 AM     (No. 9119537)

Ditto #12
Good Golly, Jonah, even your editors, occasionally, ´´get it´´.
To restate their comments of today: (name a squishy republican here)...´´exemplifying that unfortunately common strain of Republican leadership that is uncompromising in rhetoric but opportunistic in reality, has decided to sign off on the federal government’s plan to radically expand´´...(name your favorite pork package here)

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Reply 16 - Posted by: dolphin, 1/16/2013 9:07:33 AM     (No. 9119543)

We are up against a nasty bunch of dems who have control of everything in the culture and have made it chic to hate people who can´t defend themselves. We are being bullied.

Who will lead us?

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Reply 17 - Posted by: Arby, 1/16/2013 9:07:50 AM     (No. 9119545)

This is very acute, as one has come to expect from Jonah. I do think that Buckley´s mentor was right, to a degree, about the sheeple. They need a real catastrophe to wake them up. The fact that people can now leave the ´job market´ and live out their lives is a tribute to the residual strength of our economy and our market-driven/individualistic way of life. At this point the sheeple are simply not concerned about the debt and dweebs like Krugman are their enablers (except that they don´t know who he is).

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Reply 18 - Posted by: tank, 1/16/2013 9:13:53 AM     (No. 9119557)

Well, I don´t think I could put it better than Ramona did. She pretty much echoed my sentiments.

I´m tired of hearing about ´´purity.´´ Many of us would do a little happy dance if one of the GOP Establishment just stood up for our principles instead of apologizing for them. Boehner, McConnell, et al do not make the conservative case, they make the politically ´´expedient´´ case.

Couple that with the abandonment of popular conservatives like Palin, Cain, West and the like, and you´ve got a recipe for disaster.

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Reply 19 - Posted by: Eheu Fugaces, 1/16/2013 9:19:34 AM     (No. 9119569)

An excellent article, pointing out that a bunker mentality and blame-gaming will not advance the conservative cause. As Jonah says, the name of the game is to convince and to convert liberals and the public at large to conservative ideas. But we must have the will to do so, and not shrink from opposition.

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Reply 20 - Posted by: TheMotherCO, 1/16/2013 9:26:44 AM     (No. 9119582)

Totally agree with Jonah - what a marvelous take on the situation. #1 and #2 and a few others get it.
PS - cain and palin would never have been elected to anything.

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Reply 21 - Posted by: Starlady, 1/16/2013 9:37:37 AM     (No. 9119603)

Jonah makes the same mistake the elites of the GOP made in 2012, conservatives don´t necessarily belong to the GOP. More and more the GOP will lose power because they assume that conservatives will have no one else to vote for. There are always other options and until the GOP elite realize that fact they can wail and blame others for their most recent loss when all they need to do is look in the mirror.

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Reply 22 - Posted by: JAN, 1/16/2013 9:41:58 AM     (No. 9119621)

Thank you thank you thank you.

I too thought I was speaking to the wind.

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Reply 23 - Posted by: TexaTucky, 1/16/2013 9:42:25 AM     (No. 9119623)

#8 (and coterie) . . .

"At some point, we have to decide who is our enemy. Hint: It´s not other members of the GOP who vary from our own rigid expectations"

Apparently some in our very own salon thought Sarah Palin was our enemy. . . she who must have varied from their own rigid expectations.

Oh but now, why don´t we all just get along?

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Reply 24 - Posted by: Blue-Z-Anna, 1/16/2013 9:46:23 AM     (No. 9119633)

The left does not hesitate to promote it´s most ideologically pure (read: Marxist) members. Even though the communist notion of government would be totally rejected by most Americans if the leftists were honest about their agenda.

We have the considerable advantage of truth, light, liberty, transparency, wealth creation, patriotic loyalty and a hundred other winning themes that we never stand up at the microphone and expound upon.

How can the good guys possibly be losing this debate ???

How is it possible ?

Could the left be running both parties ?

Sure feels that way ?

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Reply 25 - Posted by: Felixcat, 1/16/2013 9:59:30 AM     (No. 9119675)

Democrats - by both their actions/votes and policy statements believe in and support: abortion, gun control, environmental extremism, dependence on foreign oil/energy, national (single payer) helath care, vast expnasion of government (at all levels but especially federal), anti-military (other than for photo ops), etc ad nauseum.

Republicans - by both their actions/votes and policy statements believe in and support: ......

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Reply 26 - Posted by: bella, 1/16/2013 10:10:03 AM     (No. 9119707)

Well, well, well, there seems to be a difference of opinion...

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Reply 27 - Posted by: Calvinesq, 1/16/2013 10:13:30 AM     (No. 9119713)

I juxtaposed this column with one written by Brent Bozell on the Media´s Favorite Fake Republicans. Both good pieces, but hard to reconcile, unless I were to exclude the Bozell´s fake republicans from Jonah´s argument. Then, they both make sense.

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Reply 28 - Posted by: BeatleJeff, 1/16/2013 10:16:36 AM     (No. 9119727)

Heard someone on the local talker this morning say that the Rats are masters at PR and that is why they are winning as of late. I think that´s fairly accurate, but also I believe the GOP is just unwilling to get down and dirty like the Rats do. Rats have no shame and will say anything to win. Consider Barry´s recent statement that the GOP doesn´t care about starving children and his hypocritical about face on the debt ceiling. Rather than rushing en masse to the mic to attack and ridicule such comments, the GOP scurries for cover and lets the charges stand unchallenged. And they wonder why the GOP is called the Stupid Party. And consider Romney: if he had been as tough on Barry as he was on Newt, maybe he might have stood a chance last November. Boehner and McConnell are not leaders, they are facilitators herding cattle for votes. What we need are more Alan Wests and Michele Bachmanns taking the fight to the Rats. The GOP isn´t going to win until they start beating the Rats at their own game, and we need people at the forefront of the party willing to play that game.

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Reply 29 - Posted by: StormCnter, 1/16/2013 10:24:19 AM     (No. 9119746)

If we´re going to wail over those who didn´t make the cut this year, that´s fine. But let´s be honest that at least one of those who has been mentioned on this thread didn´t make the effort. Nothing prevents any of those people from continuing to fight for what they believe. I´m hoping Governor Romney will be visible and hard-working in the 2014 campaign, for instance.

Third party talk is a waste of time, at least in the near term. Either join us or join the enemy. For right now, there is no other choice. We should stop ruling out the young men and women, the fresher faces, before they get a chance to get established nationally. If you like a local, state or national candidate, send money, man phones, volunteer! There is hope, but results will not be immediate. Nothing´s gained by thumb-sucking.

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Reply 30 - Posted by: yuban, 1/16/2013 10:36:38 AM     (No. 9119790)

Oh joy, another hit piece on Conservatives. If you read the posts, all the Moderates are in total agreement with the author. All the Conservatives are thumb suckers. But hey, let´s not go after our own, right? We can only all get along if we go along with the Moderates. Never happen so I guess you are talking in the wind or whatever silliness that is suppose to mean.

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Reply 31 - Posted by: JoElla Bee, 1/16/2013 10:39:28 AM     (No. 9119806)

´A Time For Choosing´


~ or ~


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Reply 32 - Posted by: immelman, 1/16/2013 10:39:41 AM     (No. 9119807)

Disagree. If Republicans had held to Constitutional purity we would have been saved from the Obama destruction of our country. Our Repubs are purely careerists, it seems to me.

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Reply 33 - Posted by: thelmalou, 1/16/2013 10:41:15 AM     (No. 9119813)

Love you, Jonah, but I gotta go with #10 and #12, et al, on this one.

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Reply 34 - Posted by: Gallo3, 1/16/2013 10:52:04 AM     (No. 9119841)

Maybe we need a simple Ten-Point anti-commy mantra would be easily understood by both RINOS, Conservatives, and LIVs (Low Information Voters):
1. Marxism SUCKS! ( channelling the Obamaphone lady)
2. Democrats want to take away our guns.
3. Socialism SUCKS!
4. Democrats are mean to Americans.
5. Democrats want to take away Americans´ stuff and give it to lazy bums -and other Democrats.
6. Democrats are Communists.
7. Communism SUCKS!
8. Democrats are NOT FAIR!
9. Progressivism SUCKS!
10. Democrats want to take away our cars and make us walk!

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Reply 35 - Posted by: Butch59, 1/16/2013 11:15:34 AM     (No. 9119906)

Actually, the main difference in all political partys is really quite simple. The Dims hold power for one reason. They believe in and vote for people to live on the largess of federal handouts. Republicans don´t want to do that. They believe that all persons should be free to make their own way in the world. Add to the fact that, no matter what political party a person belongs to, once elected to Washington, the quickly learn that the only way to get re-elected is to vote some form of money to their respective constituents. That´s it in a nutshell IMHO.

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Reply 36 - Posted by: Hobbiest, 1/16/2013 11:26:53 AM     (No. 9119938)

The impure GOP may be a myth but the cowardly nature of elected GOP leaders is beyond doubt. Let the media make enough noise and they always fold no matter how important the principles involved.

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Reply 37 - Posted by: steelbreeze, 1/16/2013 11:34:36 AM     (No. 9119957)

Governor Palin was attacked by some of the very posters here who are still wandering around with there heads in dark smelly places wondering why we got our asses kicked again by a shinny-armed commie loving little girl.Wake up!We have never won by being democrat lite.It just doesn´t work.Try backing conservatives for a change and we might just win again.

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Reply 38 - Posted by: noproblems, 1/16/2013 11:34:36 AM     (No. 9119958)

dont understand why people think relevant political parties in this country will always be the repugs and the dimms. look at bhistory, especially the history of the Whig Party.

i can tell you that people in this country will not vote republican or democrat because of their well earned reputations. a new politcal party with honesty and integrity would have cleaned house against 0bama and the dimms.

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Reply 39 - Posted by: BuckeyeRon, 1/16/2013 11:35:28 AM     (No. 9119962)

Sorry, #6, you´re rewriting history. One mistatement to refute is that Reagan´s national security adviser was one of hundreds Bush ´41 not only kept, but promoted...yup, Colin Powell.

Ronald Reagan´s llth Commandment was "Thou Shalt Not Speak Ill of Another Republican." Now that didn´t mean we didn´t marginalize Republicans that didn´t operate in acccord with the Reagan Administration or Reagan controlled party apparatus. An underlying political philosphy was not to get mad, but to get even, and we did.

#30 is spot on. Who´s your rep?...city council, state legislature, congress, statewide officers? Thats´s where the real but unheralded party action is. Reagan believed that infusing government with conservative principles was a process that one has to be committed to over time....it took many years for him to become the historic figure he became...

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Reply 40 - Posted by: trapper, 1/16/2013 11:42:19 AM     (No. 9119982)

FTA: "It’s not that the GOP isn’t conservative enough, it’s that it isn’t tactically smart or persuasive enough to move the rest of the nation in a more conservative direction."

Yes! Yes! And yes! I still believe that the frustration rank and file conservative Republicans must choke down daily is traceable directly to the FAILURE of the GOP leadership to make even an ATTEMPT at persuasion. Example: W´s complete failure to defend himself or us against the slanders hurled at him and America by those who are now in power.

Now with the latest assault on our Second Amendment, the most forceful arguments are left to Mr. LaPierre to present, when it is the GOP leadership who should be shouting them daily in front of the microphones on the Capitol steps. In order to persuade, one must first make the argument. The GOP leadership fails to REPEATEDLY voice the conservative argument, so it fails to persuade. Making it once and going home is nothing more than lip service, which is all the conservative rank and file ever seem to get.

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Reply 41 - Posted by: wherewithal, 1/16/2013 11:51:46 AM     (No. 9120010)

You are either a 100% Constitutionalist or you are too close to being a socialist!

That include Democrats and way too many Republicans.

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Reply 42 - Posted by: ramona, 1/16/2013 12:08:23 PM     (No. 9120060)

Poster #42 rightly says"Who´s your rep?...city council, state legislature, congress, statewide officers? Thats´s where the real but unheralded party action is."

Well, my (RINO) state rep is Mark Grizanti, who broke a promise to vote against gay "marriage" and just yesterday voted for Gov. Cuomo´s asinine gun laws. Yep, support your (R endorsed) candidates. Works every time.

Oh yeah, I´m cynical about the GOP.

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Reply 43 - Posted by: BuckeyeRon, 1/16/2013 12:25:25 PM     (No. 9120103)

#44, you´re making my point...it´s easier to reach out and touch that state rep than a Nat´l GOP party chair or some party leader one sees on TV. Organize and run someone against him or run yourself! May sound pollyannaish, but remember that a guy who was a lazy backbencher state rep 6 years ago will be sworn in as president for a second time next week...ALL politics is local...

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Reply 44 - Posted by: ramona, 1/16/2013 12:30:26 PM     (No. 9120111)

All due respect to #45, the NYS GOP will not support conservative candidates. I will never, ever support them with a dime or an ounce of energy. I do support the Conservative candidates who oppose the RINOs.

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Reply 45 - Posted by: GreatPlains, 1/16/2013 12:35:28 PM     (No. 9120128)

An excellent article , which will evoke the predictable jeers
and ad hominem attacks from the far, far right.
Because the far ,far right is always agitated ,
unappeasable and always angry ..at the GOP.
The GOP is not the cabal of evil doers that the hucksters
on the right , like Limbaugh and Savage ,
claim it is.
Low information radio hosts like Limbaugh
constantly misinform or purposefully misstate facts to their audiences.
Limbaugh continues to falsely insist that the GOP controls both the House and Senate and that they can´t be bothered to try and stop Obama.
He promotes this myth that there is a group of secret
" elites " who control the primaries .
He of course, never states how they somehow manage to manipulate the voting machines in every primary so only
their preferred candidate wins.
Limbaugh is like the left in always promoting
class warfare.
If a Republican has succeeded and is able to belong to a country club-they are deemed by Limbaugh to be unworthy and evil.
Especially if they live on the East Coast .
The irony and hypocrisy is lost on his audience.
The enemy is not the GOP, but , you would never know it by listening to the far , far right PT Barnums as they hawk their drinks, books and memberships
in questionable organizations.
An agitated listener makes the best customer for the trinkets.
Those country club memberships , gated communities and private jets don´t come cheap.
The mystery is why the far ,far right continues to stay in the GOP if they are so miserable.
If their goal is to destroy the GOP and invigorate the Democrat party , as the past election demonstrated ,
they´re doing a bang up job.
It´s time common sense and reasonable conservatives and gasp..moderates..regained control of the GOP before it´s destroyed forever.

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Reply 46 - Posted by: VAfreedomluver, 1/16/2013 12:46:53 PM     (No. 9120163)

Conservative does not equal Republican. Don´t forget that.

The Republican Party (just like the Democrats) is an empty vessel into which is poured whatever is necessary to get to 51 percent.

The people that run the GOP are successful office holders and their fund-raising buddies. It´s not a conspiracy. It´s business They´ll sell out principled conservatives in a heartbeat if it´s necessary to get to 51 percent and keep their livelihoods going.

Reagan was successful in selling conservative ideas to a middle America that was not inherently conservative. However, he also created the fatal flaw to the conservative movement--he decoupled spending from taxation by engaging in massive borrowing. Today´s middle American *loves* big government because they expected to pay the full cost of it.

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Reply 47 - Posted by: noproblems, 1/16/2013 12:48:42 PM     (No. 9120168)

thanks #47 for showing us what the establishment thinks.

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Reply 48 - Posted by: johngalt1, 1/16/2013 1:08:48 PM     (No. 9120243)

Today’s GOP is a highly Balkanized, loosely knit coalition composed largely of religious evangelicals, fiscal conservatives, and Constitutionalists. Republican candidates tend to generate platoons of polite, well-informed supporters.

Meanwhile, unions provide Democrats with a vast army of no-holds-barred foot soldiers and a war chest larded with coerced dues; Hollywood provides star power and slick propaganda; major media outlets ignore or bury stories damaging to the left; and industries that benefit from Democrat-directed subsidies and regulations provide quid pro quo donations and legions of lobbyists.

Republicans have allowed the left to define them as the party of the rich, a group of petty, un-hip, humorless, intolerant, callous people stuck in the past who are mean to children, the poor, women, blacks, Latinos, Islam, gays, lesbians, bisexuals, teachers, atheists, unions, and dogs.

Put simply, 51% of the population believes that Democrats want to give people stuff and Republicans just want to take stuff away.

Conservative ideas are not the problem. They actually work. GOP no-comprise, single-issue “tribal” factions and woefully inept communication strategies are the problem. In a world where Madison Avenue thrives on being able to sell snow to Eskimos, are we supposed to believe it’s impossible for conservatives to sell the truth to voters?

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Reply 49 - Posted by: Cleanhousein2012, 1/16/2013 1:31:36 PM     (No. 9120300)

21 - Romney didn´t do any better.

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Reply 50 - Posted by: MissMolly, 1/16/2013 1:42:25 PM     (No. 9120326)

Just reading this thread proves Jonah exactly right. Too many believe they alone can decide which other posters are "moderates", "conservatives", "establishment", "100% contitutionalists", and thereby are able to cull the unwanted from the preferred. Sorry. I can most certainly be both a Republican and a conservative. There´s no rule (yet) requiring me to support someone else´s much-loved celebrity or risk being branded as somehow impure.

Thank you, #47, you´re absolutely right.

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Reply 51 - Posted by: dman, 1/16/2013 2:11:50 PM     (No. 9120389)

I agree with Jonah on most things, but not on this one:

"For starters, the movement has an unhealthy share of hucksters eager to make money from stirring rage, paranoia, and an ill-defined sense of betrayal with little concern for the real political success that can come only with persuading the unconverted."

Granted, but the GOP is home to corporate and Wall Street hucksters who place profit over party and country. No party or movement is pure. Demanding purity in the conservative movement is as pointless as demanding it in the “big tent” parties.

Goldwater´s 1960 statement was compelling (and I consider myself a Goldwaterite). However, later events proved otherwise. The Rockefeller wing (now called the “Establishment elite”) continues to suppress conservatives to this day.

"But politics is about persuasion, and a party consumed by the need to prove its purity to its base is going to have a very hard time proving anything else to the rest of the country."

The framers had another perspective. Politics is supposed to be about representing various interests among the electorate, not manipulating or converting them to another way. .A multi-party system is more in keeping with their point of view.

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Reply 52 - Posted by: Timber Queen, 1/16/2013 2:54:25 PM     (No. 9120486)

The Democrats have been running rings around the Republicans in messaging for over 30 years. On that we all agree. When conservatives point out the ever-predictable concessions and the nonexistent defense of basic Constitutional principles by the GOP leadership, we are labeled as purists with rigid expectations that need to stop attacking our own. I’m getting pretty tired of being told the GOP is “conservative enough” and they’re doing the best they can against the socialist media and academia.

Are they really? After over 30 years they haven’t figured out the game? We are supposed to believe that men and women smart enough to rise to elite positions in a major political party are too stupid, inept, or naïve to craft a coherent and consistent conservative message that effectively counters the leftist propaganda. Pardon me, but I’m just not swallowing that swill anymore.

We’re exhorted to “join us or join the enemy.” Well to my mind, there’s not much choice there. #25 asked whether or not the left is running both parties. Based on the consistent poor performance of the GOP “leadership” my conclusion is a strong probable yes. When millions of concerned citizens rose up into the TEA movement you would think the “conservative enough” GOP would have embraced us. Instead we were held at arms length even after securing a Republican majority House in 2010, despite the leadership’s best efforts to derail small government candidates. Since then we have witnessed Boehner and McConnell hold the upper hand and fold their cards time and again on issue after issue. I’m tired of fighting the socialists and my so-called “political party” who wants my money and my vote, but not my voice.

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Reply 53 - Posted by: absalom, 1/16/2013 2:55:51 PM     (No. 9120491)

Post Civil War, Secular Progressivism became the ascendant political orthodoxy of the dominant GOP while the D´s remained agrarian, insular and regional. That changed in´32 when FDR claimed the progressive banner and ever since the fight in DC has been over this. It has absolutely nothing to do w/the Principled Conservatism of Pitt, Burke, De Maistre, the Federalists etc, and never did. in fact, the GOP is no more a conservative party than the present day Tories. But don´t whisper this to the usual suspects, who fantasize that the GOP are the good guys. The R candidate since WH Taft, w/the exception of Coolidge and Reagan, have all been republicrat types typified by the Bush buffoons and doofus Romney. Goldberg talks utter nonsense.

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Reply 54 - Posted by: absalom, 1/16/2013 3:00:08 PM     (No. 9120505)

Post Civil War, Secular Progressivism became the ascendant political orthodoxy of the dominant GOP while the D´s remained agrarian, insular and regional. That changed in´32 when FDR claimed the progressive banner and ever since the fight in DC has been over this. It has absolutely nothing to do w/the Principled Conservatism of Pitt, Burke, De Maistre, the Federalists etc, and never did. in fact, the GOP is no more a conservative party than the present day Tories. But don´t whisper this to the usual suspects, who fantasize that the GOP are the good guys. The R candidates since WH Taft, w/the exception of Coolidge and Reagan, have all been republicrat types typified by the Bush buffoons and doofus Romney. Goldberg talks utter nonsense.

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Reply 55 - Posted by: Grambo, 1/16/2013 3:38:28 PM     (No. 9120582)

#47´s abhorrence of 23 million avid voters who follow Limbaugh is shared by many of his country clubbers and the "moderates" who believe half an abortion is a moderate, reasonable preference. In their view, the ´times that try men´s souls" are a result of too much passion on the part of zealots, not the attempt of good people to be faithful to their beliefs and principles they share with the Founders, troublesome things that the moral relativists on the Left and in the moderate middle find irritating.

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Reply 56 - Posted by: tocsin, 1/16/2013 3:54:01 PM     (No. 9120610)

Bravo #54!

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Reply 57 - Posted by: minuteman, 1/16/2013 4:39:20 PM     (No. 9120686)

10, 12 54 and many others amen!

What is it precisely that we are supposed to be persuading the unconvinced of if not Constitutional values?

“Vote for the GOP because we like power too” doesn’t cut it.

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Reply 58 - Posted by: Angry Dumbo, 1/16/2013 4:40:44 PM     (No. 9120689)

Jonah - I respond with Chris Christie. After he loses in 2016, will we still need to moderate? Pure hokem. The GOP needs stronger not weak TEA. Unify the Palin and Paul wings of the TEA party and game on.

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Reply 59 - Posted by: knowThem, 1/16/2013 5:38:03 PM     (No. 9120815)

Bravo 10,12,16,19,22,24,31,39,40,43,48,53,54,
55&56,57,58,59 & especially 60! There is too many of us to stay put and march to the orders of spineless goons. Game on #60! Time is of an essence I would only add.

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Reply 60 - Posted by: beth, 1/16/2013 6:25:41 PM     (No. 9120901)

I vote for a candidate because I agree with him or her on the issues, I do not vote for someone so that a certain group can have power. After over 30 years of voting for Republicans, they now want me to be faithful even though they no longer represent me. Forget it. If someone is on the ballot that I agree with I will vote, otherwise I see no point.

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Reply 61 - Posted by: earlybird, 1/16/2013 6:45:37 PM     (No. 9120947)

Amen, Jonah.

So much good stuff in this piece.

For starters, the movement has an unhealthy share of hucksters eager to make money from stirring rage, paranoia, and an ill-defined sense of betrayal with little concern for the real political success that can come only with persuading the unconverted.

A conservative journalist or activist can now make a decent living while never once bothering to persuade a liberal. Telling people only what they want to hear has become a vocation. Worse, it’s possible to be a rank-and-file conservative without once being exposed to a good liberal argument. Many liberals lived in such an ideological cocoon for decades, which is one reason conservatives won so many arguments early on. Having the right emulate that echo chamber helps no one.

And some of us do love to snuggle down and wrap that comforting echo chamber around us. And then snooze impotently while our freedom is taken away from us. Or spend our days typing pithy slams at fellow Republicans, going against all conventional wisdom for how to achieve victory by making sure that our cause is not just divided, but sliced and diced, shredded.

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Reply 62 - Posted by: Gretchen, 1/16/2013 6:47:51 PM     (No. 9120953)

I´ve been an Ldotter since 2001. Jonah, you have confirmed my thoughts for some years now--there are many pundits inside the beltway who are more invested in their position and income than in the People.

The tightrope act doesn´t cut it anymore. Satan owns the fence. Choose.

One side or the other.

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Reply 63 - Posted by: zoidberg, 1/16/2013 7:17:08 PM     (No. 9121022)

I agree that Obama won in ´08 and ´12 because McCain and Romney were too nice. It´s time to end that. Start applying Alinsky´s Rules for Radicals against the Dems. They have no compunction against fighting dirty, so why should we?

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Reply 64 - Posted by: doodah, 1/16/2013 7:55:07 PM     (No. 9121108)

Repubs or nonDems are very, very frustrated. I don´t believe we should trash Rush as he has kept many of us sane. The perfect leader would have been Sarah Palin, but she was betrayed by McCain´s groupies and then the sharks gathered. She would have been a female Reagan. Now we are just licking our wounds, snarking at any Repub or Conser who is a little different. Give us time and we´ll regroup with our big tent and include all of us weirdos and run away with the next election, because...voter fraud will be fixed by voter I.D. and having a very few days for early voting. So, Jonah is on our side and has some good ideas. A few know that there is a better day coming up. Never give up, never, never!

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Reply 65 - Posted by: ScarletPimpernel, 1/16/2013 8:19:02 PM     (No. 9121148)

Excellent posts, #10 and #12. Everybody pay attention to them.

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Reply 66 - Posted by: Dodge Boy, 1/16/2013 8:46:10 PM     (No. 9121187)

Relax, folks. Depending what´s left of the country by 2016, anything is possible. Who knows, there could be more than one America by then.

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Reply 67 - Posted by: Burger, 1/16/2013 10:26:00 PM     (No. 9121303)

A word of wisdom to the political moderates. Mitt Romney´s political career is over. He will be the kiss of death for decades to come. That being said, after reading this article, I honestly do not think Jonah gets it. Conservatism does not mass market well. It is ideological for the individual. Jonah´s backhanded comment about Hucksters is a direct shot at people like Mike Huckabee, RINO´s. I also personally believe whenever I read phrases like "The Real Political Process" it is meant to belittle conservatives. Also, if Jonah thinks Republicans do not attempt to convert Democrats, he has NEVER listened to talk radio. So many little red flags in this article make it hard to finish.

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Reply 68 - Posted by: Sunhan65, 1/16/2013 11:01:14 PM     (No. 9121334)

Over the years I´ve seen lots of debates between L-Dot factions supporting various candidates. People of good faith sometimes disagree, and folks with strong, principled views may disagree more often than most. In 2008 people lined up behind their own candidates, but at the end of the day, we did our best to support the worst and John McCain lost badly. We did the same with Romney four years later. I voted for Mitt as did many others on this site who were both appalled by his winning primary campaign and baffled by his losing presidential campaign. The claim often advanced on these threads that the "religious right" stayed home in 2012 is demonstrably false and a vicious libel.

Attacks have a way of clarifying things, and Palin is a litmus test for many of us. She was the one bright spot in McCain´s miserable campaign. Her subsequent immolation by the media was the most disgusting thing I´ve seen in public life since the failure to remove Clinton from office. Attacks on Palin on this site all too often echo liberal media talking points, and that rankles even those of us who sometimes criticize her judgement for other reasons.

You don´t have to believe Sarah Palin is Reagan Redux to understand that she is a conservative with a voice and conscience. If her voice bothers you, hit the mute button and read the subtitles. If you disagree with what Palin´s saying, you might not be as conservative as you think you are. Sometimes I get the feeling that the attacks on Sarah, Demint, Newt, and Rush aren´t just aimed at them as individuals. I think they are attacks on what they represent. They are conservatives. They represent me. And attacking people is a very poor way to persuade them you´re right.

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Reply 69 - Posted by: absalom, 1/17/2013 1:22:26 PM     (No. 9122350)

#70 makes a large point. If individuals accept abortion, homosexual marriage, ordaining women etc; they may call themselves Roman Catholic but most emphatically they are not. Similarly, conservatism, born in Ancient Greece, requires fidelity to enduring principle. It has been beyond obvious for some 100 years that the R party has neither interest nor respect for these principles and is little more that an enabler of the welfare state; addicted to power through big government and high taxes. Sadly many posters are either jake w/this reality or oblivious.

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Reply 70 - Posted by: starboard, 1/17/2013 2:43:20 PM     (No. 9122533)

Winning isn´t everything...it´s the only thing.

Thanks Jonah.

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Progressive Insurance
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Posted By: KarenJ1- 4/15/2014 10:08:10 PM     Post Reply
How do you ensure that you won’t be ostracized, denounced, or fired if you are a media celebrity, captain of industry, or high public official? For some, sexist banter is certainly no problem. Stand-up comedian Bill Maher called Sarah Palin a c–t and a tw-t, but suffered no ill consequences. David Letterman joked on air that Sarah Palin’s 14-year-old daughter had had sex with Alex Rodriguez during a New York Yankees game. There was no downside to that either. President Obama tosses around “sweetie” as he wishes. No problem with that. No one believes Barack could be condescending to women.

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