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 2)
on Oct 19, 2006

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.

I guess we are in the same party then!  Or maybe not.  I dont agree with UHC at all!  And in that I guess with the repubs we agree.

on Oct 19, 2006
Rush Limbaugh may be a "professional", but he is actually very pore at his craft. What he is good at is entertaining his audience, but his points are poorly thought out and never worth the airspace that they are transmitted over.
on Oct 19, 2006
Not bragging, complaining


my bad, guess i misread
on Oct 19, 2006
I agree that there's been squandering of opportunity, but it seems likely that the ones who are going to be punished here are those in the House, where a lot of good conservative legislation has been passed, instead of the Senate, where it's all been knocked down. If we're going to punish in such a way that legislators get "the message", could we at least punish the right house?
on Oct 20, 2006
Reminds me of the "Buy American or die" ethic when it came to automobile purchases in the late 70's and early 80's. Ignore the automakers disregard for you as the consumer and buy it anyways. Then the Japanese buckets came along and scooped us right up because they were smart enough to respect the consumer and reward their choice with quality and integrity. For that choice, purchasers of Japanese cars were labeled as "unpatriotic" and "intellectual crackpots".

Eventually the American automakers realized their arrogance and underestimation of the American public. Deja vu?
on Oct 20, 2006
Reminds me of the "Buy American or die" ethic when it came to automobile purchases in the late 70's and early 80's. Ignore the automakers disregard for you as the consumer and buy it anyways

excellent observation! i remember that. the japanese went from being a joke in our minds to being the mark of quality, durability and efficiency.

on Oct 20, 2006
excellent observation! i remember that. the japanese went from being a joke in our minds to being the mark of quality, durability and efficiency.


You are old!
on Oct 21, 2006
In 1993, Democrats had control of it all. What horrible things happened?

Um, how about 9/11? North Korea with nukes? Iran with nukes? Ruwanda? I could go on and one, but you get drift? Don't you?
on Oct 21, 2006

Um, how about 9/11? North Korea with nukes? Iran with nukes? Ruwanda? I could go on and one, but you get drift? Don't you?

You think 9/11 wouldn't have happened (or something very much like it) if Bush had been re-elected? REALLY? Why?

Do you really think North Korea wouldn't have pursued its program?  Look people, you guys  have to get this out of your head that the US government has all powerful foreign policy power. We don't. North Korea was going to pursue nukes regardless of who was in power.  The difference woudl have been that a Republican administration wouldn't have coddled them and made a stupid deal like Clinton did but they would have still pursued nuclear weapons.

And Rwanda? What the heck does that have to do with whoever is power? Been paying attention to Sudan lately? Conservatives are FAR less likely to send American GIs overseas purely for "humanitarian" reasons than Democrats (which I think is a good thing, we shouldn't generally be sending our troops overseas for reasons that are not in our direct interest).

on Oct 23, 2006
You think 9/11 wouldn't have happened (or something very much like it) if Bush had been re-elected? REALLY? Why?
Do you really think North Korea wouldn't have pursued its program? Look people, you guys have to get this out of your head that the US government has all powerful foreign policy power.



good point brad. the 94 NK deal was the deal to be made at the time. any president would have made it. and it does tke some time to figure out if the treaty is being honored or not.

and on the "all powerful foreign policy" statement...again, excellent point. people need to figure out that it's not as easy as they would like it to be, and the knee jerk "nuke em!" statements that americans make towards foreign countries that aren't doing exactly what the us tries to order them to do is not only highly irresponsible and naive, it's exactly why other countries see us as a threat. people forget there is only 1 nation in the history of the world that has actually used a nuclear weapon. i could go on there, but i'll leave it at that.