On Monday, still in plug mode for my new book The [Un]documented Mark Steyn, I joined Dennis Miller on the radio and Glenn Beck on TV. Glenn and I started out contemplating today's election but it quickly turned more apocalyptic:
Author and political commentator Mark Steyn said Monday that we are living in a "post-constitutional order" where President Barack Obama seems to "[wake] up every morning and [decide] which portions of the Obamacare law apply and which portions of the immigration laws apply and which he's going to toss in the garbage can."
"I think there's going to be a lot more than that in the next couple of years," Steyn warned, speaking on The Glenn Beck Program. "And his base is generally cool with that and they will manage, as they generally succeed in doing, in blaming it on intransigent Republicans that he can't work with."
The author, whose new book "The Undocumented Mark Steyn: Don't Say You Weren't Warned" was released last month, said Americans will see a lot more of "King Barack deciding which laws apply and which don't" before his presidency ends.
(Birthday boy Dennis Miller was in almost equally doom-laden mode, as he often is on his birthday these days, but he did play my version of "Cat Scratch Fever" and remarked: "Mark Steyn sings Ted Nugent. That's about as good as it gets.")
~To address the election more directly: I loathe what the Democratic Party has done these last few years and I dearly hope that today sees the dethroning of Harry Reid. I would also like to be represented in Washington by someone other than Senator Shaheen and Congresswoman Kuster. Nonetheless, I regard the Republican Party as a largely repulsive institution. Yesterday, one of the last of this season's election flyers arrived at my Post Office from the GOP. It read:
SCOTT BROWN HAS A
STRONG RECORD OF FIGHTING
FOR WHAT IS RIGHT.
SCOTT IS PRO-CHOICE & SUPPORTS
ISSUES IMPORTANT TO WOMEN.
Now Scott Brown is certainly "pro-choice", as is his right. It hasn't been a big part of his campaign - he got a lot of traction from immigration, and from Jeanne Shaheen's abysmal debate performances - and realistically, whatever one feels about abortion, today's election results won't make a whit of difference on the issue. Still, I'd have no objection to Mr Brown sending out campaign literature bragging about his position.
But this flyer came from the New Hampshire Republican State Committee.
The official position of the State Committee is that it is opposed to abortion. You can read the platform here:
We believe that life is sacred, from conception to natural death and that we cannot diminish the value of one category of human life without diminishing the value of all human life.
In addition the NH GOP is committed to...
Support the unborn child's fundamental right to life and implement all possible legal protections
Encourage individuals and organizations who provide alternatives to abortion by meeting the needs of mothers through adoption, support, counseling and educational services
Now maybe that's all squaresville, uptight social-conservative stuff, and not where the party needs to be in 2014. Nevertheless, it's the official position, and the base has been disinclined to change it. So when a pro-life State Committee sends out leaflets boasting about being pro-choice, they're telling you that those two bolded words "we believe" are meaningless when uttered by a New Hampshire Republican official. Why would what they claim to "believe" on Obamacare or debt or foreign policy be any more reliable? When a man tells you his word is bullsh*t, take him at it.
More revealingly, look at how the State Committee characterizes Brown's position: The candidate is "pro-choice" and "supports issues important to women". That's Democrat framing: Opposition to abortion is part of the Republican war on women, etc. Furthermore, being "pro-choice" is evidence that Brown "has a strong record of fighting for what is right". So it's not just a policy dispute or a matter of personal conscience on which people of good faith can disagree. Being "pro-choice" is "what is right" - which presumably means being pro-life is what is wrong.
This is what the supposedly pro-life Republican Party is mailing its base on the eve of a low-turnout midterm election.
Presumably down at head office in Concord one of the oleaginous creeps with which "professional" politics is infested assured everyone that there was no downside to issuing a flyer indistinguishable from the Democrats because, after all, those pro-life rubes have nowhere else to go, right? Brown's pro-choice, you got no choice.
Maybe. But, even in cynical and opportunist terms, in 2014 oughtn't a functioning political party be sophisticated enough to be able to target pro-choice flyers at independents and squishy moderates and mail something a little less openly contemptuous to its own base? A cardinal rule of business is KYC - Know Your Customers. The GOP knows its customers and it despises them. The subtext of its flyer is: We don't mean it. We don't mean anything. Usually we wait until Wednesday morning to start selling you out, but this year we need to do it upfront.
And let me emphasize the larger point: The Republican State Committee has swallowed Democrat framing of the issue hook, line and sinker. They do that not just on abortion but on immigration and a zillion other issues. And you wonder why, even when they win, nothing changes? Tonight may well see a nominal victory for Republicans, but they remain a party for losers.
~As for The [Un]documented Mark Steyn, you can buy it now from Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Books-A-Million in America, or Indigo-Chapters, Amazon and McNally-Robinson in Canada. Or, for instant gratification, get it in eBook - in Kindle, Kobo, Nook and iBooks. And, wherever you are on the planet, we're happy to ship you a personally autographed copy direct from the SteynOnline bookstore.