The Sage Grouse

Eating Crow?

Ideological purges lead to unintended consequences. The Star Chamber, the Inquisition, Stalin, Mao’s Cultural Revolution, Cambodia. Salem’s witch trials. History treats all of these misadventures unkindly.

Now it’s more Tea Party stuff. The Tea Party isn’t a party, and nothing about it reminds me of any party I ever enjoyed: it’s a type of ideology, perhaps vaguely defined, but definitely anti-government.

After the American Revolution some thoughtful guys thought that we needed a government. Not liking the British royalty model, they invented a new one. But we need to remember that they created a government, necessary to an emerging civilization. They did not embrace inquisitions.

Time goes by. Presidents Coolidge and Hoover create, or supervise over, disaster; FDR saves the day. Eisenhower presided over massive expansion of the federal government, but his efforts paled when Lyndon Johnson, apparently oblivious to math, decided to create a huge war and a Great Society simultaneously. Nixon soils his nest, Carter flounders, Reagan chooses to cut taxes instead of cutting spending, big deficits ensue. Clinton, in between letting his knickers down, actually tries to balance the budget, but no one can remember that after Monica. President Gore did not actually get to serve as president; his birthright having been stolen by a “W” who cut taxes (true version: he watched television while Congress cut taxes), deregulated several species of lenders then was forced to create massive bailouts for which Obama is blamed.

Then, who could imagine THIS, an upstart community organizer from Chicago with incredible speech-making skills, a gorgeous and charming wife and a sort of dusky complexion takes the White House.

So what is my point? The answer is: Conservative Republicans of Wyoming. CROW. A newly minted watchdog of ideological purity for Republican candidates in Wyoming.

Better than: Conservatives Rampant Against Profligacy.

Or: Simple History Is Truth

Or: Conservatives Of Wyoming Promoting Obviously Obsolete Principles

CROW worries, correctly, that candidates who run as Republicans are really not clones of Cotton Mather. In many counties in this state if you want to be in theWyoming legislature, you are more likely to be elected if you run as a Republican, regardless of whether you want to be one.

CROW doesn’t like that. CROW wants only the pure to run as Republicans.

(It appears that some of my friends and colleagues are behind this CROW thing. Isn’t this a small state?)

The CROW organizers plan to interrogate all candidates for statewide office to see if they are pure. Litmus tests, maybe even pee tests. “Do you watch MSNBC on the sly? Do you want prayer in school? Should we cut taxes or spending first? Would you admit that you think Michelle Obama is cute?”

One of the reasons why the Republicans hold such massive control in the Wyoming legislature is that independents and Democrats routinely cross over in the primaries to vote for moderates, then vote for them again in November.

If CROW has its way, independents and Democrats will field their own candidates, including candidates pushed away by the CROW inquisitions. Unanticipated consequences. Wonder what CROW is going to eat when independents and Democrats win legislative seats?

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  1. I will believe the Tea Party isn’t racist when someone tells me the following did not take place: the first speaker at the first Tea Party national conference talks about unentitled voters and “people who don’t even know how to spell ‘vote'”. In a country that was founded by white supremicists it should come as no surprise what you are going to get when the far right militates for “a return to the principles of our founding fathers”: a plantation plutocracy. There is a lot of nastiness out there and the TP needs to be held accountable for trying to punish the people who supported Obama. He has nothing but the public good at heart and he will never get credit for it until the GOP implements all the things Obama tried but could not push through because of ingrained bate.

  2. Consider the story of the wolf and the sheep. The wolf meets the sheep in the meadow. “I’m hungry,” the wolf says. I want what you have.”
    The sheep responds, “But good sir,” he says. “In this meadow there is good grass available to all. Otherwise, there is only me.”
    “Racist! Bigot!” the wolf howls, his eyes aflame with anger. “Can’t you see? The meadow is unfair. My pack is growing. I need to feed them meat lest they eat me.” Then, the wolf purrs softly, “Let us compromise. You have four legs. Today, I will take only one. And tomorrow…”
    This story is truncated, but the ending is obvious–“compromise” does not end well for the sheep.

    RT, you rail against the “ideological purity” of the Tea Party, but as my grandmother used to say, “Sometimes you just have to holler ‘Whoa’ in a horse race.” People with better minds that either of us are asking if we have reached the tipping point vis-a-vis our governmental taxing and spending? Our credit rating been downgraded. We borrow 40 cents on every dollar we spend. The legacy we’re leaving our children and grandchildren is one of indebtedness, inflation and financial chaos. Our addiction is a cancer that is leaving us eroded, weak, and less free. If the Tea Party does not battle this afflication, then who?

    RT, I urge you to move beyond referring to Tea Party members as “racist” (I read your article in the Cheyenne paper). While the name calling may fit a narrative some would like to promote, it doesn’t fit the facts. Rather, use your talents and your venue to write about the pressing questions of our time and generation. We need more straightforward and clear headed thinking and less political polarization. My thoughts anyway.

  3. Your statement that the Tea Party is “anti-government”…only shows your ignorance. The inidividuals who are involved in the Tea Party want a return to sane fiscal policies, and a government that works for the populace. That is not anti-governement. As an independent, I realize that both parties believe in this exclusion and litmus test. Just try to be an outspoken Obama criticizer and a rank and file Democrat!

  4. Very clever, RT.
    I’m laughing, and thinking, at work. That doesn’t happen very often. Thank you!

  5. A shame your alternative acronyms don’t go mainstream, RT. They fit our ostentatious cowboy cabal like a tailored Brooks Brother silk suit. Sorry , Mary , but RT is right on here. Shooting the media messenger is a too-common GOP-of-any-persuasion tactic. RT is ‘ just sayin’ the obvious.

    If a Republican faction starts demanding an ideological purity test for party patronage, that makes them no different than the Taliban , et al. Right ?

    I met Barry Goldwater when I was 5 years old. He was one of my uncle’s closest friends in Phoenix. I was raised ” conservative” from that genre , but left the faith as the conservative ‘ movement’ was co-opted by Reganism and Grover Norquist’s loons and goons, among others. I do not see any true conservatives these days , honestly . A real conservative would work with government, not against it . A practicing conservative would kick the Bible thumpers to the curb and throw the upstart Tea Partiers into the harbor . Conservatives would not deconstruct nor obfuscate nor obstruct. ( Do you hear that , Mr. Barrasso ? )

    What the Republican Party has become is a perversion of itself. Demanding its acolytes to take the Oath of Purity would only further ossify that.

    I’m a DINO. My own party hasn’t been invented yet. I’ve gone on a quest for a catchy acronym to throw the wide loop around progressive populist technocratic green environmental ecological commerce agnostic apolitical asexual anti-Ayn Rand pro-Space Program anti-War pro-humanitarian multiethnic multilingual analog and digital homo sapiens …emphasis on the ” sapiens”.

  6. Seekers of ideological purity, above any other value, are kindred spirits to those who implemented Adolph’s Night of the Long Knives or the great purge of the Red Army’s officer corps by Uncle Joe.
    Amy and Harlan are currently using democracy as a purging tool, but I suspect they’d be more than happy to use more, shall we say, vigorous, energetic and direct action modes of purging the party.
    Red-hot pinchers, anyone?

  7. Mary – I certainly hope there are enough moderate GOPs and Dems working together in Wyoming to relegate CROW to yet another distant memory of the past. Now more than ever we all need to work TOGETHER to get things done. A PAC such as this promotes a holier than thou attidude that encourages divisiveness, finger-pointing, and acrimony, all of which ends up discouraging some of our most practiced and balanced politicans from continuing to serve. Despite their stated acknowledgement to the sovreign nature of God, I don’t hear or see a lot of brotherly love being displayed by this group in their public dealings…

  8. Rabble rousing isn’t very constructive. But neither is grousing. What’s the Sage Grouse doing in his own community, to help the political or economic situation? Has he run for a legislative seat? Has he supported individuals who have done so? Has he moved forward with something positive – or does he just grouse?
    There are lots of moderate “name only” GOP’s and Democrats in Wyoming and elsewhere who are pretty committed to working together –