Well, it’s about time someone said what everyone else is thinking.

Lt. Governor Bill Bolling is mulling an independent run.  So be it — that’s his prerogative.   Republican state senators such as Hanger and Watkins are discussing gasoline taxes.  Consultants are talking about throwing social conservatives over the rails (again).  Establishment Republicans and the consultants who stand to make thousands of dollars in primaries wail about the money they’re losing how conventions keep people out.

…and they have the temerity to tell conservatives what defines inclusion.

Interestingly enough, when it’s the establishment hack that wins the nomination, conservatives and liberty-minded constitutionalists are told to suck it up.  “Who else are you going to vote for?” is the common sneer as conservatives have to swallow the likes of Bob Dole ’96, John McCain ’08, and now Mitt Romney ’12.

Each time they fail, conservatives are blamed.

Nevermind that these candidates never ran on conservative principles to begin with.  Their message?  We can do big government — cheaper!

I don’t want to hear any more nonsense about teepees or three-legged stools or four-legged tables.  Conservatives have grown lazy, pure and simple.   Rather than working hard doing the field work conservatives were once famous for, politics via drone seems to be the order of the day.  Consultants behind desks drop media and slicks, volunteers do phone calls rather than door knocking, pastors go unapproached, Hispanics and blacks are simply conceded, and conservative vision and principles — derided during the primaries, given lip service during the general elections — are rarely tried and found wanting, but rather been found difficult to find true champions… and left untried.

So rather than learn the lessons of 2012, we instead allow the same vices to eat ourselves internally: ego, pride, vanity, the conceit that we can hold the reins of power to the Leviathan and hope it eats us last.

This is no way to run a ship.

Now it’s the establishment GOP’s turn to throw the temper tantrum.  Bolling finds a convention difficult, so we start talking about 3rd party runs and independent candidacies.  Rather than debate the merits of Cuccinelli’s brand of conservatism, we are content to throw rocks — the easy way out.

So much for the intellectual movement that conservatives once believed ourselves to be, eh?

Let me be abundantly clear: should Bolling and a handful of establishment types bolt from the GOP, good riddance.

Please.  If those are the depths of your convictions?  Go away.

We don’t need you now, and we won’t need you later.

Perhaps once conservatives are allowed to present a clear alternative to the status quo, maybe then we will see the restoration most of us thought we were fighting for.

Perhaps once the moderates link arms with the centrists in the Democratic Party, they can be the authentic party of socialism-lite.

Perhaps once the progressives are free of their centrist anchors, they will show their true colors… and we can finally have an honest policy discussion in Virginia — and perhaps the nation.

…but the curtains come down.   Today.

The establishment needs to quit asking whether or not they should jettison some portion of the conservative movement.  In case they hadn’t noticed, we’ve already packed our bags.  The question they get to ask is what reasons do conservatives have to come back into the fold?

So long as conservatism is treated as a useful minority rather than a political philosophy that conquered the Soviet Union, created the boom of the late 20th century, brought America the civil rights era, and created the economic boomlet that expanded both freedom and the middle class to their highest possible point… the establishment types are going to constantly be caught in the trap of choosing to run big government on the cheap.

We can’t afford that sort of narrow vision anymore.  In a world of tight budgets and unfunded entitlements, it’s either our liberties — economic, civil, and political — or the establishment class.

If folks intend to bring this to a point now… then the choice is very easy.

Alternatively, if those who are throwing the punches and kicks decide to come back down to earth and realize that the Republican Party and the conservative movement are one and the same, and if they are willing to accept that we can only restore our national greatness through an expansion of free markets, free minds, and a free society — maybe there’s hope yet.

One can always hope, right?

…but if the answer from the establishment is “our way or the highway?”  If it’s declarations of war from the likes of Karl Rove to run primary challengers against every conservative?  Then the Republican Party is better off without you.

Paraphrasing a wise man, if moderates and establishment Republicans truly want higher taxes, abortion on demand, fail to defend family, and remain soft on the 2nd Amendment — there’s a party out there that represents their views.  That candidate was a brilliant defender of conservative virtues.  I miss that sort of leadership.

UPDATE:  …and before we go on about a “big tent” line of attack, let’s hear about a definition of inclusion that doesn’t seem to have much room for social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, libertarians, Tea Party conservatives, constitutionalists, pro-lifers, marriage, 2nd Amendment supporters…

…you get the drill.  That big tent only works when one side in particular is the ringmaster.

  • Amen

  • Nail Hitting is SPOT ON! Let’s get a BIGGER HAMMER~ MORE NAILS TO NAIL!!! Where were you when the campaigns started!

  • Tim Boyer

    Spot on, bro! You said it as good as anyone I’ve ever heard!!

  • I don’t think conservatives have ever really been blamed when somebody loses. Candidates who lose have no one to blame but themselves. Period. Romney’s lost is on Romney. Same with McCain, Dole, and every other presidential candidate we’ve fielded who hasn’t made it up to snuff.

    I’m really sick of hearing this “establishment” rhetoric, especially from people like you Shaun, who are part of it. You’re an elected official and a former RPV staffer. You’ve run for House of Delegates. You’re not some kind of outsider. You are part of the establishment, just like me, just like a lot of folks.

    We’re all in this together. I’ve disagreed plenty with Ken Cuccinelli over the years, but he’s going to be our nominee and he’ll have my support. And if he loses, I don’t plan on blaming you guys for it. Only one person will be responsible.

    • Brian, you are part of the problem. Here is the irrefutable evidence:

      1) You are a lobbyist aka influence peddler:


      2) You work as a lobbyist for a union!

      Why are you here and why would any Republican listen to your “advice”?



        • Wait, you don’t think that him having a massive vested interest in an AFL-CIO union that contributes primarily to Democrats poses a credibility problem for someone who claims to be a Republican and to advise the party?

          Lobbyists require politicians who can be bought. The grassroots requires politicians who can’t be bought. There is no reconciliation possible between interests so diametrically opposed.

          He and his ilk ought to be ejected from the party on principle.

          • Alexis, I am a Republican. I ran for House of Delegates last year as a Republican. I served as a presidential appointee in a Republican administration. I’m general counsel for the Fairfax County Republican Committee. I’ve been a delegate to a half dozen republican conventions locally and statewide. I’ll put my credentials up against yours or anybody elses any day. My union is bipartisan, and we give to members on both sides of the aisle. That’s why they hired me, knowing my political persuasion.

            As for lobbying, you clearly have no idea what it is I do or what lobbying is really all about. Again, if you don’t like lobbying, you’ve got problem with the first amendment. It’s unfortunate that you’d push to eject me simply because you have some knee jerk dislike for things you don’t seem to understand about a person you barely know after a five minute google search.

          • I know exactly what lobbying is. If you want to pretend that it is something other in its essence than buying favorable legislation, you’ll have to find a greater fool than I to convince of that. If it weren’t, and it weren’t also effective, the amount of money that flows through that industry to elected officials wouldn’t be there.

            The First Amendment doesn’t protect bribery (a high crime) and any honest look at the lobbying industry, where money is spent for influence, would admit that is exactly what is going on.

            As far as your credentials go, all the party credentials in the world can’t compensate for the fact that in your day job you give much more money to Democrats than to Republicans. Having been a saboteur in our party for a long time is not to your credit; it is to the party’s shame that they have not recognized you for what you are.

          • No, you don’t. From what you’ve stated, you have a first graders understanding of what lobbying is. You would probably also make the argument that lawyers are trying to buy verdicts from the judge because of how much money that flows from clients to lawyers. It’s an infantile view of the industry. Money, at best, can get you access, but there’s money everywhere on every side of every issue. Money isn’t what’s most important in lobbying – information is. I provide information about a very hard to understand industry and that’s why I’m valuable.

            Lobbying isn’t bribery. The first amendment protects the right to petition and that’s what lobbying really is.

            As for how much we’ve given to Democrats, take a look at a map. The majority of America’s waterways and major ports are located in heavily Democratic areas. I’ve been doing this job for two years, and in that time, I’ve increased the amount we’ve given to Republicans by 350%. Since I’ve been there, we’ve given over $200k to Republicans. Personally, I’ve never written a check to a Democrat, and I’ve given plenty. How much have you given? Zero, as far as the FEC is concerned.

            Again, I’ll put my credentials up against anybodies. What have you done? Besides being a keyboard warrior across a half dozen websites? Your Facebook is full of lies, and your Twitter is just you complaining about politicians of all stripes. What have you done to get Republicans elected?

          • OK first off lobbying absolutely is bribery. All you guys do is move the
            quid pro quo to a deniable distance and in practice it has the exact
            same effect as a straight bribe. Ask any non-political person on the
            street if lobbying is bribery and the vast majority will agree.
            Obviously you won’t agree, due to vested interests. Citizens of all
            types petition the government for various things, but only the ones with
            checks in their hands actually get listened to.

            Second, this is
            what your kind has done for Republicans: you’ve locked the party into a
            perpetual loser status by defying the will of the people at every
            opportunity. After this conversation, it is eminently clear why you guys
            have zero clue as to why the GOP got destroyed in this election under
            economic conditions which should have produced a landslide – you are so
            far out of touch with the average voter that you are completely unable
            to either respect them or understand what their actual concerns are.

            I bring something to this party that your type can and will never bring – a path to actual success.

            you found my Twitter. (I don’t use FB). Maybe you ought to spend some
            time studying the things I have had to say, and then you’d get a clue as
            to why this party is dying – because the actual policies enacted by
            officeholders once in office has nothing to do with what they say on the
            campaign trail for the consumption of the masses, and everything to do
            with self-service.

            I and others have every right to complain
            about a horrid status quo which has led to an America few recognize, and
            those who are part of that status quo. While I appreciate that it is
            harder to be an elected official and be the one to make decisions,
            rather than to complain as I do, if any sincere effort at all were made
            to advance the principles for which the GOP exists, I would recognize

            Prepare yourself for a career out of politics; your time in politics is coming to an end.

          • Again, no, it isn’t. Bribery is bribery. I do not trade money for official acts. Ever. Period. You do not have any idea what you’re talking about.
            The fact that most people who don’t have anything to do with politics don’t know what lobbying is have an incorrect opinion about what it is does not validate their views. If you ask three dozen 5 year olds what a nuclear physicist does, they aren’t going to be able to tell you either. Most people simply don’t know what we do and thus they see the bad apples like Jack Abramoff and assume we’re all like that. It’s simply not true. If you’d take the blinders off for a few minutes, you’d realize this. Everyone has lobbyists.

            You don’t bring anything to the party. Have you ever done anything besides complain? Have you donated time? Have you donated to candidates you like? Have you knocked on doors, made phone calls, provided advice? I’ve done all of that. I put my money and my time where my mouth is and I serve our cause.

            Complaining about the status quo does not fix it. I am not happy with the status quo either, and I’m trying to fix it. And I’m doing more than blog or bitch on twitter.

            I’m not going anywhere.

          • MD Russ


            If lobbying is bribery, then letting the guy pick up the check on a date is prostitution.

          • You’re acting all shocked because Brian works for a union (this is very common knowledge) and you’re asking a contributor why he’s on his own blog. That’s facepalm-worthy.

            Fact is, even if people like Brian aren’t the majority of the GOP and the vast majority of our candidates don’t fit Brian’s profile, it makes zero sense to kick him out of the party because you don’t like him. Every moderate who’s willing to be a party activist should feel welcome. There are more conservatives than there are moderates. If people want to leave, they can leave. If Bill Bolling wants to leave, he can leave. When we start purging for perceived ideological offenses, we’re in trouble.

          • Thanks, Sam.

      • Alexis, Brian’s occupation is a non issue….Just his presentation.

    • EricMcGrane

      Breaking news, this just in:

      You can be IN the establishment, but not BE establishment.

      Very different things.

      • That doesn’t make any sense, Eric.

        • EricMcGrane

          Sure it does. Its ALSO about actions, attitude, and policy…not just where you sit politically.

          • I guess I need your definition of “establishment.” Because I think our definitions are different. If you’re somehow part of the current party apparatus – either in elected, appointed, or some kind of volunteer position, you’re part of the establishment in my book. It’s not a frame of mind or an ideology, it’s a simple question of whether you are on the inside or the outside.

    • Brian. We finally agree. I think Shauns’ was…well…..strongly worded. I knew he had all the right nevers when my blood kept rising as I read it. You brought it back down to normal. I think I am left with the thought that if that element of our party wants purists, they can have them, and get 36% of the vote every time and I suppose they will feel good about not winning elections and therefore never governing. In other words, a perminent bitchy party. Frankly, I want NOTHING to do with them. I like to accomplish things, and this group seems to never want to accomplish anything.

      • Bingo. I can’t believe we’ve been agreeing this much lately. Must be a full moon.

    • Loudoun GOPer

      Please, Brian! How often have we heard about Republicans losing because they were too Conservative, and how if only we would stop being pro-life, or stop talking about God, or just agree to raise taxes (on the rich, for transportation, etc…) then we would win.
      Your argument that conservatives don’t get blamed when we lose just doesn’t hold water.

      • Guess you’ve never heard of, or used, the term “RINO”

      • Everybody gets blamed. The only people who should get blamed are the candidates.

  • pinecone321

    WOW! One of the most powerful and important posts I’ve ever seen on BD yet. Thank you Shaun, you speak for so many of us who some would rather kick to the curb than have to tolerate.

  • EricMcGrane

    Well said Shaun. You nailed it exactly….conservatives are told to fall in line until we actually get candidates/initiatives we want…at which time the establishment works harder to destroy us than they do their ideological opponents. If you read enough enough media, its easy to see the broader picture that conservatives aren’t really welcome. That we’re despised by the establishment GOP, generally.

    The GOP has no idea how precariously close it is to causing the creation of a new grassroots party.

    Again, damn well said.

  • Lovettsville Lady

    Very well said Shaun. I’m sick to death of people in my party beating up on Tea Party people, social conservatives, those who support marriage, pro life voters, home schoolers, and all the rest. We will never be a ‘big tent’ party, or win an election if we can’t welcome ALL of these different groups of voters.

  • Exactly. Bill Whittle expressed much the same sentiments in this OUTSTANDING speech:


    • Catherine. Are you still haunting us? What part of being smashed at the polls did you not understand?

      • Guest

        Not once, but twice. After you said you would run against Rob Wittman, and then did just that, and got trounced. Again.

      • I am not talking about your losing a GOP House of Delegates seat. I am talking about your saying you would not run against Rob Wittman in a primary, and then you turned around and did just that, and called him a traitor. I will NEVER forgive you for that, Ms. Crabhill.

        • Craig, ever notice how rarely anyone responds to you except you? (I see an annonymous response below but they never count…) I don’t much give a damn about being “smashed at the polls”. I was right then as I am now. And yes, Wittman is a not only a traitor, (Patriot Act, NDAA, etc…), he is a lying, sniveling, spineless coward as well. You can tell him I said so and encourage him to sue me, please! As for you, oh so desperate-to-be-somebody, if only your opinion of me, or anyone else, mattered.

          • Craig has already been somebody. Unlike you, he’s actually won a few elections. Rob Wittman is a stand up guy, a strong leader, a patriot and one of our best Virginia delegation. You, on the other hand, are crazy.

          • Craig “has been” somebody? That’s nice. Wittman a leader? Seriously? On what? Name the legislative initiative he has EVER taken or leadership role. Ever see him in the news standing up for ANYTHING ever? A “patriot” who betrayed his sacred Oath of Office to uphold and defend the Constitution by voting to strip every American citizen of their Constitutional protections of Due Process by supporting the NDAA. Don’t be ridiculous. And I am crazy because???

          • You’re crazy because you advocated violent overthrow of the government if your side didn’t get their way. Wittman is a workhorse, not a showhorse. He doesn’t need to be on TV to be doing his job. In fact, the fact that he’s doing his job and not trying to get in front of the cameras to talk himself up is proof that he’s a better elected official than most. He’s been a leader on the Armed Services committee and has done a lot on the latest NDAA, and he’s a subcommittee Chairman – he wouldn’t be in that role if he wasn’t valuable. As for the “strip every American citizen…” nonsense, that’s just nonsense. That’s not what the language did and you have no idea what due process really means because you’re neither a lawyer nor a constitutional scholar – if you were, you’d know the definition of treason and not throw that charge around so cavalierly. He hasn’t betrayed his oath at all, that’s just hot air. I don’t even know why I’m engaging with you, to be honest. You have zero credibility to talk about anything.

          • Brian, Brian, Brian, you bought the manipulated video of the democratic hit machine too? Wow. Of course they didn’t release the complete, in context, 17 minute version until after the damage was done. So you saw the edited 1+ minute version that gave no attribution to me reading, verbatim, Patrick Henry’s speech! Sigh. This is illustrative of the superficial interest of so many people today. Buying the lies, hook, line, and sinker.

            As for the NDAA, if it were not an egregious rape of our Constitutional protections do you really think the entire Virginia State legislature would have entertained the debate concerning HB1160, introduced by Bob Marshall after I alerted him to the threat inherent in it, and voting nearly unanimously to disallow any Virginia agency from being complicit with its intended ability to indefinitely detain American citizens residing in the Commonwealth? Further, having the Governor sign it into law! The only thing Wittman has done with the NDAA is deny its assault on our liberties, aided and abetted by him, in an attempt to cover his weaselly, impotent, back side.

            Methinks it is not I lacking credibility…

          • Catherine, I saw the video. I’ve heard you speak elsewhere. I read the various news stories. I’ve read your government conspiracy theory about Oklahoma City. Your comments weren’t taken out of context. You said what you thought. Own it.

            As for the NDAA, it’s an easy issue to demagogue, which is why you and other demagogues grabbed on to it. For the record, I don’t support the language because I think it’s bad policy. At the same time, I don’t view it as armageddon, and I don’t hold members of Congress accountable for their votes on it, including Rob Wittman, because the bill was a major piece of legislation for the armed forces, was over 500 pages long and this was simply one provision. There was too much good in that law to throw it out because of one bad provision. Is Allen West a traitor too? He voted for it.

            I’m tired of the people who see a conspiracy theory and despotism around every corner.

          • I utterly and completely “own” Oklahoma being an inside job and a massive cover-up along with other noble and courageous Americans like Brigadier General Bentin Partin, (ret), who possess the courage to endure the ridicule of others who refuse to seek the truth if it puts them at odds with the rest of the herd. (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mZt4SACTIq8)

            Yes, Allen West was the worst betrayal of all. I had so much hope for him.

            And it is people like you who refuse to “hold members of Congress accountable for their votes” or even consider “conspiracy theories and despotism around every corner”, even when it is staring you straight in the face, that allow those very evils to flourish. And you get to feel smug on top of it! Congratulations.

          • Oklahoma City wasn’t an inside job. Aliens didn’t land at Roswell. We landed on the moon. Oswald acted alone. Elvis died on the toilet. And we aren’t living in a 1984 style tyrannical regime where no one can speak their mind. If we were, you wouldn’t be able to say the things you say, after all. The fact that you can blows up that theory.

            I’m not smug. I’ve just resolved that I am not going to simply smile and nod when crazy people talk crazy. I’m going to challenge them, because that is the real problem we are facing as a party, not the “establishment” vs. “outsider” nonsense. There are a lot of Tea Party and libertarian folks I respect who aren’t crazy and are hard workers for their cause.

            It is hard to believe that someone who has run for legislative office twice doesn’t understand how legislation is actually written and passed. I have no problems holding people accountable for bad votes, but I also put those votes into perspective. A vote for the NDAA is not the equivalent of a vote for Obamacare, the Stimulus or some other law that was rotten to the core. You should know this.

          • Brian, YOU should know how legislation is written and passed! First they take a very popular/necessary/sympathetic piece of legislation that no one would want to go on record arguing against, then they sneak in something utterly abhorrent which no one in their right mind would want to go on record supporting hoping that it isn’t discovered until it is too late.

            Then they can claim ignorance, or in the case of Wittman, insist, with mountains of evidence to the contrary, including Obama attorneys under oath refusing to declare that it does NOT apply to American citizens, that you’re right when you are so damnably wrong.

            In fact Obama, when he got busted for specifically demanding the language of indefinite detention apply to American citizens as per the testimony of Senator Carl Levin, admitted it afforded him that power but promised not to use it!

            Indefinitely “detaining” American citizens based on “suspicion”, to be “renditioned” over seas, tortured, and/or assassinated with no Due Process, no access to any legal remedy whatsoever for the lifetime of declared “hostilities”, is “rotten to the core” and completely trumps any and every other assault on our liberties that you can refer to.

            You, sir, should know this.

          • P.S.- As for not living in an Orwellian nightmare, I suggest you contact or google former marine, Brandon Raub, of Chesterfield who was kidnapped from his home by the local sheriff’s office, the Secret Service and FBI, then detained in the nearest psych ward for FACEBOOK postings! John Rutherford rescued him from the new American gulag and secret police.

          • I do know how legislation is passed, Catherine. You’re acting like the indefinite detention language is clear – it isn’t. I’ve read it, and as a lawyer I can parse out a variety of interpretations, including ones that are both constitutional and unconstitutional. You see a conspiracy to threaten civil rights, I see an attempt to give the President some cover considering his record on drone strikes and other questionable policy actions is bad.

            We don’t live in an Orwellian nightmare. I saw the kinds of things Brandon Raub was posting on Facebook, so I can understand why he was detained. Again, if the world was as frightening as you seem to think it is, there’s no way you’d be able to write what you write, say what you say and run for office.

          • “as a lawyer I can parse out a variety of interpretations, including ones that are both constitutional and unconstitutional.” Intentionally written so, Brian! Are you seriously at ease with the thought that YOUR Due Process and individual liberty is at the mercy of some other bureaucrat’s/attorney’s interpretation?! Geez!

            Our Constitution and Bill of Rights were not meant to be a playground for conniving lawyers to play the parse game with. How easily you accept that concept.

            Your statement that essentially declared Brandon Raub ‘asked for it’ because you/they determined his comments were provocative is alarming, chilling and proves my point!

            I can only conclude that you are sympathetic and supportive of Pre-Crime and Thought policing and yet argue that we don’t live in an Orwellian Police State.

          • Catherine,
            I appreciate what you are trying to do and think it’s important to hold all government officials accountable. As in every step in life, we have to know when to pick our battles. You, obviously, have made that decision with respect to our first district congressman. Personally, I disagree and think you have ample energy and opportunity to direct your efforts at a lot of lower hanging fruit – namely the socialism that exists within the Democratic Party and is perpetuated by its willing accomplices. That being said, you will always have a voice here at BD and thank you for engaging in the public dialogue.

          • J.R., as you can see from my initial comment, my only intention was to applaud Shaun Kenney’s article. I didn’t introduce any reference to the first congressional congressman. Unfortunately, there are those self-appointed guardians of your site, apparently, whose vitriolic loathing of me compels them to attack anything I post, regardless of its content.

            That being said, I am a obviously a zealot against Socialism/Communism/Fascism/Progressivism, including and especially in regards to those within the Republican Party that have become its “willing accomplices”. I expect what the Democrats do, I resent when the Republicans allow them to do it.

            I don’t believe for one minute that our nation could have traveled this far down this dangerous path without being aided and abetted by complicit/incompetent Republicans that refuse to do what the Founders expected of them, and that is to keep their Sacred Oath of Office to uphold and defend the Constitution…against ALL enemies, foreign and domestic. Rather then pledge their lives, fortunes and sacred honor, many/most have sacrificed our lives, fortunes, and sacred honor in a never ending, no-win game of compromise with those who unabashedly hate this great nation.

            Thank you for welcoming my participation.

          • Catherine, you really have no idea what you’re talking about. Interpretation of the law is fundamental to American democracy and it’s been happening since the first law went on the books. I want to see the language removed, same as you, but I don’t think it’s some kind of harbinger of the rise of an imminent police state. You’re paranoid.

            I didn’t say Brandon Raub asked for. I said what he wrote was so outside the mainstream that I can understand why it was reported to the police and they took action on it. If he’s quoting song lyrics about severing heads, saying he’s going to start a revolution, then starts claiming the Bush’s have a secret castle in Colorado where they’ve been raping and killing kids, are you seriously going to say the guy is right in the head? Given the kinds of things we’ve seen with the Jared Lochners and James Holmes, I don’t want police to simply ignore those kinds of warning signs. Maybe you do.

          • There you go again promoting acceptance of the “Thought Police”. The only thing more disconcerting than Raub’s taste in music or conspiracy theorizing is your willingness to promote being institutionalized for it!

            And what the hell is “mainstream” anyway if not code for Politically Correct? In fact the preponderance of success of the Socialist agenda can be credited to the Saul Alinsky tactics of mocking, belittling, and attacking those who are trying to expose the truth.

            In fact, many, if not most, of those who make up the Republican Establishment are scared to death of stepping ‘out of line’. God forbid they do/say/fight for anything that could illicit manufactured ridicule.

            Such ridicule is only unleashed when anyone steps too close to speaking the truth and publicly exposing the hidden agenda/conspiracy.This abject terror of becoming a target of such “termites in the timbers of greatness” has rendered the Republican Party, by and large, utterly impotent, which explains how we are where we are today.

            Meanwhile, great and noble men like Brigadier Partin (ret) who risked his spectacular reputation (isn’t there a commemorative plague at RPV headquarters honoring his service as the Fairfax County Republican Chair?…) to sound the alarm, based on his lifetime expertise in weapons development, that it was physically/literally impossible for the OKC bombing to have happened the way they insisted it was, are relegated to the “looney bin” in the minds and opinions of ‘men’ like you.

            Meanwhile, in your little world where speech is a dangerous thing and people better watch their step or else, a school district in Texas has employed textbooks in their curriculum teaching that the Boston Tea Party participants were terrorists!


            I concur with Jean-Jacques Rousseau “I prefer liberty with danger than peace with slavery.”

          • Guy

            CC is a crazy person, but, there are many accomplished legal scholars who disagree with you on NDAA. I think Wittman is a fine fellow, but I believe NDAA to be a clear violation of the Constitution.

          • A court will decide whether it’s a clear violation of the Constitution. Plenty of accomplished legal scholars thought Obamacare was going to be struck down and so did I. We were all wrong.

  • Darrell

    You are too late. This should have been said years ago when everyone was preaching the big tent while dining on caviar at the Hillbilly Hideaway. I told you all then what would happen. But then I’m just a kook who doesn’t know anything, except that all those people you now talk about are no longer around. They don’t believe or care about the party, the cronies at RPV, or your candidates. Neither do I, which is why I don’t post here anymore. Face it, the coup is over. Tear the party down and start over.

    • I hate to point out the obvious, but you DID just post here.

  • Now Brian Shaun must be respected for the courage of his convictions. He is right and has principle concepts in mind that have worked. The question is are they working today for the majority? The voters answered that this election to the disapointment of many. The direction of Hispanic voters seems to to be an excuse for conservative defeat rather than addressing the aspect of inclusion and historical offenses that deny inclusion and the inclusion of other groups. The cause of defeat is a collective acceptance. Redirection of needed principle is a collective argument. Many will disagree. Shaun is part of the answer and outreach is part of the problem. Presentation is everything….You out to know that personally. Voters did not buy what you were selling when you ran. Was it you were not qualified? I’d rather say it was your presentation. Our young nation has evolved…and will evolve again. The retreat this weekend will speak volumes in how conservative outreach will be presentated to those who simply want to be included in the discussion with respect before their wallets are lightened. A very well respected lady now passed…Pina Brooks Swift of Stafford once told me the GOP stands for Get Out Your Pocketbook. She is right….virture and principle has a price I have learned….and it is inclusion not just lip service. The voters you want to aid you are not invited to your retreat…Unless they pay upfront and walk in lock step to a platform that many in the minority community finds insensitive. Why would anyone want to pay to be part of a discussion that is not open to change? That is the part of the problem on both sides of the isle…Some call it greed. I call it a lack of compassion. But principle is important and thank you Shaun for the passion of your principles. You are a leader.

    • Holy cow — Pina Brooks! Now that’s a name I haven’t heard in YEARS!!! She was a tremendous lady…

      • A class lady Shaun….a personal friend and she is missed. Keep your passion my friend…Outreach is not your problem…but the problem of others we want to respect. Now that Bolling is out…it will be a very very ugly election…That is why outreach is so important if the Masion is kept in the hands of those who promote inclusion.

        • That is mansion my friend….long day…and let us hope we can put the right man or woman who will represent all of us responsibly like Bob McDonnell has.

  • Joe Nowlin

    Well said!

  • Anne Fitzgerald

    I stand and applaud you! Thank you for putting eloquently into words the frustrations of many.

  • Excellent post, Shaun! A manifesto to ignore at our peril.

  • Can we replace ‘defend family’ with ‘get the state out of marriage completely’? PLEASE?! Let the gays do their thing and mind your own uterus and we can start winning again.

    • the 36% people don’t understand this concept. They should call Todd Akin and ask him how this worked out.

      • The majority of this country self-identifies as pro-life. The very first human right named in our Declaration of Independence (and also in the Virginia Declaration of Rights) is the right to live.

        When pro-woman and pro-life principles are well represented they resonate with American men and women.

        • If we’re going to have a fruitful discussion about the merits of our party’s platform, then we have to be honest about reality. The truth is that most Americans believe abortion should be legal and trust Democrats more on the issue. http://www.people-press.org/2012/08/22/the-complicated-politics-of-abortion/

          I’m not arguing that it should be this way, but we’re not going to make any progress if we ignore the truth about our situation.

    • Dan, Shaun wants more social conservatism, not less.

    • I’d be completely cool if the government got out of the marriage business. It’s a religious function that does not require the sanction of the state… unless under siege by those who would use the state to redefine it. The best solution? Get it out of the government’s hands… very easy solution — totally agree with you.

  • Save this post for when someone launches a primary challenge against a Republican House incumbent.

    • Perhaps so… but I can be IN the establishment without BEING establishment, right??

      More seriously though, this just gets right back to first things. When I lost my primary for HOD, I set it down and worked for the ticket — even though some conservatives were railing against Kilgore back in ’05. So there’s no hypocrisy here — when you don’t win a nomination contest, or don’t believe you can compete it in, you either stay in the party and support the nominee… or you back out.

      Same with Romney ’12. Wasn’t my candidate, wasn’t even close to the first choice… but I supported him all the same despite my many misgivings. That’s how coalition politics works. Bolling seems to be forgetting that as he walks out the door… not pushed, mind you… but walks out on his own volition.

      • Shaun, by no means do I mean to imply you are a hypocrite. Not at all. I just like how so many insiders like to act cool as an outsider. Kind of like when major record labels own an “alternative label.”

        You can’t be a little bit pregnant, and you can’t be a little bit establishment. You’re either in or your out. Which do you claim to be…and when?

        • The definitions are a bit tricky. Establishment types understand coalitions; grassroots conservatives tend to be purists. There’s extremes involved — some establishment folks wed themselves to the desk and never go back into the field… they stick around for 30 years and always make the money, but never work. Some grassroots types would rather be right in the wilderness than wrong in the public square.

          Simultaneously, these perspectives drive folks towards moderation in the former instance, and purity in the latter. And so we get “establishment vs. conservative” at the end of the day.

          Now some establishment types get so wedded to the desk that they become the problem of having a mind so open their brains fall out. On the flip side, some grassroots conservatives become so fanatical that they don’t understand that paladins and suicide bombers typically die at the end of their paper route — to no avail.

          So where’s the balance? Establishment Republicans who lead from the front and share perspectives tend to be “in the world and not of it” to quote St. Peter. Likewise, grassroots conservatives who are actually taught the science of modern elections tend to gain perspective they otherwise would not have… and sadly, few insiders are willing to teach, and even fewer grassroots activists are willing to learn.

          Of course, once those grassroots types accomplish their goals and start working within the system… they get two hypothetical choices: (1) sell out, or (2) keep fighting. The third choice? (3) Reform the system… which means one side will see you as a sell out, the other side will see you as a non-team player.

          Being #3 is tough. But that’s where you can keep your feet in both camps… provided both sides don’t cut you off at the knees.

  • Loudoun GOPer

    The problem we on the right have with what we call the “establishment” (or if you prefer, moderates) is that we handle our problems internally, while the establishment types leave the party and try to defeat it.

    When conservatives have an issue with the party leadership in our county or state, we run candidates in those local and state elections and take control of the committee. When the establishment types have an issue with the party leadership, they walk away from the party and delcare that the current leadership are a bunch of backwards “snake-handlers” (the snake handler line was on this very blog) who are going to destroy the party.
    When conservatives have a problem with a moderate Republican office holder, we run against them in a primary. If we lose, we grumble for awhile, then suck it up and work to win the General Election. When the establishment types have a problem with a conservative Republican office holder, they run against them in a primary. If they lose, they throw temper tantrums, leave the party, and give interviews to the papers declaring how the person they just lost to is a lunatic who can’t be trusted to govern effectively. They also declare that the primary process was unfair and too exclusive. Sometimes they don’t even wait until they lose the primary, and jump straight to the leaving and bashing the party stage, then run as an independent just so they can throw the race to the Democrats.
    My message to the establishment types is simple. If you want to “save” the party, STOP TRYING TO DESTROY IT!! Stop throwing all these hissy fits when you don’t get your way. I know far more conservatives that are willing to live by the 80-20 rule (it’s better to support a candidate you agree with 80% of the time than be forced to live with one you agree with only 20% of the time) than moderates are. It’s ironic that the moderates’ tolerance for other ideas does not extend to the principles written in the Republican party platform.

    • Scroll down a bit. By your definition, Catherine Crabill is the establishment.

  • pinecone321

    Judging from the most of the comments on these boards for the past day or so it appears that there is a very bitter fight going on between the squishy moderate middle, and the far right Almighty Dollar is all that matters supporters? Is there no one left that sits in the middle between the two extremes? Isn’t there anyone left that understands that fiscal, national security and social issues all feed off of and support one another? There is no question that the Republican party really doesn’t have what was once called a platform, but rather is so terribly split between the warring factions who all think they are the only ones who are correct, and it’s my way or the highway. When the Republican party talks about their “base” who exactly is it that is considered the “base.” If the Republican party can’t even define itself, how are the voters to know what it is that they even stand for anymore.

    • Is there no one left that sits in the middle between the two extremes? Isn’t there anyone left that understands that fiscal, national security and social issues all feed off of and support one another?

      I do! 🙂

      • pinecone321

        Well praise the Lord J. R. I was sure I was the only one of those animals left in this country. Where can I go to vote for you?

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