Friday, February 27, 2009

Why I am not a Republican

I had the good fortune to be interviewed yesterday by the Regular Guys at Q100 Atlanta.

I was there representing the Atlanta Tax Protest. There was a lady from Atlanta Tea Party as well.

Half way through the interview, she remarked that a statement by President Obama on taxes and spending was the equivalent of President Clinton's now-infamous statement about him, Ms. Lewinsky, and the stained blue dress. It was quite the cringe-making moment, but it also got me thinking.

It seems to me that a lot of the Republican party is obsessed with the last battle. President Clinton got elected twice, beat the rap, and is now traveling the world with his Canadian heiress. I've no doubt he's a scoundrel, but consider:

a. He's yesterday's news. Why keep harking back to him? All those battles have been fought, and he's not coming back. Bringing him up is a complete waste of energy.

b. President Clinton, through his assorted flacks, portrayed the Republican pary as a collection of sex-obsessed puritans. I know, I know, it was about perjury and suborning perjury, but in the minds of most people, it was about sex, and about Republicans hounding a man for getting a little trim.

c. Whatever President Obama may be, he doesn't strike me as a philanderer. Attempting to tar him with President Clinton's sins is a complete waste of time and effort.

Anyway, this anger, this rage at President Clinton is one of the most unattractive aspects of the Republican Party, and as long as Republicans keep bringing it up, that long will they deserve their minority status. That long will younger people look at them as old puritanical fogies, completely undeserving of respect or support.

What it keeps coming down to is that Republican rage over President Clinton keeps raising its ugly head, and every time it does, it stinks up the room.

Rather than re-fighting old battles, and re-opening old wounds, Republicans ought to be focused on the here-and-now, and the future.

Forget the sex-driven pogroms. Invest instead in Protest Babes. Don't throw values in my face when Newt Gingrich is still part of your organization. Don't talk to me about prayer in schools, I can pray well enough at home. Don't talk to me about Intelligent Design, unless you wish to scrap Occam's Razor and a thousand years of scientific progress. Rather, tell me how you'll stay out of my bedroom, out of my conscience, out of my science, and out of my damn wallet.

But Republicans can't do that. It's what they're about. Lower taxes are nice, but if they come wrapped in the poison pill of culture war, count me out.

And so, I am not a Republican.

All that said, please come to the Georgia State Capitol today at noon to protest our profligate Government. I'd be thoroughly jazzed to see a Democrat contingent.


  1. Patrick:

    At this time, the conservative coalition has three subgroups: the defense conservatives, the economic conservatives and the social conservatives. Even with all three of these groups joined together, we are a minority coalition. If any of these three subgroups wants to go it alone, they will be substantially WORSE than a minority coalition. They will be politically irrelevant, the equivalent of a shortstop who can't hit his own weight, and has no range to boot.

    If ideological purity is your main objective, then you probably have no problem being irrelevant. But I don't engage in the stinking nonsense of politics as an intellectual exercise. I engage in it because I want my agenda -- or at least part of my agenda -- enacted.

    Having part of your agenda enacted is preferrable to having NONE of your agenda enacted, which is the intolerable situation in which conservatives currently find themselves. Those who want to go it alone will find that they will have NONE of their agenda enacted in perpetuity.

    My recommendation is that you make peace with the social conservatives, even if it is only in your own head. (Personally, I'm not necessarily on board with everything they want, either.) The alternative is a succession of Obama-like charlatans ruling your children, your grandchildren, your great grandchildren and beyond.

    ---Tom Nally, New Orleans

  2. Thanks very much for those comments and distinctions.

    I can definitely see myself as a defense and economic conservative, but the social aspect leaves me cold.

    My visceral reaction to the latter is what keeps me outside, then. Well, so be it. I'll continue to be irrelevant, and you'll continue to lose elections.

  3. One other thing: I think it's possible to be a social conservative without continually harking back to President Clinton.

    I'm socially conservative. That said, I don't feel the need to force other peoples' kids to pray, nor do I feel the need to foist magic on them as a form of science. I don't care who's doing what to whom in bed, as long as everyone involved can consent and does. I don't care what substances people choose to put in their bodies.

    And to all this, I expecct reciprocity.

    Beyond all that, I think that part of getting your agenda enacted is to be forward-looking, and forward-thinking. This constant comment on am irrelevant former President does not serve social conservatives well. They lost the media battle at the time, and now it just looks like sour grapes.

  4. Stop being so dramatic. No one is forcing anyone to pray or even talking about forcing people to pray.

    The prayer in schools issue is that it is NOT allowed, not that anybody wants to force you to pray. But others should be allowed to pray, out loud without you telling them not to. The same way they are not going to tell you to pray, don't tell them they can't. Quite frankly I think this country could use a little more prayer.

    Just a reminder, the constiution does not say "separation of church and state", histporically the provisions made for religion were intended to prevent the government from forcing anyone to practice a particular religion. Good news- THEY DON'T, and never have

    Take God out of everything and see what you get....and that is where our country is now. Not too pretty is it?

  5. Sorry. Give me a sec.

    "Take God out of everything and see what you get...?" Read that, and then read the previous paragraph. Temporal logic is not your strong suit, right?

    Oh and the whole God reference


    Sorry. What was that you were saying, again?

    You Christofascists are as incoherent as you are angry for blood. Go chill for a few months in a sunny climate, with umberella drinks. Then call back.

    Thanks in advance.

  6. I'll stop being so dramatic when y'all get a little less fascist.

  7. "Lower taxes are nice, but if they come wrapped in the poison pill of culture war, count me out."

    The poison pill includes a large dose of government expansion, too.

    I am with you, Patrick. I am a conservative person, but I cannot abide the current state of the Republican party. The anonymous posters would do well to read 'Theodore Rex' or 'Team of Rivals'; these were Repuclicans I can identify with. Heck, Bush, Sr. was a decent Republican, IMHO.

  8. I'm not a republican and I was wondering if the civil war between the north and the south was still going on--obviously privately and years later. I live in Yankee territory and our problems are probably no different than the rest of the nation. I liked Clinton--the zero debt thing, and I disliked the 8 yr. Bush 3 trillion excuses and dollars regime. But, I do try to back the newest leader (sometimes a swing voter to get the best guy/girl into office). If I don't agree or get what I voted for, I still have to back the new president. And I will, and I did vote for Obama. So, according to the south, I love socialism and I love to feed those that don't try hard enough? Clue me in--the north is full of mexicans who refuse to speak any english but can get into the emergency room and get care faster than any white or black. So what's the beef? This has been going on for years and no one president-whatever political persuasion--can fix the problem. We really are not the melting pot we used to be primarily because the people coming into our beloved land do not want to be in the pot--they just want to use us. Now I really don't understand how or why that rally in Atlanta started or what it's purpose was, but for so many adults to inflame their small children in this awful affair is heinous. Terrible. So, I see all this as a huge lack of compromise for a new president who's only been in office-what?-37 days? Take a breath southerners, call Bush with your complaints. See if he can give you a few bucks from his millions.

  9. You lost me at the civil war thing.