Thursday, June 11, 2009

Base Money

I just don't know where to start. So how about I try to start with the beginning. Mike Huckabee wants to move the the "mushy middle" out of the Republican Party.

Some argue that Republicans have lost Congress and the White House because they've turned the party over to social and religious conservatives, driving away moderates and independents. Huckabee made precisely the opposite argument.

"It's when they move to the mushy middle and get squishy that they get beat," he said.

Huckabee, an ordained Baptist minister, argued that the U.S. is a conservative country receptive to Republican ideals.

"Historically, the way we've found our way back to winning, having clear convictions that are conservative and then when elected, act like it," he said. "In every election, when Republicans have had clarity of convictions and those convictions were conservative, they win."

He warned that many Republicans have gone astray by buying into President Barack Obama's big-spending effort to stimulate the economy, a move he called "a big, colossal, utterly disastrous mistake.

"Our Republicans have culpability in that," Huckabee said. "There were some people who questioned whether I was really conservative. I don't want to hear, ever, people ever again talk about how conservative they are if they supported that."
Huckabee is right when he says conservatism is popular. But is it social conservatism that is the winner? Or economic conservatism. Well big spender social conservative Huckabee (who was rightly questioned about his conservative creds) has come down on the side of economic conservatism. Yip e. Nice try Mike. But how can we actually trust you when you didn't walk the walk?

One good thing I can say about Mike. When he puts his finger to the wind he can read its direction accurately.

When it comes to Sarah Palin I must say that her team doesn't even know if there is a wind. Kathleen Parker says the Palin team is inept in handling her scheduling. That may be so but it is not the worst thing they are doing to her. Sarah is being positioned wrong. Her libertarian governance rather than her social conservative personal life should be her image. Why is that? Well let us look at Party Politics and see if a conclusion is possible. Don't worry. I've made up my mind on this a long time ago. And to get what is wrong with the Party we must look at how the electorate is changing.

The Wall Street Journal has a look at what is going on with the electorate.
Independents hold the balance of power in the Obama era. That's the conclusion of a recent, 165-page Pew Research Center survey that shows independent voters climbed to 39% from 30% of the electorate in the five months following the 2008 election. During that same time, Democratic identification fell to 33% from 39%, while Republicans fell four points to 22% -- their lowest since post-Watergate.

This is evidence that President Obama's election does not represent a liberal ideological mandate, as House Democrats have claimed. It also shows continued rejection of the Republican brand.

On virtually every policy issue, independents are situated between increasingly polarized Democrats and Republicans. They more accurately reflect centrist national attitudes than the 11% of Americans who describe themselves as liberal Democrats or the 15% who call themselves conservative Republicans.

Independents are nonideological problem-solvers, but they do not have a split-the-difference approach to politics. They are fiscally conservative but socially progressive, with a strong libertarian streak. It's on fiscal issues that independents are putting the Obama administration on notice.

Bailout backlash is reflected in independents' attitude about the expanding social safety net. Just 43% believe that we "should help more needy people, even if it means going deeper into debt" -- down 14 points over two years. Independents' belief that "labor unions are necessary to protect the working person" has declined 23% since 2003. They are closer to the Republican view that government is usually wasteful and inefficient.

Independents are now the youngest voting block overall: 44% of Americans born after 1977 identify as independent. Republicans are the oldest voter cohort, with just 19% of those born since '77 identifying with the GOP. Demographics are destiny.
The Republican Party is obviously in free fall. I also covered this in Playing To An Ever Shrinking Base. The electorate is going independent, libertarian. Fiscally conservative, socially moderate. Which is how Sarah governs. So what are the geniuses of her team doing? Amping up her socon creds. At least Mike Huckabee is smart enough to shift with the wind and go against his past. And Sarah? Going in the other direction and also trying to hide her past. That is nuts.

And why do I think this is happening the way it is? I think Sara is going after base money and Huckabee is going after national votes.

OK enough of candidates. What does the Republican Party have to do? Get right with God. Start living up to their economic conservative principles. Religiously. What ever happened to the small government Party? Small government is another principle the Republican Party should stick to. Religiously.

Cross Posted at Classical Values


RavingDave said...

What we need to do is stomp the living dog Sh## out of the media and press people. We need to make it impossible for them to earn a living if they can't do their jobs without injecting Left wing propaganda.

The polls mean nothing, they are driving by public perception which is driven by media.

The only thing that WILL work is a stand on principle. The ideas are sound, but with the vast Greek chorus of News and Media people mocking them and attacking them in every broadcast, it is impossible to make any headway with the vast population of this country.

It is akin to trying to reason with a mob while the ring leaders shout you down.

Knock the teeth out of the ring leaders, and then perhaps the mob will be able to listen.


M. Simon said...


The only principle that matters now is sound money. And surprise: that is where the votes are.

You will no doubt remember that I have been pounding this drum since 2006 or before.

M. Simon said...

Let me add that the Republicans knocked their own teeth out. They intentionally became the party of Terry Schiavo and not the party of sound money.

Figuring that the base didn't care how they spent the money as long as the moral stance on "issues" was correct.

And if that is not the truth it is certainly the brand image and the Republicans have only themselves to blame.

RavingDave said...

Thinking of the "Voters" as a monolithic block of anything is a mistake. The latest "Fad" among the voters is that they believe in sound fiscal policy. If the voters were "there" how did we get "here"?

The Republicans are definitely to blame for their reckless fiscal spending and expansion of government, but the media seldom beat them up for that. The media ALWAYS beat them up for anything the media perceives as being too "socially conservative."

The Terry Schiavo case is trivial in the larger scheme of things, and is in no way equivalent to the seriousness of the money problems, but guess which mistake is driving the discussion?

Who decreed that this was more important for the people to talk about than the reckless spending?

The Media, which hates So-Cons anyway.

Why is Terry Schiavo even a topic for conversation ? Even if it was a mistake, who MADE this an issue?


M. Simon said...

Well you have made my point Dave. The US Congress getting involved in social conservative trivia.

The effects were bad enough at the time. Worse is that now that is the Party brand.

I was screaming as loud as I could in those days that it was a VERY BAD IDEA. And all I got back was "she's alive" "think about letting the poor woman die". And I said "think about the laws of Florida" "think about the spectacle".

So what I'm saying Dave - if the socons really want to save the Republic - give up on the trivia. A simple "it is not the Government's business" will cover a lot of opinion pro and con.

RavingDave said...

It won't make any difference. The Media will report whatever Republicans do (especially if it doesn't fit the New York or Los Angeles Social mindset) as wrong, and indicative of them having been taken over by Religious nut jobs. If they espouse Patriotism, they are the tools of the Military Industrial complex, if they Support Free Market, they are the tools of Big Business, if they espouse anything with any moral connotations, they are in the thrall of Religious nut jobs.

Don't you get it? If they do anything that doesn't fit the New York/LA mindset, they are EVIL and will have to be propagandized against to the maximum capability of the Media Networks.

The Media is made up almost entirely of people who hate Republicans and Conservatives in particular.


M. Simon said...

Yeah. I get it. The Republicans need to become a secular party so the memes developed over the last 30 or 40 years die out.

The problem with the Republicans as a religious Party is that not every one who might like the Republicans otherwise is interested in Christianity.

Or they can go the way of the Republican Party in Calif.

BTW some things are worth getting bashed over - free market economics, 2nd Amdmt., strong defense. Some things are not: Intelligent Design, abortion, etc.

It is the second category stuff that hurts the Rs most.

RavingDave said...

The assertion that the Republican Party is a "Religious" party is a meme which is constantly bastardized by the people who really are the problem. The social conservative ideas which prompt such labeling are what has been regarded as NORMAL for all of this country's existence. It's only been since the Liberals have come to power that the idea of Not changing public attitudes about Abortion, Homosexuality, Promiscuity, etc. are considered radical.

Meaning, the people who stick to traditional ideas are considered to be the Nut Jobs, while the people who accept whatever the latest fad are called the "Normal" ones.

You wrote something that made me think you understood that Religion and Traditions are actually created by evolutionary forces because they benefit the survival of the species, yet you seem perfectly willing to accept the idea of chopping off this part of human social evolution, while I on the other hand think we owe our survival and prosperity to these ideas.

In any case, who keeps bringing up Intelligent design ? The Media. They find some people who believe this, then they constantly ridicule them as "Typical." When they are in fact not. Notwithstanding that, it doesn't hurt the country for people to believe ridiculous yet harmless stuff.

nuff said.


M. Simon said...


There is definitely a Republican style Christocracy that is incapable of seeing themselves as others see them. Or else they do not believe marketing and image makes a difference in sales.

And yeah. The old rules are best except when they aren't. They have been time tested and work. Except when they don't.

If you want the morality of 100 years ago you are going to have to live with the technology of 100 years ago. Even if that was desirable it is not possible.

Fortunately the next generation, possibly two, is very libertarian oriented. They will muddle their way through.

M. Simon said...

Intelligent Design? Bobby Jindal. Stupid marketing.

I just joined up Sarah Palin's Facebook. 500,000+ members. Bobby J.? under 30,000. On top of that they tried to get me to join up with them just after I signed up with Sarah.

I told them that I was uninterested in a Christian Nation.

I really do like her attitude.

I'm going to write something about here.

M. Simon said...

Notwithstanding that, it doesn't hurt the country for people to believe ridiculous yet harmless stuff.

It impugns their ability to think logically.

I love the Easter Preaches who say that "if Jesus wasn't resurrected Christianity is a sham". It doesn't seem that way to me. For instance I think there is a lot of value in separating church from state. And that is true no mater if Jesus came out of his hole or the whole thing was made up or it was some elaborate bit of stage magic.

He also had a few things to say about how a culture suitable for nomads didn't work well with the urban.

RavingDave said...

MSimon Says:
And yeah. The old rules are best except when they aren't. They have been time tested and work. Except when they don't.

If you want the morality of 100 years ago you are going to have to live with the technology of 100 years ago. Even if that was desirable it is not possible."

A non sequitur. You measure the success of ideas which are many decades old against the success of ideas which are thousands of years old.

As I keep repeating, you are not looking at a big enough picture. We have yet to see the folly of FDR's new deal programs, but that is just around the corner.

Human Nature is a virtual constant, and the ideas governing it are like gravity. You can suspend the rules until you run out of reaction mass, and we are just about there. The rules are going to reassert themselves, and rather than have a soft landing we are going to have a crash.

Yeah, let's go libertarian. That ought to work for a few decades. Direct Democracy worked for the Greeks for 55 ENTIRE YEARS ! Woo Hoo ! I was hoping for better for my kids.

Get ready for the Zombie hunt.


RavingDave said...

MSimon said:

I just joined up Sarah Palin's Facebook. 500,000+ members. Bobby J.? under 30,000. On top of that they tried to get me to join up with them just after I signed up with Sarah.

Just blow them off. They are like ladybugs, annoying but harmless. You remind me of the Athiest who sued because his voting precinct was in a Church. He claimed it offended his sensibilities or something... The Judge (in one of the rare cases in which a court showed good sense ) dismissed his suit while informing him that "to an Athiest, a church is just a building. Deal with it. "

Why people get wrapped around the axle because religious people do and say nutty things, i'll never know.


M. Simon said...

I was not bothered by the Jindal folk's poaching. Amused.

And like it or not the advent of birth control has changed the marriage equation. OTOH the bigger hit is social security and the free rider problem: my old age will be supported by other people's kids. Worse than birth control by far.

Now the question is: what are you going to do about it?

Nothing will happen without a lot of pain.

As to libertarian government? It is why I like Palin. She is the most libertarian of any candidate on the horizon who has a reasonable chance in the next election.

If you analyze it I believe the very heart and soul of conservatism is libertarianism. I think conservatism is really a misnomer just as liberalism is a misnomer for the liberals–if we were back in the days of the Revolution, so-called conservatives today would be the Liberals and the liberals would be the Tories. The basis of conservatism is a desire for less government interference or less centralized authority or more individual freedom and this is a pretty general description also of what libertarianism is.