Sunday, October 14, 2007

Open Letter to Redstate

I've not been around you folks for a while - at least as an active poster. I've lurked some, but no longer felt comfortable posting. That discomfort will remain for a LONG time.

But Erick's recent missive warrants a response. He wonders why there's a bit of disunity. Well, here's my perspective.

I'm generally right-of-center on a lot of issues. I am pro-life, and feel abortion should only be allowed in cases of rape, incest, or when the life of the mother is at risk. I like lower taxes. I support the traditional definition of marriage. I want judges who will show restraint, and not use their positions to make law.

So, why am I at this point, not with you folks? Because, quite frankly, since about September 2005, I have found myself suspicious at best of those who presently speak of conservatism, as well as its leadership. It was, in large part, driven by the Harriet Miers and immigration debates. It was not the disagreements, but it was the way they were pursued - largely the absolutism that reigned, plus a little bit of bad faith.

On Miers, I believe the bad faith was in trying to force the withdrawal of her nomination. In 2002, and 2004, the Democrats were rightfully upbraided and beaten because they were filibustering nominees and denying them up-or-down votes after hearings. The names Miguel Estrada and Janice Rogers Brown come to mind. Miers never got the hearings, or the up-or-down vote. And those who were saying she should got labeled on Redstate as "party hacks", while he held himself up as acting on principle. Well, you got Alito out of it, and that may have worked. At least for now.

The immigration debate, though, was worse. There, it really was the final straw for me. There is a big split between Wall Street Journal Republicans and the social conservatives on that issues. But it didn't help when the insinuations of treason started flying. And then it went beyond insinuations. What proof of treason was there beyond the fact that people disagreed with Paul J Cella's immigration position - even if it was for strategic/tactical reasons? And this is in the face of what I would call real treason, when the New York Times and Washington Post were blowing intelligence programs that are crucial parts of preventing the next 9/11.

Finally, to top it off, it failed. Just look at the 2006 mid-terms. The results are plain as day, when Nancy Pelosi is Speaker of the House. This was what the 2005-2006 conservatism did, and now it wants to call the shots, when it has shown highly questionable competence in a strategic sense. For all of Bush's faults, he was able to win two Presidential elections, and in 2002 and 2004, he delivered gains. And if one just compares the 2004 and 2006 exit polls, we can see how he did it. He managed to stay competitive among the various groups that Republicans weren't in 2006 (moderates, independents, and Hispanics, in particular).

In essence, you racked up three strikes of your own. Strike one, conservatives managed to look hypocritical on a signature issue that I agreed with you on (judges), and then got sanctimonious with those who disagreed. Strike two, conservatives viewed disagreement with them as treason, when the real thing was there for people to plainly see. Then, strike three, the conservatives' actions - in essence, you decided to bench George W. Bush as the play-caller, despite his electoral success - led to a shellacking at the polls.

Conservatives have managed to dig themselves quite a hole with their absolutism and strategic incompetence, and quite frankly, I have better things to do than to politically empower those who view me as a "party hack" who has sold his soul and/or a traitor to this country. In case you didn't notice, non-support or outright opposition is what happens when people do that sort of thing.

Now, you get to deal with the political landscape as it stands - a landscape that Redstate itself helped to create. I don't envy you. But, I have new endeavors on which I must focus - and, quite frankly, I've had the impression that you never really wanted my help.


Harold C. Hutchison


SJ Reidhead said...

What is wrong with these people? I saw something the other day that I'm saving to use over on The Pink Flamingo about conservatives who take the extreme position on immigration are actually embracing certain Marxist principles. It is a more elegant way of saying what I've been spouting that the right has gone so far right is heading left, and vice versa.

This said, I am wondering now if there is any hope for these people. What do people or a movement do when they have gone so far from what they once endorsed? Do they keep going so extreme that they then betray everything they once believed? I have a feeling this is what is happening to our 'Red Staters'.

I am afraid I am losing patience with these people to the point where if they cannot pledge to support a party with Ronald Reagan's 80% with them, then I just can't be bothered wasting my time with them. They are a lost cause, not worth it.

BTW - well said.
The Pink Flamingo

Detective John Kimble said...

You sure do like to bitch.

Ken Prescott said...

Johnnie, me boy, go away.

SallyVee said...

Harold, well said. I don't frequent Red State but you describe any number of Right Wing haunts.

You know what's funny... now that the consequences of the 3-year tantrum of hate and authoritarianism are beginning to show, the fit pitchers suddenly want you and me to shut up and pretend nothing happened! I'm getting this vibe from a number of places. What a pant load!

Aitch748 said...

I am well and truly DONE with the tantrum-throwers and have gotten a lot pickier about who I will read. I'll still read columns by the likes of Lorie Byrd and Michael Medved, but the comments are too often from the kind of angry people who believe -- really, truly believe -- that there is no difference whatsoever between Rudy Giuliani and Hillary Clinton. (I guess that shouldn't surprise me; these same people apparently couldn't distinguish Harriet Miers from Caligula's horse, either.)