Monday, May 08, 2006

The fight for the Right in the GOP

Terry Frank is beginning an expose today on Bob Corker and the people who are backing him. I have come to truly love Terry's writing because she epitomizes what being a true conservative is all about. Terry isn't what I call a "conservative of convenience" or a "Wall Street Republican." Terry is a Republican because she is a conservative (as opposed to the other way around) , and she is a conservative because she has real morals and values and maintaining those values in the public square matters to her.

I should point out that what she says about certain people (e.g. the Haslam family and their friends) believing that they run the GOP in East Tennessee is true, and Corker's run is undoubtedly a test for the Haslam clan to see if they can sell a liberal to to the people of East Tennessee (and the entire state) as a conservative. If we are collectively that stupid, they reason, that we would all support Corker in a Primary as a conservative, they can sell Billy Boy Haslam to us as a conservative also.

There is no reason to believe that an utterly incompetent mayor of the third largest city in the State who-as I have pointed out here- doesn't even know how to provide basic urban services-can turn around and be an effective Governor for all Tennesseans. The Haslams and their allies in the City-County building think that those of us in the conservative grassroots of the GOP can be controlled like peons with their oil money. I am here to tell them that we have minds of our own and we shall not be moved.

Even now, these sorts are attempting to get their lackey Corker the Republican nomination so that they can control the State Party. Ladies and Gentlemen, if you thought Don Sundquist was bad, the nightmare of Governor Bill Haslam would utterly destroy the Tennessee Republican Party.

The forces of this "establishment" are pouring all their efforts into defeating true conservatives like State Reprepresenative Stacey Campfield in the August State Primary so that they can fill the legislature with their friends. We must all vow not to let that happen.

I am not discouraged, however. The soldiers of the Army of the Lord will yet win the battle. We must first control our Party before we can begin to dream larger about fully controlling the State and the Nation. The Senate Primary is one test, it is true (an Ed Bryant victory would put the Haslams' undergarments in a tightwad), but to truly control the Party, real conservatives must seek leadership positions within the Party. Run for Central Committee/Executive Committee seats, become active in the local and state Party, become Precinct Chairs/Captains. We must take control from the very bottom up.

True conservatives will eventually win the fight for control of the Republican Party in East Tennessee-the only question is how long that will take.


At Monday, May 08, 2006 10:10:00 PM, Blogger Steve Mule said...

Mr. Oatney,
" ... must seek leadership positions within the Party. Run for Central Committee/Executive Committee seats, become active in the local and state Party, become Precinct Chairs/Captains. We must take control from the very bottom up."
That sounds almost Deaniac!


At Tuesday, May 09, 2006 9:19:00 AM, Blogger Deacon David Oatney said...

Dean's idea's were hardly original. He got them from the Goldwaterites and the Reaganites who did it first.

Whether Goldwater, Reagan, or Dean came up with the notion that bottom up control is how a party is controlled is not important-what is important is that this kind of "bottom-up control" is what we must achieve.

At Tuesday, May 09, 2006 12:50:00 PM, Blogger Steve Mule said...

Mr. Oatney,
I would like to suggest that you read What's The Matter With Kansas by Thomas Frank (ISBN-13:978-0-8050-7774-2). It's a liberal tome to be sure so you might want to go to the Library or MacKay's.
It talks about who's making the money - Frank lumps all conservative together and reading your blog and other's I'm starting to think he might be wrong in doing that. It's just that conservativism was easier to manipulate into cash cow. I think you'd find it very interesting from your prespective.


At Tuesday, May 09, 2006 1:03:00 PM, Blogger Steve Mule said...

Mr. Oatney,
One more thing - taking control of the party (Rep or Dem, no difference) is difficult. You'll run into all sorts of resistance from the entrenched powers that be. Check Brian's Blog and the exchanges that he and I have been having - "liberal Deaniacs, elitist Deaniacs" are the terms he uses - and from what I gather this is how Liberal activists (such as myself and others) in the local Dem party have been discribed to him by the "good democrat" contacts that he has in the local Dem party leadership. I believe Mr. Hornback and I also know who one of these contacts is and have an idea who the others might be. These are the same ones who have resisted almost all efforts to re-vitalize the local Dem party. It's tough and I can only imagine what it'll be like for you and other conservative activists. Good luck, you're going to need it - believe me.


At Tuesday, May 09, 2006 3:50:00 PM, Blogger Deacon David Oatney said...

I think Thomas Frank's big mistake is to assume that all Republicans are conservatives-it isn't so. Many on the right make the same mistake when we collectively assume that all Democrats are liberals.

The truth of the matter is that conservatives are not in control of the national Republican Party and haven't been for quite some time. Do we exert some influence? Sure...primarily because the people up top know that that the party can't win without us, but we do not control the Party, by any stretch of the imagination. We have controlled the Party before (1964-1968, 1980-1988) and we can again, but we do not now.

The so-called "neoconservative" bunch that is in control now has abandoned any pretence of conservatism, and as I have pointed out here before, many if not most of the practitioners of this so-called neoconservatism are really old Democrats, not a few of them from the Northeast, who were tossed out in the McGovern purges of 1972. The prime examples of this kind of thinking are people like Fred Barnes, Irving Kristol, and William Saffire. I mention those folks b/c they are well-known writers-by no means are they the leaders of that faction of the party, but their work is representative of that thinking.

Brian Hornback: I really like Brian and he has been very good to me, for which I am exeedingly thankful. I think he is an effective Party Chair, even though he and I (like he and Rob Huddleston, for instance) do not see eye to eye on all things. Like most Chairmen, there is only so much he can do. To see real change, you really need to see it not just in one or two positions, but every Party position down the line.

At Tuesday, May 09, 2006 6:23:00 PM, Blogger Steve Mule said...

Mr. Oatney,
I didn't mean to slam Mr. Hornback or make comment on his tenure as GOP Chair. If I wanted to do that I'd say it on his blog. I was only pointing out the adjectives he has been using and where he got them from - individuals like myself that are trying to do what you've described yourself wanting to do within the GOP. That's all and you're completely correct one or two positions won't do it.


At Wednesday, May 10, 2006 4:28:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

"The forces of this "establishment" are pouring all their efforts into defeating true conservatives like State Reprepresenative Stacey Campfield in the August State Primary so that they can fill the legislature with their friend."

What in the world are you talking about???

At Wednesday, May 10, 2006 8:24:00 PM, Blogger Deacon David Oatney said...

Exactly what I said-it speaks for itself, I think.

At Wednesday, May 10, 2006 9:22:00 PM, Blogger Steve Mule said...

Mr. Oatney,
Actually it doesn't speak for itself - I understand what you're saying but, unfortunately, Rep. Campfield is a poor standard bearer for "true conservatism." He has done and said somethings that have ... well, have not cast himself in a very positive light and by association, the Republican Party. While you might pass over these as mere follibles, I see them as golden oppertunities to hurt/kill his chances at reelection (I'm a Democrat, remember)and others over in the GOP camp as prime reasons to cut him loose and suport another Republican candidate. It's that or get used to saying Rep. Pettigrew.
I know several conservatives that agree with Rep. Campfield idealogically but can't get past the embarassment of his misteps.
Re-reading anonymous' comment - I think that may be the source of their befudlement. When I read your posting I had to shake my head and offer up a prayer and hope that ALL conservatives take up Campfield as their standard bearer!


At Wednesday, May 10, 2006 11:03:00 PM, Blogger Deacon David Oatney said...

Its not that Stacey is a "standard-bearer," knowing Stacey I can tell you that A.) He is genuine B.) His convictions are real, I don't believe he can be bought and C.) He really does try to serve people. Indeed, he is the only Rep. I have ever called who answers his own phone when the House is not in session or he is not in a committee meeting.

Has he made mistakes? Sure he has. He is a rare bird-a freshman conservative Rep desperately trying to reform "the system of things." I would expect he'll make mistakes, I know I would.

My point is that it isn't "Stacey" so much as he is representative of many others who are trying to be in public service and are either scared off or are run off-on both sides of the aisle. People who are trying to act on the convictions that they won election on-not just use them to get elected. In simpler terms-people who are Real, not just those who Get Right during an election year.

At Friday, May 12, 2006 12:26:00 AM, Blogger Steve Mule said...

Mr. Hornback,
I understand what you are saying. However, his "missteps" were not the honest missteps of a novice with a pure heart - they were the boo-boo's of someone who, to put it plainly & simply, is not the brightest blub in the box. He has conducted himself as a throughly honest, committed, idealogically pure idiot. And unfortunately, he's not going to be able to shake that label.
With the Conservative Base now becoming more and more demoralized (as evidenced even by your own recent postings) the "establishment" is shooting for electability rather than anything else. They don't want to loose this seat to a Democrat which they will do if he runs again. After August it'll be Drinnen versus Pettigrew. It won't be because they don't like or value the base (they do) it's because they want to maintain and, hopefully, increase Republican numbers in the house. Campfield can't do that for them, he's to damaged - damage he's done to himself. It's either "Boycott Taco Bell" boy versus Pettigrew or Drinnen versus Pettigrew and the second choice is much more competitive.


At Friday, May 12, 2006 8:26:00 AM, Blogger Deacon David Oatney said...

First of all, remember I am Mr. Oatney, not Mr. Hornback. And Steve, as much as I appreciate your courtesy, and I am sure Brian does too, you hang around our blogs so much that I think you can call us by our first names now.

Stacey is more than just a blogging buddy to me, he is a friend, so I will admit that I have a bias-however, if there is one thing Stacey Campfield is NOT, it is an idiot. I have met many idiots in my life, and I mean idiots from all walks of life, and all sides of the political spectrum. I could do a 40-entry blogging series entitled "My Experiences With Idiots," and if I did I'd probably start with the school superintendent that once told my mother "we have places for people like him-WHILE I WAS IN THE ROOM! My work in the field of bringing idiots to some level of actual thought is thorough and wide-ranging. In light of this, I think you'll just have to trust my judgement here-Stacey Campfield is not an idiot.

I think you underestimate his appeal. His voters are motivated and will show up on Primary Day. What's more, with a three-man race, Stacey stands to be the beneficiary. If you've never been a conservative, you really don't understand something critical about the conservative mind: It is when we are angry about the State of Affairs both inside and outside the conservative movement that we tend to gravitate toward the most conservative of conservative leaders, and we'll stand or fall with these people together.

At Saturday, May 13, 2006 12:08:00 AM, Blogger Steve Mule said...

MY BAD!! I apologize for the mistake - I was totally not paying enough attention to what I was doing.
I know Rep. Campfield personally and he is not an idiot in the sense of being of low IQ - he's a political idiot - his misteps have proved that over and over. Also, as you point out it is a three man race - the third man being another conservative, as conservative as Rep. Campfield (and a former campaign staffer of Rep. Campfield's). He will split the conservative vote between those loyal to Rep. Campfield and those that recognize the wieght of Rep. Campfield's baggage. This will leave the field to Drinnen and his $$ and "electability."


At Saturday, May 13, 2006 11:54:00 AM, Blogger Deacon David Oatney said...

I think that you'll be surprised at just how well conservatives unite behind Campfield. I have talked with some other conservatives in the district, and not a few that either are active or have been active in Party circles in the past-a lot of these are standing behind Stacey.

If Drinnen should win the Primary, it ought to make you pretty happy Steve, because I think that would be a good situation for Mr. Pettigrew.

By the way-between my blog and Brian Hornback's, you spend a lot of time commenting, but I have read your blog, and I notice you don't update it regularly-perhaps you should.

At Saturday, May 13, 2006 1:36:00 PM, Blogger Steve Mule said...

Yes, you're right about my blog - I should update it more. It's just something I haven't gotten into the habit of it yet. At the end of the day I climb into bed and then just before I slip off into sleep (when we all remember what we forgot to do) I'll remember I was going to post on this or that or whatever, darn ... zzzz. I'm working on it. :-)
Frankly, I think that a Drinnen versus Mrs. Pettigrew would be more competitive than a Campfield versus Mrs. Pettigrew race.


At Saturday, May 13, 2006 1:53:00 PM, Blogger Deacon David Oatney said...

Ahh yes-Schree is a woman. I'd quite forgotten. You're right about the race being more competative if Stacey wins the primary-I think Schree stands the best chance of winning if Drinnen wins!

At Saturday, May 13, 2006 3:06:00 PM, Blogger Steve Mule said...

I thought you'd just made a typo,
I do that quite often :-)
Uh, I think you misunderstood me - I feel the race will more competive if Drinnen wins - "electability" versus Democrat instead of "Foot-in-mouth" versus a "New, smart, fresh face" kind'a race.



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