Saturday, October 17, 2009

Republicans, Choose Now: Are You The Party of Ron Paul, or Lindsey Graham?


"Sen. Lindsey Graham Light In His Loafers"
Press release by: "The Southern Avenger" Jack Hunter
-H/T: Webmaster at Liberty Pulse

It’s hard to imagine a Republican more useless than South Carolina Sen. Lindsey Graham. Whether spearheading legislation that would grant amnesty to millions of illegal aliens, stumping for the $787 billion taxpayer theft known as “TARP,” being the lone GOP committee vote to confirm liberal Supreme Court justice Sonia Sotomayor, or his recent joining with John Kerry to promote cap-and-trade—without shame and without fail—conservatives have never had a friend in Graham.

And yet in 2008, Graham was reelected in the deep Red State of South Carolina over a Democratic candidate, Bob Conley, who staunchly opposed amnesty, TARP and was well to the right of Lindsey in almost every respect. Many dubbed Conley a “Ron Paul Democrat,” given his support for the Texas Congressman during the Republican presidential primary and in that senatorial election the conservative “D” lost to the liberal “R” thanks purely to party affiliation. Rest assured, Lindsey Graham would like to keep things this way.

And Ron Paul would not. Comparing the 2008 Paul campaign with every other Republican who ran for president that year is a study in contrasts. Paul remained a Republican out of political necessity, sometimes seemingly regrettably, despite his continuing disappointment with his party’s lack of serious commitment to limited government principles. Every other GOP candidate, from talk radio favorite Mitt Romney to eventual nominee John McCain, would mouth occasional limited government rhetoric despite their lack of a voting record to match, seeming most interested in their ascendancy in the Republican Party and the power it affords.

When confronted by a crowd of tea partiers, town hall protesters and other angry grassroots conservatives at a meeting in Greenville this week, Graham reacted to criticism leveled against him by attacking one man: “We’re not going to be the Ron Paul party ... I love this party ... I’m not going to let it be hijacked by Ron Paul ... Ron Paul’s run for president like 39 times. He keeps losing.”

Graham is right. The limited government philosophy that Paul believes once was, and could be again, the guiding principle of the Republican Party, keeps losing. Despite the Founding Fathers best intentions, the Constitution that has remained the only guideline for every vote Paul has cast during his decades-long career in Congress, has been badly damaged by politicians from both parties. To “hijack” the Republican Party, Paul would have to inspire a genuine revolution, not only in the way our government conducts its business but in what Americans think about how much business their government should be conducting. For Paul, the battle has never been about “Republican” vs. “Democrat” but limited government vs. unlimited government and there’s never been any question about which side Paul stands on.

On the other side, you’ll find Graham. As the quintessential GOP establishment man, the big government Republicanism that defined the Bush era had no greater champion than Graham. Conservatives who now trash Lindsey for siding with the Democrats have short memories, as it was Bush who first promoted amnesty, who “abandoned free-market principles to save the free-market system” with TARP, and grew our government and debt to record heights. At every turn, Graham was Bush’s boy. Now says Graham, “I’m going to grow this party,” which is comical considering his last attempt at Republican resurrection resulted in the sound defeat of his political life-partner, John McCain, who voters rightly saw as a continuation of the unpopular Bush. Today, Graham’s GOP remains wedded to recycling Bush-era, big government policy, always stamped with an elephant insignia and always designed to fool rank-and-file conservatives into voting against their better interests.

But now, too many are tired of being played for fools. The angry crowd that confronted Graham at a town hall meeting in Greenville this week were but the most vocal representatives of an ever-growing group of Americans who are fed up with both the excesses of Bush and the even worse excesses of Obama. For the first time in a long time, many Americans are looking back to the Founding Fathers, holding up their Constitution and seriously reexamining the role of government in their lives. This is fertile ground for an admitted “revolutionary” like Ron Paul. This is dangerous ground for protectors of the status quo like Lindsey Graham. “We’re not going to be the Ron Paul party” Graham will continue to say defiantly, but can no longer say definitely.

And neither can Paul. While any future Republican Party worth having must indeed, finally be “hijacked” by the principles of limited, constitutional government, big government Republicans like Graham would like nothing more than a safe return to the good old Bush days when constituents would just keep their mouths shut, wallets open and their votes-a-comin.’

If this happens—and there’s a good chance it might—conservatives, constitutionalists and patriots of all stripes interested in genuine political revolution must finally to go to whichever party, old or new, that best suits their interests. And Lindsey Graham and his retread Republican Party—can go to hell.

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About the Southern Avenger:

"The Southern Avenger" Jack Hunter has been in radio for over a decade, is currently a personality for 1250 AM WTMA talk radio in Charleston, South Carolina, writes a weekly column for the Charleston City Paper, is a contributing editor for Taki's Magazine and Young American Revolution and works as a freelance writer who has been featured in numerous publications including The American Conservative, The American Spectator and Lewrockwell.com.


Lindsey Graham Photo:

9 comments:

d.eris said...

Libertarians have been attempting to infiltrate the Republican Party for decades and this strategy has failed over and over again. (Let's not forget that Ronald Reagan signed a major amnesty into law in the mid 1980's. And failed to reduce the size of government in any way whatsoever.) Republicans are merely one wing of the establishmentarian two-party state. It was not without reason that Ron Paul endorsed third party candidates in the 2008 elections. The Republican Party, however, is where libertarian politics goes to die.

W. E. Messamore said...

I can't disagree with your history.

I have to ask though, if Marxists, socialists, welfare-statists, and warfare-statists can successfully infiltrate and use the party machinery, why can't libertarians?

What is intrinsic to either the system or libertarianism that would preclude even the future possibility?

d.eris said...

Depending on how we look at the situation, i.e. define Marxists and socialists, for instance, I'd probably disagree with the assumption that these two specific groups have infiltrated the Democratic Party, by pointing for instance to the history of the US's actual Marxist and socialist parties: see the never-ending critiques of the Democrats coming from the Communist Party, and any number of the ten or so serious Socialist Parties in the United States. Communists and Socialists are as opposed to the Democrats as they are to the Republicans, since they see both as the ruling class parties.

There is no question, however, that statists, more widely defined, are to be found in the Democratic and Republican Parties, indeed, are the great majority in both, and the reason for this, imo, is because the Republican and Democratic Parties are statist parties, they are the parties of big government. In other words, statists don't have to infiltrate, these are their parties. Libertarian infiltrationist strategy will and has always failed, I'd say, precisely because Libertarians are opposed to big government statism. The paradox of infiltrationism is perfectly clear when it is stated that the Democratic and Republican Parties are not friends of liberty and freedom and libertarian values, but then in the next breath we are goaded into joining up with them.

I recently had a fairly long debate with Paul Kroenke of Organized Exploitation on infiltration vs. independence, check it out if you're interested.

Teresa said...

I would vote for Ron Paul over the likes of Lindsay Graham. But, there is one senator that I could mention who is much worse than Graham-Olympia Snowe.

I would say that the Republican Party abandoned its fiscal conservative principles, but (for the most part) otherwise the GOP held true to their moral convictions and the other principles of the Republican Party. Republicans have always been big on defense, so they being willing to defend and continue even when the going got tough in Iraq is not much different than under Reagan. Plus, the Democratic Party is full of progressives, communists sympathizers if they actually aren't themselves, Marxists and leftist radicals. The GOP does not ascribe to any of these beliefs. I think the GOP would love to be able to kick Snowe out of GOP, so she can be amongst her true party-Democrats.

I do think the GOP needs to stop being a bunch of cowards, and needs to stand up for the American people against the Democrats.

BTW- Under Reagan who controlled the Senate and House of Reps? If it was Dems, than it would have been hard for him to shrink the size of government.

d.eris said...

"Under Reagan who controlled the Senate and the House of Reps? If it was Dems, than it would have been hard for him to shrink the size of government."

From 1981 to 1987 Dems controlled the House and Republicans controlled the Senate and then the Dems won the Senate. Nothing stopped Reagan from exercising the veto except his unwillingness to stop the expansion of government. In any case, this is precisely why the two-party system is totally bankrupt, morally, politically, etc. When either side feels criticized, they respond either that the other side does it to, or that the other side is really the one that's to blame for the problem. This is what Democrats and Republicans call accountability. With respect to the GOP's morals and principles, well . . . I'll say only the Republicans being "big on defense" is just code for their defense of big government.

W. E. Messamore said...

Teresa- yes Senator Snowe is driving me bat-crazy with her voting record, she might as well go the way of Specter. Good riddance!

d.eris- what if libertarians kept the GOP honest (made it stick to its liberty rhetoric) by remaining honest themselves? In other words, refusing to compromise in order to infiltrate?

d.eris said...

Infiltration is already compromise, see, for instance, this post against infiltration. If you're going to stick to your principles and remain honest, why not work to elect actual Libertarian Party candidates, rather than maintain the fiction that the Republican Party stands for libertarian values and goals?

W. E. Messamore said...

I would counter that Congressman Ron Paul has avoided compromising his principles for GOP money (though he may not get much of it- which is fine by me if that means he doesn't compromise either).

And by working as a GOP Congressman and vying for the GOP's presidential nomination, he may have done more to "mainstream" libertarian ideas and move our country in the right direction than anyone else in politics.

d.eris said...

I agree that Ron Paul is an exception. And that's exactly why he doesn't fit in with the Republican Party, why he is marginalized and is consistently mocked by the Republican "establishment" as well as the conservative "mainstream," who never miss a chance to rip on "Paultards" along with the "RINOS." Ron Paul clearly understands this himself, i.e. that the GOP does not stand for the values he values, which, I assume, is why he endorsed not the Republican Party candidate for president in 2008, but rather Constitution Party candidate Chuck Baldwin. And this was after a number of high profile appearances with a number of major third party candidates (Baldwin, McKinney, Nader).

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