Saturday, September 09, 2017

Who Is and Isn't a 'Real Republican'

Conduit for Action recently put up a piece that got a lot of attention called "In Defense of Governor Asa Hutchinson." The article was the furthest thing from a defense. It started with a run-down of all the ways that Hutchinson crossed not only the conservatives which are alleged to be the base of the Republican Party, but even moderates and liberals who are against corruption or downright idiocy ingovernment. For example when he, over the objection of legislators, awarded a contract to a vendor which submitted a bid $20 million dollars higher than the current vendor who had been providing the service without deficiency. Maybe the displaced vendor failed to "donate" to the right PACS?

After the long list of shady and/or leftist actions by the Governor the article finally got to the one thing that they were defending him for. They have heard more and more conservative activists complain that Hutchinson is not a "real Republican" because of issues like the ones that cropped up on that list. But they "defended" him by saying that he is a "real Republican" because the State Republican Party accepted his filing fee! Then they ended with the somewhat cryptic statement "this is what primaries are for."

Independent free-thinking persons will have slight disagreements from time to time and I have a disagreement with my friends at Conduit on their reasoning here. Asa Hutchinson is not a "real" Republican simply because the party accepted his filing fee. The whole point of distinguishing "Republicans" from "Real Republicans" is that some activists believe that there are people abusing the label and filing as Republicans even though they have no commitment to the agreed-on platform or what the vast bulk of the people who vote Republican want. So simply because they took his filing fee does not make him a "Real Republican".

However, the fact is that he is the realist of real Republicans. By that I mean that he accurately and fully represents what Republican leaders have actually done (as opposed to what they said when they campaigned) on a regular basis for a long period of time. He is a real Republican. He has served in very prominent roles for Republican administrations. And the "leadership" of the Republican party does the same kinds of things that he does. He does the kinds of things that leading Republicans have been doing for decades now.

That is because he is one of them and that is what the Republican party now in fact is, no matter what longtime conservative activists want it to be in their fantasies or think of it as in their fading memories. I hate to sound harsh, but the activists who insist that the Republican Party is something different than what Asa Hutchinson is and does are indulging in absurd delusion that we can no longer afford. Remember when you used to be critical of your Democrat neighbors because they refused to see that their party had changed? Well that's you now.

The only thing that might actually save it is for you to leave it and support other brands. At this point, staying is enabling. They have no reason to change anything so long as you continue to support their brand instead of another brand. I am a part of a group, Neighbors of Arkansas, who are seeking ballot access. We are not quite a political party in the traditional sense of the word. We are more like a network of citizens than a formal hierarchy. Starting Sept. 22nd, we will be circulating petitions to get on the ballot. I ask you to go to the link and print off one petition and get nine other voters to sign it and mail it in to us. If you want to do more, get in touch with us, but if we all do a little, it will add up to a lot.


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