Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Defund Obamacare? Let's Begin by Defunding the RNC

Tea Party in Boston Harbor

Those who are often called RINO's by conservatives and libertarians (and a few Libertarians) are, in fact, real Republicans.  They are the party, and not in name only.  Among the many things they have in common with Democrats (but for different reasons) is a visceral hatred of Tea Party conservatives and their allies. We are talking about 'establishment Republicans' -- who dance at the end of the RNC's [1] strings and those of the rent-seeking Chamber of Commerce and other business
Ted Cruz
.  But there is another class of Republicans who are reliably conservative.  Besides establishment and conservative Republicans, there are the not-altogether-predictable "swingers" whose principles yield to the pressure of political winds.  How can we isolate these factions within the Party without being long-winded or circumspect?

In my view, conservatives would benefit by creating a formal caucus in both houses of Congress.  Groups that would become both exclusive [2]  and highly visible in order to attract funding away from the National Committee. 

The Battle Between the Republican Establishment and Tea Party Libertarian/Conservatives Has Been Joined
The conflict between the Tea Party freshmen in congress is not news.  But until now, the establishment Republicans had mostly confined their opposition to to committee-stiffing and comments about "ideological rigidity" and various riffs on the general theme of  Tea Party "extremism".  There had been the McCain characterization as "Wacko-birds" and condescending comments by Rove-class talking heads and not a few Fox News staffers.  What is new is the declaration of open warfare by Mitch McConnell and the Republican donor-class against -- not Cruz, Lee and Paul, et.al., but conservative fund-raisers such as the Club For Growth (CFG) and the Senate Conservatives Fund (SCF).  It appears that the Ruling Class [3] Republicans -- not a few of whom fear primary challenges -- have lost patience with the conservative base, and have determined to cut off the head of the snake.  Or snakes!  Ah, there's the rub.

But how many snakes are there?  The CFG and SCF are the most visible, to be sure.  But there are many others.  They include various Tea Party organizations and innumerable ad hoc groups around the country.  If the snake analogy -- and its metaphorical trappings -- holds, we can argue that it's the ones not seen that are most dangerous.  I refer to thousands of unidentified (except by the IRS) individuals, who have turned away from the Republican party and contribute directly to conservative candidates in closely contested races [4].  We, if I may presume to include some of my readers, hide under logs and in deep grass.  We strike when we can at the legs of liberals, moderates and their RNC enablers.

As should already be clear, I have two purposes in this essay: the first is to encourage conservatives to by-pass the RNC and contribute directly to candidates (or indirectly through conservative groups) in order to persuade the Republican establishment -- both party consultants, operatives and members of the Congress -- that their interests might better be served by shifting their support from moderates to conservatives.  The party Ruling Class has now openly challenged conservatives, and it should our mission to convince them that they are making a serious error.  The second purpose is closely related to and in support of the first: to argue for the formation of a highly visible conservative caucus in each house of Congress.  This initiative to be in aid of attracting funds to members with proven fides and enticing moderates to discover the advantages of adhering to First Principles.

1.  The kindest thing I know to say about the Republican National Committee is they are "moderate", and they are risk-averse without having a clear understanding of risk.  They often back candidates that are all but indistinguishable from their Democrat opponents when good conservative candidates are in need of their financial support.  The general fecklessness of the RNC is countered by Jim DeMint's (formerly) Senate Conservatives Fund and various Tea Party Groups.  For House elections there are groups such as the Club for Growth and the House Conservatives Fund.   
2.  By exclusive I mean a membership committed to and bound by First Principles as a requirement for joining or remaining in the caucus.  There are many good conservative Republicans in the House of Representatives whose voting records are not widely known outside their constituencies; being associated with a predictably conservative caucus would give them recognition beyond their districts.
3.  Here, I refer readers, who may be unfamiliar with it, to Anthony Codevilla's important essay on the Ruling Class.
4.  A couple of remarks are called for.  First, although I advocate for shunting cash away from the party establishment directly to conservative candidates, I don't see it as a categorical imperative.  There may be perils, such as compromising the election of  "good", if not always reliable Republicans at the cost of congressional seats.  Secondly, it might serve further to invigorate the support of  corporatist rent-seekers, to whom McConnell and company are currently issuing appeals.

No comments:

Post a Comment