The Null Party

One of my gags I like to use in the comments sections of “conservative” opinion sites is to point out that the Republican Party is the land of unwanted toys. About a third of elected Republicans are traditional, middle American conservatives. Another third is just time serving barnacles who are in the best job they can ever hope to get. The other third would rather be Democrats, but circumstances put them in the GOP.

Sensible Americans often make the mistake of taking what the Progressives say about the GOP at face value. Who has not been harangued by some madman hooting and bellowing about the extreme right wing extremist Republicans? Turn on MSNBC and that unbalanced lesbian is always carrying on like Ted Cruz is at the door, threatening to fill her uterus with Bibles and sew her legs shut.

Reading the campaign websites yesterday for my screed about Rubio and Clinton, I was reminded of this reality about the parties. If you are a normal, traditional American of any race or religion, the Democrats hate you. Yeah, they hate white men with a purple passion, but they had middle-class black guys and Korean shopkeepers too. Their appeal is exclusively to poor minorities, plutocrats, government employees and the upper reaches of the managerial class.

If you are a mailman, the Democrats are the good bet, even if you are a pale penis person. If you are running a UPS Store franchise, the Democrats are your enemy, even if you are a one-legged black lesbian Elvis impersonator. That’s the thing. Their appeal is really just a relentless assault on an ever widening array of enemies. It’s a party of old rich white people promising to smash up the while middle class and give the bits to those who vote Democrat.

The point here is that for the majority of Americans, there’s nothing on offer from the Democrats. For a sizable minority, maybe even a majority now, the Democrats are a threat to them personally, professionally and culturally. Strip away the old white people who grew up voting for FDR Democrats and the party probably represents just 25% of the population. Given that 20% of whites are Progressives, 30% is probably the ceiling for the Democrats.

What this means is that for those with anything on the ball, voting Democrat is suicide so they have to find an alternative. The Republicans have nothing much to offer, but at least they are not threatening to pull the roof down on society. GOP majorities in state legislatures, governorships and the Congress are entirely due to there being no third option. When the option is slitting your own throat or voting for the Republicans, most people have no trouble pulling the lever for the GOP.

The problem with being the Null Party is twofold. When the other party has anything to offer, they end up looking magisterial. Bill Clinton was a vulgar clown, but he had an issue and he had a purpose. That was enough to beat an old patrician with no reason to keep his job. The same was true of Obama. Compared to McCain and Romney, Obama looked like Churchill. Something, even something stupid, is more than nothing and in a democracy, that’s what wins.

The other problem the Null Party faces is that when they are in the majority, as they are today, they have nothing but idle time. Since they never had a reason to win the majority, they can’t come up with anything to do with it. Instead of a strategy to roll back the excesses of Obama, for example, they spent years squabbling over trivialities and then finally conceded everything in order to gain some peace during the presidential election.

Given that they have become the default option whenever the Democrats go bonkers, which is often, the Null Party keeps drawing the wrong lessons from each election cycle. There are furtive attempts to confront Obama were blamed for their loss in the 2012 election. Curling back into a ball is credited with their stunning victory in 2014. That’s why they gave away the store in the last budget. Like a cargo cult, they just assumed more concessions meant another victory. Instead, they have a revolt.

At the end of the last Great Progressive Awakening in the late sixties and early seventies, there was an intellectual counterculture forming that culminated with Reagan winning the White House. The spiritual energy may have been drained out of the Democrats as the New Left burned out, but there were still plenty of sensible people in the party to give it some reason to exist. This carried us into the Bush years when everything fell to pieces again.

Today, there’s is nothing to fill the void now that the latest Progressive wave is receding. The Null Party may fill the seats in Congress, but they have nothing to offer the voters other than platitudes, references to Reagan and technocratic programs that amount to busy work for the bureaucrats. Nature and politics abhor a vacuum, which why the leading candidates in both parties are from well outside the mainstream. Something, even something stupid, is more than nothing and in a democracy, that’s what wins.

18 thoughts on “The Null Party

  1. “Turn on MSNBC and that unbalanced lesbian is always carrying on like Ted Cruz is at the door, threatening to fill her uterus with Bibles and sew her legs shut.”

    Perfectly stated.

  2. The intellectual heavyweights that the Republican Party may have had recently, like Ron Paul, have been pushed out. Thing is that Republican Party accepted the New Deal, Social Security, Big Government, Big War Machine, Big Subsidies, Big Bailouts, Big Secret Treasury Looting, and they have no positive intellectual message left with which to battle socialism and Keynesians (talk about voodoo economics!).

    The smart ones, the genuine ones, are at minimum libertarians, and Austrian economists. The free market dynamics are the best weapon against poverty, and libertarian principles (the non-aggression principle, or voluntarist action) the minimum common denominator, minimum requirement for a society at peace.

    That means the Christian thinkers who get Biblical instruction instead of war worship and Muslim and cult bashing. You’d think the Great Commission would result in missionaries infiltrating Arabia with Bibles and fellowship with secret churches in Arabia instead of joining the Army to kill them.

  3. Your way too optimistic about the Vichy Republicans. Look at their ratings and over a third of the Vichy GOP are really conservative Democrats. Another half are the dreaded moderates, with no principles or beliefs. Only a small number can be called conservatives. The one hope is that the mask has come of the dhimmies. They are Marxists pure and simle. Unless you are a social outcast, a loser, a government employee or a member of the leech class there is no reason one would vote for a dhimmirat.

  4. The framers of the Constitution never envisioned that a member of Congress would not have a real job; e.g., self employed or having some other private sector job. They envisioned individuals in government as having temporary roles there and then resuming their “real” jobs (not in government).
    There really needs to be term limits for members of Congress – for starters. But nothing will change until the money spigot to DC is shut off permanently. Repeal of the 16th Amendment (ratified in 1913) – implementation of the personal and corporate income tax – would be a good start.
    Less money tossed at the crooks in DC would greatly help diminish their power and influence.
    Also repeal of 17th Amendment to the Constitution (enacted 1913) would restore the election of US Senators to Congress as a responsibility of each of the STATE legislatures. This action would once again provide incentive for the US Senators to be responsive to their respective states and hopefully decrease the power of our tyrannical, repressive, unconstitutional govt. of, by and for the ruling bureaucracy.
    Not that long ago a US Senatorial candidate from Kentucky? Tennessee? West Virginia? held a fund raising event for left wing millionaires in MANHATTAN !!! Give me a break. These upper west side commies would join the Nazi party before they ever stepped foot in the the state this Senatorial hopeful wished to represent in the US Congress.
    Direct elections of US Senators by their state legislatures would help reduce this affront to democracy.

    I do not mean to come off as a snob or elitist, but many voters have zero clue about economics, history or political issues; they simply do not bother to look into things with any depth. If they did, Bernie Sanders (a communist) and Hillary Clinton (a criminal, cheat and liar and married to a serial rapist) would have ZERO support amongst the electorate and not be bamboozled by the propaganda arm of the democratic/socialist/communist party – the mainstream media.

    The worthless, incompetent, bumbling, negligent republicans do zero other then bend over for the democrats. They are useless. Cruz (and Rand Paul) exposed this scam which is why they are/were Public Enemy Number 1 and 2 for the republican (i.e., democratic party ass kissers) party elites. (And the elites are shocked !! shocked !! that a loose cannon like Trump is popular ).

    Returning power to the states will produce winning and losing states; but it will force many states – if cut off from federal largess if federal income taxes are eliminated or drastically reduced- to either become economically viable or literally die, as they COMPETE with other states to raise the economic fortunes of their citizens. And it will at least provide the opportunity for denizens of dying states to move to growing and economically friendlier states.

    Yes, folks can do that now (witness the flow out of NY, NJ to the SE USA, etc. ) , but the millstones of federal taxation and federal repression are ubiquitous across the USA.

    Do not forget that a very large portion of federal tax dollars goes to pay the welfare benefits of the hundreds of thousands of illegal aliens that California (and other states) INVITE into their states. They can do this because the federal govt (US taxpayers) shoulder a very large portion of these costs. I seriously doubt California and other states would maintain these policies if their own taxpayers – and ONLY their own taxpayers – were on the hook for the costs of providing the living/food/clothing/welfare benefits for these illegals.

    • Interesting that America’s founding fathers were expected to work.

      Here in the UK parliament essentially ran from about six at night to just before midnight, simply because MPs were expected to have jobs outside the Palace of Westminster. It is only in fairly recent times that the House has come to be seen as a sort of club for people who have no clue about what work is and thus no idea of what ordinary people do. It’s a fair bet that members of the risible ‘European Parliament’ in Brussels have much the same outlook.

  5. Great insights. So many Republicans cannot understand why they won landslides with Reagan but lost with Dole and Romney.

  6. The Republicans are the Whigs, and this is 1855. Seriously. It’s a facile comparison, but it’s true for all that. Back in 1855, you had four options: Rabidly proslavery, moderately proslavery, silently proslavery, and other. The Whigs were “other.” Back in the days they’d been the heirs to the Federalists, but programs of internal improvements and tweaks to the banking system just didn’t turn America’s crank anymore when there was a huge, looming, cataclysmic issue at hand that the entire political class resolutely refused to talk about. And so, by 1852, both parties were reduced to running on whose candidate looked spiffier in a Mexican War uniform, and by 1856 the Whig Party was gone. The good news: They were replaced by the Republicans, who really did have a radical new program to offer. The bad news: 1856, the election in which the Whigs disappeared, went to an utterly atrocious Democrat who had no business in politics, James Buchanan, because nobody was ready to roll the dice yet on political upheaval. The worse news: The next election was 1860, and some unpleasantness followed. Now, I’m not saying Hillary is definitely James Buchanan — so far as I know, Buchanan never sold state secrets to our enemies for slush fund cash — but I’m saying that, if Buchanan had had his own email server….

    Buy ammo, is what I’m saying. Interesting times ahead.

    • If only this were 1856. Women did not vote, nor blacks, and ballots were not printed in two languages. No one on government assistance voted because there wasn’t any. Actual issues were discussed without restraint, well and badly, while universal suffrage is a progressive machine and nothing but. Discussion is limited to blogs, and perhaps even there not for long. Trump, an opportunistic crony capitalist Democrat, threw two bombs and we cheered, because that is what we are reduced to.

      We act as though the Republican Party has betrayed something when that something has not existed since 1865. The Pledge of Allegiance itself is a betrayal of everything before 1861 and we think of it as a conservative oath. We’re fucked, trapped in 150 years of accumulated myths. That whole republic thingy tries men’s souls. This way is easier, all you have to do is lessen your grip and relax the anus.

      • No analogy is perfect, alas. 🙂 But again, look at your complaint. It’s very similar to the plight of the “others” in 1856 — national politics was run by slaveholders, for slaveholders, despite the fact that only a tiny minority of Southerners owned slaves and the majority of the nation as a whole was at least mildly bothered by slavery. Certainly a whole bunch of people felt “reduced to cheering” when the Whigs won a few seats, or occasionally the Presidency (though when they did, their candidate was also a slaveholder). This has all happened before.

        • Universal suffrage rules the field. Progressives have mastered it and control media, academia, and permanent government. It is in the Progressive nature to touch everything, when the conservative nature is to leave them alone. The fight is not only unequal, it is non-existent. If liberty were to be reintroduced to politics, it will not be incrementally.

          Tocqueville–I am of the opinion that, in the democratic ages which are opening upon us, individual independence and local liberties will ever be the products of art; that centralization will be the natural government. The pleasure it procures them of interfering with everyone and holding everything in their hands atones to them for its dangers.
          Not only is a democratic people led by its own taste to centralize its government, but the passions of all the men by whom it is governed constantly urge it in the same direction. It may easily be foreseen that almost all the able and ambitious members of a democratic community will labor unceasingly to extend the powers of government, because they all hope at some time or other to wield those powers themselves. It would be a waste of time to attempt to prove to them that extreme centralization may be injurious to the state, since they are centralizing it for their own benefit. Among the public men of democracies, there are hardly any but men of great disinterestedness or extreme mediocrity who seek to oppose the centralization of government; the former are scarce, the latter powerless.

      • “Trump, an opportunistic crony capitalist Democrat, threw two bombs and we cheered, because that is what we are reduced to.”

        Opportunist? Hardly. Opportunists hang around, looking for favorable circumstances and a lucky break that they can take advantage of. Trump has crowbarred his way into this race, fighting the media, the GOP establishment, and the democrats. Absolutely nobody is on his side, except the voters. Just because Trump makes it look easy, doesn’t mean it is. He is swimming against a fiercer tide than any presidential politician since Reagan’s first run in 1976.

        Crony Capitalist? Well, if he is, he’s the first crony capitalist without any cronies. The New York City establishment has despised him since the 1980s– that “short-fingered vulgarian” stuff goes back 30 years when Spy Magazine, the favorite read of the 80s Smart Set, used him as their go-to punching bag.

        Democrat? How would you know? He has never been involved in politics at any level until this year. As a New York City developer, I’m sure he donated to, and associated with, plenty of Democrats; how else would you do business in that town? As far as his relationship with Hillary and Bill– hell, staying close to those two is just common sense if you were in his position; “keep your friends close, and your enemies closer” as someone once said.

  7. I discovered your website about 6 months ago – and I found that many of your insights (a) caused me to think differently about some issues, and (b) were in agreement with my own read on the same issues.

    Having said that, your opinions are diminished by your failure to use appropriate grammar – it’s not hard, as I’m sure you know from your intelligent analyses – I taught in a Title I school in D.C.; I learned basic grammar and spelling from my public school teachers on Long Island in the terrible 50’s; is it so hard to try to get the spelling and grammar right? Unfortunately, to me, it represents a laziness that isn’t reflected in the quality of your thinking.

    Keep up the great analyses!

    • My grammar is perfect. My spelling is what it is and I don’t lose sleep over a typo here and there. This is a blog, not a Supreme Court brief.

      • On balance, I would rather read something decent and thought-provoking, albeit with the odd typo, than something perfectly presented but intellectually void.

        I may not be able to vote in the US elections but from over here I can vote Zman: it is the first blog I go to each day.

        • My view is that this is the most casual of platforms. That means I get to be creative with my sentence and paragraph structure in order to keep it conversational in tone. If I’m writing a user manual for a shop vac, then I use a style and tone appropriate for that. Spelling/typos are just a part of it. I catch what I can in the first re-read and anything that jumps out afterward. It’s a blog, not a manuscript.

          One of things you notice reading comments is that there is a segment of the population that is unraveled by spelling and grammar. They are like the people that have to wash their hands every hour or alphabetize their canned goods in the cupboard. They don’t read and comment for enjoyment. They read and comment to correct spelling and grammar. It’s a form of madness.

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