Skip to comments.Conservatives Take Back Seat at Republican Convention
Posted on 08/31/2004 10:11:57 AM PDT by NormsRevenge
NEW YORK (Reuters) - The U.S. Republican Party is presenting a moderate image at its national convention but conservatives who dominate the party say they are happy to stay in the background, confident that President Bush (news - web sites) will take care of their interests if he wins the election.
"The speakers at the convention may be thought of as moderate but their message is a strong conservative message. They are not going to be speaking about abortion rights or same sex marriage -- that would go down like a lead balloon," said Gary Bauer (news - web sites), a prominent Christian conservative who ran against Bush for the Republican nomination in 2000.
This time, Bauer said he and his supporters were enthusiastically backing Bush and would turn out in massive numbers on Election Day on November 2. He said he was not too bothered that Christian conservatives did not have a prominent role at the convention, noting that the party platform was adamantly conservative.
That is not to say that all conservatives are equally happy with Bush. Some are bothered at the growth of government spending and the federal budget deficit and others oppose Bush's proposal to allow some illegal immigrants to obtain legal work visas.
K.B. Forbes, who was spokesman for former Republican presidential candidate Steve Forbes (news - web sites) in 2000, said some conservatives were also upset that the convention speakers' lineup was dominated by what he called "a bunch of RINOs -- Republicans in Name Only."
"But what you hear from the grass-roots is that fear of (Democratic presidential candidate) John Kerry (news - web sites) is so great that they will swallow their doubts. Kerry is regarded as so liberal that he scares them," he said.
Mark Rozell, a political scientist with George Mason University, said that in many ways the image the Republicans were presenting to the country was misleading.
"It's not an accurate picture of the Republican Party which has become an overwhelmingly conservative party with a relatively smaller number of moderates," he said.
"But conservatives know they have the president with them on most of the major issues and they don't need the symbolism of having speakers at the convention," he said.
Bush campaign officials are confident their political base is firmly committed to the president and do not need to be wooed. They want to use the convention to reach out to moderate, undecided voters.
Polls show Bush has the backing of around 90 percent of self-identified Republicans -- an almost unprecedented percentage. Democrats are almost equally committed to Kerry.
"The whole purpose of the convention is to sell Bush and the party to swing voters so the effort is to stress moderate elements of the party," said University of Akron political scientist John Green, a leading expert on the political role of evangelical Christians.
The Republicans are doing so by presenting speakers like former New York Mayor Rudolph Giuliani (news - web sites), California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger (news - web sites) and New York Gov. George Pataki, all of whom support abortion rights, in prime time speaking slots.
Bay Buchanan, a prominent conservative activist, said convention speakers, most of all Bush himself in his speech on Thursday, still needed to inspire conservatives by stressing issues important to them. She would be looking most of all for the president to reaffirm his determination to work for a constitutional amendment to outlaw same sex marriage which she called the number one issue in the minds of Christian conservatives right now.
"I'm not paying that much attention to all these other speakers. It's what Bush says that matters to me and I do expect something to be said about gay marriage that shows he's still committed and not hesitant or afraid to stand up on this issue," she said.
Rueters attempts to create a rift after a great first night at the RNC.
Bush is not exactly conservative either, other than being for tax cuts and fighting the WOT.
Virtually all of his other domestic programs are what I should call moderately progressive.
More like the RINOs created the rift and made it look like the conservatives' fault.
Colmes was hammering away at that theme with each guest last evening.
By the way, does anyone know what is wrong with Alan Colmes? He appears to be very ill, or at least many pounds thinner.
Have conservatives become the 'Rodney Dangerfields' of politics..?
We might find the MSM portrayal of conservatism as much responsible for that as anyone.
I agree. We are and can put aside all the intra-party fighting for 63 days.
LOL! The MSM is upset that the Republicans look good, and are now accusing them of the same stunt Kerry and Co. tried to pull off in Boston. However, the howls of misleading the public were silent.
Those are two of the four primary issues on the conservative agenda. Support for a strong defense, limited govt, tax reform and advancing pro-life concerns. Bush may not be a conservative ideologue, but he is politically conservative. An instinctive conservative.
"what is wrong with Alan Colmes? He appears to be very ill, or at least many pounds thinner"
I noticed ,too. Is he sick?
Funny how hard the liberal media tries to stir the pot. I have yet to see one christian right conservative complain about this.
No there real strategy is America dont fall for this dirty Republican trick of having moderates, liberals and democrats speak at there convention they arent the REAL republicans the REAL republicans are neo-fascist racists who sit around everyday thinking of how they can steal from the poor and give to the rich.
Did Reuters write an accompanying article about how the democrats were hiding their radical hate-America leftists in Boston?
You havent? The hard christian right was balling about the speaker line up.
It's a monster of a system that has become our modern day government. So many dollars, so many bureaucrats, so many lobbyists, ... and no end in sight.
I feel for the President and his administration, they are in a tough spot. They are trying to move thru legislation sorely needed (energy bill comes to mind, for one) but obstructionist forces stand in their way in every area proposed for reform or elimination.
The task is enormous,, but to fail to even try and propose and enact reforms in "entitlement" programs and allow for some control over monies withheld for future purposes, puts us only a couple a years away from a 10 Trillion dollar national debt.
Remember the year they had Pat Buchanan speak in prime time and he had everyone angry? Which convention was that?
Who do you consider the hard christian right?
Pat Robertson is one.
In 1992 Pat gave the Culture War speech and it was pretty darn good, then the media spun it.....and well you know the rest of the story.
Folks had better be MORE concerned about who has taken over the DEMOCRATIC Party. Even the SwiftBoat Vets and the 527 issue pale in comparison.
If they are, they will redouble their efforts to see that John Kerry never becomes President of our Constitutional Republic.
Received the following e-mail today regarding the kind of folks who are working to defeat Bush and elect Kerry. The writer had done his research, as you will see here. He said:
"Are we not living in a wonderful, exciting time when one can do research at home & have a wealth of information at one's finger tips?!!!
"Guess who's endorsing John Kerry?
"Please pass this to your mailing lists; it puts the situation in perspective as well as anything I've seen.
"The southern Democrats must be thrilled by the news that the Communist Party of The United States of America, CPUSA, is publicly supporting the election of John Kerry.
"The CPUSA has made available on its Web site, http://www.cpusa.com an advertisement entitled
"Top Ten Reasons To Defeat Bush:
"This advertisement can be downloaded. The communist party urges readers to place this ad in local newspapers throughout the country to defeat President Bush.
"Remarkably, the "Top Ten Reasons" of the Communist party are identical to those of the Democratic party; out-sourcing, homosexual rights, abortion and the like.
"At first, I thought "this is only a coincidence." The Democratic party of the United States couldn't be in lock step with the Marxists! So, I wrote to a spokesman of the CPUSA in Georgia and here is part of his letter:
"' The CPUSA supports the John Kerry campaign with donations and volunteer effort. We believe that defeating George Bush is the single most important issue this November ..'"
"Next, I discovered that one of Kerry's campaign themes is " Let America be America Again." This slogan was borrowed from a Communist poet, Langston Hughes. This is not common knowledge to the average American.
"'Let America be America Again' sounds good but is a rambling, gloomy poem. Interestingly, another poem by Langston goes as follows;
"'Goodbye, Christ Jesus, Lord, God, Jehovah, Beat it on away from here now. "'Make way for a new guy with no religion at all -- A real guy named Marx, communist, Lenin, Peasant, Stalin, Worker, ME -- I said, ME!'"
"Then, if this was not enough to convince me that the Democratic party has lost it, a third discovery!
"A Vietnam vet group took a trip to communist Hanoi to investigate a report that John Kerry was in the "Hanoi Hall of Fame." Yes, there is a museum in Hanoi with a section dedicated to foreign activists who help defeat the United States Military in Vietnam. Of course, you would expect Jane Fonda's picture to be there. But, alas, there is John Kerry's picture shaking the hand of a communist official.
"Never has there been such a tragedy.
"Never has there been such a threat to America. The Democratic party has been taken over by the far, far left!
"Not only the communists but the homosexual activists who are appalled that George Bush is married to a woman! They are enraged that the president wants a constitutional amendment to protect traditional marriage between a man and woman.
"Then we have the ACLU running to a federal activist judge with every piece of legislation that doesn't fit into their leftist agenda. They support every Democratic socialist whim. The removal of the Ten Commandments is their top priority!"
A back seat? I not sure the party leadership knows we're even on the bus.
The country-club GOP is not "liberal", but it's a far cry from the party of Reagan I had hoped it might become.
If JFK weren't so excretable, the GOP would have much to fear about losing its conservative base. I doubt we'll get much love until we're needed again to defeat the forces of darkness in yet another election.
That was 1992. While Buchanan's speech was explosive and inflammatory in this day and age of political correctness, on the issues, Pat was correct. America is in the middle of a culture war. The secular leftwing constantly attacks traditional American values and if those who believe in traditional American values don't fight back, America will no longer be the America we all grew up to love.
Marcie Thedinger of Kansas City, Mo., holds a book critical of John Kerry (news - web sites) as she listens to the benediction at the close of the opening session of the Republican National Convention in New York, Monday, Aug. 30, 2004. The book 'Unfit for Command:Swift Boat Veterans Speak Out Against John Kerry,' is written by John E. O'Neill and Jerome R. Corsi.(AP Photo/Charles Dharapak)
It still amazes me that they have made Michael Moore an icon, that he is now mainstream to them and the crazy theories he makes up are their talking points now.
I haven't seen Robertson or Falwell complain. Both are solidly behind Bush. This is much to do about nothing.
Cool! When did that happen?
Anyway...if we are going to pull something as stupid as this, we deserve to be criticized for it. May I point out that the media completely missed the phony picture the Democrats painted of themselves. They were too busy oooing and awwwing and commenting on what a great war hero Kerry was and what a brilliant rising star Obama was and how ultra brilliant Clinton was....stuff like that.
"hard"? "balling"? So much is revealed in ones choice of words.
The RNC must be stifling protest, and that is why I saw not only an ACLU commercial, a Log Cabin Republicans commercial, but also a Moving America Forward commercial. (/sarcasm).
See my tag.
Based on what I saw last night, it appears the focus is going to be the war on terror for the most part. Seems logical to me.
waffling wimp .. lol
US President George W. Bush (news - web sites)(L) and former Mayor of New York City Rudy Giuliani attend a campaign rally 26 August 2004 in Las Cruces, New Mexico. Two days into their party convention, Republicans have made clear their formula for re-electing Bush: boost his bona fides as a post-September 11 commander and trash Democrat John Kerry (news - web sites) as a waffling wimp.(AFP/File/Luke Frazza)
"Remember the year they had Pat Buchanan speak in prime time and he had everyone angry? Which convention was that?"
Great speech! I've still got it on video tape. Too bad those days are gone.
Robertson has complained, but he also says he understands why the republicans need to do it.
However you spell the word for crying that would rhyme with balling, is it bawling? wait its bawling either way the point is clear, thre were some,even here on this board who were crying about the conservative voices not being heard. That is why the MSM is picking up on this and trying to wedge the party, it wont work but when a group of people complain about something such as a speaker line up because they arent conservative enough and then this same group crys about the media trying to make an issue out of it, it is rather hypocritical.
Yeah, we won the house and senate the next election and then tried to moderate ourselves and lost to Clinton again in 1996.
Many of the swing voters are looking for the guy they think is most honest. Putting up a glaringly phony convention display doesn't reach those people.
Some voters are simply emotion voters. They have one little pet issue that they vote on, and the issue will vary. Who can predict what reaches them.
I think the only smart convention is an honest convention. The GOP has a liberal wing, and they should be proportionally represented on stage. But this whole liberal Republican line-up is a joke. Who do they think they are fooling? Do they really think the undecided voters ALL fit that ideology? If they did, I would say we are in trouble, because they line up more with the Democrats.
You didn't explain the descriptive word "hard" before "Christian right."
Are you trying to tie the 1994 victory to a 1992 convention speech??
Sorry. I consider the hard christian right the unwaiverable portion of the party that refuses the acceptance of anybody outside there set of ideals to participate in the republican party. The only way we are to maintain a majority for the long term is to be accepting of those who have different views. Now I would agree that the party needs to make sure its majority base is better represented if it wasnt for the fact that the speakers are not on stage arguing the points that seperate them from the majority, they are speaking on point about what they have in common with the party and the nation. If Rudy last night had said I believe the party should support abortion and gay rights then you would have a point but they arent and he hasnt.
95% of the delegates at the DNC are against the war in Iraq, yet John Kerry voted for the war. Where's the story on *that* disconnect?
Hmm. You might consider who makes that charge and why. The left makes that charge because they want they hate everything Christians stand for. The liberal Republicans make that charge because they want to win. I don't see either group making the charge being any too flexible themselves. The Christian right is no "harder" than anyone else. We all try to to win. But they are still there aren't they? And they are being treated pretty poorly during this sham convention. Do they have to like it too? So you might think about re-examining your data.
I disagree, I am not a liberal republican either, I am also a christian. I have listened and talked to many, even here on these boards who dont want the moderate wing represented and thats fine, but they do exist in this party.
I get tired of hearing how rigid my guys are when I see no flexibility whatsoever from anyone else.
Who has actually left the party, btw? Moderate Jim Jeffords left. Conservative Pat Buchanan left, but not really over Christian right issues. He has an interesting mix of opinions. But the Christian conservatives continued to be treated like second-class members by their own (Mr. Anti-smear McCain smeared them just before he lost the 2000 primary in a big way). McCain gets a starring role in the convention. No one is more hard-nosed than John McCain. The "hard" charge against Christians is made by those who hate their stand on social issues. That's all it is really about.
You have a point but my earlier point stands.
If Rudy, McCain and others stood up there pushing there own personal agenda and plicy differences then you argument would be valid, but they arent.
Lets not forget that although the faithful are the ones who mostly watch a convention its the undecideds that they are targeted at.
Okay, I'll give you that point after the week is over and we compare notes again.
I think the general rule from RNC above is that no one is supposed to mention social issues at all. That's Bush's plan. He doesn't mention them on his campaign website much either. I really don't respect that, I have to say. Voters have a right to know exactly what they are getting. This convention should be informing the public of exactly where the Bush Administration stands on all the issues, and exactly where they want to take the country. Campaigns do too much marketing and too little informing. A Republican democracy depends on a fully informed public, not a fully swindled public. It's very nice that Bush allows the liberal Republicans a place on the stage, but voters are not voting for or against THEM, they will be voting for or against Bush.