GOP: Polls and hinge points of history

Shocker: polls show GOP divided.

What does it mean that recent polls show 7 in 10 respondents think Republicans are putting their agenda ahead of what’s good for the country, as opposed to the 5 in 10 respondents who think President Obama is doing the same?

The answer probably lies in an analysis of the ancillary question posed in the NBC/Wall Street Journal poll: do respondents agree or not with the statement that the GOP or the president is “demonstrating strong leadership and standing up for what they [he] believe[s] in”?

For Republicans, only 27% of respondents agreed with that statement.  For Obama, 46% of them agreed.

On the face of it, that’s actually a contradictory assessment about the Republicans.  Only 27% of respondents think Republicans are standing up for what they believe in – and yet more than 70% of respondents (the actual figure was 74%) think Republicans are putting their agenda ahead of what’s good for the country?  How can that be?

Here’s how: a meaningful number of the respondents are conservative Republicans (call them the “Tea Party,” for short) who are disappointed with GOP leaders, because the conservative respondents don’t think GOP leaders are standing up for Republican beliefs.  Those respondents add to the number who are predisposed to blame or dislike Republicans for other reasons.  But the “Tea Party” demographic despises GOP leadership because it thinks the party is doing too little to combat current trends in government, rather than too much. 

I don’t think it can be disputed that the opinion-poll numbers are bad for Republicans.  But I do think the narrative that reflexively calls this a linear reaction to The Stupidity of Cruz is all wet.  For one thing, that narrative itself falls apart on examination.  The specialized thought process and the poll-respondent demographic just don’t exist to make it descriptive.

Equally important, however, is the key difference between Democrats and Republicans in October 2013, which is that Republicans are profoundly divided.

As long as the Democrats keep their communications reasonably disciplined, they can be sure of getting a unified set of characterizations across to the public without interference.  But the Republicans, who already find every talking point distorted by the media, have the added burden of genuine disagreement among themselves.  There’s no question that Republicans look, at this juncture, like we can’t get our act together.  This is because we can’t get our act together.  We don’t agree on what it should be.

Poll respondents are quite reasonable in recognizing that there would be no government shutdown if everyone in the GOP agreed with the Democrats on what should be done.  That’s really kind of a forehead-slapping “duh!” revelation, and I suspect it’s what the poll numbers are telling us.  Of course it’s the GOP’s fault that there has been a shutdown.  Of course the shutdown has been forced by political differences.

Does it follow that 74% of poll respondents – or of Americans in general, who may or may not be well represented in this poll – think “the” problem is the Tea Party, and that the way to resolve it is for the GOP to crush the “Tea Party wing” and get on with the business of agreeing with the Democrats?

No, it doesn’t – any more than it follows that the GOP should do the converse: rout the GOP “moderates” in a turkey-shoot from the right.  There is no such quantity out there as a 74% majority making it clear that Republican blame for the shutdown should translate into gigging Ted Cruz like a swamp-bottom frog, or into running John McCain out of town on a rail.

What there is instead is a profound dispute within the GOP about who we are and what our way forward is.

There may no longer be a unifying “center” to hold the GOP together.  If the GOP doesn’t encompass the limited-government views of the Tea Party, there is an essential sense in which the party no longer represents an alternative to the Democratic Party.

But there is still a sizable number of Republicans who see a viable future for a Republican Party that makes its name on what George Will has been calling “splittable differences” with the Democrats in Congress.  I admire Will’s broadly positive and genial take on the current impasse between the parties, and between the factions in the GOP.  But ultimately, I’m not convinced that being the party of “splittable differences” would be a big motivator or vote-getter for Republicans.

We’ve been here before over the last half-century – dealing with the same party division – and the party has eventually rallied each time.  When the party rallies and gets the vote out nation-wide, it does so around more-conservative as opposed to less-conservative candidates.

But the stakes haven’t been this high for the future of republican government, and the condition of the national union in general, since 1860.  There is reason to be concerned that the GOP may not find a way, in the next several years, to rally around a unifying leadership or set of priorities.  For too many conservative, limited-government Republicans, it has begun to look like insanity, to keep voting for party-backed GOP candidates and hoping for a different result.

That doesn’t mean anyone is surging to the fore with an identifiable plan for forming another party or establishing unchallenged dominance with a “coup” in the GOP.  The GOP itself wasn’t born overnight – and the tugs of inertia, convention, and familiarity are very strong.

But there is an urgency I haven’t seen before to the push among limited-government voters for a correction of our national course.  Meanwhile, the knee-jerk antagonism toward those voters from party “moderates” is the most vituperative I have ever seen it.


Delimiting GOP options?
Delimiting GOP options?

From multiple perspectives, we are at a hinge-point of history today.  To assume away the options that seem unlikely would be to misread conditions and possibilities as profoundly as some of our forebears did in the decades before the two world wars.  The world may not be safe anymore for parties of “splittable differences” – four-plus years of Obama have transformed the global political landscape in that regard – and whether they have a plan for doing something about it or not, it’s very possible that poll respondents see that reality more clearly than the average pundit does.

There’s something big going on, something different from anything most of us can remember.  People aren’t lined up behind Charles Krauthammer agreeing that Ted Cruz did a stupid thing; a lot of very vocal people think Cruz did a smart thing.  A whole lot of people aren’t sure if he did something stupid or smart.  But they are sure there’s something big going on.

That certainty will outlast the resolution of the current crisis.  The Democrats are, willy-nilly, the party of the last century’s big-government status quo.  It’s the future of the GOP that depends on whether it can articulate and channel the voters’ growing anxiety about the “something big” that stalks us – or whether it dismisses the task in favor of splitting differences that hardly seem to matter anymore.  If it chooses the latter course, its days as a major party are numbered.

J.E. Dyer’s articles have appeared at Hot Air, Commentary’s “contentions,Patheos, The Daily Caller, The Jewish Press, and The Weekly Standard online. She also writes for the new blog Liberty Unyielding.

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19 thoughts on “GOP: Polls and hinge points of history”

  1. I think you missed adding in the New Deal as a pivot point. We are once again hitting that approximate 80 year itch we as a country seem to have on the big picture. It could be fueled by many things, but something eventually breaks through the inertia and drives future events until everyone manages to draw up sides again to the point of conflict.

    The Civil War of course the most violent of those – but the change from small fed govt to larger fed govt stems from that dispute which was more than about slavery.

    FDR’s election and the New Deal was the affirmation of a bigger and MORE ACTIVIST government and the advancement of the Wilsonian/Princeton progressives feelings about technocratic govt managing more of society.

    You could argue that even at the constitutional covention the pro-Fed faction was victorious. This is the first time we have seen the reverse – and we have no way to tell what the end result will be.

    Like the rest of these periods, you could look at little blips in the march by the progs since the New Deal – Goldwater and Reagan – but still the progressive ideal advanced. We now have real energy around the govt is too big and the establishment GOP infrastructure really doesn’t know how to deal with it – look at the recent “slowdown” drama. This wasn’t a loss by the Tea Party – it was the first real skirmish between the old guard and the advancing skirmishing units of the smaller govt crowd. The energy is with the right, now.

    I think the country’s finances may end up deciding the fate of the progressives before any political resolution can occur, but who knows.

  2. Loath, loath, loath this division! Philip Klein wrote an excellent article in the Washington Examiner last. He argued that a majority of conservatives and Republicans generally agree with the goals of the tea party, tend to support tea party candidates that can win and want to fight but want to do so pragmatically and purposefully. Fiscally the welfare state cannot proceed as it is. The ideological rigidity, massive corruption and monumental incompetence of the Obama administration have created the greatest opportunity to reconstitutionalize and relimit government since the New Deal. To do this, however, a unified Reüublican party is needed and there is no such in sight. It does not helpt that those who did oppose the obscene Cruz/heritage/SCF do not want, desperately even, to repeal Obamacare at the first opportunity. That opportunity will come only in 2017, and it will only come if we mange to excise this division.

    Please don’t mistake this for a defense of the Leadership or a denial that there is too much of go along get along mentality among some DC Rs, including those from very Red States. There is, to be sure, a difference in opinion on immigration for instance. MOST EMPHATICALLY not on Obamacare, however. Its multiple and ostentatious failures give the GOP the best chance to not only repeal it but use the power that can be gained by arguing patiently and persuasively against it to advance a broad small government agenda generally. But a conservative temperment must encompass some significant measure of delayed gratification and ability to look ahead clearly. The Cruz supporters are dispalying no such restraint, and IMHO the sick, fanatical inquisition they are conducting is at the moment the best friend Big Government Welfarestatism has.

    1. Sorry Cavalier… Are you a Wahoo? If so, maybe it splains much on this topic, though we generally agree on lots of issues.

      1. Cruz, Lee, Paul and company where fighting the good fight. Doing it eloquently, and with the full understanding that they ultimately didn’t have a prayer of winning. This was guerrilla theater at its best. Far from doing any damage to himself, Cruz stepped up and was accepted as the face of Conservatives in government. This is all about setting the stage for 1 single solitary Conservative Candidate being found for a run against the Establishment in 2015/2016. Conservatives must find their champion now, we cannot afford to have a repeat of the 2012 divide and conquer with minor pluralities mess of the Romney campaign. A repeat of the standup 1 Conservative Hero vs 1 Establishment Minion circa 1980 is needed to get a Conservative nominated to run for the presidency. Another mushy mess (Dewey, Ford, Bush 1 for his own term, Dole, McCain, Romney…and it is over for the GOP, permanently. If the Republican Party is to survive the next decade, which even with a Conservative at the helm is no sure thing, it must begin to box in and diminish the role of the Establishment.

      2. There was nothing to be gained by not fighting. The Democrats and their GOP Establishment Enablers invented Obamacare (Obomney-care – remember?) their ultimate goal is to move to a single payer tax based health payment system (probably by expanding Medicare/Medicaid into a universal coverage system)… and raise tons of taxes to do it – the tax is already there, it’s just going to get huge. The GOP Establishment has no need, want, or reason to repeal Obamacare, and it never intended to do it. Romney was lying is pants off because he knew if he won the presidency, Reid would never permit a repeal to be passed (He’d have done just what he has done, now… shut down the government, the Senate… whatever it took… to keep the monster alive.)

      The Democrat Establishment and the Republican Establishment are one and the same political party. They merely set their messages to appeal to specific voter bases. Those clients receive some form of largesse in exchange for some desired remuneration. It is Roman Senatorial Patronage rewritten on a scale unheard of in the SPQR.

      3. Well this last month, we have seen the division between the Republican Establishment and it’s Conservative clients and apparatchiks (who are resentful of that role). Cruz, Lee, and Paul have now separated themselves from the minion class and are seeking to establish their own power base.

      Sometimes you lose battles, especially political battles.. but the fight is well worth having. Realignment is well underway…

      I am convinced that the current iteration of the United States has less than 100 years to exist. I highly doubt that our grandchildren and great-grandchildren see the tricentennial. Will it be better? I don’t know, and I’ll be long gone – but the first to advocate giving the northeast to Canada, and California to Mexico… The northeast seems to want to be Canada anyway… and Mexico has pretty much invaded and conquered California.


      1. Cannot possibly disagree more strongly. Romneycare was the product of the HERITAGE FOUNDATION, and a proposal intensely contested by many Republicans from the mid 90s forward. When it was enacted in Massachussetts Romney was vigarously attacked on the Wall Street Journal Editoral page, a source which has repeatedly and very aggresively criticized both Romney and the program. Yes, on immigration they are pretty much an open border crowd but NOT on Obamacare.

        Further, whatever the many defects of Romneycare in Massachussetts it was popular and did actually serve to lower prices for a majority of the people. At the national level it is precisely the opposite in both respects and is too good a political opportunity even for many of the establishment squishes to pass on.

        I don’t disagree with fighting but fighting intelligently and with purpose not indiscriminantely and in a blind rage. Attacking the individal mandate and congressional exemption would have been immensely popular.* A unified focus on it would have pressed Dems just as the disastrous Ocare rollout was getting underway. Maybe we couldn’t even have gotten a mandate delay but going ahead with in under these disastrous circumstances, when even Jon Stewart and Wolf Blitzer see how ridiculous it it to oblige people to buy this coverage would have exacted a fearful political cost from the Dems. Cruz and Lee (Paul, with who I disagree intensely on foreign policy) has associated with them but has wisely kept his distance. Their fight has discredited rathern than enhanced the battel against Obamacare and has discredited Cruz with people like me who enthusiastically supported him in the primary and in his early months in the Senate. He has been an appallingly divisive figure in the conservative movment when someone with his ability could have been a unifying one. He will not be president.

        Frontal attacks on a numerically superior opponent do not demonstrate good strategic or tactical judgement and do not redound to the credit of the general. Curz has shown appalling judgement in how he chose to fight and in associating himself with the NKVD faction shooting fellow conservative Obamacare opponents in the head for failing to defeat Hitler’s invaders in the early days and weeks of Barbarossa. The Soviet Union could take the casualties in the useless forntier battles and the NKVD executions. American Conservatism has a great opportunity presented to it by the collaps of the welfare state that has been so greately accelarated by the failed Obama policies. It does not have the endless reserves of the Sovite Union to rely on in winning the ultimate battle and the Defunders have wasted far too many of thos resources to claim leadership in the movement.

        *Byron York wrote a piece on an alternative history of the last 3 months battle vs. Ocare. This piece I think summarizes quite well the position of the conservative elite media and I enthusiastically sign up for that as well as to the (original) Ryan budge, ridiculed by the like of the Club for Growth and the boys at Redsate. If that makes me and these people enablers of Obamacare with no reason to oppose it or the taxes that come with it so be it, but this view will only lead to a much greater growth of government than can be sustained a much swifter collapse of the republic.

        1. Cavalier…

          Heritage, at the time, was very packed with Elite Establishment types. A quiet purge has brought in more Populist Conservative elements. Jim DeMint being the finalization of the move.

          They have disavowed their involvement with Romneycare as good intentions paving the road straight to Hell. The problem is and always will be the “c” (little ‘c’) conservative sop to big business, in this case “Big Insurance” (mostly run by high contributing Liberal Democrat Fascisti… ) and it’s insistence on universal obligation to buy insurance… Wow what a gig.. get the government to force you to buy high priced insurance whether you can really afford it or not… whadda country…

          Romneycare is a disaster.. it’s costs have spun out of control and the costs to the individual are only accepted because most northeasterners are serfs who are happy with being abused. Though for whatever reason the feel compelled to spread their misery to other locations, by moving there to advantage themselves of the economies of healthy states, and then set about destroying them like they destroyed what they left behind.

          Cruz is EXACTLY what we need… Paul (even for the arguments that I have with his stances on foreign policy) is exactly what we need.

          The Left fights… it kicks, scratches… cheats… lies… obfuscates… misdirects… It has a long view and has gone about executing its long plan by keeping its collective eye on the prize.

          This fight was about the long view. The long plan to get the mess fixed. Ryan is surrendering. His budget plan was tepid and weak, and still it was painted as extreme by the Left.. Their long plan included destroying their real opposition, and replacing it with a false opposition that will allow them their scapegoat…

          It will always be the Republicans’ fault. Always… If Oboingo was photographed drowning puppies it would be the Republicans’ fault. Being obsequious and trying to slide things in under the radar is not going to work.

          We either fight, or we will be surrendered… by people who have been placed in positions of power who will capitulate for us.

          Ryan is toast. He’s supporting the Democrats win forever Amnesty travesty. That’s what finally undid Bush, and will undo the rest of the Establishment.

          The next fight is so called Immigration Reform. If it passes it’s all over. The GOP will detonate, and the same people who refused to fight this fight will have the stain of Amnesty on their hands as well. George W. Bush will be the last Republican ever elected to the Presidency.

          By the way… flanking maneuvers don’t work without credible frontal attack threats anchoring the enemy to his positions… Under your scenario, there is no frontal threat, and therefore the enemy is never “fixed”. His mobile defense allows him to go anywhere and do anything to defend his territory. You can flank until you run out of gas… and when you do… You have fixed your own position and the enemy may defeat you in detail at that time.

          Dad was Cavalry, mobile warfare expert (air and ground)… 4 Air Medals… Armored Cavalry Troop Commander… Tanker… He taught me a lot about such stuff while he occupied this Earth.

          Your way… the Dems just run us in circles and run us out of gas, energy, and initiative. The rest, I already explained.

          Cruz was the first time a nationally recognized Republican since Ronald Reagan.. fixed the enemy in position. Your responses say that unfortunately we might be coming close to running out of gas.


          1. And the result will be large D majorities, single payer, a significant increase in the welfare state, the complete destruction of the American military and economic collapse not in the 80 years you mention above but in 16, 12, maybe 8.

            Obamacare is in a far greater state of collapse today than even its fiercest opponents could have hoped it would be as little as a week ago. The mandate was passionately opposed by almost the entirety of the Republican party and its overwhelming unpopularity and unworkability ensure that almost all R running for office will oppose it. BUT THEY NEED MAJORITIES and the White House and I am not saying that the inertia, the MSM, fear of “taking health care away from the poor” will be inconsiderable obstacles. All the energy now being deployed to DESTROY the Republican Party (rather then actually, you know, fight Ocare – let’s not kid ourselves here) will be needed to make it do what it generally I think wants to and realized it needs to but may (at least in a few possibly decisive instances) fear to do.

            Opposition to CIR is essential and while there is no question that are majorities of Rs who want to pass they can and I believe will be, prevented from doing so. I do support some I reform, but what we get in 2017 with R majorities, White House and significant input from the Tea Party will be immeasurably better than what we are going to get with the Dem supermajorities that arise out of the destruction of the Republican party.

            Jim DeMint is a horribly destructive and power hungry maniac. I’m quite certain that I agree with him in at the very minimum on 85 (possibly 95%) of issues but he is doing more damage to advancing those issues than Barak Obama could ever fantasize about doing. The notion of having 30 “Pure” Rs rather than 60 is INSANE.

            Rush said yesterday we need 45 Ted Cruzes to which I would say that they would be precisely as useless as on. Rush has been an enormously positive force in American politics for 25 years but with these kinds of statements and the false accusations against passionate and persistent opponents of Ocare he is now doing more harm to the cause of limited constitutional government than all the networks combined.

            We can beat the MSM, the popular culture, and ferocious and politically masterful Democratic party. We can do this because of the complete collapse of their policies. We cannot do with some of our own shooting at us rather than them./

            I would like to see the Republican Party move to the right on a number of issues and away from some of its corporatist past. Still, the Republican Party, AS IT EXISTS today is more conservative in many ways than its been since the 30s. It is more subject to Jacksonian rather than corporatist interests than it might EVER have been. It is not the or even A primary problem with our political system. Those wishing to preserve this country need to strength and unify it, not destroy it.

            1. What I said about Ocare this morning: obsolete. Delay of a lot, most of it, (all of it?) accomplished. GOP down in the polls. Nice work.

  3. “the knee-jerk antagonism toward those [Tea party] voters from [Republican] party “moderates” is the most vituperative I have ever seen”

    I too cannot recall greater vituperation, though during Reagan’s initial primary runs it may have approached it.

    That vituperation will not lessen because the Republican establishment’s big donors, to whom elected Congressional Republicans are beholden, do not support small government, constitutionally principled government. Republican establishment Big Donors support the highly regulated capitalism that favors their financial interests and influence. Politicians do not bite the hand that feeds them.

    The GOP’s days as a major party are indeed numbered, the ‘fat lady’ waits to sing in Nov of 2014. Boehner, McConnell, Ryan and Rubio’s betrayals will not be forgotten. The Republican Party has lost their base and are now the Whigs of the 21st century. They’re ‘dead men walking’ who simply don’t know it yet.

    “Once you forfeit the confidence of your fellow-citizens, you can never regain their respect and esteem.” A. Lincoln

  4. OptiCon: a very cogent analysis.

    And Commenters: I agree with many of your observations (and of course disagree with some of them).

    I agree that the R’s current “problem” is the fact that there are at least two wings — the more purist Tea Party and the sadly Establishment. But one important point is that they all agree, generally, on the principles — reduce government (the extent of the reduction is a major point of disagreement); Obamacare must go; no new taxes; and major reforms of the D’s antiquated New Deal are necessary. And, like any vibrant political group, they are going to have debates about tactics — some of which debates will inevitably be viewed as hurting them in the short run..

    Sadly, the D’s and their media mouthpieces are quite good at obscuring the R’s principles and focusing on the tactical disputes.

    Of course, there is an outside force — the reality of a out-of-control government spending machine, destroying the market efforts that could otherwise return prosperity — which even the D’s and the MSM can’t spin forever.

    So I agree with the Commenters who sense that the economy will create the opportunity for the R”s principles to once again be popular.
    Indeed, when Barry’s sh-t ultimately hits the fan, those principles will be obvious — like the housing bubble was suddenly obvious in retrospect.

    Meanwhile, while this was an unfortunate battle for the R’s, I believe it was a necessary one. It was important for the R’s to once again shout “No” to Obamacare, particularly at the time it was being rolled out. (Just as Barry shouted “No” to Bush’s “wars” and beat Hillary and McCain.) And Cruz has become the de facto leader of the amorphous Tea Party. And a national figure (proof is how desperately the D’s and the MSM are racing to demonize him). But, unlike Palin, Cruz is sophisticated and articulate. Unlike Bachmann, he is a much more engaging personality. And he has the smarts to beat any Democrat in a debate — Hillary, in particular.

    My guess is that the R’s will nominate Ryan for Pres and Cruz for VP — an acknowledgement of the influence/importance of the Tea Party movement. It could be the other way around. Either way, they face an uphill battle against Hillary — the MSM was worth 5 percentage points for Barry and it will be worth at least that much for the Queen of Benghazi. But they just might pull it off ….

    1. “there are at least two wings — the more purist Tea Party and the sadly Establishment. But one important point is that they all agree, generally, on the principles”

      Au contraire! Other than lip service, the GOP has never seriously pursued spending cuts. This is so because the GOP’s big donors do not support the constitutional principle of a limited government. They support the highly regulated capitalism that allows them to leverage their financial resources in buying political influence, all in service of increasing their economic and political power. That is why the GOP invariably caves and compromises on principle.

      There is a great difference between compromising one’s interests and compromising one’s principles. Reagan is a good example. He never hesitated nor retreated from his declaration that the Soviets were the focus of evil in the world. he never wavered in his determination that they would be defeated. His strategy was “we win, they lose”. How that end might be achieved was entirely negotiable (compromise of interest) whether they should be defeated (compromise of principle) was never negotiable.

      That is the difference between the two wings of the Republican Party. The GOP establishment is entirely willing to compromise conservative principles because they do not share them.

      When Barry’s sh-t ultimately hits the fan, those principles will NOT be obvious…to the low info voter (who swing elections) and just like the housing bubble, the dems and the MSM will blame the republicans and enough of the public will buy it, just as they did before.

      Your guess that the GOP will nominate Ryan for Pres and Cruz for VP is at best wishful thinking. Ryan is a member of the House and Cruz is anathema to the GOP establishment.

      A much more likely (and far more distasteful) GOP ticket is Gov. Christie for Pres and Sen. Marco Rubio for VP. Neither of whom is a conservative both of whom are political opportunists in the finest RINO tradition.

  5. The very idea that the pasty-faced, unhealthy appearing virago Mrs. Bill Clinton has even a remote chance to get a major party nomination, much less a substantial number of votes in a national election, is as devastating an indictment of the democratic-republican form of government as can be imagined. She avoided a career as a minor functionary in the Illinois Driver’s License Department by schlepping off to Wellesley and then Yale, one of the normal stops for aspiring political parasites and then hitched her wagon to a serial sex offender that happened to be in the right place at the right time. Now there’s talk of her talentless offspring slithering into politics as well. While the Clintons don’t have the financial empire of the Kennedy clan, they’re certainly capable of forming their own dynasty thanks to a media that grovels before political families, especially those with “progressive” credentials. That must make Cruz unelectable, although he’s a product of the same Ivy League as all the rest of the frauds that wander around the federal bureaucracy hoping to grab the reins of power without lifting anything heavier than a I-phone. The ghosts of Romans, Ottomans, Venetians and Prussian Junkers are having a good laugh at the short and silly span of American power.

    1. That Hillary Clinton is the front runner to get her party’s nomination, and would/will get a slim majority of votes in the national election is a devastating indictment of the current state of the country.

      That you claim it to be an inherent attribute of the democratic-republican form of government is a devastating indictment of your confusion and animus.

      What superior alternative to the democratic-republican form of government do you advocate?

      Remember that to be superior, it must surpass America in wealth creation, rule of law, guaranteed freedoms, minority rights and willingness to face and address its faults.

      1. Let’s see…. wealth creation, that’s a function of government? The trading of offices between two groups of parasites is what enables the neighbor to buy a bass boat and my foreman to have two Harleys? It is to laugh. Rule of law? Maybe we should look into the Lois Lerner thing, or the way cops can confiscate property without even charging the supposed miscreant, after sending a dog at him. Doesn’t seem to be any guaranteed freedom to drive without a fastened seat belt, liability insurance or license plates. Guys much brighter than thou, Toqueville, de Jouvenal, Spencer, Sumner, Kuehnelt-Leddihn and others have discredited the mythological superiority of the democratic-republic. People are inclined to believe what they’re taught in government schools so it’s easy to understand their acceptance of the Ivy League oligarchy.

    2. As for “the short and silly span of American power” enjoy it while ye may, you will not be able to disparage any other form of government that might replace it.

  6. The variety of opinion is always instructive. I appreciate all the thoughtful comments. More to follow on this one, folks.

  7. What a difference a week makes. The Obamacare implosion is so bad that the D’s are now contemplating a one year delay re the individual mandate — and just a week or two ago they (1) voted against a one year delay as part of the R’s CR and (2) declared anyone who proposed such a delay (a) ignoring “established law” and (b) terrorists, arsonists, holding a gun to Barry’s head, wearing body bombs, and other names that only our oh so tolerant D’s could spout.

    The only problem for the D’s is that, if they delay the mandate until October 2014, this POS is going to explode on them just weeks before their beloved elections. So I predict another few weeks of denial by the D’s until Nov. 5th, at which point they and the MSM will declare that a one year delay is the only patriotic thing to do — and so they will put this disaster out of mind until the day after the 2014 elections. And sadly those hapless R’s — the Charlie Browns to the D’s Lucys — will go along.

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