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Who Owns the GOP?
The Atlantic ^ | 19 Oct 2007 | Ross Douthat

Posted on 10/20/2007 7:28:15 PM PDT by Delacon

David Brooks and Dean Barnett both tackle Huckabee's gradual rise today, and both see a lot of promise: Brooks writes that whereas "each of the top-tier candidates makes certain parts of the party uncomfortable ... Huckabee is the one candidate acceptable to all factions," while Barnett acknowledges that the Huck's "taxing and spending in Arkansas may not be every conservative's ideal," but suggests that he "probably has fewer policy skeletons in his closet than anyone else in the field."

I dunno - as Matt says, taxing and spending are a pretty big deal in the GOP, and it's clear that Huckabee wouldn't be acceptable to this particular faction, at the very least. Throw in his wetness on immigration and his various rhetorical forays toward a "conservatism of the heart" on trade and inequality and so forth, and you have a candidate with as many deviations from GOP orthodoxy as John McCain and Fred Thompson, certainly, if not Giuliani and Romney (both of whom have enough skeletons to fill the whole house).

Which is why the current Republican race is so interesting - it's a laboratory, in a sense, for determining which interest groups really have clout in the GOP primaries, and which issues really excite the faithful. If Rudy Giuliani wins the nomination, it will tell us a lot about the real influence (or lack thereof) of folks like James Dobson; if John McCain gets the nod, we'll know that immigration and (to a lesser extent) campaign-finance reform are more important to activists than to actual voters; if Huckabee becomes a significent spoiler (or, though it's much more unlikely, an actual contender) then we'll know the Club for Growth doesn't have quite as much clout


(Excerpt) Read more at rossdouthat.theatlantic.com ...


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Government; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 2008; clubforgrowth; duncanhunter; elections; giuliani; gop; huckabee; romney; thompson
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1 posted on 10/20/2007 7:28:16 PM PDT by Delacon
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To: Delacon

Huckabee is a “populist” who wants to be everything to everyone.

Or more to the point, he wants to GIVE something to everyone - and he’s going to ask ME to pay for it!


2 posted on 10/20/2007 7:35:59 PM PDT by Redbob (WWJBD - "What Would Jack Bauer Do?")
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To: Redbob

“Or more to the point, he wants to GIVE something to everyone - and he’s going to ask ME to pay for it!”

Gosh, aren’t you talking about Hillary? ;)


3 posted on 10/20/2007 7:39:09 PM PDT by Delacon (Don't Immanentize the Eschaton.)
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To: Delacon
I clicked on this thinking it might be about something else. But was pleasanlty surprised to read this. In spite of all the third party ruckus talk started by James Dobson,this primary will in fact be an antidote to the chaos. Magnetic north will be re-established to the spinning compass of the GOP. This is so dead on and smart:

Which is why the current Republican race is so interesting - it's a laboratory, in a sense, for determining which interest groups really have clout in the GOP primaries, and which issues really excite the faithful. If Rudy Giuliani wins the nomination, it will tell us a lot about the real influence (or lack thereof) of folks like James Dobson; if John McCain gets the nod, we'll know that immigration and (to a lesser extent) campaign-finance reform are more important to activists than to actual voters; if Huckabee becomes a significent spoiler (or, though it's much more unlikely, an actual contender) then we'll know the Club for Growth doesn't have quite as much clout as most people, left and right, assume to be the case. And if Fred Thompson or Mitt Romney wins, it will reinforce the notion that all of the various issues and interest groups jostling in the GOP tent really are a package deal, and that the best way to take the nomination, now and forever, is to make sure you've checked all your boxes, even if it means flip-flopping like crazy.

Truly this primary season is a barometer recording the strengths and weaknesses of the right, the GOP and conservative leaders.

4 posted on 10/20/2007 7:41:21 PM PDT by finnman69 (cum puella incedit minore medio corpore sub quo manifestu s globus, inflammare animos)
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To: Delacon

Dear Brooks and Barnett: Huckabee will never ever ever be okay...he is too pro amnesty, would like it to be illegal to just come on in one and all, and have everything Americans have worked for taken away to give to them.
Huckabee, another nice guy, no freaking way he can win the presidency.... the illegal problem is way too serious AND WE AREN’T GOING TO TAKE IT ANYMORE!


5 posted on 10/20/2007 7:42:32 PM PDT by libbylu
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To: Delacon

Huckabee has said some things about amnesty that frankly scare me. I want the illegal invasion stopped, and I want the illegals already here unemployed and ineligible for benefits.


6 posted on 10/20/2007 7:45:29 PM PDT by MainFrame65 (The US Senate: World's greatest PREVARICATIVE body!)
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To: Delacon
Who Owns the GOP?

Let's see...hmmm...

I once thought it belonged to conservative Republicans. Not so sure now. At a minimum, it's teetering on the precipice. The chances it's going over the side are greater than I've ever seen them.

7 posted on 10/20/2007 7:48:36 PM PDT by EternalVigilance (With "Republicans" like this, who needs Democrats?)
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To: Redbob

Huckabee wants to be such a good Christian that he doesn’t let anyone else be one.


8 posted on 10/20/2007 7:49:05 PM PDT by donna (Obama is a Moslem.)
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To: libbylu

Plus he’s a nanny-stater, same as the Clintons. Must be something in the Arkansas water. No thanks.


9 posted on 10/20/2007 7:49:46 PM PDT by The Ghost of Rudy McRomney ("Vote Hillary - the unanimous choice of vacuous Liberal newsreaders!")
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To: MainFrame65

Huckabee is the candidate who is the most like GW Bush, IMO. And that is not a compliment. Of course, most of the field is even worse.


10 posted on 10/20/2007 7:49:57 PM PDT by EternalVigilance (With "Republicans" like this, who needs Democrats?)
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To: Delacon

Masterblaster owns the GOP.


11 posted on 10/20/2007 7:52:05 PM PDT by RichInOC ("Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls...dyin' time's here.")
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To: Delacon

The buzz on Huckabee started about 48 hrs ago. The media started hitting his name ever so dligently. Now the MSM is completing its buzz. Ridiculous- he’s not going anywhere.


12 posted on 10/20/2007 7:52:44 PM PDT by mojo114
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To: Delacon

“Who Owns the GOP?”

I do believe that is what the current fight between conservatives and whoever it is backing Rudy is going to decide.


13 posted on 10/20/2007 7:52:55 PM PDT by Grunthor (http://franz.org/quiz.htm)
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To: Redbob
Huckabee is the one candidate acceptable to all factions,” while Barnett acknowledges that the Huck’s “taxing and spending in Arkansas may not be every conservative’s ideal,” but suggests that he “probably has fewer policy skeletons in his closet than anyone else in the field.”

Not true, he is not acceptable to everyone. He is on board with MANY socialist policies, including taxing people for the common good. And yes, he expects us to pay for it.

Note to Huckabee, the Lord did tell us to help the poor, and we do, until folks like you take it from us, thus mandatory giving is the law, and we no longer have it to give ourselves. Charity works best when it is done voluntarily, not taken by mandate by the government. The government taken money never reaches the needed hands either.

14 posted on 10/20/2007 7:53:16 PM PDT by gidget7 ( Vote for the Arsenal of Democracy, because America RUNS on Duncan!)
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To: Delacon
Who Owns the GOP?

We the people.
15 posted on 10/20/2007 7:54:22 PM PDT by Vision (" 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord Almighty." Zechariah 4:6)
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To: gidget7

OK lets see. we hate Rudy, McCain and Mitt. Tancredo and Hunter are done, with or without the fork.

Who does that leave? Does that mean you’ll turn traitor and
leave the Oval Office door open for That Woman?


16 posted on 10/20/2007 8:00:48 PM PDT by rahbert
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To: rahbert
I am not leaving the door open. If you think for a second that Rudy McRomney can beat Hillery, you are sadly mistaken. They can’t, and that is the very reason the polls and their owners, the old media, are touting them so hard.

The GOP continues on it’s chosen path at it’s own peril.

17 posted on 10/20/2007 8:14:24 PM PDT by gidget7 ( Vote for the Arsenal of Democracy, because America RUNS on Duncan!)
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To: gidget7

“Note to Huckabee, the Lord did tell us to help the poor, and we do, until folks like you take it from us, thus mandatory giving is the law, and we no longer have it to give ourselves. Charity works best when it is done voluntarily, not taken by mandate by the government. The government taken money never reaches the needed hands either.”

“A coerced virtue is no virtue at all.” Dinesh D’Souza or Frank Meyer. I can’t remember which.


18 posted on 10/20/2007 8:23:39 PM PDT by Delacon (Don't Immanentize the Eschaton.)
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To: Delacon

thanks, bfl


19 posted on 10/20/2007 8:25:13 PM PDT by neverdem (Call talk radio. We need a Constitutional Amendment for Congressional term limits. Let's Roll!)
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To: Delacon

Throw in his wetness on immigration
***That’s kinda funny.


20 posted on 10/20/2007 8:28:52 PM PDT by Kevmo (We should withdraw from Iraq via Tehran. And Duncan Hunter is just the man to get that job done.))
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To: Delacon

Who are these idiots kidding. They are really trying to put the screws to Americans. Really trying to make us mad with all of these stories trying to insinuate that our own people are turning on us. Keep using that Chinese brainwashing guys because when the rubber finally meets the road; you guys are going to be in for a big surprise. You will be the first to go.

In other words; your guys will turn on you. Think about it; it’s not hard to figure that one out.


21 posted on 10/20/2007 8:32:17 PM PDT by freekitty ((May the eagles long fly our beautiful and free American sky.))
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To: Delacon

I dunno who owns the GOP, but they couldn’t be any worse than the Kos, MoveOn, Code Pink, Soros traitors that own the RATS.


22 posted on 10/20/2007 8:55:07 PM PDT by ozzymandus
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To: Delacon

Kudoes to the Atlantic but I think it’s much, much more interesting to explore for bones and skeletons in the Dim candidate closets. After all, there are so many more of them to pause over and much more elaborate scheming. By contrast the GOP is just dull.

Let’s consider the Clinton death list for example; I’m sure the Atlantic blanches at the thought, but there are plenty of entrees to munch on there, enough for a veritable feast of investigating, not that the Atlantic has any interest.


23 posted on 10/20/2007 9:02:02 PM PDT by Rembrandt (We would have won Viet Nam w/o Dim interference.)
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To: Delacon
...Huckabee is the one candidate acceptable to all factions,"...

I don't think this is at all true -- Huckabee has a poor record across the entire small-government spectrum, from taxes and spending to nanny-state laws and endorsement of big federal government programs. I will never vote for Huckabee; I'm interested in seeing what other small-government conservatives think about this.

Which is why the current Republican race is so interesting - it's a laboratory, in a sense, for determining which interest groups really have clout in the GOP primaries, and which issues really excite the faithful.

This is exactly right, which is why the choice of nominee will affect the overall direction of the GOP long past 2008 -- especially if that nominee wins.

24 posted on 10/20/2007 9:02:57 PM PDT by ellery (I don't remember a constitutional amendment that gives you the right not to be identified-R.Giuliani)
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To: ellery

“I don’t think this is at all true — Huckabee has a poor record across the entire small-government spectrum, from taxes and spending to nanny-state laws and endorsement of big federal government programs. I will never vote for Huckabee; I’m interested in seeing what other small-government conservatives think about this.”

I think the writer was agreeing with you on this. As for me, Huck is a repeat of all the bad things of the Bush presidency. Immigration, spending, big government, and yes religious conservatism(which isn’t bad) handled badly at a national level.

“This is exactly right, which is why the choice of nominee will affect the overall direction of the GOP long past 2008 — especially if that nominee wins.”

Not if 06 is any indication. I see no realignment. Unless the republican party gets truly wiped out, it will be more of the same from both parties. If the republican party gets wiped out, what will happen is democrats will run the country into the ground as they did in the 70s. Look for a republican controlled govt in say 2020.


25 posted on 10/20/2007 9:24:34 PM PDT by Delacon (Don't Immanentize the Eschaton.)
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To: Redbob

Right. Why can’t the one rising be Duncan Hunter? He’s the one we need. Huckleberry is a squish on a lot of key issues.


26 posted on 10/20/2007 9:33:41 PM PDT by Defiant ("Expectorate" has Specter in it.)
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To: Delacon
The answer to the question is..............ME.
27 posted on 10/20/2007 9:36:02 PM PDT by ALASKA (IT'S NOT ROCKET SURGERY......................Don't just do something, STAND THERE!!!)
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To: RichInOC

LOL. If so, Rich, I am just waiting to get to that point in the primary where “two man enter...one man leave”.


28 posted on 10/20/2007 9:37:08 PM PDT by LowCountryJoe (I'm a Paleo-liberal: I believe in freedom; am socially independent and a borderline fiscal anarchist)
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To: Defiant

“Right. Why can’t the one rising be Duncan Hunter? He’s the one we need.”

Well if we are going to whine, why not about Tancredo who has actually been on the rise recently. :)


29 posted on 10/20/2007 9:39:04 PM PDT by Delacon (Don't Immanentize the Eschaton.)
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To: Redbob

Huckabee supports illegals. I could never vote for him.


30 posted on 10/20/2007 9:40:08 PM PDT by packrat35 (Politicians would be less worthless if they were edible, or useable for packing wheel bearings.)
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To: The Ghost of Rudy McRomney
Plus he’s a nanny-stater, same as the Clintons.

Exactly. Huck's nice but he fundamentally likes and defends the liberal approach.

I want more small-government candidates. I want them to say it loud and clear, not sit around hatching schemes to take our money (or borrow it from the Chinese or just deflate our currency) and then "help" us in some wonderful way. Well, if we obey and line up and march in little Stalinist formations for them.

I'm sick of compassionate conservatism and I'm not remotely interested in Huck's backwoods moonshine version of it either. I find Fred far more appealing on this stuff. For that matter, Romney and the others as well. Huck is the biggest nanny-man in the bunch.
31 posted on 10/20/2007 10:29:59 PM PDT by George W. Bush (Apres moi, le deluge.)
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To: George W. Bush; The Ghost of Rudy McRomney

I just had to bump a post that was from George Bush to the Ghost of Rudy McRomney. Some Freepers have the most interesting login names.


32 posted on 10/20/2007 10:32:47 PM PDT by Kevmo (We should withdraw from Iraq via Tehran. And Duncan Hunter is just the man to get that job done.))
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To: Delacon
So according to the article the race is either:
  1. Hitlery vs. Rudi (Battle Of Gotham between two New Yorkers)
  2. Hitlery vs. Huck (Hatfields and McCoys between two Arkansans)
I think we should pay attention. The libmedia is just trying to help us poor Republicans pick our best candidate. Some mean FReepers will probably say bad things about them too but they're just trying to help us out.
33 posted on 10/20/2007 10:36:16 PM PDT by George W. Bush (Apres moi, le deluge.)
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To: ColdSteelTalon

(( ping ))

Over here.... Check this out.


34 posted on 10/20/2007 10:38:43 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: MainFrame65

BUMP what you said.
And throw in a retroactive de-citizenship of “anchor babies”.


35 posted on 10/20/2007 10:40:43 PM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: Redbob

Huckabee is a pro amnesty.


36 posted on 10/20/2007 10:41:56 PM PDT by Pelham (Spanish is the new English)
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To: EternalVigilance

“I once thought it belonged to conservative Republicans. Not so sure now. “

Try Wall Street and global business. The last time conservatives were valued was during Reagan.


37 posted on 10/20/2007 10:44:33 PM PDT by Pelham (Spanish is the new English)
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To: Delacon
<"Throw in his wetness on immigration and his various rhetorical forays toward a "conservatism of the heart" on trade and inequality and so forth, and you have a candidate with as many deviations from GOP orthodoxy as John McCain and Fred Thompson,"

This clown lost me right there with this ridiculous statement!
38 posted on 10/20/2007 10:50:11 PM PDT by SoConPubbie
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To: Pelham

I’m afraid you’re right.


39 posted on 10/20/2007 10:56:06 PM PDT by EternalVigilance (With "Republicans" like this, who needs Democrats?)
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To: Delacon
Not if 06 is any indication. I see no realignment. Unless the republican party gets truly wiped out, it will be more of the same from both parties.

Sadly, you may be right. The fact that those idjits pushed amnesty against the will of the people, and now continue to try to push it piecemeal, says that they're not listening.

On the other hand, GOP strategists with no personal convictions would love it if they could win with, say, a pro-abortion or anti-gun politician. Strategically, that would allow our strategiests to nullify two potent donk issues -- so I do think it's likely we would see realignment there in the form of many more future pro-abortion and anti-gun GOP candidates.

40 posted on 10/20/2007 11:04:46 PM PDT by ellery (I don't remember a constitutional amendment that gives you the right not to be identified-R.Giuliani)
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To: Delacon

Hmmm, who owns the Gop? Now let's see, who could that be?
Could it be SATAN SATAN SATAN SATAN?
41 posted on 10/20/2007 11:12:08 PM PDT by Manic_Episode (Some mornings, it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps...)
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To: LowCountryJoe

Two men enter...one man leaves

42 posted on 10/20/2007 11:31:34 PM PDT by Manic_Episode (Some mornings, it's just not worth chewing through the leather straps...)
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To: Delacon

Here is a good analysis - - mass media vs blogosphere vs website visits - - from a conservative website/writer:

(Just do a quick flypast over the Dems data and scroll down to the GOP!)

http://thetomoreport.blogspot.com/2007/10/2008-presidential-media-showdown-how.html

The results are pretty surprising and are presented in a visually brilliant graphic!


43 posted on 10/21/2007 12:35:37 AM PDT by Et in Arcadia Ego
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To: Kevmo

LOL Thanks.


44 posted on 10/21/2007 1:21:15 AM PDT by The Ghost of Rudy McRomney ("Vote Hillary - the unanimous choice of vacuous Liberal newsreaders!")
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To: Delacon

Another RINO Establishement love letter for GW Bush lite.


45 posted on 10/21/2007 3:07:50 AM PDT by MNJohnnie
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To: finnman69

I trust the word of the Club for Growth who is more often than not spot on. Huckabee is a tax and spender. No thanks.


46 posted on 10/21/2007 5:18:55 AM PDT by maxter
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To: Grunthor; Vision; EternalVigilance; The Mayor; trooprally; Jim Robinson

> > > > “Who Owns the GOP?”

> > I do believe that is what the current fight between conservatives and whoever it is backing Rudy is going to decide.


Indeed We The People are and own the GOP. We must throw the RINO pirateers overboard.

Strategy ideas, anyone? I will post some of mine in the near future.


47 posted on 10/21/2007 7:27:00 AM PDT by The Spirit Of Allegiance (Public Employees: Honor Your Oaths! Defend the Constitution from Enemies--Foreign and Domestic!)
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To: The Spirit Of Allegiance
Here’s what I believe the GOP needs.

First, put Newt in and get issues under control and ready for 2008.

The RNC must be redesigned and become an offensive organization. It should become sleeker, more representative, and more agile.

The election process for the GOP Chairman should change from the state representatives to direct vote by party members. This will prevent the lame candidates we have been forced to tolerate; it’s too important of a job.

An official culture inside the RNC must be developed. The national party should take lessons from the Texas GOP on how they outline their beliefs, such as America is a Christian nation granting freedom of religion to all others.

The RNC should hold bi yearly retreats for all federal party representatives to discuss business, Republican principles, and how to improve Conservatism; paid through fund raising. Educate politicians on party issues and political maneuvering.

Create effective think tanks to deal with challenges, such as how does the party overcome the bias of the media.

Develop a state of the art PR machine to fight the Dems, media, and keep the movement on the offensive. If you communication the message, it will win.

Encourage the relationship between the GOP and talk radio. Hold yearly meetings with talk radio hosts.

Force RINOs out by defining what a Republican stands for. Discipline Rinos by cutting off money and officially asking RINOs to leave the party. Bush’s loss of confidence began IMO when he tried to develop a party culture and Jeffords jumped ship. Jeffords should have been forced out. A majority founded by RINOs is a house built on sand.

Examine the financial structure of the RNC, reorganize to free up money to attract talent in running the organization. Whoever produces successfully keeps their job.

Have yearly town hall conventions to discuss the movement and party, open to all party members.

Educate the public about what it means to be an American and what their rights are.

48 posted on 10/21/2007 9:02:38 AM PDT by Vision (" 'Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,' says the Lord Almighty." Zechariah 4:6)
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To: Delacon

Who owns the GOP?

It’s an interesting question.

One group that might be said to own it is the party pros—long time policians, staffers, advisers, the RNC, and so forth. They are the insiders who run the show and set the policies and decide which candidates to fund.

Another group that partly owns it is the big contributors and lobbyists, who regretably are largely country-clubbers. They give the big bucks, and without their support and consent it’s hard for a candidate to make his way.

Another group that has a claim to own it is the Republican voters. They tend to be more conservative than the rich donors, and when the pros and donors ignore them or kick them in the face, then they stay home and allow the Democrats to win. Is that their fault, or is it the fault of the pros who just kicked them in the face? Maybe a little of both.

It’s pretty hard for a party to succeed unless all three groups respect one another or at least agree to work with one another. For instance, the voters demanded many years ago that the party should pass a pro-life plank, but the pros and the donors recurrently talk about Big Tents, back RINOs, and try to undermine that plank. It’s self destructive behavior, because they are undercutting their own power base, but they just can’t seem to help it.

There’s no way for Republicans or conservatives to win unless they agree to work together and support each others’ bottom lines. As insiders, the pros and the donors are always in a position to pull a fast one, and they often do. But then everyone pays for it, as we saw in the 2006 election. The conservatives could pull out and start a new party, but that would take time, and the new party would soon have the same problems as the old one. It’s human nature. So, better to work together, if we can.

And that means, among other things, respect life, respect family, respect the Constitution, uphold the law justly, and cut back on taxes and spending. Although not all Freepers may agree, it all begins with respect for life, which is the bottom line, the first of all constitutional rights, the one thing that can’t be compromised.


49 posted on 10/21/2007 9:24:43 AM PDT by Cicero (Marcus Tullius)
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To: Delacon

TaxhikeMike is NOT acceptable.


50 posted on 10/21/2007 9:27:09 AM PDT by Clemenza (Rudy Giuliani, like Pesto and Seattle, belongs in the scrap heap of '90s Culture)
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