Has the Tea Party movement taken over the Republican Party? It’s a loaded question, perhaps one that was definitively answered on Saturday when Mitt Romney chose Rep. Paul Ryan, a conservative favorite, to run along side him this fall.
Matt Kibbe, president of FreedomWorks and author of Hostile Takeover: Resisting Centralized Government’s Stranglehold on America, joined Chris Matthews on Hardball last week to discuss the Tea Party movement and its influence on the Republican Party (note that the video below takes a moment to load):
Last week, my colleague Brian Lehman wrote a great post on gay marriage, offering up a deal for social conservatives in order to ease some of the tension over it. I would like to sweeten the pot, a bit, if that’s possible.
For a long time, we’ve had the right and left wings in this country ignore the pressing issues of our time—crushing debt, a horribly mangled tax code, an economy infested with out of control cronyism and regulation, a monetary system that isn’t working, dismantled civil liberties, and looming entitlements that threaten to wash away all of our prosperity in a megatsunami of unfunded liabilities—to focus instead on issues such as gay marriage, abortion, Islamic mosques, and whether or not Barack Obama is a neo-marxist anti-colonialist Kenyan who wasn’t born in the United States (and ate a dog in Indonesia when he was five.) Oh, and Chick-Fil-A.
Because of this more important things we should be focusing on, and because we need to do something about them today, I would like to put forward a “grand bargain” of sorts between conservatives and liberals, so we can put the social issues conflict to rest. It basically involves a trade, and while I know nobody is going to be 100% happy with it, I think it will lead to overall better happiness. (Paging Jeremy Bentham.)
The bargain is such: in exchange for conservatives dropping opposition to same-sex marriage, liberals will tone down their crusade for abortion.
Many of my conservative friends insisted that I join them for Chick-fil-a Chaos Day. In case you weren’t aware, Mike Huckabee had been rallying the conservative troops to flood Chick-fil-a restaurants yesterday as a way of saying thanks to the Cathy family for standing up for conservative values.
I didn’t participate in this event, but it had nothing to do with Chick-fil-a’s position on anything. I oppose government recognizing homosexual marriage. (But I also oppose government recognizing heterosexual marriage.) I just don’t want to deal with groups of people who will do whatever Mike Huckabee tells them to do.
But maybe you’d like an excuse to dive face-first into a plate of fried chicken and waffle fries. If so, here are some reasons you should participate in Chick-fil-a Chaos Day.
- You love Mike Huckabee and want him to think he still matters.
- You like getting involved in activities that, in the grand scheme of things, are utterly pointless.
- You like being in crowded restaurants.
- You’re hungry for fried chicken and waffle fries.
Yes, this post oozes sarcasm.
If you like Chick-fil-a’s food, eat there. If you don’t like it, don’t eat there. If you like Chick-fil-a’s stance on political issues, eat there. If you don’t like them, don’t eat there. But don’t eat there just because Mike Huckabee told you to.
I can’t imagine what Huckabee might be imagining the result of this exercise will be. Most people who frequent Chick-fil-a already agree with the company on the marriage issue. And it’s not like KFC is going to suddenly come out in agreement with Chick-fil-a in an effort to win some of the customers from Chick-fil-a.
There has been a lot of debate among conservatives whether libertarians should be welcome at CPAC, an annual gathering of right-leaning activists in Washington. The most recent CPAC saw libertarians left out in the cold thanks to a heavier emphasis on social conservatives.
While libertarians are often told by conservatives that we need to get on their “team” in order to beat back government overreach from Washington, they largely want us to take a back seat. Some libertarians have chosen to work inside the Republican Party through the Republican Liberty Caucus, a group that promotes our ideals. However, they haven’t been very effective.
But this past Thursday in Dallas, FreedomWorks hosted FreePAC, a one-day event that brought together activists, both conservatives and libertarians, to help plan a grassroots strategy ahead of the general election in November. Speakers at FreePAC included Sens. Rand Paul and Mike Lee as well as hopefuls like Ted Cruz and Richard Mourdock. Glenn Beck, Dick Armey, Dean Clancy, and Matt Kibbe also provided attendees with words of encouragement to help get them motivated to fight the growth in government that we’re seeing.
While I wasn’t able to go, what I’ve heard from my libertarian friends who went is that FreePAC is really the shot in the arm that the Liberty Movement needs. They did it with less controversy and no compromise.
Does Elton John Hate the kids of conservatives? If he praises the actions of “compassionate conservatives” then I think he does.
‘We’ve seen George W. Bush and conservative American politicians pledge tens of billions to save the lives of Africans with HIV. Think of all the love. Think of where we’d be without it, nowhere, that’s where. We’d be nowhere at all,’ John said at the International AIDS conference in Washington on Monday.”
I like Elton John. I want him and everyone else to be able to marry whomever they want. I want him to be free to write more great hits like “Sad Songs” and “Tiny Dancer.” I’m a fan. But what I am not a fan of is his collectivist Ideas of praising “compassionate conservatives” for using the force of government to steal property from some, in order to give it to others. More government always leads to less freedom, for Elton John, for individuals in America and around the world.
Elton exclaims “think of all the love” that the actions of the conservative politicians produced, but is taxation and redistribution an act of love?
When property is stolen from “taxpayers” in the form of taxes, they suffer and so do their children. Having children at all for the productive class is an economic decision and taxation and inflation are key drivers in that decision. In effect when government steals money from a mother and father they are being deprived by force of their resources, which they can spend on their offspring which in effective limits how many children they have. This reduces the “Love” an individual can show to themselves, their living children and the children they choose not to have due to economic reasons.
Over the last couple of weeks, we’ve had an interesting discussion about conservative-libertarian fusionism. Jeremy Kolassa has written a couple of excellent posts about the issue, which you can read here and here. My rebuttal to Jeremy’s original post can be found here.
It seems as though we agree that libertarians will, at times, need to reach out to conservatives on issues where we have common ground. Jeremy’s broader point, and he’ll correct me if I’m wrong, is that we, as libertarians, need to make sure we have a separate identity, one that clearly delineates us from conservatives. For what it’s worth, I don’t really disagree.
There is no denying that the run up CPAC 2012 hurt whatever unspoken alliance that conservatives and libertarians have. It was clear, that after libertarian influence on the event in the two prior years, that we were not welcome at CPAC in 2012. Unfortunately, GOProud was also given the cold shoulder by social conservatives, many of whom threatened to boycott the event if the gay Republican group were allowed to continue sponsoring it.
Who were the conservatives in the colonies during the Revolution? They were those loyal to the Crown. They were those who supported the status quo because of the state privileges that they received. Unfortunately, today’s conservatives do the exact same thing.
The fight today isn’t between conservatives who are interested in individual liberty and liberals who are interested in socialism. Neither party are interested in more freedom for you. They are interested in power and money. The both revel in the sovereignty of the state and the subjugation of the individual. That is no different then the attitude that King George had in regards to his “subjects” in the American colonies before the Revolution.
The Revolution of 1776 was the opposite of conservatism. It was a revolution of thought and reason in which the individual was sovereign and government was the servant. Like Judge Andew Napolitano used to say on Freedom Watch, “Does the government work for us or do we work for the government?” That is a fundamental question that the history of conservatives in this country have gotten wrong.
The victories of the collectivists in this country are never rolled back. The New Deal by FDR and the “war on poverty” by Johnson which are typically expounded by the conservative intelligentsia as the reason why we are living in an increasingly collectivist society have been cemented into America. If you want more freedom in this country today your best bet you are told is to support Republicans. But are they the party of liberty like they claim?
I am a bad, bad man. Last week I started a mini-firestorm of controversy about fusionism, then ran away into the woods of upstate New York for a two week vacation where the Internet is an endangered species. And now that the firestorm has since—partially, at least—died down, I’m here to stir it back up again. Because I totally captured an Internet in a Have-A-Heart trap and can actually use it for my nefarious blogging.
Jason Pye made some very thoughtful points in his rebuttal, which could be summed up by his last paragraph, that we shouldn’t “cut off our nose to spite our face.” Fair enough. I myself am a “gradualist,” and don’t see radical libertarianism as the way forward. Jason and I agree on that. But there are a few things I take issue with.
For starters, I never ruled out working with conservatives on issues. In fact, I explicitly endorsed ad hoc alliances with both the right and the left in order to advance individual liberty. This was the view put forward by our colleague Tom Knighton, and I think its a reasonable and sensible one to use.
The problem I have with fusionism is not that we’re working with people we disagree with on issues. That’s not just politics, that’s just life, and we’re going to have to deal with it. The problem with fusionism is that it seeks to subsume libertarianism as a wing of the conservative jumbo jet that’s flying off into some distant horizon. That libertarianism is really just a bunch of conservatives who like drugs, are okay with gay people, and not as much with war. But, as it goes, libertarians are fundamentally conservative at their core.
With polls showing some fluctuation in the Republican Senate primary in Wisconsin, prominent grassroots groups are now lining up against each other as they side with different candidates. There is an eagerness to make sure that former Wisconsin Gov. Tommy Thompson, who supported ObamaCare, doesn’t get the nomination; however, FreedomWorks and the Club for Growth have different views on the best candidate.
The Club for Growth endorsed former Wisconsin Rep. Mark Neumann in the race late last year, noting his strong commitment to economic freedom and limited government, and launched a strong campaign against Thompson’s record, including his support of ObamaCare. And last week, the Club released this ad hitting Thompson and Eric Hovde, a Madison businessman who has seen support rise in recent weeks, on their support for higher taxes:
Earlier this week, I noted that an internal poll from Ted Cruz’s campaign showed him with a 9-point lead over David Dewhurst in the runoff for the GOP’s nod in the United States Senate race in Texas. Internal polls, while valuable to a campaign, tend to overstate performance of a candidate. So while it was a good sign for Cruz, there was still some healthy skepticism.
But a new survey in the race from Public Policy Polling (PPP) shows that Cruz does indeed lead Dewhurst, though by 5 points — a smaller lead than the internal, though outside of the margin of error, ahead of the July 31st runoff (emphasis mine):
PPP’s first poll of the Texas Senate runoff finds Ted Cruz with a surprising 49-44 lead and a much more enthusiastic cadre of supporters than former front runner David Dewhurst.
Cruz’s lead expands to a whooping 59-36 margin over Dewhurst among voters who describe themselves as ‘very excited’ about voting in the election. The lower turnout is, the better Cruz’s chances will be. Dewhurst leads 51-43 with ‘somewhat excited’ voters and 50-36 with those who say they are ‘not that excited.’ The big question is whether those less enthused folks will actually bother to turn out or not.