The Runback: The Judas Effect

The GOP Continues to Turn its Back on Its Own Principles

Welcome to another week of The Runback. Have you been enjoying The Duckpin? Do you have comments or suggestions? Do you want to write for us? Let me know at theduckpin@gmail.com. And please be sure to follow us on FacebookTwitterInstagram, and YouTube. Thanks in advance.

Podcast Episode #29

This week we talk with Andi Turner, Legislative Director of the Texas State Rifle Association.

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The Monday Thought

When I realized that I was a conservative and that I most associated with the Republican Party, it was for a variety of reasons.

Conservatism was about low taxes, free speech, small government, responsible spending, a strong national defense, and the right to self-defense. As I matured over the years (read as: became a Catholic) I also added defense of the right to life as an additional reason.

I short, it was the Superman party: Truth, Justice, and the American Way.

These are, and long have been, the ideological underpinning of conservatism. Unfortunately, both the GOP and the conservative movement have started.

Let us, for example, take a look at one of the conservative movement’s biggest points of criticism: the media. They often point out how the media distorts the truth and leave out key bits of information. There’s a lot of truth to that: just look at the treatment of Ron DeSantis down in Florida.

But many of the same people who criticize the media idolize “journalist” James O’Keefe. How many times is this guy gonna get bagged for selectively editing his videos before conservatives stop taking him seriously? Time and time again, the truth eventually comes out.

The hypocrisy is evident.

Many conservatives, who say they want free speech, also want the government to drastically expand Section 230 of the Telecommunications Decency Act to require government monitoring of social media sites to ensure fairness and decency.

The hypocrisy is evident.

The same people abandoned Twitter and Facebook because they believe their free speech rights are being violated. They flocked to Parler, and were surprised to learn that Parler’s terms of service were more restrictive than Twitter’s.

Mike Lindell, the CEO of MyPillow who has continued to spew bonkers theories about stolen elections, is launching his new social media site Frank…..well, soon. But his site also restricts what you are and are not able to say on the site. People who have abandoned Twitter can’t wait to use it anyway.

The hypocrisy is evident.

That’s before we even get to the policy aspect of things. Remember when I said conservatism was about low taxes, free speech, small government, responsible spending, a strong national defense, the right to self-defense, and the defense of life? In the past four year, conservatives and the GOP have:

  1. Abandoned free trade principles for new taxes on imports;

  2. Gutted the SALT deduction, raising taxes on working families;

  3. Raised the National Debt by 36%

  4. Radically expanded the size and scope of government;

  5. Supported a national red flag law on guns;

  6. Reduced the size of the military mission and abandoned our allies abroad;

  7. Coddle up to dictators;

  8. Worshipped a man who cannot stay faithful to his wives and has paid for abortions.

Just in five years, national Republicans went from a party of small government to a part of overreaching national government, with disastrous political effects.

The hypocrisy however, is still everywhere.

Just look at Ohio. Author J.D. Vance, who wrote the book Hillbilly Elegy, is running for the U.S. Senate in Ohio. He is going to run as a new-style “working class nationalist” candidate (sounding more like Bernie Sanders than Ronald Reagan) who opposes the big tech companies despite the fact that he made his money working for big tech companies and billionaire financial interests are bankrolling his run.

Vance is one of many posterchildren for what I call “Bullshit Republicanism”, where there is a thorough disconnect between what the candidate does and what the candidate says on the trail. It was not invented by Donald Trump, but it was perfected by him. And it has many acolytes such as Matt Gaetz, Lauren Boebert, and Marjorie Taylor-Green. None of them have any intention of governing, they just want to run for office, say bonkers things, get re-elected, rinse, repeat.

One example of that is Taylor-Greene’s explicitly racist and nativist Anglo-Saxon Caucus she was mercifully shamed into not launching. That’s a fine example of a Bullshit Republican doing whatever she thinks will keep the base happy without ever considering whether or not it would complicate governing. More Republicans think that all people of all races should be treated equally and given opportunity based on their ability not their race, and this yahoo thinks that an “Anglo-Saxon” caucus is the way to go despite the fact that most “white” Americans are of German and Irish ancestry not “Anglo-Saxon”. Heck even the English really aren’t “Anglo-Saxons” considering the Norman Conquest was 955 years ago at this point.

What we are seeing is The Judas Effect: the GOP is abandoning their entire core ideology, philosophy, and principles all for votes, campaign cash, and book sales. Their own thirty pounds of silver, if you will.

Allow me to leave you today with some choice words from Fozzy, which explains the conundrum of the GOP in a world where the GOP could collectively do some soul-searching :

I am cold like December snow
I have carved out this soul made of stone
And I will drag you down and sell you out
Embraced by the darkness, I'm losing the light
Encircled by demons, I fight

What have I become, now that I've betrayed
Everyone I've ever loved, I pushed them all away
And I have been a slave to the Judas in my mind
Is there something left for me to save
In the wreckage of my life, my life