The Bourbon GOP

Remembering everything.  Learning nothing:

In the debates and in sweeping rallies across the country, Mitt Romney captured the imagination of millions of Americans.”  - Some Romney functionary, doubling down on the epistemic closure bubble

Screw prolifers and become a more effective corporate tool while throwing candy and a pretence of caring to disregarded minorities, like Bill Clinton did, saith another Bourbon.

Screw prolifers and become more like that winner John McCain, say others.

The GOP has an almost infallible knack for learning exactly the wrong things from failure.  It’s going to be a long time in the wilderness for them.  Meanwhile, those who care about the Church’s teaching first should set about finding ways and means to implement it in its fullness, not worrying about the GOP and currying favor with it.

 

  • vox borealis

    It’s going to be a long time in the wilderness for them.

    You know, you keep writing things like this, but the reality is that the GOP is not wandering in the wilderness. They lost a national election by a narrow margin (in the popular vote). The sad reality is that the advice being offered by various talking heads is probably correct: the democrats have carved out a narrow majority, and for the GOP to overcome that slim lead, it should adopt some positions closer to the other side. That’s sound *political* calculus as far as I can tell. And in this regard, I agree with the larger point that it is not worth currying favor with the GOP.

    But the notion that the GOP is “lost in the wilderness” as a party strikes me as highly inaccurate, unless you mean something different by the phrase than I understand.

    • Ted Seeber

      One great way they could adopt the positions of the other side: Nominate a pro-life, pro-immigration Latina grandmother.

      I’d love to see the other side trip over their own tolerance.

      • http://catholicsforobama.blogspot.com/ Katherine

        On behalf of the “other side”, I would be quite pleased by such a GOP nominee. However, I have little hope it will happen by the party that just put forward nothing but white males for chairmen of the House committees. Can you even name a single Republican pro-life, pro-immigration Latina grandmother?

  • TheRealAaron

    “In the debates and in sweeping rallies across the country, Mitt Romney captured the imagination of millions of Americans.” – Some Romney functionary, doubling down on the epistemic closure bubble

    To be fair, there are a lot of Americans! To capture the imagination of 3 million of us, Romney only needed to impress 0.96% of all Americans, so technically this quote is probably right.

    You can use math to prove anything!

  • jimby

    Engaging the GOP, even from within, has yielded a number of very positive results. You are not a Republican, that is clear (and an understatement, right?). But do you mean to dissuade people, Mark, from participating in party politics?

    “Currying favor” is like saying “bad engagement”, so I’m forced to agree: no bad engagement with the GOP. But just because (many) leaders of the GOP are unsavory idiots does not mean that the GOP–the whole party–is something we should “not worry about” or necessarily identify as other and send into the wilderness, anathematized and segregated.

    It is a hazard of your job, I suppose, to offer political opinions that accidentally feel like statements of Catholic teaching, but I would also ask you to reconsider your scorn for the entire Republican party, many members of which are faithful Catholics, trying to do their civic duty through the political bodies available. You may disagree with the prudence of participating in the parties, but why so scornful of so many who’ve tried to do so much, often behind the scenes, preventing a host of evils that never appear in the press for you to comment on, etc.

    • Mark Shea

      I mean to encourage people to put their faith first and to regard political parties as tools to be used or dropped precisely insofar as they are a help or hindrance to that. Party politics has been a scourge and a poison to the practice of the faith on the right as much as on the Left. Indeed, one could argue it is worse on the right because at least pro-abort Lefties don’t congratulate themselves on their superior fidelity to the Church as they spit on and ignore her. They openly state their contempt for the Church, so they at least have the virtue of honesty. Party spirit is one of the works of the flesh Paul warns of. I don’t scorn the entire GOP any more than I scorn the whole Dem party. There are many good people in both. But I absolutely refuse to place the demands of either party ahead of the Faith.

      • jimby

        The lack of specificity strikes me as problematic: “Party politics has been a scourge and a poison to the practice of the faith on the right as much as on the Left.” But then “party spirit is one of the works of the flesh Paul warns of.”

        Don’t you mean to say that party spirit has been a scourge and a poison to the practice of the faith on the right as much as on the Left? To that we can all agree. But to say without qualification that party politics–full stop, period–is a scourge and a poison to the practice of the faith seems to lack any discernment as to the good things as compared with the bad things that the several parties have done to better the country in such a way as to aid the practice of the faith. Unless you mean to say that the entire city of man is a scourge and a poison to the practice of the faith, at which point I have to agree in some general and unspecified sense that anything not a part of Christ is in opposition to it.

        But again, here is where the lack of specificity seems problematic. Consider that numerous good people have organized political parties to achieve good ends. You seem to deny and agree at the same time that parties can be and have been useful communities (you call them mere “tools”–somewhat inaccurately) by seeming to scorn all party politics and the whole of now both parties.

        • jimby

          In fairness, and so as not to waste time–after re-reading my above reply–I would change the word “community” to “association.” Community is, I bet you’d agree, Mark, too high a word for political parties.

          • Mark Shea

            Indeed. :)

            • jimby

              And so then I hope now you will also agree that “poison” and “scourge” may be too low.

  • tz

    William S (sturgis) Lind is an expert on 4th generation warfare which is won on the Moral level.

    I think he is high-church Anglican and perhaps enough rosaries and he will convert. Or enough time and comedy from the parody that remains of Episcopalian-ism. Maybe we can arrange so he would be able to kiss that Lesbishop’s ring.

    The only thing worse is the neo-Catholics equally forget and learn nothing. There will be a conference on 1/12/13 with people who could not convince their closest friends and family not to vote for Obama, and are clueless as to why. They will probably devolve into a “it was Sandy’s fault, Romney should have campaigned in Denver instead of PA, we didn’t do anything wrong, we’re all wonderful, lets celebrate the stolen victory instead of analyzing the defeat”.

    But except for the occasional headache, it is an insult to Bourbon. The amnesia is real if often temporary. Rand Paul is from Kentucky after all. Although I prefer a cordial like Drambuie or Grand Marnier.

  • Tim S

    My advice is for more wanna-be orthodox Catholics to go into politics and run a passionate, intelligent, offensive (as opposed to defensive) campaign focused on social issues- evangelize through political opportunities, and show flexibility on the prudential issues like economy and immigration where people of goodwill are going to come to differing conclusions. We haven’t seen a GOP candidacy that really put the Dems in the spotlight for supporting abortion and undermining traditional marriage- and if the main thing is stressing an anti-government/anti-regulatory economy then you are probably not going to win enough hearts and minds to make any permanent inroads to majority popularity with voters.