Wednesday, September 26, 2012

I Hope You Don't Mind Greek

Riots in Greece, riots in Spain. Greece of course, was the cradle of civilization over well over 2000 years ago. Spain built the world's first global empire in the 1500s before being muscled out by the Dutch, English, French, and eventually we Americans.

Americans have already gotten a taste of Greek Tragedy, starting with the burst of the housing bubble in 2007. It's complicated: there are a lot of characters in our tragedy. No one thought they were doing anything wrong, they just thought they were honestly trying to get rich, or richer. The key criminal mastermind, Robert Rubin, was U.S. Treasury Secretary under President Bill Clinton. Few remember he engineered the repeal of Glass-Steagall, a banking reform act from the early days of the Great Depression. It was like letting all the felons out of prison at once, on promise of good behavior.

From the Great Depression until about the turn of the millennium it was well understood by economists, politicians, and even the public that government spending could act as a counterbalance to the natural, chaotic cycle of pure free-market economies. Free market capitalism tends to boom then collapse. By increasing spending during recessions the federal government could prevent depressions. It borrowed to do that, which was alright as long as it also damped booms by cutting spending and increasing taxes. Bboom-year surplusses then reduced the national debt to tolerable levels.

The resurgence of the "greed is good" crowd, with its bizarre idea that taxes on the rich should be minimized, was a long time coming. In a normal nation the Internet Stock Bubble that burst just in time for the presidency of George W. Bush would have served as a sufficient warning against the new, faith-based economics. Instead the foolish just switched asset classes. After a brief recession, unregulated lending led to the Housing Bubble.

During the bubble tax revenue skyrocketed, especially for local governments that have real estate taxes as their primary source of income. Politicians like to be generous when they can, it tends to get them reelected. They doled out the real estate tax revenue to local, county, and state employees, and promised generous pensions.

Meanwhile, we had the Bush Tax Cuts, not just on income, but on inheritances and capital gains. While the national economy was in a bubble, that seemed fine to most people. We also increased military spending for the "War on Terror." That led to federal deficits during the bubble greater than we would normally have during a recession.

When the bubble burst unemployment skyrocketed. Construction workers and bankers lost their jobs first. Some stimulus was provided by automatic government mechanisms, like food stamps and unemployment benefits, but it was not enough to break the fall. Local governments, suddenly running big deficits, laid off workers. Pretty soon, by late 2008, just about everyone was either out of work or afraid they would be laid off. Barack Obama was elected President.

Up until 2000 or so the government would have fixed the post-bubble mess by borrowing money and spending it until the economy recovered. The additional debt could be paid back when the economy recovered by adjusting taxes. Federal and local spending would have decreased during the recovery because there would not be so much money needed for food stamps, etc. If a recovery were strong enough, and the tax system had not been gutted by the Bush Tax Cuts (which, you should recall, Democrats in Congress went along with at the time), tax increases might have been minimal. But not this time around.

Now we (and don't just blame the bankers and politicians) are up sh-- creek without a paddle. We, the United States, are still running huge deficits, and have a rather significant national debt. If there is a recovery, and interest rates climb, the interest on the national debt would quickly become the largest item in the national budget. There is still stimulus: the annual federal deficit. But sooner or later bond buyers will wise up, as in Greece in Spain, and refuse to buy. Then there can be no stimulus. Even if the economy is growing at that point we would need to raise taxes to pay off the debt and interest.

Taxing the rich, within reason (say up to 70% on incomes or capital gains or inheritance over $1 billion) does not hurt the economy. Keeping taxes on the rich low is like giving welfare checks to the poor. It demotivates them. They are people who need to make and spend money; that is their identity. If someone needs to make a million dollars after taxes to be happy, if they only pay 10% taxes they will hustle to make $1.1 million and then loaf. Increase their taxes to 50%, and they will hustle to make $2 million, so they would still have a million to spend.

The only way out of the current mud trap requires getting people back to work. That will only happen if taxes on the rich are increased. Rich people do not make their own money. They make money by exploiting their workers. To make more money, to compensate for tax increases, they will need to hire more workers. They say it ain't so, but they are lying because they are, as a class, really quite lazy.

But increasing taxes significantly on the rich won't happen, because both major political parties are controlled by the rich and the nearly rich. What will happen is military spending will be increased, because while that is the stupidest economic policy, it is the most politically defensible. As interest rates rise the government will issue more bonds to fund the interest payments, until the bond buyers rebel.

I think U.S. government bonds are worthless, or nearly so. They pay no interest, and if they did start paying interest the government would not be able to redeem them without essentially closing down.

If, like me, you did not get any or much pie during the feeding frenzy, you should be mad. But you should also prepare for Greek style austerity. Don't expect to slide by on unemployment or disability or even Social Security during the next economic downturn. The Tea Party Republicans have been chewing at the public safety net, and the next time it is heavily weighed it will simply disintegrate into chaos.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Jesus, Dagon and Mitt Romney

Now is one of those rare times when people are interested in talking not just about religion, but about how religions arise in the first place. In particular people are talking about the Mormons, as represented by their largest denomination, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. Mormon men believe that they can become Gods, and so for Mitt Romney the White House is just a stepping stone to ruling, as a God, his own planet. At the same time Mitt and the Mormons want protective coloring, the acceptance that theirs is a legitimate religion within the broad Christian spectrum.

The Christians themselves went through that process within the Roman Empire. That empire was already in intellectual decline by the time Jesus is believed to have been born. The Greeks of three to four hundred years earlier, or at least their intellectual class, was cultivating science and philosophy, trying to distinguish those from religious mythology. Religion, however, is a useful tool for rulers. Julius Caesar, who died in 44 B.C., had been declared a living God, a sign of both his power and his need to prop up his power with superstition.

In Palestine in that (post-Caesar) era the Romans ruled over a fragmented, multi-ethnic, multi-religious culture. Although the Jews had been a leading tribe in the area for over a thousand years, even before the Romans came they still had large numbers of non-Jews residing in the area. Recall that the Romans took over Judea in 63 B.C., and that the Jewish state had rarely been independent, but had been previously part of the Egyptian, Assyrian, and Macedonian/Seleucid empires.

Given that Egyptians, Canaanites of various sorts, Jews (who had their own various sects), Greeks, and various Arab tribes all mingled in the area of Palestine around the time of Jesus and the formation of the original Christian movement, it should not be surprising that, whatever Jesus himself believed or taught, the early Christians had many possible sources of influence. The crucial differences between early Christianity and the Jewish beliefs of that era was the promise of personal resurrection, or immortality, based on the belief that Jesus was not just the Messiah, but was a god, or the Son of God.

This actually just brought the Christian religion into conformity with the dominant pagan religions of that era, all of which worshipped resurrected gods: the Egyptian Osiris, the Greek gods Hercules and Dionysus, and several resurrection cults closer to home, with god-names varying by ethnic group. Anthropologists generally agree that resurrected gods are associated with agricultural societies that made a ritual of the harvest of grain and its resurrection from seeds each spring.

Possibly the main historical event of the early Christian Church, other than the life and death of its founder, was the Destruction of Jerusalem in 70 A.D./C.E. If the earliest Christians were divided as to whether Jesus had been a Jewish Messiah or a Canaanite resurrected god, that destruction of the Jewish state, which would not be resurrected for 1900 years, settled the question. Whatever Jesus was, he was not the Messiah who would make Judah an independent state again.

The New Testament is self-disproving: it has one clear prophecy made by Jesus (Matthew 24:34): "This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled." The generation did pass, and nothing was fulfilled. To survive Christianity needed a belief system and a structure that could perpetuate itself without divine intervention. The Christians never took over the old Jewish kingdom, but they did eventually take over the Roman Empire.

Which brings us to fish. There is no plant or animal more closely associated with Jesus Christ and the early Christians than fish. Fish are everywhere in the New Testament. Jesus's favorite recruits as Apostles are fishermen. One of his most important miracles is the multiplication of fishes. Early Christians used the fish symbol more than they used the cross. Jesus also displayed the powers of a sea god by calming the seas and walking on water.

That points to Dagon (which has many spelling variations), who the Jews believed was a fish god. He was also a resurrected god, probably originally a grain god who became associated with fishing later. The Jews claimed they destroyed him with the Ark of the Covenant, but more likely that is just a symbol of a period of successful ethnic cleansing (I do not mean to pick on the Jews here. Back then ethnic cleansing was an almost universal human practice).

This raises an important question: was Jesus really Jewish, and it so, how so?

How many of the Twelve Apostles were fishermen? It is hard to say because the list of Apostle names differs somewhat in each of the four gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) [See Apostles for tables]. Only Simon Peter and his brother Andrew are specifically identified as fishermen from Bethsaida in Galilee, and Philip is also from Bethsaida. James and John abandon their nets to follow Jesus, so that would be at least five out of twelve. The prior occupations of most of the other apostles are not mentioned. The apostles were supposed to have been Jews, but were just as likely to have Greek names.

Jesus himself is "of Nazareth." Nazareth was nowhere. It was, at best, a town so small that the Jews did not include it in maps or lists of town names during Jesus's era. Nazareth was about halfway between the southern tip of the Sea of Galilee and the Mediterranean coast. A thousand years before Jesus it had been occupied by the Jewish tribe of Zebulun, but that was one of the Lost Tribes of Israel.

Even if Jesus was a Jew, some his neighbors probably were not. They were Palestinians of some ancient tribe, and Dagon was one of their gods. Jesus grew up north of the areas controlled by Samaritans, who thought the Jews of Jerusalem were innovators who brought back a false version of the old religion when they returned from the Babylonian Exile. In Jesus's time the Samaritans and Jews hated each other, the Jews having destroyed the Samaritans temple in 110 B.C.

The Jewish rebellion against Rome that started in 66 A.D. was not the wholesale rising of a united people against a foreign oppressor. Only a few Jewish cities, notably Jerusalem, actually fought the Romans. Many Jews were expelled by the Romans, though many remained. Most of the inhabitants of the area would later convert to Islam, including the ancient Jewish villagers. Christianity arose in this chaotic context and fragmented deeply. The Apostle Paul was self-appointed. His version of Christianity conflicted, by his own admission, with version of the Jewish Christian leaders in Jerusalem. It also conflicted with the many other self-appointed preachers who brought the idea of communal living and tithing to support ministers to whoever would pitch in. By 100 A.D. the original Christians were probably all or mostly dead and the fight for the intellectual property, the magic formula for converting pagans to cash cows, was full on.

It's all very fishy. I like the Dagon Hypothesis. If Jesus was a non-Jewish or semi-Jewish Palestinian who tried to convert the Jews to Dagon's ways, it all almost makes some sense.

Monday, September 17, 2012

President Obama Grabs Yemen

There is a new star in the U.S. imperial firmament: Yemen.
According to local Yemeni journalists some 200 armored vehicles filled with U.S. Marines arrived in Sanaa, the capital, on Friday and Saturday. U.S. President Barack Obama sent them there following an angry protest against the American Embassy on Thursday in which the Marines already protecting the embassy killed four protestors and injured another 48.

Anti-American feelings in Yemen were already high from years of U.S. meddling in the well-watered, mainly agricultural nation at the southern end of the Arabian Peninsula. The U.S. has backed unpopular leaders and carried on a war against rebels using armed flying drones. The deadly demonstration at the embassy was touched off by recent release of the anti-Islam film that in Yemen is also being attributed to Israel. The film was actually made by a former Egyptian Coptic Christian living in the United States.

In contrast to the "invitation" from U.S. puppet President Abd Rubbuh Mansur Al-Hadi, the democratically elected Yemeni Parliament voted against allowing the Marines to enter the country. Their statement said "We do not accept any foreign forces in Yemen, be it small or big forces, and for any reason." At the same time Parliament demanded that Al-Hadi protect all foreign embassies in the nation. Parliament also condemned the film. [As reported by Yemen Observer]

The Yemeni military and police have more than adequate forces available to keep the U.S. embassy safe in Yemen. So why did President Barack Obama send in the Marines?

It may be just an election year ploy, as Republican Presidential candidate Mitt Romney has accused President Obama of being weak on imperialism, despite Obama's vast expansion of the "war against terror" during his administration.

Yemen has long been considered a valuable asset by the world's Great Powers. Only a couple of decades ago the British Empire and Communist Bloc were still fighting over it. A long, bloody rebellion convinced the British to leave and the Soviets gave up when the U.S.S.R. collapsed. [See history of Yemen]
Yemen has been torn by internal conflict, but that should not be the business of the U.S. If Yemen can't keep ambassadors safe, the U.S. could communicate through neutral countries like Saudi Arabia.
The U.S. invasion of Yemen is likely to expand, not be reversed. Get ready for another long, bloody, and largely pointless war.

History has taught the wise that it is easy to send troops into nations like Yemen, but it is difficult to extract them. Such deployments create greater anti-American sentiments and sap our national economy. Yemen is divided and suffering from a multi-party civil war. The U.S. might buy the allegiance of one or more factions, but the people of Yemen have a history of uniting against foreign intervention even as they fight each other.
President Obama is weak, but not for the reasons given by Mitt Romney. He is too weak to resist the bad advice of the security state that increasingly runs America. He continues to prop up corrupt regimes (including neighboring Somalia and Saudi Arabia) and meets protests with bullets.

Obama's tactics will fail in Yemen just as they have failed everywhere. This nation needs new leadership, and its own renewal of democracy. That does not appear possible under the current two-party regime.

Friday, September 14, 2012

Poll Needed: Mormon v. Gay Marriage

Someone should take a poll. In addition to the standard "Do you support or oppose gay marriage," question, people should be asked: "Do you support or oppose Mormon marriage?"

Of course, to be able to answer that, American citizens would have to have an honest, factual description of the Latter Day Saints Temple marriage ceremony. Mitt Romney could describe it to the American people. But he won't. He would say it is a sacred secret. And it will remain secret, as long as the corporate media refuse to run the story, which is available from numerous ex-Mormons.

I have been trying to study up on the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, yet I did not hear about what actually happens at a "sealing" until last night. Of six people at a dinner party last night, four were former Mormons. Two had been members of the well-known Utah sect, while two had been raised in the Reorganized LDS. [For the record, I am a Naturalist but was raised Catholic, and the sixth person was vaguely New Age]

The truth about Mormon marriage is easy to verify from other former Mormons. Here is an extremely brief account of the marriage sealing, focused on the most troubling point:

Usually a number of marriages take place at the same time, like in the Unification Church. Everybody gets naked and then is given a very small poncho-like garment to wear. The anointing is done with oil, which the priest or priestess rubs on the orifices: ears, nostrils, mouth, genitals and anus. [Some report considerably more rubbing, including the head, neck, shoulders, chest, legs, and feet]. Apparently practices vary from temple to temple; in Salt Lake City, at least, the person doing the rubbing is behind a screen, but at least some smaller temples seem to omit that.

After the rubbing you get your secret name, secret handshake, magic undergarments, and presumable, make your vows. [For some typical first-hand stories see Naked Touching in the Mormon Temple, which includes the ritual words used with the "annointing".]

The question is, did Mitt Romney allow his wife to be forced through these indignities? Did he allow his children to be so abused when they were married? And is he part of a long-range plan to force these indignities on all Americans?

Another troubling point is that young people are not told in advance what is going to happen in the "ceremony." There they are at the Temple, with families waiting outside, under intense pressure to comply no matter what the secrets of the temple turn out to be.

Again, the professional pollsters should fact-check to find out what the official ceremony is, as well as the various local deviations.

Then we should see what Americans think of Mormon marriage, by a properly conducted poll. Maybe we need a Constitutional Amendment to ban it. Let the Mormons get married in a church or justice of the peace by taking vows, like normal people.

Note: I believe in both religious tolerance and the right to criticize. See my Toleration essay.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cordell Hull's World

I just finished my notes on the Memoirs of Cordell Hull. Thirty-one pages of notes, and that is with a narrow focus, the main issue being Japanese-American relations before World War II. The Memoirs themselves are in two volumes, 1742 pages. This is a guy who wrote tariff bills for Congress, and the prose of his memoirs is every bit as good. If you own an edition of the Memoirs, you own a first edition.

Despite being a Political Science major in college, I don't believe I took note of Cordell Hull until much later. Most famously, Hull was Franklin D. Roosevelt's Secretary of State, and though he left office before President-for-life Roosevelt died, he is America's longest-serving person to hold the office now occupied by Hillary Clinton.

If we are to believe Cordell Hull, he repeatedly warned Roosevelt and the War Department that the Japanese would attack Pearl Harbor. Long before that, when he was a young lad back in Congress he was the point man for the modern Income Tax. He also was largely responsible for pushing the United States away from high tariffs on imports and towards free trade.

I got the sense that Hull was more important than most of the Presidents of his era. Like all Americans, I have been trained to think of our history in terms of Presidents. Congress may make the laws, but there are way to many members of Congress to even mention in a standard high school U.S. history text. How many biographies of congress members have you read? Typically, only those who later became Presidents.

Cordell Hull was from eastern Tennessee. He served in the Spanish American War. Recall that our ancestors, after having grabbed all the American Indian territories and the north half of Mexico, were not satisfied. They continued to worship their ancestral god, More. So they engineered a war and grabbed Hawaii, the Philippines, Puerto Rico and Cuba. Cordell Hull saw no action, and so had all the patriotic benefits of volunteering without seeing the gory down side of war.

In Congress, Hull volunteers that he was an anti-social nerd who focused on the budget, tax policy, and tariff schedules. He was a progressive Democrat, but he does not ever mention the racism of his Democratic Party in Dixie as a problem. Aside from his lack of mentioning of civil rights issues, Hull comes across as a racist in innumerable ways in his Memoirs.

Cordell Hull was an early backer of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. Hull himself was frequently put forward by others as a potential President or Vice-Presidential candidate, so his support for was critical to Roosevelt's gaining of the Democratic Party's nomination as their candidate for President in 1932.

Hull wrote a lot about international cooperation, and received a Nobel Peace Prize for creating the United Nations (even though he describes the organization as having been created to prosecute war, not for peace). When he slathers on the details, however, he reveals himself as thoroughly nationalist, and a subscriber to the idea that only Europeans have the right to colonize and exploit weaker peoples.

The rules of nationalism for Hull were simple. If the U.S. government does it, our motives are pure and whatever it is is a good thing. For instance if we keep the people of the Philippines enslaved, then it is for their benefit. They just are not ready for democracy. When Japan granted the Philippines independence during World War II, it was a heinous self-serving duplicitous Jap crime.

When the Germans rolled their armies through the neutral nations of The Netherlands and Belgium, it was a terrible international crime. When the neutral nation of Iran asked Hull for protection from Britain and Russia during World War II, Hull told them that America's allies were Good, and needed to control Iran for the good of the world. Britain and Russia then invaded Iran and installed a puppet, later to become known as the Shah of Iran. That dictator's mansion was filled with the skeletons of his enemies when the democratic Iranian Revolution finally tossed his ass out.

Amidst the platitudes you can see that while Hitler planned to conquer the world, it was America, following the plans of Hull and Roosevelt and their team, who arranged to inherit it. Roosevelt was a militarist and imperialist strategist and who had served as Assistant Secretary of the Navy during World War I and who had been tutored by his war-loving uncle President Theodore Roosevelt.

Hitler was not even that much of a problem, and neither was Japan. Roosevelt and Hull used those nations to weaken our ostensible allies, the British Empire, the French Empire, and the Netherlands Empire. The U.S. could have jumped into World War II and helped kick Hitler's ass as soon as Poland was invaded, or when France was invaded, but then the British and French would have continued to rule the world.

America's economic growth spurt in the 1950's is often attributed (by leftists) to the unionization of the work force and consequent growth of the middle-class consumption economy. But it was also based on imperialism. In theory the old colonies of Europe were becoming independent, but in reality they were becoming commercial colonies of the United States as the Brits and French retreated.

Just as the Spanish and Portuguese dominated world commerce in the 1500s, the Dutch (Netherlands) dominated the world in the 1600s. The British Empire took over for the 1700s and 1800s, and took a good 50 years of the 1900s to lose the board to the United States.

Cordell Hull was a great man, but not a very good man. That is the way of most great men. He fought evil when it was German or Japanese, but embraced it when it was American or British or even French.

He was also a good liar, a prerequisite of being a good Secretary of State. Strangely, in his Memoirs he often failed to censor himself, so that he tells you what he actually did in one paragraph, and then puts a diplomatic gloss on his actions in a different paragraph. Doubtless he was lying to himself, and so did not have the perspective to realize that others would be able to tell when he was lying.

Friday, September 7, 2012

GOP Ready to Implode?

As I listened to former President Bill Clinton's speech at the Democratic National Convention I agreed with almost everything he said. I had to remind myself that this was the guy whose corrupt regime gutted the old banking laws (like Glass-Steagall). That act led directly to the financial markets implosion of 2007-2008.

Sure, if Clinton had not done it, President W. Bush would have anyway, but the point is that for all his rhetoric, it was Clinton who deregulated the banks, not a Republican president.

Still, I am an it-takes-a-village guy more than an I-created-myself-out-of-nothing guy. I'll vote for the Green Party candidate, Doctor Jill Stein, in November. I will be voting in California, which the Romney-Ryan (RR) team is not even contesting. The only way President Obama won't win California is if it (or at least the coastal cities) sinks into the sea before election day.

I think there is a good chance the GOP (Grand Old Party) of Lincoln will implode in November despite polls showing RR still in the race. I base that on talking to business people, the usual Republican Party leaders, and observing their comments in the media.

Business people, like wage workers and even like welfare bums, come in a vast array of flavors. Some work on their own without employees, some manage vast global organizations. In addition to owners, many managers consider themselves business people, not just employees. Many are Democrats, some are apolitical, but a majority are Republicans. The question I have to raise here is, what type of Republican are they?

The national Chamber of Commerce seems to have been sipping too much Tea lately, resulting in numerous news stories quoting businessmen quoting the Chamber party line with the fervor of a Stalinist tarred by a rival as a Trotskyite being walked to the bloody wall. They aren't hiring, and it's because of President Obama. They don't like ObamaCare with its provisions for employee healthcare. They don't like regulations. They actually could hire people, may even need to hire people, but not unless the nation has the good sense to elect RR. They are not using the term, but they are on an employer strike. They are not kidding. It is one of the main reasons hiring has been slow this year.

On the other hand, many businesses have been hiring. Which means a lot of businessmen are not participating in this (illegal conspiracy of a) strike. It is not just Democrats who run businesses who are hiring.
Some business people actually put profits above partisan politics. If hiring someone before November is going to enable them to serve more customers, and make more money, they are going to do it. They are not against RR. They might even think they will do better under an RR regime. But they are not going to pass up a dollar in the meanwhile.

Then there are the smarter, more complex business people. They know that not everyone can run their business serving the rich and famous. Most business in America serves the middle class of better-paid wage workers, lower-level management, and smaller, marginal business owners. Given the vast numbers of minimum-wage, part-time, and unemployed workers as well as the seniors living on Social Security and, yes, about 4 million welfare bums (more if you include SSI), there are even a lot of businesses that get most or a substantial part of their revenues and profits from serving the lower class.

These business people know through experience that the world is a complex place. They are often moderate Republicans, and they know that destroying the safety net means a hard landing for their businesses. They see the food stamps come into there stores every day. They are landlords who see rent from seniors and welfare mothers and the unemployed. They may even be government contractors.

They are scared of RR and the faction of ideological Republicans RR represents, but they do not want to talk about it, at least not at Chamber of Commerce meetings. They just went through a recession, and they understand all too well how Wall Street screwed them. They may not like regulations, but ask them and you will find that federal regulations don't affect many of them very much, it is local regulations like building codes and health and safety codes that drive them crazy.

Many of them are politically astute, too. They have seen the Tea Party ravage the older, willing to compromise to get things done Republican politicians. They suspect this ultra-ideological victory within the Republican Party could just be setting up a big Democratic Party victory in November. If there is a Republican Party victory, they are worried, really worried, that it could be: BAD FOR BUSINESS.
The fact is that while the Republicans had a good run in the 1920's, the world has changed. Dialing back the clock will probably be an economic disaster. The Democrats have done a much better job handling the economy for the last century. Republicans are the party of microeconomics, but they (the ideological free market, Ayn Rand guys) fail to see that macroeconomics is a whole different game, as different as checkers and chess. Bill Clinton, for all his faults, is a macroeconomics type of guy. RR are microeconomics guys.

If I were hiring someone to manage my scant investments, I'd hire RR. But to run a national, indeed a global economy, the Clinton-Obama team is the clear choice. Not just for me, but for all of us business people. We could do better, but only by stepping outside the current two-party system.

Hopefully, after an Obama victory in 2012, moderates will fight to regain control of the Republican Party by 2014. If they don't, the Republican Party will just get smaller and purer. When it gets too small and too pure it will lose its gravy train, and then it will disappear like the Whig Party before it.

Disclaimer: William P. Meyers is a self-employed consultant and analyst.