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Why are you reading this?

Why are you reading this?

Because you still care (?).

Via @BarbaraLedeen, I recommend you read the full transcript (excerpts only below) and listen to Rush Limbaugh’s segment, Caller: Why Should I Still Care?

CALLER: I need some help here. I’ve tuned out since the election, absolutely tuned out…  I’ve tuned out. I own my own business. I’m just gonna push forward without paying attention. I need you to tell me why I should still pay attention….  And I can’t stand listening to — and for me, it’s doom and gloom. It’s depressing. I don’t want to hear about my taxes going up. I don’t want to hear about Obamacare. I want to be able to hire people and continue to grow without more oppressive regulation. And I’m just gonna count on the fact that I’ll be able to do it without having to pay attention to it, because it’s depressing….

RUSH:  …. But you don’t see any leadership, elected leadership in Washington that you think really understands what you’re going through or what you’re up against. So that’s another reason, “To hell with it. You know what?” Like the caller said, “I’m not participating.” And that was music to my ears, by the way. “To hell with it. If they’re gonna have an economic downturn, let me ’em go ahead; I’m not participating…. I’m not gonna care anymore. The debt deal doesn’t matter to me. The fiscal cliff doesn’t matter to me. I cared. I gave it everything I had, and it didn’t matter.”

But it does matter, and at some point, even if you tune out, and even if you do punt, the fact of the matter is — and this you also know about yourself — you’ll be back, whatever that means, you will be reengaged at some point because you care too much to just let it all go…. You care too much about what the future holds for your kids and your grandkids. You’re just too big a patriot. You’re not gonna chuck it. …

Believe me, I know where you are. I know how you feel. That’s why I read tech blogs. But at some point that’s going to vanish and you’re gonna get back to where you were because it matters too much to you. In the end, it will matter. You’ll get it back.

Here’s the audio (starts at about the one minute mark):

And a follow up caller:


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I will be back … right after the Republican Party goes into the dust bin of history.

The blue dog Democrat Party has gone into the dust bin of history. The Democrat Party is now the party of Bill Ayers and Bernadine Dohrn.

The current Republican Party is the party of Republican consultants who never lose when America loses. It is the party of Mitt Romney and Jeb Boosh and John Boehner.

We need to replace the Republican Party with the Tea Party.

Wake me up with the Republican Party is dead.

    I’m right there with you Paul. I can’t stand watching what is happening in our country from BOTH sides. The few that I agree with get shot down by the elites in the Republican Party.

    I keep saying the Democrats are now socialists, and the Republicans are the old Democrats turning socialist. Pretty sad for a conservative.

I don’t remember where I heard/read this but…. something along the lines of:

They can knock us down, but we’ll get back up. If they take one of us out, another will take his place. They can kill us, but they can never destroy us. Because we’re Americans.

I’ve been meaning to bring up the following New York Times graphic since it was published last month, as it shows that Republicans are at their highest level of control of state governments in 60 years. Not bad for a party supposedly in deep trouble and on death’s door. (Notice, by the way, that Republicans controlled exactly zero states after the 1976 election.)

Click to embiggen

So while all eyes are on Washington and the fiscal cliff, outside of Washington a determined counterattack against liberalism is under way, and looks to have some good chances of success. First, several states have announced they are going to refuse to set up Obamacare insurance exchanges, heeding Michael Greve’s always well thought out advice that states actively assert their constitutional prerogatives to “interpose” themselves between Washington and the people…

Some people are awful delicate lil’ flowers. But it has always been that way.

Thomas Paine wrote about “sunshine patriots”.

    persecutor in reply to Ragspierre. | December 10, 2012 at 3:40 pm

    Raggs, the problem is that while there’s leadership in the States, there’s a humongous vacuum in Washington that the States can’t totally fill-and I’m not totally convinced the States are on that firm a footing with some of the RINOs inhabiting the various statehouses.

    I think the GOP has outlived its usefulness for me and I’m coming around to the view that we need to mount a third party movement.

    You want my vote? No more RINOs no matter whose turn it is to be the quadrennial loser.

      Ragspierre in reply to persecutor. | December 10, 2012 at 3:54 pm

      I feel you, my brother…

      Coupla thangs though…

      1. I have to smile (again) at the irony of the use of the term “RINO” when you are talking about Republicans who ARE Republicans but NOT conservatives. COINs would be right.

      2. There IS a third party. Actually, there are several. How effective are Libertarians?

      3. I’ve been all ’round the third party barn. My assessment is it would take at least a decade of losing everything for a conservative party to BEGIN being effective, UNLESS you are talking about coalition government…which kinda puts us right back where we are. And after a decade of losing everything, what would be left?

      4. As is displayed here all the time, there is no consensus as to what a third “conservative” party would even look like.

        persecutor in reply to Ragspierre. | December 10, 2012 at 4:45 pm

        Wouldn’t they be CONIS? Considering what a bunch of wieners they’d be, perhaps we should refer to them as Coneys. Has a ring to it, doncha think?

        Libertarians are a bit too doctrinaire for my tastes, as I reserve the right to be not as ideologically pure as they want, just out of common sense.

        I don’t think that it’d take a decade, but it sure would take at least one presidential and a couple of congressional elections for the GOP to miss who used to butter their bread. If DeMint is going to head Heritage, I think it’d be less of a risk than if he were still on the Hill with Foghorn Leghorn and his band of charlatans.

        We start with local elections and after a while, you’d be surprised.

        I’m thinking of running for school board to put my money where my mouth is.

          Ragspierre in reply to persecutor. | December 10, 2012 at 5:16 pm

          Hey, as Rocky said to Mr. T….

          “Go fa id…”

          serfer1962 in reply to persecutor. | December 10, 2012 at 5:40 pm

          Regas…a 3rd party has never been viable…until now. The Establishment is going to lose the ’14 national elections & the ’16 elections. That gives us 5 years to get a Conservative POTUS candidate without damaging the states GOP.
          Meanwhile start the adventure by insuring you rep doesn’t vote for Borhner next month or face opposition in the primaries.

          Ragspierre in reply to persecutor. | December 10, 2012 at 5:53 pm

          “The Establishment is going to lose…”

          Wow. So the whole conservative movement is chopped liver?!?!

          Should we bother putting up good senatorial candidates, are is that all just a waste of time?

    “The battle, sir, is not to the strong alone; it is to the vigilant, the active, the brave.”
    ― Patrick Henry

It’s not the political war we need to win, but the culture war. If we don’t have a bigger voice in the media, we’ll have no influence outside of small spheres like this one.

If we start winning battles in the culture war, then we sway voters and begin winning the political war. We have to start at the level of the individual, the personal. We have to help them hear us by giving them the facts that they aren’t hearing from the MSM.

    Ragspierre in reply to beatcanvas. | December 10, 2012 at 3:36 pm

    Whoever said it was going to be easy? And making it more difficult is that conservatives tend to be out of practice where cultural endeavors are concerned (except perhaps in country music, which is important). When you disdain or ignore something, the skills wither.

    I’m talking in generalities, of course. Plenty of great conservative artists exist. But the number needs to be extended considerably in order even to come close to parity and level the artistic playing field to some small degree. Cultural institutions (movie studios, theatres, philanthropies etc.) must be built as well because you can do terrific things but, without the means of distributing them, they are the proverbial trees growing unseen in the wilderness.

The third-party conversation seems in some ways academic. The GOP as presently constituted is dying. This seems to me beyond doubt. It hasn’t demonstrated the basic political awareness necessary even to survive. It cannot stand up to the Left as effective combative opposition, and cannot offer a non-combative moderate alternative to liberal policies. In addition, it is fiercely, animalistically hostile to reform.

Where does that leave it? If Romney lost because, as some Romney advocates are arguing, too many lazy and irresponsible Republicans or conservatives abstained, how would this trend of alienation and defection mediate itself in 2016 under another Romney-type, which all signs indicate is the dreary fait accompli. No, it’s dying.

So the question is, what takes shape as the alternative — an aggresisve, internal challenge to the Party hierarchy that re-tools the GOP, or a third party. I believe the former is the better option, and more realistic. But this requires a blazingly dynamic candidate and reformist.

    Browndog in reply to raven. | December 10, 2012 at 4:48 pm

    I reject the notion that “conservatives” stayed home or voted a fringe candidate in any numbers that could be remotely significant.

    “Conservatives” vote, and live, country before self interest. “What’s in it for me” is the other party.

    That said, I will no longer identify myself as a “Conservative”. It has taken on a connotation of a political demographic, to which I am merely a member. I feel like I have ‘leaders’ and ‘spokesmen’ that I somehow endorsed, agree, and follow.

    I am an individual. My allegiances are to God, country, family. My views on public policy are based solely on right and wrong.

    I am a tea party of one.

    jdkchem in reply to raven. | December 10, 2012 at 5:03 pm

    Either option requires beating the lame-streamers to a bloody pulp. Perky Katie will be blowing the extremist horn and the response needs to be a kick in the crotch, a punch in the face and the statement that “firing bunny inspectors and operating government with a balanced budget is extremist only to smug condescending twats who couldn’t pour piss from a boot if the instructions were on the bottom.”

I heard this on Friday. My reaction was/is that I’m tired of all the talking. When you have a government that cannot cut bunny inspectors from the budget there is a problem. Talking and posing does nothing.

1. Why are you reading this?

Because you still care (?).

I’m reading this out of habit and because I agree with many of your positions as academic propositions. As a practical matter, I note that the Right, having been utterly outmaneuvered by the Left in an election which was the Right’s to win, is carrying on with business as usual.

2. Your previous Operation Counterweight urged your readers to support eighteen candidates, including honorable mentions. Fifteen of them lost. Your reaction: Would do it again, with the same choices. My reaction to your reaction: And likely with the same outcome.

3. America is heading toward a point of no return. It may or may not have reached it. If it hasn’t reached it, the conservative movement as currently constituted is not going to change the direction.

4. In a comment thread started by stevewhitemd, I replied to Towson Lawyer as follows:

The kook faction and the kleptocrat faction are vying for control of the GOP. Everybody else lacks critical mass.

Your suggestion about the abortion issue coincides with my opinion, but afaik it is not acceptable to the kooks.

After the eruption of post-election lunacy on this board, I decided to stop commenting regularly. The loss of a winnable election was bad enough; the post-election craziness is the last straw.

Maybe America hasn’t suffered enough. My real worry is that the country may be too far gone to respond constructively to experience.

Never before has a nation been presented with the position and opportunities America had at the dawn of the millenium. Never before has so much been squandered so quickly. Heaven help us if history is just.

Rant over. Now, back to your regularly scheduled programming: Every sperm is sacred, every sperm is great! No new taxes!

5. WAJ has called abortion “the civil rights issue of our time”. There were overwhelming thumbs-downs against the term “zygote” because it is supposedly dehumanizing. It’s been a waste of my time to seek common ground on this. Enough is enough.

“Conservatives” are for limited government, except when government can be used to shove their religious practices down the country’s throat. Good luck selling that. Santorum-Akin 2016!

6. I could go on and on. For example, Asian Americans are more disadvantaged by affirmative action than whites are. How, then, did the GOP contrive to lose 3/4 of their votes?

7. During WW2 George Orwell told British pacifists that objectively they were aiding the Fascists. A similar indictment applies to Real Conservatives™ wrt the Left.

    DaMav in reply to gs. | December 10, 2012 at 7:19 pm

    You mad, bro? 🙂

    I will concede that if Republicans became Democrats we’d be winning elections by maybe 80% or more, but..

      No, not mad. Not anymore.

      The election results made me mad. I had taken Pat Cadell’s assessment to heart despite hoping it was wrong.

      The GOP/Right’s reactions to the loss moved me to a point beyond mad.

What significant changes have occurred since we voted Republicans in charge of the House in 2010 with a mandate to reduce Federal spending?

I remember the hope we had that there would be some serious change. Boehner started out talking about a hundred billion/year in cuts — “not enough!” — we loudly protested, and were told this was just the first year.. be patient. Trust Boehner. Trust the Party. Then the cuts shrank to 60 something… then 40, then 30… finally the smoke and mirrors fell and there were no cuts at all — just excuses, and more promises and more Boehner.

Gee what a surprise so many conservative voters stayed home in 2012. Yeah, foolish. I voted for Romney in the general but…

Here we are in 2013… more spending.. more promises.. more excuses.. conservatives being purged.. and more Boehner.

    Browndog in reply to DaMav. | December 10, 2012 at 7:54 pm

    Boehner is not the problem.

    Remove him, and replace him with….another.

    The culture of elected office is a such that a man/woman that stands on principle and speaks their mind gets gerrymandered/unelected/removed from committee…

    Those that “play ball”…rise in prestige and power….may even eventually become Speaker.

      DaMav in reply to Browndog. | December 10, 2012 at 8:08 pm

      He is certainly not the only problem but when does enough failure become enough failure? One of the trends I hate to see adopted by Republicans is excusing away failure. If Boehner were hired to turn a company around by reducing expenses and came back two years later with no cuts and a plan for the stockholders to kick in more money you’d wonder about the competence of the board that left him in power.

      Clint had it right, and it applies to Boehner as well: He can’t do the job, and we have to let him go.

Oh, and I’m here because I respect the ‘hache’ out of William A. Jacobson and Legal Insurrection, even when we don’t agree.

I have to say I know exactly what the caller is talking about, because I feel it myself. I’m much more disengaged from the news, and particularly political news, than I was before the election. I genuinely thought Romney was going to win, and I don’t see any hope now that Obama has another four years in office.

The litany of “this is the most important election of our lifetimes” and “if we lose this election, the country’s through”, has sunk in. It was the most important election of my life, and we lost it. I’m done.

I think I now know what the Democrats felt like in December of 2004. I’ve lost interest, I’ve lost the fire, and I’m just resigned to the fact that the country is going to be “fundamentally changed” beyond recognition, to its detriment and destruction.

And there’s nothing I can do about it.

    punfundit in reply to GOPagan. | December 11, 2012 at 3:48 pm

    I stopped with the televised news years ago. Only occasionally will I tune in to Fox News Sunday (and that’s exceedingly rare these days). I get my news when and where I want to, read it when I want to, listen to it when I want to, and do my own research and analysis.

    I don’t even listen to talk radio on a regular basis anymore. I get Limbaugh’s podcasts, so I listen to it when I want on my schedule. Or I’ll go straight to his website and listen to just the segments I want to via Rush 24/7.

    I make the news fit my schedule and requirements. I tune it out the rest of the time (which is most of the time). My life *has* improved as a result. I recommend it!

I too own a business, and I too am convinced my difficult way got lots harder when Obama won re-election and the Democrats kept control of the Senate. Whenever the President, Reid or one of those House Marxists come on the tube I too mute the thing and wait them out.

But I’m trying to figure out how I can make the outcome different next time. I have lots of friends and relatives who voted for the Sovietization of America, and voted Obama, but they don’t see it that way. They don’t see the fiscal cliff as anything other than a GOP House caucus versus Obama problem, and they aren’t focused at all on the debt ceiling debate, the unbelievable printing of money by the Fed (and purchase of Treasuries), the growth of regulation and the smothering of the private economy. Incredibly, these voters are convinced the GOP is slightly racist, against progress in cutting healthcare costs and wants to undermine a womens right to contraceptives. Oh, yeah, and is eager for new wars in the middle east.

Rationality does not seem to enter into the discussion, and these are otherwise intelligent, good Americans.

We need to find a way to make clear to well meaning people how terrible the choices are that are being made. Unless the persuadable voter population begins to see the impact of their choices, we have no hope.