Skip to comments.Overblown GOP apocalypse
Posted on 05/23/2007 12:23:12 PM PDT by Jean S
Rumors of the Republican Partys imminent meltdown in 2008 are rampant. Websites and blogs bristle with headlines like Theyre screwed, Licking their wounds, Republicans really are the stupid party and What are Republicans thinking? And those are from the friendly conservative sources. Some wags say the party is hopelessly divided over issues ranging from abortion and Iraq to gas prices and immigration. Other observers focus on the dissident voices of GOP moderates. Some pundits point their fingers at a president whos too distracted by war and low approval ratings to provide much party leadership. And theres a persistent sense on the part of many that the best potential nominees for president namely Fred Thompson and Newt Gingrich arent even in the mix.
Is it really an apocalypse for the GOP? Or is a weird coalition of the liberal mainstream media conjoined with the hard right making the Republican predicament out to be much worse than it really is? In my view, the case for a crisis is way overblown. While there is some truth to each of the issues raised there are divisions, factional shifts, weak leadership and so forth a case could be made that the Democrats suffer from most of the same maladies. So while the Republicans may be confronting challenges, they arent necessarily at a competitive disadvantage for 2008.
One particular weakness of the case against the Republicans is that its too much about inside-the-Beltway politics. Yes, Republicans on Capitol Hill arent functioning as a well-oiled machine. Were at a competitive disadvantage there. But Capitol Hill is hardly all of America. At the state level, youll find Republican Party operations that are peak performers. Consider Florida, where the newly elected Republican governor is already so popular that Floridians may forget about Jeb Bush. And the state legislature is dominated by the GOP. Republicans hold top local offices across the state. At the other end of the country, in California, you see a Republican Party thats bouncing back under the leadership of a suddenly stronger and more popular governor.
The focus on issue divisions is another attack on the party that misses its mark. The Republicans have always had the kinds of divisions over issues that suddenly seem to be so telling to party critics. The doomsayers who make such a big deal out of Rudy Giulianis moderate positions on social issues like abortion and guns forget that moderates like Gerald Ford or Nelson Rockefeller have always been able to attract support from the same 35 percent who now support the latest squish to seek the presidency. This is nothing new or different. And besides, Im convinced that these issue differences dont matter much once the nomination is decided. After we have a nominee, the ranks start to close.
In the end, its not conservative issues or ideology that defines the Republican coalition today. Instead, the framework around which the party is built is principally demographic, focused on the South, select suburbs, rural areas and traditional families (i.e., households with a daddy, mommy and kids). These building blocks of the party are not under the same siege that afflicts conservatism. So even though issues like Iraq and immigration are roiling the waters of Long Island or Chicagos Lakefront, theyre not cracking the bedrock of GOP support in climes like Atlantas northern suburbs or rural Iowas farm communities. GOP fortunes were more threatened in the Reagan years, when GOP support in the rural Midwest was eroded by rural opposition to the Gippers farm policies. Southern support of the GOP was under greater duress when the first Bush raised taxes than under the current Bush.
Whoever wins the Republican nomination will find a much stronger and more resilient party base than most party critics now surmise.
Hill is director of Hill Research Consultants, a Texas-based firm that has polled for GOP candidates and causes since 1988.
Whether or not there is an apocolypse depends on decisions made by the GOP. It’s still not too late to save the party.
Rudy would destroy the R party.
Illegal amnesty could do it too.
“will find a much stronger and more resilient party base”
Pass The Globalist Wet Dream and Mexico Ass-Kissing Act of 2007 and see what happens.
Sorry, but this is very shallow and unpersuasive.
The GOP is, in fact, in deep trouble. And to say that the California party is in good shape just because Arnold is popular is simply laughable. He’s not us, not by a long shot. Even if he were, it wouldn’t mean the CA GOP is in good shapr.
I agree. They better find their principles fast and denounce the insults of party members like Lindsey Graham.
Bush’s problem is he is a RINO.
"Principles? We don't need no stinkin' principles."
? I think the author is on crack. What is happening with the Amnesty Bill with utterly destroy the GOP and more importantly, our wonderful Republic. The guy writing this thinks its all a wonderful game. Our Republic is one bill aways from being destroyed and this guy thinks things will be fine?
There are just TOO MANY Republicans in bed with TEDDY KENNEDY for what we see to be anything but an absolute apocalypse. Disagreements within a family are one thing, but taking sides against the family is another as Michael Corleone told his brother Fredo. Taking sides with Teddy Kennedy is the highest form of treachery imaginable.
Dude, stick to the medications the doctor prescribes. No self-medicating. You start seeing things that aren't there.
At the other end of the country, in California, you see a Republican Party thats bouncing back under the leadership of a suddenly stronger and more popular governor.
***Here’s where I would begin to dismantle what this author says. He simply doesn’t know what he’s talking about.
Yeah, but neither of them got elected.
This is BS. Hill is a shill.
What is interesting is that the Iraq funding bill is getting ready to do the same to the DNC. By stripping all time lines, they just screwed over their base.
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