Why Is Erick Erickson Protecting Reince Priebus?

UPDATE: Welcome, Donald Trump fans! Thanks for reading.

Yes, it's true, I have had disagreements with Erick in the past. I try to assess the situation, not just the person. It's possible to disagree with someone on one subject and to agree with them on another.

If anything, Erick showed consistency by rescinding Trump's invitation to Red State. Erick didn't want the event to descend into chaos led by my friends over the Barbour episode; he doesn't want a descent into chaos led by Donald Trump.

Some will call me a hypocrite. Go ahead. I've been called worse. And being seen as inconsistent on this matter is better, in my view, than siding with boorishness in an attempt to appear narrowly consistent some marginally important prior position. If I must be narrowly and reflexively consistent, I will remain consistent with my belief that the United States deserves and requires leaders of remarkable character, temperament, intelligence, creativity, and charm. I want it all in my next president. And Trump lacks several key ingredients.

Please continue reading. Thanks


Call it the hand of God.

I was supposed to go to RedState Gathering this weekend, but things didn't work out at the list minute. Now, I'm glad I wasn't there.

Red State Gathering is blogger Erick Erickon's annual conservative gabfest. This year, it was in Ft. Worth, Texas.

Reince Preibus at RedState 2014

Reince Priebus, RNC Chairman, was one of the speakers. Priebus is under heavy pressure from Missouri's Ed Martin and others to investigate Henry Barbour's role in political attack ads that accuse the Tea Party of racism. So far, Priebus has blocked any such investigation.

Reince Priebus is running cover for Thad Cochran and Henry Barbour who called you, dear read, racist.

Traditionally, speakers at events like RedState Gathering take questions from the audience. But Erickson saw that Tea Party Patriots were armed with signs and tough questions for the Priebus .

I asked Erickson, via Twitter, why he protected Priebus from questions. Here's Erick's response.

Erickson's answer is nonsense. No, Priebus did not authorize Henry Barbour's attack on the Tea Party. He is not responsible for Barbour's actions. 

But Priebus is solely responsible for his own response to irrefutable evidence that Henry Barbour funded the ads. Erickson has made himself culpable in the cover-up by protecting Priebus who is protecting Barbour. (Priebus and Barbour go way back, as we shall see later.) It's typical Republican Establishment "cover your ass" nonsense.

Erickson has not responded to my follow-up question: 

Priebus is Chairman of the RNC, for God's sake. He's in charge. He needs a blogger to protect him from Tea Party Patriots? Give me a break.

Enter Ed Martin, Stage Right

Meanwhile, Missouri GOP Chairman, Ed Martin, has risked his entire political future by filing motions of censure against Henry Barbour and the Mississippi Republicans who shamefully libeled tea partiers, plagiarizing the vilest tactics from the Al Sharpton playbook.

I realize it's considered bad form to set up a guest for humiliation in some circles. I get that. But if you're going to allow Priebus to speak, you have to let him feel the heat for his failure to investigate the shenanigans in Mississippi. By blocking the investigation, Priebus is protecting the bad actors and further alienating grassroots conservatives.

Of course, we all know why Priebus won't investigate Mississippi. As the Spectator pointed out, Henry Barbour and Reince Priebus are old buddies:

Martin’s request for an investigation would be, one thinks, a no-brainer. This is, after all, the party of Lincoln. Race baiting has no place in the Republican Party, which came to be in the first place because of its staunch opposition to slavery.

But there’s a problem: Take a look at this link to a site for a lobbying group called Capital Resources, which includes a bio for one of the group’s partners, the aforementioned Henry Barbour. If you scan down a bit there is a series of bullet points describing Barbour’s background. The very first one reads as follows: “Helped run RNC Chairman Reince Priebus’ campaign for chairman.”

Here's the most depressing part of this whole sordid story. When faced with the choice of offending the Tea Party or the Establishment, Erickson decided to protect the Establishment.

Maybe Erickson was just being a good and gracious host. That's what I want to think. But to those of us who've been in the streets fighting the establishment, this feels like another sell-out.

Evolution of Government

  1. People are natural creatures.
  2. People were created without earthly masters.
  3. People are born free to choose.
  4. People invented government.
  5. Some people created private government by suppressing others.
  6. Some people created public government through voluntary cooperation with others.
  7. Public governments rule people.
  8. Public government serve people.
  9. Public governments foster human achievement.
  10. Private governments suppress human achievement.
  11. Private governments tell people what they can do.
  12. Public governments do what people allow.
  13. Private governments seek to maximize the power of the ruling class.
  14. Public governments seek to maximize the power of the people.

Once evolved, private and public governments become a series of contrasts.

Equality

Private government try to keep people equally constrained.

Public governments try to keep people equally free.

 

Wealth

Private governments distribute limited wealth efficiently.

Public governments unleash unlimited wealth.

 

Economics

Private governments manage shrinking economies.

Public governments promote growing economies.

 

Money

Private governments see money as a weapon.

Public government treat money as a tool.

 

Efficiency

Private governments put efficiency above freedom.

Public governments put freedom before efficiency.

 

Religion

Private governments manage religion.

Public governments respect religion.

 

Classes

Private governments seek two classes: a ruling class and servant class.

Public governments leave people to classify themselves.

 

Speech

Private governments limit what can be said.

Public governments limit what cannot be said.

 

Commerce

Private governments control economic transactions.

Public governments foster economic transactions.

 

Laws

Private governments list permitted behaviors; everything else prohibited.

Public government list prohibited behaviors; everything else is permitted.

 

Hierarchy

Private government is the top of the hierarchy.

Public government is the bottom of the hierarchy.

 

Families

Private governments define and regulate families.

Public governments serve families.

Safety

Private governments protect the government from themselves.

Public governments protect people from criminals and invaders.

 

Happiness

Private governments define happiness.

Public government promote happiness.

 

Purpose

Private governments exist for the happiness of the government.

Public governments exist for the happiness of the people.

 

Questions

1.  Would you rather live with a private or a public government?

2.  Do you now live in a private or a public government?

Have You Noticed How Political Lines Are Blurring?

Over the years I’ve said and written nasty things about liberals. Liberals, progressives, lefties, whatever the name. And I’ve defended conservatives—blindly at times. I’ve publicly defended policies I privately considered stupid.

All in the name of advancing my agenda. I believed—and still believe—the liberty agenda is the best one. The only one for people live out the full potential of their lives, to own their own lives, and to leave the world better than they found it.

Times They Are a Changin’

As central planners in Washington (and other places) suck up  more control over our lives, I have a harder time shouting “filthy rotten leftie” at liberals. Some of my very best friends are liberals, and they’re wonderful human beings.

But personal allegiances aren’t the only reasons I ‘m uncomfortable fighting the generic left.

More and more, it seems, the left and the right have a common enemy and a common cause. Look at a few recent examples:

A Common Enemy

People of every political stripe are waking up to the reality of a common enemy: the political elite.

elitism

The political elite know no party or ideology. It exists to maintain and increase its control and power over everyone  and everything. Washington wants to control the economy, right down to the clothes you wear and the fluids you drink.

Political elitists are usually good people seduced by the siren song of political clout. The seduction envelopes and corrupts them. The song fills their heads with reasonable sounding arguments for transferring more power and privilege from the many to the anointed few.

The elitists work our minds like stage magicians, offering the illusion of control with distraction and fantastic stories that suck us in.

Morning in America

But now more and more of us—the plebes—are waking up. We’re seeing that the enemy isn’t the liberal on the left or the conservative on the right or even the “independent” who can’t make up his mind.

Our enemy is that political elite. Not the individual elitists, really, but the critical mass of that elite. Isolate them, and they rediscover their basic humanity.

And that’s what Morning in America will look like. An awakening. The terrifying understanding that power corrupts and accumulates. Then the comfort of realizing that there are more of us plebes than there are of those elites.

Finally, we’re stirred—compelled—to act. For our own humanity.

History shows that these awakenings suck to live through. But without them, life isn’t worth living at all.

 

P.S. If you don’t buy the Elite – Plebe dichotomy, Matt Drudge has an alternative in this tweet:

Either way, the battle lines are being redrawn.

Here's my position on war in Syria.

One Word Explains the Avalanche of Obama Scandals

I'm a coward. It was the final zone inspection of boot camp. Navy Recruit Training. Get hit in this inspection, and you’re set back a week. Maybe two weeks.

My mom and dad had already booked a hotel room in Orlando. They couldn’t wait to see their son pass in review.

I knew everything in my area was perfect. My rack (bunk) was made to perfection. Every garment of clothing was folded to its ridiculous, bizarre specification. I was ready.

As the company yeoman, I was one of the first three inspected. I was third in command behind the Recruit Company Commander and the Master at Arms.

It didn’t take long before the inspector barked my name. That meant I'd failed. I snapped to attention and marched into the lounge.

I was set back. I'd shamed my parents.

But something strange happened.

After the last of my 80 or so shipmates were done, Petty Officer Gutiérrez, my Company Commander (Navy’s version of drill sergeant) ordered me into his office. With him was the assistant company commander and the master chief petty officer who performed the inspection.

“Do you know why you were hit, Recruit?” one of the said.

“No sir.”

“Gear adrift in your ditty bag.”

I stood silent, at attention.

“Why did you have gear adrift in your ditty bag, son?”

“There was no gear adrift when I stowed it yesterday, sir.”

The ditty bag was a cotton sack with a rope to cinch it shut. It’s where we kept our gym gear.  We didn’t dress for gym the day of the inspection, and yesterday the company commanders had us empty and carefully restow every item in the bag: running shoes, one white Navy t-shirt, one pair of blue nylon Navy gym shorts, one pair of clean white crew socks. I hadn’t touched my bag since the day before.

“How do you explain the gear adrift, recruit?”

“I can’t explain it, sir.”

“Do you know what the gear adrift was, son?”

“No, sir.”

“At ease.”

I lifted my left foot from the attention position and replaced it six inches to the left. I could hear my heartbeat even over Petty Officer Gutiérrez's shouting.

“Look at this, recruit.” Gutierrez held folded sheet of paper. It had been ripped from notebook—the notebooks we all kept in our left breast pocket.  The books were about three inches by five, but this sheet had been folded to about one inch square. It had some writing on it.

“You put this paper in your ditty bag, recruit.”

“No, sir,” I started to say.

“Are you disrespecting me, recruit? Push-up position, hut!”

He ordered me through about forty push-ups.

“Atten-hut!”

I popped to attention.

“You want to try this again, dirtbag?”

“Yes, sir.”

“Why did you put this paper in your ditty bag, recruit?”

“I didn’t knowingly put any gear adrift in my ditty bag, sir.”

“Are you retarded, Hennessy?”

“No, sir.”

“Because only retarded people put gear adrift in a ditty bag and not know they’re doing it.” He glared at me. I could feel his breath—from his nose—on my chin.

“This paper has unauthorized words on it, Hennessy. That’s your second hit.”

“What words, sir?”

“Are you asking me to read this filth you wrote, dirtbag?”

“No, sir.”

“You tell me, dirtbag. You wrote it. You ripped this page out of your notebook, which is your third violation.”

We weren’t authorized to rip any pages out of our notebooks.

“You folded up this paper and hid it in your ditty bag, Hennessy.”

“No, sir,” I said. My heart raced. Not scared like before, but excited.

“What the fuck did you just say to me, maggot?”

“No, sir. I didn’t rip that page from my notebook. And that’s not my handwriting. And I didn’t put it in my ditty bag.”

Now, the master chief approached me. “Hand me your notebook, son.”

I handed him my notebook. The master chief carefully paged through my book. Every sheet was there, hand-numbered 1 through 80. We numbered them on day two of boot camp. We also learned the hideous consequences of losing even one page of that precious, thirty-five cent notebook.

“I’ll rip your head off and shit down your windpipe,” was the punishment.

My company commanders and the master chief were talking. I was too excited to pay attention. I was working on my next line of argument.

“Is there anyone who might sabotage you?” the master chief asked.

”Yes, sir.”

“Who?”

I hesitated. But not for long.

“Liddy, sir.  Seaman Recruit Liddy.”

Liddy hated everyone with authority: me, the MAA, the RCC. He was an angry Puerto Rican kid who didn’t even get along with the other guys from Puerto Rico. And Liddy couldn’t march right. He wagged his head like Gomer Pyle when he marched, which made our company look like crap.

“Why would Liddy want to sabotage you, son?” the master chief said.

I hesitated again. “We don’t get along,” I said.

The three men looked at each other. Then they sent me back to the lounge to wait with the other failures. My shipmates who passed the inspection were gone, probably enjoying “gedunk,” Navy slang for snacks and soda.

About ten minutes later, Petty Officer Ferguson, the other company commander, escorted Liddy into the office, which was adjacent to the lounge. We could hear the screaming, but we couldn't make out the words.

Based on what happened after, Liddy’s notebook was missing pages 33 and 34—the pages on the sheet in my bag. I’m surmising that the handwriting in Liddy’s book matched the handwriting on the page in my ditty bag, too. I know it wasn’t even close to my crappy penmanship.

After the shouting, Liddy stomped to his locker, packed his sea bag, stripped his rack, put on his raincoat (you had to wear your raincoat whenever you were sent out as punishment), and marched out of our compartment.

I never saw him again.

Petty Officers Gutierrez and Ferguson never explained why Liddy got set back and I didn’t. Technically, I was responsible for my ditty bag. I should have been set back. But I wasn't.

I didn’t get to watch TV that night with my shipmates. We hadn’t seen a TV since we arrived at RTC Orlando six weeks before. I did get cycled or hurricaned or whatever they called it. I had to spend an hour in winter PT gear and my raincoat doing calisthenics with seven other dirtbags.  After that, nothing was mentioned.

But I’m still a coward. I had not a shred of evidence that Liddy sabotaged me. I still don’t. Orlando, Florida is damp. Liddy could have ripped that page out of his notebook, folded it up, and dropped it anywhere. (We all marched together.)  It could have stuck to the sole of my gym shoe.

It’s plausible.

I accused him with absolutely no evidence. A week before, I’d made him stand down. I don’t remember what the disagreement was, but he was about to get into a fight with another recruit. I was the senior man in the compartment at the time, and it fell to me to stop it. I did. Liddy didn’t like it.

“Watch your back, fucker,” he said, grinning.

On that evidence, I blamed my zone inspection failure on some poor kid from PR who probably never even saw a house as beautiful as the one I grew up in.

I didn’t have to call my mom and dad to tell them not to come down, though. That’s really all I cared about at the time.

So now the IRS gets caught persecuting conservative groups, the State Department gets caught lying about Benghazi, and the Justice Department gets caught wiretapping just about every reporter in the Associated Press’s bullpen. Immediately, they all start blaming other people.

Why?

They’re cowards. And Barack Obama’s the biggest coward of them all. I should know.

The White House blamed State for the Benghazi talking points, Republicans for Benghazi outrage, low-level IRS workers in Cincinnati for persecuting Tea Party groups, and Eric Holder for wiretapping the AP.

It sucks having to admit in public you were wrong. It sucks harder to admit being a coward. Something tells me Obama will never know what that feels like, though. He has 300 million Americans to blame before he has deal with himself.