The Ebbs and Flows of a Changing Equation

I’d like to offer up a short weekend diversion for any willing takers. Sometimes it’s good to stop talking and maybe read and ruminate some on the topics at hand. This may be a good time to do just that.

Quite often I like to go back and read old RedState diaries and, more importantly, conversations. It tends to be somewhat instructive to see new, old, and evolving memes, commenters who are still around or now missing in action and the boldness (or lack thereof) of their positons, and the overall tone of the times. Among other things…

Below I will provide a few links to a few old (non-Ntrepid) diaries. I recommend you go read the diary noting the date and thinking back to those times and your frame of mind at that point and how it may have changed since. Then, with all that in mind, read through the comments / conversation that followed. For fun (and my own vanity and documentation) I will also provide quotes to the most important comments in each…that just happen to be mine. With that, let’s get started:

(1) I GAVE $100 TO THOM TILLIS’S CAMPAIGN by Erick Erickson, May 7, 2014


For reference, this is about a month before the Republican Mississippi Senate primary and “vote most conservative in the primary, Republican in the general” was still all the rage here.

Key Ntrepid comment:

This “vote most conservative in the primary, Republican in the general” policy is generally a good rule of thumb – particularly in tipping the scales to a majority – but strict adherence ignorant of reality can be dangerous. Handing the office and all the stability and power of incumbency to an establishment puppet can saddle us with phony, unreliable numbers for a long time. Sometimes it might be better to actually keep the opposition on the other side of the aisle…and I don’t think that is stupid at all.

I encourage you to search for that conversation and note the rash of name calling it inspired. See how fun this is.

(2) ABOLISH THE IRS by Chairman Reince Priebus, June 25, 2014


For reference, this is the day after the runoff for the 2014 Mississippi Republican Senate nomination. I’m not sure the RedState neighborhood, having just endured a rather nasty urination down our back, was quite ready to hear about the rain from our beloved Establishment. The tone of a great majority of the 96 comments is priceless.

Key Ntrepid comment:

The RedState response to this diary is hilarious…and fully deserved. The only thing that will widen this grin is if all future posts by the distinguished Chairman were completely ignored. I will, however, take this opportunity to address him just this once…

Dear Chairman Priebus,

I’m out!*


*While the “conservative in the primary, Republican in November” theme gets thrown around a lot in these parts…by both intelligent commenters and boisterous buffoons alike…I hope it is sinking in just how dangerous it is to take that for granted. Sure, some of this fury will settle out and some will come back into the fold but the Thad Cochran run-off “victory” is where I get off this train. Beyond the tactics used in recent weeks, the fact that the weight of the party was thrown behind such a deficient character** when a suitable replacement was clearly willing and available just further clarifies the contempt you Ruling Class movers and shakers have for We the People. The establishment as a whole has now gone too far…and this shallow attempt to distract puts a rather bad light on you, too.

(**How much taxpayer money is being funneled to his executive assistant / landlord in both pay and rent? That game among the beltway class, those who have already spent decades fattening their bank accounts at our expense, is just insulting to hard working people out here in the real world.)

For the record, long ago I was the one here who did my best to argue for a “never cast my vote for McCain” position. Reprinted here (sorry, the comments have been lost to the ether) for your further enjoyment:


I was eventually talked back off that ledge but, I assure you, I will not retreat from Mississippi 2014.

(3) ON THE VALUE OF SHOOTING COWARDS by Leon H. Wolf, February 25, 2015


For reference, this was coming up on four months since the 2014 mid-terms and a few months into the new congress. The loyal suckers that delivered the Senate were catching on.

Please go read the whole thing, this is great stuff:

“We have to make some examples. The equation has changed. No longer is it sufficient to try to primary them. Now we have to be actively willing to help these people lose to Democrats, if need be, to discourage cowardice in this very real war for the survival of our country. … Cowardice must be punished with defeat. By Democrats, if necessary. Because cowardice is cancerous and worse than frank opposition. Rep. Renee Ellmers (R-NC) is not pro-choice, she just lost her courage at the worst possible moment, and as a result a critical bloc of the caucus caved when they caught her cowardice in the trench. Her and others like her must be replaced at any and all costs. The only alternative is to prepare to accept the terms of the enemy. And hopefully we are not there yet.” – Leon H. Wolf

Key Ntrepid comment:

“The equation has changed.” – It has been interesting in recent times to see how different people hit this point at different times. I mean really hit it. Many get mad, vent here and elsewhere, then turn around and cheer for their man McConnell (or whoever) during next week’s fight. Most, if not all of us, go through those cycles. For me, the equation finally changed during the Mississippi Republican primary run-off in 2014. During and after that, it became clear to me that once past that threshold you are just in a different reality than those who want to robotically scream “[you must] vote most conservative in the primary, Republican in the general”. Rational discussions back across that divide were hard to come by but I tried:

“[Their] overall voting record is IRRELEVANT; it is on the votes that are really important to conservatives that these types will always be available to tip the scales the other way if needed. All the while, “we” feel good because we think we have the numbers. … Sometimes it might be better to actually keep the opposition on the other side of the aisle…”(1)

I suspect that you have a much larger pool of potential converts now.

In a very good post, I think it fitting that you end with reference to Ms. Ellmers. While I tend to agree with you about the needs at the ballot box, I think it also valuable to recognize that, until then, the divide between us and them (whatever that means) is not along the aisle that divides the parties. It is well into our own territory. I propose, as I mentioned recently (2), that the most appropriate marker can be based on the rather annoying Heritage Action Score that now pollutes these pages. I put that divide at the Ellmers-line…51%…noting that demonstrated leadership ability (or lack thereof) trumps a silly 67% based on rigged voting record putting Mr. McConnell on their side.

Hopefully, once the emotion wears off in the coming days, more will truly recognize that “The equation has changed.” As for “The only alternative is to prepare to accept the terms of the enemy”…well,…


(1) http://www.redstate.com/erick/2014/05/07/i-gave-100-to-thom-tilliss-campaign/
(2) http://www.redstate.com/streiff/2015/01/22/repreneeellmers-want-protect-rapists-abortionists/

PS. I will admit that, if I had only been a bit stronger at heart, the equation would have…should have…changed with Alaska 2010. I won’t be the weak again.


As I peruse so many of the current conversations, I am doing my best to just stay out of it. There are some important and interesting things being said about the candidates and the coming election but I cannot help but feel that so much of that is irrelevant. The problem is not the candidates, it’s We the People. The fact that somewhere near 70% of the primary voting electorate so far has been somewhere between “willing to” and “happy to” cast their vote for Sanders, Clinton, or Trump is a disgrace to all prior generations on these shores that gave us an America built on liberty and rugged individualism. Yet again, I will repeat the line I stole from Charles Murray (Coming Apart): “A significant and growing portion of the American population [has lost] the virtues required to be functioning members of a free society.” I suspect that growing portion is now a majority…and still growing.

With that, I will complete this little exercise the same way I did my somewhat cathartic capitulation last summer:

With so much of the system working against us, it is time we use the few tools available to us to push the country to either extreme…liberty restored or collapse and rebirth…where a free society is at least conceivable. The orchestrated decline we are currently on is the worst possible course for We the People. (X)

As of last Tuesday, I fear the “liberty restored” path is now closed.

Happy Mother’s Day to all the lovely moms out there.

Member Since 2006

(X) http://www.redstate.com/diary/ntrepid/2015/07/12/considering-deliberate-march-abyss/