Patterico's Pontifications


Sowell on Cruz, Part III: Forget the Alamo!!!

Filed under: General — Patterico @ 12:45 pm

Thomas Sowell has a new column in National Review Online that essentially serves as the third entry in his trilogy about the terrible threat that Ted Cruz’s integrity poses to the establishment Republican Party. I covered Parts One and Two in previous posts (my response to Part One and my response to Part Two).

In Part One, Sowell furnished readers with a rambling and nonspecific criticism of Cruz, which ended with a whispered acknowledgement that, well, OK, establishment Republicans seem to lack principles nowadays. In Part Two, Sowell criticized Cruz for jeopardizing Republicans’ electoral prospects, but then (schizophrenically) Sowell chronicled why Republicans don’t deserve to be elected. In my post in response, I expressed hope that Sowell was starting to see the light.

I was wrong. Sowell’s latest piece doubles down against Cruz, arguing that one does not fight unwinnable battles in a war:

In a war, you do not fight battles that you are certain to lose, if only because you will need your troops to fight later in battles you can win. The British troops who escaped from Dunkirk came back to France four years later, as part of the massive invasion forces that stormed the beaches at Normandy, liberated France, and pushed on into Germany for the final defeat of the Nazi regime.

In politics, as in war, you need power to win, and you don’t dissipate your forces fighting battles that you are sure to lose. Symbolism and emotional self-indulgence are just not worth it.

I have three words for Thomas Sowell:


Screen Shot 2014-02-22 at 12.41.36 PM
Above: Thomas Sowell has forgotten

Tomorrow marks the 178th anniversary of the beginning of the siege of the Alamo. Every Texas schoolchild knows the apocryphal story wherein William Travis drew a line in the dirt and gave his men a choice: turn tail and run, or step across the line to indicate a willingness to stay and fight. The story goes that Jim Bowie (of “Bowie knife” fame) was sick in a cot, and asked other men to carry his cot across the line, to show he was ready to do battle.

Whether that particular story is true or not, the fact remains that Bowie, Travis, Davy Crockett, and almost 180 other brave souls fought to the death at the Alamo, killing 400-600 of Santa Anna’s soldiers in the process. The battle was “lost” — but it was the turning point in the war. Santa Anna thought that the massacre would keep Texans from fighting back, but it had the opposite effect. Men joined Sam Houston’s army in droves. At the decisive battle, the Battle of San Jacinto, Texan soldiers, were heard to cry: “Remember the Alamo!”

Thomas Sowell has forgotten what so many Texans remember, and will never forget.

It seems fitting that many of the folks on this site who intuitively understand how Sowell is getting this wrong are Texans. (The rest of you can be honorary Texans!) Indeed, it is especially fitting that the primary target of Sowell’s broadside is the junior Senator from Texas, Ted Cruz.

Even battles that end in victory sometimes look daunting before the fighting is joined. I had the privilege of visiting the D-Day beaches last summer, and I can tell you this: anyone who thought the Allies knew this plan was certain to succeed simply does not know the history. A previous attempt to invade the continent had ended in disaster, and poor weather could easily have turned the second attempt into a similar slaughter and Nazi victory.

The men who stormed the beaches at Normandy did not know that they would live, and they did not know that their side would prevail. They knew only one thing: this battle was necessary. And so, they fought it.

We’re at a turning point in this country. It is painfully obvious that we can’t continue on the present course, or anything like it, without facing certain financial disaster. Careful tinkering, fretting about polling, and handwringing concern about how voters will react to the slightest show of courage — that is the way of the estalishment Republicans, and it will not get the job done. We need men who are willing to fight to save this country, even if it means risk to themselves.

Ted Cruz is drawing a line in the dirt. I am stepping over it. Thomas Sowell is staying put. Whose side will you be on?

205 Responses to “Sowell on Cruz, Part III: Forget the Alamo!!!”

  1. Ding.

    Patterico (9c670f)

  2. Bravo. I stand with you. I stand with freedom’s cause.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  3. Thomas Sowell seems to be busily proving the adage that maybe a brilliant Brain Surgeon might not be the best choice to rebuild your transmission.
    I respect Dr. Sowell as an outstanding economist, however, he seems to lack a certain gravitas when he strays into Party Politics.

    jhep3304 (ee2c9e)

  4. And this is how politics is different than warfare. Fighting a political battle you may not be able to win (I say may because we don’t know if we can win if we never bother to fight) is an excellent way to the the base to turn out at the polls. The GOP establishment rolling over at every opportunity is an excellent way to make sure we don’t bother to turn out.
    This is one of many reasons I hate war/battle metaphors in politics. Name the last time losing a political battle got someone killed in this country. I know politicians want everyone to believe they are so very brave, but lets get a bit of perspective here.
    And to all of those in the GOP establishment who throw Reagan’s admonishment against eating our own in our faces, remind them of the names McCain, Specter, and Bennett.

    Wyfaggro (d95bc6)

  5. So fill in the blanks: If the House Republicans did _____, they would get another _____ million votes. What goes in the blanks?

    Gerald A (bfbd30)

  6. Or is this something in the Senate?

    Gerald A (bfbd30)

  7. It’s not enough.

    Colonel Haiku (4ced38)

  8. I did a double backflip going over that line in the dirt.

    mg (31009b)

  9. If the house of republicans did amnesty, they would get another 3 million votes less.

    mg (31009b)

  10. I will stand on the side of the correct principles. In this case, it would be Cruz, not Sowell.

    Sowell might have been making a point to consider about the Republicans staying “non-controversial” in order to win the Congress in the ’14 elections if they would do something principled afterwards. Regrettably, history has shown a) they have no principles and b) they won’t act on anything that will make the cool kids mad at them and I have no reason to think that things would change this time around, either.

    Cruz is so fanatically opposed by the Left because he represents what the socialists fear most: a principled opposition. Principles transcend a given actor and stir the base, whichever side it may be. The socialist wannabes (i.e., the R’s) have no principles that can compete with full, pressure-group warfare socialism. When people have been told that a) the pie is limited so b) you’d better mobilize to gain your slice of the pie, they will. When they’ve been told that in order to gain their slice of the pie, it will have to come from someone else then they’ll take it and not look back.

    Cruz merely echos what used to be the conservative party line and embarrasses the Old Guard in the process. It is a battle for the soul of the party. He’s the only one that I’d throw in with.

    J.P. (bd0246)

  11. In the words of Yosemite Sam, “Ah’m a-steppin’.”

    luagha (9f7e0d)

  12. I still have Ted Cruz listed in my endorsements. Ted Cruz is right and Thomas Sowell is wrong.

    John Hitchcock (5c4303)

  13. They did not yell just “Remember the Alamo!”, they also yelled “Remember Goliad!”. Goliad was the fort that surrendered to Santa Anna, and then were slaughtered by his orders.

    ElvenPhoenix (bf3fdf)

  14. Didn’t our first president lose twice as many battles as he won?

    mg (31009b)

  15. It might be incrementally better. But it’s not enough.

    Colonel Haiku (4ced38)

  16. Patterico, the difference is not that we don’t see the financial dangers, or worry about them as much, but that we feel that Cruz & Co are counter-productive. They are more likely to increase the odds of disaster by being jerks and driving away people we need.

    If we don’t try to convince people who are on the fence, how are awe going to solve this with democratic means?

    Or is that not the plan? Is this too important to be left to democracy?

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  17. I mean, all these arguments about the barricades and one wonders what the plan is. One hopes it is just rhetoric.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  18. @#13:

    And, at the time, they were called Texians.

    Line’s been behind me my entire life.

    Captain Ned (401d83)

  19. For someone who is all up-in-arms about the public debt and the need to DO SOMETHING right the eff now, I remind you of this post were you defended the people running up the debt, for (to me, weak) procedural reasons. And that I was arguing then for taking it to them.

    But then we lost the 2012 election, in part due to people who couldn’t see a dime’s worth of difference between Obama and Romney. And those are the people who are all hell-bent now on pretending like we won and have power, rather than realizing, like grownups do, that we have to recover some strength before we can fight again.

    Sure, we have the House. Tip O’Neil had the House, too, with a bigger margin each and every year than Boehner has ever had, and he couldn’t do jack against Reagan.

    It’s not enough. Wait until they’re in range.

    Kevin M (dbcba4)

  20. from what i’ve read, the men at the Alamo also killed a large number of the NCOs making the attacks, which meant that when the Mexican army was surprised at San Jacinto, there was no one left to lead the troops, which is a major reason they broke & ran.

    so yes, fighting at the Alamo helped win the war.

    Sowell needs to stick to subjects he’s versed in…

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  21. Sure, we have the House. Tip O’Neil had the House, too, with a bigger margin each and every year than Boehner has ever had, and he couldn’t do jack against Reagan.

    That’s why Reagan won all those spending battles and spending and deficits plummeted under Reagan.

    Oh, wait…

    Patterico (9c670f)

  22. The war analogies only go so far. I was amused by this column because a couple of days ago I said I was sick and tired of being lied to so the GOP could string me along so I’d show up for the next Dunkirk.

    The lesson of Dunkirk is, don’t keep delivering Dunkirks. If every battle is planned to end like the one at Dunkirk, then eventually the troops desert. And those small civilian boats will stop showing up to pull your bacon out of the fire.

    The problem with the budget showdown was that the leadership planned from the start to end it in disaster. In Sowell’s earlier problem he touched on the problem but it seems he failed to comprehend its significance pertaining to these “unwinnable” battles.

    Here was a golden opportunity to cut through the Obama administration rhetoric and set the record straight on the issues at hand. But apparently Speaker Boehner couldn’t be bothered to have a prepared, and previously thought out, statement to present, conveying something more than his disgust.

    Even had they known going in they wouldn’t get what they wanted, they didn’t even have any intention of placing the blame for the shutdown on Obama. And indeed it was Obama who shut down the government because he wouldn’t negotiate. The GOP offered to fund the entire government including Obamacare. But Obama would not negotiate.

    Clearly when Obama took that position he was at fault. It was beneath him to find any common ground with the representatives of the 47% of Americans who voted against him and his policies. His refusal to negotiate was anti-democratic.

    I could have have drafted talking points based upon these points that all Republicans could have used. Short, simple, and unlike Democratic talking points entirely true.

    Barack Obama shut down the government because he has to have everything 100% his way. He despises the 47% of Americans who disapprove of his policies. And he despises representative democracy. It’s his way or the highway.

    But, no. Boehner and the moderates announced ahead of time it wouldn’t work. Fretted openly that the media would blame them. Then made the job easier by agreeing that the GOP shut down the government and it was a disaster. It was enough for Louie Gohmert to start a PAC in disgust.

    Gohmert detailed a long history of struggle and a do-nothing spirit within the Republican caucus, and the “depression” conservative House members felt when Speaker John Boehner conceded that Republicans shut down the government, a statement that must have been based on “reading the mainstream media and failing to read the record.”

    Read more:

    Boehner is a disgrace. He went on Leno and repeated this fiction recently. The GOP establishment leadership clearly doesn’t want to confront Obama and wants everyone in the caucus to know they will betray the conservatives by parroting DNC talking points if that’s what its going to get everyone to sit down and shut up and surrender.

    Sowell is wrong in that these aren’t unwinnable fights. But you can never win a fight when you plan for defeat months in advance.

    I’m all for being a team player. But not when the team co-captains plan is to throw every game.

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  23. In Sowell’s earlier problem…

    Freudian slip.

    In Sowell’s earlier column…

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  24. In actual warfare you do fight “unwinnable” fights.

    …Saragarhi and Thermopylae

    The battle has frequently been compared to the Battle of Thermopylae, where a small Greek force faced a large Persian army of Xerxes (480 BC).

    It is important to note that during the Battle of Saraghari, the British did not manage to get a relief unit there until after the 21 had fought to their deaths. At Thermopylae, the 300 Spartans also stayed after their lines had been breached, to fight to their deaths.

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  25. “You are never disappointed when you are with the Sikhs. Those 21 soldiers all fought to the death. That bravery should be within all of us. Those soldiers were lauded in Britain and their pride went throughout the Indian Army. Inside every Sikh should be this pride and courage. The important thing is that you must not get too big-headed it is important to be humble in victory and to pay respect to the other side.” – Field Marshal William Joseph Slim, 1st Viscount Slim

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  26. Like every state, Texas has two United States Senators.

    I was proud to endorse and promote the candidacy of Ted Cruz in its earliest days. As I hoped and predicted, he has not only represented the State of Texas as a United States Senator, he has become a leader and educator of public opinion for the conservative movement. I expect great things of and for him.

    But the senior senator from Texas, John Cornyn, is fighting a contested primary this month. He is many things that Sen. Cruz is not, which I will imprecisely lump together in the deliberately vague term “a good Party man.” A block from my house, one of my neighbors has a large banner affixed to his fenceline which reads: “Cornyn voted to fund Obamacare!” The sign actually has a footnote — I tip my hat to it and its author for their factual integrity — which specifically references by date Cornyn’s vote in favor of cloture on the recent budget compromise that prevented another government shutdown in advance of the 2014 elections. My neighbor is obviously furious with what he deems a betrayal by Sen. Cornyn of conservative principles that have been magnificently and articulately championed of late by Texas’ junior Senator, Ted Cruz.

    I am not furious with Sen. Cornyn. I will vote for him in the Texas GOP primary, and I expect that he will win it without a runoff because most Texas Republicans will do the same. By reelecting John Cornyn, we’re not deserting Ted Cruz or the principles he has so brilliantly and conspicuously championed. We are merely recognizing that government, as applied, must be the art of the possible.

    I’m glad, then, that the Constitution permits Texas its two United States Senators. Certainly a state as large and significant as Texas deserves to have two senators who can represent the conservative point of view from, respectively, an idealistic and intransigent posture, and an aggressive but occasionally compromising one. John Cornyn and his ilk have actually managed to put something of a brake on Barack Obama’s excesses, and if you deny that, I urge you to think back to 2009 and utterly refute you with two words: “Stimulus” and “Obamacare,” the two spectacular defeats for conservatism and triumphs for Obamaism; it’s the John Cornyns (and, yes, the Paul Ryans and John Boehners and even the Mitch McConnells) who have prevented more such. But it’s Ted Cruz and a very few like him who will, perhaps, swing 10% or so of the American voting public away from the disasters of the 2008 and 2012 elections.

    All of which is to say: I think you’re most right, Patrick, about Cruz. But I don’t think Sowell is entirely wrong about him, and I’m content for now — indeed, I’m well pleased — that Texas will continue to have both Ted Cruz and John Cornyn representing it in the United States Senate as reconstituted in January 2015.

    Beldar (8ff56a)



    A speeding truck bomb, and a shared act of courage

    Two Marines in Iraq saved dozens — but not themselves. They’ll be awarded the Navy Cross.

    December 29, 2008|Tony Perry

    SAN DIEGO — They had known each other only a few minutes, but they will be linked forever in what Marine brass say is one of the most extraordinary acts of courage and sacrifice in the Iraq war.

    Cpl. Jonathan Yale, 21, grew up poor in rural Virginia. He had joined the Marine Corps to put structure in his life and to help support his mother and sister. He was within a few days of heading home.

    Lance Cpl. Jordan Haerter, 19, was from a comfortably middle-class suburb on Long Island. As a boy, he had worn military garb, and he had felt the pull of adventure and patriotism. He had just arrived in Iraq.

    …Maj. Gen. John Kelly, the top Marine in Iraq, wanted to know how the attack happened.

    …He went to Ramadi to interview Iraqi witnesses — a task generals usually delegate to subordinates.

    Some Iraqis told him they were incredulous that the two Marines had not fled.

    When Marine technicians restored a damaged security camera, the images were undeniable.

    While Iraqi police fled, Haerter and Yale had never flinched and never stopped firing as the Mercedes truck — the same model used in the Beirut bombing — sped directly toward them.

    Without their steadfastness, the truck would probably have penetrated the compound before it exploded, and 50 or more Marines and Iraqis would have been killed. The incident happened in just six seconds.

    “No time to talk it over; no time to call the lieutenant; no time to think about their own lives or even the American and Iraqi lives they were protecting,” Kelly said. “More than enough time, however, to do their duty. They never hesitated or tried to escape.”

    I didn’t cite this article to draw any sort of parallel between war and politics. There isn’t any, really, not matter how many times pols talk about fighting or drawing fire. Those Marines fought.

    Meanwhile our GOP pols quail at the thought of facing a hostile press that will blame them for the President’s actions. So they knuckle under.

    The GOP pols had 4 months to plan how to confront Obama over the debt ceiling and failed to come up with a way to do their duty by the country. The Marines only needed six seconds and succeeded in doing their duty.

    I don’t mind that old men vote to send young men to fight; that’s always been the nature of things. I don’t even mind when some of those old men didn’t wear the uniform of their country themselves. I do mind, in fact I’m disgusted, when they don’t even try to be worthy of the job. The Democrats are trying to bankrupt the country, and Boehner, McConnell and the other establishment Republicans won’t try to stop them because they’re afraid the MFM will blame them for something. And then snakes like McConnell try to fool their own base to believe that they voted against giving the President a credit card with no limit by arranging a meaningless show vote.

    Someone needs to tell Thomas Sowell that just because old fools don’t have the stomach for a fight doesn’t mean the fight they ran from was unwinnable.

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  28. Obviously Dr. Sowell is unaware that it is not the battles you win, or lose, it is who comes out on top at the end of the war. Travis, Bowie and Crockett knew this as did George Washington who lost a few battles himself.

    But now it seems vogue to bash Ted Cruz because he stands up to the establishment GOP who has managed to give us Barack Obama. Add Ann Coulter to that growing list of malcontents who cannot admit that the Boehner/McConnell wing of the GOP has gotten Republicans where they are today; losing puppets manipulated by Harry Reid.

    But I promise you, Ted Cruz will not be swayed by the naysayers. He will continue to fight as he knows the cost of the loss.

    Yes, Patterico, I agree with you. The Alamo is a much better example than Dunkirk. And while Sowell may say that you never fight battles you cannot win, he might want to check out our American history a little better and understand sometimes you have to fight battles that you did not want to fight, but were brought to you just the same and the only option then becomes stand and fight, or run.

    Dr. Sowell has joined the “go along to git along” crowd who will only guarantee the Republican Party going the way of the Whigs. I, like Ted Cruz, prefer to die standing rather than live on my knees.

    retire05 (bf29ab)

  29. FWIW, Travis, Bowie, and Crockett all died at the Alamo having no knowledge that Texas had declared its independence. They were fighting to restore the Mexican Constitution of 1824, the flag of which was flying over the Alamo when Santa Anna’s troops slaughtered them.

    Heroes, yes! But prophets … eh, not so much.

    Beldar (8ff56a)

  30. General Sam Houston thought the Alamo was a fight not worth fighting. He commanded (perhaps technically “requested”) that Bowie destroy the compound and munitions then retreat to points east. Bowie ignored him. By delaying Santa Anna for several weeks and inflicting such heavy losses on the Mexican army, this gave Sam Houston a chance at victory that he would not have had had his orders been followed.

    GreggTex (2c0dac)

  31. Beldar,

    You may vote for Cornyn, but my vote against him will offset yours. Unfortunately, Senator Cornyn has become drunk on the water of the Potomac, and it is time to send him back to Texas.

    The debt ceiling cloture vote was not the only time Cornyn misjudged the Texas electorate. He has become, to quote Sam Rayburn, a go along to git along politician and not the citizen legislator that our Founders envisioned. Perhaps that explains Cornyn’s less than 50% approval rating in his own state.

    We need to rid ourselves of the McCains, the Grahamns, the McConnells and yes, the Cornyns and put into their seats more Mike Lees, more Rand Pauls and more Ted Cruz’.

    retire05 (bf29ab)

  32. Hmm, I think I was sloppy in my link just now, and the linked webpage is a minority (but interesting) viewpoint about the Texas Revolution. Wikipedia at least has the dates right, and word of the declaration of Texas Independence on March 2, 1836, had not reached the Alamo’s defenders when it fell on March 6, 1836.

    Beldar (8ff56a)

  33. GreggTex, yes, General Houston thought that the fight to keep the Alamo was probably folly, but if you read the history as it was, Houston allowed Travis authority to decide to continue to man the Alamo once he spoke with Col. James Neill, the man from Mina and the original commandant of the Alamo.

    Travis was never meant to command the Alamo, and it was only due to a family illness that Neill left and returned to Mina. He returned to San Antonio the day after the Alamo fell, and then headed toward San Jacinto as all was lost in Bexar.

    Beldar, Travis knew that Houston needed time, and time he was going to buy him. Are you trying to tell us that independence was not part of his goal, or the goal of the heroes of the Alamo? Surely not.

    retire05 (bf29ab)

  34. @ GreggTex (2c0dac) — 2/22/2014 @ 5:24 pm: Actually, Sam Houston continued retreating, avoiding conflict with Santa Anna’s numerically superior and better-trained and -equipped army, and would have done so even had the garrisons massacred at the Alamo and Goliad had escaped to join him. Houston was a strategist, not a tactician, and correctly recognized that it was of overpowering importance to chose the time and place of battle — which he did, after Santa Anna had split and exhausted his forces far from its bases of supply.

    The resulting Battle of San Jacinto — still taught at West Point and other military academies as one of the most lopsided and decisive battles in which good generalship overcame all other advantages — benefited somewhat from the battle-cry of “Remember the Alamo! Remember Goliad!” But that, frankly, was icing on the cake. Those defeats were defeats, albeit noble and heroic ones.

    Beldar (8ff56a)

  35. Beldar, are you claiming that Travis would not have known the purpose of the gathering at San Felipe?

    retire05 (bf29ab)

  36. @ retire05 (bf29ab) — 2/22/2014 @ 5:33 pm: Everything I’ve read suggests that the defenders of the Alamo were, to their deaths, of mixed opinions regarding the question of independence. I don’t doubt that had they known of the March 2nd declaration from Washington-on-the-Brazos, most of them would have rallied behind it. But they didn’t, and therefore couldn’t have.

    Beldar (8ff56a)

  37. “If you will not fight for right when you can easily win without blood shed; if you will not fight when your victory is sure and not too costly; you may come to the moment when you will have to fight with all the odds against you and only a precarious chance of survival. There may even be a worse case. You may have to fight when there is no hope of victory, because it is better to perish than to live as slaves.”

    – Winston Spencer Churchill

    askeptic (2bb434)

  38. i wonder if Mr. Sowell believes the US troops in the Philippines should have surrendered December 8th?

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  39. he likely thinks we should have avoided the Battle of the Coral Sea and Midway too, since there was no way our Navy could hold their own against the IJN…

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  40. 26. …I am not furious with Sen. Cornyn. I will vote for him in the Texas GOP primary, and I expect that he will win it without a runoff because most Texas Republicans will do the same. By reelecting John Cornyn, we’re not deserting Ted Cruz or the principles he has so brilliantly and conspicuously championed. We are merely recognizing that government, as applied, must be the art of the possible.

    Comment by Beldar (8ff56a) — 2/22/2014 @ 5:02 pm

    The issue I have with the current GOP politicians is that they approach politics as the art of the impossible. It’s impossible for them to win against Obama, especially when he has “air superiority” (again with the warfare analogies). By that the particular GOP pol was referring to the hostile media.

    The fact is far more was possible in these last few potential confrontations. Sure, the GOP suffered bad poll numbers in October. Which will matter not a whit next November. But now that Obamacare is upon us and people are horrified by the reality of the situation, things have changed. If the GOP had offered a debt ceiling deal in exchange for a one year delay in the individual mandate, and Obama chose to put the country in danger of default rather than negotiate, the GOP would have had far better poll numbers. As long as they made it clear they were trying to stand up for the people Obamacare was harming.

    Unfortunately, John Boehner, Mitch McConnell, and party elders like John McCain would make the talk show rounds and blame the “Whacko birds” for Obama’s actions. As if being the opposition party and having to deal with a hostile MFM wasn’t enough of a handicap on their own.

    I recall RSO Nordstrom testifying before the committee investigating Benghazi about the difficulties he had getting the State Dept. to provide adequate security. He recalled a conversation he had when he expressed his frustration to someone at Foggy Bottom by saying, “For me the Taliban is inside the building.”

    Ted Cruz no doubt know the feeling. I know I do.

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  41. Comment by Kevin M (dbcba4) — 2/22/2014 @ 3:12 pm

    If that is true, anything we could call a “win” would by Pyrrhic, and in the end would just seal our fate.

    askeptic (2bb434)

  42. The latest was the weakest of Sowell’s three articles as you can pick whatever battle you please to support your point of view.
    The bottom line is this: (1) The partial government shutdown was a political loser for the GOP and a debt-ceiling stand-off is no different, and Cruz was in forefront of this failed tactic; (2) Cruz seems to find it more important to battle against Republicans than Democrats, which is also a political loser; (3) Cruz’s support of nominees to Congress that are sure losers in the general is a losing strategy that will lose seats for the GOP; (4) Cruz is credibility-challenged thus not qualified to lead conservatives/Republicans. Boiled down to the essence, Cruz is a loser. I am a moderative conservative and I will never support him, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this.

    Bird Dog (130699)

  43. well let’s give them amnesty, and surrender the 2nd Amendment, then we’ll reap the lion’s share of the votes,

    narciso (3fec35)

  44. 5. Comment by Gerald A (bfbd30) — 2/22/2014 @ 1:09 pm

    So fill in the blanks: If the House Republicans did _____, they would get another _____ million votes. What goes in the blanks?

    If House Republicans did not object to bills, that had Republican sponsorship, being brought to the House floor, that a majority of them would vote against, but that would pass with more Democratic votes than Republican votes, they would get another 30 seats. They actually lost the popular vote, because many Democratic districts are overwhelmingly Democratic, partially because of racial gerrymandering.

    Sammy Finkelman (3015b5)

  45. Also because Republicans don’t compete at all, or virtually don’t compete, in many districts.

    Sammy Finkelman (3015b5)

  46. Beldar, there were also Conventions of 1832 and 1833 where independence was being spoken of loudly. Austin wanted Mexico City to recognize the rights of the Anglos in Texas, but even by 1832, fully one third of the convention delegates were trying to rally for independence.

    Travis would have known this, having practiced law in San Felipe and having his finger on the pulse of the feelings of the Anglos, and some Tejanos, at the time.

    When Santa Anna abolished the Mexican constitution of 1824, most who were political astute understood that he was not going to cave to the Anglos who were only invited to Tejas to deal with the Commanche problem that Mexico City seemed to far away to deal with.

    retire05 (bf29ab)

  47. BirdDog, at least we know that you have subscribed to the hype that the citizens of this nation blamed the GOP for the government shut down. I have a news flash for you; it was the left wing media that pushed that meme, and you bought it like it was ocean front property in Lubbock.

    Americans didn’t even notice the government shut down. Schools remained opened for students to attend, gas stations, grocery stores were open. People still drove on the highways and byways of the nation to get to their jobs unless they were part of the few that were furloughed for a short time. Nothing really changed. Planes did not fall out of the sky, power plants did not go down and cities and towns were not having to create soup lines.

    retire05 (bf29ab)

  48. Cruz is a loser. I am a moderative conservative and I will never support him, and I’m sure I’m not alone in this.

    BirdDog, unless you’re a Texan, you don’t have a say in the matter. And Texans, at least a good majority of us, are proud as hell of Ted Cruz for doing what we sent him to the Swamp to do.

    retire05 (bf29ab)

  49. I have no idea how everybody getting slaughtered at the Alamo was the reason Texas was able to win its independence from Mexico – other than the fact that they actually killed more Mexicans than they lost – which may have helped them win later on. But there’s nothing equivalent to that in political battles, as pointed out in #4. It’s a totally false analogy.

    A Mexican officer remarked that “with another such victory as this, we’ll go to the devil”

    In other words, they didn’t actually win by virtue of losing the battle. The idea is ridiculous. They actually killed more Mexicans (according to most historians) than they themselves lost.

    And in the bigger picture, they probably just had more troops overall than the Mexicans anyway and losing at the Alamo had nothing to do with that either.

    Gerald A (bfbd30)

  50. This supremely pitiful deeply cowardly and astoundingly incompetent country was at a turning point in 2012.

    And not unlike bad chicken, it turned.

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  51. I understand the general concept of choosing one’s battles and the lack of wisdom in fighting to be fighting,
    but it seems that the establishment Repubs would always like to push the battle to “next time”, which never comes.
    I would be happy even if they sometimes avoided the battle but stood and shouted loud that all they were doing was allow the President and his people to ruin the country, because they did not have the strength to stand in the way.
    But I haven’t seen them do that even.

    We haven’t had a post here about the FCC move to interfere with news reporting. The thing in itself is bad enough, but they obviously must be thinking that the same tricks they are pulling are not going to be used in kind against them. Do they think the Repubs just will not play hardball even if they have the chance? Or are they getting so confident of stacking the deck that they think they will not lose anymore?

    If anyone wants to give criticism of Cruz, let it be constructive and put forth a better alternative than following the course of Boehner and McConnell.

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  52. @ retire05 (bf29ab) — 2/22/2014 @ 6:11 pm: I salute you, my friend, as a serious student of Texas history!

    But one-third is … a minority.

    The Battle of the Alamo was fought by men united in their opposition to Santa Anna and his plan to seize the cannon of San Antonio, whose citizens badly wanted to keep said cannon because it was their most effective weapon against the Comanche, who were indeed a terror of a new and distinct sort that threatened both immigrants from the U.S. and native Tejanos/Texians. (Cf. the desire of the Massachusetts citizenry in Boston and its environs, including Bunker Hill, who wanted to hang onto their cannon to fight off the French & Indians, despite King George III’s generals’ earnest desire to confiscate said cannon; cf. the Second Amendment.)

    You and I could probably down many beers toasting the mixed but ultimately heroic and successful motives of the Texas Revolutionaries. Some of them were fighting to restore the dignity of Tejas in the Mexican Republic state of Coahuila y Tejas (which Santa Anna was trampling, to the detriment of San Antonian Tejanos who fought at the Alamo). Some of them wanted an independent Texas; some wanted a Texas that would become a new state (and, significantly, a slave state) in the United States; some were fighting to restore the commitment to religious freedom of the Mexican Constitution of 1824 (in opposition to Santa Anna’s declaration of Roman Catholicism as a state religion in contravention of that constitution). Eventually they all became Texans.

    But that which permitted them to become Texans, instead of Coahuila y Tejasians, was not the heroic and noble last stand of Travis, Bowie, Crockett et al. at the Alamo. The Alamo was a defeat, no less than Pearl Harbor was a defeat, but with commensurate signficance as a rallying cry.

    Ted Cruz’ shutdown of the federal government was, likewise, an indisputable tactical defeat in the short and perhaps even the middle term. But I’m not quarreling with our host’s analogizing that political fight to history’s military fight at the Alamo. It’s a pretty good analogy, in fact, one of which I approve — as far as it goes, but no farther.

    We could indeed rid the national scene of the McCains, the McConnells, the Lindsey Grahams, and even the John Cornyns. As members of the truly noble opposition, Ted Cruz and the six or eight other remaining GOP senators would re-enact the Alamo — a military defeat — again and again, and Obama/Santa Anna would reign effectively unchallenged in any significant way. We’d have a new Obamacare, a new Stimulus, every damn session of Congress, and we’d all be righteously pure in our contempt for that result (as the tanks roll over most of us, and as you, I, Patrick Frey, and whoever “Ace” actually is are all led away in handcuffs to reeducation camps or beheadings).

    But I for one am delighted — tickled pink! — that Ted Cruz has escaped his Alamo (albeit while losing the confidence, at least temporarily, of allies like Bird Dog (2/22/2014 @ 5:51 pm) above). He hasn’t been put to the sword, and he might indeed be the standard-bearer for the GOP in the next presidential election; failing that, he’ll at least have a substantial influence on whoever is the standard-bearer, the Sam Houston.

    I’m interested in beating Obama, not just winning a symbolically powerful victory. I want to repeat Obamacare, not just shut down the government for a week or two as a protest against it.

    I respect and admire many of those whose frustrations with the McCains and McConnells and Boehners are simmering over. But I hope all such will keep clearly in mind who poses the most existential of dangers to our American Republic. They all have “(D)” after their names on the ballots, and they’re led by the likes of Barack Obama, Hillary Clinton, John F’in Kerry, Harry Reid, Nancy Pelosi, the entire MSM and Eastern Elite Establishment, and the rest of the usual suspects. I can’t spare a single musket ball for the likes of John Cornyn while such better targets abound.

    Beldar (8ff56a)

  53. If I may, I think the amalogy is somewhat reverse, we can look at the GOP establishment as Santa Ana,
    with every round he lost more territory, one might call him the 19th Century Pyrhus,

    narciso (3fec35)

  54. So, you absolutely should fight battles that will turn the squishy middle of the electorate (some of whom you NEED to win) against you, because…Alamo.

    Let me see. Stand with a man who says that, or stand with Sowell?

    Sowell. DUH.

    Next question?

    Demosthenes (cb38dd)

  55. Damn! A pernicious typo: “I want to repeat Obamacare” –> “I want to repeal Obamacare.” Probably obvious from context, but worth noting.

    Beldar (8ff56a)

  56. let’s be honest, the RINOs of the RNC and the GOP leadersh!t in Congress are only interested in maintaining their personal access to power & the perks they derive from it.

    they are utterly uninterested in anything so mundane as stopping our SCOAMF, restraining government, cutting our national debt or listening to their constituents…

    and the only thing worse than them are the bed wetters who both defend their willful incompetence and vote to re-elect such scum.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  57. Well, if we support the current crop of don’t-rock-the-boat Establishment Republicans,

    and if they win …

    what, exactly, will we have gained?

    Seems to me —> MORE OF THE SAME.

    Even if the GOP wins both Houses in 2014, the MSM will still be cheerleading for Democrats, demonizing Republicans, and framing the news around Progressive talking points . . . to the point that the GOP will STILL be afraid to address government spending or anything else (because, “poor people will be HURT!” and “racists!” and “wymyn-h8ters” and “enviro-carnage” and “corporate lackeys”).

    This spineless crew of RINOs stands for nothing (except “get elected”). They willingly pursue policies which are harmful to our Nation (not to mention “anathema to the Party base”) any time their poll analysts tell them it might gain them more of the “Latino” vote or the “gay” vote or the “left-handed lesbian” vote. They’ve proved they’re OK with amnesty, government “Look, ma, no ceiling” blank-check, Obama’s rule-by-diktat, … and haven’t stood united in protest about government spying on citizens, or the IRS being used to intimidate conservative groups, or the other thousand “over-reaches” this Mis-Administration has made.

    So, why ON EARTH vote for them?

    A_Nonny_Mouse (47e4ba)

  58. Friend narciso (#53 — 2/22/2014 @ 6:37 pm): I invite you to study further the character and history of Antonio López de Santa Anna. He has more than a little in common with one Barack H. Obama. Both egotists, both despots, both would-be Napoleons whose legs turned out to be made of cork.

    Beldar (8ff56a)

  59. Pride goeth before the fall.

    Colonel Haiku (4ced38)

  60. We don’t need grandstanders or egomaniacs. We need sensible, principled, eloquent , energetic people who are ready to fight long and hard.

    Colonel Haiku (4ced38)

  61. well i’m using broad strokes, beldar, he lost more territory, each time he ventured forth,

    narciso (3fec35)

  62. “Even battles that end in victory sometimes look daunting before the fighting is joined…The men who stormed the beaches at Normandy did not know that they would live, and they did not know that their side would prevail. They knew only one thing: this battle was necessary. And so, they fought it.”

    What a ridiculous analogy. The men storming the beaches knew that it would be hard to win. They also didn’t know ahead of time that it would be impossible. As things stand, it is impossible for Cruz to win, or indeed to do anything besides get his whole party blamed for his obstinance. Maybe Cruz needs to hear Lt. Daniel Kaffee explain the difference between paper law and trial law again, before he continues to strenuously object.

    Demosthenes (cb38dd)

  63. Actually they DID lose the battle last fall when they were unable to defund Obamacare or get any other concessions. So the Alamo strategy of “let’s lose a battle” seems to have been fulfilled anyway.

    Or is the analogy about losing next November?

    Gerald A (bfbd30)

  64. A_Nonny_Mouse (47e4ba) — 2/22/2014 @ 6:51 pm) asks:

    Well, if we support the current crop of don’t-rock-the-boat Establishment Republicans,

    and if they win …

    what, exactly, will we have gained?

    That is a fine question that deserves a serious and non-snarky answer. Mine is:

    We live in a constitutional republic in which two parties are the only existing alternatives, and have been since 1860. The two-party system imposes a binary discipline that is stark and unequivocal.

    Choose the worst RINO you can find: Maybe it’s Susan Collins, maybe it’s John McCain — I won’t argue.

    At the end of each legislative day, Susan Collins’ vote with her GOP colleagues counts exactly the same as Ted Cruz’ vote.

    At the end of each legislative day, John McCain’s vote with his GOP colleagues counts exactly the same as Rand Paul’s vote.

    Your vote in every contested election is a one-shot charge, exactly like the muskets at Bunker Hill.

    Are you going your one musket-ball at (gasp!) Chris Christie, if he’s (as I think highly unlikely) the 2016 GOP presidential nominee?

    Or are you going to aim it at Hillary Clinton or Wendy Davis or whatever other Hard Left troll the Democrats nominate?

    Beldar (8ff56a)

  65. (I fully expect the Secret Service detail anticipatorily assigned to not-yet-but-inevitable-candidate Hillary to be pounding on my door at 3:00 a.m., by the way — if they bother to knock, which is iffy — for my metaphoric statements about musket balls.)

    Beldar (8ff56a)

  66. Well we are talking about primaries, the establishment has a way of taking their ball, and going home, or worse yet handing the ball to the Democrats,

    narciso (3fec35)

  67. Sen. Cruz simply does not have the preparation for the office. He needs to return to Texas in a few years and try his hand at an executive position.

    Art Deco (ee8de5)

  68. except that Collins the Communist and McLame routinely ditch the GOP and vote demonrat.

    they also constantly undermine what few decent positions the GOP does try and take.

    so yeah, they need to go as well, regardless of which fascist the left is trying to shove on us, since these RINO scumbags will support them too.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  69. Let me repeat, unless one has a better suggestion of who and how the Repubs should govern rather than Cruz,
    say so,
    and until you do, bark and fuss and squawk all you want,
    I don’t care much.

    I don’t find it helpful that some voices want to do nothing different,
    not even rearranging the chairs on the Titanic.
    Hey, let’s take a selfie with the iceberg in the background, won’t that be cool…

    MD in Philly (f9371b)

  70. Beldar,

    the cannon of which you speak had already been taken by Col. Neill and his men from the Mexican garrison at San Antonio. Also, one correction; it was not Travis that was dispatched by Houston to destroy the Alamo, but Jim Bowie. Bowie arrived at the Alamo on January 19, 1836 with a company of 30 men having left for San Antonio from Goliad. Bowie, not Travis, carried orders from Houston to destroy the mission. And had it not been for a family emergency, Col. James Neill would have been the commander of the Alamo, not William Travis.

    But Bowie pleaded with the governor to leave the mission standing, and manned, saying that it held strategic importance.

    “On January 19, 1836, Bowie arrived in Bexar from Goliad with a detachment of thirty men. He carried orders from Houston to demolish the fortifications there, though some historians believe these orders were discretionary.”

    Your dream of repealing Obamacare is a pipe dream. It will never happen as once it becomes entrenched, like Social Security, the luguini spined Republicans will never buck that head wind. The Democrats are simply trying to run out the clock.

    So while you defend the likes of John Cornyn, assuming that he will actually act according to the will of the people of Texas, I would ask you; what is the difference between a Progressive with a (D) behind his name and a Progressive with a (R) behind his name? You may be focused on defeating anyone with a (D) behind their name but what difference would that really make when there is not a hair’s widths difference between a Democrat Progressive and a Republican Progressive?

    And I am to worry because Cruz has lost the support of Bird Dog? And that should be important to me why? Who is Bird Dog that he should hold such sway over me, or any other Texan, for that matter?

    I would remind you also that there is a reason D.C. is called the Swamp. So please take note that Ted Cruz wears black boots, black alligator boots.

    retire05 (bf29ab)

  71. @ redc1c4 (#69 — 2/22/2014 @ 7:23 pm), who argues in understandable good faith, but with exaggeration: “except that Collins the Communist and McLame routinely ditch the GOP and vote demonrat.”

    They do sometimes, and I’ll concede that the occasions when they do are disproportionately important.

    But even McCain and Collins vote with their party most of the time, including on a huge number of procedural but unspectacular votes that are, cumulatively, of crucial importance in checking the despotic tendencies of Pres. Obama, Majority Leader Reid, Minority Leader Pelosi, et al.

    Oh yes, I emphatically and enthusiastically agree with you that the current reality is far from ideal! I agree that there are men and women who’ve campaigned and been elected based upon promises of true conservatism who’ve strayed way too often.

    But the question is: What is the alternative?

    I respectfully submit that to see the alternative, you need look no further than the legislation passed by a Democratic House and Democratic Senate, signed into law by a Democratic POTUS, from January 2009-January 2011, including most conspicuously Obamacare and the Stimulus.

    Yes, a 600-billionish budget deficit that still funds Obamacare sucks.

    But the relevant question is: How much worse would it suck without those RINOs?

    Beldar (8ff56a)

  72. I don’t care much.
    I don’t find it helpful that some voices want to do nothing different, not even rearranging the chairs on the Titanic.

    concern trolls are concerned.

    it’s possible, even likely, that many of the voices arguing that the GOP avoid Cruz and others like him are those who want the GOP to remain weak & ineffective.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  73. But the relevant question is: How much worse would it suck without those RINOs?

    if there were conservatives in their seats, less.

    replace them with out & out demonrats?

    what’s the difference between having your jugular slit or your aorta?

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  74. “70.

    Let me repeat, unless one has a better suggestion of who and how the Repubs should govern rather than Cruz,
    say so,
    and until you do, bark and fuss and squawk all you want,
    I don’t care much.”

    Maybe we can defy the odds by nominating another Bob Dole, John McCain or Mitt Romney, leaders of the squishy middle and called “moderates” by the Marxist press (please tell me where the Dem moderates are and who they are). It worked out so well in those cases.

    retire05 (bf29ab)

  75. But the question is: What is the alternative?

    The alternative is to send the RINOs packing. Do you really think that acting in the interests of those who sent them to D.C. in the first place is their top priority, or is their top priority trying to keep their cushy jobs and over the top perks?

    retire05 (bf29ab)

  76. the MFM calls them moderate only until the GOP is stupid enough to nominate them, then they instantly become would be tyrants… unexpectedly, of course.

    at least until they loose the election, then they are okay again.

    yet, like Charlie Brown and the football, the usual suspects are amazed every time this happens…and tell us we should do the same thing again next time, because *this* time, they are sure it will w*rk.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  77. “Thomas Sowell has forgotten what so many Texans remember, and will never forget.”

    And forgotten San Jacinto.

    And forgotten George McClellan and the Army of the Potomac. Who had twice the forces of Lee and kept whining for more because he was outnumbered.

    Who was perhaps the pre-eminent war engineer excelled at preparing for battle but would not fight.

    He was the 1864 Democrat Presidential candidate.

    gary gulrud (384f70)

  78. Bob Dole did not understand the attacks made against him, and did not respond. John McCain made himself look incomptent on the economy. Mitt Romney was just totally incompetent.

    George W. Bush sort of squeaked through, with the help of badly devised ballots in Florida devised by Democrats, and in 2004 he did better.

    Sammy Finkelman (3015b5)

  79. hence lincoln’s line about Grant,

    narciso (3fec35)

  80. It’s late, and I’m enjoying this respectful dialog, friend retire05, but this will be my last comment tonight. You ask (and argue):

    Do you really think that acting in the interests of those who sent them to D.C. in the first place is their top priority, or is their top priority trying to keep their cushy jobs and over the top perks?

    I don’t deny or dispute that that’s an important question. We could argue over it at length, and we’d agree on more than you perhaps think, I think.

    But I don’t think that’s the relevant question.

    I’m with the late, great, if pompous Wm. F. Buckley in casting my votes for the most conservative politician who can win.

    I liked Phil Graham even when he was a Democrat, for example. He is mocked and derided today by many on the left as a stereotypical hard-core capitalist/low-tax demagogue, and by some on the right as a “sell-out” who was ultimately corrupted by the swamp of Washington, D.C.

    But “Graham-Rudman” was a big damn deal. It was a result, and his name was on it, and Ronald Reagan gladly signed it. Like him or not, the verdict of history will be that Phil Graham delivered results that were in accord with what his constituency wanted.

    You & I share a reverance for Texas history and its heroes. We share an admiration for Ted Cruz, who is a Texas hero of modern times.

    We will end this conversation still in disagreement on some things, but I hope that doesn’t overshadow our agreement on much else that is, I submit, extremely important in the long term.

    Beldar (8ff56a)

  81. I don’t know when victory became a prerequisite of a fight. Or survival. Or even bloodying the enemy much. Santa Anna let the women and children go — there’s something instructive in that I think.

    nk (dbc370)

  82. I wish we could ask the ghosts of Teddy Roosevelt and William Howard Taft what they think, in hindsight, of the two terms served by Woodrow Wilson.

    Beldar (8ff56a)

  83. Actually, nk, Santa Anna slaughtered everyone who remained, including women and children who hadn’t left.

    There is nothing admirable, but indeed much that’s relevant and instructive, about his example. He reminds me of a cross between Bill Clinton & Barack Obama, in fact.

    Beldar (8ff56a)

  84. If Republicans can learn to follow, one can imagine them winning once again.

    gary gulrud (384f70)

  85. —And in the bigger picture, they probably just had more troops overall than the Mexicans anyway and losing at the Alamo had nothing to do with that either.—

    Do you know anything about the Alamo?

    red (ac28a9)

  86. What annoys me about Sowell’s opinion is the lack of frame of reference on why the tactics of Cruz are deemed as bad and a sure loser. Sowell instead spends time talking about actual battles in world history. That does nothing but bring in metaphors that obfuscate the core of the problem, namely public sentiment.

    Sowell seems more focused on and frustrated with Ted Cruz than those who truly deserve the blame in why this country is going down the tubes. But I guess it’s easier to point the finger at one tough-talking politician from Texas than on the stupidity of left-leaning biases that have hoodwinked a very large percentage of the US populace.

    It obviously wouldn’t be a winning strategy to craft a message that slams a good portion of the US populace. But if Sowell — certainly in private, assuming the conversations he has with people around him never latches onto why people think the way they do, as reflected in polls — truly understands who and what gives fuel to Jeremiah Wright’s buddy, he’d be far less exasperated with Ted Cruz and far more exasperated with all the left-leaning nonsense that percolates throughout the people of America.

    Mark (aea093)

  87. Sorry Mr. Sowell but this is what it takes:

    g6loq (3a2647)

  88. All the inside baseball intrigues do nothing to mitigate our complete lack of interest in anything Republican.

    gary gulrud (384f70)

  89. Art Deco:


    I mean I kind of see the point since the current President hasn’t turned out too well.

    However, Sen. Cruz’s resume is pretty much public, unlike the former junior Senator from Illinois.

    Ag80 (eb6ffa)

  90. 89. When our time comes I feel safe in saying our Republican betters will avert their gaze.

    gary gulrud (384f70)

  91. Beldar, not to be rude, but I am not your friend. I am not even your acquaintance. You don’t know me from Adam nor do I know you and I am not a Quaker so the term “friend” is not said lightly by me. You can consider yourself my friend, or me yours, when I invite you to my home to enjoy a slowly smoked, very tender brisket.

    As to Buckley’s Rule, he violated his own rule when he, as a staunch conservative, ran for mayor of New York the year before he made the “rule” comment. He never expected to win. But, like Ted Cruz, he took a stand.

    As to your “long term”; if we don’t install true conservatives into the halls of Congress, there is no “long term” for us. This nation is rapidly changing, and much of the change seems to fit the design of Antonio Gramsci. Again, I ask; what is the difference between a Progressive with a (D) behind their name and a Progressive with a (R) behind theirs? The fact of the matter is there is no difference.

    retire05 (bf29ab)

  92. NRO publishes its own counterpoint to Sowell (and Strassel at the WSJ):

    When they were in the minority, cloture was how Democrats stopped conservative bills and conservative nominees cold. For the Republican establishment, it became the cudgel for beating down right-wing upstarts: Nothing can happen and no one can get confirmed without 60 votes, you see, so we “pragmatic” grown-ups simply must bite the bullet and accept moderately progressive policies and nominees — these “centrist” Democrats just won’t budge.

    Now in the majority with 55 seats (53 Dems plus two nominal independents who vote with them), Democrats remain as disciplined as ever. Unlike Republicans, they stick together to fight for the things (statism, power . . .) they believe in. Does anyone tell them, “Look, nothing can happen without 60 votes, so you’ve got to moderate?” Are you kidding?

    Still the stubborn fact remains: Cloture is the only vehicle for stopping Democrats. They cannot get to 60 without Republican help. They cannot enact Obama’s agenda without Republican support. So the truth is exactly the opposite of what GOP leaders and their amen-corner would have you believe. The ballgame is the cloture vote: the only one in which Republicans, by sticking together, have the power to shelve any bill — including any debt-ceiling hike — that they truly oppose. Cloture is the substantive vote because it determines whether the bill will pass. Once the 60-vote hurdle is cleared, it is the final vote that becomes the mere procedural formality.

    Of course, to most Americans, this is just a bunch of parliamentary gobbledygook. The Beltway ruling class thus knows it can use the necessity of holding two votes to have it both ways — in the classic John Kerry formulation, to vote for it before they vote against it. Chanting the “it’s just procedural” mantra, Republicans vote in favor of cloture, knowing this ensures that the massive borrowing and spending bills they purport to oppose will move to a final vote, at which point the Democratic majority will rubber-stamp them. When the final vote is taken, Republicans thunderously cast their impotent “nays.” Then, they go back home, wear the nays like battle scars, and tell constituents how vigorously they are fighting against Washington’s wicked ways.

    Engaged conservatives are on to the ruse. Notwithstanding the Republican establishment’s campaign to marginalize them as what the Journal obligingly labels a “rump kamikaze caucus,” their ranks are swelling. Without them, the Republicans would not have recaptured the House in 2010. Increasingly, they mount primary challenges against Beltway relics. They don’t win all the time, but they win quite a few — like long-shot Ted Cruz’s stunning primary rout over the party’s preferred candidate. And there is a more serious danger for GOP leadership: The conservative base increasingly wears the establishment’s disdain as a badge of honor.

    Beltway Republicans do not seem to grasp how ominous this is. They so crave pats on the head from the “let’s make government work” commentariat that they’ve lost any feel for people who are wired differently, who see government as the problem, and who want it substantially downsized. In the end, the “let’s make government work” crowd is with the Democrats; the “kamikazes” are the ones the GOP must have. Condescension toward the customer is never a particularly good business strategy.

    It is fitting that the 60-vote standard Republican leaders told us they needed just a few weeks ago was thrust on them in the matter of debt. They are living on borrowed time.

    But Mr. McCarthy, McConnell fears the MFM and the Democrats will blame the GOP and him, but mostly him, if he prevents Obama from getting everything he wants. Because Obama won’t negotiate. Which means Congress has to rubberstamp everything Barack Stalin Obama wants like the old Soviet Congress of the People’s Deputies because, because, uhh, …RACISM!

    They so crave pats on the head from the “let’s make government work” commentariat…

    Actually, I was thinking it’s more like they roll over so the MFM and Obama can rub their belly.

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  93. Excelllent article. I definitely love this site. Keep writing!

    chat shqiptar (dad65b)


    Chèvres en équilibre – goats balancing on a flexible steel ribbon

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  95. And in the bigger picture, they probably just had more troops overall than the Mexicans anyway and losing at the Alamo had nothing to do with that either.—

    Do you know anything about the Alamo?

    Comment by red (ac28a9) — 2/22/2014 @ 8:04 pm

    Just the basics. But I’m pretty sure whatever it is I don’t know would not logically lead to the conclusion that the GOP engaging in some battle they can’t win would gain them votes in a future election or accomplish anything else.

    Another way the Alamo analogy is stupid is that I’m pretty sure the Alamo defenders were not EXPECTING to get wiped out when they decided to make a stand. They were hoping to be able to repel the attack. So they weren’t even doing what some here are suggesting, i.e. lose on purpose. Again, in general, the idea is idiotic.

    Now there are some who just want to fight as an end in itself – unrelated to actually accomplishing anything. But that actually contradicts the claim that the Alamo defeat in and of itself accomplished something. It’s saying “I don’t care if we accomplish anything”.

    There are also some who want to have a partial shutdown in order to lose the House on purpose, the theory being that this would hasten a total collapse somewhere down the road, after which conservatives would finally be in the ascendance, which is loony on a number of levels, such as the improbability in my view that a collapse would lead to a conservative takeover.

    Gerald A (bfbd30)

  96. To understand the problem with reforming the Republcan Party you need to ask yourself what job could a Republican Congressman do if he/she didn’t get reelected? A few could go back to medicine or business, but the rest were modestly successful (at best) lawyers or law enforcement types with limited futures, especially when compared to the Congressional flight plan. Legal consulting with an existing government agency at extravagent hourly rates would be about the best they could hope for, and after that it is lobbying. In either case, big government would be better than the alternative.

    It is remarkable that a few honorable people have attained high office and, like Senator Cruz, they take their official responsiblities seriously. For Sowell to dismiss the importance of framing an honest, sincere, and unselfish message is beyond comprehension. Independent voters, those who end up chosing our Presidents, need to trust those who ask for their votes to become their leaders. Liars who rely on teleprompters will probably not fair so well the next time around. And a good tan will just remind them of HetWon’s golfing addiction. Cruz is laying the ground work for a successful campaign. Sadly, the Republican establishment neither understands nor believes in the message of free markets and liberty. Shame on Sowell for supporting these stooges.

    bobathome (c0c2b5)

  97. omg Mr. 05

    that was rude

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  98. i heart me some brisket though

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  99. the GOP engaging in some battle they can’t win [would not] gain them votes in a future election or accomplish anything else.

    I’ll modify that. Engaging in a losing battle can gain them votes if there is public sentiment in favor of it from the outset. For example the Democrats are going to pass the minimum wage increase in the Senate. But polls indicate that’s popular with the public. It doesn’t need to pass the House for it to potentially gain them votes. So they’re not going to win that battle legislatively at the moment. But they’re not saying we’ll shut the government down unless the minimum wage increase passes. First it wouldn’t be popular and second it wouldn’t succeed. They’re not stupid like that.

    Gerald A (bfbd30)

  100. Gerald, your analysis is bunk. The GOP can win those battles. The leadership simply doesn’t want to.

    The Democrats, as Andy McCarthy observes, have done so many times. Even McConnell cited the same historical fact. Obama is the anomoly. The first President who refuses to negotiate because he holds the concept of representative democracy in contempt. He does not respect any limits on his power, most especially the system of checks and balances contained in the Constitution.

    All the GOP had to do, if it intended to fight and win, was remain disciplined and on message. They would not need a cooperative or even neutral media, especially now that Obamacare is in force, to get their message out over their heads.

    And that simple message is that it’s Obama, not the GOP, who would kick the entire economic table over if he doesn’t get his way, which is to screw people twice. First by cancelling their health insurance policies. Then fining them for not having health insurance. He will give breaks to all kinds of entities, just not the individual taxpayer.

    They wouldn’t even have to prevail in the battle to delay the individual mandate, just demonstrate how rabid Obama is on the subject. If the GOP used the debt ceiling battle to focus on the devastating effects of Obamacare, and how they were just trying to stand up to try and get individuals the same kind of break Obama willingly gives his business cronies, they would have been on the right side of public opinion no matter how it turned out. Even Democrats are scared of Obamacare and its effects on their constituents. As the following demonstrates, as well as removing any doubt about the purpose of that FCC “study” of broadcast license holders’ editorial decisions.

    The ad targets Congressman Gary Peters, who voted for Obamacare. The ad is, as I wrote, devastating.

    Now the Democrats are striking back. They are calling Mrs. Boonstra a liar, and are demanding that Michigan television stations stop broadcasting the ad–an implicit admission of how damaging it is to Peters, who is running for the Senate.

    …Contemptibly, the Obama administration’s lawyers have threatened to use the Democrat-dominated Federal Communications Commission to take away the licenses of television stations that run the AFP ad…

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  101. happyfeet, perhaps “friend” is just an empty term to you, but it is not to me. A friend is someone who can count on me when times get tough for them, and for me to have that same security with them. I am frankly sick of all the politically correct posturing that comes with debate. i.e.”The Honorable Senator/Congressman from the Great State of X” when the bastard was just indicted for tax fraud or chasing a skirt worn by a minor, makes me want to hurl my lunch.

    Perhaps your life is so vacant of real friendship that you consider anonymous posters on a blog your friends. I don’t. And I didn’t intend to be rude, just honest about being called “friend” by someone who has never met me and wouldn’t know me if I was standing in line with him at HEB.

    retire05 (6435df)


    “We ought to attach something significant for the country to [Obama’s] request to increase the debt ceiling,” McConnell said. “That’s been the pattern for fifty years, going back to the Eisenhower administration. I think it’s the responsible thing to do for the country. I think he’s the one being irresponsible by saying, ‘Oh, just raise the debt ceiling. We’re not going to do anything about the debt or anything else that’s important to the country.’”

    McConnell was right. The fact that as he spoke those words he planned on doing exactly the thing that he said was irresponsible (and he was right about that, too) is to his eternal shame.

    But the fact that Obama is the President that breaks the pattern says something about both Obama and McConnell.

    First, that Obama is a thin-skinned, petty, vindictive autocrat. Second, the leadership team of Boehner/McConnell is the most incompetent opposition leadership team since the Eisenhower administration.

    So when they try to claim these battles are unwinnable, it simply means they are clueless about how to win battles which are eminently winnable. Many others have done it. But first you have to be able to find your @$$ with both hands. And having a spine helps, too.

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  103. Gerald @101, the point is Obamacare is wildly unpopular with the voting public. If Obama was willing to put the US in risk of default and further damage its credit rating rather than give those same members of the public a break from the individual mandate tax then it would be Obama on the wrong side of public opinion.

    But that would take skill. Not much skill. Really, hardly any at all. But apparently that’s more than we can hope for from Boehner and McConnell.

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  104. Gerald, your analysis is bunk. The GOP can win those battles. The leadership simply doesn’t want to.

    Well maybe I should just get off the Alamo thing, but again, the Alamo theory advanced here is to LOSE, not win. So you’re arguing they would WIN if the govt. was still shut down. However, polls showed the GOP taking a beating when the govt. was shut down and maybe losing the House.

    As for Obama being the bad guy and the GOP needs to make that argument, I have no idea how a partial govt. shutdown facilitates that. You’re saying let’s get a shutdown going to be able to argue that Obamacare is a problem. It’s a non-sequitur. They’re running an effective anti-Obamacare commercial in Michigan. According to your logic that shouldn’t be effective because the govt. isn’t currently shut down or something.

    I’m unaware of any case where the Democrats parlayed a shutdown into a repeal or passage of a law.

    Gerald A (bfbd30)

  105. What a hot steaming pant load. WAR?? Who is fighing a WAR?? Not the GOP. Which battles have the GOP FOUGHT. Name one Mr Sowell. When the odds are against the GOP, Weeping Johnny Boehner curls up in the fetal position with his Putter, his Marlboro’s and his Jack Daniels. What fecking WAR is Sowell blabbering about?

    Gus (70b624)

  106. Gerald, what part don’t you get? The GOP didn’t shut down the government. Their offer was to fund the entire government including Obamacare. They just wanted a delay in the individual mandate.

    Obama was the bad guy. He refused. He refused to even negotiate. So he refused the offer that would have kept the government open rather than respect the will of about half of the people of the United States.

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  107. 107. I’m unaware of any case where the Democrats parlayed a shutdown into a repeal or passage of a law.

    Comment by Gerald A (bfbd30) — 2/22/2014 @ 9:41 pm

    Well since that wasn’t what the GOP was trying to achieve that’s entirely irrelevant, isn’t it?

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  108. Steve I agree the GOP leadership is terrible at crafting an effective message. They should come up with a unified consistent message on Obamacare and have failed to do so. That is a good argument for getting rid of them.

    Gerald A (bfbd30)

  109. They should come up with a unified consistent message on Obamacare and have failed to do so.

    Not only Obamacare but pretty much anything.

    Gerald A (bfbd30)

  110. Gerald, I do recall one shutdown over effectively repealing a law.

    In 1982 Reagan wanted to abolish the Legal Services Corporation. He carried through on his promise to veto any budget that funded the LSC. That wasn’t the only issue, but it was one of them.

    He was forced to back down.

    But again since the final GOP negotiating position (before surrender) was that they’d fund the entire government but in exchange wanted a delay in the individual mandate similar to the delays Obama was giving employers that’s not on point.

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  111. I love HEB more than beans and I’m homesick to death just thinking about it

    I worked a summer doing merchandising at HEB’s all around Texas which means I seen a whole lot of that state I really have

    and I tell you what I know about Texas Mr. 05

    Texas comes from the word “tejas” which is the shipoopi indian word for “friend”

    now think on that for a second

    ok now think on your fellow Texan Mr. Beldar

    now ask yourself what is it you know that the great shipoopi tribe did not

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  112. R.I.P. Onada Hiroo

    Sure he was an enemy soldier. But you have to respect his dedication to duty.

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  113. McConnell was right. The fact that as he spoke those words he planned on doing exactly the thing that he said was irresponsible (and he was right about that, too) is to his eternal shame.

    Please. If the current GOP “leadership” felt anything even remotely resembling shame, they’d have already given up their positions to others that possessed more guts and resolve.

    Blacque Jacques Shellacque (73b524)

  114. Word.

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  115. Comment by Steve57 (a7ff60) — 2/22/2014 @ 8:39 pm

    the goat video was on the AoSHQ ONT a few days ago…

    but then again, you’d have to be a moron to know that. 😎

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  116. now ask yourself what is it you know that the great shipoopi tribe did not

    he’s a retired O-5.

    as a fellow retarded military type, albeit an E-4, i can say that we tend to approach life differently, and have different definitions for some words than the rest of you do. it’s just a thing, as you would say. 😉

    i also smoke a mean brisket, so maybe he, Beldar, Pat & you need to stop by one day this summer?

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  117. I am a moron; everyone knows that. But I must have missed it somehow. I just saw it on Yahoo today.

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  118. Discovering your party is cheating on you is about as easy to take as discovering your wife has been unfaithful. It’s not easy to believe, let alone accept. Blaming the messenger is a most human reaction. And so is honoring long-held loyalties. Sowell’s attacks are muddled because he is speaking from the heart and not the head. We’ve all been guilty of denying an uncomfortable truth at one time or another. We are, after all, the party of bitter, clingers.

    We need to join with Cruz in hammering away at this betrayal of principle because it’s not easy dislodging the Thomas Sowells of the world from their loyalty to the old order. We want him with us, don’t we?

    ThOR (130453)

  119. Cruz hasn’t exactly been “hammering away” he’s been doing a cutesy cutesy post-masculine guerilla thang

    remember he’s just an effing lawyer

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  120. Enough is enough. The permanent political class in D.C. won’t listen. So, let’s start putting our efforts behind good new candidates who will go to Washington not to line their own pockets, but to help restore our country. It’s time to put inspiration, ingenuity, and integrity over incumbency in the GOP.

    guess who?

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  121. naw steve: *this* kind of moron…

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  122. belated waring on #125.

    the contents of this particular ONT are likely SFW most places, but the comments are undoubtedly an EO complaint & beyond waiting to happen: open link at own risk.

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  123. #117 Comment by Blacque Jacques Shellacque (73b524) — 2/22/2014 @ 11:21 pm

    what he said. in spades…

    redc1c4 (abd49e)

  124. Sorry but the conjunction of Republican and Win strikes one as oxymoronic.

    And yes, I’ve used friend as a condescension myself.

    “In politics, as in war, you need power to win”

    General Washington won without power and in large measure by not fighting, as a guerilla in asymmetric actions, but any analogy between he and Boehner or McConnell would be preposterous, a deliberate affront. They are vermiform, oligochaetes.

    gary gulrud (384f70)

  125. 94. I wonder why NRO tolerates McCarthy while forcing out Steyn.

    Perhaps McCarthy gets the same blowback?

    gary gulrud (384f70)

  126. 99. and 109. Good comments both, bobathome and Gus.

    gary gulrud (384f70)

  127. Beldar,

    I agree the Alamo defenders likely didn’t know Texas had declared independence before they died — although we don’t know what they were told by Bonham and the 32 Gonzales men who sneaked back into the Alamo just before it fell. However, I can’t imagine the Alamo defenders were unaware of the Texas independence movement that, just after the Alamo fell, resulted in Texas’ Declaration of Independence at the Convention of 1836. The delegates to the Convention of 1836 were elected on February 1, 1836, a month before the Alamo fell.

    Wiki says (citing Roberts, Randy; Olson, James S. (2001), A Line in the Sand: The Alamo in Blood and Memory, The Free Press, ISBN 0-684-83544-4) that most of the delegates to the Convention of 1836 were members of the War Party who supported independence. If true, was that fact known in San Antonio? It seems likely to me that it was, if only through word of mouth. San Antonio was estimated to have a population of 7,000 in 1836, which was about 1/7th of the total Texas population of approximately 50,000. News like that could well have reached San Antonio during February 1836.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  128. The heroes of the Alamo gave their lives in a fight against an antifederalist tyranny (Santa Anna’s Seven Laws). Yes, they personally died without realizing victory personally, like so many other soldiers have. I suppose instead of dying for something they could have lived for nothing. They could have said ‘it’s ok to cross that line this time, and we’ll wait until it’s easy to win before we raise any trouble’. Of course, this surrender would be as permanent as the GOP’s modern surrender on spending appears to be. Waiting forever for the day when you suddenly realize the advantage is cowardly and useless. Fighting your way to that advantage is costly, but has the advantage of working. Or didn’t you notice? Texas is not a part of Mexico, and the rally of the Texas Revolutionaries was to Remember the Alamo.

    I guess I can see the parallel. Ted Cruz in this example, but not him alone, standing his ground on a basic principle, while losing the instant issue, has built an example that will be remembered come primary time all across the country. Instead of winning for nothing, he lost for something.

    Dustin (621e43)

  129. Travis’ last communication from the Alamo was sent to the Convention at Washington-on-the-Brazos, just days before the Alamo fell. I think this excerpt from Travis’ letter is instructive regarding why some battles are worth fighting, even if the outcome is uncertain:

    … I feel confident that the determined valor and desperate courage heretofore exhibited by my men will not fail them in the last struggle; and although they may be sacrificed to the vengeance of a Gothic enemy, the victory will cost the enemy so dear, that it will be worse to him than a defeat.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  130. I have three words for Thomas Sowell:

    Steve kinda beat me to it, but I have only two for Mr. Sowell:

    .Μολὼν Λαβέ.
    (Molon Labe)

    Sometimes, you risk a fight you will lose, or even are certain to lose, because that will show your enemy that you ARE determined to resist.

    Many argue that a few French platoons on a few bridges along the Rhine, with orders to refuse passage, would have lead to a full scale revolt among the German military elite, many of whom were seriously terrified of a war, and who were prepared to revolt against Hitler at any sign of true resistance.

    Such platoons would have been symbolic, if the Germans had wanted to shoot them down, they would have easily been outmanned…

    But the number of lives it may have saved is hardly trivial.

    So yes, sometimes, you DO fight a battle despite knowing you are doomed to lose.

    Smock Puppet, "Si tacuisses, philosophus mansisses." (225d0d)

  131. @ 116: While “tejas” does mean, roughly, “friends,” it is a Caddo word. There is no such thing as the Shipoopi tribe. “Shipoopi” is a song from “The Music Man.”

    I knew the origin of the word “tejas,” but I admit I had to look up the other name. However, I did go back and check. Both facts are readily available to anyone who would think of doing a quick Google search before they sounded like a moron.

    Demosthenes (cb38dd)

  132. @ 135: The 300 were not risking anything more than their lives. When they fell, the Spartans could still defend themselves and their city…as could every other Athenian polis. Perhaps there is some value in such a stand, as long as it doesn’t cost your side too much in blood and treasure. If you’re looking for a military metaphor for what Cruz is doing, though, you’d do better to look to General Burnside’s repeated charges against Marye’s Heights at Fredericksburg.

    Demosthenes (cb38dd)

  133. shipoopi, kickapoo — pataytoe, poetatoe.

    I have a best friend. I haven’t seen him in maybe six or seven years but we still never talk sometimes.

    On the other hand, I don’t seem to have any enemies. Mwahahaha!

    nk (dbc370)

  134. @ 138: Yeah, I know. With all those brown people out there, who can be bothered to keep their names straight?

    Thoughtless casual racist statements like the one you just made give liberal idiots all the ammunition they need for their continual and mostly errant charges of racism.

    Demosthenes (cb38dd)

  135. you really should change your name to Alcibiades, because you don’t have a clue;

    narciso (3fec35)

  136. @ 140: Oh, I see. So because the deck is stacked against us from the start, you think it doesn’t matter if we give some grounding to the charges. You know, something the libs in the media can point to and say “racist” to the soft squishy middle of the country…and be justified.

    Yeah, your opinion is one I don’t care about.

    Demosthenes (cb38dd)

  137. take it up with Herodotus, I guess the ‘Canal’ should be ignored as well, or Okinawa or Iwo jima,

    narciso (3fec35)

  138. And I guess you’ll ignore Ted Nugent’s “mongrel” remarks, and what happened to the James Meredith statue at Ole Miss. Because after all, the deck is stacked against you anyway, right? Why bother to condemn what your enemy is going to try and hang around your neck anyway? In fact, we should only fight battles where the deck is stacked against us if they’re ones that narciso thinks we should fight, because…outlaw?

    Also, I’m glad you’re giving Wikipedia a whirl to look up some old Greek names. You may learn something.

    Well, off to work I go. One of us has to make productive use of their Sunday.

    Demosthenes (cb38dd)

  139. Narciso, that’s quite a link. They have that little game ‘who would go Nazi’. That game has lost all its challenge lately.

    Dustin (303dca)

  140. “Mongrel” is kind of nebulous and possibly an insult to mixed-breed dogs. The “bastard offspring of a Kenyan Mau Mau and hippie roundheels” is more specific and poignant.

    nk (dbc370)

  141. I was on Cruz’s side of the line long before he drew it.

    Stephen Macklin (5cd901)

  142. so it continues
    teh cannibalization
    it’s our Alamo

    Colonel Haiku (4f8651)

  143. We don’t focus on what they want us to focus, that’s a mug’s game, what’s the greek variant of capische,

    narciso (3fec35)

  144. to my untrained eye
    Purity of Essence thang
    rotten at its core

    Colonel Haiku (4f8651)

  145. yes I fart roses
    but now your sh*t why it stinks!
    gots to get a grip

    Colonel Haiku (4f8651)

  146. principle is not purity, what has pragmatism, won us, Colonel in the last four years,

    narciso (3fec35)

  147. eat poisoned brisket
    you’ll find out yer not my friend
    good God Almighty!

    Colonel Haiku (4f8651)

  148. my way or highway
    Perfect enemy of Good
    a simple concept

    Colonel Haiku (4f8651)

  149. teh games people play
    ev’ry night and ev’ry day
    not meaning what say

    Colonel Haiku (4f8651)

  150. not meaning what say
    never saying what they mean
    Joe South spoke “The Truth”

    Colonel Haiku (4f8651)

  151. with my gun in hand
    I shall make my final stand
    dirty for dirty

    Colonel Haiku (4f8651)

  152. I eat teh brisket
    “don’t tell me it’s good, tell friends”
    just like teh Man said

    Colonel Haiku (4f8651)

  153. Sowell’s understanding of military strategy is abysmal, and appears to be wrong where it exists. Leading from the rear, inciting surrender. He may have been a USMC photographer and pistol instructor [citation required] but there’s no evidence of it.

    You fight losing battles to win wars.

    htom (412a17)

  154. get new leaders but
    don’t make Cruz yer “Lonesome” Rhodes
    don’t be a Gomer

    Colonel Haiku (4f8651)

  155. though teh living costs
    are upward bound four bits still
    buys you half a pound

    Colonel Haiku (4f8651)

  156. Summer Ninety-Seven
    spent three weeks in San Antone
    I know what Hell is

    Colonel Haiku (4f8651)

  157. We — conservatives — are royally f*cked, plain and simple.
    The GOP establishment is already hammering home the “You’ve got to get elected, first, before you can change anything,” meme, as they continue to push for electing moderates that don’t really intend to substantially change anything.

    Icy (2f5eea)

  158. one hunnerd degrees
    shirt soaked from lobby to car
    Good Morning Veet Nam!

    Colonel Haiku (4f8651)

  159. RIP Zsuzsa Csala

    Colonel Haiku (4f8651)

  160. Μπηκες; Beekes? (Did you enter [into understanding]?)

    nk (dbc370)

  161. RIP Jim Fregosi, complications from a stroke…

    Colonel Haiku (4f8651)

  162. thanks, NK, did Nugent say something stupid, yes, how does it compare with healthcare being shredded, people dying from Morelos, even after el Chapo’s capture, thanks to F&F, to Kiev to Caracas,

    narciso (3fec35)

  163. 123. ” Sowell’s attacks are muddled because he is speaking from the heart and not the head. ”

    At our best our head informs our heart. I really had no idea Sowell was a partisan first.

    gary gulrud (384f70)

  164. 143. “I’m glad you’re giving Wikipedia a whirl to look up some old Greek names.”

    I hate it when the damn Yanquis drive by. Pendejo.

    gary gulrud (384f70)

  165. kinda funny story about Fregosi… when i was a kid growing up (I maintain) in Anaheim, California, we used to have members of the California Angels living (with their families) in the same housing developments/tracts we all did… this was several years before free agency and teh Big Money. Fregosi lived in home about a half mile from ours, near some of our high school buddies. This was back in the hapless days of the Angels. a friend and I were in his hot VW heading over to our buddy’s house when out his own front door walks Jim Fregosi toting a packed to the gills duffle bag. I leaned out the passenger window as we slowly drove by and shouted “Fregosi… you suck!!!”.

    Fregosi dropped the duffle bag and – with a sneer – gave us the classic left arm clasping upraised right arm near elbow, capped with the extended middle finger as the cherry-on-top. We laughed about that one for days…

    Colonel Haiku (4f8651)

  166. Well I was pointing out the irony, of someone who calls himself Demosthenes, talking about futile gestures,

    narciso (3fec35)

  167. 48. “BirdDog, at least we know that you have subscribed to the hype that the citizens of this nation blamed the GOP for the government shut down”

    And yet, retire, Boehner held a vote and shutdown ended. Strange how that happened. And as for your comment that only Texans can talk about this, what a load of rubbish. It’s tantamount to saying that I can’t talk about abortion because I’m not a woman.

    Bird Dog (130699)

  168. And they gave up the debt ceiling for a year, which has become a floor,

    narciso (3fec35)

  169. Whether the tactics favored by someone like Thomas Sowell are the correct ones or not, or whether the conventional wisdom spouted off by the elite makes sense or not, when I come across things like the following I can’t help but guffaw and snicker about the know-it-alls in positions of authority and respect.

    The Old Farmer’s Almanac, ignored or dismissed by the do-gooder sophisticates (Hi, Al Gore!), make me think of the Tea Party, et al., February 21: The bitterly cold winter the country is experiencing now took government climatologists completely by surprise, but was predicted with dead-center accuracy by the Old Farmer’s Almanac, a 200 year-plus publication.

    The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Climate Prediction Center worked feverishly, plugging all available data into supercomputers to predict temperatures would be “above normal from November through January across much of the lower 48 states,” according to Bloomberg Businessweek.

    Instead of the mild winter the scientists predicted, we got hit with the polar vortex, plunging temperatures in in all 50 states to below-freezing temperatures and covering the Midwest and Northeast under more than a foot of snow. And just to make sure we know it wasn’t an anomaly, Mother Nature said she’s sending another dose of polar vortex our way next week.

    “Not one of our better forecasts,” acknowledged the Climate Prediction Center’s acting director Mike Halpert to Bloomberg.

    But not everyone got it wrong. The Old Farmer’s Almanac, which made its winter predictions way back during the summer, used terms like “bitter,” “biting” and piercing” to describe how cold it was going to be, according to CBS News — and it was spot on.

    Mark (aea093)

  170. 171. Yeah, via Wiki, I don’t see the value, or for that matter, personal applicability, of this nom de plume.

    Clueless indeed. Boeotian, rather?

    gary gulrud (384f70)

  171. 172. Oh, Pooch, go play in the street, that’s a good boy.

    gary gulrud (384f70)

  172. 146. A line worth remembering in 2016, even if he’s content, as Palin, to play kingmaker.

    gary gulrud (384f70)

  173. 89. Its sad to see the end begin in the Ukraine, Venezuela, Thailand, et al.

    The ME is more expected, and England, both the old and New deserve it richly.

    gary gulrud (384f70)

  174. 174. I overheard the same about the Almanac in the fall from locals, many farmers. Whereas the hummingbirds stuck thru the prior fall, thru a nasty cold rainstorm ’til September 21, this last fall they were gone by the 14th.

    For the last day of February, here in Central MN, the high is forecast at 0 degrees F.

    The last Ice Age is much easier to imagine this winter, with year-round snow cover in MN and WI.
    Last April we received 4 feet alone.

    gary gulrud (384f70)

  175. If the GOP takes the Senate next year and the leadership doesn’t put up an Obamacare repeal for a vote then it’s time to declare them useless. It might not pass because if they have the minimum 51 votes then a single RINO could torpedo it. But they need to at least put the bill up.

    Gerald A (bfbd30)

  176. 174. I just plugged an old timer last night about the Blizzard of ’41. It was 50 degrees when he left for grammar school in the morning.

    Spent two weeks at his grandfathers before returning home on bobsled behind a team of horses.

    That was the very end of the last PDO/AMO negative phase confluence, which began again just a few years ago.

    gary gulrud (384f70)

  177. Surprisingly this winter in Central MN only managed a stretch of 44 consecutive days with below zero temperatures.

    The record of 68 days set in 1875-1878 was not approached.,136,0_0,Search,20110939,6901,0,8,0

    We have such a short span that scams like Climate Change are plausible.

    gary gulrud (384f70)

  178. You note how some talking points take on a mind of their own’

    narciso (3fec35)

  179. I missed class the day the teacher taught the part of the Battle of the Alamo where William Travis read Green Eggs and Ham aloud over C-SPAN.
    Cruz’ battle was not just against Obama, but also against the dinosaur wing of the party.
    This battle Cruz fought was one we needed to have then and Cruz can claim victory because of the fiasco the Obamacare launch has been.

    If Cruz pulls the same deal in 2016 or post primary this year, I will not stand with him on it. The GOP needs Cruz’ intellect and power working with them to win and Cruz should figure out a way to get as many GOP candidates elected as possible before the old fools in the party completely squander the nation wide gains of 2010
    My stand (or lack thereof) would be different from Cruz’s based on the timing of the chosen battle.

    steveg (794291)

  180. Gerald A #180,

    I agree with you but under Sowell’s theory and the statements of several commenters above, passing legislation repealing ObamaCare would be a useless gesture because Obama would simply veto it. However, most people realize it would actually bring clarity to where the Democrats and the Republicans stand on Obama’s signature law. Thus, can we agree that taking a public stand could be valuable from a public relations and a voter information standpoint? If so, then the same principle could also apply to what Ted Cruz is doing — something Ted Cruz has always said is his goal in taking these stands. It’s also why Cruz consistently uses the Twitter hashtag #MakeDCListen.

    In summary, informing and energizing the public is Cruz’s way of making political change possible even though the GOP doesn’t control the Senate. I submit that your comment endorses the same thing — making political change possible by informing and energizing the public even though the GOP doesn’t control the White House. There is value in both.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  181. 181. Trickle down economics:

    The richest 300 people in the world alone added $524 billion to their fortunes in 2013, while billions of other people across the planet pay higher prices for food and fuel.

    Evidently, a sizable number on our “team” are worried they’ll lose big if the status quo is not maintained.

    Since you’re being so understanding, please acknowledge that for many of us present circumstances are intolerable.

    gary gulrud (384f70)

  182. FWIW happyfeet is brisket-worthy as are almost all of you. I say that even though the price of brisket at the fresh Market is making me anxious especially of late. It used to be cheap, and I could buy it for a dollar a pound on sale. Now its upwards of 6 bucks a pound, and no less than 4 anywhere else, even the Costco.

    SarahW (267b14)

  183. I think it would be great to see where the Ds & Rs stand in a vote, and then let the chips fall. It would force their hand and it would give the public all they need to see. There would be no obfuscating, double-speak, or pandering. It would be laid bare by their vote. They should be forced to make this public stand…especially before elections. That the GOP doesn’t control the WH is secondary in this because firstly, the voters need to see straight-out where their elected representatives stand. The ultimate line-in-the-sand.

    Dana (9a8f57)

  184. 185. “Cruz should figure out a way to get as many GOP candidates elected as possible..”

    Actually this does seem to be a goal of his counter insurgency. By the same token it would be foolish to put all his eggs in one basket.

    Whereas Sowell’s generalismos are down to coordinating with the Democrats as an auxillary appendage to pass anything such that government by the few proceed unimpeded Cruz at least is able to oppose the Borg.

    He is not endorsing assassins to take down the Leadership(sic), he is maintaining a flexible position.

    gary gulrud (384f70)

  185. 170. That brings back memories, I think we used to call that one the ‘cow inseminator’ gesture.

    gary gulrud (384f70)

  186. 134. I would call the thread of hope therein more of a whisker, so thin if held to a flame no ash would fall.

    gary gulrud (384f70)

  187. Well said, Dana.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  188. Plus, you perfectly combined Cruz’s position that politicians should have to take a public position on important issues with Patterico’s Alamo theme that includes Travis’ line in the sand. Well done.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  189. Dana,

    To clarify, I’m not trying to say you support Cruz. That’s your call. My point is I liked the way your comment brought together some of the themes of the post and comments.

    DRJ (a83b8b)

  190. Correlation is not proof of a cause and an effect:

    But anti-correlation pretty well knocks the air out of the alternative, rosy explanations.

    gary gulrud (384f70)

  191. I’m so glad our betters are humble, frugal souls. This would be embarrassing:

    gary gulrud (384f70)

  192. Most of the GOP are all about tactics. All their interested in is message, and show votes, and near term elections.

    Here is one, not near the seat of power, who’s a strategic genius and yet a tactical buffoon.

    Oh, for a Renaissance man at the reigns. Like Cruz maybe?

    gary gulrud (384f70)

  193. The average monthly income in the Ukraine is $404.

    How far do you suppose ours will have to fall before we do something?

    gary gulrud (384f70)

  194. 188. FWIW happyfeet is brisket-worthy as are almost all of you. I say that even though the price of brisket at the fresh Market is making me anxious especially of late. It used to be cheap, and I could buy it for a dollar a pound on sale. Now its upwards of 6 bucks a pound, and no less than 4 anywhere else, even the Costco.

    Comment by SarahW (267b14) — 2/23/2014 @ 10:13 am

    Just saying in Texas at least you can get as many entire hogs you want for the price of a basic hunting license. If you can reuse the crossbow bolt.

    If you shoot them with a rifle then it’s the price of a cartridge. Or a lead ball, a few grains of black powder, and a percussion cap, which is even cheaper.

    So no brisket for you, Beldar, happyfeet, Pat, or retire05! But maybe a smoked ham or Italian sausage.

    Steve57 (a7ff60)

  195. :)

    but what I wake up everyday and strive for is to be homemade marshmallow-worthy

    and maybe a macaroon or two

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  196. neither of which am I allowed to have this week cause of I have a condition

    happyfeet (8ce051)

  197. Au Contraire, Beldar. WE WILL NOT have John Cornyn after this election. I do not think your ear is to the ground on this one.

    SDHarms (f76bf1)

  198. At the end of the day, it is not the truth of the Alamo that really matters, it is the REALITY. The Alamo has now become part of the mythos of Texas.

    And at the end of the day, ideas are hard to kill. The republican leadership has firmly implanted into the mind of the base the *idea* that it no longer wishes to fight for the people that sent them there. That’s the ugly truth that Ted Cruz exposed with this vote. That these so called leaders, these want to be emperor’s have no clothes.

    Of course they hate Cruz. The real question now is will they work with him if/when there are a bunch more conservatives in the senate.

    jnials (506b24)

  199. 203. That is so good to hear!

    gary gulrud (384f70)

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