The point I was trying to make, and I did a lousy job of it when I criticized the Red State newsletter, was that there is a time and place for everything. There are times when the “Us vs. Them” approach to politics is appropriate and times when it is not.
In the midst of the financial crisis and in the face of activist opposition Super Majority is a good time for it. But beyond that, three election cycles later with divided government, it is not very useful. I think that many Conservatives have developed a nasty habit since the crisis of depending upon the sentiments of those who are in firm agreement rather than reaching out to those who can be reached. And in such case, the product turns out to be politicians sent to Washington whose main purpose is to simply say no, with very little else in the way of expectation. Ted Cruz is my case in point, and I have to ask what he has done for us lately.
Whether we like it or not, centralized nearly everything is what is – and just saying no isn’t going to change it. There is a difference between the best governance that can be achieved under the circumstances and simply saying no to everything, and there are consequences involved in doing so. It’s true that Harry Reid was irresponsible in breaking down the usefulness of the filibuster, and he owns that. But stock should be taken in what role abuse of the process played in that, and the questions asked about what ultimate good for the real meaning of the “General Welfare” was served. Think about it. The filibuster existed in some form since Arron Burr was President of the Senate – and now it is for the most part gone.
And why am I worried about it? I am worried about it because our government was based on requirement for a political consensus – the minority has a role to play. It didn’t come about through the framers’ intention, but rather hard lessons learned in the transfer of power from the Federalists to the Democratic Republicans in which Arron Burr played a major role. For more information about the historical record, there are at least two newer books out about Arron Burr that can be found on Amazon.com. There are additional resources about the politics involved in books about how Thomas Jefferson became President. I recommend reading them because what you don’t know about the early years of our Constitutional government and the many abuses thereof can hurt you – and if you think that one party rule is good for us as long as you agree with the premise of the present, this will probably change your mind.
Beyond the real and long lasting political damage being incurred by irresponsibility on part of both parties, it is also worth asking whether newsletters like this one, as well intentioned as they may be, are helping or hurting the cause. Maybe if rallying the troops one still has is the purpose of it, it might be a help. But then, it’s a question of why that would be a priority. Is it a sinking ship? I think maybe it is because if there were broad satisfaction, people like Mr. Erickson would be engaged in solidifying and expanding – not trying to hold the bold red line.
After all, there have been certain concepts proffered from the conservative camp like an incessant drumbeat, particularly about monetary policy, as in M=P, that have failed to pan out. And that means something to all of the people who bought gold thinking they could hold onto their wealth only to watch it evaporate. As if they didn’t lose enough the day Bernanke was confirmed as Chairman of the Federal Reserve, they were convinced to do the next worse things by people they thought they could trust. Being that wrong has consequences that perhaps are not comprehended, at least I see no evidence of that. And just like Bernanke and the rest of the hawks, there is no mea culpa or even a step back to reexamine the rhetoric to see where the flaws are and fix them. Ignored failure has a way of coming around to bite the behind; and it certainly says something about deep the concern for the “General Welfare.” The economic damage from unionization is nothing compared to the direct financial damage inflicted by the hyperinflation Chicken Little squawking. And people like Mr. Erickson care not.
It really is a very sad thing that conservatives have done this to the legacy of free market and small government advocacy. And in my opinion, the cause is certainly not served with such self-absorbed and opinionated mouthpieces such as these.