July 6, 2014

944 words 5 mins read

Thad Cochran's Pyrrhic Win

Pyrrhic victory is a victory with such a devastating cost that it is tantamount to defeat. Someone who wins a Pyrrhic victory has been victorious in some way; however, the heavy toll negates any sense of achievement or profit (another term for this would be “hollow victory”).

— from Wikipedia

I keep some things in a little box in my bedroom. Some Navy and submarine mementos, some letters, favorite photos of the kids that mean things only to me.

In that box are a few political reminders, too. Some Reagan campaign buttons from 1980 and 1984, Jack Kemp stuff from 1988, and a series of Republican lapel pins, buttons, and ID cards from 1980 through 1996.

Yes, I was a proud Republican for a long time. An old high school friend of mine liked to mock me for introducing myself as a Republican. It’s what I led with.

In 1996, I struggling to keep a little company afloat while working full time as an IS manager at a small healthcare company in St. Louis. I was also writing an online column three times a week. Financially, things weren’t so hot.

But politically, things were looking up. Republicans had taken the House of Representatives for the first time in my life. Democrat President Clinton was at the bottom of the polls. The Democrats had abandoned HillaryCare, and real welfare reform was assured.

Then, the Republicans nominated the only man alive who could lose to a weakened Bill Clinton. When Tony Bennett said, “We win!” at Clinton’s election night party in 1996, something came apart in my mind. Or in my heart.

Because of that troubled, pained revelation in 1996, I could feel Dan Riehl’s pain last Tuesday as the Cochran-McDaniel fiasco peaked.

I honestly hate seeing a thread of tweets like these. Dan’s a good guy who believes in liberty. As you’ll see, he’s a true Reagan Democrat who bought Reagan’s message of freedom and liberty and believe Reagan’s message was the Republican message. Like many of us, Dan has realized that the GOP never bought Reagan’s message. Republicans simply rode out the storm until Reagan rode off into the sunset.

Today’s GOP = mediocre collection of middle managers not good enough for corp America, so they make government and growing it their biz

— DanRiehl (@DanRiehl) June 26, 2014


As a kid GOP = boring tight-assed old white guys who exploited middle class for $. Reagan changed my view. But that’s over now.

— DanRiehl (@DanRiehl) June 26, 2014

Can’t have GOP unity as there’s no unifying principle that they stand for consistently that matters outside the corporate boardroom

— DanRiehl (@DanRiehl) June 26, 2014

Money talks, purpose walks.

I can’t support a party that would do what it did to keep Thad Cochran in office. As an original Reagan Democrat. I’m done.

— DanRiehl (@DanRiehl) June 25, 2014

Seriously, if you’re at all genuinely conservative and you keep voting for this GOP, you’re either stupid or like being abused

— DanRiehl (@DanRiehl) June 25, 2014

So McConnell and the GOP establishment made their wish come true in Mississippi. They sold their souls to crush a purpose-driven conservative and preserve a fossil for another round of fundraising with the Chamber of Commerce.

At what price? From Politico:

The scope of the effort to suppress activist-backed candidates has been broader and costlier than is widely understood, covering at least 20 House and Senate primaries from North Carolina to California, and from coastal Mississippi to the outer tip of Long Island. The loose coalition of establishment forces encompasses two dozen advocacy groups, industry associations and super PACs that have raised and spent millions on behalf of Washington’s chosen candidates.

That’s why I’m taking it easy for the 2014 election. I’ll support Tony Pousosa  for St. Louis County Executive and a few other excellent candidates for various offices. I’ll vote, but a lot of my votes will go to the candidate I deem most likely to maximize my freedom and power, not the candidate the GOP chose for me. And when I talk to people, I’ll encourage them to look beyond the establishment parties we’ve been told are the only choices.

In Mississippi, the Republican power decided that crushing a principled grassroots candidate was more important than saving the republic. They won that battle. And they might win a few more this year. For many reasons, I think the GOP will do well in 2014’s general election, too. Might even win the Senate. I won’t be surprised at all if November brings news of the end of the tea party (again), and the return of the Republican Establishment.

But 2016 could be a very different story. Between 2014 and 2016, about 4 million reliable voters will die. About 2.8 million of them are reliable Republican votes. The deceased will be replaced by about 5.8 million new voters from a generation with a strong libertarian streak that grows stronger every day.

This Chamber of Commerce GOP of the 2010s has given Millennials no reason to consider the Republican party its political home. In Mississippi, the Republicans validated Millennial’s distrust of institutions. And in 2016, Millennials will decide everything.

The armies separated; and, it is said, Pyrrhus replied to one that gave him joy of his victory that one more such victory would utterly undo him. — Plutarch

So, congratulations Mitch McConnell and Thad Cochran. One more victory like this and it’ll be the end of you.

Good riddance.

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The New American Political Dichotomy

What To Do About the New Dichotomy

Why We’re The RINOs

The American Masque of the Red Death