I'm in Michigan and Saul Anuzis is a name that most Republicans around here recognize. I came to know it during the 2007/2008 primary season when he was the head of the Michigan GOP, trying to keep a candidate he disagreed with from participating in the GOP debates.
He backtracked from that position a little, but he won't ever be a small government guy and his most recent weekly newsletter really highlights the core ideological differences between the casual GOP voters and the party leaders.
Anuzis opens it with the Detroit bankruptcy and a rousing "It will be back!" statement we here in Michigan have been hearing for 20 years or so. In that paragraph, he notes,
"Many people are hoping that bankruptcy, the largest of its kind on U.S. soil, will give Detroit another chance. But that'll remain wishful thinking until Detroit reverses its backward economic strategy.
A city that showers subsidies on well-connected businesses while thwarting individual entrepreneurs and ignoring basic services is writing its obituary — not its second act."
A thought I agree with on the surface. But remember, his wing of the party just pushed through the farm subsidy bill that hands out the overwhelming majority of other people's money to the biggest corporate farmers in America, not to the family farmers. And they got it passed by taking food stamps out of the package.
As I wrote about here, that's just the opposite of what we the little people want. While the Democrats wanted both sides of the original bill , the corporate subsidies and the food stamps. We the fiscal conservatives want business (and I am including farming in that definition) to be profitable without subsidies.
We also want people to live without subsidies, but like it or not there is a percentage of the voters who think that the federal government should indeed hand out food. And quashing food stamps in a sluggish economy, especially while handing out record setting amounts of cash to millionaire farmers, isn't a smart move politically. But are we really supposed to believe that there is a huge voting bloc that wants the federal government to give money to corporate America while slashing welfare?
No, we aren't. We are just supposed mindlessly cheer on the fact that the Democrats didn't get their food stamps passed while ignoring the fact that the GOP just handed truckloads of our children's cash to corporate America. These guys might be Republicans, but they are not conservatives.
About the Obama decision to delay implementing the employer requirement of Obamacare, Anuzis goes on to say:
(Obama) has abandoned Congress and is seeking to rule through administrative agencies and executive orders that, in our system of government, make him as near to a despot as we are ever likely to get – knock wood.
Right. Ignoring 2013 Congress is bad. We agree on that. But when 2008 Congress twice voted not to send Detroit any money, and President Bush said he didn't care, that he was taking the money from TARP regardless, where was Anuzis?
Oh, that's right. He was singing the praises of the man smart enough to save Detroit.
He then goes on to discuss some different variations of the Flat Tax. Great plan, except that he's already talking about preserving the Earned Income Credit, mortgage deductions, health insurance deductions, and blah blah blah. With leaders like him in charge, the "simpler" tax system will end up even more convoluted than what we currently suffer.
Next, Anuzis mentions the 2016 primary season:
See anybody there that excites you? Yeah, me either.
Anuzis then goes on to attack Jim DeMint in is new position as the president of The Heritage Foundation ("DeMint is diminishing one of the party’s most powerful intellectual engines by turning it into a group taking cheap shots at Republicans"), defending John Boehner, ("He’s a conservative, certainly, but also an institutionalist, an old-school politician who likes to do deals; as his months-long effort to concoct a “grand bargain” with Obama on the budget showed, he has an interest, at 63, in leaving a legacy of bipartisan accomplishments behind him,") and pointing out that the electorate isn't blaming the GOP for the sluggish economy any longer.
It's like they are perfectly content for the 2016 GOP campaign slogan to be "At least we aren't Democrats on the surface!"
But there is hope. Change can be a slow process, but think about this: When I first became aware of Anuzis, he was Chairman of the MI GOP. He then moved up from there to the GOP Committeeman seat. But then things started changing. He ran for RNC chair and lost. He lost his reelection to the committee seat, too. Heck, most of the candidates he endorses these days lose too.
But this match is just beginning. Wrestling power away from this wing of the party won't be easy, but make no mistake - these are the people we need to remove completely from power. Republicans like Anuzis talk the talk, but once they win the power back they do not hesitate to abandon the principles of the electorate.
Keep chipping away at them.