Should you run--as a Republican?

I’ve been thinking about this lately. In 2004 I swore off the (USA) GOP, due to the corruption, the kidnappings without trial, and my realization that most Republican voters were just going to happily follow the leaders off a cliff.

I waited for the party to wither and die, as enough swing voters swore off the GOP’s kidnap/torture/bribery/general school of dumb statesmanship.


The problem is that most Republican voters are still just going to happily follow the leaders into one ditch after another.

And the Democrats aren’t much better on the kidnap/torture/bribery/general school of dumb front.

So I’m changing my strategy. Let’s recruit some private citizens, hopefully moderates, old-fashioned Bob Dole types, and decent honest citizens to run and pull at least some of the party away from the Gingrich-Paul-Santorum axis of self-righteous indifference to consequence.

Worth a shot, right? Just because the Lincoln Chafees and Bob Doles don’t get nominated doesn’t mean their base will vote for the hated party of FDR/JFK/LBJ.

Alternatively, we could nominate total weirdos (I don’t mean regular political weirdos, I mean obviously not conservative) by vote-bombing the primaries in some districts. Supposedly the anti-Communists are pledged to the GOP because it was “never infiltrated” by Commies. What if someone were to get a GOP nom for State Senate, skate through the general election and then reveal after the election that he’s really a Wobbly or a Trotskyite? Or something.

Who’s with me?

When seeking nomination, you’re basically spending a lot of money and effort for the privilege of proving on national television that you have the morals of raw sewage. If someone’s dirty tricks campaign can’t find something real on you, they’ll make something and make it real via the magic of Fox News. Remember who invented the practice of Swiftboating and the Ratfuck Almighty.

When the day comes that my views are considered conservative, I will dandle my great-grandchildren on my knee. And I will love them, and try to understand them.


Well, let’s concede the engines of state to the thieves, then.


Did I say that? No, I said there are genuine reasons someone who has something else to be doing to avoid the headache of seeking a nomination.

Besides, what do they say about wrestling with pigs?

They sat that Aggies wrestle with pigs. They say they win.

Smarter to butcher them if they keep eating the roses?

Look, what I seem to be getting from you is that somehow I’d be better off assassinating the political class.

“Who killed the kennedys?
When after all
It was you and me”

People get whatever they want to out of what I say, just like they get whatever enough of them want badly enough out of their politicians. You can’t expect that the people who willingly watch Fox News are going to act any differently tomorrow just because Your Grace deigned to honor them by showing up for a few primaries.

Swiftboating and ratfucks are only done because they work. Fox News is the way it is because it works. Who makes it work? Everyone who supports it, which is a godawful lot of people.

I think the problem is that there isn’t a ‘political class’. There isn’t some group of particularly reprehensible people that run for office and then do the various things that you dislike. The problems are more institutional. Whomever gets into office ends up facing similar electoral and systematic constraints. Which is sad, since if it was simply the case of a bunch of particular jerks, it would be relatively easy to know how to go about solving the problem.

America doesn’t need better politicians, it needs better voters.

Right. Now we’re getting somewhere. The voters are led, not by politicians as such, but by media, political parties, churches, and labor unions.

Throwing a monkey wrench into the party apparatus can make a difference. Certainly the GOP voters aren’t all perfectly in agreement with Newt Gingrich, despite appearances.

Well, there’s Americans Elect. It’s an alternative nominating process, launched this year, with people directly voting for a candidate. Don’t know if or how it’ll pan out, but it’s something…

The voters are lead to the extent they agree to follow. Trying to pin something solely on a leader only works if you think, deep down, that every single individual person who follows that leader is incapable of thinking for themself.

Clearly I am not making myself clear.

Run as a Republican, win the nomination, get all the knee-jerk GOP voters. Subvert the Hayekian-Reaganite-Gingrichist cabal.

OK, your plan has more holes than a Michael Bay plot but no explosions.

How many people actually vote in a primary? How many both remember it exists and care?

You would have to campaign, but it could be done.

What are you referring to here?

‘Ratfucking’ was a specialty of Nixon’s dirty tricks people; it refers to multiple tactics, notably the practice of getting Republicans into non-Republican organizations to cause as many problems for them (and non-Republicans in general) as possible. I suppose the Ratfuck Almighty would be Watergate, both because it was an amazingly brazen example of an organization thinking they were above the law and because it was what finally brought that organization down.

Iowa, which is a pretty small state and a caucus system which makes participation more difficult and less widespread, still has more then 100,000 people show up for each sides primary election.

You’d need too many people to hijack a partys primary. Even in the smaller states, there are just too many voters.

You don’t think it’s this?

You forgot to add: Profit!!