Brad Wardell's views about technology, politics, religion, world affairs, and all sorts of politically incorrect topics.
Are Republicans entitled to conservative votes?
Published on October 19, 2006 By Brad Wardell In Republican

Rush Limbaugh is unhappy with me. Or at least, people like me. 

Since Rush Limbaugh referred to my article (and kindly linked to it on his site) I feel I should respond to some of his points.

I am not at war with conservative bloggers. I quote countless posts from many blogs on this program. I use them as resources. I'm referring to one blog post, and I don't even know who it is.

I use a handle on-line. Draginol. I probably should just use my real name -- it's Brad Wardell.  Rush is correct when he refers to my blogs as amateur.  But that doesn't make my observations invalid.

I don't feel I mischaracterized Rush's point of view: Politics isn't just some game. There are consequences for all Americans if the wrong people are in power. Withholding your vote to "teach a lesson" is unhelpful.  

That's his position and it is only the last part I don't agree fully with.  I am not going to withhold my vote on a candidate simply because of their party. But at the same time, I don't feel a candidate is entitled to my vote simply because they belong to a certain party. I also think that as a practical matter, in the age of detailed statistical analysis that short-term setbacks can have long-term benefits.

Regarding the influence of the Blogsphere...

What made me talk about the influence of the blogsphere was that it certianly came across on his show that he thought a lot of people out there (on the blogs) have been essentially brain-washed by the "drive by" media. I, and many others online took offense to that comment because I don't think he's giving enough credit to the intelligence of the average American let alone conservative. I was NOT trying to argue that the blogsphere is "the future" or something. I was only addressing his insinuation that the blogsphere, the biggest source of conservative angst right now, is not easily influenced by the mainstream media and provided examples of where the blogsphere had a very active and influential role in shaping events.

I appreciate Rush clarifying what he meant. On a 3 hour radio show, it is easy to say something that is construed differently than intended. So let me clarify as well since my 3 minute blog was turned into a segment on a show listened to by millions of people: I am NOT hoping Republicans lose. I am saying that it will serve them right if they do lose and that if they lose maybe they'll learn to not ignore their base. I am certianly not advocating for anyone not to vote.

I am making an observation, not a proclaimation.

It's about the feeling that they are ENTITLED to our vote...

I don't like politicians feeling like they're entitled to my vote. I will be voting in the election but I'm not nearly as enthused about Republicans as I was 6 years ago or even 2 years ago.  And I know there are millions of Americans out there who feel the same as I do and will take that one step further and simply not vote. Hence, if the Republicans lose, they deserve to lose. This is something that has been echoed for months on-line on the growing frustration many of us have with the seemingly increasing cronyism, pork, and lack of effective action.

What lessons would be learned?

Rush follows up here. He argues that when conservatives stay at home, bad things happen.

"Well, the Republicans abandoned their principles, and I'm not going to abandon mine, so screw them!" The last time this happened in significant numbers to deleterious effect was 1992, when a bunch of Republicans said to hell with Bush 41 and the no-new-taxes promise that he broke.

Let's look at this carefully.  So, the last time many conservatives stayed home was in 1992 (incidentally, I did vote for Bush 41 in 1992). And so Bill Clinton was elected...and...? The end of the world? I don't think this is a very good example.  Two years later, the congressional Republicans, having done a lot of statistical analysis on what issues their base cares about came up with The Contract with America. This led to a Republican take over of congress.

You can bet that there will be an immense amount of statistical analysis after the November election and you can bet that Republicans will take the issues of their base more seriously in the future. 

To be clear: I do not hope that Republicans lose congress. But I also don't think it would be the end of the world. That is where the real gulf between Rush and those who agree with him and me and people who agree with me. 

Most people don't lose sleep over the prospect of the Democrats having a slim majority in congress.   We don't look back at the 8 years of Clinton as a national nightmare. And if hard core Republicans did, then shame on them for having nominated Bob Dole, who never had a chance, as the nominee (I'd never vote for Clinton but knew that Dole wasn't going to win early on -- just like most other people I knew).

If it's a matter of life or death, then treat the job that way all the time

You can't have it both ways. You can't say that it's a matter of life and death for the Republicans to maintain control and yet treat the actual job so casually while in office. If the free world hangs in the balance, then bloody act like that during your term and not just in the 60 days before re-election.

Oh, and btw, in response to some of the more colorful comments trying to guess what my background is, here is a blog I wrote that will give you a pretty good idea of where I come from.

Update: Was 1992 really a disaster?


Comments (Page 1)
on Oct 19, 2006
Mr. Limbaugh would be more concise in stating the difference between himself and Mr. Wardell is not amateur v. professional, but rather, commercial v. public commentator.



Mr. Limbaugh possibly wishes for the day he was a frequent blogger spreading his free word to the wind of the web as opposed to a radio jockey chained to a dwindling base of true believers he must care for and nurture.



Mr. Limbaugh does not want to believe that despite his cheerleading / bashing antics he's going to see market share go to persons free of such obligation, for that would most dampen his mood and possibly require a change in his M.O. . We have a blogger here that uses the same tired subjective slant, and he has been referred to as the 'Limbaugh of the Left' by even Rush enthusiasts. They recognize the tired routine.



Come to JU, Mr. Limbaugh, and be torn apart by Conservatives and Liberals alike. Your rhetoric doesn't add up, and you only dismiss those that threaten you.



Mr. Limbaugh, Cape Gerardeau (hey, isn't that French?) wants you back, as well as the rest of Missouri who's wanted a rescind on your act since '97.


P.S. :

McCain (McCain / Powell?) is most probably the best bet Republicans can wish for in keeping the White House, just to clue you in. Of course, Republicans may want to simply sit this cycle out and let a Democrat enjoy higher taxes to pay off the deficet and The Mess; Iraq and Afghanistan...all the while enjoying N. Korea too.


Almost forgot, Claire McCaskill will win over Mr. Talent this election, and I'm not cheering on Ms. McCaskill - just possible change in our current direction.
on Oct 19, 2006
After reading Joe's article and comment by deference. You don't have to be a genius to see that Joe and deference are dimowits posing as Conservitives/Republicians. Dimowits just can't be honest about who they are. Think in terms of a team sport. These two guys are on your team, the game is going badly, bad decisions were made (by the manager, coach, quarterback, pitcher, etc.) you go back to the huddle or dugout, and these two guys say " hey, we deserve to loose this game" and they lay down or quit. I for one am no quiter. To sit out this election is to quit. In closing let me just say to the 10 or 15 people who read this blog, get your butts to the polls and lets WIN this election.
on Oct 19, 2006

After reading Joe's article and comment by deference. You don't have to be a genius to see that Joe and deference are dimowits posing as Conservitives/Republicians.

No one is posing, and as far as I know, having been here for 2 years, neither is a republican, but both are conservativel.  It is time for you to stop acting like a democrat, and start taking your party back.

on Oct 19, 2006
I'm a big fan of Galactic Civilizations and linked over here from the the journal entry about the AI in Dark Avatar. Just wanted to say that while my specific political views are probably quite different from yours, I respect your thoughtfulness and your desire for results and not intentions. There's nothing worse than politicians telling you that you'd better vote for their party just because letting the other party win would be worse. When ideology becomes more important than results, you're in trouble. I mean, it seems like the Democrats spend more time talking about how Bush and the Republicans are wrong than making any concrete proposals about what they would do "right" if they were in control.

on Oct 19, 2006
I always thought Deference was left of center.
on Oct 19, 2006

After reading Joe's article and comment by deference. You don't have to be a genius to see that Joe and deference are dimowits posing as Conservitives/Republicians. Dimowits just can't be honest about who they are. Think in terms of a team sport. These two guys are on your team, the game is going badly, bad decisions were made (by the manager, coach, quarterback, pitcher, etc.) you go back to the huddle or dugout, and these two guys say " hey, we deserve to loose this game" and they lay down or quit. I for one am no quiter. To sit out this election is to quit. In closing let me just say to the 10 or 15 people who read this blog, get your butts to the polls and lets WIN this election.

Wow, don't let it be said that there are nasty kooks on the right too.  I'm not a Republican, but I am a conservative.

The DIFFERENCE isn't with regards to your analogy (i.e. thinking that it's a sports team). The DIFFERENCE is the effect of losing. I don't think it would be the end of the world if Republicans lost.  The best Rush was able to give was 1992 and for me and others who feel as I do, 1992 is a case study of what happens when you ignore your base and the long-term benefits to conservatives when conservatives do make a principled stand.

I would never withold my vote arbitrarily. But if my senator, for example, was lobbying for a bridge to nowhere and other blatant pork, I wouldn't vote for him regardless of what party he was with unless his opponent was decidedly worse.

But Rush's argument seems to rest on who has control of congress and I simply don't agree that a slim Democratic majority is as huge of a deal as he and apparently you do. And if it such a big deal, then shame on the Republicans for squandering their majority.

on Oct 19, 2006
To sit out this election is to quit. In closing let me just say to the 10 or 15 people who read this blog, get your butts to the polls and lets WIN this election.


As a Democrat, let me tell you; we're going to do exactly as you wished.

on Oct 19, 2006

I always thought Deference was left of center.

Come to think off it, he is mildy to the left if I remember.

on Oct 19, 2006
1) I agree that Rush and other older commentators ( age 50 and up) are not giving enough credit to the average American, if they think voters can be so easily misled. Older people, republicans and certainly democrats, are just too old to grasp how dead the MSM really is. The average Ameircan is no smarter than he was a generation ago, but is infinitely better informed. It's no secret the democrats ahve not won anything since the new media began flowering with talk radio in 1994.

2) You are incorrect that a democrat majoirty, however slim, will not be a disaster, and that is because you mistakenly compare the democrats to the republicans. Unfortunately, they are not the same. Unlike republicans, democrats have no compunction at pushing their agenda, no matter how many men oppose it. They simply ingore their critics, and ramrod their goals through. The GOP is filled with weak-kneed types and "let's get along" types. The GOP should have pushed fopr the repeal of all the democrat social legislation of the past few decades at some point in the past 6 years, and they have not even ATTEMPTED. Rest assured the democrats, if they ever get in, will not be so hesitant. ( And don't count on Bush, a nice guy but who too much wants to be friends with everyone, to veto them).

3) While I agree that the GOP is not entitled to our vote, ultimately Rush is right. You can't vote for a democrat, any other vote is wasted, and not voting is a vote for the democrat. No, hold your nose and vote republican, and next time, spend you energies in the PRIMARIES, trying to get a real conservative running, not just a RINO.
on Oct 19, 2006

1) I agree that Rush and other older commentators ( age 50 and up) are not giving enough credit to the average American, if they think voters can be so easily misled. Older people, republicans and certainly democrats, are just too old to grasp how dead the MSM really is. The average Ameircan is no smarter than he was a generation ago, but is infinitely better informed. It's no secret the democrats ahve not won anything since the new media began flowering with talk radio in 1994.

Precisely. This talk of "another 40 years of Democratic control of congress" is nonsense. There are a lot more sources of information now than there were 15 years ago.

You are incorrect that a democrat majoirty, however slim, will not be a disaster, and that is because you mistakenly compare the democrats to the republicans. Unfortunately, they are not the same. Unlike republicans, democrats have no compunction at pushing their agenda, no matter how many men oppose it. They simply ingore their critics, and ramrod their goals through. The GOP is filled with weak-kneed types and "let's get along" types. The GOP should have pushed fopr the repeal of all the democrat social legislation of the past few decades at some point in the past 6 years, and they have not even ATTEMPTED. Rest assured the democrats, if they ever get in, will not be so hesitant. ( And don't count on Bush, a nice guy but who too much wants to be friends with everyone, to veto them).

In 1993, Democrats had control of it all. What horrible things happened?  The Democrats have their share of kooks, more than their fair share.  But I don't agree that a slim Democratic majority in 2006 to 2008 will mean much.

3) While I agree that the GOP is not entitled to our vote, ultimately Rush is right. You can't vote for a democrat, any other vote is wasted, and not voting is a vote for the democrat. No, hold your nose and vote republican, and next time, spend you energies in the PRIMARIES, trying to get a real conservative running, not just a RINO.

No, I won't accept that as a premise. Not voting is not the same as voting for a Democrat.  It's funny how often Rush himself has ridiculed the unions and African Americans for blindly voting for Democrats despite them not doing anything for them. And yet, when roles are reversed, conservatives are supposed to vote for ANY Republican, no matter how lousy.  My vote isn't owned by anyone.

on Oct 19, 2006
It's like I'm living in Bizarro world, reading some of these posts.



2) You are incorrect that a democrat majoirty, however slim, will not be a disaster, and that is because you mistakenly compare the democrats to the republicans. Unfortunately, they are not the same. Unlike republicans, democrats have no compunction at pushing their agenda, no matter how many men oppose it. They simply ingore their critics, and ramrod their goals through. The GOP is filled with weak-kneed types and "let's get along" types. The GOP should have pushed fopr the repeal of all the democrat social legislation of the past few decades at some point in the past 6 years, and they have not even ATTEMPTED. Rest assured the democrats, if they ever get in, will not be so hesitant. ( And don't count on Bush, a nice guy but who too much wants to be friends with everyone, to veto them).


Um, hello, Social Security reform? The GOP DID attempt to start repealing Dem social legistlation, and they got slapped down by the electorate who didn't support it. Hard.

You say that Dems 'ignore their critics,' without apparently realizing that the Republicans have prevented the Dems from getting any bills passed on the floor, at all. Many bills are written without any input from Democrats at all, and many are not even debated. They have done everything they can to rig the rules in order to stifle actual debate in the House.

You need to take a long, hard look at your own party before throwing around accusations like this... you have described everything that has gone on in the last 6 years, to a T...
on Oct 19, 2006

When the Democrats won in 1992, we didn't end up with universal healthcare.

We had to wait until a Republican, with a Republican congress, to get a massive expansion of the government's involvement in healthcare.

on Oct 19, 2006
good article brad, and as an advocate of using one's own name, glad to see it. i think you are on point on your view speaking for people from your perspective. i don't think i would exactly brag about the gop's work on healthcare, but outside of that, kudos.
on Oct 19, 2006

i don't think i would exactly brag about the gop's work on healthcare, but outside of that, kudos.

Not bragging, complaining.

on Oct 19, 2006
No one is posing, and as far as I know, having been here for 2 years, neither is a republican, but both are conservative. - Doc. Guy

It's nice to be known.

Come to think off it, he is mildy to the left if I remember. - Dr. Guy

Only when it comes to healthcare, and no I don't like the way it is being sold to us now.

There is a reason I've been so critical of the Republican party - they haven't been acting like Republicans, let alone Conservatives, for the last eight years. Gene Moss, if you just want to rah! rah! 'your team', then go right ahead, but some of us are more concerned about seeing results for the American people, not the simple fullfillment of political parties' agendae.

or as Will Shenck said;

When ideology becomes more important than results, you're in trouble. I mean, it seems like the Democrats spend more time talking about how Bush and the Republicans are wrong than making any concrete proposals about what they would do "right" if they were in control. - Will Schenck

or as Brad stated,

And yet, when roles are reversed, conservatives are supposed to vote for ANY Republican, no matter how lousy.
- Brad Wardell

Accountability is a mark of an actual Conservative, some of us don't want to reward bad behaviour.

I always thought Deference was left of center. - Brad Wardell

I'm certain I often give that impression, but we do spend a lot of time splitting hairs here at one of the more 'conservative' blog sites on the net.