To understand why the Republicans can’t beat President Obama, you must first recognize the three kinds of people that inhabit contemporary American politics: crusaders, gangsters, and groupies.
The crusader is out to win an argument with history. Although all fallible human beings are motivated by self-interest to some extent, the crusader’s primary motivation is his belief in the moral certainty of his cause. The crusader also doesn’t see himself as the cause, but rather sees himself as merely the vehicle for it. Crusaders are often thought to be arrogant, but that’s because their supreme confidence in the moral certainty of their cause is typically mistaken for too much confidence in themselves by those with no hills to die on. Away from the cause, crusaders are usually deferential, friendly, and even-tempered. People often walk away from personal interactions with crusaders saying things like, “That guy is a lot nicer than I was expecting.” However, once back in the arena, the crusader usually refuses to negotiate, and being attacked by those who views as on the wrong side of history only serves to fuel the courage of his conviction. Sometimes the crusader is a politician. Sometimes the crusader is in the media. Rarely is the crusader in the donor class, but there are some notable exceptions. Most activists are crusaders (true believers).
The gangster is primarily driven by his self interest. Sometimes, the gangster also has a cause he really believes in, but his belief in self-preservation and/or self-gratification trumps all. Gangsters often try to brand themselves as consensus builders or managers, but in reality that is simply to mask the fact they thrive in environments when there aren’t any substantive ideological disagreements happening. The gangster is fine giving in to his opposition provided he gets his cut of the action, because in the gangster’s mind his only real enemies are those that stand in the way of his vested interests. And that can be someone he does or doesn’t agree with ideologically depending on the situation. Gangsters often appear to be charming or unassuming in public, but behind the scenes they will speak with forked tongue and the claws will come out when the status quo they prefer is threatened. Most politicians are gangsters. Many donors are as well, simply collecting politicians just because they can — otherwise life would be boring. I mean, how much golf can one man play, right? Politics is a just a high-stakes game of Risk to the gangster-donor. Sometimes gangsters even disguise themselves as activists in order to steer the grassroots to their interests.
The groupie simply wants what all groupies have ever wanted – to be noticed and needed by those in power at the time. If you want to know who or what is the “it” thing at the moment, follow the groupie. If you want to know who or what is the “next big thing,” follow the groupie. The groupie is the gatekeeper of the status quo, and maintaining the system regardless of how corrupt it may be is the groupie’s driving motivation. There are four kinds of groupies:
Media-Groupie: Wants to make sure only voices deemed “credible” (see that as those willing to mind-numbingly spew forth the system’s talking points) access the platform.
Party-Groupie: The ne’er-do-wells in both political parties making sure their respective candidates are “electable” (see that as those willing to maintain the system once in power).
Donor-Groupie: These brilliant and ruthless captains of industry suddenly become naïve jock sniffers once they enter the political arena, as they mindlessly and repeatedly cut big checks to smooth-talking gangsters with little to no return on investment. What the donor-groupie calls “influence” is really just a feature story somewhere about how important of a political power broker they allegedly are, which they can share with their trophy wives and/or safari buddies. Of course, this “feature” only runs in media other groupies are consuming — thus the echo chamber is subsidized into perpetuity on sheer ego alone.
Grassroots-Groupie: These are the shameless shills who apologize for every act of betrayal as long they land the big interview for their platform, the big speaker for their event, or a seat at the table. Unlike the prostitute who gets paid, the grassroots-groupie just wants the equivalent of wearing their matinee idol’s letterman’s jacket so everyone around them knows how close they are to power and relevance.
In the grand scheme of things, the crusader sees himself as part of a larger movement. He speaks in gaudy terms like “liberty,” “reform,” and “justice.” His arguments are focused on principles. The gangster/groupies see themselves as part of a community. They speak in mundane terms of “making the trains run on time.” Their arguments are focused on process.
Herein lies the reason the Republicans always lose to Obama.
Every war ever fought in human history has eventually been won by the side that most believed in the moral certainty of its own cause. This is how a rag-tag bunch of Afghans staved off the Soviet Union’s “evil empire.” This is how 56 signers to the Declaration of Independence defeated the Redcoats. And this is how the ancient Israelites successfully stormed Canaan.
Mr. Obama is a crusader. When he spoke of “transforming” these United States during his initial White House run, the gangster class scoffed and chalked it up to campaign rhetoric. But Mr. Obama is not just another playing his part in the usual left-of-center versus right-of-center argument the two political parties we’re accustomed to.
Rather, Mr. Obama is the first-born of what David Horowitz describes as the “New Left.” He is a Social Reconstructionist, intent on doing his part to give our constitutional republic a statist socialist makeover. Like what’s already happened to Western Europe.
Meanwhile, Mr. Obama is not effectively opposed by the base of the Republican Party that is probably as conservative/libertarian now as it has ever been — and moving further right as we speak. The GOP base’s attempts to oppose Mr. Obama’s Leftist crusade are routinely thwarted by their own feckless leadership. The GOP leadership is composed of gangsters who fancy themselves shrewd operators of realpolitik, but in reality are some of the most reliable (intended or not) collaborators Obama has.
In their haste to preserve the status quo, the gangster leadership of the Republican Party bottlenecks its own base — thus ensuring Mr. Obama is protected from the only people capable of opposing him. The groupie media operating at Mr. Obama’s beck and call then partners with them to put forth a false narrative the GOP base are “obstructionists.” With “obstructionist” defined as those who oppose the destruction of their liberty at the hands of these people.
Therefore, every time there is another “showdown” the gangsters running the Republican Party negotiate only with themselves, while Mr. Obama the crusader captures the Left’s version of the moral high ground and waits them out until he gets exactly what he wants. Eventually the gangsters running the GOP give in because they can’t handle all the spiteful stories the groupie media they alone consume is contriving at their expense. After they give Mr. Obama everything he wants, they then lash out at their own crusaders for expecting them to stand for something.
Wash, rinse, repeat.
The only way to beat a crusader like Mr. Obama is to defeat him with a crusader of your own. Someone that has Mr. Obama’s same courage of conviction, but with the right (your) convictions. If you’re wondering who that person is, look for the guy(s) the gangster/groupie leadership of the Republican Party is the most annoyed by.
That’s your champion(s).
The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.