Michelle Malkin’s Bad Advice

Michelle Malkin is looking for better Republicans.

“Better” means a certain kind of list.

Small government. No Veteran’s Administration, Medicare, or Medicaid. Fewer unemployment benefits. Probably less agribusiness, also but you won’t read about that on her site.

Pro-life. She doesn’t talk much about contraception, but I imagine she shies away from that topic.

Strong Military, although privatizing it is probably OK, even if it costs more money for taxpayer.

Especially Amerika for Amerikans. Her view: if an insane person decides to shoot up people at work, it’s probably because he’s a foreigner, a Muslim, or a liberal. Not because he’s insane.

Malkin’s advice is that the RNC should find “pure” Republicans who follow the line.

I will confess, reader, that I’m a registered Republican. But I’m not an ideologue. I’m not a party politician. Old patrician school. I have always, however, appreciated the class of prosperous Americans who loved the country, distrusted any kind of ideological purity or utopianism, and were dissatisfied with the ethnic politicking of the Democratic Party. They hated corruption and agreed with basic principles of fairness, including civil rights. They were pro-choice.

Their conservatism stemmed from a distrust of the Soviet Union and Left-Wing idealism. While they didn’t believe government solved all problems, the worked with other institutions. They believed in the power of education, didn’t blame the poor, but still encouraged individual responsibility.

If you wanted the Republican party to win in a Democratic district, you could run a conservative who responds to Glenn Beck or Rush Limbaugh. And lose.

Or you could go the liberal Republican route. Good liberal Republicans could win in moderate districts.

Malkin hates liberals. She’d rather have a corrupt Democrat than an honest Republican who supported Democratic policies.

For this reason, Malkin wants to remain in the party of opposition.

Joseph Cao is in a predominantly African-American district, a liberal one. He’s an example of a Republican who can caucus with the Republicans but occasionally vote the other party.

Michelle’s suggestion for the Republicans: find someone better. And they could, probably. Someone better, who would lose to a Democrat.

That’s her advice.

I want to suggest the following:

A Republican can win a Democratic district if s/he does the following:

Help their constituents;
Maintain a high level of personal integrity;
Work with Democrats;
Compromise when necessary.

Malkin’s general view is that ideology trumps helping constituents; it’s all pork. Integrity is solely the purview of conservatives. Working with Democrats is enough to to taint any Republican.

What Malkin doesn’t understand is that Liberal Republicans won’t let Democrats use parliamentary procedure to halt discussion prematurely. They’d be supportive of good rules; and challenge corruption in both parties. Diversity within a party strengthens a party. If it weren’t for liberal Republicans, chances are there would be NO current checks and balances in the current health care debate in the Senate. Michelle would rather have two Democrats in Maine than two RINOs. But where would that take her policies?

Malkin has a general skepticism that one can, in good conscience, oppose economic libertarianism, social authoritarianism, and resentment driven populism for good reasons.

So if you were a Republican who wanted to win in a predominantly Democratic, or politically moderate, district, learn to manage government well. Challenge cronies, support good policies, and let the government support good programs. You’d support good policies from Republicans, while also crossing the aisle occasionally when useful.

So Republicans: don’t follow Michelle’s rules about finding the most conservative candidates. They’re already in congress, doing their conservative thing. She is happier with ideological purity than effective governance, sacrificing the desire to get anything done to the idol of a true faith.

Instead, if you would like to be a useful organization, support liberal Republicans who critique the corruption in the Democratic party, monitor the excess of government spending, and provide a beacon of integrity in the political process. There won’t be many. But there should be a few. Without them, the Republican will become a regional party, representing white populism, ineffectively.

A couple notes about NY-23

As someone who misses the liberal wing of the Republican party, I am pleased that Scozzafava was vindicated. Michelle Malkin (who I actually went to college with) is doing her best to spin this. I suspect she wrote two articles. If Owens had lost, she would have declared victory. He won, so she is still declaring victory, but over the Republican elite.

The truth, however, is that a Democrat has won in a district that has gone Republican for more than a century. This should have been an easy district for Republicans to win.

But her band of revolutionaries lost it. The anti-tax, flat earth wing of the corporate party didn’t fly with the traditionalist old school voters considering bread and butter issues prior to the confused ideologies of the Armey/Palin wing. They didn’t need a carpet bagger or outsiders wanting to fight the culture war in NY state.

Note that both Republicans who won in VA and NJ are moderates who may govern responsibly. In the end, this election had little to do with Obama. But people do wish things might move a bit faster. Nate analyzes the data.

Michelle Malkin and her supporters seem content to remain in a minority party, having sacrificed practicality with an authoritarian ideology masking as libertarianism. In the end, for her ideology is more important than governance. And I suspect many people know that when conservatives enter government, they would rather wreck it than run it. Which is why sensible voters won’t go the revolutionary, radical route currently masquerading as real conservatism.

“Liberal” Wing of the Republican Party? There were many. They were conservatives in temperament, but willing to move cautiously for human feeling and integrity.

Jacob Javitz.
Fiorello Laguardia.
Millicent Fenwick.
Barber Conable.
Amo Haughton.
Lowell Weicker.

They supported civil rights, good government, and anti-corruption in both parties.

I suspect that when Obama talks about bi-partisanship, he misses them also. I also bet some Republicans miss them as well. But they have been held hostage by those who demand ideological purity before good government. Whether right or left, the Manichean view that elevates purity and perfection above practicality is a mask for the psychology of tyranny.

Old school, patrician, liberal Republicans knew this, which is why they opposed the radical left. And why they now must oppose the radical right.