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.


(65 Posts)

Author: "Ending 'Big SIS' (The Special Interest State) and Renewing the American Republic" (2012) [www.SpecialInterestState.org] and "Property Matters--How Property Rights Are Under Assault and Why You Should Care" (1997). Some former jobs: Assistant Director of Consumer Protection in FTC; member of the Program Analysis Staff of the US Bureau of the Budget; Research Director of the Administrative Conference of the United States; Director of IPCentral at the Progress & Freedom Foundation; VP & GC of the National Legal Center for the Public Interest. Graduate of Harvard College and Harvard Law School, former Book Review Editor of the Harvard Law Review.