Define a Republican Insider
Interesting poll (via the Hot Air), regarding how congressional insiders and political insiders view the political figures from their respective parties. Lots of interesting stuff, some of it surprising, some of it not. This response is particularly interesting (Hot Air focused on the Sarah Palin angle). For the question “Which political figure would you most like to mute” (i.e. shut up and disappear) the response was:
Political Insiders1. Sarah Palin 28% 2. Michael Steele 12% 3. Rush Limbaugh 6% 3. Tom Tancredo 6%
Total votes: 85. Other top vote-getters: Dick Cheney, Far Right, Newt Gingrich, Lindsey Graham, no one, Olympia Snowe, 4%; Michele Bachmann, Glenn Beck, Mike Huckabee, 2%.
That would be Republican insiders. So, 85 Republican insiders voted. I count that 8% of the supposed Republicans wanted the two conciliatory moderates (Graham and Snowe) to be quiet. Another 4% wanted no one to shut up (good for them). Lets agree that Michael Steele (the GOP chair who seems to be a run of the mill political hack who has had some high profile run ins with the base) is viewed poorly because of his leadership qualities and not his ideology per se. Its hard to say WHY they voted for him. Therefore, I’ll leave him out of the equation. Ditto Huckabee who passes himself off as a conservative but has no history of actually governing like one (he’s like Bush’s big government “compassionate” conservatism on steroids). So, he doesn’t really qualify as a conservative or moderate in my opinion.
Removing 8% that voted for moderates, 2% that voted for the con man from Arkansas, and 12% that voted for Steele, that leaves 78%. Of those, 24% of Republican insiders wish to mute conservative ideologues (Rush, Cheney, Far Right, Newt and I’ll put Tancredo in this mix). Then we have Bachman and Beck who can best be described as Tea Party ideologues. I also put Sarah Palin (who 28% of insiders wish to shut up) in with this crowd though she no doubt straddles the conservative and Tea Party camps. Bottom line, the conservatives and the Tea Party crowd are diametrically opposed to most of what Obama/Pelosi/Reid are selling and certainly wish for a smaller, less intrusive and decentralized government.
What is a political insider? Consultants and probably a few opinion makers (David Brooks, George Will et al, but I don’t know that these guys were specifically questioned). Regardless of how one slices it, a solid majority (56% by my count) of “Republican Insiders” wish they didn’t have actual real live small government types out there making the case for the opposition. This is just another example of how the “beltway culture” of both parties is utterly clueless about the values of fly-over country. People outside of the beltway don’t hold “make nice with the insiders” as a particular value to be held in high esteem. We had six years of that with Bush + the Corrupt Hack led GOP Congress which gave way to the euro-socialist monstrosity currently holding power. Even “Republican Insiders” lean toward a “government can fix all” proposition.