Tuesday, November 18, 2008


Sometimes, your blog posts get away from you. They take on a life of their own.

When I started writing this in my mind a few hours back, I absolutely knew what it was about.

THEN, it was about NY Times columnist David Brooks and two columns he recently penned.

Both splendid columns. One splendidly wrong. The other more splendidly right.

The first column, the splendidly WRONG one, was from the 11th and was titled "Darkness at Dusk".

You can find it at,

David posits there are two camps that are battling over the future direction of the Conservative Movement, he labels them "Traditionalists" and "Reformers".

Those labels are both slightly misleading and completely unnecessary.

Brooks' "Traditionalists" - the Rush Limbaugh-Sean Hannity-Sarah Palin-et al Camp are better and more accurately known simply as "Conservatives", they are the heart and soul of the Movement. Their values fall squarely into the Conservative arena, well defined over the last 50 years plus; by the National Review, WFB, the American Spectator, the Weekly Standard, etc.

David's "Reformers", have also been well defined, but for quite a bit longer than 50 years. Going back to the proximate and tragic demise of President Lincoln, they are best know as simply "Republicans". The two labels were intentionally confused by the Left in order to provide Lefty pols and the Left Wing Main Stream Media the ability to conflate the two very different Movements and give the badly educated a reason to vote against Conservatism by voting against Republicanism.

Since the spectacular rise of the Conservative Movement, Republicanism has gone by a variety of other labels; Rockefeller Republicans, Moderate Republicans, Center Left Republicans, Big Government Republicans, Bread and Circus Republicans, Tax and Spend Republicans, ad infinitum.

Part of the problem for Republicanism, the Lefty gimmick of equating Conservatism and Republicanism, WORKED SO DAMN WELL, that they now have to find their own political successes with a Conservative voting base or they will NEVER get back into power or prominence in National Elections. Admiral John was supposed to be their "Great Centrist Hope".

You can rest assured that had The Admiral triumphed two weeks ago, the Rockefeller Wing would have declared total victory and assured us that Reaganism was "dead as a doornail".

The labels change constantly, but back in The Day, the Giants of the Movement (Buckley, Meyer, Oakeshott, Kendall, et al) frequently referred to them as "Trimmers", as in "We'll give you the VERY BEST of the New Deal AND throw in the Great Society WITH JUST A ***LITTLE*** trim."

Brooks, by conjoining two very different ideological Movements within the Republican Party, intentionally or otherwise, disguises the very real issues' contention at the heart of their separate world views.

But, it won't work. Even Brooks acknowledges that when he says within the column, "Only one thing is for sure: In the near term, the Traditionalists are going to win the fight for supremacy in the G.O.P."

Brooks is setting up the Conservative Movement for a hijacking by Republicanism, down the road.

"Deja vu, all over again?" We just tried that for the better part of the last two years. IT FAILED MISERABLY, again.

Without replaying the Nov 4th Election, the various Polls show one thing clearly.


Brooks and the other "Reformers" need to convince the Conservative Base that the only way for Republicans to win national elections, is to run as Center Left Democrats.


Conservatives MIGHT stay home, as they did two weeks ago, and allow the Center Left Independents to decide the National Contests. But, they WILL NOT vote in sufficient numbers for Center Left Republicans, not now, not tomorrow, not any time soon.

A VERY LARGE percentage of those who self-identify as "Conservatives" just bailed on John McCain. And without Splendid Sarah, McCain would probably have lost another 10 - 20 % of the Conservative vote.

If The Admiral had gone with his One True Love, Joe Lieberman, instead of Governor Palin, it would have been even worse. Maybe as low at 60% Conservative turnout?

So what this column turned out to be about is;

Don't pay ANY attention to the Republicans behind the curtain.

The Conservative Movement, starting in the 60's, has provided the VAST BULK of; the MONEY; the VOLUNTEERS, the THINK TANKS, the MEDIA, the NEW MEDIA.

To homage a phrase. "We PAID for this microphone."

The next time somebody pitches the "We need to be more like the Democrats. Just a little less and a little better."

It's time for Conservatives to start the process of "Destroying all Monsters". Here's what I suggest you tell them.

"Go get your own political Party, if you can. I am a Conservative and I won't betray my values and beliefs just to win elections, and then govern like the Democrat that I would have NEVER voted for in the first place."

Monday, November 17, 2008


One of the most common requests I receive is for a basic reading list of books that define modern American Conservatism. Below is, hopefully, a usable "Starter List" for those who are interested in putting together some basic references and/or learning more about "Who we are."

About the following, I would note TWO things;

1. Reading Adam Smith's "Wealth of Nations" WITHOUT reading "Theory of Moral Sentiments" first makes slogging through WON much harder for most people. Many people I know have expressed the wish that they had read TMS before WON, therefore rather than expecting people to slog through WON, I left it off in favor of TMS. If you fall in love with Adam Smith's exceptionally clear and concise prose, TMS will leave you "all hot and bothered" for WON.

2. I list the most commonly available versions of the books below. SOME books, such as the Indispensable "American Conservative Thought in the Twentieth Century" have long been out-of-print, and for ACTITC, I listed the most easily available version. Recently, I picked up a Very Nice used copy of the ACTITC version listed below for around $10 on Amazon Used.

The Federalist Papers
Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, John Jay, Signet Classics
ISBN 0451528816

The Declaration of Independence and Other Great Documents of American History
John Grafton, Dover Publications, ISBN 0486411249

Democracy in America
Alexis de Tocqueville, Penguin Classics, ISBN 0140447601
A "Cheese-Eating, Surrender Monkey" on an "forced vacation" in the U.S. in 1835 from the aftermath of the original "Fairness Doctrine" then being imposed by the post-Revolution French Left, this "Fairness Doctrine" was more commonly known at the time as "The Guillotine".

Theory of Moral Sentiments
Adam Smith, Book Jungle, ISBN 1438500513

God And Man At Yale: 50th Anniversary Edition
William F. Buckley, Jr., ISI Conservative Classics, ISBN 089526692X
The single MOST SIGNIFICANT Conservative book, in terms of impact.

American Conservative Thought in the Twentieth Century, William F. Buckley, Jr., Editor
published by Bobbs Merrill Co, 1970 ISBN 0672513277

ACTITC IS A LITTLE hard to find, but VERY, VERY WORTH IT - some of the clearest writing and thinking on American Conservatism EVER.

The Road to Serfdom Fiftieth Anniversary Editon
F. A. Hayek, University of Chicago Press, ISBN 0226320618

The Conservative Mind: From Burke to Eliot
Russell Kirk, BN Publishing ISBN 9659124112

Capitalism and Freedom: Fortieth Anniversary Edition
Milton Friedman, University Of Chicago Press, ISBN: 0226264211

Since most of these books exist in numerous editions and versions, should anyone have any suggestions as to better versions, PLEASE feel free to post them in the comments. Thanks!

Sunday, November 16, 2008


One of the few "joys" of having spent a week in bed, alternating between high fevers and REALLY high fevers is that as you lose touch with reality, you can construct an alternate world more pleasing to your subconscious. And that's where I've been for the last week.

In "Seamus World" of the last week, though I couldn't bring myself to completely ignore the results of the 2008 National Election, I COULD at least pretend that everything was going to be all right. Today, as the last cycle of fever broke, Ugly Reality snapped back at me with a Vengeance.

Well, every fever must break; one way or the other, and every created reality must subtend itself to the facts on the ground.

So, thrust rudely back in "this" world, I think I have discovered the "Secret Plan of the House GOP Leadership".

That would be something like this; "If at first you don't succeed, FAIL, FAIL again."

"Our" Republican Congressmen appear to be so PLEASED with the results of the 2006 and 2008 elections that they've decided to "get the band back together" for an encore performance in 2010.


With the Gentlemanly Exception of The Honorable (indeed) Roy Blount from Missouri (7th District), the outgoing GOP Whip, the ENTIRE House GOP leadership has cut a deal to be reelected. "Kudos" to Congressman Blount for his integrity and "Thanks" for his service in these difficult times.

On the Other Hand, to the Notably Smaller Republican Congressional Delegation of the incoming 111th Congress, HUH?


I'm sure that John Boehner (Ohio - 8th) and Eric Cantor (Virginia - 7th) are really nice guys. And, Lord knows they haven't had the best of all political worlds to deal with in the last 4 years. BUT...

Given where the House GOP finished two weeks ago, this serves to conclusively prove (according to the old proverb) just how really, REALLY nice the existing House GOP leadership are, especially to Democrats.

Why would the House GOP return the leadership that has FAILED SPECTACULARLY in the last two election cycles? Either they are remarkably sadomasochistic or there's something else at work here. Something that's More Ominous and Not So Good for Conservatives (our usual Gift from the House GOP leadership). Here's my Best Guess.

Pig, pork, swag, porcine byproducts, M-O-N-E-Y, earmarks and all the other byproducts of the Congressional "Spend Like a Greased Pig" circuit that has already brought the Republican Party to the brink of multi-decade political exile.

To the Outside World, House Speaker Nancy Pelosi is little more than a Botoxed-horror, constantly displaying the typical Beverly Hills/West Palm Beach death-like grimace that ONLY the Botox- and cosmetic surgery- addicted think is a smile. But there is far more to Nancy Pelosi than All-Time-Record-Low approval ratings and her standing as America's Top "Horrors of Cosmetic Surgery Gone Wrong" model.

Speaker Nancy is from a long line of pols who know how to play the "Inside Game". And at that, Nancy Pelosi is First Amongst Equals, she has already seduced (EEEEW!) the House GOP in the last two Budget Capitulations, and returning Boehner and Cantor to the GOP leadership just sends Nancy Vicious the unmistakable message; "Let's Get Together and Do It Again!".

In the last two budget cycles, Pelosi has made sure that Greedy GOP Congressmen are right up there, squealing like pigs and with their snouts in the Taxpayers' Trough up to their Curly Little Tails.

And now it would appear that the ENTIRE House GOP Caucus is about to choose "staying the course" over WINNING. Or, at least, Pigging out at the Public Trough over Conservative Principles.

If this bugs you, here's a suggestion.

Call Congressman John Boehner's Capitol Hill office at (202) 225-6205 and POLITELY ask him to step aside from his candidacy for House Minority Leader, and throw open the GOP leadership elections.

DITTO for Congressman Eric Cantor, who can be reached at (202) 225-2815.

AND, if you are one of the two or three people left in the United States with a Republican Congressman returning to the 111th Congress, CALL THEM and ask them to OPEN leadership elections for COMPLETELY NEW LEADERS.

Setting aside whether or not it's as OBVIOUS to them, as it is to us Lowly Voters, that the House GOP needs a SERIOUS CHANGE in leadership, it is a sign of MASSIVE IGNORANCE on the part of the rank-and-file GOP Congressmen to believe that a Freakishly Failed leadership cadre should be returned to DO IT ALL OVER AGAIN.

If your not sure of your GOP Congressman's telephone number you can go on the web to find it at; WWW.HOUSE.GOV or call the House switchboard at (202) 222-3121

OR, we can all start planning for a "Three-peat" in 2010? Gives us time to switch Party registration to be on the winning side for a change?

Saturday, November 8, 2008


As we survey the exit and other polls from the Tuesday Massacre of the McCainiacs, Conservatives can find one bright spot from the 2008 Presidential Contest.

9 weeks ago in Detroit, John McCain gave the Conservative Movement the "Best Thanksgiving Gift" we could have possibly been given. And probably the "Best Gift" John McCain ever gave Conservatives, period.

Generally, McCain's "gifts" to Conservatives have been his contempt, his anger and his harsh words. And legislatively, we all remember McCain/Feingold and McCain/Kennedy.

That one bright spot? Sarah Palin, Rising Star of the Conservative Movement. - a potential Heir Apparent to Ronald Reagan and Newt Gingrich.

Pollster Scott Rasmussen has shown us the results of his exhaustive polling on the Presidential Contest and Sarah Palin.

Here's the link to Scott's analysis; Please, read it for yourself, it couldn't be clearer.

However, as losing the Presidential election along landslide proportions wasn't enough, it would seem that some "bitter dead-enders" in the McCain Campaign, not only want to take this gift back, they want to destroy it in the process.


1. You should be ASHAMED OF YOURSELVES. Very, very ashamed. Having foisted the McCain Candidacy on Republicans and Conservatives by using Dirty Tricks including, but not limited to, stirring and/or tolerating anti-Mormon Bigotry, denigrating Evangelical voters and their concerns about issues such as Border Security, ignoring the potential Open Borders' dangers to traditional American culture and values and then, first using Mike Huckabee as a Meat Puppet for your candidacy and then discarding him like a dime-store doll, that wasn't enough, Now you are trying to destroy the only positive thing to emerge from your 3rd rate campaign.

These McCain staffers know that they are, correctly, being awarded the responsibility for the failure of McCain's lackluster, theme-challenged, vaguely-messaged, "High Road to Nowhere" campaign.

So, by preemptively attacking Sarah Palin while cringing anonymously behind the skirts of the media, McCainacs are trying to play one of the oldest games in politics - shift the blame on to someone else in order to change the conversation and avoid the assignment of blame directly where it belongs, to them and their candidate John McCain.


The history of the Goldwater/Rockefeller Culture Wars within the Party, in the aftermath of JFK's razor-thin 1960 Presidential victory, are well known. To some extent, the Culture War had already started preliminary skirmishing well-before the 1960 nomination fight.

The results of that culture war?

By the time Barry Goldwater was nominated at the Cow Palace in San Francisco, in July of 1964, the vicious and highly personal exchanges between their respective Wings of the GOP resulted in a Barry Goldwater candidacy that was so battered, bruised and bloody in the Public's eyes, that the unpopular Lyndon Baines Johnson was easily reelected, in an Electoral blowout of 486 - 52.

The primary responsibility for Goldwater's catastrophic loss was assigned by the other factions of the GOP to Nelson Rockefeller and his Fellow Travelers. There wasn't a reconciliation between the warring factions until 1980, when Ronald Reagan made a "Peace Offering" to the Rockefeller Wing, by giving his Vice Presidential slot to George H. Bush.

This rejection of the Rockefeller wing, by the other elements of the GOP, would result in the transcendence of the very young Conservative Movement into the dominating faction within the Republican Party. This Conservative dominance started with the Goldwater/Rockefeller Culture Wars and lasted for nearly 3 decades.

If the McCainiacs don't back away from their Anti-Palin Pogrom, they are risking splitting the GOP apart, AGAIN.

This will, AGAIN, reduce the Rockefeller Wing's power and influence within the GOP, and will substantially lower the GOP's national competitiveness, across the board.

By law and now custom, both national political parties are "fusionist" (the so-called "Big Tent"), they are numerous factions within the GOP; Evangelicals, Social Conservatives, Fiscal Conservatives, Libertarians, States' Rightists, Pro-Lifers, and , YES, Big Government, Big Tax, Big Spend Liberal Republicans, and nearly endless combinations of the above (and more).

For this Party to function and be competitive NO ONE FACTION should insist on power or influence disproportionate to what they bring to the table in resources such as; money, volunteers, organization or ideas.

The McCainiacs failed this year, and badly. Go home, lick your wounds and come back with better ideas, better candidates and all the other things that electing a President require.

Destroying the ONE GOOD THING your Candidate and Campaign produced will merely make you pariahs and outcasts. Accept your failures and the responsibility attached thereto.

We are ALL in this Republican Party together. As was once observed by a great American patriot, "We must all hang together or assuredly we shall all hang separately."

If the McCainiacs INSIST on "Burning Down The Tent", they may well find, that after the fires die down, they have nowhere left to come home to.

Thursday, November 6, 2008


Tuesday night Nelson Rockefeller died. Again.

Buried alongside the Governor were 2008 GOP Presidential aspirations.

While Nelson's physical presence may have left us in January of 1979, the political and electoral blight of Rockefeller and the "Rockefeller Wing" of the GOP culminated in the 2008 Republican nominee for President getting smoked by over 7-million votes by a 1/2 term freshman Senator from Daley's Chicago Machine.

A freshman Senator who never wrote a single piece of legislation, never chaired a committee and who had the shakiest set of personal and political associates since Richard Nixon.

Rockefeller's political progeny, known these days as the loosely grouped "New Republicans" assured Conservatives that they knew better than we. That in an electoral environment made hostile to Republican candidates by a whole host of issues from Iraq to Global Climate Change to a (then) struggling Economy, what was required for a GOP victory was a "game changing" candidate.

A candidate who could pull support from both sides of the aisles, from both Parties and the Independents, and who wasn't so tied into the Bush Wing of the GOP that he would be tarred with whatever issue negatives that were driving the President's approval ratings towards single digits.

John McCain - "Maverick John", the "Bipartisan Wonder", the Owner and Operator of the "Straight Talk Express" was "The Man Who Could Pull From the Center", was THAT candidate.

What actually happened to the Straight Talk Express, when it Left the station?

It failed to get Independents, failed to get Reagan Democrats, failed to get the numbers he needed from Conservatives, and, as predicted by everyone from Rush Limbaugh to Sean Hannity, just plain failed.

The Straight Talk Express headed straight into the ditch, taking every assurance that the Rockefeller Wing of the Party had given us right along with it.

According to exit polls, McCain lost Independents nationally 60 to 40%, nearly two-to-one.

So, an election endlessly identified by everyone in both the MSM and Right-Wing media as "the most important election of our lives", on the actual numbers, how did Straight-Talking John do, compared to prior GOP efforts?

McCain got a respectable, but far-from-record 89% of Republicans nationwide, but only 80% of self-identified Conservatives.

Despite being recognized by Latinos nationally as a tireless, long-time supporter of open borders and blanket amnesty, until his mid-primary campaign "conversion", McCain lost the much bespoke "essentially conservative" Latino/Hispanic vote by over 4 to 1.

Voter turnout was a bit up from, but essentially on a rough par with 2004, so this was no "game changer" election. The largest emergent groups appears to have been first-time voters and voters under 30. Needless to say, those voters went to Barrack Obama by embarrassingly large numbers.

Non-Presidential Republican candidates did as well as they could have in this environment.

The Senate will have, should they actually rouse themselves to use it, a filibuster-capable Republican Minority. Losses on the GOP side of the House were far below what the Left-Wing Nutroots predicted or desired.

So, in an election where in races-other-than-the-Presidency, Republicans overperformed nearly all expectations, exactly how well did the New Republicans' "Man from the Center" do electorally"?

Dole/Kemp '96...that's how well Maverick John did, pulling Electoral votes and nationwide R/D percentages essentially comparable to Bob Dole's 1996 Disaster.

By comparison, Jerry Ford's 1976 Campaign's numbers SMOKED John McCain's 2008 numbers.

But, John McCain's "Concession Speech", will provide a fabulous template for the rest of our GOP Candidates going forward with their full-scale retreat from Reagan Conservatism.

So far, all the polling numbers tell us that this was inarguably no "realignment" election, that is unless we continue to retreat from Reagan Conservatism. In which case, we will realign ourselves right out of contention as a national political party.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

A Mighty River Where New Media Rulz

Tonight it the first night of the emergence of the Next Generation of GOP leadership.

Regardless of tonight's outcomes for Republicans, with all the retirements (and a few indictments), large numbers of the GOP elect are leaving politics. Many are leaving voluntary, some not so much (tossed out kicking and screaming by the voters, IOW).

This has created a leadership vacuum that the GOP must immediately confront and master, or risk being out of the running in national and local races for many years to come.

The political reality is that, starting tonight, the Old Boys Club that has dominated the GOP since Speaker Gingrich's retirement will be slowly replaced by a New Generation of Republican. A different kind of Republican.

However, the "Big News" is that many of these new leaders will have never run for office, will have never worked the Party hierarchy, will owe little or nothing to Big Donors and/or Special Interests.

Where are these New Leaders coming from?

New Media. Talk-radio, the Blogs, and the online presences of the Dead Trees Media.

Rush, Hugh Hewitt, Sean Hannity, Dennis Prager, and the legions of local Right-Wing talkers will combine their substantial voices with the elite of the Blogs, such as Townhall.com, RealClearPolitics.com, The Corner, et al.

The Internet will become a rushing stream, a mighty river of voices, opinions, discussions and analysis that will have a profound impact on the GOP.

These voices will bubble up from; FaceBook, MySpace, Twitter, Jaiku, and the many thousands of other Internet self-publishing spaces.

These tiny streams of personal thought and opinion will become the "Mighty River" that will sweep aside the Old School donor preferences and lobbying networks that have proven to be such a drag on the GOP.

Over time, this will transform the GOP as nothing else has since WFB wrote "God and Man at Yale" and started publishing the National Review.

This transformative impulse will NOT be led by long-serving elected representatives, they will increasingly become either the willing partners of this transformation, or they will be cast aside by it.

Hugh, Sean, Mark, Dennis, and of course, The Maha Rushie will become the Chosen Representatives of the Republican and Conservative activists and voters. Their unrestricted and unqualified, open access to the many voices of the American electorate, their reach into millions and millions of non-elite (average) American households will provide the reach that the GOP will need to bring over the largest bloc of the national voting electorate - The Independent/Undecided voters.

These I/U voters have grown up in the New Media world. They are comfortable with MySpace and YouTube, they get most of their music from iTunes, and regard Compact Discs as DinosaurTech and 12" vinyl as Primeval. Broadcast television is the QuaintTech of their parents.

"Appointment TV" is when THEY chose to watch a favorite broadcast show on their iPhone or iPod. They have never owned or seen a typewriter. They have never seen and can't comprehend a world without MacOS or Windows, and regard ubiquitous and 24/7 access to the Internet via broadband technologies as a birthright. Many currently don't have wired landline telephones, and thousands and thousands more are joining them everyday.

Barrack Obama's Campaign has taken the New Media sensibility of Howard Dean's 2004 campaign, amplified it a hundredfold. Obama has provided the New Media meme that ALL politicians will have to master, or they will left behind just as surely as the Wobblies and the Populists joined the Whigs and the Tories in the musty pages of U.S. history.

Tomorrow the GOP will have to face this New Reality and the only choice they will have is to master it.

March or Die Time...

...to turn a phrase, "Meet the New Boss, Different Than the Old Boss"

Welcome - Our Mission and Its Goals


Welcome to a blog with a Mission. This Mission includes;

The reconstruction and rebirth of the Conservative Movement.

The reemergence of Reaganite Conservatism as the driving force behind GOP national politics.

The rebalancing of the Republican Party, which we believe has drafted away, sometimes far away, from Conservative core values and into the realm of "Liberal Lite" Republicanism, a practice that from Dwight Eisenhower to BOTH George H. AND George W. Bush has ALWAYS spelled electoral disaster for the Republican Party in general and the Conservative Movement in particular.

This blog will NOT be about endless analysis and intellectual quibbling about "Who shot Joe?"

This blog will NOT be about the; political difference-splitting, ideological wrangling, analytical finger-pointing and other intellectual pursuits that some members of the Conservative Commentariat seem to embrace as a substitute for providing solutions and victory-oriented analysis and critique.

We WILL use this space to evolve an comprehensive set of specific, highly-targeted plans and most importantly, the actions that will allow the Conservative Movement to reclaim its leadership role in the GOP, to bring mainstream Reaganism back into the American political discourse and start electing Conservatives into office, from the local levels to the Oval Office.

We will start this journey for real on Wednesday November 5, 2008.

Please join us. Please help us restore the Conservative Movement to what it was from the election of Ronald Reagan to the election of Newt Gringrich as Speaker of the House.

Together we can do it. The 2012 March for the White House starts now.

Thank You.

Seamus O'Shansky