Tuesday, October 18, 2011

"Rise to the Level of Politics"?

Whoa!  The American Spectator's Jeffrey Lord has written an article that will doubtless earn him more than a few enemies within the GOP Establishment.  But I suspect he knows this.

"Clark Clifford Republicans" is both the title and the target, as in fixed within the cross hairs, of his piece.  Just in case you didn't already know, the late Clark Clifford was a once very influential DC insider and "fixer", mostly from behind the scenes.  He was also the fellow who famously called Ronald Reagan an "amiable dunce".

For Lord, Clifford is the very symbol of the "I Really Believe in Big Government" Democrat who sets up shop in Washington as a consequence and makes a fortune trading influence with anyone who wants a piece of the "action", monetary or otherwise.  While a "I Really Believe in Big Government" Democrat makes a certain kind of sense, for a Republican who professes to believe just the opposite, but acts like Clark Clifford nevertheless, it's a problem, a big problem.

Although Lord is careful to say that these Clark Clifford Republicans are to a person, solid, hard-working people who almost always act in good faith, they are nevertheless, largely because their reputations and livelihoods have come to depend upon it, active participants in perpetuating the system of Big and Ever Growing Government.  Moreover, they are also very active in being more than a bit condescending (I'm being charitable) towards the Tea Party types who, naively and foolishly, they insist, seriously mean to reign in this Leviathan.

Lord names a few names and despite what appears to be an honest effort on his part to focus on the problem and not the people, I'm guessing he will pay for it somehow.

At any rate, one of the names he mentions is Vin Weber, a former Minnesota congressman and a once rising star within the GOP.  Some of you may remember him.  Anyway, now he's a, well, he's a Clark Clifford Republican. 

To make his point, Lord reports what Weber was quoted as saying about the Tea Party from a New York Times story:
"I think I know what they want to accomplish, and I agree with most of it," he said. "But if they want to accomplish it, they need to 'rise to the level of politics.' I mean, you can't just stand there and take a stand and say, 'I'm not going to compromise on my position.' Because you won't achieve anything."
"Rise to the level of politics"?  Hmm? 

I'll grant that there is a time for "politics" as Weber and many other Establishment Republicans envision them.  You know, the "make a deal", "split the difference", "half a loaf" kind of politics that are practised as a matter of course during normal times.

But what Weber and fellow members of his GOP fraternity either cannot or will not see is that these are decidedly not normal times.  The stakes are far too high, and obviously so.  The consequences of our side losing disastrous, and not just for us, but for the country as a whole.  The Great Reckoning as some wit has called them.

If you're willing too quickly to compromise under such circumstances, you're not "rising" to anything, not politics, not even the challenge.  Instead what you're doing is groveling.  It's unattractive and it's guaranteed to lose. 

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