Conservatives Richard Falknor on 21 Feb 2013 12:38 pm
“By repeatedly passing bills that contradict the identity of Republican voters and of the majority of Republican elected representatives, the Republican leadership has made political orphans of millions of Americans. In short, at the outset of 2013 a substantial portion of America finds itself un-represented, while Republican leaders increasingly represent only themselves.”
The quote above is from another Angelo Codevilla home run yesterday (click here) in his Forbes op-ed (via The Transom) –“As Country Club Republicans Link Up With The Democratic Ruling Class, Millions of Voters Are Orphaned.”
One does not have to agree with every one of Codevilla’s points, but conservatives should “read, learn, mark, and inwardly digest” his entire op-ed.
The depth of his analysis of our current crisis is invaluable. (Faithful readers will recall we first wrote about his seminal thinking — click here — in July of 2010.)
The following are just some highlights from professor Codevilla’s post of yesterday.
“Country class Americans have but to glance at the Media to hear themselves insulted from on high as greedy, racist, violent, ignorant extremists. Yet far has it been from the Republican leadership to defend them. Whenever possible, the Republican Establishment has chosen candidates for office – especially the Presidency – who have ignored, soft-pedaled or given mere lip service to their voters’ identities and concerns.”
“It is impossible to overstate the importance of American education’s centralization, intellectual homogenization and partisanship in the formation of the ruling class’ leadership. Many have noted the increasing stratification of American society and that, unlike in decades past, entry into its top levels now depends largely on graduation from elite universities. As Charles Murray has noted, their graduates tend to marry one another, perpetuating what they like to call a “meritocracy.” But this is rule not by the meritorious, rather by the merely credentialed – because the credentials are suspect. As Ron Unz has shown, nowadays entry into the ivied gateways to power is by co-option, not merit. Moreover, the amount of study required at these universities leaves their products with more pretense than knowledge or skill. The results of their management– debt, decreased household net worth, increased social strife – show that America has been practicing negative selection of elites.”
“President Obama’s statement that Republican legislators – and hence the people who elect them – don’t care whether ‘seniors have decent health care…children have enough to eat’ is typical. Republican leaders neither parry the insults nor vilify their Democratic counterparts in comparable terms because they do not want to beat the ruling class, but to join it in solving the nation’s problems. How did they come to cut such pathetic figures?”
“In sum, the closer one gets to the Republican Party’s voters, the more the Party looks like Goldwater and Reagan. The closer one gets to its top, the more it looks like the ghost of Rockefeller. Consider 2012: the party chose for President someone preferred by only one fourth of its voters – Mitt Romney, whose first youthful venture in politics had been to take part in the political blackballing of Barry Goldwater.”
“One reason for the Republican Party’s bipolarity is the centripetal attraction of the ruling class: In the absence of forces to the contrary, smaller bodies tend to become satellites of larger ones. Modern America’s homogenizing educational Establishment and the ruling class’ near monopoly on credentials, advancement, publicity, and money draws ambitious Republicans into the Democrats’ orbit. That is why for example a majority of the Republican Establishment, including The Wall Street Journal and the post-W.F. Buckley National Review supported the 2008 Troubled Asset Relief Program (TARP) and its premise that big, well-connected enterprises are ‘too big to fail’ – which three fourths of the American people opposed vociferously. For these Republican cognoscenti vox populi is not vox dei, but the voice of idiots.”
“To represent the country class, to set about reversing the ills the ruling class imposed on America, a party would have to confront the ruling class’ pretenses, with unity and force comparable to that by which these were imposed. There will be no alternative to all the country class’ various components acting jointly on measures dear to each. For example: since the connection between government and finance, the principle that large institutions are ‘too big to fail,’ are dear to America’s best-connected people who can be counted on to threaten ‘systemic collapse,’ breaking it will require the support of sectors of the country class for which ‘corporate welfare’ is less of a concern than the welfare effects of the Social Security system’s component that funds fake disability and drug addiction – something about which macroeconomists mostly care little – and vice versa. Similarly the entire country class has as much interest in asserting the right of armed self-defense as does any gun owner, because the principle of constitutional right is indivisible. Nothing will require greater unity against greater resistance than ending government promotion of abortion and homosexuality. Yet those whose main concerns are with financial probity cannot afford continuing to neglect that capitalist economics presupposes a morally upright people. All this illustrates the need for, and the meaning of, a political party: disparate elements acting all of one and one for all.”
“Today the majority of Republican congressmen plus a minority of senators – dissidents from the Party but solid with their voters – are the natural core of a new party. The name it might bear is irrelevant. Very relevant are sectors of America’s population increasingly represented by groups that sprang up to represent them when the Republican leadership did not.” (Highlighting of Codevilla quotes is Forum’s throughout.)
Codevilla’s Lens As A Way To Understand The House GOP Leadership
This week all of us should be asking what the House of Representatives GOP Leadership — whose chamber must approve expenditures from the public purse — is planning right now
- to defund Obamacare,
- to defund prosperity-killing EPA regulations,
- to stop the flow of Federal money for local ‘smart growth’ initiatives,
- to stop the flow of Federal money interfering with public-school curricula and operations,
- and to recast a national defense program jeopardized by a mindless and inflexible sequester.
As Andrew McCarthy points out —
“In constitutional law, the pertinent issue is never what percentage of total power is allocated to a branch. The question is: Which branch is given supremacy over the relevant subject matter. On the subject matter of taxing and spending – including the task of setting the parameters of the government’s authority to borrow and spend – Congress is supreme and the House has pride of place.”
Codevilla’s lens will be a useful way to understand the House GOP Leadership’s success or failure in securing these and other vital appropriations and spending and entitlement-reform objectives in the coming weeks.
His analysis also may provide a way for the growing number of citizens deeply shocked at the current direction of the country to see a reason for renewed hope.