Three Men in a Small Boat

A Modern Parable

Three men are in a small boat far from shore. The boat is being circled by hungry sharks boatwhen it suddenly springs a leak. Two of the men start desperately trying to fix the leak and bail out the boat, but the third man starts examining the tools, and complaining about the quality of the bucket.

That’s pretty much where we find ourselves in this election cycle.

There are two lousy candidates running for President (and two minor candidates who are a complete waste of time and attention as they’re an irrelevant sideshow). One of those two is going to be elected President. That person will be deciding who to nominate to replace Scalia on the Supreme Court (SCOTUS), possibly THE most important decision a President can make, because the effect of that decision can last for decades. That President will most likely be appointing one, and possibly two, more within a pretty short period.

Trump has promised to replace Scalia with a nominee of like kind, and has released a list of very appealing candidates. Clinton has very publicly stated that she thinks the Citizens United (First Amendment) and Heller (Second Amendment) rulings should be reversed.

That issue alone makes the choice a very easy one. One candidate will do his best to nominate SCOTUS Justices who will work to preserve our constitutional rights; the other will try her hardest to sink those same rights.

It’s an easy choice for any conservative to make. As repulsive as Trump is, Clinton is worse by orders of magnitude. And we have a ship of state to save!

Oh, but wait…!

The NeverTrump people are much more concerned with preserving their own conservative “purity”, and won’t vote for Trump. The quality of the bucket… or candidate… is belowboat2 their standard of acceptability. They absolutely REFUSE to compromise their “integrity” by deigning to use such low-quality tools. For them, it’s nobler to let the damned boat… or country… sink than to soil their hands with such demeaning material.

They fail to recognize, or accept, that when the boat goes down those hungry sharks are going to gobble them up right along with the guys who tried desperately to keep the boat afloat.

Because the sharks don’t care.

©Brian Baker 2016

 

(Also published today in my local newspaper, The Signal)

 

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Confessions Of A Member Of The “Far-Right Fringe”

I confess.

I believe in God, and I’m a Christian. I believe in the Second Amendment as the Founders meant it, and that as a law-abiding citizen I’m a member of the “militia” as defined under the US Code Title 10. I love guns; I own guns, including “assault weapons”; I shoot my guns regularly. I’m a veteran. I’m against granting amnesty, under whatever name, to illegal aliens. I think abortion is wrong, and is not solely just “a woman’s right to choose”. I consider myself a member of the Tea Party.

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STRAC in ’69

Guilty as charged. Mea culpa.

And because of my views and beliefs, I’ve been castigated and excoriated by Democrats and their fellow socialists in this country for decades. It’s reached the point where if I state my views and I don’t hear insults in return, I have to wonder if I’m actually speaking clearly, or have made some other mistake in communication. Did I garble my sentences? Speak in tongues? Have a “cerebral incident”? What?

My political opponents on the Left have called me a “radical”, a reactionary, a fanatic, a zealot, an “extremist”… and that’s when they’re in a good mood and feeling polite. Early in his first term Commissar Obama’s Homeland Security chief Janet Napolitano branded small-government gun-owning veterans who are pro-life (that would be me) “potential terrorists”.

All well and good. The sun is in the sky and things are right with the world.

But wait! What’s that I hear?

Why… the same criticisms coming at me from my other flank! Power players in the Republican Party seem to have gulped the Democrat Kool-Aid and decided that we people who believe in these principles actually are part of the political “fringe”! Hold on a sec… aren’t these the exact same principles the GOP claims to represent?

roveWell, according to Karl Rove, among others in the Establishment GOP, apparently not. It seems that actual principles are okay, as long as they don’t interfere with just winning elections, and those who actually believe that elections are about advancing actual principles really are members of the extremist “fringe”, an inconvenient group that must be ignored if not outright shunned.We saw it in practice after the 2010 election, when new House Speaker John Boehner completely marginalized the Tea Party-backed conservatives who were newly elected to their seats in the House, giving the GOP the majority status there. “Thank you, now go sit in the corner and shut up” was the message then.

Rove and his cohorts have formalized that message with the formation of a couple of PACs (Link) whose goal will be to influence elections, starting with the primary process, with the aim of having “the most electable” candidates win. The problem is, of course, what their definition of “electable” means.

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Crist’s Commissar clinch

Rove and the others are the same people who backed Bush’s two attempts at amnesty for illegal aliens; who backed Bush’s TARP and “bailout”, as well as his expansion of Medicare; who are now talking about “sensible, common sense” gun control; who supported Charlie Crist (who later defected to the Democrats) over Marco Rubio; who backed Arlen Specter (who also later defected to the Dems) over Toomey; and who constantly and reliably disparage the Tea Party and other traditionally conservative factions of the electorate.

In other words, these are the self-anointed geniuses who regularly spit in the eyes of what would reasonably be considered their “base” – the very voters they actually need in order to win – and then turn around and scratch their heads and wonder why they end up losing elections, especially at the national level.

One of Rove’s group’s goals is to “… protect Senate incumbents from challenges by far-right conservatives and Tea Party enthusiasts who Republican leaders worry could complicate the party’s efforts to win control of the Senate.” In other words, party uber alles, principles be damned.

But what does that really mean? Abandoning core principles the GOP has traditionally claimed to represent, in the hopes of stealing some of the Democrats’ reliable base? Then what’s the point, if all they want to be is a modified form of Democrat, the Dem-Lite Party? Why would anyone vote for them at all? And why are they intent – whether by design or not – on redefining the political spectrum leftward? And how did the Tea Party – whose main issues are fiscal prudence and limited power in government – become defined as “far right”? Isn’t that a fundamental principle, and “centrist” by definition?

Rove, Boehner, and the rest of the Establishment GOP hacks are exactly the reason why in 2008, when the GOP nominated that idiot McCain, I quit my GOP registration of almost 40 years and re-registered as an Independent. I’d had a bellyful of that party of clowns who didn’t care one bit about principles. Their entire raison d’être is simply to “win” elections, though they’ve completely lost any sense of purpose as to WHY that win could actually be important as anything other than a simple power grab.

A  complete disconnect from any sense of real purpose or underlying ideology or philosophy, coupled with an uncanny ability to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory, all wrapped in a cloak of sanctimony and hypocrisy.

© Brian Baker 2013

Phew! We Didn’t Fall Off The “Fiscal Cliff”!!!

Um… wow… I’m so relieved, I’m sure. The world has been saved from a return to the Dark Ages.

Or not.

I’m sick to death of hearing about the ginned-up non-emergency of the “fiscal cliff”. As a matter of fact, the term tops the annual list published by Lake Superior State University of words that should be “Banished from the Queen’s English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness” ( Link ).

I read an article today ( here ) entitled “How Much Should We Really Fear the Next Budget Fight?”

And my reaction was: We shouldn’t FEAR it at all. We conservatives should WELCOME it as an opportunity to take this battle to where it needs to be: about profligate and insane SPENDING. No country in history ever taxed and spent its way to prosperity. We’re squandering the next couple of generations’ inheritance and chance at prosperity, and dooming them to poverty and government dependency, AT BEST.

Is that what “the land of the free and the home of the brave” is supposed to mean? The populace chained to and enslaved by the government’s dependency plantation, slaves to whatever “largesse” our government masters deign to let us keep of our own earnings?

fiscal cliff bipartisanReally? THIS is what we fought a Revolution for? To trade in a tyrannical King George for a tyrannical Commissar Obama and Slavemaster Reid, aided and abetted by Quislings Boehner and McConnell?

I say no! By God, I hope not!

© Brian Baker 2013