Sunday, October 22, 2006

Looking to the 2006 election

Dr. Jerry Pournelle, over at Chaos Manor, described well last Friday the dilemma some of us face in the upcoming General Election:
True Whig

Rush Limbaugh is running a diatribe against "Cut and Run Conservatives" and thinks there are none since no one calls in to passionately defend the notion of allowing the Republicans to lose as a lesson to them. He is wrong, of course. There are many conservatives who in disgust intend to stay home, but they do not do so in joy.

I understand his point. I intend to vote this election, and although I do not believe the Republicans deserve to win -- they have shown they do not govern well, and have grown fat with power -- the prospects of Speaker Pelosi are less attractive. The way to close the Southern Border is not to elect the Open Borders Party. The way to reform foreign policy is not precipitate retreat and dismantling of Strategic Defense. The way to energy independence is not to put even greater obstacles in front of nuclear power while spending money on moonbeams and fairy wheels. The way to better emergency management through building local civil defense organizations is not to elect the party that invented FEMA and destroyed Civil Defense.

The Republicans have shown they are not fit to rule. Alas, the Democrats have no better prospects. The Democrats didn't get us into a ground war, but they did get us into war in the Balkans where we have far less national interest than we do in Iraq. The Republicans took us into Afghanistan and then Iraq. The Democrats would not have taken us into Afghanistan, and would have imposed even heavier restrictions on domestic energy production.

I long for the days of Tweedledee and Tweedledum, of parties that had little differentiation; but those days are long gone. I long for the days when party activists, self-selected precinct workers, ran power=brokered national Conventions. Those days are long gone. The election matters. A Democratic House will not enforce immigration law or build border fences, nor fund Strategic Defense and Assured Access to Space.

I do not like either of the major parties. My own party would be Whig.
Read here for more -- interesting, given the direction of this "political" blog of mine. But as bad as the national election is, he should consider his good fortune to not to be a voter in Illinois, where the Republican Party's leadership also grew fat from power and, at least for as long as I have been in Illinois, Tweedledee vs. Tweedledum doesn't work when both are corrupt.

So, also on Friday came an e-mail from the Illinois Republican Young Professionals, making note of a column published a month ago by John Kass of the Chicago Tribune. Writes Kass,
Would a Topinka loss actually help Republicans reform their party, by sweeping out the hogs and allowing them to take back the GOP, finally, from the sleek bosses who've been gorging out of the public trough since Big Jim Thompson was governor?

Republicans know Topinka's political history as handmaiden to the bipartisan Illinois combine. She has openly supported Democrats over Republicans in general elections, yet now she demands Republican loyalty.”

And as chairman of the state Republican Party, Topinka pointedly refused to endorse the incumbent Republican U.S. Sen. Peter Fitzgerald (R-Ill.).

Voters don't believe she'd be any different than Blagojevich. This is a serious problem for the calcified Republican hierarchy. But whether it is a problem for grass-roots Republicans is another matter.

I don't think it is a problem for any Republican except the elite. Because if Topinka is elected, I see a tax increase, and more casinos, and after one term she'll be rejected. Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) might even retire, once he has installed his daughter, Atty. Gen. Lisa Madigan, as Democratic governor of Illinois, to thrive on the Topinka tax revenues, and rule the state liberally for the rest of our natural lives.
Read Kass' entire column here.

And FWIW, a Topinka victory (which thankfully is not very likely) would mean that the Illinois Republican Party's elite would be able to stave off new blood interested in republican principles and winning elections for the sake of serving the people of Illinois.

Wednesday, October 04, 2006

The Sudden Demise of a Congressman

Jerry Pournelle over at The View from Chaos Manor offers a brief, but insightful, comment on the sudden crash of Rep. Tom Foley's (R-Fla.) political career. I'll copy one paragraph, but you can read it all here.
    Whatever one's views on homosexuality -- in Washington DC the age of consent is 16 so there doesn't appear to be anything illegal here -- it's certainly not part of the mainstream culture for grown men to have conversations with teen age boys about masturbation. Of course there is a segment of the population and the intellectual community who think it ought to be part of our culture, and they seem to be taking delight in exposing Foley for doing something that they don't usually oppose. Had Foley's follies been exposed prior to the primary election, he would have withdrawn and a different Republican would have been nominated for what is, absent this kind of scandal, a safe Republican district. This looks to have been rather carefully arranged.