The Best Case Scenario for the Right, Part 4: Soren Dayton

This is the first of a two-day discussion between (Soren Dayton and Jon Henke) and (James Poulos and Conor Friedersdorf) about the Best Case and Worst Case scenario for the Right in 2008.  Conor Friedersdorf's contribution is hereJames Poulos contribution is here.  Jon Henke's is hereSoren Dayton continues.

I have felt for a long time that the GOP's electoral collapse in 2008 is a disaster for America. While the GOP has demonstrated itself to the incompetent at both politics and governing, our country is facing serious issues. While the GOP's answers and the answers of conservatives are not completely adequate for the questions of the day, the Democrats and the left are much, much worse. Whether it is the future of international institutions, labor relations, electoral reform, immigration, welfare, taxes, trade, the nationalization of our banking system, among others, it is likely that the right will not have a seat at the table while these issues are resolved.

So let's take a deep breath and be adult for a moment. Without really disputing the points about conservatism benefitting from a sooner moment to reset and without disputing the real reasons that conservatives find John McCain wanting, the guy has to win for the sake of our country and our party.

The biggest dilemma that I see for us as conservatives or people of the right is the power of the left to enact policies that have long-term feedback loops. Let's look at some examples:

  • The Democrats are proposing the "Employee Free Choice Act" or card-check which would strip an employee of the freedom to choose -- or even debate -- the structure of their employment contract. Aside from the essential loss of freedom, this will flood the coffers of union PACs and divert union pension programs from their path towards self-destruction. A President McCain can simply veto this and fight this from the bully pulpit.
  • The Democrats are already drafting electoral "reforms" that will validate the essentially criminal behavior of Ohio Democratic Secretary of State who (seemingly) willfully refuses to implement the checks of the Help America Vote Act. The Democrats will talk about expanding the franchise, but they will really strip out the checks on fraud that are such a compelling story right now with ACORN. This probably wouldn't even come to a vote without a President Barack Obama to sign it.
  • The Democrats are salivating at the possibility of delivering an immigration reform proposal that delivers a contrast with Republicans that will help solidify Latino votes for the Democrats. Republicans will be struck with a brand in the Latino community as hateful while giving the Democrats the image of compassionate problem solvers. McCain is a compassionate figure in the Latino community who can take credit for the passage of this legislation, regardless of what conservatives think.
  • Obama's tax proposals create incentives for the same kind of dependency that conservatives dismantled 12 years ago. Again, not even conceivable with a McCain presidency.
  • Finally, Obama's proposal to expanding the service corps is going end up looking like dropping 300,000 new ACORN-style organizers paid by the government. McCain has a service program, but is there any doubt that his would look quite different recruiting different kinds and people and deploying them differently?

Let's be clear. If you thought that George W. Bush and Karl Rove were rigging the American political system against the left--a not unreasonable position--, Barack Obama and his allies are going to teach with you what patsies the Republicans are at this.

The Democrats have an agenda that has nothing to do with helping America. Barack Obama's whole political career has been about paying off his constituencies. And he could end up paying them off by delivering 3-5% of a national vote in a structural and long-term sense. The best case for the GOP this year is to be able to stop this with a President McCain in the bully pulpit, regardless of all of his many failings.

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The Collapse...

" have felt for a long time that the GOP's electoral collapse in 2008 is a disaster for America. "

Soren the way I see it the collapse began on 11/7/06.  The GOP had 2 years to remedy the situation.  George Bush and K. Rove really shot the finger at the Base on a regular basis starting 1/20/05, showing their true contempt for the Base.  The problem is the GOP Hierarchy never objected.  In fact they joined in on the fun.  Ignoring, insulting, dis'ing the base at every opportunity.  They felt like, "hey we're getting lots of $$/support  from the U.S. Chamber crowd. Thats all we need.  We don't need those hayseed hicks in the flyover states."  So they did nothing.  Plus many in the GOP are tired/weary of being the party in power.  Hey, winning simply isn't a priority!  They're ready to return to that cush job of minority party status. More time on the Golf Course, etc.    They allowed the dem's and the msm to ramrod their agenda and "preferred Repub candidate" upon us.  The GOP Hierarchy continues to insist on operating within a political election system that has been constructed by the dem's and the msm.  Its designed to increase the odds of their opponents (us) failure and its working like a charm. 

Its obvious to all of us Hayseed Hicks out here in flyover country what the problem is.  But, again, no one is listening. The irony is that there's still time even in this short 20 days.  An apology only takes less than a minute.  DD

Let's be clear. If you

Let's be clear. If you thought that George W. Bush and Karl Rove were rigging the American political system against the left--a not unreasonable position--, Barack Obama and his allies are going to teach with you what patsies the Republicans are at this.

This is just flat out loony. I disagree with many Dem initiatives, but to suggest that there is big consipiracy to . . . I don't know what . .  . control American in some socialist monarchy is weird. Stop harping on the Dems and start cleaning your own house. Reps just ran up the biggest deficites ever, undermined the rule of law in the justice depart, went to war with a country that although dispicable had nothing to do with 9-11, further complicated the tax, and did NOTHING to stop the fallout of the market. Yes, maybe the market fallout was initiated by the Dems, but while deficts were growing, Bush consistantly touted home ownership as proof positive that the economy was strong despite rising debt.

Clinton finished with a surplus.

Your losing support from the middle because you spend more time bashing Dems than living up to conservative promises. I'm waiting for Reps to demand . . .  DEMAND . . . fiscal responsibility and the rule of law. Not just from the Dems, but your own dang party. If you can't get it from yourselves, how are you ever going to get it from them?



absolutely right

The Dems don't have some vast conspiracy, they just have different priorities. While I agree with traditional views of fiscal responsibility, the Dems have earned the right to expand health care, take care of the environment and govern as they please. As soon as the Republicans get back to lowering taxes for the middle class and come up with real, practical solutions they will be re-elected.

What is missing from your "don't elect the democrats!" rant is what exactly the Republicans are going to do for America. I'm amazed by how some on the right don't understand this. You may not agree with a lot of Democratic policies but they have outlined a plan and are very good at getting the message across on every issue. I'm voting for Obama, but I'm voting for the Republican governor for NC because he has outlined how exactly he plans to govern, from school choice to taxes.

I don't understand all this fuss over the EFCA.

As I see it, the unions are only asking for the power presently exercised by the company under present law, i.e., when 50% of the employees sign up (card check) for unionization, the "Company" (for some reason) can either accept the bargaining agent, without calling for a vote of all employees, secrete or otherwise, or hold a secrete ballot.

People in this country have a right to freely associate, not corporations. Shouldn't it be the "employees" who have the right to organize themselves by majority rule rather than the company -- metaphorically speaking?

I think we, as Republicans, have been so conditioned by our corporate rulers, we sometimes forget we are the party that represent the People and their freedoms against those who would take our freedoms away. Working men and women of this country form the backbone of the Republican Party, not corporations.

ex animo



Ferrar says....

"I think we, as Republicans,..."   So glad to hear you've re-joined the fold!! So this means you'll be holding your nose and voting for John Mac on 11/4 after all.  Great! Fantastic!  Knew you'd come around.

For a long time now, the hard "working people" of this nation have elected pro-business leaders and have spurned labor unions.    And what thanks did the business leaders, the U.S. Chamber /WSJ crowd give them in return?  They fought to keep the borders open/porous so illegals could come up here, steal their jobs and drive wages down.  They also sent their jobs overseas and every time there's a hic-cupp in the economy the pink slips start to fly. 

So is it any wonder the political climate is what it is?  Unions are just as much a part of the free enterprise system as business.  But they have to work together to stay competitive in world markets.  Its my hope that the more radical unions are a thing of the past, or soon will be.  What do you think?  DD

The problem with unions are is that they are corrupt

organizations who are in bed organized crime and have adapted their tactics accordingly.  That is why they now hate the secret ballot, becaue they can't intimidate and bully their way into forcing people to join the union.  Thus the card check scam is their way to cirdcumvent that process.This is also the ame reason they hate right-to-work laws because if they fail to live up their end of the bargain (which happens far more often than not since their only real concern is protecting their fat cat leaders and raising campaign funds for Democrats) then they could lose dues paying members.  Thus they sccumb to the radical tactics of old, even if they deny their Bolshevik thugs but if walks like a duck and quacks like a duck well then you know what they say.

First, protect the employee.

Union elections are anything but free.  In the period before an election is held, the employer has a period of time to combat the union organizing efforts. Usually they hire a union-busting outfit to advise them. They will fire the leaders of the union, push, threaten and intimidate the remaining employees with job loss, loss of pay,  any number of intimidations.

The fact of the matter is, Ben; a company has unrivaled access to their employees to make  threats. Though it is illegal to fire someone for supporting a union, the labor board is so backed up that by the time it hears the case, the union organizing effort is history. Your post suggests that the union will use peer pressure or worse. Any pressure the union could conceivably put on someone to sign a card is trivial compared to the pressure the employer can place on an employees to vote the union out.The ballot may be secret, but the employees are voting with a figurative gun to their head fearing that a yes vote will lead to job loss. By the way, Canada uses a card check system and they seem to be doing just fine.

Moreover, most postings I have read concerning the EFCA are woefully ignorant of the reality, legal, and historical record of union organizing, in general. The Employee Free Choice Act will simply establish card-check recognition as a binding method of establishing a union in a work place, along with secret ballot elections -- AS A CHOICE OF THE EMPLOYEES.

Currently, card check recognition of unions is a valid way to establish a union. This has been the case since 1935. All those alarmists claiming that the EFCA will "take away" the secret ballot are ignorant of the fact that card check recognition of unions has long existed. The EFCA will prevent the company from demanding a secret ballot election. It will prevent the company from refusing to recognize the will of the employees to form a union when the majority of the employees have expressed their desire to form a union by using the well-established method of card checks. It remains the choice of the employees to use either card check recognition or secret balloting to determine whether or not the employees will form a union, and, most importantly, engage management in collective bargaining .

What is cleverly overlooked by the critics of the EFCA is the current structure of Federal labor law. It has always been the company ("employer") that has the right to demand an election before recognition of the union. That is the purpose of this process--to reach the point where employers must engage in bargaining with the employees now constituted as a union. In fact, it is legal under the current law for employers to voluntarily recognize a union without card checks or any balloting at all.

Before the whole issue gets lost in a cloud of smoke and is drowned out by hysterical shouting about secret ballots, it is good to start from reality. The reality is that card check recognition of unions is no less democratic than balloting. And this has been the democratic reality in our country for over 70 years.

So why all the opposition to EFCA? Maybe because it will allow employees to form unions with fewer road blocks in their way--and wasn't that the purpose of the National Labor Relations Act in 1935? It is a funny sort of secret ballot election when only one party--the company--gets to decide on the employees' rights rather than the employees themselves.

Am I here trying to defend unions who are ..." in bed with organized crime"...?   Of course not, Ben.  But we, as Republicans, must make sure all have a fair chance to live out the American dream without being oppressed and without oppressing others while in pursuit of those dreams.

ex animo



You are forgetting what the rules of the Wagner Act

already lay out for unions.  They can legally trespass onto any company's property and distrbute pro-union propaganda and the company can not do anything about it. They can meet with any employee individually while that employee is on the clock or request to meet with all the employess at once. The bosses of the company can only promote an "anti-union view" to all the employees at one time while they are likewise still on the clock in a company-wide meeting format. 

Employess are already "protected" in that they have the right to indivudally decide whether or not a union would actually be in their best interests by hearing from both sides and having time to make a decision before a vote is called.  Unions already offer a card check that guages whether or not they think enough employees would favor a union.  Right now if they get 40% yes in favor of unions then they will call for an election.  The problem is they simply haven't been winning to many secret ballot elections in recent years (in Georgetown, KY near where I live the UAW has tried twice to unionize the Toyota plant there to no avail as the workers have wisely decided not to follow Detroit's lead) so they want to forgo that process in favor of simple card check.  No time to decide yea or nay and that through simple imtimidation tactics they are pressured to decide for a union.  This report from the Heritage Foundation is good place to look into for getting a good conservative view on this issue that deals directly with the facts.  Another source you might want to look into is this National Right-to-Work Committe report on this issue.

Sorry but until unions return to the pro-business volutnary unionism of Samuel Gompers and support pro-growth, limited goverment  policies while cleaning up their act, then I just can't be pro-union.  I am not saying they can't have a place in the modern economy but they are simply would have to adapt to today's marketplace and quit acting like this is still the 1950s in terms of the economy.

The Wagner Act notwithstanding...

..."management routinely coerces employees not to choose union representation.  Freedom of association — the right of employees to join a union and bargain collectively — is theoretically guaranteed by the National Labor Relations Act (NLRA), the U.S. Constitution, and several international human rights agreements.  However, as Human Rights Watch concluded in a 2000 report on U.S. compliance with international human rights standards, employees’ freedom of association in the United States is routinely violated through employer coercion." *

* Human Rights Watch, “Unfair Advantage: Workers’ Freedom of Association in the United States Under International Human Rights Standards," 2000.

Ben, I think we both can agree, the American worker has the right of free association, the right to freely join a union and the right to collectively bargain. The question is, how do we, as a political party, protect these rights?   

Do you really believe the reason American workers are failing to organize themselves is because they simply feel they are better off without collective bargaining rights?  If Republicans believe such nonsense, this might go a long way in explaining way corporatism has taken over our party and Wall Street taken over our nation.

ex animo



I guess wee see things differently

For some reason you think collective bargaining rights are not protected and clearly that is not the case.  Human Rights Watch is leftist propaganda organization whose opinion I do not value. For some reason you think this pro-union thug power grab will protect workers, I don't nor do I see opposing this scheme as supporting "corporatism".  By the way perhaps you should actually gain understanding of what that term means before you go throwing it around.

I am sorry for the confusion.

I am using the term "corporatism" in a contemporary pejorative sense, a corporatocracy, as in a plutocracy.

Yes, you are right, I don't see the American worker getting a fair shake.  I see big government getting bigger at the expense of the Peoples' interests, and as a consequence, the Peoples' interests getting smaller, weaker. I see our representative form of government being largely taken over by the money elite, the corporate elite, as a class representing their own interests at the expense of the Peoples' interests.

It is the People's political interests that form the backbone of our political system. This movement is big and, as Nixon once said, for the most part,  it is silent, a silent majority.  But every now and then political tensions arise from deep within its core, it needs only a spark to set it off and a leader to take advantage of its strength.

As I said, Nixon was, above all else, a shrewed political observer. His first campaign should be studied as a guidebook on how to capture this movement's political attention. Reagan was another politician who was able to capture it, not because he was a keen political observer, but because he was one heck of  a good politician who happened to be a member in good standing of the silent majority and so could instinctively connect with it and to it, and the rest, as they say, is history.

Sarah Palin is also a member in good standing of the silent majority. But because the political aspirations of the silent majority have been so deeply frustrated by the McCain campaign, it chose Sarah Palin as its voice whether she realized it or not, wanted it or not, recognized it or not. It was really quite breathtaking to behold -- to see and feel the silent majority suddenly rise up and flex its political muscles if only for an instant.

Is Sarah Palin a good enough politician to take advantage of the silent majority's adoption of her? Only time will tell. If she can bring about a fundamental restructuring of the GOP using the Internet, she just might be able to do what Nixon and Reagan could not, convet a political movement into a new political party and change the course of history by 2012.

ex animo



Now on that we can agree, for the most part anyways.

My main fear is corporate socialism (Marxism that fully incorporates actual elements of corporatism and even partially free markets ) that is what I fear.  "Welfare-state capitalism" is what we still, for the most part currently have, and it will quickly evovle into this transnational corprorate socialism.  The UN (complete with all its failed internationalist bureaucracy) and other IGOS, and NGOS will be controlling much of the policy of this government on both foreign and domestic issues.  No sir, I do not think it will be a plutocracy (Georgre Soros is no J.P. Morgan, Andrew Carnegie or Nelson Rockefellar, because he is much,much worse) for it will be a triumverate of "big gorvenment " (both foreign and domestic), big business and big labor.  Thus I fear it will be the corporations  and the unions colluding with a totalitarian world state.

Now as for your remarks about Palin, right on.  So I guess it is mix bag on that. But hey lets hope Palin does become president in 2012 or '16.  Now as for forming a new party well yeah, good luck with that. 

Yes, DD, I am a Republican.

  Unfortunately, John McCain isn't.






ex animo








McCain suspends campain again-!!!


McCain will suspend his campaign again till 2012 to reorganize and figure out how to RIG his campaign to win the election. But the attacks on Obama will continue and keep the base intact and giddy--lol


Will you suspend your posting in the meantime?

You would do us all a favor if you did.

I'm not sure

I'm not sure that everyone who comments here is conservative.

The point of a McCain win

... would be to allow some party building at the higher levels. In terms of top  down, through his cabinet and other choices, McCain can position future "stars" like Palin. Romney failed miserably at this in Mass and in Maryland, Ehrlich did create one star at least in his Lt Gov (Michael Steele).

At the local level, we may find it easier to take over county parties if BHO is in office and in league with Nine-Percent-Nancy and her gormless Senate counterpart. The cost to the country will be grim but the boost we will get vs the GOP moderates and liberals will be substantial.

The reader of this blog should be preparing to enter the local Republican Party and get to work.

You make a good point.

I wonder how many readers of the Next Right have ever been an executive committee member of their own local (county) Republican Party?

For the record; I was elected to my EC seat for over 15 years.

If McCain wins, the GOP will not restructure itself and neither will the county offices. You just don't fix what ain't broke.

Frankly, even if McCain looses, I am not sure just how you bring about change within the party. As I have said, if we are going to free the party of its corporate rulers, we must find a replacement that can also provide the financial means to carry the party structure forward over the objection and sometimes legal and physical obstruction of the corporate class within the party.

But I agree; the place to start will be the local GOP chapters and the Internet, of course.

ex animo