Reasonable Republican = Extremist

Dean Young and Bradley Byrne: both extreme and unreasonable

Ed Kilgore provides a good rundown of one race we haven’t heard much about: the Republican primary election in Alabama’s first congressional district—the Mobile area, In Alabama GOP, It’s Hard to Be Too Radical. It is an election between Tea Party nutcase Dean Young and the Republican establishment candidate Bradley Byrne. What’s important here is that from a policy standpoint, there is pretty much no light between these two men. So the question is, how exactly is Byrne the “reasonable” Republican?

The answer is that he isn’t. Over the weekend, I discussed this very issue as it applied to Virginia, Business Will Not Give Up on GOP. The business community is not for moderate or reasonable candidates. They want candidates who will do exactly as the big corporations want. The only concern they have about the supposed extremists is that they won’t win. Otherwise, they are fine with them.

The same thing is true of the Republican establishment. In fact, we might as well say that corporate America and the Republican establishment are the same thing. They want the same policies and their only real concern is winning elections. If there is a difference, it would simply be that the Republican establishment are slightly more willing to compromise in the pursuit of their goals.

Kilgore sums up the situation in Alabama, but the same thing could be said about any Republican primary anywhere. You may remember Roy Moore, the Alabama judge who put a two-and-a-half ton Ten Commandments monument in the Alabama Judicial Building. He’s supporting Young. Here’s how Kilgore puts it:

If Young wins, you can be sure Roy Moore will be by his side tonight, and his presence in the campaign, along with Byrne’s serial descent into Christian Right rhetoric of his own, is a reminder that for all the efforts of national observers to distinguish the “Tea Party” from the “Christian Right,” they’re pretty much the same thing, especially in the Deep South.

We’ll see if Byrne’s money can offset Young’s fervor today. But if Byrne wins, let’s please don’t call it any sort of victory for “moderation” or a rebuke to conservatism. Jacobs is right; these birds disagree on some small elements of tactics and rhetoric, but in Congress, you can bet that Byrne will continue his career-long effort to protect his right flank with every vote.

Exactly! And I’m glad to read more and more people saying this. Now if we can just get the mainstream press to stop saying that Chris Christie is “reasonable” we’ll be onto something!

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About Frank Moraes

Frank Moraes is a freelance writer and editor online and in print. He is educated as a scientist with a PhD in Atmospheric Physics. He has worked in climate science, remote sensing, throughout the computer industry, and as a college physics instructor. Find out more at About Frank Moraes.

1 thought on “Reasonable Republican = Extremist

  1. I’ve been watching the cancelled HBO series "Deadwood." Don’t know if you’d like it or not. It has good acting, fun dialogue, a lot of cussing, great production values. But there are plot holes, overdramatic bits, most of what you get from TV. Some flaws in TV series people can forgive for the overall whole and some they can’t, and that’s always going to be a matter of taste.

    This post made me think of "Deadwood" because eventually, in the show, George Hearst shows up. Yes, that Hearst — Citizen Kane’s dad. And he’s presented like most plutocrats of his era, someone who made his fortune through knowing quite a lot about his business, and who then assumed no rules should apply to him. There’s a great line: "Elections cannot inconvenience me. They ratify my will or I neuter them."

    You might be interested because the show’s theme is one of community-versus-libertarianism (it comes down hard on the side of community.) The first season is the Wild West. The second, how people realize that sacrificing personal opportunism for the sake of establishing normalcy (such as law) benefits their interest in the long term. And the third about psycho Hearst, who comes into town determined to destroy anything and anyone in order to steal what he believes should be his. (In an image that might work for some viewers and less for others, he buys the town’s biggest hotel and promptly smashes half the walls out, not because he plans to rebuild them, but because he enjoys smashing things; "creative destruction," indeed.)

    If you’ve never seen it, you might give the first half-season or so a try. The nihilistic vibe it gives off at first changes radically by the first season’s end; so does the seeming romanticism of the untamed frontier. The cussing and violence don’t go away.

    Tasha Robinson of the AV Club had this great line about another HBO series: "A friend of mine has theorized that HBO has a CEO Of Tits, whose only job is to watch everything the network produces, and yell “More tits!” I really dig HBO series—I’m catching up on Boardwalk Empire right now—but at some point, the endless parade of boobs just makes me tired. It’s so cheap and boring at this point. Grow up, HBO."

    And Deadwood has that flaw, along with the sometimes gratuitous violence. But I rather enjoyed the cussing!

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