Whig Party Symbol
Election of 1856
The following is an excerpt from my response that I wrote to a series of emails. The topic of discussion was how to heal the "divisions" within the Republican Party.
Consensus appeared to be building around the need to develop a new Republican Party platform that would reflect the values and principles of the various "factions" in the Moore County Republican Party.
Friends, the platform is not the problem!
....However, the issue is not one of platform.
The Republican Party platform and principles are, as far as I know (and I’ve never heard anyone say differently in the tea party), completely in line with Tea Party principles and values. So, it’s not a problem with platform....
So, what is it?
1. It’s a matter that many in the Republican Party and especially many/most of our elected Republican officials “talk the talk but will not walk the walk”. Many Republicans will compromise on principles simply in order to “win”. Many of our Republican elected officials pay attention to the platform only during election season. Most of these put “winning” way above platform and principles.
What is “winning”? Is winning simply electing Republicans? How does that help if those elected act just like Democrats? Is winning “governing” as Renee chanted at the Men’s Club meeting? How does that help if all Republicans want to do is run the same programs a little bit “better” than the Democrats run them? Is “winning” cutting the rate of growth of the deficits and debt just a little bit more than the Democrats would grow them? I have watched the Republican Party now for decades, and I tell you I don’t know what Renee and so many Republicans ‘round here mean when they talk about “winning”.
2. It’s a matter that our party is infected with progressivism – almost as much as is the traditional Democrat Party, although that Party has now gone completely and openly to the far left. Our Republican progressives still want big government programs – they just want their big government programs, and they want to “win” and “govern” in order to run those programs and to grow them. So the problem is that many in the Republican Party really don’t believe in the platform nor do they pay it much attention except when it serves their own self-interest. Well, that’s what progressives do, isn’t it? Isn’t that how they treat the Constitution, too?
3. Because of Items 1 and 2, our Party and our elected officials will not fight for their positions and principles. Regardless of what the platform says, their own positions and principles are really not that different from those of the Democrats – so it’s much easier to collaborate, cooperate, compromise, and capitulate. So we don’t see any of that nasty fighting stuff – unless it’s directed against those in the Republican base who really want to fight for the Party platform and principles. But fighting is so hard! Why can’t we all just be “reasonable” and “practical” and “common sense” and bipartisan and let everybody get along? Sit down and shut up, you tea party troublemakers!
...the Republican Party will either wake up, return to its principles and fight for our Constitution and Liberty – or it will go the way of the Whigs. We in the tea party will support those Republicans who prevail in the primaries. Hell, we’ve got to support them, even if we have to hold our noses and drink heavily to get the taste out of our mouths. But the realization is that unless we find and elect a different kind of candidate – the kind of men and women that Princess Renee so criticized yesterday – the result is that the Republican Party will only apply the brakes a little bit – the direction won’t change at all.
But the platform isn’t the problem!
If I had been given the opportunity, and if she would have even listened....
On Illegal Immigration
John Jarrett asked Renee about the illegal immigration issue. The video at right shows an important part of her answer as to why she favors "comprehensive immigration reform". You should listen and consider very thoughtfully what this woman says.
Concisely paraphrased, Renee asserts that we "must" grant all illegal aliens "legal worker status" because the Chamber of Commerce, some nebulous "industry", and farmers need their labor -- need them to fill jobs.
Now that just doesn't pass the smell test, does it? What's the current Unemployment Rate? 7.3%.... But just like John Rowerdink pointed out to the audience during his address, the actual Unemployment figures are more than twice that. In fact, if you look up the Unemployment Rate published with the formula that was used during President Gerald Ford's term, the "old" official Unemployment rate is currently 15.7% -- and that still leaves out many folks who have given up looking for work. In fact, the current Labor Force Participation Rate for last month is the lowest it's been since the days of Jimmy Carter. It's running 63.2%
! In case you've forgotten what the Labor Force Participation Rate measures, it reflects the percentage of U.S. civilians over 16 years of age who are working or actively seeking work.
So, friends, 36.8% of U.S. civilians who should be working cannot get a job!
So the following question should have been asked of Renee: "Why is it so important to you to give American jobs to illegal aliens when 36.8% of American citizens cannot get a job? When we have a surplus labor force that huge, when we have overall black unemployment running 13.1% (remember it's really double that) and black teenage unemployment running 36%, why do you and the Chamber of Commerce want so much to give jobs to illegal aliens?"
Well, we all know what's really
going on here.... The Chamber of Commerce, the farmers, the landscapers, the construction industry, all want to exploit these newly "legalized" illegal aliens. These foreign workers will work for less without benefits and without the job rights that U.S. citizens demand. It's never been that these illegals "do the jobs Americans just won't do". Please!
No.... It's that crass, exploitive crony capitalists and lying politicians want to exploit folks who cannot object to that exploitation. Shame on you!"Renee, why aren't you fighting for American workers instead of trying to legalize illegal aliens?
On "Undermining Leadership"
During her response to the final question taken from the floor, Renee could not resist attacking the true conservative base, the tea party, and those new elected Republicans in Washington who are standing on true principles. Oh, she couched it in the typical establishment Washington-speak of all-holy "party unity", and she didn't name names. But we all know who she was really attacking.
She was attacking Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, Mike Lee and our new heroic statesmen Republicans. No, she was not attacking John McCain, Lindsay Graham, Orrin Hatch and other entrenched Republican progressives who have been viciously attacking their colleagues. No, nor was she attacking Karl Rove or Steve LaTourette who are funding "super PACs" to "destroy the Tea Party" (sic).
So the following question should have been asked of Renee: "Why is it always that you want the conservative base to shut up and sit down in the name of party unity? Why is it that the 'moderate' or 'more liberal' Republicans always think they know best and should always lead? Why do they get a 'free pass'? Just who has lost all the recent elections, and just who has been responsible for the bulk of recent wins?"
And when she complains that we Constitutional conservatives are "undermining the leadership", what baloney! What we should ask her is: "Why have Boehner and McConnell surrendered every fight since they assumed their 'leadership' positions? What has Boehner ever accomplished? Name one thing! You can't! So, please explain why taking the pressure off these progressive collaborators would somehow 'strengthen' them."
Let's be honest here. If the "establishment" Republicans continue to attack their conservative, religious, and tea party constituents, then the establishment will destroy the Republican Party. It's not the tea party you should be worried about....
Special note to the RNC: Your communication mistakenly combined the words ultra and liberal into one word, which does not exist in our language. You may wish to take $50 or so and invest in a spell checker for your word processing before you send out mass communications.
What follows is my response mailed back for each and every one of the communications received.
To whom it may concern,
I do appreciate your communication and efforts to reach out to me in order to fight the, "ultra liberal", agenda which is unfortunately becoming a reality as a consequence of the two most recent Presidential elections. I do have some thoughts on this, which I am returning in your prepaid envelope in lieu of a check. I believe that some message from the rank and file of your party needs to be imparted to the leadership, and I further believe that it would do the leadership a world of good to actually hear that message, so please bear with me. The money is only temporarily being withheld, and my part of your financial spigot will be restored if at some point in the future I feel that you do intend to represent my values.
I have become increasingly disenchanted with the Republican brand recently, and not for the reasons that you are probably telling yourselves. I have always considered myself to be a person who is more to the right politically speaking, and have conducted myself as though the Republican Party shared that philosophy. While I do realize that the word conservative means vastly different things, depending on who was speaking at any particular point in time, there have usually been some central principles that have been shared by the entirety of our voting base.
The concept of free market economics, limited government intrusion into the private lives of Americans, strict and literal interpretation of our Constitution, respecting all the Amendments found in our Bill of Rights, sane government spending, balancing our budget, constraining the size and scope of our government, and returning our vast federal behemoth to the size, scope, and limitations envisioned by our nation's Founders, has been a central tenet of the bulk of the GOP voting base for as long as I can remember. The problem I have is that while those who run for office under the GOP brand may give lip service to this concept, once elected, their actions do not match the promises made. What's worse, is that recently I have heard and read much about how the Party needs to swing itself to the left politically in order to appeal to various special interest groups, or to groups identified by differing ethnic backgrounds rather the the generic term of all American citizens. This new rhetoric started with the class of television pundits, (who by the way have zero interest in Republican electoral success), and then found itself being agreed upon by our own party leadership.
How does this square with your communication to me, promising to be conservative in the future? Do you believe your voting base to be stupid? It's not just the rhetoric, but the actions that have me convinced that the shift leftward is real. The last two candidates for the Presidency nominated by the GOP have been the two fellows who were furthest to the left politically in our field of candidates. I realize that currently, on a national level we are at a disadvantage. I am not an idiot, however there are things that we can do as a party to stand up for what we believe in. Recently, our House Speaker just signed onto a deal that increased the rate of taxation in exchange for a huge increase in spending, while there is still no budget in place.
I have heard nothing positive said about the Tea Party by any Republican leader. All the Tea Party did, was to deliver a wave election to your midst for 2010. After that historic victory, you thanked that movement by insulting them, ignoring them, and capitulating on the Obama agenda. Being a member of a political party that asks for my money, feels entitled to my vote, and disdains my voice does not work for me.
Conservatism wins elections. It works each and every time it is tried. There is a reason why Republicans hold the Governorships in 30 out of 50 states right now, and why we as a party are doing tremendously well at the state and local level. Since Ronald Reagan, and our eschewing of his philosophy, how have we done as a party on the national level? The practice of becoming the Party of Democrat Lite has not been successful by any stretch of the definition of success. What on Earth makes you believe that it will work in the future? I can tell you that governance by the Democrat Lite brand interests me no more than being governed by the real thing. Judging by the electoral results of the last two decades, I am not alone in this thinking.
Republicans love to talk about the sorry antics at the Democrat National Convention where the convention chair forced platform changes through by sheer declaration over clearly divided delegate votes on the floor. They denied God three times, but the chair forced Him upon the delegates.Well, the Republicans don't so much like to admit they played the same kind of sorry dictatorial games on their delegates at the 2012 Republican National Convention in Tampa. The party elite harmed the party, caused divisiveness where none need exist, and alienated many of the grassroots organizations (e.g. the Tea Party) that have breathed life back into the Party. As bad as the Party "leadership's" behavior was in dictating and strongarming these rules changes, the lies and obfuscations that have been employed to try to cover up the travesty have been almost as bad.Brant Clifton has written several articles on this matter over at The Daily Haymaker such as this one and this one.
(By the way, if you haven't made the Haymaker a daily stop, you should! It's excellent!) Many other conservative, grassroots, and Republican blogs are also afire with articles and criticisms of these shananigans in Tampa. Fortunately for us Republicans, the "mainstream" media has ignored the issue. That's probably because (a) it's not a simple thing that can be reduced to a snazzy soundbite or a simple headliner and (b) it's a case where the Republicans have simply emulated the Democrat Party, so any criticisms might reflect back on that Party, too.So, what's the fuss really about?The first video below is long, but the presentation by
Morton Blackwell, RNC Committeeman from Virginia, explains the changes pretty well in stark contrast to the confusing, labored ramblings by those upon whom NC GOP Chairman Robin Hayes calls upon to explain those rules changes to the NC delegates. For those principled Republicans and patriots who are concerned enough to wade through this issue and listen the the entire video, the concerns will, I believe, become clear. The rules committee for the 2012 convention had already completed its work when a representative from the Romney campaign urgently proposed additional rules changes. The rules committee reconvened to consider the Romney camp's proposals. Three major rules changes were proposed, but one was rejected after considerable debate and discussions. Some compromise was made to another of the proposed rule changes; however, the resulting rules change remains very objectionable and offensive to many Republicans. The first rules change alters well over 100 years of Republican Party principles and convictions. Heretofore, the rules committee would propose any rules changes to be approved by the delegates at the national convention. Once all proposed changes had been discussed and approved by the convention, those rules were unchangeable and inviolable until the next national convention, where the same process of approval by duly elected delegates would occur.
The first rules change now allows the head of the Party to impose any rules change deemed necessary or appropriate at will between conventions. This means that county and state party organizations who wish to accomplish a goal working within the rules can be thwarted by the national Party leadership at will simply by imposing new rules. Where once the grassroots could work within the rules, now the rules are malleable to suit the Party establishment.The second rules change first allows states which move their primaries up to the beginning of the primary process face no disincentives for doing so. In fact, the incentive is now to have more and more -- perhaps all -- state primaries to occur very early at the beginning of the primary process. This will greatly abbreviate the vetting process, make it enormously more difficult for new and grassroots candidates to gain support, and diminish the preparatory and maturation process for our Republican candidates.That is not the worst part. The rules changes now allow the Presidential candidate to "disavow" and replace any delegate to the national convention with an alternative delegate nominee of his/her own choosing. So, you can work hard at the grassroots, playing by all the rules, to get elected by your county or state convention as a national delegate, only to find yourself "disavowed and replaced" upon your arrival at the national convention. This is a direct affront to the local electoral processes and a transfer of enormous power to the candidates.The bottom line is that these rules changes are designed to marginalize and thwart grassroots Republican efforts and to transfer power from the local Republican county and state organizations to the Republican National Committee. it is a direct attack on the Tea Party, in my view.Many of the Republican establishment and elite like to pander to the Tea Party and grassroots. They want our support and votes. They love the work we do. But they really, truly, honestly do not want us to have any power within the Party organization itself. The Party establishment is desperate to hold onto its power and is jealous of grassroots attempts to intrude on their turf. We at the local grassroots level just do not understand "what it takes to win elections". We have to be kept in our place. And, in my view, that's precisely what these rules changes have been designed to do.You will hear Chairman Hayes state multiple times that these rules changes "will not affect North Carolina". That doesn't make any sense at all. You will hear Chairman Hayes state multiple times that we need to support the leadership to defeat President Obama -- that is the foremost goal. But these rules changes will have absolutely NO EFFECT, NO IMPACT on the 2012 elections. These rules changes will ONLY AFFECT the next national convention. This is not about Obama. This is not about 2012. This is about the fact that the Tea Party and the Ron Paul crowd have terrified the Party establishment, and they are striking back.These rules changes will harm the Party. They will be used to combat the Tea Party and other grassroots efforts and to maintain the Party status quo. They will discourage and alienate many whose work would breathe new life and vitality into the Party. These rules changes are a sad desperate reaction of a failed Party establishment. They will only hurt and divide the Party. And the tactics employed by the Party "leadership" to impose and defend these changes will only discredit them.View the following videos and decide for yourself. The first one is of the meeting of the NC delegates in Tampa. The second is Chairman Hayes' response to questions about his actions at the September Moore Tea Citizens members' meeting.Bill Cochrane
We have an important Primary Runoff Election
underway. On the Republican Ballot
we have four important races for statewide office. There are real differences in the candidates competing for office in these four races. The outcome will affect our State's policies, our lives, our living standards, our freedoms for years to come.Where is everyone?As of 2:00 P.M. today, only 139 voters in Moore County had voted in Early Voting since it began on Thursday, June 28. The term used by politically active folks and by the Board of Elections to describe our turnout so far is: "abysmal". It is scandalous. It is shameful. It is depressing.I cannot understand how the electorate -- especially an electorate supposedly as educated, intelligent, and motivated as Moore County claims to be -- can ignore these races.
I hope most of you are simply waiting until Election Day, July 17, to vote with "more convenience" at your local polling places.Thank you! -- to those of you who have voted!Bill Cochrane
I'm watching the Republican presidential primaries, and I'm astonished again that we've come down again to two Big Government Republicans currently leading. I'm even more astonished at the number of Tea Party folks who support these two Big Government Republicans. I wonder where all those small government and Constitutional principles went....And, we are blessed to have Guvnah Bev remover herself so kindly from our NC gubernatorial race. Even though I know she knew what a disaster she had created for herself (even though Obama apparently doesn't have as much sense), it was nice of her, I think, to save us voters the trouble of throwing her out. Thanks, ole girl!And it's nice that probably the biggest threat to a NC Republican gubernatorial run, Erskine Bowles, has kindly removed himself from this year's competition.But, unfortunately, like in the presidential race, all we have is another Big Government Republican, Pat McCrory, to "represent" us. Ugh!OK. Don't get me wrong. I want a change in 2012, and I will vote for Romney if I have to. And I'll vote for McCrory if I have to. They will be so much better than what we have now. But, I'm tired of the Republican Party pushing Big Government candidates onto me and expecting me to be happy about it. I'm tired of the Republican Party being just as guilty as the other party of building a huge oppressive government and believing they can be better at acting like benevolent dictators. I'm gonna work in the Republican Party all I can to change it and return it to its values, principles, and traditions. I completely agree with Brant Clifton who writes on The Daily Haymaker: Will Big Government Republicans Scam Conservative Voters ONE MORE TIME?Read what Brant has to say. He's right.Bill Cochrane