The headline is descriptive: Why Republicans Need The Tea Party. It’s a piece about why the marriage between the GOP establishment and the Tea Party should survive the current civil war over tactics and why those tactical disputes aren’t grounds for divorce when on the other side of the political fence lies a cross between Gomorrah and a Soviet oblast.
And Horowitz is correct on each of his points.
Another important point to understand is that there is a difference between politics and policy. Republicans (and I would include conservatives and tea partiers) are good at policy; they are not so good at politics, which is the way one gets to make policy. Do we repeal Obamacare by obstructing it at every turn? Or do we repeal it by lying low until we have a majority and abolishing it at a stroke? And if we lie low, do we demoralize our troops, who see us as compromisers and appeasers, and in effect give up the chance of ever winning a majority and accomplishing our goal? These are the questions that divide us. They are legitimate questions and — excuse me for blurting this out — no one knows the answers. Politics is always a gamble. No one can be sure of what will succeed, which is why we have to respect each other and keep our coalition strong, even though we disagree.
I said we were not so good at politics. Actually we’re terrible at politics. Whenever a Republican and a Democrat square off it’s like Godzilla versus Bambi. They call us racists, sexists, homophobes, and selfish pigs, and we call them . . . liberals. Who’s going to win that argument? They spend their political dollars calling us names and shredding our reputations; we spend ours explaining why the complicated solutions we propose will work and why theirs won’t. But when you are being called a racist, an enemy of women, and a greedy SOB, who do you think is listening to your ideas about the budget? Who is going to believe you when all your motives are ulterior and degenerate?
This is the problem that not only Republicans, but also tea partiers and conservatives, have failed to address. It is why the Democratic party, which supports policies that are morally repugnant and have also failed on an epic scale, still wins elections. Medicare is bankrupt and a mess; Social Security is bankrupt and a mess; the War on Poverty is a trillion-dollar catastrophe that has created worse poverty than it was designed to cure — and yet Democrats can still win elections, and can pass the biggest socialist entitlement and redistributionist scheme ever and get away with it. Until Republicans and tea partiers start to fight fire with fire, this scenario is not going to change. Twenty-five years after the most oppressive empire in human history collapsed because socialist economics don’t work, 49 percent of American youth, according to a recent Pew poll, think socialism is a good system. That’s a political failure on our part. We won the Cold War, but we didn’t drive the stake through the Communist heart. As a result, the vampire of “social justice” has risen again.
Horowitz hits on something we talk about a lot here at the Hayride in different terms. Our formulation is that since Republican politicians come from business and Democrat politicians come from trial lawyers and union bosses and teachers and race hustlers, there is a fundamental disadvantage at play when the two sides attempt to negotiate bipartisan legislation. Businessmen always seek to find a win-win compromise in situations of negotiation, while a trial lawyer seeks a win-lose compromise. Sure, a plaintiff attorney might settle a case, but when he does it’s about how much of the defendant’s money he’s willing to take in exchange for ceasing in his attempts to get more.
That’s not a win-win negotiation.
And when you put a win-win negotiator in a room with a win-lose negotiator, the win-win guy is going to get his head handed to him. Which is why you can’t find any Democrats who would be willing to admit what absolute clowns Nancy Pelosi, Jim Clyburn, Harry Reid, Chuck Schumer and Dick Durbin are – Democrats love the fact their leadership is utterly obtuse and unreasonable and willing to tell brazen lies in pursuit of their ideology – but Republicans are dispirited and horrified at the ineffectiveness of John Boehner and Mitch McConnell. It’s because Boehner and McConnell are trying to operate within the bounds of traditional politics and the people opposite them are willing to do whatever it takes to destroy the Republican Party for all time.
Horowitz explains it this way…
Another way of looking at the problem is that the Republican party — like conservatives generally — is guided by a business mentality, whereas the Left’s mentality is missionary. Let me explain what I mean. Democrats, progressives, so-called liberals see themselves as social redeemers. They don’t approach social problems pragmatically, looking for ways to improve this situation or that, except as a political expedient. They approach social problems with an eye to changing the world. Hillary Clinton once told the New York Times that “we have to define what it means to be human in the 21st century.” No Republican or conservative in his right mind talks like that. On the eve of his election, Barack Obama said, “We are five days away from fundamentally transforming the United States of America.” People in their right minds don’t think like that. Unless they are progressives who believe that they are “on the side of history” and the “moral arc of the universe is bent towards justice.” That particular phrase is woven into a carpet that Obama has installed in the Oval Office.
Leftists are secular missionaries whose paradise is called “social justice.” The pursuit of social justice is why the Democratic party set out to radically transform a sixth of the American economy and regulate the health care of 300 million Americans from a website without the support of a single Republican and in the face of majority opposition from the people at large.
Notice how lefties are so thoroughly emotional in their approach to policy? Maybe you’ve seen this video – it’s a childish tantrum from a typical college-aged Obama voter over the abject disaster that was a 7-5 UCLA student government vote to defeat a resolution to divest from investments in Israel because of Israeli “apartheid.” It’s not quite safe for work…
Not to give this simpleton too much credit, but there is an underlying reality behind her embarrassing outburst. Which is that the Left teaches its adherents that they’re involved in “saving the world,” and if you’re engaged in “saving the world,” your tactics and conduct can hardly be questioned. All that matters in “saving the world” is “saving the world,” whatever the cost.
And so when you point out that the things the Left is doing to “save the world” actually do a lot more damage than good, you’re a dreambuster and a mean SOB, and whatever they can do to move you out of the way is, like, totally justified.
Because they have a missionary view of themselves, and are impervious to introspection or self-criticism.
A business mentality is the opposite. In business you’re always willing to change your approach, because if you don’t change with the times you will become obsolete. So that’s why you have Republican establishment types busy trying to adjust the party’s policy prescriptions on immigration rather than articulate its perfectly sensible ideas on securing the border first and insisting the law be followed before making appropriate adjustments which encourage legal immigration, promote cultural assimilation and benefit the economy.
Horowitz says the GOP needs the Tea Party because the Tea Party brings just enough of that “win-lose” mentality to give the Left a fair fight…
The catch is that this is probably not the best mentality to hold when the opposition is a missionary party that views politics as war and that is out for your blood. In these circumstances, an equal and opposite force — a missionary force — may be required to defeat it. The grassroots understands this, which is why and how the Tea Party was born, and why a maverick like Ted Cruz was able to defeat the strongest Republican establishment in Texas — the most important Republican state — and become its senator.
The Tea Party’s mission is not parallel to that of the political Left. It is not about creating a new race of human beings or a new social order. Its mission is closer to the realism of business. Its mission is to defend something familiar and real — a Constitution that has been shredded, a culture that has been traduced, and an economy that is heading for bankruptcy. This doesn’t mean that tea partiers should be unmindful of the dangers that missionary ideas bring with them. Good principles don’t guarantee good candidates or winning politics. Some tea-party losses in the last election hurt the conservative cause and could have been avoided if the distinctions were kept in mind.
Exactly correct, and he’s also correct when he notes an important piece of the solution for the various factions making up the Right is to aggressively, ruthlessly and mercilessly indict Democrats and the Left for the damage they have done to places like Detroit.
Horowitz talks a lot about Ted Cruz in the piece, but the guess here is he was cheering when he watched Marco Rubio deliver that devastating riposte to Tom Harkin’s detestable paean to Cuban communism earlier this week. That kind of muscular assault on the Left for the practical consequences of its policies and mission is what Ronald Reagan used to specialize in, and America loved him for it. Reagan was willing to take on a missionary persona in politics, and when he negotiated with Democrats it was usually (though sadly not always) a win-lose negotiation which had as its base how much of Reagan’s agenda they would surrender to.
The Right has to get back to that, and the Tea Party is its only chance at success. What this will mean is either new leadership or a new approach by the current leadership in Congress, and a renewed willingness by the consultant class within the GOP – and particularly in Washington – to move the political needle and assert that conservative ideas are the mainstream ideas and it’s the Left who is deviant and destructive. You’ve got to have messaging that goes on offense against the Left, and you have to be willing to expose them for their failures. And like the Left, you have to be willing to engage in relentless waves of tactical assaults on them, breaking them down at every turn.
Where is the demonization of Harry Reid on the airwaves every day? That braying, senile old jackass just took to the Senate floor to declare that all the Obamacare horror stories are lies…
Were Harry Reid a Republican he would become the face of American suffering every day and every minute until he was so toxic that he would be forced to step down in an attempt to salvage whatever chance his party had at holding the Senate majority. Instead, we got Mitch McConnell on Megyn Kelly to call Reid’s embarrassing tirade “astonishing,” and to say, “what nonsense.”
Not that anything McConnell said was wrong, but…really? Where was the 15-minute long stemwinder of a speech immediately following Reid’s lies to rival that which Rubio delivered to Harkin on his friends the Castros? Where was the direct call for a vote censuring Reid for slandering thousands – maybe millions – of Americans as liars after having been once victimized by the government monstrosity of a health plan he railroaded through the Senate?
Where was McConnell’s demand that Reid resign as majority leader? He has ample justification for that – after all, Reid killed the filibuster on presidential appointments last year – and he had the forum to do so tonight. Demanding that resignation is aggressive, but hardly unreasonable – Trent Lott had to resign that same job for trying to say something nice about Strom Thurmond at the old man’s 100th birthday party.
Harry Reid just went on the floor of the Senate and brazenly slandered cancer patients who lost their insurance coverage thanks to a bill Harry Reid jammed through the Senate…as liars and crybabies.
Without question this ought to be a career-killer for Harry Reid. But it won’t be a career-killer unless somebody in the Senate makes a demand that his career be killed.
Reid isn’t likely to resign, but so what? Make him toxic. He’s already hated. Make him the face of the Democrat Senate majority, which he already is, and make the American people see the urgency of voting Republican in the fall so he can be gotten rid of.
“If you vote for Kay Hagan, we can’t get rid of Harry Reid. Do you really want two more years of Harry Reid in charge of the U.S. Senate? Do you really want two more years of the Senate being run by a man who says every single victim of Obamacare is a liar?”
That kind of demonization is what the Left does, and it works. Employ it against them.
It’s what Horowitz would suggest. He’s correct. Put on the pads and go sack the quarterback.
That’s something the GOP establishment and the Tea Party can both get behind.