Thursday, February 21, 2008

On Voting Republican

The inevitable retconning and justification has begun. Oh hold me down.

Gun-people are so used to being mistaken for a fireplug by the dogmatic that the GOP's vague hints that they look okay with a bag over our heads sounds like True Love to our battered ears. We forget how, time and again, Republican politicos depart in the morning mumbling about putting a check in our mouths (never happens) and do something icky in the mailbox on the way out.[1] Nope, we sigh happily and reminisce over how sweet Uncle Ronnie talked and how badly the Democrats beat on us. "It could be ever so much worse," our best soft-soap purveyors murmer.

Yes it could -- but it could be better, too. "What you reward, you get more of." The GOP appears poised to pick a Center-Left sort of Republican candidate, a Great Compromiser[2] who by his own words and deeds considers the First Amendment mere impedimentia from a dead past. You care to bet he won't treat the Second the same way if it suits his needs? Do you want the party that brought you Barry Goldwater to keep dredging up milksops -- yes, heroic, strong but neverthestill milksops -- like McCain? Go on rewarding it and they will. Give the Bill Of Rights a big ol' wet kiss for me, willya?

Me, I like all ten Amendments. Even when they mean creeps and freaks get to speak as they wish, they're good things (how better can you know the nasties than when they point themslves out, hey?) Even when the Bill of Rights means occasionally the guilty get away with stuff, I favor 'em -- an opinion at least a few of the Founders shared, pointing out that since justice cannot be perfect, the alternative was for the innocent to be punished.

The choice between Democrats and Republicans is the choice between the noose and slow poison and the "hold your nose and pick McCain"[3] school of thought takes comfort in at least having time to dash off a few more Letters To The Editor before the end. Buncombe! Look here:

1. Did gun owners emerge from the Clinton years stronger or weaker? Local gun shop called ol' Bill "their best battle rifle salesman ever."

2. There are more than two options. Yah, yah, the Libbytarians will never win, the Constitution Party is so stopped up they've gone cross-eyed and the Greens are way, way, way out there in Left field, chasing fly balls that don't exist. Well, none of them will ever get any more sensible as long as you continue to accept a Limberger ballot from the Left and Right halves of The Party Of Treason. TPOT is after your Constitution and your future; they want your freedom, "your life and your love of it." Why keep trading those essentials away, fast or slow, when you can turn things around instead?

Adult or two-year-old, freedom starts with a single word: "No." Tell "both parties" (of the six or seven or more) No! "Hold your nose and vote" is just a way to asphyxiate.

As for "I love my country more than I hate John McCain?" Yeah, I do love my country -- but like Mencken's "decent man,"[4] I'm ashamed of my government, and that's where that man's applying for a job. The country will continue just fine if a meteor wipes out all the candidiates from both sides of the Party Of Treason tomorrow. Probably better than fine.

At the primaries, I'll vote R but not for J--- McC---. Come the main event, I'll be voting Klingon -- and so should you. Anything but R or D. Please.

Remember, "Whatever you reward, you get more of." Don't reward them for handing you a guy who hates your freedom.
1. Or far worse -- I point to the Brady Conspiracy's Paul Helmke as Exhibit A. Guess which Party tucks him in at night with its agile trunk.
2. It's like this:
"There are two sides to every issue: one side is right and the other is wrong, but the middle is always evil. The man who is wrong still retains some respect for truth, if only by accepting the responsibility of choice. But the man in the middle is the knave who blanks out the truth in order to pretend that no choice or values exist, who is willing to sit out the course of any battle, willing to cash in on the blood of the innocent or to crawl on his belly to the guilty, who dispenses justice by condemning both the robber and the robbed to jail, who solves conflicts by ordering the thinker and the fool to meet each other halfway. In any compromise between food and poison, it is only death that can win. In any compromise between good and evil, it is only evil that can profit. In that transfusion of blood which drains the good to feed the evil, the compromiser is the transmitting rubber tube …" [Rand, Ayn: Galt's Speech, For the New Intellectual, 216; pb 173].
3. Or was it "Pick your...and hold...?" Oh, dear.
4. "Every decent man is ashamed of the government he lives under." Some other scuffler can find chapter and verse. You can't read too much Mencken.


Tam said...


(But then you already knew that, yes? :) )

Anonymous said...

Considering there's a Jedi church now, I'm sure there's room for a tlhIngan political party (that's Klingon to you non-geeks).

Roberta X said...

If they promised to test candiates with pain sticks, the tlhngans would get my vote!

As used here, "Klingon" is an obscure refernce to Kim du Toit's line, "If you vote Libertarian, you might as well be voting Klingon." Hey, fine with me, mister. Q'plah! (Or however one says it -- I took Kzinti for my alien language).

Tam said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Anonymous said...

Bravo, indeed!

Some of the people I truly respect are blogging and posting that we have to support McCain, because the only other choice is so much worse, or that a 3rd party vote is a vote for Clinton/Obama, or just 'throwing it away'.


IMHO, the best thing that could happen at this point (aside from football sized chunks of satellite taking out all three) would be for the Democrats to not only win, but win HUGE in the presidential election, and for the Republicans to gain seats in both the house and senate.

The grand ol' party needs to know that we're done 'falling in line' for candidates that suck.

Meanwhile, with a sizable group of senators and representatives playing gridlock over whatever imbecilic notions come out of the Whitehouse in the next 4 years, we can concentrate on finding a real Republican to run next go-round.

Mickey Mouse, General Chang, Lieutenant Dan... whatever.

breda said...

Gun-people are so used to being mistaken for a fireplug by the dogmatic

That, my friend, is a well-written thing of beauty.

Anonymous said...

I guess I'm just very confused by the whole thing...why do Republicans want people to vote for a Democrat? Is it just because there's an "R" behind the name?

I'm also very confused by what they hope to gain by winning the White House with McCain. At that point, all of the truly horrible Constitution-shredding legislation will then be signed by a...Republican president. Why not let the Democrats take the blame for it instead?

As for arguments about his Nine Old Ninnies appointments, I can just visualize him (as I suppress the gagging) "reaching across the aisle" to, oh, Senator Schumer or DiFi to "compromise" on a Supreme Court apppointment.

phlegmfatale said...

"The country will continue just fine if a meteor wipes out all the candidiates from both sides of the Party Of Treason tomorrow."

I was rather hoping for a fortuitous crash of that satellite-thingy.

Oh, I see chris thought the same thing...

SpeakerTweaker said...

Oh, wow. I'm linking up and posting to the stars on this one. That's good reading right there, sister.

Very nicely put. That " battle rifle salesman..." part is actually what hit it home for me, followed closely by "... just a way to asphyxiate."

Well done, ma'am. Well done.


GreatBlueWhale said...

I may disagree, but I don't care if you vote for a cross-eyed beagle as long as you don't stay home.

theirritablearchitect said...

"The country will continue just fine if a meteor wipes out all the candidiates from both sides of the Party Of Treason tomorrow.

Probably better than fine."

Yes, I couldn'e agree more, but...there are BUNCHES of people in this country who think that we just NEED government, in all kinds of forms, or us yokels will just not be able to function at all.

Why must we be forced to live with these pukes?

Anonymous said...

As near as I can tell, there's one big advantage to having McCain run.

That's the fun to be had the first time one of his supporters gets nailed for violating McCain-Feingold. Or even better, when one gets off for the same.

Anonymous said...

"I took Kzinti for my alien language." -Because pronunciation is SO much easier in Kzinti than say, Wookie (Wookish? Wookan?).

Anonymous said...

Naw, 'cos I already spoke a little Housecat and there are cognates between the two.

Jayson said...

I was going to vote "R", just because i know history, and any dude that promises vague "change" while people faint and gush over what charisma and oration skills he has reminds me of another guy that did the same thing int the '30s.

But you make good points. Nothing like Mencken, et al., to snap one's self into rational thought again.

*reverts to guy mode*
Women that know such things r teh hawt.

Anonymous said...

Rand was wrong. There are three sides to every issue: Party A's side, Party B's side, and the truth, usually somewhere in-between. To reject both extremes and seek a third path is not necessarily a bad thing.

Today, both major US parties are (almost) equally reprehensible because they offer only a choice between evils. McCain is certainly the lesser evil -- but the lesser evil is still evil. Essentially the Dems have nominated Cthulhu and the Repubs have nominated Sauron. Wow, what a great choice.

Anonymous said...

Rand was wrong. There are three sides to every issue: Party A's side, Party B's side, and the truth, usually somewhere in-between.

No, there is a right side and a wrong side -- unless you want to count all the many different ways of being wrong as "different" sides.

It is quite possible for Party A and Party B to both be wrong in different ways. But Party C, who seeks the "middle ground" between A and B just because it is the middle ground can _never_ be right expect purely by accident (something like a stopped clock is right twice a day).

Party A and Party B can both be "The man who is wrong [but] still retains some respect for truth, if only by accepting the responsibility of choice." while _both_ are wrong.

In some things there is _exactly_ one "right" answer. In most things there are _many_ "right" answers. But in _all_ things there are an infinite number of wrong answers.

Fletch said...

"Hold you nose and vote" is just a way to asphyxiate.



Anonymous said...


That was an excellent and sobering analysis of the situation. Our choice is indeed between the noose and slow poison. As for me, I'd rather the threat I can face head on, while my eyes are still young enough to get a good sight picture.

Don M said...

The next two years, new laws are going to be made by the Congress that gets elected, and will, or will not be signed by the President. 2/3rds of the Senate is a hold over from the last 4 years. It will change less than the House.

What laws do you think McCain will veto/refuse to sign? What laws will Obama veto/refuse to sign? What is the difference. If McCain doesn't get elected, that difference is what you are demanding. Where they are both wrong, they are both wrong.

If you don't like McCain, then vote with your wallet, and support CONSERVATIVE Congress critters. If you don't like yours, send your money to another who you like better.

Ann Coulter suggests the reason why we get the media picking our candidates is because there is not enough being given to fund conservative candidates. If you can, fix that. Conservatives are at a disadvantage, because they would rather not collect money from government corruption/rent seeking. Collectivists think of that as a feature of government that they enjoy exploiting.

Don M said...

I moved from Tx to CA in 2002. The difference is the two is: There are NO battle rifles being sold in CA. 10 round magazine limit.

Roberta X said...

Don, as long as everyone pretends those two are our only choices, that's all we're going to have.

It is my opinion that in terms of actual possible vetos on anti-gun laws, there's no difference between John McCain and Barack Obama: neither man would veto anything. Hillary Clintn, ditto.

Come the main event, I'll vote for the candiate closests to my own views. He or she won't be a member of ether wing of the Party of Treason.

Real change comes one vote at a time.

perlhaqr said...

They only hit us because they love us. It means they care.

perlhaqr said...

As used here, "Klingon" is an obscure refernce to Kim du Toit's line, "If you vote Libertarian, you might as well be voting Klingon."

I'd rather vote Klingon than Thrintun.

Sebastian said...

"Did gun owners emerge from the Clinton years stronger or weaker? Local gun shop called ol' Bill 'their best battle rifle salesman ever.'"

We emerged from the Clinton years more unified, but we had suffered some very serious political defeats, only a few of which we've rid ourselves of in the mean time, and we only did that because the 1994 Assault Weapons Ban had a built in time bomb to blow it up in 10 years. We're still stuck with the Brady Act, the parts of the Crime Bill that cover armor piercing ammunition, Lautenberg ammendments to GCA 68 to add misdemeanor "domestic violence" retroactively to the prohibited persons list. Lawsuits by HUD against gun manufacturers. The Smith & Wesson deal. And that's not even counting how Breyer and Ginsburg are likely to vote in Heller.

That was also heavily mitigated by the turnaround in Congress in 1994, which likely spared us the horror of Brady II. Something we can't count on to happen in 2010.

SpeakerTweaker said...

Hey, Don? Forgive me, being a Lone Star Stater myself, for expressing discourse over your comparison of TX to CA.

I still haven't seen microstamping come up in Austin.

Oh, and how's the Governator these days?


Anonymous said...

No, don't vote Klingon,


(Ya know, one of these days I oughta learn them there taggy things)

"Mad Mike for World Dictator in 2008!
Join the fight! Stop the Stupid!
Vote evil and be proud!"

Farm.Dad said...

I honestly suspect i will set this election out . No canadate on either side of the isle stands out , and tho i will draw flack i suspect gunowner rights will be better served by a dem than by mccain ( at least with a dem we can get some party line opposition ). Now admittedly over the years my party affiliation has been fickle. I have been independent ( my normal state ) republican , and even once lobbied for office as a democrat ( i did come to my senses tho on the elected office issue, and thank god for that one voter at caucus who swung it the other way lol ) .
My sole point is that my duty as a voter is to vote my conscience and for the way this election shapes up my conscience says i cannot give anyone on the ballot(s) my nod to lead our nation.

Roberta X said...

Fair enough, Farm Dad -- but don't forget the other parties, come Fall. Sure, they are highly unlikely to win; but the Big Two do notice what those little guys are talking about when they grab a share of the vote. The results of the 1928 Presidental race (which see) are one reason why the Democrats went socialist.

If you were going to sit it out and you happen to find a third-party entrant you can vote for, why not pull the ol' lever?

Farm.Dad said...

Good point , however Paul is likely to be the " viable " 3rd party candidate and i just cannot do that for a lot of reasons ... that leaves Nader of the ones i know of and again my responsibility interferes . I have voted every election since 78 and yes i voted GWB twice . Not that i agree with him on every issue , or even a lot as of today , however i felt and feel that the man is trying to do his best for the usa . He may be wrong on a lot , but he does not convene a poll to make a stance . He does his best , and besides i remember when Regan was the " worst president we ever had " too . The point imho is that as a potus there is NO canidate as of today that i can cast a vote for , other than maby Snoopy as a write inn . Rest assured i will vote , if only for local races but i may well set out the national . My non vote carrys weight too since i will be one of the folk from either side of the isle who " stayed home in droves " for the national election .

Roberta X said...

Indeed, not voting shows up, too.

I do want to differentiate between a candiate that is likely to win and one a person feels they can vote for.

Even when ho or she cannot win, voting for the candidate who is the best fit to your ideals sends a clearer message than abstaining. Social conservatives, for instance, might choose to vote for the Constitution Party's guy in order to communicate to the GOP that it has moved too far away from their views. Wild-eyed freedom types like me might pick Ron Paul; I'm not very happy with him on a number of issues but my vote will send a clear message to his nominal party.

And I suppose screamin' morons across the aisle can vote for-- Ahem. Almost broke my own rule there.

JT said...

The bummer part is, so far RP has sworn up and down that he won't run as a third-party candidate should he not win the GOP nomination. I kinda want him to keep his word, that way my uber-GOP friend who hates RP will be proven wrong, but I kinda want him to break it and give me someone to vote for in November.

Jay.Mac said...

I find it astonishing that gun owners/conservatives will not vote for McCain in the hope that it will somehow teach the Republican party a lesson. Sure, he's an awful candidate with a lousy attitude and a less than stellar record- but do you really think that you can somehow get real conservatives into Congress during the next four years to counterbalance an Obama or Clinton presidency? That sounds like it's taking a huge gamble with America. Not to mention a tactic that will put an even greater foe than the one you're complaining about into power. Why put a Democrat into office because the candidate before you isn't sufficiently conservative? You don't like McCain enough to elect him but you're happy to see an Obama win because of it? I really don't get the reasoning.

Don't forget, McCain is leading in the Republican primary right now- which means Republicans are voting for him.

Do you really expect those self-same people to elect real conservatives, real friends to gun owners, to Congress?

Think about the very real possibility of Obama in the White House and, for example, HR 1022 in a Dem-led Congress: seems to me that you'd be better served fighting Obama or Clinton tooth and nail now- and, yes, holding your nose to vote for McCain- rather than handing Democrats the keys to the White House.

Conservatives have been able to shift opinion on the Amnesty deal in the past- but to pout and not vote, or to vote for someone with no chance of ever winning, in order to teach a lesson is nothing short of self-destructive.

Seems like a better plan would be to vote for the lesser of two evils and then scream until you're throats are raw about everything you don't like- at least you'll be working from a position of greater strength. Think Obama's going to give a damn that conservative voters are upset over his latest plan to ban semi-automatic weapons, pass an illegal alien amnesty, to give aid to Hamas or to talk to Iran or throw the sacrifice of US troops in Iraq away by bringing them home when the surge is working?

It's not going to happen- the only chance conservatives or gun owners have is if a Republican is in the White House. At least then the leadership might listen to what you have to say. Obama or Clinton certainly won't.

Mitt Romney said he was stepping aside and not drawing out the contest unnecessarily because that was in America's best interests, especially when there's a war on. I think he was right- put it this way, how many laws can a Dem like Obama (the most liberal Senator) pass? You think that maybe "four years in the wilderness" will teach Washington a lesson- all I can see is four years to pass a lot of laws that will in all probability stay on the books. HR 1022, as far as I can tell, has no sunset- and it's incredibly more far-reaching than the original AWB. Been a while since I heard of a new Congress un-doing what the previous one had done.

Not to mention how many judges he might appoint. Put it this way- is liberal Obama going to appoint judges you like more or less than moderate McCain? Now tell me why you're willing to rate that as less important than teaching the GOP a lesson- in the long run, which is going to have a greater impact on America and generations to come?

I'll say it one more time- the Republican Party leadership didn't foist McCain on anyone, more Republicans voted for him in the primaries than anyone else. By not voting for him you won't be teaching the Party anything, or Washington anything, you'll just be letting Obama or Clinton win.

That's what this all comes down to- four or eight years of a far-left liberal in the White House with your only slim hope that you might, just might, be able to elect a Republican majority to Congress.

Personally, I can't see how helping to let Obama win (the end effect of not voting for McCain) is going to be good for conservatives or gun-owners or even America. I can understand the impulse, don't get me wrong, but there are consequences for your actions and I really don't get how an Obama or Clinton presidency benefits gun owners or conservatives or America in any way, shape or form.

You want to change the GOP, get out and start doing it right now- but why sacrifice the nation for four years to the likes of Obama at the same time? That isn't going to help any- especially not gun owners. You'll be replacing a not-great candidate with a terrible one; by your own definition. How, exactly, does this benefit you?

To paraphrase Clayton Cramer- why worry about what McCain might do more than what you know Obama/Clinton will do?

Anonymous said...

Better an overt villian than a sell-out.

I'm not electing him.

Anonymous said...


While statements about McCain being less vile than Obama do ring true, I really think that the only long term solution is to get a new party into the competition.

What worries me in the short term is mostly what happens when there is a Democrat in office, and they decide the Surrender First crowd is important to bow to. A lot of good soldiers will likely get killed in the resulting rout ordered from the Oval Office. At the same time, I am asking myself what are they fighting for, if McCain is the leader we are electing.

So I find myself torn between biting my thumb at the Republicans now, or holding my breath until we no longer are likely to to lose our nation's finest because the sorts of folks that brought us defeat in Vietnam want a redux.

Still, I greatly enjoyed the essay. It is rare that folks point out that the lesser evil is still plenty evil, and only by making a stand will things change.

Eric Hammer