Advertisement

At the Intersection of Faith and Culture

At the Intersection of Faith and Culture

Establishment Republican Hypocrisy

When, on March 13, a caller to Bill Bennett’s radio show charged the host with being unduly supportive of “establishment Republicans” over Tea Partiers, Bennett admitted that while he’s an admirer of the Tea Party, he would not endorse those of its candidates who, even if they won, would hurt the party.

Even if they won, they would hurt the party.

Bennett’s justification for not voting for Tea Party candidates—let’s call it the “No Harm” principle—is the justification to which all establishment Republicans resort for doing the same.  And, as far as I can determine, it seems cogent enough.  But here is the rub: what’s good for the establishment is just as good for the Tea Party.

In other words, it is rank hypocrisy for the Bill Bennetts of the GOP to castigate Tea Partiers (and libertarians) for being “purists,” say, when the latter invoke the No Harm principle against those establishment Republicans who they believe have been harming the party, and the conservative movement, for decades.

Advertisement

It is rank hypocrisy for establishment types to charge their brethren to their right—and make no mistakes, so-called Tea Partiers and libertarians are indeed more to the right than their accusers—of aiding and abetting Democrats.

You can bet the bank that Bennett, Bill Kristol, Michael Medved, Dennis Prager, Hugh Hewitt, and legions of others wouldn’t spare a moment to forfeit an election, any election, to a Democrat, any Democrat, if the only alternative was, say, Ron Paul or Pat Buchanan.  This isn’t just a hypothetical: It’s a matter of record that Bill Kristol once explicitly stated that he would vote for John Kerry over Buchanan.

A more telling example of this inconsistency on the part of establishment Republicans is New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.

Advertisement

Though he implored the attendees at the most recent Conservative Political Action Convention (CPAC) to set aside their differences and vote Republican, when Christie had an opportunity to advance Mitt Romney during the last presidential election cycle, he did nothing of the kind.  He formally endorsed Romney, it is true.  Yet, in effect, he pushed President Obama over the finish line by heaping endless praise upon him in the wake of Hurricane Sandy and insinuating that his prior endorsement of Romney was just a matter of “playing politics.”

There is yet more hypocrisy to be exposed.

The establishment types label their opponents “purists”—the implication being that they are reasonable and realistic while the Tea Partier types are unreasonable and naïve.  With one word, establishment apologists debase their rivals while elevating themselves.  But it is actually establishment Republicans, not Tea Partiers, who are the true purists.

Advertisement

To an incalculable extent, the GOP’s foreign policy under President Bush II damaged the Republican brand.  Poll after poll continues to show that the vast majority of Americans prefer, in the words of none other than presidential candidate Bush II, “a more humble foreign policy.”  Still, such establishment figures as John McCain and Lindsay Graham continue to feed into the worst caricatures of the war mongering Republican.  It is establishment Republicans who fuel the perception that they’re zealous purists, “extremists” and “one issue voters,” when they wax hysterical over just talk of reducing by a single red cent our tremendous defense budget.

Establishment Republicans are doubtless sincere when they claim to desire intraparty unity and, thus, a presidential candidate in 2016 that can bring this about.  However, the only “unity” for which establishment Republicans will settle is unity on their terms.

Advertisement

In practice what this means is that any candidate like, say, a Senator Rand Paul, who exhibits anything less than unadulterated enthusiasm for the foreign policy agenda for which Republicans have, to their great detriment, become known, will most definitely not receive support by the GOP machine.   Beyond this, much like Paul the Elder, they will be branded an “isolationist” and subjected to every conceivable smear.

When establishment Republicans acquiesce in the left’s agenda and Tea Party types complain, the reply with which they are invariably met is something like: “Remember, Republicans control only ‘one-half’ of ‘one-third’ of the government.”  The tone is clear: these pesky, naïve purists just can’t grasp political reality!  Well, maybe it is high time that establishment Republicans be forced to face a counter-reply.

Advertisement

Tea Partiers should remind the establishment that during past election cycles none of the candidates who they’ve catapulted to office ever instructed them on the nit and grit of the political realities on which they are now being lectured.  Furthermore, Tea Party voters should insist now, before the next election cycle, that every Republican running for office repeatedly caution voters against entertaining unrealistically high expectations, for regardless of what happens this November, a Democratic president promises to remain in the White House for at least the next two years.

Intra-party unity there will never be.  Intra-party clarity,  however, is less unattainable.

 

 

Previous Posts

The Fake Morality of Political Correctness vs. The Real Thing
That a senator from Vermont, a 74 year-old man who has spent his professional existence on the taxpayer’s dime and who is a self-avowed “socialist,” has managed to become an exceptionally popular Democrat presidential contestant is ...

posted 9:33:02am Apr. 29, 2016 | read full post »

Gary Johnson: A Free Trade Bernie Sanders?
Another insightful essay by guest blogger, Myron Pauli: I’ve never limited myself to Republican and Democratic nominees since I cast my first Presidential vote writing in Barry Goldwater in 1972. No regrets on rejecting the decent but ...

posted 9:37:46pm Apr. 21, 2016 | read full post »

Missing "Right-Wing Critics of American Conservatism"
George Hawley, a professor of political science at the University of Alabama, supplies an invaluable service to students of American politics with his recently published book, Right-Wing Critics of American Conservatism. All too rarely do we ...

posted 4:22:29pm Apr. 13, 2016 | read full post »

Groupthink in Academia
The Chronicle of Higher Education recently featured an article lamenting the lack of “diversity” in my discipline. Philosophy, so goes the article, just hasn’t been welcoming toward minorities and women. Thankfully, such enlightened ...

posted 9:50:04pm Apr. 08, 2016 | read full post »

Systemic Ideological Bias in Higher Ed
Among the variety of other topics that it explores, my book, The American Offensive: Dispatches from the Front, discusses at length the intellectual and moral corruption that pervades much of the humanities and liberal arts in the contemporary ...

posted 9:47:43pm Apr. 08, 2016 | read full post »

Advertisement


Report as Inappropriate

You are reporting this content because it violates the Terms of Service.

All reported content is logged for investigation.