The father of the Pyrrhic Victory (
by Steve Timmer
Jun 3, 2012, 10:30 PM

They put the “Pyrrhic” in Victory

Craig Westover and Jason Lewis had their little fun recently when they each had an op-ed in the Strib braying about the nomination of Buffalo Bills as the Republican candidate for the U.S. Senate. Bills’ campaign chair Keith Downey crowed at the MNGOP convention that Bills would bring “Econ 101 to Washington.” As if a college level — even entry level — economics course would be taught by a high school social studies teacher. (More on Professor Bills and Econ 101 to come!)

There was a lot of hoopla when the Titanic slid into the water, too. Short lived. The RNC is going to be an iceberg event — even though it will be held on the Gulf of Mexico — for Ron Paul, Kurt Bills, Keith Downey, Craig Westover, and Jason Lewis, and not to mention that Bills and Co. are going to get beaten like a rug in November.

Westover thinks that the mainstream media is just missing the Ron Paul phenomenon; Paul did well in some caucus states (he didn’t mention caucus states, actually, but they’re the only places where Paul went anywhere):

A viable presidential challenge built by sticking to principle, not telling people only what they want to hear, is a political story the Strib and the Washington Post would shout from the rooftops — if only the message were a message they wanted to hear.

Paul is not a fringe candidate, no siree! In spite of the fact that he’s never polled over fifteen percent in a national poll. But Westover thinks the libertarian Messiah has arrived.

Westover also said this:

That brings us to the WaPo admonition that “Paulites” learn to compromise, lest, says the Strib, the philosophical gulf “that’s already proving difficult to bridge by those seeking to govern this state” grows even wider.

One does not compromise principle. It’s a cliché and a fallacy that, given two diametrically opposed points of view, the “truth” must necessarily lie somewhere in the middle.

In other words, if smaller government is your principle, it matters not a whit what others think or who gets hurt. This brings us right back to my observation about where blind adherence to principle will get you.

And if Craig Westover thinks the Republican have found their Messiah, Jason Lewis believes it is a soul that the GOP found. And what a calcified little sucker it is!

According to Lewis, no less a personage than the son of a president uttered words at the beginning of WWII so  prescient and wise that he’s been saving them up for just this occasion:

Even after the bombs dropped at Pearl Harbor, Sen. Robert Taft, son of President William Howard Taft, wrote to his wife, “I am very pessimistic about the future of the country — we are certainly being dragged towards war and bankruptcy and socialism all at once.”

And the United States ended the very next year. I kid.

Liberty for liberty’s sake! That’s Jason’s motto. Unless, of course, you’re gay.

Update: In his op-ed, Westover brays about politicians telling people only what they want to hear and how the libertarians adhere to principle. In a recent article, though, Cliff Schecter writes about real political courage:

 Courage is a word we often hear bandied about in our modern age, but it is as much in vogue these days as a mullet or Mel Gibson. It can be defined in a variety of ways, but they all have something in common: a willingness to sacrifice one’s own life, wealth, status or something of great import for the greater good.

While this trait may be lacking in our society as a whole, it is even further into remission among our elected political leaders – which is a shame, because we’re in desperate need of it.

Scholars Thomas Mann, of the centrist Brookings Institution, and Norman Ornstein, of the conservative American Enterprise Institute, recently came out and said in their new book what many of us have been thinking: No longer are the dysfunction, polarisation and toxicity of our Congress the fault of both major political parties. These days, this is the singular accomplishment of the Grand Old Party who sees compromise as weakness, thinks science is for suckers and has turned legislating in Washington into one long Gingrich marriage – without the open part, of course. [emphasis added]

In fact, it is the singular lack of courage of any major elected Republican officials in calling out their own party that has helped immensely in getting us into our current age of The Real Housewives of Congress. It was not thus, once. In the 1950s, in a serious act of bravery at the time, Senator Margaret Chase Smith authored a Declaration of Conscience with six other Republican senators, chastising Senator Joseph McCarthy for his paranoid delusions about those sneaky communists hiding inside his empty bottles of Bushmills.

Schecter adds:

In later years, many Republicans rebuked the extremist (and Koch-daddy founded) John Birch Society. Next, then-Senator Barry Goldwater expressed his desire to kick the Reverend Jerry Falwell in a rather rotund part of his exterior when the good preacher attacked Ronald Reagan’s choice of Sandra Day O’Connor as Supreme Court Justice. There are many more examples of this phenomenon.

Juvenile truculence is not courage.

P.S. Thanks for reading, Mitch. What are you up to these days?

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