In his October 18, 2013 column entitled What Obama and the Tea Party Share, writer George Will takes a swipe at Tea Party Conservatives who obstinately refuse to play the Washington DC politics as usual game. He frets that this “bull in a china shop” contingency show a clear “disdain for the practice of politics within the Framers’ institutional architecture.” Mr. Will then declares this political faux pas places the Tea Party squarely on the same moral plain as that most “impatient player of Madisonian politics,” President Barack Obama himself. Though Will at least concedes “The tea party’s reaffirmation of Madison’s limited-government project is valuable,” Tea Partiers just do not understand that “effective action in this system [DC] is nothing but a series of forced compromises.” So, according to George Will, in order to properly play the political game, we Conservatives need to set aside our “obsessions with ideological purity and fiscal policy” and just compromise; that is, continue the national Republican Party’s Clement Atlee charade of “peace in our time” while continuing the slide toward national destruction, rather than insist on running away from it.
The premise of Mr. Will’s article is bogus and the comparison is dishonest because he chooses to ignore the diametrically opposed ideological foundations of both the Tea Party and the President. And while the Republican Establishment, which Mr. Will denies exists, enjoyed smug satisfaction at yet another attack on their embarrassing “base,” the Conservatives at whom it was aimed let it roll off their backs like the good little Tea Party Hobbits they are. But as primary season approaches and Tea Party candidates in several states threaten to upset the crowned Establishment candidates, George Will’s words are once again being trotted out. The message is clear: the “china shop bulls” need to submit to the GOP “politics as usual” or there will be serious consequences. This calls for a new examination and dissection of Mr. Will’s article and argument.
George Will’s article is based on the logical fallacy of moral equivalence. He begins by focusing on one supposed ‘shared characteristic,’ that of refusing to compromise. He does this without examining any of the actual motivation of either the Tea Party or of the President. The allows the GOP to then be firmly ensconced on the glorious Throne of Compromise while they wearily look on, wondering when those destructive Tea Partiers will finally wise up and play the game the way the Establishment demands.
A moral equivalence argument has two essential requirements. First is the target person or group who must be shamed, humiliated, or morally destroyed in order to prove a claim. The second requirement is the comparison; and the more evil, vile, loathsome and unsympathetic the better. Hitler usually serves this purpose well, but is admittedly overused. So, instead George Will thinks he will cleverly use Barack Obama, since he supposes the President to be the Tea Party’s arch nemesis and someone certain to raise Conservative hackles. Well, Mr. Will, two can play the moral equivalence game.
For this moral equivalence example we will use as our target the Republican Establishment, or RINOs (Republican in Name Only) though Reverend Mike Huckabee wants to outlaw the term. For our comparison we will use the most loathsome group available after Hitler, namely, sexual predators. According to the genius that is Dr Phil , the following are some of the characteristics of this vilest segment of society. As we examine them one by one, it will become alarmingly clear that these same deviant characteristics are indeed shared by the GOP Establishment. This, then is what sexual predators and the Republican Establishment share:
- Need for power and control. As Lord Acton famously said, “Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.” This is why the Republican figures such as Cathy McMorris Rogers can openly admit even while on the campaign trail that unconstitutional laws such as Obamacare or Dodd Frank are here to stay. The GOP Establishment has no intention of repeal. At best they may tinker around the edges in an ill-fated attempt to “replace.” The sad truth is they just want to be the ones to have the power to control such programs.
- A sense of entitlement. One relatively recent example of this sense of entitlement was displayed in the 2010 re-election of Alaska Senator Lisa Murkowski. After losing the GOP primary to Joe Miller, it didn’t matter to the GOP Establishment that “the people had spoken.” Murkowski was still allowed to retain her Senate leadership position after a closed door session while she launched and eventually won back the Senate seat she was entitled to after her daddy gave it to her.
- Deviant behavior and attitudes. GOP Establishment figures are notorious for refusing to follow traditional political etiquette by endorsing their primary opponents once they have won the nomination, and, some have even gone so far as actually throwing their support to the Democrat in the race! To top it all off, the Republican Establishment will then do all they can to ensure the failure of their own supposed candidates as they did in the recent Virginia Governor’s race with Ken Cuccinelli.
- Good manipulators who are typically know as rationalizers, intellectualizers, or justifiers. This is at the heart of the GOP Establishment duplicity and double-dealing. They are convinced they know what is better for us than we know for ourselves. Any Republican Establishment politician would much rather be characterized as rational or intellectual rather than as a Constitutionalist.
- Lack of empathy. This is why members of the GOP Establishment, such as Richard Lugar can run for reelection from states in which they have not lived for more than three decades. Once they are elected, move to Washington, DC, and adopt the Establishment mindset, they can then pass burdensome and unconstitutional laws for their so-called constituents while excluding themselves.
- Refusal to take responsibility for actions and blame others or circumstances for failures. The leadership of the GOP Establishment is quick to resort to excuses for their weakness and ineffectiveness. How many times have we had to hear Speaker of the House John Boehner whine that Republicans only control “one half of one third” of the government? This, we Conservatives are told, is why Obamacare cannot be repealed despite over four dozen empty attempts to do so. Yet these same limiting circumstances are no hindrance at all for Boehner to relentlessly pursue “comprehensive immigration reform” (amnesty) despite overwhelming Conservative opposition.
- Often offend where they won’t get caught – when they have misdirected people’s attention. GOP establishment politicians know they are less likely to be caught in Washington DC after the election cycle. This is why they promise one thing on the campaign trail and then do the opposite once they are elected. All they have to do is proclaim they are “severely Conservative” before the next election day.
- Overly self-indulgent. As F. Scott Fitzgerald once said, “The rich are different from you and me.” So, too, the Establishment Republicans are different from those of us who remain true to the Constitution and the platform of the Republican Party itself. Many more of these overly self-indulgent politicians, who feel they can just do what they want and are not answerable to their constituents, need to be censured by their alleged Party.
- Use stressful and vulnerable situations to get in – they find a need they can fill and use that to insinuate themselves. This is why the GOP Establishment is running on only one issue: to replace Obamacare. It is obvious that the American people are not happy with this law that is causing them such harm. However, the Republican Establishment cynically sees this only as a tool which they can use to win reelection.
- Are professional con artists who will smile at you, look you right in the eye, and make you believe they are trustworthy. Exhibit A: just look at any GOP Establishment candidate at election time, such as John McCain’s campaign ad to “build the dang fence” and compare those words to his actions the moment after reelection.
These then are ten characteristics of sexual predators and examples of corresponding Republican Establishment behaviors. Does this mean that the GOP is a conglomeration of deviants? Of course not. Well, at least not all of them. However, this unflattering comparison illustrates the sad truth that without firm underlying moral principles, all human beings will gravitate towards the most powerful path of least resistance. This is what George Will ignores in his attack on the Tea Party. Unlike the Republican Establishment, both the Tea Party and President Barack Obama have a definitive basis for their actions which restrains them from what Mr. Will views as politically expedient compromise. Unlike the Tea Party, Barack Obama is not motivated by a desire to uphold the Constitution in his quest to fundamentally transform America. And unlike the GOP Establishment, the Tea Party will not acquiesce to destructive compromise that further destroys our republic.