Wednesday, July 6, 2011

Hammer's Favorite Country Clubber Shoots the Tea Party in the Face

I came across this David Brooks editorial on Facebook, where Hammer posted it, closing with "what an ass-wipe".  And while Mr. Brooks has disappointed me in the past now and then, I must depart company with my Facebook pal Hammer and applaud Mr. Brooks on this one.

Brooks has painted an unflattering portrait of the Tea Partiers, one they have earned in spades.  They are becoming what Don Rumsfeld used to call the insurgents in Baghdad--"Dead-enders", folks who have no desire to negotiate, no ability to recognize incremental (and sizable) attainment of long sought after goals.  The Tea Party is increasingly coming to mirror ideological libertarianism, interesting stuff to talk about in a dorm room but utterly incapable of serving as an actual approach to governing in anything but an autocracy.

As inconvenient as it is for Hammer and others, we live in a Democracy in which a sizable MAJORITY of the American public disagrees with the ideology of the Tea Party.  Not a plurality, a MAJORITY.  Not that there aren't wonderfully inspiring elements in that ideology, elements which have already shaped the debate in positive ways bound to put a spring in the step of any conservative.  Far too many people disagree with far too much of what the Tea Party represents for its approach to be adopted in toto.  Like "useful" libertarianism, Tea Party ideas will alloy with "country club" Republican ideas to form governing approaches that appeal to the "muddled middle", those who thought Mr. Obama gave a good speech but who now wonder whether there was any there, there.  This alloyed Republican Party will be stronger and more successful at the ballot box than any singular Country Club or Tea Party approach would produce.

My advice to the Tea Party Dead-enders?  Win first, then get cocky about your ideology.   And by win, I mean win a big policy debate. And win it within the system, the system of public debate and legislative compromise. Join with the dreaded "Country Clubbers" to dramatically reduce the scope and whim of government.  Show the American people what a new and idea-brimming Republican Party is all about.  Take back the Senate.  Defeat Barack Obama.   Once we've reached this point, well then if the Tea Party wants to conduct a Stalinist purge of the David Brooks/Bryan McGrath wing of the party, so be it.  I'll accept my fate. 

UPDATE--here's a good interview with David Brooks from The Daily Caller in which he 'splains himself.  Pretty straightforward stuff, from where I sit.


"The Hammer" said...

Glad to see you took the bait.

Ok CW here's the deal. I'm not exactly sure what the Tea Party's ideology is except they're against deficit spending to the point of bankruptcy. At some point the wild, out of control spending frenzy the Dems have been on for two years has to stop. Somebody at some stage has to say no. Now you may call that ideological intransigence but what would you call the other side? They want more of the same!

The Conservative Wahoo said...

As Brooks says--6 to 1 in favor of spending cuts to revenue increases/tax increases is a margin we ought to be happy with. Why? Because it gets us the 6.

Sally said...

I love you man, but the disdain in your tone whenever you write about the Tea Party always disappoints me. Rather than shun them disapprovingly, wouldn't it be wiser if the GOP found a way to harness their energy? I find aspects of the crowd bothersome too, but at the same time I'm damn grateful to the whole movement for the attention they've brought to spending issues.

The Conservative Wahoo said...

But much of their energy is (to my mind) destructive of larger political ends. I too am pleased that they brought attention to the spending issues, but their inability to talk about or even consider political compromise makes me believe they'll always be a fringe. They were a powerful fringe in the last election, but a fringe nonetheless. I want their energy for spending discipline--hell yeah. But not at the price of "all or nothing". I remain a pragmatic political animal, and as Brooks points out--we all ought to be tickled pink with 6:1 ratio.

"The Hammer" said...

Nice comment Sally.

As for you CW, how much is enough? The bottom half of wage earners pay zip in federal tax while the top pays a ridiculous percentage of all revenue collected. The Dems always want very high rates with lots of loopholes and deductions because therein lies their power. So if they raise the rate for high income folks do you think they'll allow some of their biggest contributors to be hurt? Of course not. It'll be a tax increase for everyone but rich Democrats.

That was the beauty of Reagan's tax cuts; across the board reductions and all the crap taken out of the code. As a result we got prosperity and a fat treasury.

Raising taxes on anybody right now is a bad idea. Reform the tax code and cut spending, that should be their priority.

The Conservative Wahoo said...

How much is enough? How bout 6 to 1? I continue to think that's a good place to go, and then go no farther.

As for your statement "So if they raise the rate for high income folks do you think they'll allow some of their biggest contributors to be hurt?" I honestly believe the answer is yes--they will allow their greatest contributors to be hurt--because that's what they want.

JumboHC said...

So CW, let me understand clearly. If the number had been 5 to 1, that would not have been adequate, and 7 to 1 we should decline as too generous? Sometimes compromise is not useful. What sort of compromise would you have recommended to the Continental Congress when considering independance? Give 11 states independance and if two remain with the king, we should be happy for what we get?

"The Hammer" said...

CW just will not get it into his pretty little head that to the extent we have a revenue problem, it is a result of unemployment brought on by (among other things) out of control spending and bad regulation.

CW, we have got to get spending and debt under control NOW! Taking even more money out of the pockets of our most productive is counterproductive. And for pure political reasons, this is one fight Obama & Co. MUST lose. Compromise now and '12 is over.

What I would do is offer this; I'll give you a 5% surtax on your God-damned private jet folks, but I want free reign over the tax code and spending cuts for as long as the surtax is in effect. I'm sure they'd go for it.

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