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"La Garde meurt mais ne se rend pas!"

Me?  I wish this 100 Days had a greater resemblence to Napoleon's 100 Day's Campaign

Wait!  It did!

For the Republicans. 

Sigh.  So *this* is what it felt like to be a member of the Imperial Guard, that dark afternoon of Waterloo...

I am, indeed, one of "Les Grognards!"


Jules Crittenden has a pretty good pulse on 100 Days memeoranda...

Yesterday, in the comments on the H&I Post, resident Australian Argent made this observation in re: Specter's defection:

"Even I know the problem with the Republicans. They are too conservative for lefties and don't follow conservative principles enough for actual conservatives."

To which I responded: "Exactly. The Beltway Republicans are waaaay out of touch with those of us who live somewhere other than DC."

John Hawkins of Right Wing News lays it out in greater detail.

The majority of Republican voters are conservative and we provide most of the money, the volunteers, the ideas, the energy, and the enthusiasm. These conservatives are involved with politics because they have principles and ideals they believe in deeply and they want to see them implemented.

Cutting to the chase, we conservatives feel deeply betrayed by what has happened over the last 8 years. The GOP managed to get control of all three branches of government and other than a couple of great Supreme Court Justices, the Right has very little to show for it.

We suffered through Bush's selection of Harriet Miers, the Medicare Prescription Drug Plan, the GOP trying to force amnesty and open borders on the country, growing deficits, increasing government, a GOP sponsored takeover of banks, a President who refused to defend himself or conservatism publicly, and a "Republican elite" in DC who often seemed to hold their biggest supporters in contempt.

Indeed.  We have to have good ideas, and articulate them well enough to sway our fellow citizens, then the sorry weasels who wooed our vote need to avoid falling into the DC bubble trap and and work to those principles.


Senator Specter said he wasn't elected to be a Republican, he was elected to represent the people of his Pennsylvania. Leaving aside his long-displayed narcicissm, he's correct. And if he has an accurate sense of things - that people like him are what Pennsylvania want, vice what a "Republican" stands for, then the Republicans need to find someone who define and deliver the conservative message in a way that attracts the voters back. And if they win the election, they damn well ought to fight the fight in the halls of Congress and not pander to Beltway pragmatism.


What General Cambronne actually said was "Merde!" and it applies here as well.

The other romantice version of the encounter at Waterloo's ending is more decorous and makes for better legend.
Sigh. There's always some geek in the crowd who wants to spoil a good metaphor with trivial things, Jim.


Of course, usually, it's me.
No less an authority than the noted Republican, Geraldo Rivera, announced on Fox and Friends this morning, "The Republicans will not elect another president as long as the party reflects the values of 'Southern white guys'. 
Maybed it's time for us Southern White Guys to strike out on our own again...
What STILL bugs me about this continuing conversation (here and elsewhere) is that no one has managed to successfully define "conservative." Usually the speaker or writer means "people who agree with me."

So who, exactly, is Mr. Hawking talking about in the above? It can't be agreement on certain issues. For example, I'm very concerned about illegal immigration, but I can't abide reading -or listening to- anything by Michelle Malkin, as she crossed the rationality horizon a while ago, and was at last sighting still accelerating. The vituperation of her and her minions ("McJuan Shamnesty," etc.) reminded me exactly of the more deranged folks over at Kos or HuffPo.

Perhaps the problem arises because the fanatics drive out the sane people?

I'd also like to point out that "those people in Washington" are there because we voted for them. That's the thing which seems to be regularly forgotten. Denny Hastert didn't blackmail his way into Congress, nor did some of the other more obnoxious members of the GOP. I suspect too many voters were obsessed with gaining a victory with any politician with an "R" after their name. We can see how well that worked, can't we Arlen Spector?

To be quite frank, sooner or later any attempt to re-generate a "Big Tent" for Republicans runs into the rock of a subset of the socially/morally conservative element. Note that these are distinct from financial conservatives, purely political (eg Federalists) conservatives, or country club conservatives (Romney). Every time a free thinker tries leading the GOP out of the 1950s, the moral conservatives go librarian-poo over either abortion, gay rights, or (more recently) illegal immigration.

Despite all the heat and sound over "giving up our morals," the abortion fight was decided over 30 years ago, and all the Quixotic wrangling in the world won't change that. Even if the party could manage to get dedicated repealists in the Court (Alito and Roberts worked so well for that) the best case result would just kick the issue back to the states, most of whom would continue the practice. Fighting this losing battle cripples the party when trying to address the worst excesses, such as partial-birth abortion, or forcing Catholic-run hospitals to offer abortion services.

As for gay rights, I'm betting that most of the antis are at least over 30, if not older. It's becoming more evident as time goes on the under-30 citizens are far more tolerant; not only of an openly gay lifestyle, but actual marriage. If the recent acts of two different state legislatures wasn't a clue, demographics should be. Most younger folks (generally) just don't have the same objections the older ones do. Making this about morals just encourages all those younger men and women to blow you off.

Oh, I forgot about drugs. Moral conservatives want to outlaw abortion, and outlaw gay marriage. After all, outlawing drugs worked so well, it's worth a shot, right? But when California tried to allow medicinal marijuana, otherwise sober and responsible conservatives threw their alleged federalist inclinations out the window and became sudden devotees of control from Washington.

More than a few self-labeled conservatives (Romney again) claim allegiance to "Reagan conservatism" after the fact, but not many people talk about Goldwater any more. I suspect that if AuH20 were running today, the moral conservatives would drum him out of the party, if this Reason Online article is at all accurate.

I suspect a new Barry Goldwater, and men & women like him, would do more for the party than Huckabee, Romney, or Rush Limbaugh. Yes, I went there. :) I just don't see how allowing a radio entertainer to define conservatism will help the party.

I have been saying for a while now that the Republican Party is just plain hopeless.

I think it's time for a new party...not one to compete with the Republican Party, but to replace it.

I think we should call it the Capitalist Party.
Josh, how about Federalist? Yeah, I know, there's a "sort of" federalist party, but they're more a tea-n-crumpets ideas group more than an actual political party.

Maybe.  Not sure if using the name of a defunct political party is a good thing or a bad thing.