“DISARMING THE OPPOSITION”
by Paul R. Hollrah, ©2017
(Feb. 24, 2017) — At a time in U.S. history when Republicans occupy the White House, when both houses of Congress enjoy Republican majorities, when Republicans occupy 33 of the 50 governors’ mansions, and when Republicans control both houses of the legislature in 31 states and at least one house in 6 others, why would anyone question whether or not the party is worth saving?
The answer lies, in part, in the party’s response to the organized disruptions taking place in Republican town hall meetings and rallies across the country. An offshoot of Barack Obama’s Soros-funded organization, Organizing for Action (OfA), has written and published a 26-page manual, titled “Indivisible – A Practical Guide for Resisting the Trump Agenda.” That manual, which has been distributed among radical leftists across the country, provides helpful hints on how to organize and how to disrupt Republican rallies and town hall meetings.
For example, Page 18 of the manual contains the following advice regarding attendance at town hall meetings:
- Get there early, meet up, and organize. Meet outdoors or in the parking lot for a quick huddle before the event.
- Get seated and spread out. Head into the venue a bit early to grab seats at the front half of the room, but do not all sit together.
- Make your voices heard by asking good questions. When the (Member of Congress) opens the floor for questions, everyone in the group should put their hands up and keep them there. When you’re asking a question, remember the following guidelines:
- Stick with the prepared list of questions.
- Be polite but persistent, and demand real answers.
- Don’t give up the mic until you’re satisfied with the answer.
- Keep the pressure on.
- Support the group and reinforce the message.
- Record everything.
One would think that the rowdy disruption of Rep. Jason Chaffetz’s town hall meeting in a Salt Lake City suburb on Thursday, February 9 might have given the White House, the RNC, and the Republican congressional leadership a hint of what was to come… especially after POLITICO’s February 9 headline read, “Chaffetz Booed at Rowdy Town Hall.” Nice-guy Jason Chaffetz? In conservative Salt Lake City? How could that possibly happen unless the disruption was planned and carried out by Obama/Soros partisans and other Trump-haters?
If we had a single Republican leader in Washington who understands the game they’re in and the nature of the enemy, every Republican in the House and Senate would have been prepared in advance for what they would face during the February recess. Every member of Congress would have been provided with a copy of the Indivisible manual. And as they approached the podium in their respective rallies and town halls, they should have been prepared to hold the manual up for all to see, saying, “I have here in my hand a manual prepared by radical leftists… Clinton and Obama loyalists… which instructs them on how to infiltrate and disrupt Republican political rallies and town hall meetings such as the meeting we are about to have. But I want to remind everyone here that we all have a right to be heard. So if you become convinced that some among you are not here in good faith, with a sincere desire to discuss the issues of the day, I hope you will treat them with kindness and respect.”
Disarming the opposition in advance is a perfectly good tactic. Unfortunately, our current GOP leadership is so feckless and so lacking in political savvy that no one in a leadership position in Washington, or elsewhere, prepared members of Congress for what they would face in their home states and districts. As a result, they were blindsided by the Obama/Soros people and many were made to look like fools before the TV cameras.
During the first twenty-five years of my life in the political arena, I struggled with the question of what it was that I looked for in the candidates and party leaders I supported. What was it that caused me to be attracted to some and repulsed by others? I wasn’t able to answer that question for myself until August 1987 when I served as deputy campaign manager in the presidential exploratory committee of former defense secretary Donald Rumsfeld. How did I know that Rumsfeld was presidential material, but George Bush was not? I knew that the answer to my question was like a three-legged stool. I had the first two parts in mind, but the third escaped me.
First, it is as Barbara Tuschman wrote: It is “… achieving or reaching for the highest standard as against being satisfied with the sloppy or fraudulent. It is honesty of purpose as against catering to cheap or sensational sentiment. It does not allow compromise with the second rate.”
Secondly, it has to do with Edwin Land’s guiding philosophy: “Don’t do anything that someone else can do. Don’t undertake a project unless it is manifestly important and nearly impossible. If it is manifestly important, then you don’t have to worry about its significance. Since it’s nearly impossible, you know that no one else is likely to be doing it.”
The third and final leg of my “stool” didn’t come into focus until I saw a televised Firing Line discussion between Sidney Hook and William F. Buckley. When asked his definition of the essence of true leadership, Hook replied, ”It is this: It is great intelligence, in combination with great moral courage.”
Those are the three tests that candidates must meet to earn my support, but the same is true of political parties, generally. And although individual Republicans often disappoint us, as they do now, the party at least has a soul that is worthy of our devotion and our long-term commitment. Unlike the Democrat Party, the Republican Party can be said to have an honesty of purpose… a thread of commonly-held values that run through every member of the party, past and present.
In his monologue of February 17, 2017, Rush Limbaugh described the Democrat Party as well as anyone has ever described it. He said, “It’s easy to be a victim. Look how easily the Democrat Party has made nearly half this country victims of something. And what happens to you when you’re a victim? Well, when you’re a victim you already have a built-in excuse for failure. When you’re a victim it’s always someone else’s fault. When you’re a victim, success is not possible. When you’re a victim, you are acknowledging that you are as far as you’re gonna get, and you can’t get any further because there are more powerful forces arrayed against you than the force of yourself against it. And the Democrat Party does this on purpose.
“The Democrat Party makes as many people as possible victims because it freezes them right where they are. And that’s usually in lower middle class or abject poverty. It makes them resentful. If you’re a victim, you’re not happy; you can’t be happy; it’s impossible to be happy. It’s even difficult to be content. If you’re a victim you’re always mad but never at yourself; you’re mad at someone else. The Democrats have parlayed this into one of the biggest political movements in human history…
“Look how many victim groups there are and they all happen to be Democrat constituency groups. They’re all on a protest march; they’re all angry; they’re all enraged. Some of them are women, some of them are minorities, some of them are illegal immigrants… you name it. But they all have one thing in common. They have given up on the notion that they can be somebody and have, instead, descended into full-fledged victimhood and the comfort of being in the company of a group of like-minded failures. Why isn’t everybody a victim? It’s easy. Anybody could choose that if they wanted to. Being a victim is almost as easy as being a liberal; it’s one of the most gutless decisions you could make… A victim of what? Well, you’re a victim of discrimination, you’re a victim of America, you’re a victim of America’s past, you’re a victim of religion, you’re a victim of bigotry and homophobia, whatever. You’re a victim of something.
“The Democrats have got one for you. If you want to be a victim, call ‘em up. Call (Senator) Schumer. Tell him, ‘I want to join you; I want to be a victim. Do you have a group for me?’ He’ll have one. He’ll ask you what color you are, he’ll ask you what your sexual orientation is, he’ll ask you what your gender is. He’ll ask you any number of questions and he’ll give you a choice of victim groups that you can join. And then he’ll show you where you go to get a food stamp allocation… how you get emergency healthcare if you need it… all of this on the Democrats, and you can keep it flowing if you do just two things: stay a victim and vote Democrat.
“But the people who don’t choose that end up being the ones victims hate. The people that choose to face life, the people that choose to embrace it, the people that choose to just soak it up, the people that choose to dive right in and test their limits and find out what they’re capable of and how good they can be, and if that’s really what they want to do… victims will hate them because they are showing what anybody can do if they just had an attitude adjustment…”
Yes, the Republicans we elect often have thick skulls and even thinner skins. Lots of them have great intelligence, but many are a bit short on moral courage. Few of them are capable of dealing with Democrats as we find them in the political arena, such as those who will choose to disrupt their town hall meetings. But they have one thing going for them: we have arrived at the point as a nation when it is either do or die. As a nation we find ourselves at death’s door. So, as matters now stand, savable or not, the Republican Party is all we’ve got. God help us.
Paul R. Hollrah is a retired government relations executive and a two-time member of the U.S. Electoral College. He currently lives and writes among the hills and lakes of northeast Oklahoma’s Green Country.