Free Markets, Free People

Establishment Republicans are still lost, and they’re still too clueless to know it

This quote from Susan Collins says more about what’s wrong with our current governing class than any single quote I’ve seen in the last few years.

Senate Republicans do not deny that Mr. DeMint has opened a rift. “It is a new and shocking development to have a member of our conference opposing incumbent Republicans,” Ms. Collins said….

Shocking, indeed! To think that someone in public office might actually stand by his principles and do what he thinks is good for the country instead of being loyal to the fellow members of the ruling class. Can’t have that, now, can we?

I have long maintained that our political class is far more loyal to each other than to the country or even their own voting base. Here is vivid proof. She genuinely believes that other members of her party ought to support her and her kind no matter what collectivist policies they support, and no matter how often they “reach across the aisle” to help the collectivist opposition.

Ms. Collins, since you have no governing principles of your own, I commend to you an examination of the man your are criticizing so strongly. With just a hint of perception and self-awareness, you might see what such principles look like.

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20 Responses to Establishment Republicans are still lost, and they’re still too clueless to know it

  • Wow.  That DeMint character just will not learn to play by the rules…

  • I’m waiting for a republican to stand up and tell Rove and Krautdog to attack Coon instead of the woman that just won.  Either Rove is working for Coon or he is going insane and it’s obvious.  I kinda think he’s working for Romney, isn’t it his “turn”  to play the big dude?  Maybe he’s working for Soros, who knows they all could be.  We know they won’t do anything but whine and spend more money, but mark our words they will eventually be fired, all of them 🙂 grrrr

  • … and in what could possibly be the stupidest act on the Sunday morning news shows, Colin Powell disqualifies himself from ever running for office as a Republican (and possibly as Democrat).
    <a href=””>Colin Powell: Illegal Immigrants Fix My House</a>

  • Ennnnh, just to be contrarian, political parties are sorta supposed to be about supporting each other. Then again, primaries are designed to allow challengers within the party, so what the hell is she talking about.

    • Political parties are indeed about supporting one another. However, that support has to have limits, lest it become nothing more than a mechanism for pols to work to keep each other in office rather than work together on governing.

      We’ve seen several extreme cases of supporting their fellow pols from the Democrats, for example, as they have a tendency to defend other Democrats who have been caught in serious episodes of corruption. Rangel and Waters are only the most recent examples. Their behaviour ought to override any conventional party loyalty, but it clearly doesn’t, and that shows that the pols are more interesting in holding onto power than in what’s right.

      Collins understands this implicit rule about loyalty. She clearly believes that she ought to be able to blow off what the majority of the party thinks on a given issue, and still have them be loyal to her in the sense of never, ever endangering her position in office. 

      To me, her remonstrations about loyalty ring pretty hollow because she certainly doesn’t show any.  It’s my opinion that, as a “pragmatic moderate” who’s actually quite sympathetic to big government, Collins is only concerned about lack of loyalty if it pulls the party to the right. She’s certainly fine with her own lack of loyalty to its nominal principles when she’s pulling it to the left.

  • well the good news is, no matter what happens now, there will be a lot fewer of those establishment types in power.

  • Frankly, this “the Republicans are lost” theme is getting old.
    There are bigger fish to fry out there.
    For one, there is no budget and the games with appropriations bills looks to make the beginning of FY2011 a pretty rocky road.

  • This is what comes of having only two major parties, people get an either/or mindset.

  • I suggest to Sen. Collins that life is about choices and, by extension, consequences.  She has chosen, most notably with regard to Porkulus, to go against her own party.  The consequence is that she may lose her seat, not only for voting to spend hundreds of billions that we don’t have in a flawed and failed effort to stimulate the economy, but also for years of being a “moderate centrist”, i.e. a pretty reliable vote for the democrats.  In an election year when the conservative base of the GOP is energized (infuriated would probably be closer to the mark, actually), those are very bad choices to have to justify.

    Collins sounds a bit like Murkowskey: “You can’t throw ME out!  I mean, I’m a PUBLIC SERVANT!!!  If you don’t like what I did or how I voted… Well, I did it all for YOU!  Don’t you have any gratitude at all???”

    Billy Hollis Here is vivid proof. She genuinely believes that other members of her party ought to support her and her kind no matter what collectivist policies they support, and no matter how often they “reach across the aisle” to help the collectivist opposition.

    While I agree that the ruling class stick together like convicts on a chain gang, I don’t think that this particular case is a good example.  Rather, it’s one of a totally selfish person who can’t get why everybody else doesn’t care for her career (that holding elected office can be considered a career is appalling) as much as she does.  Further, I’m sure that Collins believes that she HAS been a loyal Republican.  Yeah, she’s compromised with the dems here and there because she thinks that’s what her constituents want, but, otherwise, she’s played the game and now can’t figure out why her other teammates want to keep her name off the trophy.

    • Further, I’m sure that Collins believes that she HAS been a loyal Republican.

      I agree completely. That’s why “clueless” is in the title.

      But, as I said in an earlier thread when youRags asked about establishment Republicans, I don’t much care why they think they’re doing something. I care about results. In her case, the results are that she’s perfectly comfortable greasing the skids for big government, sees no ideological conflict in that, and believes it should certainly not expose her or her kind to any sort of potential retribution from other members of Congress. In other words, from any kind of coherent ideological standpoint, she’s lost.

      I maintain that the Republicans will never take the kind of actions necessary to reverse the course of big government until those such as Collins are marginalized or replaced. They need to see that there are consequences to their “reach across the aisle” promotion of big government, and of necessity that will scare them. I detect some of that fear in Collins, despite the fact that she’s four years from facing voters again.

      Of course, one of the consequences of such fear is that they may defect to the other side. That’s fine with me. The resulting clarity is well worth the theoretical loss of a vote for small government that in all likelihood we were never going to get anyway.

      • Billy Hollis[Collins is] perfectly comfortable greasing the skids for big government, sees no ideological conflict in that, and believes it should certainly not expose her or her kind to any sort of potential retribution from other members of Congress.

        When I think about it, I ALMOST feel sorry for her.  The rules of the game have changed in a big hurry, and what worked for her (and most members of Congress) yesterday MAY not work in the near future.

        We got a lot of “big government” because, frankly, most of us voted for it.  I, for example, voted for Bush, who gave us NCLB and prescription drug.  Other people voted for Slick Willie, who gave us his own big government programs (most notably putting the CRA on steroids, leading to the housing bubble).  There’s a chart I’ve seen showing the size of government (by fraction of GDP), and it has gone steadily up-up-UP over the past several decades no matter which party controlled DC.  This could only have happened because people – LOTS of people from all parties – voted for politicians who made growing government part of their philosophy.  Collins was one of those politicians.

        This MAY be changing.  The Dear Golfer MAY be waking people up to the dangers of Big Government: it costs too damned much and takes too much liberty away from people.  Some “establishment” Republicans have already paid the price for people waking up; Collins may pay her penalty, too.  We shall see.  Again, I ALMOST feel sorry for her: she is in the same position as drinkers were when Prohibition went into effect.  “What do you mean it’s illegal???  I’ve been doing it my whole adult life!”

        • I guess I just find it hard to feel even almost sorry for any of these people.

          Lot of people (myself included) have been expecting the entitlement meltdown since the shape of the curves first became evident in the late 1970s.

          Reason Magazine had an excellent article on the likely results of the federalization of home mortgages – fifteen years ago.

          We’ve known of the pernicious effects of the welfare state on inner city minorities for decades. Various studies and books laid it out in detail.

          Robert Heinlein sketched out exactly how bad our public education systems were in the late 1970s, explained why they were going to get worse, and had a lot of other observations of an eventual likely collapse of the federal state as it then was trending. (See Expanded Universe, final chapter.)

          Damn it, all you have to do is understand the shape of an exponential curve, and some of the policies of the federal government are obviously stupid in the long term.

          Now, I understand these things, even though I didn’t go to the best schools, and I’ve never had a bevy of staff members to research things for me, or any of that. Public policy and other political matters isn’t even a part of my career. I’m a software developer with a math degree. Studying economics, history, and politics is an avocation for me.

          So if I can figure this stuff out, why can’t they? If they’ve had the whole thing laid out for them by very smart people over the last few decades, why didn’t they pay attention to it? It’s their job, it’s what we pay them for. And they have absolutely sucked toxic waste at that job, for decades. 

          I kind of get the Democrats not understanding. Their whole party decided at some point in the sixties to become out and out leftists. Eventually the Scoop Jacksons died off, and the collectivists in the Democratic Party were unchallenged. Since leftism is based on a fantasy, I understand why they didn’t get it and still don’t.

          But the Republicans were supposed to be the sober rational ones, the ones that understood economics and business. And we showed them that there was a constituency for that, with Reagan’s 1984 landslide and the 1994 congressional takeover based on the Contract with America. 

          So why the hell didn’t George W. Bush get it, to name just one person who enthusiastically helped dig this hole.  Dick Cheney got it, based on what he has said and written, so George does not even have the excuse of having no one to tell him.

          Modern day Republicans have just baffled me for over twenty years. They threw away their best victories, and embraced policies diametrically the opposite of reality and what they campaigned on. The establishment in the party supported squishes the whole time, from the elder Bush through Dole, the younger Bush, and McCain. Squishes, all of them, and all losers except for Bush’s narrow scrape through because an idiot Democratic operative in Florida designed a pi$$-poor ballot. Why, why, why?!? They won big with uncompromising stands, not with squishes.

          People like Collins are out of touch with reality on so many levels, with so little excuse for it, that they get no sympathy from me whatsoever. The worst that can happen to this woman at this point is that she retires in four years with a pension that lets her live ratherlavishly the rest of her life, and she gets to make pretty speeches in front of groups that will never, ever hold her accountable for the mess she has helped make.

  • Where are the “establishment republicans” of which you mentioned in the title?  All you quote is Susan Collins and that’s not a republican

    • You have a point. I just looked at her web page, and the word “Republican” does not appear on the first page. In her biography, it appears twice, both times referring to Republican primaries that she won. As best as I can tell on her site, she never comes right out and says she’s a Republican. So maybe you’re right.