May 19 2009

No Name McCain And The Shrinking GOP

Published by at 11:29 am under All General Discussions

The news today on the GOP is not good, nor is it surprising. The GOP is being rejected because it has gone into the tank of self announced moral superiority. I will get back to this at the end of this post.

Before that, it is time to get on my soap box again because the ‘true conservatives’ cannot adjust to the reality they have lost credibility with America and need to realize extreme conservatives are not winning the day. I note an interesting post by some no-name McCain who rages against ‘moderates’ and ‘centrists’, who is surprised we have as much passion and drive as they do, but with a major dose of pragmatism and thoughtfulness. Here are some key moans from some person named McCain:

Listen, buddy, when you go to pick a fight, it’s best to know who you’re picking a fight with. And it may help to know what you’re actually fighting about:

It’s about a Republican “leadership” that has spent the past few years destroying the grassroots of the GOP. However, your idea of a “centrist coalition” as the basis for revitalizing the Republican Party is a non-starter, for several reasons:

Did “issues” have anything to do with this? Well, if issues matter, John McCain certainly didn’t help himself by coming down on the wrong side of the Bush bailout:

Poor no-name, he confuses issues with credibility. He wonders what is ‘sane’ and what is a fevered swamp. The poor soul points to my applauding McCain for going to DC to deal with the economic collapse as claiming I supported all the results of the Bush TARP approach. My applause was aimed at McCain seizing the moment and forcing the issue (and its implications) into the national presidential debate. Like most ‘true conservatives’, somebody named McCain replaces thought out political strategy with anger and insults – which is all the ‘true conservatives’ have to offer, and it is getting old with Americans.

McCain and Bush were never the problem for the grass roots, the far right was. Let me describe a few issues where the ‘true conservatives’ dumped any sensible thinking in exchange for petty emotional blather. 

First up: The Gang of 14 and Bush’s judicial selections. When the centrists gathered in the Senate (left and right) to end the stand off on Bush’s judicial the true conservatives were denied their constitutional showdown. They moaned and moaned about the fact they could not use our governmental process to slam the political opposition. They wanted to punish the opposition. It was not what the nation wanted or needed.

Constitutional showdowns are dangerous and should be avoided. A democracy survives by everyone believing in the democratic processes and their results. The minute you start abusing the processes to attack other Americans you begin to erode the faith in the system that keeps it alive.

The Gang of 14 did the right thing for this nation. They avoided a useless and childish constitutional showdown and President Bush’s judicial nominations began flying through the process. It was a success. But ‘true conservatives’ are still, to this day, moaning that they did not get their civil war. This is repulsive to the majority of people who don’t want a civil war, they want a democratic process that is fair and we can have faith in. 

Second example: The smearing of Harriet Miers. Harriet  Miers was President Bush’s second choice for a Supreme Court nomination, but she was not considered to be in the ‘true conservative’ camp because she was once a Democrat (just like President Reagan!). The ‘true conservatives’ did not engage her on issues, but tore into her as a RINO or some squish on abortion. They had no proof, they just slammed her because they wanted one of theirs selected. The result was a clear signal to the broader conservative coalition that only ‘true conservatives’ would be considered for lead roles, and any outside that cult who wanted to be in a lead role would be smeared as if they were from the far left. 

The message was clear, and the coalition began to splinter. People participate in the democratic process under the expectations their voice will be heard, their ideas will be respected and their efforts will be rewarded. The cult of the right wanted supreme and unchallenged control. No sharing of the fruits, which meant less interest in spending a life’s effort to the cause. These free market mavens forgot that success has to be shared and allowed to form where it forms. If that means a less than pure candidate occasionally, that IS the price for a coalition. 

Miers was a good choice because she brought more of the free market view onto the court. She would balance the ideological poles with more neutral views that represented he free market – where political ideology should not play. There was no evidence she would be pro-choice, etc. So what we did know (and what was rejected) was her free market experience. The ‘true conservative’ blinders that ignore all issues outside of their pet social issues killed off all interest from natural allies. Allies who can respect their views, but want a broader set of policies beyond the choice of a woman to deal with her pregnancsy (note: I am pro-life, but not to the point where government can dictate the decisions of parents one way or the other).

Case three: Cult mythology verses science: The conservatives really lost ground with their demands that proven science be replaced or augmented in schools with religious mythology. The individual’s right to views based on religion is not an issue, but forcing the teaching of religious denial of science (e.g., evolution, DNA, etc) on everyone was and is  extreme. 

This is where they lost a lot of culturally conservative centrists who are able to marry critical religious values with science without any conflict. Evolution does not claim there is no God or no divine force. It simply notes how God’s creations adapt and survive through time. If we are God’s creations, then DNA and its ability to evolve through evolutionary forces is God’s original instruction set in its original form.

To me and many others, science is the endless exploration of God’s creation. As we explore we learn more about his/her greatness. The fact ‘true conservatives’ cannot wrap their High School science trained minds around these mysteries is not a valid excuse to rant against science and its benefits.

What is needed in science is a solid moral grounding to not let the abstract take over and infringe on the divine rights of humans to life liberty and happiness. Science always needs a moral compass. Both religion and science provide balance to each other (e.g., woman are not second class beings, young human beings in their embryo stage are not a human spare parts store).

This ridiculous battle has divided groups that support the idea of family, dedication to others, the sanctity of life, etc. “Sane” is the marrying of these important and valid perspectives. “Insane” is pushing one view over the other.

Addendum: I meant to note that evolution is not a theory. We have current proofs of evolution which happen within our life time, and span back a few centuries. We know the link between humans and other primates. We see evolutionary changes in modern organisms (think flu viruses). What is still theoretical is the mapping of pre-historic organisms (e.g., dinosaurs) and their connection to modern organisms. The mapping that far back in time gets cloudy. But the mechanisms of evolution are well proven with current living organisms – end update

4th Example:  Comprehensive Immigration Reform. This is another classic example of rampant emotions overriding any realistic political strategy. The far right began their unhinged uproar with the idea of rounding up and deporting all illegal aliens. As nutty as that sounded (especially when we remember we need our law enforcement to be focused on terrorists, not immigrant workers) the ‘true conservatives’ seemed hell bent on purifying our culture of these invaders. They kept trying to find ways to eject the invaders.

Comprehensive immigration reform had a lot of amazing steps towards a more sane and balanced immigration policy. It included the deportation of violent immigrant criminals here legally or illegally. It included time constraints for guest workers, it included special identification cards and tracking of guest workers, it brought them out of the under ground economy and into the tax paying open. It required restitution in terms of fines, fees and payment of back taxes (which, by definition, is not amnesty).

But the far right went emotionally ballistic and derided all common sense fixes for different ways of forcing immigrants out of the country. This took a huge culturally conservative demographic (hispanics) who would be natural allies on a wealth of pro-life, pro-family, strong national defense issues and threw them out of the ‘big tent’. The rampaging was stunning and repulsive, and it was a huge factor in the collapse of the coalition in 2006 and 2008.

After pissing off free market allies, insulting people who can balance science and religion, after repulsing hispanics and people who are not hard core nativists, and after chasing out other major groups with their insults and anger on other issues, the purity wars succeeded – the ‘true conservatives’ are wandering the political wilderness in ‘exile’ (as Hannity likes to whine). And they still think they are impressive leaders!

This no name McCain thinks he knows me, but he is raging against some mythical person who he has in his head:

What A.J. Strata wants is not the party of Reagan, but the party of the respectable Republican elite, who never say or do anything that might disturb the liberal ascendancy. They imagine they can win a political conflict without ever risking anything in the fight, and therefore they always advise pre-emptive compromise: Give the liberals want they want, or you might make them angry!

Too funny. This poor person clearly has not realized I find the far left completely out of whack and definitely not the answer for America. I don’t give into liberals, they don’t frighten me and I could care less if the like me. What no name McCain has not figured out is he and the hot heads on the right are basically just as bad. And my spine is strong enough to take on both extremes simultaneously. Why?

Because I think things out and derive viable solutions instead of ranting and raving on high emotions and try and feel superior by insulting others with different views. All the these fringe people have are insults.  Simple minded platitudes are no replacement for a strategy that can make progress and get the backing of the people (since they have to support it to make it come to pass). In my mind, insults are the last bastion of someone who cannot either derive a solution or grasp the problem. Emotion is the security blanket of the incapable. 

If you have a good solution and people like it, you don’t need to insult them to follow your lead – duh!

I have been a supporter of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars (now with my own young Marine heading into the conflicts). I defended the NSA and Bush administration from the ranting of the far left and their emotional tirades. I strongly believe the highest pro-choice issue of the day is the potential legalizing massive factories of young human beings in their embryonic stage of life so they can be harvested for spare parts to help rich elites, dwarfing the choice of a mother regarding her one or two children. I rage against the mythology of the left and their cult of global warming.

And I challenge the mythology of the far right as well, as do many. The true ‘silent majority’ is the centrists. This is because we select who the majority will be in the voting booth. As one fringe goes over the edge we do move to the other side to regain balance. It is not fickleness that drives this rebalancing act. We know the heart of America exists in the middle, which is under attack constantly from the fevered swamps on the fringes.

The results are clear, America is moving away from the overheated GOP (until it cools down and can again show respect for a diverse country). Gallup has the hard numbers:

I am not happy this is happening, but I cannot deny it is happening and its causes. I will not attempt to kid myself or others. Social conservatives were at one time under attack by the liberal elites. Reagan and his coalition rose up and reminded the country that being religious, being pro-family, being pro-life were valuable Americam traits – along with individual responsibility and independence, lower taxes, etc.

Social conservatives have a lot to be admired for in these areas. They remind us to this day of our valued roots, what is the core of America’s heart and soul. But that does not make them superior and all knowing. They fell into the same trap as the liberals did when they came to power. They tried to change the face of America into their own likeness.

When people like this no name McCain rage against moderates they demonstrate once again that this self imposed superiority is what destroyed the coalition that Reagan formed, and will be a barrier to any new coalition.

I think we need to find more Sarah Palin’s to lead the new GOP. Crist and these left of center solutions are the coalition trying to get back into balance. But Palin is the perfect role model. Ignore the media caricatures, what makes her stand out is her ability to fuse the diversity of conservatism into a pragmatic balance. She exemplifies the family values and pro-life positions – she lives them with all its warts and challenges. She is very religious – but does not attempt to impose her views on anyone. She is tolerant of those who have taken different paths, but she draws the line against power hungry elites. She, like me, is now part of the military family. She is for lower taxes, a reasonable safety net, strong defense.

She is the perfect blend of where the GOP could revive itself. The fact people like Newt Gingrich fears her and tries to minimize her is a great sign of her potential to rip out the failed old guard and bring in fresh, new thinking from the Main Street of America.

It’s not all that complicated. And I am glad the ‘true right’ is taking its marbles home to pout. It clears the deck for a new GOP to arise out of the sane center of the heart of America.

39 responses so far

39 Responses to “No Name McCain And The Shrinking GOP”

  1. crosspatch says:

    Sadly, AJ, there are only two choices these days for elections. And often it is a choice between “least bad” options.

  2. WWS says:

    The center?

    … Things fall apart; the center cannot hold;
    Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
    The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
    The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
    The best lack all conviction, while the worst
    Are full of passionate intensity.

    Surely some revelation is at hand;
    Surely the Second Coming is at hand.
    The Second Coming! Hardly are those words out
    When a vast image out of Spiritus Mundi
    Troubles my sight: somewhere in sands of the desert
    A shape with lion body and the head of a man,
    A gaze blank and pitiless as the sun,
    Is moving its slow thighs, while all about it
    Reel shadows of the indignant desert birds.
    The darkness drops again; but now I know
    That twenty centuries of stony sleep
    Were vexed to nightmare by a rocking cradle,
    And what rough beast, its hour come round at last,
    Slouches towards Bethlehem to be born?

    — William Butler Yeats

  3. crosspatch says:

    WWS, yeah that is the load of bogus hooey people in the right try to shovel around but it is false.

    Neither the extreme left or right can win without the center. Neither one has enough people. In fact, as of right now, the center is larger than the left or the right. According to Gallup, 32% currently identify as Republican, 32% as Democrat and 34% as Independent.

    The truth is that the Democrats and Republicans are becoming a smaller and smaller portion of the voting population. If either party goes too far out afield, the center will knock some sense in them with a thrashing at the polls. AND the center is fickle. Because they were with you last election doesn’t mean they will be with you the next election. They’re sort of like “conservatives” who call themselves Republican when it is convenient to do so but spend most of their energy doing what they can to destroy the Republican party.

  4. sjreidhead says:

    Funny how that “no name McCain” is one of those anti-immigration anti-Hispanic individuals who cost us the Hispanic vote. He has also been profiled by the SPLC:

    “…With the arrival of Assistant National Editor Robert Stacy McCain in 1997, the Times’ disassociation from the racism of American Renaissance became a distant memory. McCain, who wrote the story about Democrats and Dixie, has covered the group’s biannual conferences in 1998, 2000 and 2002, making the Times the only major American newspaper to devote news stories to American Renaissance. Since 1999, the Times has also reprinted at least six excerpts from American Renaissance in its page-2 culture section, never acknowledging the highly controversial nature of the source.

    “Activist warns of border war,” blared the headline for McCain’s latest American Renaissance story on Feb. 25, 2002. McCain was covering an American Renaissance conference on immigration, and his opening paragraph was almost as sensational as the headline: “A border war between the United States and Mexico ‘could happen any day,’ a California activist warned at a weekend conference in Virginia.”…”

    Wear his comments as a badge of honor!

    The Pink Flamingo

  5. crosspatch says:

    And how do you handle the whole creation issue in biology class when the kids have to learn that both men and women have exactly the same number of ribs? You would be surprised how many people even today believe that men have fewer ribs than women have.

  6. WWS says:

    cross, I agree with your ruminations more than you may realize.

    But if you’ll indulge me in a bit of exegesis of Yeats, I think you miss the point of his writing, which to me seems to be just as relevant now as it was then.

    Of course the center outnumbers the fringes – it always does. But he was writing of a time when the center (of politics, of populations, of the world) was demoralized and leaderless, and thus effectively powerless. Converserly, the fringes are full of energy and passionate leaders. Hence, “The best lack all conviction, while the worst Are full of passionate intensity.”

    When these times come, societies seem to take off an irrational and destructive paths, and there is no strength left in the rational center to restrain them. Yeats, sensing some great and unhappy shift in the world around him, wrote this prediction of something horrible about to be born in 1919. Fast forward a few years, and we all know where this led. He was far more horrifingly correct in his assessment than even he could have imagined.

    The point is that the times today are similar, not just in this country but around the world. The republicans are indeed discredited, and I don’t see them coming back. But I believe the democrats are going to discredit themselves to an even greater extent. Where will power flow then? History suggests that the results will not be rational or very pleasant to live through.

  7. crosspatch says:

    “The republicans are indeed discredited, and I don’t see them coming back. But I believe the democrats are going to discredit themselves to an even greater extent.”

    I agree with that assessment. The Republicans are set to be swept into power in Congress in the next election. My fear is that many of them will misread that as validation of their social position and not as repudiation of the Democrats.

    Obama has done a lot to validate the decisions of George Bush recently. A most recent example being the decision not to close Guantanamo Bay and to reinstate military tribunals. So after careful review, change has turned to “business as usual” which would imply that there are more to these decisions than meets the public eye and it was only after taking office and learning why things were done the way they were, that they make sense. It would appear that Obama et al. have had one or more “holy crap!” moments.

  8. oneal lane says:


    You still fail to answer the question why did McCain, Mr. mavrick Moderate, failed to win. I have yet to get one of you Mods to answer it, I get some fantastic dilusionary statement like, “McCain is not moderate”. The whole primary season your guys called for the mavrick, reaching out to the left, McCain, and wanted him because we need a moderate candidate, then when he looses mods all say he was not a moderate.

    Bush was slightly right of McCain and won two straight elections. Now because a bunch of lemmings fell for a silver tounged demagogue, Mods think the solution is to go further to the left. Always with Mods its go further to the left, and get away from them christians” Mods are followers never leaders. I may not agree with leftist politics but admire them in the sense that they do have enduring beliefs. None of my mod friends can be counted on to hold political opionion for more than 5 years.

    McCain lost for several reasons. Not because he was too conservative. For one Obama, is a very talented speaker, and as Hitler said “the vast majority fo the public can be swayed by polished talented rhetoric alone (I paraphrase).

    Obama, like Hitler, like Louisiana’s own Huey Long, is a dynamic speaker, and he has found his whipping post to blame all ills of the country on, “the rich.” Hitler had the Jews and Huey long also pilloried the rich and big business. Obama has take a page form Longs playbook and is using it for all its worth.

    Also he is young and just black enough, and just white enough for all the “white guilt” plagued centrists to vote for, and feel good about themselves. It was a charity vote. MC also lost because he was to closely tied to Bush who might have come out of his second term with some respect, but in the end because of the well orchstrated october suprise of a financial meltdown (yes it was planned and orchstrated, but thats another discussion) but the meltdown made Bush look like a BOOB. Also the firs debate was the nail in his coffin. He refused to lookat Obama and stood there like a zombie staring at the moderator. It made him look like a programed manchurian candidate, and at the very least a senile old man. That debate was the end of Mccain. without Palin he would have not even shown. It would have been a landslide.

    The GOP needs to get back to its core beliefs. I know lots As long as its packaged and presented well enough, many moderate lemmings will follow. We can win on a conservative platform.

    Sincerly and with no guile.

  9. AJStrata says:

    oneal, I did answer. Maybe it was so oblivious you missed it. More centrists went to Obama (the center picks the winner). They rejected the GOP, to the point even a moderate GOP candidate was not enough to overcome their revulsion.

    So your concept of doing more of what repulsed the center and moved them left is really, really dumb. By insulting the center you push them away and the GOP loses.


  10. oneal lane says:


    The GOP gives america mr moderate and he looses, and so your concept of doing more of the same is not wise. I have offered several reasons for GOP loss. The election, most any election, is won or lost by a combination of factors.

    In any case, America is in the hands of a Marxist.

    Sad days for America.

  11. crosspatch says:

    oneal lane,

    You seem to be suffering from the delusion that many on the far right are. If they could just get a candidate that is conservative enough, then everyone would come flocking, right? Wrong.

    Regan, for example, was actually quite moderate on social issues. Not his PERSONAL values, but he had no desire to use the federal government to force his personal values down the throats of the people.

    Reagan gave us the biggest immigration amnesty in history. And then there is Proposition 13 in California that was the greatest “redistribution of wealth” ever seen in the state. Prop 13 limited counties to a 2% increase in taxes per year and that is all anyone seems to focus on. But what it also did was forced the counties to turn over ALL their property tax to the states who redistributed it back out after taking a cut for the state. There was no limit on how much the state could increase their take each year. People supported it because of the potential of the poorer rural counties to benefit from the property value inflation in the urban counties. So the vast majority of the counties supported the 2% limit on assessments because they were actually going to get even more money when they got a piece of the revenue from places like Orange County.

    What has come to pass, however, is that the state is increased its share of the revenues faster than the counties can raise assessments and now the counties are starving for revenue and have no source of it now because they turned their property tax over to the state and are at the mercy of the state as to how much of it they get back. Ronald Reagan did that.

    But the notion that the center would come running to the GOP if they were to run someone like a Huckabee or a Tancredo is just lunacy. In a choice between McCain and Obama, the center picked the MORE LIBERAL of the two, not the more conservative of the two.

    In 2010 we are likely to see Democrats losing a lot of seats in Congress but not because people are suddenly more conservative, but because the Democrats have so screwed things up that people are going to be afraid of them. It isn’t going to be a validation of the Republicans so much as a repudiation of the Democrats. A choice of “less bad”.

  12. Frogg says:

    I just saw a news report today about polls and party affiliation. 32% Republican, 32% Dem, 34% Ind. Poll also compared now with several months ago and the trend was Repubs gaining, Ind gaining and Dems losing. Polls all over the place again?

  13. Frogg says:

    I found it:

    Party Affiliation (May 7-10 poll)

    Rep 32%
    Dem 32%
    Ind 34%
    Rep w/leaners 47%
    Dem w/leaners 47%

    I was wrong, though. Dems and Inds both dropped; Repubs gaining.

  14. Frogg says:

    Palin: Obama’s change as predictable as Alaskan Snow


    Palinism: Calling the RINO bluff

    By backing Steele, Palin is calling the moderates’ and insiders’ bluff. If her party adversaries really think that they can do without her and her supporters, all they have to do now is get rid of Steele and put some faceless Crist-Huntsman-Powell “insider” in his place.

  15. Frogg says:

    Reviwing the April Fundraising Numbers


    Short version: the DNC kept quiet about its fundraising for a reason; the NRSC & DSCC remain tied in their ability to bring in cash; the DCCC is underperforming; and that debt problem is still looming for the Democrats.


    Bottom line? For a organization that’s supposedly simultaneously dead, hated, at war with itself, and shrinking, the Republican Party seems to be oddly functional.

  16. Frogg says:


    During calendar 2009, Democratic support has ranged from 38% to 42%, while the Republican range has been from 35% to 41%.

    Democrats began the year holding a six- or seven-point lead over the GOP for the first several weeks of 2009. That began to slip in early February, and the Republicans actually took a two-point lead for a single week in the middle of March. Since then, the results have ranged from dead even to a four-point lead for the Democrats until the GOP regained the lead.

  17. Frogg says:

    Still the Biggest Missing Story in Politics


    In every single Battleground Poll, conservatives vastly outnumbered not only liberals, but moderates and undecided respondents combined. The Battleground Poll itself is a bipartisan poll, combining the resources of the Tarrance Group and Lake Research Partners. Unlike many polls driven by newspapers, networks, or other agenda driven organizations, this poll is one of the few which has no ideological agenda or partisan bias.