Reagan Was Wrong

As GOP primary fights continue to pop up there’s going to be a lot of talk of who is sufficiently conservative and who isn’t. Like many things involving the GOP people will often seek to invoke the authority of Ronald Reagan.

Senator John Cornyn fresh off finding himself in a primary against longshot opponent Congress Steve Stockman, does just this.

I don’t know how we got off on this track, where some people are welcome in our party and some people are not. Hence my reference to Ronald Reagan’s line, “What do you call someone who agrees with you eight times out of ten? An ally, not a twenty-percent traitor.” Well, we’re at a point where you can agree with someone 98 percent of the time, but they think of you as a 2 percent traitor, which is just an impossible standard.

Put aside Cornyn’s implied purity for a moment, the underlying Reagan position is just wrong.

The Supreme Court issues a lot of 9-0, 8-1, 7-2 decisions. It’s the 20-30% of cases that are 5-4 that are the ones that generally hold the greatest importance to most people.

Am I supposed to consider that because 70 or 80% of the time Justice Scalia and Justice Kennedy agree that they are equally reliable and useful to conservatives? Of course not.

It’s when and how you break ranks that determines if you are an ally or someone who needs to be replaced. Someone like Lindsey Graham who goes out of his way to make life difficult for conservatives may vote with them 80 or even 90% of the time but the damage he does on those other occasions outweighs the rest. The same goes for Senators like Alexander and Corker who openly work with Democrats against to interests of the majority of Republicans on many issues.

And sometimes a single vote carries so much weight, that yes, it can be the basis of a primary challenge.

I don’t know that primarying Conyers is a wise choice (I also don’t think it will come to much) but let’s not pretend that meeting the bare minimum standards of acceptability should be enough if you can do better.

About Drew

I blog about politics and hockey because I sort of understand those things. I'd blog about women but I'll never understand them.

Posted on December 10, 2013, in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. Some of us tried to get rid of Corker last year, and now there’s lots of voters’ remorse because of his support for amnesty and the Syrian rebels. We will be trying to get rid of Alexander next year and hope to have better results. The GOP in TN is run by the RINOs and, even though there are lots of conservative groups wanting change in leadership, money talks. Our governor and his family are a big part of the problem. Beware Gov. Haslam’s higher political ambitions.

    Maybe the current child porn scandal surrounding Alexander’s former chief of staff will be something that will help us. I don’t understand why DeMint and the SCF won’t step in an help us get rid of these fools in the primaries. Except for Memphis, we are a red state so any republican will win the general. People learned their lesson with Al Gore.

  2. Kathy from Kansas

    Mother Goose, that’s interesting that SCF is standing by and not helping you. Meanwhile, here in Kansas, they’ve endorsed Dr. Milton Wolf in a primary against Sen. Pat Roberts. I am a huge fan of Milton Wolf — but Sen. Roberts, while not my favorite person, has been a huge ally on most issues. He’s been a very articulate, consistent opponent of Obamacare, and even joined Ted Cruz in his filibuster. For the SCF to support Wolf, whom virtually no one has heard of, in a primary against Roberts, seems to me a very unwise use of limited resources.

    Wolf is attacking Roberts for, first of all, just having been in Washington too darn long (can’t disagree with him there, but it’s not a sufficient reason for us to shoot ourselves in the foot), and, secondly, for having voted for the confirmation of Kathleen Sebelius. Sam Brownback, the other Kansas senator at the time, also voted for her confirmation. I personally talked to Sam about this, and the reason he gave me was that at the time, Sebelius had been planning to run for Senate — and she very well could have won that seat. The GOP rightly wanted to keep her out of the Senate. They knew that Obama was going to pick someone horrible for head of HHS no matter what they did, and at least if Sebelius went to HHS, she wouldn’t be adding to the Democratic numbers in the Senate.

    Pat Roberts has proven himself a very staunch conservative. He did a good job when he was head of the intelligence committee a few years back, and I have been impressed with his arguments against Obamacare. The Senate Conservatives Fund should be devoting its resources to eliminating traitors such as Corker and Alexander instead of fighting what will likely be a losing battle against someone as conservative as Pat Roberts! I’m disappointed in the SCF.

  3. SCF will never endorse Joe Carr. He has zero organization and zero money. He’s a sitting duck and will lose to Lamar Alexander.

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