February 25, 2010
Worse than AwfulBy C. Edmund Wright
The debate over third parties and how bad the Republicans are comes down to this: evil versus awful. That's it. Your next Congress and your next president will be from either the evil party or the awful party. Whatever perfect virginal party that is out there yet to be formed will not come to fruition in time to save the republic.
Besides, no one in politics is perfect, and virgins are almost equally rare.
Threatened with the loss of liberty from the "fundamental change" on the way from the Obama crowd, none of us on the right should luxuriate in irrelevant and phony purity. There's a reason they call government "making sausage." No one who has ever actually been in the sausage factory can remain pure. You can do that only if you remain irrelevant. Irrelevance will not stop the evil of a government takeover of our society.
Irrelevance is cathartic. It feels good. It is liberating. It is still irrelevant. A progressive Republican may sometimes be awful, but it is not the same thing as a progressive Democrat. (Please see the 2009 health care vote for some recent compelling evidence.) These differences have a real impact on everybody's freedom.
Newbies to this history-making movement may assume that they are the first Americans to ever have this anti-Washington outrage. Our schools and media certainly have not emphasized these traditions. It is somewhat analogous to Obama thinking that American history started at his birth and American greatness started at his inauguration.
Consider that it was precisely the conservatives within the Republican Party who sounded the loudest alarms against Obama. And by "within the Republican Party," I include party officials, elected officials, media figure,s and voters who readily identify themselves as Republicans. These are all people "within the Republican party."
It is a mistake to judge the national party by Michael Steele and his staff. Most folks who insist on doing this cannot name another person who ever held this job. It is not relevant. It is a glorified fundraising admin job.
And it is no secret that McCain and others like David Brooks and Colin Powell were blind to who Obama is in varying degrees. But so were so many independents and moderates and unaffiliated voters who have suddenly become enlightened.
Suddenly enlightened? Yes. Remember, Obama won in 2008, but he would lose today.
As flawed as many Republicans are -- and I have written extensively on this very subject on this very website -- the folks who were right about Obama were the not-so-flawed Republicans. The very folks who rightly warned of a government run by the terrible trifecta of Obama-Reid-Pelosi were mostly the same folks who warned of the dangers of having folks like McCain represent the party.
And what did those prescient Republicans get for being right? They were ridiculed and lampooned by the Beltway pundits, pollsters, and strategists, who said that making this clarion call was a huge mistake. The independents and neophytes rejected this warning by the Republican right and voted in droves for Obama. Others "disgusted with both parties" stayed home.
And guess what: Every single one of them now is governed by Obama, Reid and Pelosi. How did that equal disgust with both parties work out for them?
Not well. After a year, many have decided they do not like it. They have decided now to join the outrage over the liberal -- er progressive -- takeover of the nation.
Welcome. We've been waiting for you.
History and perspective are critical here. They teach us that today's choice is between the awful Republican Party and the evil Democratic Party. Awful can be rehabilitated, starting with the good that is in the party. It has happened twice in the last thirty years. Evil is evil. Period. There is a difference.
And one should never harp on the awfulness of the Republican progressives without praising the Republican conservatives. Moreover, it is critical that you contrast the evil left as the only other option. Perfection is not on the ballot. I didn't create the situation of evil versus awful. Facts are stubborn things.
History always teaches us this too: that under Reagan, the GOP was barely in control of the conservatives, yet magnificent and long-lasting good was done for us and freedom everywhere. Today, it's barely under the control of the moderates. The needed change is not that difficult. Regardless, we must make it because the GOP is the only thing between us and a socialist state.
Scott Brown's cloture vote was awful. If he votes for the actual bill, that would be more awful. Call it that. I'll join you. No, I'll beat you to it. Together we can try and purge this thing from the party and shift more influence to the Rubios and the DeMints and the Coburns and many, many other greats in the awful party.
But Coakely or Kennedy would have matched Brown's cloture vote and gone him one better with a vote for evil Obamacare. Take your choice. It's all you have currently.