Republican revolt

Fox News shows Republicans cutting up their party cards live on the air. The RNC’s fundraising phone bank is shut down because the base refuses to donate to the amnesty party:

The Republican National Committee, hit by a grass-roots donors’ rebellion over President Bush’s immigration policy, has fired all 65 of its telephone solicitors … There has been a sharp decline in contributions from RNC phone solicitations … many former donors flatly refuse to give more money to the national party if Mr. Bush and the Senate Republicans insist on supporting what these angry contributors call “amnesty” for illegal aliens.

I told you so. Through all 2004, culminating in the VFR entry quoted below, I kept saying that the re-election of Bush would mean the ruin of the Republican party and of any effective conservatism, because his re-election would empower him to keep taking the party and the conservative movement to the left.

Thus I wrote on November 14, 2004, a week after Bush’s re-election:

Who won, who lost?

Let us forget about the Democrats and their well-deserved misery for a moment. Let us think about ourselves and our misery. (I mean of course our political, not personal, misery, unlike the Democrats, for whom their political misery is personal misery.) As a result of Bush’s victory, the decay of American conservatism into Bushism will continue apace, even as (and this is the most damaging single thing about it) this Bushism keeps falsely calling itself “conservatism.” If Bush had lost, then, notwithstanding the horror of America’s being led by an insane Democratic party for four years, there would have been a chance—indeed, much more than a chance—to restore a genuine conservatism in this country. In this election, conservatism lost, Bushism won.

Meanwhile, as the Republican are killing each other over Bush’s treasonous open-borders leftism, Hillary Clinton, like Fortinbras in Hamlet, keeps moving steadily forward into the resulting vacuum of power. Just this week in a major speech she outlined her vision of a statist egalitarian America. And with the Republicans and conservatives having been wrecked by Bush (or, rather, having been wrecked by their own eager submission to Bush, from which they are now, all too late, awakening), who will there be to stop her?
- end of initial entry -

Chris H. writes:

Was it not Proposition 187 in 1994 that caused Bill Bennett and Jack Kemp to rush out to California and tell the voters how racist they were for supporting it? I remember being shocked—I say shocked!—at those two coming down on that side of the issue. After that I never listened much to Bill Bennett again. I think he has changed his tune now, but I don’t know to what degree.

LA replies:

Yes, Bennett didn’t just oppose it. In vicious terms, he read 187 supporters out of America. I certainly would never trust him again after that.

Jake F. writes:

This is good news, I think. Sometimes you have to reach a crisis before you can recover.

The left wing remains crazed, so I only care about the effect of division on the right. Peggy Noonan sees the destruction of the right’s unity as a bad thing, but I’m not convinced. Where it has fragmented, it is because the representatives of the right are too liberal. That fact makes it impossible for Republicans to hold as many liberal positions as they did. It makes it possible for formerly impossible discussions to take place.

From an electoral perspective: nobody who is pro-Bush will vote for Hillary; no conservative who is anti-Bush will vote for Hillary; so the only questions are, “will a third party / independent candidate arise?” and “how many Republicans will stay home?” I think the answer to the former is “no” and the latter is “not many because the Democrats are just that crazy.” I think that of the two, the bigger risk is a third-party candidate.

Reader LG writes:

Last week I refused for the very first time to contribute to three Republican umbrella agencies, and described the reasons in loud and angry terms. I really did feel very badly for the solicitors. After all, they are doing a job I used to want them to do, and I used to hope for their great success. Their voices were tired and obviously very depressed. I hope the refusals are an avalanche of anger such that Bush and the rest of the Suicide Advocates are quickly compelled to reverse themselves. We need so, so badly to turn away from this insanity and get to work on remedying the damage that has been done.

American Cassandra writes:

You are so right about the Republican party. Surveying the ruins of the Republican party today, I can’t believe I voted for Bush in 2004. I can’t believe I was happy he won! What was wrong with me? What I lacked was VFR. I used to read National Review, and Mark Steyn, and Powerline, and all the others. Then about a year ago I found VFR (and also Vdare at about the same time). When I first read VFR, I was, in some ways, turned off. I wasn’t used to people speaking plainly about liberalism. Deep down, philosophically, I am a conservative, but I had a huge set of liberal assumptions I didn’t even know about. Liberalism is just part of the air we breathe everyday.

But, I couldn’t take my eyes away. And the more I read VFR, the more I saw how inadequate all the sites I used to visit were. And I realized part of the reason I’d been turned off initially. It was because it occurred to me, “if this guy is right, we’re REALLY in trouble.” And I didn’t want to believe how bad things had gotten. When you step outside into the sunlight your eyes hurt a lot at first.

Plenty of “conservatives” rail about “media bias” but they don’t dissect what assumptions the media has that makes them biased. View from the Right is different. You articulate the assumptions behind liberalism—the ones the liberals don’t say.

Has the time finally come when everyone will start to see the things you saw a long time ago? I think you are right, there has been a change. Suddenly a lot more people are starting to sound more like Vdare and VFR. The open borders crowd may have just plain overplayed their hand with this bill and their defense of it. Once you’ve said “you’re only against this bill because you don’t like Mexicans, you ignorant nativist bigot. You wouldn’t care so much if it were whites coming in illegally from Canada! It’s like you think there’s a difference between Hispanics and Whites!” you’re running a risk that the people you’re screaming at are going to respond: “So what?” I’m praying the signs of life I see in the mainstream conservative movement are real. I’ve been hoping and hoping that once people really start to question liberalism, it will all come crashing down more quickly than we would have thought, since its foundation is built on lies. Is it for real this time, or just another false start?

I was starting to get very excited, but then your post about the Republican revolt brought me down to reality again. We conservatives are not alone here: Hillary and/or Obama wait in the wings. And unlike conservatives, liberals have always understood the stakes in the game. While we are finally setting our house in order, will they take over once and for all? While the conservatives may finally be starting to wake up, is it too late?

LA replies:

Thank you very much. That you see these things, and that they mean so much to you, means that this website is doing something right.

I think it would be a mistake to invest our emotions in any expectation of a rapid turnaround. If the turnaround happens at all, it will be a long, slow, evolutionary process, happening largely as a response to increasingly terrible disasters. But, staying with our evolutionary metaphor for a moment, sometimes there is “punctuated equilibrium,” when evolution speeds up for a while. Something like that seems to be happening now.

Also we simply must not invest ourselves in speculations about how it might work out. This is not a spectator sport, and we are not spectators. We are participants in a battle for national existence. Warriors in the middle of a battle, even if the odds are against them, don’t stop in the middle of the fighting and say, “Well, old chap, I’d say our chances of getting throught this alive are 20 percent.” “No, I think it’s more like 10 percent.” “Shall we agree on 15 percent then?”

That’s not the way warriors fight. They fight to save their country, and leave prognistications and betting on the outcome to others.

A reader writes:

I can relate to Cassandra’s post completely. Before I discovered the sites you mentioned, I would alternate between defiance and feeling guilty over my political views. That so many people believe just as I do was as refreshing as it was surprising.

Unless I have something unique to say, I refrain from posting on these sites on the grounds that preaching to the choir doesn’t accomplish much. Rather, what I’ve been doing is going to the leftist websites and email discussion groups. And I’m utterly amazed at the paucity of good information on immigration and the strong desire on the part of liberals to stop immigration.

I’ve found that if I’m respectful of basic liberal positions, they can’t get enough of what I have to say on the anti-immigration movement. And I’m not talking esoteric facts. Rather, these liberals are intensely curious about things that anybody who has spent fifteen minutes on would be aware of. Vdare is aware of this too; I post on sites along with several of their writers.

And it gets better every day. When I first started posting on these sites at the beginning of the year, many of the posters parroted the usual open borders platitudes on immigration. Then I noticed that these posters were beginning to sound like the proverbial schoolboy whistling past the graveyard, and that they had become much smaller in number. And today pro-immigration posters on the leftist websites I frequent are almost as uncommon as pro-immigration sentiment over at American Renaissance. I’ve also made some posts that I was concerned were a bit too nationalistic (on how we should put America and Americans first). They too have been well received.

Cassandra, bad information and mediocre websites are very common across the ideological spectrum. Consequently, we may have a lot more allies than any of us could have ever bargained for, at least on some things. When folks who support Dennis Kucinich for president are on our side on immigration, the world is ours!

Robert B.writes:

I saw Senator Norm Coleman at my daughter’s school last night—his children go there as well. Norm has been quoted in the press as acknowledging that the vast majority of phone calls and letters he has gotten are against the present amnesty bill in the Senate—but he intends to vote for it anyway. As we were leaving the school’s academic awards ceremony last night, Norm was outside on his cell phone. I stopped to tell him to vote “no” on amnesty. Two of his handlers were there smiling—as was Norm. His handlers looked like a couple of Beltway fools to me. I turned to them and said “If he votes yes, it will be the death of his political career, and I will do my very best to see that anyone, other than him is voted into office in his next election.”

I had helped man Coleman’s phone bank (amongst other chores) and revised, impromptu, his message going out to the public—I was asked to do so by others in the phone bank since my message was far more poignant than the stock quote. That message, I think, is what put him over the top. Whether true or not, I will oppose him every inch of the way should he vote “yes” on Bush’s amnesty bill.

Anyhow, his smiling handlers were not smiling as I moved off with my daughter. I do not think the Republican base is going to forget this, nor do I think they will forgive it.

LA replies:

If, which I find it hard to believe will happen, this horrible bill passes the Senate, I think there will be some kind of uprising in this country. At the very least, mass demonstrations, but I hope much more. There has never been a mass rally in Washington calling for immigration controls.

LA writes:

The blogger Vanishing American tells how he realized two things: that President Bush is not a conservative, and that the majority of the president’s supporters have remained resolutely blind to that fact despite all the evidence.

Posted by Lawrence Auster at June 01, 2007 12:56 PM | Send

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