Skip to comments.Liberal Republicans Seek Relevance
Posted on 12/01/2006 9:39:14 PM PST by Aussie Dasher
They call themselves Main Street Republicans, moderates consigned to the back alleys of politics by their own party. But despite a severe bruising in the fall election, this minority within a minority finds itself with new avenues to explore, including working more closely with Democrats.
The Republican Main Street Partnership, a leading voice of GOP moderates in Congress, lost seven of its 48 House members to Democratic challengers in the November election. Two other senior members, Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, R-N.Y., and Jim Kolbe, R-Ariz., are retiring.
The group also saw Sen. Lincoln Chafee, R-R.I., one of its eight Senate members and possibly the most liberal Republican in Congress, get swamped by the Democratic deluge.
"We had some difficult losses, people who had been very vocal and active in terms of being moderates," Rep. Mike Castle, R-Del., a Main Street leader, said in an interview. Castle said his group still can be a force in the new Democratic-controlled Congress by working with conservative and moderate Democrats.
Holding one-fifth of the GOP's seats in the House, Republican moderates will be needed by Democrats, particularly on such issues as expanding stem cell research, improving access to health care and promoting alternative energy. Republicans moderates also hold the key to any Democratic hope of overriding vetoes by President Bush.
Rep. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., a Main Street member who also heads an overlapping group of centrists called the Tuesday Group, said he plans to work with the Blue Dogs, conservative House Democrats who are demanding a bigger role in policymaking because of their pivotal role in the elections.
Kirk is promoting a "suburban agenda" that includes such issues as tax-deferred savings programs for children and protecting suburban open space.
The election losses for GOP moderates were all the more painful because moderates on the Democratic ticket flourished, helping carry their party back into the majority. Indiana, a solid red state, went from a 7-2 Republican advantage in the House to a 5-4 Democratic edge because three Democratic moderates ousted conservative incumbents.
"Indiana is really more moderate than it is Republican," said Robert Schmuhl, a political analyst and University of Notre Dame professor. "That is something we learned from the election."
But GOP moderates tend to come from more diverse, Democratic-leaning districts that make them vulnerable when the political winds shift. That was the fate of losing Main Street members Reps. Rob Simmons and Nancy Johnson of Connecticut.
Another victim was Rep. Jim Leach, a 15-term lawmaker from Iowa who opposed the war in Iraq and supported abortion rights. Other defeated GOP Main Streeters were Charles Bass and Jeb Bradley of New Hampshire, Sue Kelly of New York and Curt Weldon of Pennsylvania.
Another departed member is Rep. Mark Foley, R-Fla., who resigned in September after it was revealed he had sent sexually explicit electronic messages to former House pages.
Main Street executive director Sarah Chamberlain Resnick said fiscal conservatives in her group who share some views with Democrats on social and environmental issues were also hurt because "the Republican Party wasn't a big enough tent" for them.
While the new Democratic majority ranges in political philosophy from liberal Speaker-elect Nancy Pelosi of California to conservative freshman Heath Shuler, a former NFL quarterback from North Carolina, Republicans concentrated on shoring up their conservative base, Resnick said.
"If it all adds up to just appealing to a more conservative base, then we are dealing at the margins in terms of gaining seats," Castle said of fellow Republicans.
Moderates were heartened that Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, considered to be open to all wings of the party, defeated conservative standard-bearer Rep. Mike Pence, R-Ind., in party leadership elections earlier this month. But Main Street's only spot in the leadership went to Rep. Kay Granger, R-Texas, one of its more conservative members, who was elected GOP conference vice-chair.
Pence made a name for himself by heading the Main Streeters' conservative counterpart, the Republican Study Committee. It went into the election with 110 members, almost half of all House Republicans. Despite GOP losses in the election of 30-plus seats, the RSC expects to come close to maintaining its current membership level.
Meanwhile, of the 13 Republican freshman in the next Congress, only one, Dean Heller of Nevada, has said he is joining the Main Street caucus.
They want to cause trouble within the party. That's why I always call them RINOs and Main Street Garbage.
This is not good news. The moderates and independents shifted to the democrats. If you lose the center, you lose period. Solution? Rudy Giuliani.
You seem to be under some delusion that the GOP can win much without the "RINO" vote. It can't, except in certain selected areas. And of course, then there is the independent vote, which is even more RINO than the RINO vote. Delusional self indulgence is akin to gluttony, and gluttony is a sin.
I don't know who's worse: my former representative (Castle), or my current one (Moran of northern Virginia).
a little something I tossed together..
2006 Election season results
RMSP Elected Members - 2006
** - Not running for re-election/Retired
*** - Re-elected
Sen. Lincoln Chafee, Rhode Island - Lost -
Sen. Norm Coleman, Minnesota **
Sen. Susan Collins, Maine **
Sen. Johnny Isakson, Georgia **
Sen. John McCain, Arizona **
Sen. Gordon Smith, Oregon **
Sen. Olympia Snowe, Maine **
Sen. Arlen Specter, Pennsylvania **
Rep. Charles Bass, New Hampshire - Lost -
Rep. Judy Biggert, Illinois - ***
Rep. Sherwood Boehlert, New York - Lost -
Rep. Mary Bono, California - ***
Rep. Jeb Bradley, New Hampshire - Lost -
Rep. Ginny Brown-Waite, Florida - ***
Rep. Ken Calvert, California - ***
Rep. Dave Camp, Michigan - ***
Rep. Shelley Moore Capito, West Virginia - ***
Rep. Michael Castle, Delaware - ***
Rep. Thomas Davis, III, Virginia - ***
Rep. Charlie Dent, Pennsylvania - ***
Rep. David Dreier, California - ***
Rep. Vernon Ehlers, Michigan - ***
Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, New Jersey - ***
Rep. Jim Gerlach, Pennsylvania - ***
Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, Maryland - ***
Rep. Paul Gillmor, Ohio - ***
Rep. Kay Granger, Texas - ***
Rep. David Hobson, Ohio - ***
Rep. Nancy Johnson, Connecticut - Lost -
Rep. Timothy Johnson, Illinois - ***
Rep. Sue Kelly, New York - Lost -
Rep. Mark Kirk, Illinois - ***
Rep. Jim Kolbe, Arizona - Lost
Rep. John R. Kuhl, New York - ***
Rep. Ray LaHood, Illinois - ***
Rep. Steven LaTourette, Ohio - ***
Rep. Jim Leach, Iowa - Retired **
Rep. Jerry Lewis, California - ***
Rep. Frank LoBiondo, New Jersey - ***
Rep. Jim McCrery, Louisiana - ***
Rep. Thomas Petri, Wisconsin - ***
Rep. Todd Platts, Pennsylvania - ***
Rep. Jon Porter, Nevada - ***
Rep. Deborah Pryce, Ohio - ***
Rep. Jim Ramstad, Minnesota - ***
Rep. Ralph Regula, Ohio - ***
Rep. Joe Schwarz, Michigan - Lost in primary -
Rep. Christopher Shays, Connecticut - ***
Rep. Robert Simmons, Connecticut - Lost -
Rep. Michael Turner, Ohio - ***
Rep. Fred Upton, Michigan - ***
Rep. Greg Walden, Oregon
Rep. James Walsh, New York
Rep. Curt Weldon, Pennsylvania - Lost -
Rep. Jerry Weller, Illinois
Rep. Heather Wilson, New Mexico - Re-elected -
Gov. Robert Ehrlich, Maryland - Lost -
Gov. Linda Lingle, Hawaii - Re-elected
Gov. George Pataki, New York = Retired ***
Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger, California - Re-elected
** - Not running for re-election/Retired
*** - Re-elected
Er...what about the conservatives?
Main Street News
November 28, 2006
Main Street Speaks Out on Off-Shore Drilling Legislation
(Washington, D.C.) "On Election Night, the voters made it clear that they want results - not ideological battles - from their leaders in Washington," said Sarah Chamberlain Resnick, Executive Director of the Republican Main Street Partnership.
Eighteen House centrists penned a letter on Nov. 17 to the Republican leadership on off-shore drilling legislation. The letter states, "The American people made clear on Election Day that it wants Congress to take pragmatic, targeted approaches to solving problems rather than engaging in ideological sparring. Continuing efforts to promote the House bill, which could open the entire U.S. coastline to oil drilling, and which would sweep away environmental protections, undermine local control and increase the deficit, would signal that we have not gotten the message on Election Day."
The letter did not endorse the Senate version of the bill, and made clear that some of the signers of the letter would vote against the Senate bill. The letter did say, however, that if an off-shore drilling bill were to come before the House, the only legitimate vehicle to bring up for a vote would be the unamended Senate bill. The letter also said that all efforts to come up with a new compromise or to take any other action based on the House bill should cease.
"Our party needs to prove to the American people that we are committed to a pragmatic leadership that puts the needs of the electorate above partisan bickering," concluded Resnick.
The Republican Main Street Partnership (RMSP) is dedicated to promoting and building the Republican Party as a thoughtful, fiscally conservative, inclusive Governing Majority, where political debate is encouraged to promote common sense solutions to improve the lives of all Americans. Embracing the full spectrum of Republican ideologies and values in order to build coalitions, RMSP is the largest organization of elected Traditional Ronald Reagan Republicans in the nation, with over 60 members serving in the U.S. House and Senate. For more information on RMSP, visit our website at www.republicanmainstreet.org.
Republicans need to be inclusive of liberal Republicans in the same way Dems use their conservative Dems.
Pelosi welcomes the Conservative dems even though she has no use for their values and would implement any conservative policies.
These "Main Street" Republicans can go screw themselves.
I meant to say 'Pelosi would NOT implement any conservative policies'.
Starting from the bottom The Lord made pond scum then Moderate Republicans.
Well, I think that may be the best we can do this time. I dont think there is anyone else.
Newsmax is running its own title on this Jim Abrams ap piece apparently
original AP title was or looks to have been
'GOP moderates vow to explore new avenues'
Yahoo has this particular piece titled as
'GOP moderates vow to work with Democrats'
on its home page
-- Regardless , Thanks for posting.
My thought as well. Come out of the closet, RINOS.
""The American people made clear on Election Day that it wants Congress to take pragmatic, targeted approaches to solving problems rather than engaging in ideological sparring."
Remind Webb, who wanted to punch out President Bush.
Embracing the full spectrum of Republican ideologies and values in order to build coalitions, RMSP is the largest organization of elected Traditional Ronald Reagan Republicans in the nation, with over 60 members serving in the U.S. House and Senate.
Traditional Ronald Reagan Republicans?
That's one heck of a claim, imo.
the Republican Study Committee. It went into the election with 110 members, almost half of all House Republicans. Despite GOP losses in the election of 30-plus seats, the RSC expects to come close to maintaining its current membership level.
Good news for who? This says the conservative wing lost very few seats. That is a good thing.
You also need to add Governor Mitt Romney of Massachusetts, who didn't run for re-election, to your list. Mitt is also a member of the Main street Republicans, and he's a RINO.
as of earlier this year , his name came off their site and list.. but the Rino still holds true..
don't be surprised to see him on the ticket tho.. him and obama seem to be the dark horses with the least baggage.
Disclaimer: Opinions posted on Free Republic are those of the individual posters and do not necessarily represent the opinion of Free Republic or its management. All materials posted herein are protected by copyright law and the exemption for fair use of copyrighted works.