SILRL (Search for INTELLIGENT Life in the Republican Leadership): Mission Failed

[Author’s Note: The following, although written in July, 2003, is distressingly relevant. Change a few names and titles, and the truth is still true.]

What the heck is a SILRL Project? SILRL stands for Search for Intelligent Life in the Republican Leadership. It was my ongoing effort to discover some guiding intelligence in what passes for leadership in the Republican Party. I’m not talking about the kind of “intelligence” that Hollywood celebrities and Bill Clinton have — the mindless instinct for self-preservation and self-promotion based on saying what one thinks people want to hear. I’m talking about wisdom based on established principles, as enumerated in the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution.

I have reluctantly concluded that there is no intelligence to be found in the Republican leadership, and that further searching is a waste. The SILRL Project is now officially over, a failure.

Sometime in 1997, it became clear that the “Republican Revolution” of 1994 was more cosmetic than revolutionary. There is a disappointing pattern to Republican behavior at the leadership level. The umpteenth time I heard a Republican big shot on conservative talk radio say, “When we have a veto-proof majority in both houses of Congress, we’ll (abolish the Education Department, rein in the IRS, impeach traitorous judges, protect unborn children, re-establish Constitutional law, etc.),” I realized I was listening to a fund-raising ploy, and nothing more.

The only time the spineless fat cats in the Republican leadership make conservative noises is when they need money and time from us conservative grassroots types to get themselves re-elected. Between campaign seasons, we are noisy, unsophisticated bumpkins, who naively insist on adherence to some obscure historical document called the Constitution.

The Big Elephants cluck their tongues at us, and mutter about how we don’t seem to understand that, “politics is the art of the possible.” Translated into everyday English, that means, “Politics is the art of saying and doing what we need to say and do to get re-elected. What’s right and Constitutional is, well, ‘relative.’ Relatively unimportant, compared to getting re-elected.”

There are about a dozen, real, Constitutional conservatives among national Republican officeholders and party leaders, and the rest might as well be Democrats, or Socialists, for that matter. There is little, practical difference.

Ronald Reagan, while discussing why he left the Democratic Party of his youth, said something like, “I didn’t really leave them; they left me.” The old-time champions of the “little guy,” the everyday American, had become the New Deal, big-government socialists, with the apparent intent to federalize just about everything, from first-grade textbooks to flush toilets. They turned the act of killing unborn children from murder into a civil right, stripped the right of self-defense from individual citizens, and made institutionalized racism a federal policy to make up for decades of institutionalized racism. With few exceptions, the Republican minority carped, but went along.

Most establishment Republicans seem to want what the socialist Democrats want, but, more slowly, and with less overt impact on the stock market. In recent decades, the Republican party has become “democrat socialist lite.”

The enormous expansion of the Department of Education, usurping the control of schools from communities and addicting them to federal funds, while doing nothing to improve the quality of education, is but one example of Republican statism. The recent spasm of effort to subsidize prescription drugs with taxpayers’ money, in exchange for the votes of “seniors,” will increase dramatically the cost of health care, while reducing quality and stifling innovation. With a few exceptions, Republicans are on board, if only because (they hope) they will get more polite treatment, along with a few campaign dollars, from the AARP crowd.

Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist has turned out to be every bit as spineless and ineffectual as Trent Lott, and at least as willing to sacrifice principle for political success as Bob Dole. For a chance to appear on camera back-slapping with flatulent hacks like Byrd and Kennedy, and starry-eyed socialist utopians like Boxer and Clinton, Frist is willing to pledge our future incomes to the World Bank and our property rights to the Sierra Club.

This is the big jackpot the Republican leadership promised grassroots conservatives back in ’94. We who are not overjoyed are just being ingrates.

America is now becoming a socialist state, where individual freedom and responsibility, along with property rights and the sanctity of life, are anachronisms — obstacles on the road to “sustainable development” and “social justice.” And the Republican leadership is showing us the way. The Search for Intelligent Life in the Republican Leadership has been abandoned, because there is none to find. I’m taking my search to the right wing of the Libertarian party, next.

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One Response to “SILRL (Search for INTELLIGENT Life in the Republican Leadership): Mission Failed”

  1. Best webBlogs reView » SILRL: Mission Failed Says:

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