“If you are in the hip pocket of any political party, prepare to be sat on.” ~ Gary North
Political victory in the United States is best defined as follows:
Getting your political agenda enacted into law, enforced by the Executive branch, and upheld by the courts.
A definition of political victory that ignores any of these criteria is part of a shell game: getting people elected for their careers’ sake, not your agenda.
To achieve this three-part victory, you must be part of a voting bloc that has the power to impose sanctions: positive and negative.
Establishment politicians understand this. They respect it. They have learned to exploit it. They tell their constituents: “You can win through me if you supply the votes to enable me to win (positive sanction) at the expense of my opponent (negative sanction).” This is the politics of the shell game, what I call the Punch and Judy show.
The correct definition of the power to impose political sanctions is this:
Sufficient votes to deliberately keep your party’s candidate from winning in November if he waffles, and sufficient votes to elect his replacement two years later.
There is a corollary:
The willingness to run a post-nomination independent candidate against an incumbent member of your party if he has waffled during his most recent term in office.
Any voting bloc that has this ability will not be in any party’s hip pocket.
Conclusion: a fundamental strategy for political success is to get the rival wing of your party into the party’s hip pocket.
In modern American history, we saw this strategy applied by the Eastern Republican Establishment’s refusal to support Goldwater in 1964. They ran Governor Scranton as a last-ditch effort to keep Goldwater from getting the nomination. When that failed, they literally walked out of the convention.
Johnson won in 1964. He did not run in 1968. Nixon defeated Humphrey, and the Republican Establishment took over the White House in 1969. They were willing to go down to defeat in 1964 in order to ruin the Goldwater wing of the party. They were wise to do this.
by Will Durst
A few words of advice for all you anti-Obama conservatives out there. Quit it with the whole teleprompter fixation, would ya? Okay, okay, we get it, you don’t like the president. And you’ll throw the kitchen sink to attack him on everything under the sun; from being responsible for the recent rash of substandard Vermont maple syrup crops to the irksome infestation of grunge rock into country-western music, all the way to wormy pears. Everything he stands for is bad, and everything he’s against is good. Got it.
But in order to avoid major mortification, you’ve got to stop with the “overly dependent on the teleprompter” charge. Please. Really. You need a new argument. And trust me, there’s a veritable plethora of opportunities available. Why don’t you make fun of the way he cocks his head and looks Messianically upward like he’s trying to catch the whisper of God on an errant zephyr? Or you could profess incredulity at the global-cooling shade provided by his overlarge ears or remark on how he’s such a conciliator he probably clogs up the express lane for hours while dithering over the dilemma of “paper or plastic.”
I’m serious here, and only trying to help. You look like idiots. For one thing, Everybody uses a teleprompter. No. No. No. EVERYBODY. I’m talking CEOs, news anchors, dog-catchers, dog-throwers, late night talk-show hosts and every politician on the face of the planet. When Glenn Beck spits contempt at the president’s lame reliance on a teleprompter he’s reading his criticism… off a teleprompter.
A teleprompter is a tool. Like rolling notes. It’s the words that count. You might as well criticize cooks and chefs for their preposterous dependence on pots. What is it with firemen and their hoses? Ski poles are obviously snow crutches and anyone using them at the Olympics should be disqualified. And shot. Or are you just emulating Emerson by eschewing the foolish consistency that is the hobgoblin of little minds?