Friday, March 25, 2016

Debate Regarding Political Establishment Deepens

By Douglas V. Gibbs

Here on Political Pistachio we have a number of writers.  Dominating the number of articles is JASmius.  My articles, not as large in number as I once produced, as a consequence of my other efforts regarding educating the public about the U.S. Constitution, tend to be less about reporting the news, and more about providing a deep discussion about constitutional principles.  Allan McNew provides a creative sarcasm that often reveals the issues in a different light than the other writers.  All of these writers are conservatives, but sometimes we disagree on certain aspects of the political scene, especially when it comes to strategies and tactics.

Recently, Allan McNew provided a piece titled, "The Ghost of Republican Past."  I added an editor's note at the end of his article that read:  

Editor's Note: It has been conservatism, or in Bush's case a claim to conservatism, that won elections.  However, in Reagan's case it was conservatism coupled with an appeal to "Americans", rather than "republicans."  Personally, I have no problem with moderates and liberal republicans running away from the party.  In my opinion, they poison us.  The Democrats are on the verge of progressive-socialist critical mass because of their "tolerance" of non-American ideas. -- Douglas V. Gibbs
As a result, an interesting debate in the comment section has emerged, and I wanted to share with you what has been said in that discussion, so far. . .



1 – 4 of 4

JASmius said...

It isn't "moderate" Republicans (approximately 10% of the party) who are running away from it. But by the same token, the GOP can't be a majority party without moderate/independent voters, because conservatives are a minority in this country (as are liberals). How is being relegated to the political and powerless wilderness not a vastly worse "poison"?

11:23 AM

Douglas V. Gibbs said...

I disagree. Conservatives are the majority, but they don't participate. This idiotic idea that the candidate must move to the center to get independent voters is moronic. Most independents are people too pissed off at the GOP to register republican, but they are conservative in nature. 85% of the country believes in a Christian God, and 60% consider themselves right of center. When polled on the issues, only 14% are truly liberal. The rest of the Democrat voters are sheep. Education, advocacy, and activating the silent majority is the key to restoring the republic.

5:22 PM

JASmius said...

The numbers say otherwise. Three pluralities - liberal, conservative, and the largest one, "swing voters," who are easily manipulated by the media. That's why the GOP can't be insular and ***thematically*** "pure-strain" but has to persuade the "swingers" to "swing" in our direction, not by moving toward them but by drawing them toward us, as Reagan did. That is the "education/advocacy" process that you describe - but it has to be done with optimism, good humor, and a twinkle in the eye, not anger and resentment against cartoonish "establishments" that are, whether you want to acknowledge it or not, natural allies. Anything else is futile, masturbatory self-congratulation.

5:47 PM

Douglas V. Gibbs said...

Your anger and resentment against what you see as a cartoonish Donald Trump has been apparent. So, perhaps we need to practice what we preach. As for your claim about the numbers, based on what I've seen, in a base versus base election, the GOP wins. The problem is, the silent majority has remained silent out of anger against the establishment. After all, when it comes to voting, it is those who participate who have been picking the winners. In California that is about 9.7% of the total population of the State. If gun owners, who are largely conservative, were to all vote in this State, the State of California could be flipped. We don't need to coddle independents with a compromise of moderation because they are largely conservatives and libertarians who reject party affiliation for a vast number of reasons - rather than being moderate swing voters as we are erroneously told. I am not saying the swing voters don't exist. I am saying they would not be as influential in elections if conservatives would simply get off the couch. A purely conservative candidate would win in a landslide, but the idiotic belief that we have to appeal to "swing voters" (which emerged after Goldwater) has the consultants blowing election after election for the Republicans. Even though I understand that Trump is not a conservative, it is his seemingly conservative statements that pull no punches, and his refusal to moderate or consult consultants, that has the Trumpster winning the GOP nomination. Does he believe what he says? That's a different discussion. Can he be trusted not to waver, or act upon some of his ridiculous nationalist ideas? I hope so. But, as I have been arguing about Trump (with the pure purpose of informing and educating), his popularity is because he pulls no punches (according to his supporters), and he disrupts a system (the cartoonish establishment) that many have come to believe is not about party as much as it is about an inner-circle of ruling elite who have established a political machine that totally disregards the opinions of the voters, the foundation of the American System, or common sense.


Let me add this, which I have not included in the comment section as of yet; voting is only a part of the equation.  If we, the public, were doing our job to maintain the republic, largely by having relationships with our representatives, and guiding them in a direction that is closer to what we desire, it wouldn't matter who is in office, or who occupies the White House.  That is part of the reason I don't fear a wild card like Trump.  If we do our job by being involved (some call it "lighting a fire under their feet"), it truly does not matter if someone like Trump is in office.  It's like this idea about term limits, for example.  Why should we institute that kind of limit when, if we did our job as voters, it would not be necessary?  The problem is not Trump, the establishment, nor the length of term as much is it that we have let this happen by our own complacency and apathy.  Trump, to get back to his unexpected popularity, is resonating with the voters because the people see him as one of us, angry and determined to shake up a political establishment that thinks it is above the law, and above We the People.

What do you think?

Tell us on Saturday, March 26 on Constitution Radio with Douglas V. Gibbs on KMET 1490-AM after we finish our interview of Sam Peredes, President of Gun Owners of California, either by calling into the program (951-922-3532), or messaging me on Facebook during the program (

The program will air from 1:00 pm to 2:00 pm, Pacific Time.

-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary


JASmius said...

That Donald Trump is cartoonish is not a matter of opinion; the only question there is which cartoon character he resembles most. I have no anger for or resentment towards Trump; I do have the contempt for his lies, boorishness, corruption, and let's just say "questionable" associations that I would think any constitutional conservative and possessor of a moral compass would have. Towards Trumplicans I feel astonishment and dismay tinged with the feeling of betrayal. Suffice it to say, I do not suffer foolishness easily, something of which you cannot help but be aware, but which may only be triggering this rebuke because that trait is now aimed at targets of which you have inexplicably far less disapproval.

In any case, I didn't think we were debating Trump per se; but as anybody from the old days on could tell you, I always hear "the call of the warrior".

JASmius said...

According to the 2015 Pew party identification survey, 39% of voters are independents, 32% are Democrats, and 23% are Republicans. Throw in "leaners" and it's Dems 45%, GOP 33%, Indies 20%. Ideologically, the score reads Moderates 47%, Liberals 29%, Conservatives 24%. So base vs. base, we lose.

Mitt Romney lost California in 2012 by about three million votes. There are just short of eight million gun-owners in the Acapulco Golden State. What percentage of them didn't vote last time, and of those who did, how did they split between Obama and Romney? Provide some of these details rather than just throwing out these anecdotal assertions on nothing but "what you've seen".

Read my last comment in this thread - I never said we should "coddle moderates," but rather to attract them in our direction with a Reaganite conservative message. This is a stylistic issue; sunny optimism works better with a general electorate than anger and resentment. That isn't arguable. And while I agree that a conservative can still win in the present day, the margin for error is a helluva lot smaller, and "landslides" are a relic of a bygone era.

Going back to Trump, since you did, the key word is "seemingly" conservative statements. But those statements are liberal caricatures of what they think motivates them, and he always walks them back, sometimes within hours or minutes. He tailors his rhetoric to whatever audience he's addressing, like any good conman does. I've documented it ad nauseum on this site. What I thought We the People were most responsible for is vigilance and discernment, thinking about and getting informed on issues and vetting candidates and not getting swept up in demagoguery and deception. We've been lamenting for the past eight years how that vigilance and discernment failed catastrophically with Barack Obama, and now not only has it not returned, but it's infected the GOP as well to the point where Mr. Tea Party Warrior himself, Ted Cruz, is being bypassed for an amalgam of Obama and Bill Clinton with better hair.

Sure, Trump "pulls no punches" - that's part of his con. And when he has the nomination and no longer needs the conservatives he's duped, he'll discard them and bolt to the center. And you know it.

The reason I don't think you're seeing it fully is because you still have this bug up your backside about the GOP "establishment" and all its real and imagined imperfections, and the way Trump poses as an "anti-establishment" foil has a consequent irresistable allure. That's unquestionably what's motivating most Trumplicans. Which is why I say that they've given up and are being goaded by their candidate into throwing a huge, party-splitting, Hillary-electing temper tantrum that will accomplish nothing except to set us all the way back to January 2009. I don't see how that helps constitutionalism, conservatism, or the GOP.

Lotsa luck "educating" me on that tomorrow.

JASmius said...

Alright, the podcast is in the can, I'd taken my morning meds, had a good, if not balanced, meal, brushed my teeth, and would have a a stiff drink, it I did that sort of thing. Where was I?

Ah, yes. I agree that voting is only part of the equation - but it's the biggest part and has the most leverage over the political process. This is another example of how things shouldn't be a given way but are anyway. You know very well that I support and believe in all your grassroots efforts to connect as many Americans as possible with the constitutional originalism that they should have been taught but never were by the socialized education system. "Stop sitting on the couch bitching, get up off your fat ass, and get involved in the process," etc. (He's saying that for your benefit, folks, not mine.) But as far away as our country has fallen from constitutional originalism, you also know equally well how diminished by orders of magnitude the maximum impact of grassroots movements away from statism have become. (I'm saying that for your benefit, folks, not Doug's.) That doesn't mean they shouldn't be mounted, but it does mean that the vote is a more important tool and a vitally necessary one to keep the federal leviathan from getting even worse. Which, in short, would you rather attempt: Swimming up Niagra Falls or swimming up the three-thousand foot tsunami following an oceanic comet impact?

As for term limits, yeah, "if we did our jobs as voters," they wouldn't be necessary. But even 40% of Republicans aren't "doing their jobs as voters" right now, so I have very little faith in a "We the People" that is anything but "moral and religious" to fulfill that standard. Besides, I've always seen term limits as simply another check and balance. Would you want to see the Twenty-Second Amendment repealed?

Following up on the "flipping California 'red' if all gun-owners would vote" assertion, I ran the numbers. Rounding up the number of Californians packing heat to eight million, and assuming half of them voted in 2012, in order to overcome that three million vote deficit in 2012 and turn the Acapulco Golden State Republican, your gun-owners would have to be voting GOP by almost 90%-10%. The only demographic that lopsided is African-American support for Democrats. Unless you've "seen," and gotten to know personally all eight million of them and audited all their cast ballots, I think this assertion is highly dubious as well.

JASmius said...

On the "establishment" subject, John Hawkins' (Right Wing News) final paragraph says it all:

"At the end of the day, if the goal is to say 'screw you' not just to the 'establishment', but to millions of grassroots conservatives and committed Christians, then it’s almost 'mission accomplished' time. However, if the goal is to beat Hillary Clinton, Donald J. Trump is not someone who can make that happen. To do that, the Republican Party would need to unify and that’s not possible with human poison like Donald J. Trump as the nominee. If, as expected, Donald J. Trump becomes the GOP’s candidate, the Republican Party will splinter, the GOP will be decimated down ticket, and millions will leave the Republican Party, at least until its infatuation with Hugo Chavez, Jr. has run its course. If Donald J. Trump is the cure, the Republican Party would be better off with the disease."