Skip to comments.Where Do We Go From Here?
Posted on 11/09/2006 1:23:34 PM PST by MarkDel
I've been thinking a lot about our devastating losses in the Midterm Election, and trying to ask myself, "Where do we go from here?" In order to properly answer that question, we need to determine HOW we get into this situation where we have lost both the Senate and the House of Representatives.
The mainstream media would like you to believe that the 2006 Election signals the end of the so-called "Reagan Coalition" and the beginning of a move to the Left in American politics. I do NOT agree. The Reagan coalition has NOT been destroyed, but I do think it's fair to say that it has been "fractured" somewhat over the last several years, and we witnessed the culmination of that in the 2006 Election. The bottom line is that Conservatives and/or Republicans have engaged in a lot of 'circular firing squad' behavior over the last few years, and that's not good.
I think the first thing we need to do is examine the various factions within our movement and see WHY they are angry or disappointed in the Republican Party at this stage of the game. The groups I list are what I and others consider to be the foundation of the so-called Reagan Coalition that has, for the most part, dominated American Politics between 1980 and 2004:
LIBERTARIAN CONSERVATIVRES--This group has always had an uneasy alliance with the Conservative movement because they do not necessarily agree with some of the moral foundations of our movement. BUT...Reagan was able to bring this group under the Republican tent with his heavy emphasis on Personal Responsibility, and Reagan's foundational ties to the original Barry Goldwater campaign of 1964 that pushed so many Libertarians under the Republican tent. This group has grown increasingly disenchanted with the Republican Party in the post-Reagan era because they feel they have been ignored at the expense of the Social/Christian Conservatives. This group has been drifting away for years, but their departure was exacerbated by the (regrettable but totally necessary) adoption of things like the Patriot Act. To Libertarian Conservatives, things like the Patriot Act merely reinforced their worst fears of Republicans turning into the Big Government types that they once despised. To see CLEAR illustrations of our losses among Libertarian Conservatives, please notice the erosion of Republican support in key states like Montana, Arizona, Colorado and Nevada. This is an example of a General loss of support among Libertarian Republicans. As for a very specific example, please note the loss of Congressman Jim Leach in Iowa, who made his anti-Gambling bill the foundation of his tenure, and Libertarian Republicans totally abandoned him this year and he suffered a stunning upset defeat. This group feels the party has sold out to Christian Conservatives.
BUCHANAN/ISOLATIONIST CONSERVATIVES--This group has been wrongly referred to as 'Paleo-Conservatives' and while they do represent a part of this group, that is not what the foundation of the group is. The true foundation of this group is based on Populism and Isolationism...two of the most dangerous political ideologies to have at least one foot in the Right Wing world. These are the people who jumped off the reservation in 1992 and voted for Ross Perot, thus giving us the Bill Clinton tragedy. Obviously, this group has been slipping away for years, but they really fled after the invasion of Iraq, a war which is not overtly about national interest...even though less Populist Conservatives realize that it is ALL about national interest over the long haul. This group thinks the party has sold out to Wall Street Conservatives.
CHRISTIAN/SOCIAL CONSERVATIVES--This group has truly been the backbone of the Party in the Reagan era and beyond. They have been reliable voters who generally have accepted modest return on their investment in terms of their loyalty...though they do expect SOME return, and their demands have increased in recent years. They have drifted away ever so slightly the past two years, mainly because of their disgust with things like the Abramoff and Foley scandals, as well as some other issues related to Republican corruption. But also, there has been a general feeling pervading this community that perhaps they have not been rewarded enough for their loyalty. Their worst fears seemed to come true when Republicans foolishly compromised on the issue of Judicial Filibusters. When that fool John McCain and his so-called Gang of 14 led Republicans to drop the so-called "nuclear option" that confirmed the worst fears of many Social Conservatives that the Republicans either took them for granted, or they lacked the moral courage to do the right thing in the face of pathetic behavior by the Democrats. This group tends to feel that Wall Street Republicans and Fiscal Conservatives have too much power in the party.
WALL STREET REPUBLICANS--This group is mistakenly referred to as "Rockefeller Republicans" by the media and other Right Wing elements...this is VERY inaccurate. The Rockefeller Republicans of yesteryear are now Democrats or Independents...the last of the Rockefeller Republicans was Lincoln Chafee, and he just lost his Senate seat on Tuesday, so they are ALL gone now. In truth, the Wall Street Republicans are essentially what the media has mislabeled as Paleo Conservatives. They are pure, laissez faire Capitalists, who place the accumulation of Wealth and Material gain as the ultimate extension of pure Democracy. They are what's left of the pre-FDR Republicans, along with the less ugly faction of the Buchanan group. They tend to think that the Social Conservatives have too much power in the party.
FISCAL CONSERVATIVES--They are different from the Wall Street Conservatives in that they tend to be more about Personal Responsibility as the foundation of fiscal discipline rather than the accumulation of wealth. This group has been VERY reliable for the Republican Party for decades, but has shown some signs of slippage in the post-9/11 era as Republicans in Congress have shown less and less fiscal discipline. They tend to think that the Social Conservatives and Neo-Conservatives have too much power.
NEO-CONSERVATIVES--While most of you on this forum will STRONGLY disagree with me on this, this group has been the second most important faction in the growth of the Republican Party in the Reagan years and beyond...only Social Conservatives have been more important. Reagan himself was a former FDR Democrat, and MOST of the really important influential Conservatives of the late 20th Century (Krauthammer, Fukuyama, Kristol, etc...) have been Neo-Conservatives. This group is now a popular target of all other Conservatives as they are being blamed for the Iraq War. Neo-Conservatives, with some exceptions, have remained faithful to their moralistic view of foreign policy despite events in Iraq, and have chosen to focus more on problems involved in the execution of the War rather than any fundamental failure in theory. So Neo-Cons have shown some slippage as they blame President Bush for not prosecuting the War as violently as necessary, nor articulating the reasons for the War as well as he should have. Neo-Conservatives tend to feel that the Wall Street Republicans have too much power.
REALIST CONSERVATIVES--Best represented by people like George Bush's father and James Baker. These are the people who warned the younger Bush about the follies of Neo-Conservatism and the pursuit of an over-aggressive foreign policy. While the problems in Iraq have made this group look smarter by the day, this is VERY misleading. This group is the one that laid the foundation for the absolute MESS that is the Middle East. The so-called Realists had their chance to solve things in the Middle East and elsewhere for over 50 years...and they failed miserably. They were the same people who told Ronald Reagan that his approach to the Soviet Union was too harsh. History has proven their ideology both flawed and immoral...but they are a necessary evil in our movement as they reign in the natural tendency of neo-conservatism to turn into Utopianism, or the Woodrow Wilson view of the world. The Realists tend to think that Neo-Conservatives have far too much power.
So in summary, you can see that all of these groups have major gripes with the direction of the Conservative Movement in America. Reagan was able to bring all of these diverse groups together under the flag of Patriotism and Optimism, and to a lesser extent, Newt Gingrich did the same thing during the Clinton years. George Bush was able to hold this coalition together in the ashes of 9/11, but as things grew more difficult in Iraq, these divisions began to crack the movement at the seams. The Conservative/Reagan coalition is NOT dead and it MUST be salvaged...
I have thoughts on how we can achieve this goal together, but I would like to hear you thoughts on what I've said, and where you think we should go from here. I'll post my thoughts later in the thread after I've seen some (hopefully thoughtful!) responses.
Newt will come to the rescue
"Reagan was able to bring this group under the Republican tent with his heavy emphasis on Personal Responsibility, and Reagan's foundational ties to the original Barry Goldwater campaign of 1964 that pushed so many Libertarians under the Republican tent. This group has grown increasingly disenchanted with the Republican Party in the post-Reagan era because they feel they have been ignored at the expense of the Social/Christian Conservatives."
Brilliant and absolutely correct. Especially that last sentence.
the fun hasn't even started yet.
Well, Newt is a HUGE part of my proposed solution, but I'll expand upon that later. Needless to say, I agree with you that he is the guy we should turn to most.
We donate mccain to the democrats for starters.
OK, so how do we SOLVE that problem? What can we do to please BOTH Libertarian Conservatives AND Social Conservatives?
Where do we go from here?
Well...I know what I did.
I looked under the News/Events Topic.
I clicked on a post.
I realized, yes...this IS yet another vanity.
I removed the shocked look upon my face.
I thought about letting it pass...just for a moment...but the vanity of it all got the best of me...I could not resist.
I cried...tears of joy mind you.
The voices of "All is Vanity!!! scream inside my head...they torture me...yet I must go on.
Where do I go from here? I really don't know.
And his little dog too (Graham)
I think Newt would be great too. But the fact is the MSM would crucify him.
His marriages would be examined in detail. All the old stuff about how he "stopped" the government, etc, etc...
We need somebody the MSM can't do that kind of harm to.
The future of the conservative movement is going to lie with some new face...maybe Pence, maybe somebody who will emerge in the next two years.
The one thing I'm sure of...the media wants McCain to be the nominee in the worst way...I don't trust that guy.
The Republican/conservative "fat cats" must buy or build a broadcast network where real news and accurate stories can be presented day after day and night after night. EXAMPLES:
anti-ILLEGAL immigration vs anti-imigration
reduced tax RATES vs reduced taxes
install internet-cams at Guantanimo so citizens can watch the treatment of those bastards that want to KILL US!
Show the effects of the Welfare state on the minority (legal) community
Keep that crook Jefferson in the news
revisit Chappaquidick and Ted's efforts to undermine the U.S. gov't w/the Soviets
explore Harry Reid's escapades
Explain Nancy D'Alessandro Pelosi's fortune
Keep after Skerry and his TREASON...
I submit that without daily truth and accurate (Non-DNC scripted) news presented by a credible news-man we have NO HOPE until the frigging democrat/Socialists drive us to destruction
"What can we do to please BOTH Libertarian Conservatives AND Social Conservatives?"
Continue working toward defunding abortion and devolving it to the states. Beyond that, there be dragons.
For one thing it wasn't actually devastating. Congress is still split about 50-50. The R majority in both Houses wasn't particularly impressive, and the D majority in both Houses won't be either.
In the immortal words of Cary Elwes in the movie "Princess Bride"...
"You have a truly dizzying intellect"
I was just playing.
Seriesly...I couldn't resist. :)
The mainstream media will TAINT any candidate we use as our standard bearer...that's just part of their dishonest, amoral behavior. If they can dirty up a man like Rick Santorum, they can play that game with anyone...so we might as well use the great talents that Gingrich possesses.
I'm sorry if I was rude, I'm just trying to be very serious here because I am VERY worried about the future of this nation after Tuesday.
I think what we might do now is band together and see if we can exert enough pressure to derail ANY immigration legislation. That's a pretty tall order, and I know we aren't going to get anything positive done, i.e., fencing, but maybe, just maybe we can stop the amnesty and gridlock the whole thing.
You are one million percent right.
That sounds like a good short term plan.
I don't think they dirtied Rick. Not as bad as Allen anyway. I'm starting to think about Santorum for President again. He maaay be the best of field.
I don't think they dirtied Rick. Not as bad as Allen anyway. I'm starting to think about Santorum for President again. He maaay be the best of field.
Could be something we could rally around.
>OK, so how do we SOLVE that problem? What can we do to please BOTH Libertarian Conservatives AND Social Conservatives?<
WWII brought everyone together for the good and the ultimate victory of our great nation. Besides a willing and determined military, blacks, whites, young women and old men worked side by side in shipyards, and in munition factories, resulting in our ultimate victory. In contrast, the war on terror seems to have splintered the American people into many opposing camps, rather than unifying them for the good and the survival of the Republic. Unfortunately, Communist organizational infiltration, patience and perserverence has succeeded in fracturing Patriotism. Patriotism is now considered by many as a very bad word. But Patriotism is the only glue I know of which can bring a people together for the good of the country. However, I am open to other suggestions.
You are correct. But more importantly, we need an internet service to compete with the Left Wing bias of YAHOO, which is where so many people get their casual, daily news. Do not underestimate the impact of Yahoo on Independents who pay little or no attention until Election time. These are the people who know every single person on Dancing with the Stars or the Bachelor, but can't tell you the name of their own Congressman...
Bingo! Newt was the Voice of the Right years ago. Hope he still has the pepper...
The personal attacks on Santorum were HIDEOUS and they did have an impact...
I think he does...Newt is the most articulate and intelligent voice on the Right...
Good analysis. Thanks.
Millions tune in to even Katie and she is in LAST place.
Imagine if Tony Snow presented real news and conservative talking points on CBS every night. Imagine if "60 Minutes" was produced by Donald Rumsfeld!
Imagine what could be done with even a neutral news program, let alone a conservative bias.
In retrospect, I am perplexed we didn't see this coming.
There were two special US House of Rep. elections this past year in normally GOP districts which I believe went to the Dems, did they not.
Or did I dream that?
Regardless, I am convinced there are several reasons the GOP got thumped, and they varied percentage-wise for each candidate.
In general, however, I blame the loss on:
(Iraq war dissatisfaction: 60-percent)
(Illegal immigration pandering by Bush/Senate: 15-percent)
(GOP Overspending and Corruption: 15-percent)
(And lastly, Blatant Media Hatred against GOP on... Stem Cell issue, Wilson/Plame/Rove/Libby fiasco, and Hurricane Katrina: 15-percent)
A basic of conflict resolution is to find the most important thing which we can all agree.
1. Both respect the freedoms set forth by the founders of this nation. 2. Libertarian Conservatives and Social Conservatives can probably agree that give-aways such as welfare for the able-bodied is a travesty and unconstitutional.
3. Libertarians Conservatives and Social Conservatives agree on the 2nd Amendment.
4. They both respect the Military.
See? Start where we agree. Where we disagree, we can agree to seek the constitution for answers..the paper itself, NOT as defined by SCOTUS (which is another story)
I'm sure we can do something to make a cohesive party. Maybe sometimes we can agree to disagree, and allow each State to decide as is proper on matters of Abortion, Same sex marriage, etc.
By taking a good, hard, realistic look at what made Ronald Reagan popular and great: militaristic nationalism, Keynsian economic spending which make the economy boom, and middle class (as opposed to the Bush upper class) tax cuts.
In other words, Reagan was FDR with middle class tax cuts.
If you want a strong industrial base, strong military and invincible political power, the American model is FDR.
Reagan was the FDR of the 1980s.
Want to win again? Then act like FDR.
I agree that those are many issues which Reagan used to bind the two together, but BOTH sides now regularly denigrate the other side...much to my chagrin. How do we get them to stop engaging in the "circular firing squad" I talked about? That common ground SHOULD do it, but it's not at the moment.
BINGO!!! That is exactly the answer I was looking for. Act like a Right Wing version of FDR, which is what Reagan did. But will that fly with Social Conservatives who have become more demanding than they were during the Reagan years?
I don't know why the hell everybody always shoots me down when I propose Newt/Ollie '08.
"OK, so how do we SOLVE that problem? What can we do to please BOTH Libertarian Conservatives AND Social Conservatives?"
LIke I said above: be FDR.
Blatantly and unapologetically skew the American economy towards protecting the jobs and financial security of the middle and working classes, build the military and fight the Nazis (Islamofascists today) everywhere. And don't worry about the mewling and puking of the upper classes, because they have nowhere to go (everywhere else in the world is worse for them, and the Democrats are worse too), but offer them advisory roles, etc., to co-opt them into government.
Reagan's hero was FDR.
The Democrats turned into America-hating pacifists and moral wastrels. This disgusted Reagan.
Reagan in 1981 was actually more LIBERAL than FDR was on most things, but the core: aggressive nationalism, military industrialism, and an economy aimed at the middle class were all the keys to the success of both.
Be FDR, and we will win again.
I am truly not trying to be flippant when I say "Pelosi and Rangle" will bring us together.
The worse it gets, the more we will concentrate on what is important. Foxhole buddy sort of thing.
"Social conservatives" need to get over the idea that government is an appropriate tool for advancing their social/religious agenda. Then they can band together with libertarian and fiscal conservatives to get rid of all the government programs that puch ANY social/religious agenda.
Start with the public schools, and on the federal level, the whole behemoth of the Dept. of Education, which collects taxpayer money from all over the country, and then redistributes it to public schools with onerous strings attached, and as college student loan subsidies and grants. The latter have enabled teenagers to bypass their parents' common sense in choosing colleges, majors, and course (and enabled plenty of adults to bypass the concept of financial self-sufficiency and study idiotic things with big taxpayer subsidies). Eliminate all federal student financial aid, and most of the pseudo-academic departments and courses, which are staffed by loony leftist professors, would quickly go out of business for lack of students. The loony leftist professors would find out the hard way what their real value is in the free market.
Given the hisotrical losses of other President's during the midterm elections, this was quite mild by comparison. Why allow the media to characterize this loss or the reasons.
I hear Australia is nice.
But Canada is more conservative than the US, and we can more easily move back after Pelosi has been hung.
I say Newt/Rudy would be a perfectly balanced ticket to encompass the entire Conservative/Republican ideology. Or even Rudy/Newt if that's what it takes to win...
What next....it's the fault of the Neo Cons?
We are at war and the MSM determined that it's not a just war. How to overcome that when most of the country thinks the ecnomy is terrible for the other guy. That the war is not fighting, even tho it's the other guy fighting, that the entire republican party is corrupt, nevermind that Enron began under slick willie, that the dot com bubble ws created during slick willie.
An educated voter is impossible to find in this country.
Don't forget, Newt won the R straw poll earlier this year. He's laid low to avoid DBM fire - good idea.
What are you talking about??? That's ALL you got out my initial post? Where did I say it was Christian Conservatives fault???????
Then you have the audacity to complain about "educated voters" when all you got out of my long and detailed analysis, which both supports and criticizes ALL conservatives, including the group I consider myself a part of, and you come up with the singular conclusion that I'm blaming everything on Christian Conservatives???
Perhaps YOU are a shining example of why we find ourselves in our current dilemma as the Conservative Movement...
What do we DO? Well, one of the first things we do is watch the congressional Republicans who are now in the minority and see who distinguishes themselves as fighters, and who decide to be collaborators with the Democrats.
When the Democrats start trying to organize committee investigation witchhunts against Bush, I want to see which Republicans start throwing wrenches into the gearbox with filibusters of our own. I want to see who the most ruthless and intractable bastards are, and who the Democrats hate the most.
I want us to learn from what the left wingnuts actually did right and adapt and emulate. Venues such as Youtube, Vidilife, and Google video need to be exploited. Vichy Republicans (rinos) need to be mercilessly hounded at every turn.
We lost a battle, not the war. We lost this battle because our opponents adapted and came up with some effective new stratagies, while our own leadership decided to diss it's own base.
This is just the start of what we need to do.
Yes, that all makes sense over the short term, but how do we address the long term "cracks" in our coalition, which I think are undeniable?