Revised at 2:45 a.m., on Tuesday, February 5, 2013
The following Charlie Kraut column appeared just after the election. I found it in the November 11 New York Post, which I bought in Brooklyn, since I had no Internet, or even newspapers at home at the time. That was the day I bought my cellphone.
The version I read, in the Post, was entitled,
Don’t retreat, GOP, just be better
Demographic despair is ridiculous; there’s a simple
Fix on immigration. But party must retain its core
Kraut’s column was part of a wave of GOP hackery pushing what I call amnestisia: Going for yet another mass amnesty, in the face of everything we’ve learned since the one in 1986, not to mention the countless little stealth amnesties since then.
Charlie Kraut, like the other amnestisiacs, is also telling us to ignore everything we have ever learned about politics, above all, the role of demographics.
Note the mix of factually false statements, plain whoppers, and logical non sequiturs.
The same stuff has been coming out of all of these mooks’ mouths. Someone has got to have sent out a memo. It’s an old memo, to be sure, but they sent a dusted-off version. And in the three months since the election, at Braindead Central, nothing has changed.
1. ‘Demographics mean nothing’;
2. ‘Hispander, Hispander, Hispander: If we bend over for our new Hispanic overlords, they will like us and vote GOP, instead of retaliating, and voting Democratic’;
3. ‘Hispanics are natural Republicans.’ When VDARE first refuted this howler, I think I had a full head of brown hair, and my son was still in diapers;
4. ‘Surrender first, then negotiate’; and
5. ‘Tell the transparent lie to the suckers that amnesty doesn’t mean full citizenship.’
All poor, working, and middle-class whites have to do is submit to being racially displaced, politically and legally disenfranchised, economically dispossessed, and physically annihilated, and Hispanics will reward the Charlie Krauts, Peggy Noonans, and Karl Roves by voting GOP.
Aside from what going, silence of the lambs-style, off to be slaughtered would mean to Middle Americans, Hispanics still wouldn’t vote Republican. How could such supposedly smart people like the Kraut be so hitting-their-own-heads-with-hammers stupid?
I don’t buy into the canards, whereby neo-conservatism is a form of Trotskyite (here) or “Straussian” thought (I studied numerous works by Leo Strauss, and don’t see that there is any such thing, except as a scholarly approach to interpreting historical political thinkers). Neo-conservatism—or, in its current incarnation, neo-neo-conservatism—isn’t even an ideology, much less a philosophy, but rather a non-rational, political attitude. It has become as dogmatic and anti-scientific as its one-time enemy, Marxism.
At least, the Kraut hasn’t called his conservative critics, “a stain on the republic” and “racist scum.”
Due to the influence of donors on what now passes for neo-conservative thought, one may legitimately wonder if the Kraut’s problem is dogmatism, or if is he on the take? He has been so stupidly dogmatic for so long, that if money is a factor, it’s not new money.
By Charles Krauthammer
November 9, 2012 12:24 a.m. EST
The Washington Post
Published: November 8 [N.S.: Don’t ask me what November 9/November 8 means.]
They lose and immediately the chorus begins. Republicans must change or die. A rump party of white America, it must adapt to evolving demographics or forever be the minority.
The only part of this that is even partially true regards Hispanics. They should be a natural Republican constituency: striving immigrant community, religious, Catholic, family-oriented and socially conservative (on abortion, for example).
The principal reason they go Democratic is the issue of illegal immigrants. [N.S.: Lie.] In securing the Republican nomination, Mitt Romney made the strategic error of (unnecessarily) going to the right of Rick Perry. [That was the only smart move he made; unfortunately, he did tack back, by promising amnesty to illegal alien invaders. It was his betrayal of the GOP base that cost him the election.] Romney could never successfully tack back.
For the party in general, however, the problem is hardly structural. It requires but a single policy change: Border fence plus amnesty. Yes, amnesty. Use the word. Shock and awe — full legal normalization (just short of citizenship) in return for full border enforcement.
[Krauthammer was a grown-up in 1986, and thus he knows that the promise of enforcement was a lie then and now. For him to promote a policy that he knows will never be enacted is merely more proof that he has gone over to the dark side. And what’s this “just short of citizenship” garbage? “Amnesty” means nothing less than full citizenship.]
I’ve always been of the “enforcement first” school, with the subsequent promise of legalization. I still think it’s the better policy. But many Hispanics fear that there will be nothing beyond enforcement. [Bull.] So, promise amnesty right up front. [Then you have no cards left to play. Kraut can’t be this stupid.] Secure the border with guaranteed legalization to follow on the day the four border-state governors affirm that illegal immigration has slowed to a trickle.
Imagine Marco Rubio advancing such a policy on the road to 2016. It would transform the landscape. He’d win the Hispanic vote. Yes, win it. A problem fixable with a single policy initiative is not structural. It is solvable.
The other part of the current lament is that the Republican Party consistently trails among blacks, young people and (unmarried) women. (Republicans are plus-7 among married women.) But this is not for reasons of culture, identity or even affinity. It is because these constituencies tend to be more politically liberal — and Republicans are the conservative party.
The country doesn’t need two liberal parties. Yes, Republicans need to weed out candidates who talk like morons about rape. But this doesn’t mean the country needs two pro-choice parties either. In fact, more women are pro-life than are pro-choice. The problem here for Republicans is not policy but delicacy — speaking about culturally sensitive and philosophically complex [?] issues with reflection and prudence. [This means avoiding ever speaking the truth about non-white pathologies and disloyalty.]
Additionally, warn the doomsayers, Republicans must change not just ethnically but ideologically. Back to the center. Moderation above all!
More nonsense. Tuesday’s exit polls showed that by an eight-point margin (51-43), Americans believe that government does too much. And Republicans are the party of smaller government. Moreover, onrushing economic exigencies — crushing debt, unsustainable entitlements — will make the argument for smaller government increasingly unassailable.
So, why give it up? Republicans lost the election not because they advanced a bad argument but because they advanced a good argument not well enough. Romney ran a solid campaign, but he is by nature a Northeastern moderate. He sincerely adopted the new conservatism but still spoke it as a second language.
More Ford ’76 than Reagan ’80, Romney is a transitional figure, both generationally and ideologically. Behind him, the party has an extraordinarily strong bench. In Congress — Paul Ryan, Marco Rubio, Kelly Ayotte, (the incoming) Ted Cruz and others. And the governors — Bobby Jindal, Scott Walker, Nikki Haley, plus former governor Jeb Bush and the soon-retiring Mitch Daniels. (Chris Christie is currently in rehab.)
They were all either a little too young or just not personally prepared to run in 2012. No longer. There may not be a Reagan among them, but this generation of rising leaders is philosophically rooted and politically fluent in the new constitutional conservatism.
Ignore the trimmers. There’s no need for radical change. The other party thinks it owns the demographic future — counter that in one stroke by fixing the Latino problem. Do not, however, abandon the party’s philosophical anchor. In a world where European social democracy is imploding before our eyes, the party of smaller, more modernized government owns the ideological future.
Romney is a good man who made the best argument he could, and nearly won. He would have made a superb chief executive, but he (like the Clinton machine) could not match Barack Obama in the darker arts of public persuasion.
The answer to Romney’s failure is not retreat, not aping the Democrats’ patchwork pandering. It is to make the case for restrained, rationalized and reformed government in stark contradistinction to Obama’s increasingly unsustainable big-spending, big-government paternalism.
Republicans: No whimpering. No whining. No reinvention when none is needed. Do conservatism but do it better. There’s a whole generation of leaders ready to do just that.