Has the Republican Establishment Sat Too Long for Any Good It Is Doing?

Doug Brady’s post today on Mark Levin to Karl Rove: “Get the hell off the stage already, will you pal” captures the mutinous spirit among conservatives in the aftermath of the election.

Conservatives place Obama at the bottom of the rankings of U.S. Presidents, and are unbelieving at the failure of the Republican Party to educate a majority of the American people about the disasters we face. Health care, Benghazi and the Mid-East, energy, regulatory policy –all went mushy and unfocused.

Conservatives could take it, albeit sadly, if the case for limited and non-intrusive government, free markets, low and simplified taxes, and fiscal responsibility had been made strongly and still lost. They could also take it, grudgingly, if tactical considerations that dictated that these core values be muted and that Sarah Palin and the Tea Parties treated as non-persons had led to electoral victory.

What is intolerable is an establishment that was both unprincipled and incompetent, that decided to mute core values and the spent millions of dollars on ads without an understanding of the Obamanauts’ focus on suppressing Republican votes in the swing states, followed by the revelations about the disasters of the supposedly high-tech election-day GOTV operation.

Andrew McCarthy has a long piece on the Republican establishment today, Time To Move on from the GOP?. He puts the issues in the context of the elections for the congressional leadership:

Today is a monumentally important day that is being treated as a fait accompli by the Beltway ruling class and its partners, the legacy media. This morning, the Congress is scheduled to select its leaders for the coming session. If all goes according to plan, Republicans will double down on stupid – ignoring the conservatives who gave them control of the House and reappointing the same leadership team that turned the triumph of 2010 into the disaster of 2012.

[NB – As this is written, the results are not yet final.]

McCarthy concludes:

By reappointing Boehner and his leadership colleagues today, Republicans are telling us that their answer to failure is more of the same. They have a right to make that choice, but there is no reason why Americans who are serious about our challenges should follow along. The Republican establishment is content with more government, more debt, and more entanglement with our enemies. When called on it, they tell us they are powerless to stem the tide. But the problem is the lack of will and a sense of urgency, not lack of power. It is time to find a new vehicle to lead the cause of limited, fiscally responsible, constitutional government. The Republicans are telling us they are unwilling to be that vehicle. If that is the case, it is time to move on.

Perhaps McCarthy should quote Oliver Cromwell. In 1653, during the great English Revolution that temporarily replaced the monarchy with a Parliamentary government and then a Protectorate, Cromwell told the dithering legislators:

You have sat too long for any good you have been doing lately … Depart, I say; and let us have done with you. In the name of God, go!

A fuller description of the incident is quoted in Wikipedia, from  Thomas Salmon’s Chronological Historian (London, 1723, 106):

[Cromwell] commanded the Speaker to leave the Chair, and told them they had sat long enough, unless they had done more good, crying out You are no longer a Parliament, I say you are no Parliament. He told Sir Henry Vane he was a Jugler [sic]; Henry Martin and Sir Peter Wentworth, that they were Whoremasters; Thomas Chaloner, he was a Drunkard; and Allen the Goldsmith that he cheated the Publick: Then he bid one of his Soldiers take away that Fool’s Bauble the mace and Thomas Harrison pulled the Speaker of the Chair; and in short Cromwell having turned them all out of the House, lock’d up the Doors and returned to Whitehall.

Sounds like a good description of contemporary Washington, home of seven of the nation’s 10 richest counties.


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  • felizarte

    In order to come up with the correct solutions, one must first correctly analyze the problem or point to the culprits of the debacle.  Boehner does not deserve the entire blame.  I think it is important to know who are "the establishment" of the GOP in order to ascribe correctly, the blame, if any.  In another thread, I posted the following:

     "I have stated from the outset that the Bush family network would rather see Obama win again and preserve 2016 for one of their own–Jeb or now I think, Prescrott.  Had Romney won, it is almost a certainty that he would run for reelection, thus preclude 2016 for any other GOPer.  The Bush family has always considered Sarah Palin as their main threat.  Therefore, the continuous vilification beginning with Barbara Bush’s "I hope she stays in Alaska always."  And Jeb Bush would occasionally make statements that seem to favor or promote Romney, but it was only to camouflage their real strategy.  So one might go as far as saying that Karl Rove’s 300 million from Crossroads as some kind of insurance policy or bribe for Romney not to let Sarah anywhere near the GOP convention to rally her base for Romney because that would have insured Romney’s election.  I believe that Karl Rove is first and foremost, a Bush family loyalist masquerading as a consultant/pundit/ etc. I wonder if the GOP would ever develop some smarts in dealing with the likes of Obama and their own Bush dynasty and Mr. Rove."
    Sarah Palin is the answer to the correct analysis of the problem for the GOP that none in the "Establishmnet" would dare to think or say out loud.  Sarah is of the people, and for the people.  She has been severely mistreated by those who have been mistreating the people by definition.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_LKQGRU7JB5DLICZUYOBSLPZM7M Ed from justice

      I wish I had a way with words like you do, but this is exactly what I have been saying for the past 4 years.  Bush wanted Obama to win because he hated McCain and when Sarah came along, that just capped it off.  I will never forgive Barbara for ripping on Sarah after all Sarah had done for the GWB.

      • felizarte

        Until the last week of the campaign, I expected Romney to call on Sarah’s help in galvanizing her base to support him.  I thought at first that Romney was just being smart e not to alert the "establishment people" who basically ran his campaign and he would bring in Sarah late so that the vilification would not have that much of an impact.  But I was wrong.  Even when Sarah was noble enough to articulate her support on Facebook and with her financial contribution, those apparently were not enough to put some sense in Romney.  Although I still voted for Romney, I was convinced that based on his inability to stand up to the "establishment" of the GOP, the he probably would not have enough backbone to stand up to the establishment overall.  On the other hand, it is also possible that eventually, the establishment did not consider Romney as reliable enough to "protect" their interests because Romney seems to abide by a stricter standard of ethics.  Romney probably has not done anything that would have made him eligible for membership in the "club of thieves". I am so sad that the country would have to endure another four years of Obama.

        Ron Paul, in his farewell address lamented "the failure of the constitution."  I disagree.  It is the people who have failed the constitution.  We have failed to protect it from elements who would erode the spirit of it.  

  • RebinTexas

    Thanks for the post James – I’ve read Andrew’s article at pj media – and believe it is so good that it deserves its own block here at C4P………….and I strongly urge everyone here to take the time to read it……

  • Shane Ladd

    Boehner is just another Beltway barnacle. The GOP is a sick joke, except for a few good members who still seem unwilling to rebel & make changes. What good are they? The Left is ascendant, probably for a long time.

  • Azarkhan

    "Reagan is a conservative, an extreme conservative. All the dummies and blockheads are with him."
    George H.W. Bush, quoted in The Ruling Class by Angelo M. Codevilla

  • Aitch748

    Yes, the Republican establishment is useless. Previously the problem was that they wouldn’t do anything to rein in government spending even after they were elected; now the problem is that they can’t even get elected. But as long as campaign consultants are getting rich off GOP candidates, I guess that’s all that matters. /sarc

    Either a credible alternative to the GOP arises, or America will turn into Greece. Hell, it could already be too late to stop that from happening.

  • Argus_C4P

    I keep wondering if there will ever come a day when the leftwing fools realize that they sold out the most powerful nation on earth for cell phones and food stamps.
    The modern day version of 30 pieces of silver.

  • John_Frank

    James, thanks for bringing Mr. McCarthy’s article to our attention.


  • RedDaveR

    Thank you for this article.  Mc Carthy nails it.

  • smbren

    Good piece. As someone approaching 60 years of age, I can assure you that the republican party has always been like it is today. Run by the establishment and pushing out conservatives every chance they get. The moderates were cringing just as much as the left when Reagan was in office. The Tea Party is our best bet at this point. Never has there been an organization that has come close. The work now though will be harder than anything we have ever experienced.

    With the new entitlement society, the democrat party is pushing even the moderates out at this point. There are nary any moderate dem’s anymore. Basically the republican party is in the worse shape it has ever been.

    I always think long term, not the present. I look at it this way: Say you were ten years old when Obama was elected, not very political at that age. By the time you vote at 18 after his second term, your formative years have been accustomed to what we have now. A POTUS that is concerned with social programs, class warfare. He holds press conferences when he wants to, avoids scandal, and spends most of his time speaking through Hollywood, comedy shows, and his yearly super bowl message. That 18 year old will have nothing else he can remember to compare it to, so therein lies the problem.

  • Hipparchia

    Yes, the Republican "establishment" has held power for too long and is now ineffectual.  What is needed is new leadership, especially in Congress.   Time for Boehner and McConnell to transition into senior advisory positions, and for the public to see some fresh Republican faces.  

  • Guest

    Thanks James…

    good article by Mr. McCarthy.

  • wodiej

    Republican voters had a choice in Gov. Palin and then Speaker Gingrich.  But they chose what the establishment told them was a "safe" bet.  The liberals did a Saul Alinsky on them w Palin and then Gingrich. And after they settled on Romney, they did it to him too.  If there are that many voters in the Republican party who don’t understand the need for Tea Party principles, who don’t have the sense to know when they are being snookered, then we are going to have to start a 3rd party.  People like Rove are never going to succumb to it.  After all he was the "architect" for Bush another big spending Republican.  

    Another issue is the money.  Superpacs should be done away with.  This prevents people like Palin and Gingrich from really having a chance at competing.  And for crying out loud, quit blaming Rove, Romney and anyone else you can think of for the loss.  If anyone is to blame,it’s the voters who chose Romney in the primary. And we don’t even know if Palin or Gingrich would have been able to prevail against obama’s voter fraud and foreign donations.  How people vote needs to be changed, voter ID in each state, donation tracking etc.  

    There is not one single reason why Romney and Republicans lost-there are many. We should be working on those issues instead of this constant complaining.  Are we going to do that for the next 4 years like we did for over a year complaining because Palin didn’t run then because the GOP establishment didn’t welcome her w open arms?  I mean really-what did people think they were going to do? Let’s move on so we can make real changes.

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