Free Markets, Free People


Dems–boot blue dogs, fold big tent

Ari Berman of "The Nation” does an op-ed for the New York Times in which he pushes for the removal (or at least the non-support) of the blue dog Democrats such as Heath Schuler of NC. 

Now that doesn’t come as much of a surprise to me – just as the Tea Party wants the less than conservative members of the Republican party replaced with more reliably fiscal conservative members.

That said, however, I loved the “reasoning” quoted for this desire:

Margaret Johnson, a former party chairwoman in Polk County, N.C., helped elect Representative Shuler but now believes the party would be better off without him. “I’d rather have a real Republican than a fake Democrat,” she said. “A real Republican motivates us to work. A fake Democrat de-motivates us.”

Well there you go – remember the left has been lambasting the right for who knows how long for not offering a “big tent” but essentially being a narrow based “all white male” party.  Howard Dean and Rahm Emanuel concocted the 50 state strategy which recruited blue dogs like Schuler because they were “electable” in those districts and that strategy gave Democrats a “super majority”.  But what real good did it do? 

The argument is “wouldn’t you rather have someone that would vote with you 70% of the time rather than someone who will vote for your programs 0% of the time?  The answer is “no”.  Not if you actually want to get those things done which require critical votes and the 30% of the time they don’t vote with you is when those votes occur.  Tea Partiers figured this out a while ago.  And again, they’ve been lambasted for being so non-inclusive.  Karl Rove, an inveterate seat counter, focuses solely on the number of “Republicans” in each chamber.  Tea Partiers and conservatives focus on the ideology of those running and only support those who are, in Ms. Johnson’s words, “real Republicans” as the TP and conservatives define them.

It appears Democrats, lately of the “big tent”, are now looking toward a smaller tent.  That would include the architect of the 50 state strategy, Howard Dean:

Ms. Johnson is right: Democrats would be in better shape, and would accomplish more, with a smaller and more ideologically cohesive caucus. It’s a sentiment that even Mr. Dean now echoes. “Having a big, open-tent Democratic Party is great, but not at the cost of getting nothing done,” he said.

Yeah … exactly what a number of us have been saying for years.  Look, people throw the word “ideology” around like it is some sort of bad word.  It’s not.  It is your political philosophy, your principles, your belief in what politics should reflect.

Does anyone believe those that founded this country weren’t ideologically driven?   That they didn’t have a definite set of principles  that were foundation of what they created?

“Big tent” is a wonderfully nebulous and useless concept that implies that inclusiveness is more important than principles.  It’s nonsense as both sides are discovering.  You’re either for something, in terms of principles, or you’re not.  “Including” others who don’t necessarily share your principles is simply an exercise in, well, seat counting, which as both the GOP and Democrats have finally discovered, is a waste of time.

~McQ

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50 Responses to Dems–boot blue dogs, fold big tent

  • Funny how the advise the Democrats have been giving the Republicans, especially around 2008, was to “go moderate or die” seems to have lost favor in the Democratic Party.  Well, it just goes to prove don’t take advise from you adversaries.

    • I have learned your opponent never has your best course at heart.  If your opposition offers you advice, it is best not to take it as it will lead, not to success, but to tears.

      Hence, my advice to Democrats:  Go after the blue dogs.  They might give you a majority.

  • I’m not so sure this isn’t groundwork for the fact the Democrats want to claim their asses getting kicked out of Washington is a symmetrical issue.  By symmetrical, thy want to imply the voters are dissatisfied with whoever is in power at the moment and nothing to do with specific policies.

    For example the moderate Republicans got kicked out for being moderate and not because they failed to enforce the specific principles of conservatism.

  • Naturally, I beg to differ. Ideology is killing us, just killing us. I am suspicious of all ideologies, and think we all should be pragmatic moderates who sit down together and work things out.

    So don’t you dare start up about how I’m a leftist ideologue just because at the end of the day I always, always support the leftist, big government choice. I’m a pragmatic moderate, I tell you. Besides, I don’t always support the left. I often do chin-pulling comments about things I don’t like about the left. Of course, that doesn’t mean I oppose any of their principles that will lead us towards a leftist utopia, but still.

    Ideologues of both sides are just going to get us into trouble. Especially those extremist tea partiers, of which there are only a few, and don’t you dare get out those aerial photos again, and for goodness sake stop bringing up all the wise, establishment politicians that they’ve booted from office. They’re a small, fanatic minority, I tell you! I know that because of my exalted position as a political science teacher at a small rural university, and shut up about the moose herds that roam around here, just shut up about that.

    {chuckle} To seem my pragmatic moderate brilliance in action, you should come on over to my blog where I discuss whether it makes sense for people to vote. Of course I come down on the side that they certainly should because of something I just made up called collective responsibility. See, that’s where individuals need to put aside their own selfish motives and sacrifice for the collective. It’s a new idea. Stop laughing! And it’s completely different from socialism or any other ideologies because of reasons you dense righties would not understand, but I do because I have godlike powers of political science. Stop laughing, I said! If you disagree, you doth protest too much. LOL {giggle}

  • Well, as one who has never been a member of either major political party,  I am heartily sick and tired of politicians who mouth nice policy platitudes but then don’t fight for them once in office. In Obama’s case, he sold all this hopey changey bullshit that independents like me — and many of us are first and foremost civil libertarians — we see both parties as wholly owned by corporate interests, and prez Obama (as opposed to the candidate) is snuggly within that fold).  The social conservatives mostly found in the GOP are abhorrent to me, but the Dems don’t deliver much re: their supposed opposite views. And Obama is out-doing Bush in expanding the secret, National Surveillance State.
    The Tea Partiers are an inchoate movement with many internal conflicts. Some — <b>some</b>  — I find some common ground with. But to the extent so many of them really believe that Obama, Pelosi etc. are socialists, well, I want to rip my hair out. These Dems, like many in the GOP, are corporatists. (And corporatism is <b>not</b> the same thing as advocacy of free markets.)

    • As I tell my kids, everybody is weird.  (take a moment and suck that in)
      You just have to sort out what weirdnesses you can live with and those you can’t.  Then apply a filter for reality.

    • Yeah, he sold it to marks and rubes.  Like you, for instance.

    • …we see both parties as wholly owned by corporate interests,

      I see! So which corporation owns the unions?
      Which owns the welfare state?
      Which owns the government bureaucracy and the government unions?
      Which owns the environmental movement?
      Which owns education, academia?
      Which owns the media and entertainment “industry”?
      Why are over 400 of the Fortune 500 CEO’s registered Democrats?
      And regarding that last, who owns what?; more likely the government, in it’s virtually infinite power, owns the corporations and use them as milch cows.
       

    • Forgive me, but what’s not socialist about increasing government spending, increased government taxes, regulation what you should buy, regulating what you should sell, and acquiring large stakes in private corporations?

      Because some a bunch of sympathetic to Obama media personalities rolled their eyes at the notion like a bunch of teenage girls in a clique snickering with no reason at a particular girl to make her feel self conscious?

      That’s one of the disappointing things about Americans these days.  If you make them feel like they are risking looking foolish by taking a position, they’ll run and hide from it no matter how plain the truth is in front of their face.

  • Am I wrong in thinking that the “blue dog” wing of the Dem party was overblown anyway?  Pelosi always got the votes she needed with room to spare, and I don’t really remember seeing any real concessions made to them in the wrangling. Much like the “Stupak wing” – sound and fury signifying nothing.

    They’re all Democrats first and foremost. Garbage in, and in a week or so, garbage out

    • Yeah I was gonna say, the left got everything they wanted (except cap and trade, they ran out of time) Their problem is that the things they got were big steaming piles.

    • Shuler is our rep here in WNC.  When you look at his voting pattern, anytime his vote could have made a difference he voted with the Dem’s.  When his vote was irrelevant, he voted against them.  His conservative credentials are a sham for the most part.

      His objective is political gain.  He is already setting himself up for the Senate.

  • That comment was for Mona.

  • So now we’re looking to writers for the Nation and to Howard Dean for wisdom on how to run a political party?  No, they’re as wrong on politics as they are on policy.

  • I seem to remember a piece in The Huffington Post right after the 2008 election written by a Democratic strategist who argued the Dems didn’t need the blue dogs and should get rid of them at the next election cycle. There were about fifty self-identified blue dogs then, and how a party with a thirty-nine seat majority was going to dump fifty members and still govern was never explained. Conservative Democrats would  be magically replaced by Libs in districts that wouldn’t even tolerate moderate Republicans. Two years later it looks like the same song, different verse.

  • I hate to break it to the dims but the majority of Americans are not really mad at the blue dogs and it’s not that all those bitter clingers are racist and  it’s not that the dim leadership didn’t explain things so we could understand.  It’s that a majority of folks out there in flyover country don’t like the socialist coming out of the closet.  But the dims reclamation project is to push out the moderates they elected and go further to the left.
    Say it ain’t so.

  • After Nov. 2,  you would think it would be the opposite: the Dems need more Blue Dogs, not less. Fiscal conservatism and pro-growth policies will be popular until  unemployment is down, the budget back to something reasonable, and the bail outs over.

  • .. and Newsweek tries a bipartisan pitch …

    ORLANDO—There are hundreds of plausible nominees for the title of America’s Second-Smarmiest Politician, but surely the top spot is un-contested. Americans of all political persuasions can come together in affirming one proposition: Public life would be improved by scrubbing Rep. Alan Grayson from it.

    Almost makes me want to get a subscription .. almost.

  • McQ[P]eople throw the word “ideology” around like it is some sort of bad word.  It’s not.

    Thank you!  May I also suggest that “partisan” is also not a bad word?  The dems like to flog these words when they aren’t getting their way: “The GOP, motivated solely by ideology, is being partisan in their obstruction of our policies!”

    Gosh!  You mean to say that another political party is trying to meet its own goals and NOT those of the opposition???  HOW DARE THEY!!!

    McQThe argument is “wouldn’t you rather have someone that would vote with you 70% of the time rather than someone who will vote for your programs 0% of the time?  The answer is “no”.  Not if you actually want to get those things done which require critical votes and the 30% of the time they don’t vote with you is when those votes occur.

    Therein lies the rub.  Which 30% are we talking about?  For example, Chris Christie seems like an absolute rock-ribbed fiscal conservative: we could use about 500 like him on Capitol Hill just now.  But I don’t think he’s too strong on RKBA, which causes people like me some dismay (had the same problem with Rudy, actually).  So, IF it was a choice between voting for Christie and, say, Bawney Fwank… Do I take the lesser of two evils, or do I stay home, sit in a corner and cry “heigh-ho” for the perfect candidate to emerge?  To this extent, Rove has a point: 70% IS better than 0%.  O’ course, that other 30% causes considerable mental anguish at times!

    sharkAm I wrong in thinking that the “blue dog” wing of the Dem party was overblown anyway? 

    No, you’re not wrong at all, which is something that always set my teeth on edge when the dems and their MiniTru mouthpieces would yap about GOP “partisanship”: dems could almost always be counted on to vote in lockstep with their leadership.  GOP, not so much.  This is because MiniTru is quick to praise the GOP “centrist” or “maverick” and book them on the Sunday morning shows, while the Blue Dog gets nothing but a visit from SanFran Nan or Howlin’ Howie to inform them that, if they pull that sh*t again, the money will dry up in a big hurry.

    • My point was about candidates of the same party – a primary selection, for instance. Then I want the person whose ideology best matches mine. 70% v. 95%? I’ll vote for the 95% even if the CW is the guy with 70% is more “electable”.

      • There are other important strategic concerns involved.  Senate committee chairs are important – important enough, I would argue, to accept a low ACU rating in return for a realistic chance at winning.  “Hey, it’s a wave year, she could make up that 20 point deficit in a month.”  Stated ideology is of no value if you can’t put it into play.
        Frankly, the Purity Conservatives remind me of the Kos Kiddies.  If the Tea Party tries to enforce ideological purity, we’ll be watching a Blue wave four years from now.

        • As opposed to what – the status quo?

        • I think you’re really, really missing the point of the tea partiers and how they differ from the Kos lefties.

          The only principle that needs to brook no compromise is that we move in the direction of more limited government. I think most tea partiers are fairly flexible about how that’s done, but they’re sick and tired of moving in the other direction. Too often, “pragmatism”, “strategic thinking”, and “compromise” have been nothing more than code words for finding some way to have cake and eat it too; to mollify the conservative/libertarian base while not rocking the boat so as to mollify the media and campaign contributors at the same time.

          That strategy has been shown to be an utter failure. It got us both the worst of the Republicans (compassionate conservativism) and the worst of the Democrats (Obama and his fellow leftists). It is a recipe for growing government until the meltdown comes. What’s the point of following such a strategy, when it’s been shown not to work? Sure, a more hard-headed strategy about limited government might fail, but it makes a lot more sense than a strategy that has been repeatedly tried and failed every time.

          So standing up foresquare for limited government, and refusing to compromise on things that grow government, is the only possible strategy that makes sense from this point. We can flexible about means, but not about ends.

          Too much of this “ideological purity” discussion comes about because of disagreement on social conservative issues. I know the socons can be pretty dogmatic, but they’re a side issue. Most of them will get on board with limited government as a first priority. But you certainly can’t tell them “Look, you’re not getting any of the social stuff you want, and besides that, we have to be pragmatic and compromise with the ruling class to get anything done. Yes, we’ll probably get bigger government, more spending, more debt, and higher taxes, but we might be able to affect things for the better around the edges a bit. Plus, if we’re lucky, I think we can get some gun rights things in there.” That’s just insane.

          • Don’t misunderstand me.  I’m not saying we should just take whatever we’re given.  But we have to run credible and creditable candidates.  O’Donnell (e.g.) is losing not because Karl Rove said she wasn’t going to, but because she’s a loser.  A last minute cash infusion and a high profile endorsement can win a closed primary where 58,000 people turn out to vote.  It isn’t going to win the general.  Not in a deep blue state like Delware.  Not when the candidate is a flake.  I’d love to be wrong, but I’m certain that I’m not.
            Responding to your final paragraph, Billy: where the small government con butts heads with the social cons is on some pretty key issues where we can also pick up independents.  When COD gets it literally correct that “separation of church and state” isn’t in the constitution, she does herself and fiscal conservatism substantial damage.  Yeah, I get that.  I also get that if you are going to stand on the principle of “standing up foresquare for limited government, and refusing to compromise on things that grow government”, you’re going to have to stand for some things that socons are going to get angry about.  Teaching creationism in school is, unquestionably, teaching a specific religious doctrine.  That is not limited government.
            And finally, yes, I know, Coons couldn’t name all the freedoms enumerated in the 1A.  No, he didn’t get beat up for it.  Guess what?  The refs are biased.  We just have to deal with that.

          • Phil – the fact that one candidate is a flake doesn’t invalidate the premise that we can do better than we’ve been doing. If Mike Castle was such a wonderful paragon of what you tout he should have won. He didn’t. Given any other candidate than O’Donnell, Coons would likely be losing. So it isn’t our premise that’s a problem, it’s finding the best candidates that represent it.

          • The O’Donnell race is an example of where we probably part ways on the right direction. I’d rather lose with O’Donnell than win with a squish like Castle.

            We hashed that out around here several weeks back, so I have no wish to go through the dreary details again, but the basic thrust of my thinking is that having Castle (or Snowe or Collins or any of the other “moderate” squishes) degrades the capability of the Republicans to actually move to small government. They make such squishy positions respectable within the party, and work to subvert people such as Bill Frist, who started out saying the right things but quickly got assimilated by the Beltway Collective.

            The party invests a lot in these people, and then when they’re needed the most and pushed to actually support limited government, they bail. See Jeffords and Specter for excellent examples.

            My position is the benefits of having such people representing the party in Congress are not worth the costs to the long-term prospects of getting limited government. You simply can’t depend on such people to advance limited government, and you can expect that they will cross over and make deals with the other side at the worst possible time. I’d much, much rather see a Coons advocate for more government openly as a Democrat rather than have a Castle give us de facto bigger government via stealth and “bipartisanship”.

            I used exactly the same logic to declare that I would not support John McCain. I wanted an open example of leftist thinking and policies via Obama instead of growing government more slowly and stealthily via McCain and his other “pragmatic moderate” buddies. And we’re about to reap the result of that exposure of naked leftism this November, so I think my own reasoning held up pretty well.

  • We hashed that out around here several weeks back, so I have no wish to go through the dreary details again, but the basic thrust of my thinking is that having Castle (or Snowe or Collins or any of the other “moderate” squishes) degrades the capability of the Republicans to actually move to small government.

    I understand your position, but I believe that important committee chairs, with their power to determine what bills get sent to the floor, what that bill looks like, etc., are worth multiple Senators each.   I agree that people like Specter and Jeffords and the Maine twins are risky.  I just think that we need to run decent candidates.  Just because somebody mouths the right platitudes is no reason to vote for her in the primary, send her a boatload of cash, and then watch her get drubbed.

    I used exactly the same logic to declare that I would not support John McCain. I wanted an open example of leftist thinking and policies via Obama instead of growing government more slowly and stealthily via McCain and his other “pragmatic moderate” buddies.

    See, I think that kind of thinking is not to credit for our as-yet unrealized resurgence this year.  It’s to blame for getting that jugeared imbecile elected in the first place.  You, personally, by your own admission, own a share of the blame for Obamacare.
    You’re all letting the perfect be the enemy of the good.  That is a strategy that fails 100% of the time.

    • We’re letting the perfect be the enemy of the good? Since when? Exactly when can you point to that we’ve had the “good”?

      Reagan made some mild progress on the taxation side, ,managed a bit of deregulation, and gave us some breathing room, and I’d consider it progress to get back to his attitude about government’s attitude towards the citizen. But even he never did rein in size or spending.

      I also decline to accept the blame for Obamacare. If McCain had been elected, I’m totally convinced that sometime in his term we would have had some bill moving in the same direction, because of his “great man” complex and the consequent need he suffers to go down in history. Except that the Republicans would not have strongly opposed it, and he would have gotten a bunch of Democrats to go along with  “Well, it’s not perfect, but in the spirit of bipartisanship, we’ll support it, blah, blah.” And it would not ever be repealed, and we would not have the tea party movement electing people on the promise to repeal it.

      And if you doubt that McCain would go down that path, the only response I think I need to offer is “Medicare RX”. Plus, McCain was (and is, despite his primary-period equivocating) hot to offer amnesty and exacerbate all the problems that come from twenty to thirty million new permanent residents with no assimilation and to desire to assimilate. McCain was a vain peacock, and would have done whatever it took for his strutting to be noticed and appreciated by the national media.

      Sometimes shock treatment is the only answer. I’ve spent my whole life playing the game you suggest, trying for incremental approaches, supporting the half-a-loaf mentality that ended up getting minus quarter of a loaf. IT DOESN’T WORK! You can’t point to any time that it’s done anything but slow the march towards leftism.

      Screw that. It’s time to try something else. I don’t claim that the something else will work, but we know beyond any reasonable doubt that the course you counsel DOES NOT WORK.

      Just in case that didn’t register, I’ll say it again. Playing politics-as-usual, and putting up with squishes to get a majority DOES NOT WORK. Nominating and even electing “pragmatic moderate” members of the political gentry DOES NOT WORK. Allowing people like Jeffords and Specter to hold the party hostage to their own fantasies about their own importance DOES NOT WORK.

  • Of course you don’t accept any blame.  I never expect the ideologically pure to admit fault in any way, because by God you’ve got Principles, and Principles are never wrong.
    But you give the game away with “we would not have the tea party movement electing people on the promise to repeal it.”
    Of course we would.  We’d have been just as pissed at McCain for doing this as we are at Jugears.  The anger out there is not due to the party in power, but the policies being forced through.

    • You have to start with something, Phil – and principles seem a good place. There’s always room for compromise on the margins, but not on the core of principles or they’re not principles. We’re in the position we now “enjoy” from the lack of following them, not because they’re bad or too confining.

      • Kamikazes had principles too.  The problem is failing to recognize that your principles are leading you to defeat.  Another problem is the failure to recognize that other people have principles too, that aren’t necessarily in alignment with yours.  The enemy does, after all, get a vote.
        The biggest problem, though, is when your principles are in conflict with one another.  You can’t, for example, argue that it’s a grand thing that Mcdonald finally incorporates the 2A, but that the establishment clause in the 1A was improperly incorporated.  And yes, I’ve had that exact argument recently.  It boggles the mind.
        Regardless, both you and Billy are mis-reading me.  We cannot win with poor candidates, no matter how good they are at parroting talking points.  I’m here to tell you, COD would have a hard time here in Texas, much less in a blue state like Delaware.  We had a Purity Conservative (Debra Medina) run for governor in the primary, and she got shellacked.  Of course, the fact that she was a truther of the “just asking questions” variety was clearly what destroyed her, but let’s be honest – COD has many views that large swathes of the electorate thinks are even crazier than that.  She is going to get thumped by a very mediocre candidate.
        So by all means, let’s just run that kind of candidate.  We’ll end up with a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate in two more election cycles.  They’ll be Dems, but that is a small price to pay for PRINCIPLE!!  Obamacare getting passed was a great object lesson!!  That’ll show your kids and grandkids!!

        • Defeat or the status quo? I’ll live with at least trying to change things.

          • To paraphrase Lombardi, “Show me a noble loser and I’ll show you a loser.”

            Trying to change things is great.  Doing it the way it was done in DE was stupid.  If we keep trying to win that way, we’re going to get our teeth kicked in.

          • I’m not being noble about it, just realistic. Eggs and omelets Phil.

            No one said the outcome in DE was ideal, but the lesson is there for the GOP to learn if they’ll just do it.

      • And Bruce, I see now that you basically make my primary point when you say “Given any other candidate than O’Donnell, Coons would likely be losing. So it isn’t our premise that’s a problem, it’s finding the best candidates that represent it.”  I agree.  We’re really arguing tactics here.  But if COD is the “best candidate”, we’ve got bigger problems than just coming up a couple Senate seats short this cycle.  We need to be talking about strategy instead.
        You know, sometimes you get dealt a bad hand, and the best, smartest thing to do is fold.  COD was 2-7 off suit.  The Tea Party Express raised, got another deuce on the flop, raised on the turn and got nothing, and now they’re folding on the river.  Can we please not do this again in two years?

        • Phil – the message has to be sent somehow. I have no problem being a couple of Senate seats short this cycle. The control of appropriations rests in the House and that’s definitely going right. The message in DE (and elsewhere) should be loud and clear to the GOP establishment – find fiscally conservative candidates without O’Donnell’s baggage or continue to see insurgent candidates supported by fiscal conservatives and libertarians run against your “seat holders”.

          • I think you are being far too sanguine about giving up committee chairs in the Senate, but you’re entitled to your opinion.

            The GOP establishment is going to repay guys like Castle who were, if not exactly loyal, at least predictable.  That’s part and parcel of having a party infrastructure.  Relationships matter.  We can make some impact on that dynamic, but I still think that party politics will continue to be played.   The fact of the matter is that the Tea Party Express has acted like a branch of the Republican party, by working for specific candidates in the primary.    They’re not becoming part of the system; they already are part of the system.  As a result, they have a responsibility to front good candidates.  Credible and creditable.  COD was neither, and is going to get beat like a drum.

            But I’ll tell you what.  I’ll come back here on November 3 and eat my words if Coons gets less than 53% of the vote.  Will you, Billy, and everyone else who thinks this is a legitimate strategy have the intellectual and moral integrity to admit that nominating her and sending her cash was a complete waste of resources if she loses by 10 or more?

          • You can’t “give up” what you don’t have – and to me the lesson to be learned is more important than a couple of committee chairs in the Senate – they can earn those by their actions in the next two years. Hopefully they’ll have the type candidates their base are demanding running by then.

          • Will you, Billy, and everyone else who thinks this is a legitimate strategy have the intellectual and moral integrity to admit that nominating her and sending her cash was a complete waste of resources if she loses by 10 or more?


            No. Because you are completely, continuously missing the point.

            I’d rather see Coons in office than Castle. It’s that simple. Really.

            Sure, I’d rather have O’Donnell. But I’m under no illusions about her situation.

            But as McQ already stated, the message to the GOP establishment in dumping Castle is worth it. They are an obstacle that must, must, must be removed. That simply cannot be done by supporting people like Castle;  that tells every GOP establisment type that when push comes to shove they don’t have to be serious about limited government, because there is enough of the party willing to hold their nose and support them anyway to keep them in office.

            We’re past that. We can’t take it anymore. I understand that it looked like the right thing to do in 1972. And 1980. And maybe 1994. By 2000 it was wearing thin. After the travesty of the Bush administration and his GOP establishment enablers, plus the defection of Jeffords and Specter, I just don’t see how anyone can continue to believe that we should follow that strategy.

            Don’t ascribe to us motives we don’t have. Don’t ask us to take responsibility for errors we did not make. You are focused on horserace aspects – we’re looking at longer term grand strategy. I don’t care how badly O’Donnell loses. We don’t have Castle (or Murkowski, or Crist) and that matters to me, a lot. Let the leftist Coons continue to help the people of Delaware realize what they’re getting, and hope for better things next time around.

          • What he said Phil – either you’re avoiding the point Billy and I have been making or you don’t get it. O’Donnell isn’t the problem – Castle was. O’Donnell was an insurgent candidate outside the establishment GOP. What the people were telling the GOP is exactly what Billy has said – we’d rather have Coons if necessary than Castle. Castle and those like him are not the type of candidate we’re looking for. We’ll take O’Donnell and all her baggage over Castle.

            It seems simple enough to me. The point we keep trying to make is the establishment GOP needs to understand what is being said and adapt their candidate selection to produce fiscally conservative candidates that aren’t “insurgents” and thus don’t have the baggage (or possible baggage) an O’Donnell has. What’s so hard to understand about that?

          • You guys go on and teach your lesson.  Here’s the deal: I’ve explicitly stated the parameters for results that I believe make my thesis falsifiable.  Put up or shut up, Bruce: what will it take to make you admit you’re wrong?

          • Wrong about what Phil? This is still playing out.

        • I’ve explicitly stated the parameters for results that I believe make my thesis falsifiable.


          That’s because you’re focused on horserace stuff. Why care whether Coons wins by a little or a lot? He casts the same votes in the Senate in either case.

          Or if you must, must, must look at it horserace style, then what will you say if O’Donnell loses, but Miller, Rubio, Buck, and Toomey win? Every single one of those were declared by someone at some time to be a really bad choice because of opponents who had better “electibility”. So if we have five of those and get 80% elected, and if you’re really concerned about limited government, isn’t that a horserace statistic you’re willing to take?

          Why this fixation on O’Donnell? Why this strident tone over anyone is sick and tired of establishment politicians and ready to send them a message, even if has a short term cost?

          And most of all, what makes you think that kind of conventional, horserace-based political decision making can be successful at meeting the goals of limited government? It has not been, not in our lifetimes. You offer no evidence that it ever would be, but nevertheless seem emotionally convinced that we all ought to get on board to try politics as usual one more time. No thanks.

  • I give up.  I repeat over and over and over and over that principles are fine, but that they can’t and won’t work without good candidates.  Bad candidates are going to lose.  COD is a bad candidate.  Losing is never a good strategy, and you are a fool if you think it is.

    Billy and Bruce repeat over and over and over that I’m saying “do conventional politics”.  Neither of you can read.

  • Why is the Left so enamored of utopianism?
    Are our ideas really that impractical?

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