Sunday, October 15, 2006

"The Only Reason to Vote Republican" (revisited)

The following essay is a re-run, but a very timely one.

It was originally published on July 9 in the "Birch Blog" on The New American's website. Within hours of posting this essay, I received stern, disapproving messages from my superiors at JBS, complaining that the essay undermined what had been described to me as the "corporate consensus" that the Birch Society would have to make nice with the GOP in order to grow and prosper.

What is remarkable about that complaint is this: The essay below cites the "Conservative Index" published by The New American to document and illustrate the points I was making. So I was, in effect, being criticized for making appropriate, if inconvenient, use of materials published by the JBS.

"Why do you insist that the Democrats would be better?" demanded my editor, Gary Benoit, in an e-mail. I replied that what I wrote was not anti-Republican or pro-Democrat, but rather anti-incumbent -- and besides, I asked, how could the Democrats be worse?

At least one other commentator, Laurence Vance, made similar use of that Conservative Index in writing an indictment of the incumbent Republican Congress.

Significantly, even though the JBS officials who fired me protested that blog posts like "The Only Reason to Vote Republican" were terminally off-putting to GOP-leaning Republicans, this specific post prompted a very favorable discussion thread at -- of all places! -- Sean Hannity's website.

And in recent weeks, several high-profile Republican-aligned conservative commentators and activists have openly called for the GOP's defeat in this year's mid-term elections.

I have reason to believe that "The Only Reason to Vote Republican" led directly to the decision to fire me from the JBS. I published it about three weeks after receiving a phone call from Alan Scholl in which my job was threatened for writing an earlier blog explaining how the GOP was cynically exploiting the immigration issue as a way of mobilizing the political support it needed to consummate the creation of a police state, which effectively happened on September 28, with the passage of the Military Commissions Act. On the same date, the Mark Foley scandal broke.

Interestingly, the final essays I published in this space before being fired all dealt with various ways in which the Republican leadership supports torture and perversion -- traits now widely understood by an increasingly disgusted electorate.

My offense, apparently, was to take the JBS's principles (and published works, like the Conservative Index) too seriously, and being ahead of the curve. That's a self-serving view, I admit, but it makes a certain sense -- unlike the explanations currently being handed out by Appleton to justify my termination.

The Only Reason to Vote Republican

Sunday, July 9, 2006, 11:28 PM

Unless your Congressman is named Ron Paul, he doesn't deserve to be re-elected.

On at least one occasion during the last congressional term, every member of the House of Representatives – Dr. Paul being the sole exception – violated his oath of office by voting in favor of unconstitutional legislation; this is documented by the most recent installment of The New American's Conservative Index (CI).

The CI is not a comprehensive survey of congressional votes; it does, however, provide a useful core sample of the convictions – such as they are – of Congressmen and Senators by examining their votes on clear-cut constitutional issues.

For the House, the average CI score in this installment was 36 percent. Vermont Representative Bernie Sanders, a self-described socialist, actually out-performed the average, and several supposedly conservative Republicans, by running up a cumulative score of 37 percent. The New American has described as “Sanderistas” those Republicans (such as former House Majority Leader Tom Delay – 37 percent) whose CI rating is identical to that of Vermont's lefty Independent, or those (like DeLay's replacement John Boehner – 34 percent) whose performance was even worse.

Newt Gingrich, who successfully co-opted the 1994 Republican “revolution” that led to the seizure of the House from the Democrats, consistently voted to the left of Sanders.

The chief difference between Sanders and the Republican “conservatives” who flank him to the left is found in the preferred beneficiaries of wealth redistribution. Republicans generally favor corporate welfare, while lefties of the Sanders type are wedded to Big Labor and Welfare State constituencies. Both parties – or, better stated, both appendages of the ruling Establishment Party – have become nothing more than elaborate political support systems for deeply entrenched constituencies.

Which is one of many reasons why Rep. Paul is so valuable.

In a profile of Rep. Paul that suppurates befuddled condescension, the Washington Post describes him as a “rare breed” in this era of lock-step (or goose-step, in the case of a GOP increasingly defined by fuhrerprinzip) party discipline: “Democrats and Republicans have been quite disciplined in recent years – when party leaders say `jump,' the savvy congressman had better inquire how high.”

Dr. Paul, however, insists on treating his oath to uphold the Constitution as, well, a solemn promise before God to his constituents. Which is why he is a living rebuke to the hypocritical collectivists who infest the Republican Party, and utterly mystifying to the retread socialists who publish the Post.

“Republican Ron Paul missed out on the 19th century, but he admires it from afar,” writes the Post in a witticism that's as limp as an un-medicated Rush Limbaugh. “He speaks lovingly of the good old days before things like Social Security and Medicaid existed, before the federal government outlawed drugs like heroin. In his legislative fantasies, the amiable Texas congressman would do away with the CIA and the Federal Reserve. He'd reinstate the gold standard. He'd get rid of the Department of Education and leave the business of schooling to local governments, because he believes that's what the Constitution intended.”

Note how the Post treats those prescriptions (particularly those dealing with education ) as whimsical personal opinions, rather than -- as Paul demonstrated to the reporter – strict application of the actual text of the Constitution. (In what was almost certainly a long overdue primer on the charter of our republic, Paul introduced the Post report to Article I, Section 8, which specifies every purpose for which Congress can appropriate money.)

Rep. Paul has a well-earned and altogether commendable reputation for voting against nearly every proposed law -- perhaps acting on the unassailable insight that in a society suffocating, as is ours, beneath countless positivist laws, the only defensible legislative course is to begin repealing them.

After all, the only Being in the universe who has a right to impose laws originally gave us ten, and He eventually condensed them into two.

Dr. Paul also understands that everything government does is backed by the threat of lethal violence – often implicitly, but to an increasing extent, overtly. Once the Constitution, which is intended to restrain and control government, is cast aside, that power is emancipated and deployed on behalf of whatever individual or faction can seize control of it, and will be used to the extent the victors can get away with it.

In principle, the only alternative to the Constitution is kto kogo? -- Lenin's “who does what to whom” dichotomy, which – when coupled with his ideology of rule (“power without limit, resting directly on force”) -- provides the formula for the Total State.

Over at the More Liberty Blog, Richard Wilkins observes:

“Last Friday, the House Republicans passed a resolution attacking the media for daring to inform the public about the government's efforts to spy on them. Early this year, the GOP House leadership pushed a bill through the House outlawing "price gouging.” Now they are attacking the press. First economic crimes, now attacks on the media for displeasing the State. Maybe GOP really stands for Grand Old Politburo.”

If you're content to settle for this -- if you believe that unchecked profligacy, open-ended foreign war, and canine subservience to a lawless executive should be rewarded -- then by all means, vote Republican this November.


Kevin Craig said...

If the Republican Party has any virtue left, then sound, well-documented, Constitution-based criticisms of Party policies will actually be respected, and might even "make nice" with the GOP.

On the other hand, David Kuo, the former second-in-command of Bush's Office of Faith-Based Initiatives, has revealed that conservative Christians who simply support the Republican oligarchy like fawning sycophants receive no respect whatsoever.

Writes Jonathan Larsen, producer of "Countdown" with Keith Olbermann:

[Kuo] says some of the nation’s most prominent evangelical leaders were known in the office of presidential political strategist Karl Rove as “the nuts.”

“National Christian leaders received hugs and smiles in person and then were dismissed behind their backs and described as ‘ridiculous,’ ‘out of control,’ and just plain ‘goofy,’” Kuo writes.

Grudging, behind-the-scenes respect is better than public honor and private disdain.

Doesn't the JBS understand this by now?

And if the GOP has no virtue left, who cares if they're put off by our trenchant criticism? We can attract the majority of Americans who do not care what Karl Rove and George Bush think; that's where the future lies.

Kevin Craig

Chris said...

I've seen several remarks at JBS about their faithful nonpartisan position on all things they do, and then see them get riled at criticism of policies being marshalled by a specific party, so much so that they fire the author, and think to myself "what hypocrites."

Glad to see you have your own blog. Consider me a regular and keep up the good work.

Chris said...

I just wanted to add that it was your writing at JBS that had me this close to actually subscribing to the New American and joining the JBS, something I never thought my "liberal" background would permit me to contemplate in this lifetime.

Glad to see you've a home at LRC also. Please keep telling it like you see it.. the message is reaching more people than you could possibly imagine.

Anonymous said...

We know the lefties (USSR) are just as good at creating a police state as the righties (Nazi Germany).

So why bother voting for anyone in November?