Corporate Welfare

"Today's Republican Party—divided, drifting, demoralized—is epitomized by the farm bill"

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So says Robert Novak, in a nifty if depressing little sausage-making column. One wonders what kind of party will emerge from this November's rout.

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  1. I’m shocked! Shocked, that there’s pork going on in this establishment!

    When republicans are no better than democrats on spending issues, the only way to improve matters is by making sure the republicans get obliterated in November. Spank them so hard that they’ll remember the lesson for at least a decade. Then when the democrats create a royal mess, maybe will have get a few republicans who are willing to be fiscally responsible.

    Yeah, yeah, I know. I can always hope.

    I really miss Gingrich’s “contract with America”. It’s saddening that the happiest day of my political life was when the republican congress was voted into power, and the second happiest will be when they get shredded in November.

  2. Spank them so hard that they’ll remember the lesson for at least a decade.

    I really think they’re just too stupid and craven for that. While they have some incentive to be fiscally responsible in order to win votes, they also can win votes through pork, farm bills, and getting concessions for going along with the Dems.

    As more and more people get bought off by the government, the appeal of pork/farm bills/concessions becomes greater, while pleasing fiscal conservatives and libertarians weakens.

    I honestly think the lesson they will take from an obliteration is not “damn, we need to return to fiscal responsibilty”, but rather “I have to bribe people better than the Democrats!”

  3. “Ryan’s fellow reformer Jeff Flake of Arizona, 45 and in his fourth term, is less cautious about defying the leadership and has been kept off key committees.”

    Ahh, yes, Republicans can’t allow someone who actually practices what Republicans preach on committees. That would make more people realize what kinds of hypocrites a majority of Republicans are.

    By the way, I keep getting junk mail from the Republican party. They sent me a nice glossy photo of Bush 43 and some mailing labels. They are not getting one more cent from me until they DEMONSTRATE real change in a pro-liberty direction. I might give some money to the Club for Growth or something though.

  4. I don’t think this November will teach the Republican leadership enough. It will probably end up taking a couple more drubbings before the party’s base finally takes the organizational structure out to the woodshed.

    One can only imagine who the first against the wall will be when that revolution comes.

  5. “One can only imagine who the first against the wall will be when that revolution comes.”

    It will be the Serius Cybernetics Corporation. They are a bunch of mindless jerks.

  6. The only lesson the Republicans learned from their drubbing in 2006 appears to have been “Mark Foley sux.”

    Maybe two in a row will make more of impact. We’ll see.

  7. “I don’t think this November will teach the Republican leadership enough. It will probably end up taking a couple more drubbings before the party’s base finally takes the organizational structure out to the woodshed.”

    They might learn something if the loose the Presidency and loose more members in both houses of congress and see that people like Jeff Flake, Ron Paul and other pro-small government Republicans are some of the few left standing.

  8. You cannot appeal to the principles of people who have none.

  9. It’s unfortunate that the Federal level beatdown trickles down to the state level. Here in NH, the GOP representation is far better aligned to traditional economically conservative values. Yet the local GOP got their clock cleaned in 2006, which I believe was strongly due to how closely the local party aligned themselves with the national party. Local parties still have a chance this election season to distance themselves from the national party. They don’t have to do it overtly. They can distance themselves simply by focusing exclusively on local issues and let the national party handle the Federal elections. But, probably due to reluctance to remove themselves from national party kickbacks, we’ll likely see a repeat of 2006 at the local level as well.

  10. PIRS,

    Take some of your prior donations away from them! Here’s how:

    You know those pre-paid envelopes they send you begging for donations? Tape it to a brick, or fill it with anything very, very heavy and not illegal to mail.

    They’ll get it, and the bill. 🙂

  11. Isn’t there a possibility that some of this is the Invisible Hand at work? Maybe there is a correction that has to be made. I know I know, 1994, but think about all the congressional gains made after 9-11. Maybe The Republican Juggernaut of the 2002 and 2004 elections was due in part to the War on Terror.

    If so, wouldn’t that warrant corrections in 2006 & 2008 as support for the Iraq War has become little more than an urban legend. We’re not all making the War on Terror our big issue this year right? Iran isn’t exactly a rallying cry for a majority of America is it?

    Dr. James Dobson has come out and declared he cannot vote for John McCain based on his stance on Social Issues. I don’t think every Evangelical Voter will take a cue from Dr. Dobson. However, I think this puts Ohio on the map as blue in the presidential race.

    Isn’t this all just as Dean Martin said: You wake up in the morning, take two aspirin and wonder, “What the big deal was?”

  12. “Dr. James Dobson has come out and declared he cannot vote for John McCain based on his stance on Social Issues. I don’t think every Evangelical Voter will take a cue from Dr. Dobson. However, I think this puts Ohio on the map as blue in the presidential race.”

    Hmm, maybe McCain isn’t as bad as I thought. Anyone who pisses off James Dobson can’t be ALL bad.

  13. “You know those pre-paid envelopes they send you begging for donations? Tape it to a brick, or fill it with anything very, very heavy and not illegal to mail.”

    I have been thinking about using them to mail them a letter explaining why they no longer have my support. I know, not as creative as your idea but potentially more effective.

  14. What “lesson” will Republicans take from the devastation in November?

    “We must be more like the Democrats to get votes”

  15. and to think I like sausage…

  16. So, when the dust clears after Election Day,
    what’s the odds the Dems will have at least a 100 seat margin on the GOP?

  17. 100?!?

    Pretty darn small, I’d say.

    They’re also not going to get to 60 Senate seats this year. That will probably be in 2010.

  18. I have been thinking about using them to mail them a letter explaining why they no longer have my support. I know, not as creative as your idea but potentially more effective.

    You could carve your objections into a sheet of lead, and send it to them.

  19. The Democrat overconfidence is their weakness.

  20. Wasn’t the farm bill passed by the Democrat majority?

  21. They’re also not going to get to 60 Senate seats this year. That will probably be in 2010.

    Actually, 60 is quite possible, at least if you count Bernie Sanders and Lieberman as being will to vote with the Democrats on most issues. The Republicans are defending a ton of seats this cycle, partially since 2002 went well for them. By contrast, remember that the Republicans actually lost Senate seats in 2000, so 2006 actually didn’t have all that many opportunities for Dem pickups.

    Current Senate: 49D-49R-1ID-1S
    Not facing re-election: 37D-26R-1ID-1S
    Seats up (counting party of retirees): 12D-23R

    There are at least nine seats that are Democratic targets. If they all go Democratic (and all the leaners did in 2006), then a working 60 is quite possible.

    One wonders what kind of party will emerge from this November’s rout.

    Who knows? Perhaps Sen. McCain will lose, and rather than blame it on your book, Matt, the idiots in the Congressional party will blame it on his lack of support for the farm bill.

  22. One wonders what kind of party will emerge from this November’s rout.

    A powerless and ineffective one, is my guess. I suspect they’ll take this as a reason to become “yay, state!” cheerleaders, especially if their new party leader is President McCain.

  23. Neil,

    Do you even know who James Dobson is?!
    He’s head of the protestant fundamentalist political-paramilitary group Focus on the Family. You might want to check it out.

  24. John Thacker,

    Tennessee Senate didnt’ go Democratic in 2006.

    I know that it’s possible that the Dems could reach 60 this year, but they’d have to pitch a no-hitter. If these things were decided on paper, they’d hit 60 this year, but chances are something is going to go badly in at least one of the races.

    I’d say there’s a better chance of Al Franken shooting himself in the foot than of the Democrats running the table.

  25. R C Dean,

    The Republicans were a powerless and ineffective party from 1932-1968. They didn’t turn into “yay state” cheerleaders that time.

    At its heart, the modern Republican Party is still the anti-New Deal opposition. They’ve never been comfortable as the governing party.

  26. Rice Bingham,

    I’ve no love or respect for Dobson, but calling Focus on the Family a “paramilitary group” is fucking ludicrous.

  27. Perhaps they will go the way of the whigs . . .

    We can hope!

  28. joe,

    You’re right. The TN seat was the one target that the Dems didn’t get. I could say that they got one or two that cycle that didn’t look like top targets until the race starting going (such as Sen. Webb’s victory), but yeah, that one was a miss.

    Al Franken is showing some possibility of squandering a winnable race; not paying workers’ comp and corporate taxes will help with that.

  29. You raise a good point, Mr. Thacker.

    We can talk about what the winnable races are, but who would have thought that Dennis Hastert’s seat, or the Louisiana seat, or the Mississippi seat, would even be close races?

  30. If the Democrats get to 60 this year, John Thacker, it won’t be because they made no mistakes in the 9 races currently listed as “competitive,” but because they broadened the field and won races not expected to be close.

  31. From the Novak peice:

    House Republicans voted 100 to 91 to approve the bill (with only 15 Democrats opposed), assuring a veto override. Similarly, in the Senate, 35 Republicans voted for the bill. Only 13 Republicans voted no, and the only Democrats opposing it were Rhode Island’s two senators.

    As the vote shows, the Dems are more to blame for this folly, and the plurality of GOP members supporting it is an example of public choice theory coming to fruition. Traditional anti-pork GOP principle is in accord with the wishes of a majority of the electorate on this vote but a number of the GOP members either fear, or benefit from, the concentrated political action of the recipients of the pork.

    If this “ignore principle” sentiment prevails for the GOP, it will suffer electoral losses as they will miss the chance to distinguish themselves from the big spending Dems.

  32. “Perhaps they will go the way of the whigs . . . ”

    Just start another political party under another name?

  33. Here’s my question: How do I punish the Republicans, without rewarding the Democrats?

    It’s not like Cornyn’s opponent in November is going to be anti-farm subsidy.

  34. They might learn something if the loose the Presidency and loose more members in both houses of congress and see that people like Jeff Flake, Ron Paul and other pro-small government Republicans are some of the few left standing.

    The pro-small government Republicans are a tiny block, based on this Nolan Chart.

    This used to go left to right across the middle of the chart. Now it just slides down the authoritarian range for economic issues, with almost everyone in both parties below 25% on economic issues.

  35. “Here’s my question: How do I punish the Republicans, without rewarding the Democrats?

    It’s not like Cornyn’s opponent in November is going to be anti-farm subsidy.”

    Vote for a third party or independent candidate? Or run for office yourself? Or write in NONE OF THE ABOVE. Any of those options would be more effective than voting for a Democrat.

  36. The pro-small government Republicans are a tiny block, based on this Nolan Chart.

    Oh, I agree that things suck. I’m just not sure that I would immediately go to a Nolan Chart put out by a group called “Freedom Democrats” that’s trying to argue that the Democrats are the real libertarian alternative. It’s really easy to cherry pick votes on those charts.

  37. When you are dealing with an internet based survey – or even an OPH booth at your local county fair – self-selection is a real problem vis-?-vis accuracy. You are more likely to get people who are very emotional about the issue in one way or another. The results WILL be skewed.

  38. Plant Immigration Rights Supporter:

    Here’s my question: How do I punish the Republicans, without rewarding the Democrats?

    There are far more fiscally frugal Republicans than there are Dems. Vote for, work for, and give money to the good ones but not the big spenders.

    The best resource for finding out what’s up vis a vis spending is the NTU. In general, congress folks who vote to spend less money earn higher ratings:

    http://www.ntu.org/main/

  39. “Here’s my question: How do I punish the Republicans, without rewarding the Democrats?

    It’s not like Cornyn’s opponent in November is going to be anti-farm subsidy.”

    Ford: “The people hate the lizards, and the lizards rule the people.”

    Arthur: “Then why do the people vote for the lizards?”

    Ford: “Because otherwise the wrong lizard might get in.”

  40. Bitchin off topic- But sometimes wonderful music can provide some relief from the ongoing tragedy of governments attacking liberty and prosperity. I just happened upon this and I don’t wanna wait till a Friday Fun link to share it.

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zyM11mytGZs

    My posted You Tube comments on the tune:

    “Wow! Thanks for posting this rare and crucial gem! This is the song that so impressed the Fun Boy Three and that gave serious impetus to Bananarama’s career. It’s an African tune. They were quite the rage for a while in the punk/New Wave scene. The gorgeous singing that the girls do on this tune first made clear they were a way out of the ordinary talent. I don’t wanna stop listening to it. “

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