Skip to comments.In GOP base, a 'rebellion brewing'
Posted on 04/26/2009 6:03:07 AM PDT by Sub-Driver
In GOP base, a 'rebellion brewing' By: Ben Smith and Jonathan Martin April 26, 2009 07:03 AM EST
A quick tour through the weeks headlines suggests the Republican Party is beginning to come to terms with the last election and that consensus is emerging among GOP elites that the party needs to move away from discordant social issues.
There was Sen. John McCain's daughter and his campaign manager who last week demanded that their fellow Republicans embrace same-sex marriage. Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman the most devoted modernizer among the party's 2012 hopefuls won approving words from New York Times columnist Frank Rich for his call to downplay divisive values issues. The partys top elected leaders in Congress, meanwhile, spooked by being attacked as the party of no, were recasting themselves as a constructive, respectful opposition to a popular president.
But outside Washington, the reality is very different. Rank-and-file Republicans remain, by all indications, staunchly conservative, and they appear to have no desire to moderate their views. GOP activists and operatives say they hear intense anger at the White House and at the partys own leaders on familiar issues taxes, homosexuality, and immigration. Within the party, conservative groups have grown stronger absent the emergence of any organized moderate faction.
(Excerpt) Read more at politico.com ...
“It is also false. The moderates are still very much in charge of the Republican party - both the leadership in Congressional houses, and the RNC. The Republican message is certainly being crafted, and certainly has not changed from before the election, unless it has become even more liberal than before.”
Do you advocate for a 3rd party?
For a particular third party? No, I do not, though I probably will be soon. I have been an independent since the summer of 2007, and was a Republican for the 27 years previous to that.
I’m very interested in what people think is a practical way to move the conservative voting block forward in this environment. I think the liberal dream is to keep conservatives and independents well away from each other and maintain power for the next 25 years. But we have a dream too. That principled conservatism would have its seat in the marketplace of ideas - where we *know* it will win the day. That said, and this is being said in various ways, I think we should focus on 3 broad issues and address *all* of the rest only as the arise in specific contexts (i.e. we can hold our own on the social issues, whilst not focusing on them to the detriment of the movement.) The 3 issues I think we need to focus on and that we can get a majority of voters behind us on are:
—fiscal restraint/responsibility (including some kind of flat or fair tax)
—national security (constitutional role of government, plus most or all Americans agree to this.)
—sound immigration policy
I say we we call this new 3rd Party - the Tea Party...:)
Snoop around the links I provided. Start here:
Elected members of the Republican Main Street Partnership
37 House members, 5 listed SINators and 2 governors are on their elected members list. Prior to the '06 election, there were 5 governors and there were more than 45 House members, IIRC. I firmly believe they have at least 5 alternate SINators that are not listed. If you watch their votes, I think you will see 10 that change off voting with the demonRATS.
Also, there were 21 SINators listed in the 107th Senate Centrist Coalition, during President Bush's first 2 years in office. By the 109th the group had been drastically reduced. I guess they thought they had effectively neutered President Bush and could simply use that damage to effect the '06 election. There was also a House Centrist Coalition, but I can no longer find info about them.
However, there is The Centrist Coalition.
The first National Centrist Meeting was held in the Theodore Roosevelt Birthplace Home in New York on May 6, 2006. It would appear they took the place of the of the so-called Centrist Coalitions in both Houses.
Check out their favorites under the "Candidates" link.
Also note, where ever you find the word "centrist" there will you also find the name, McCain.
Another very interesting web site:
Close to half of the independents ARE the Conservatives. Where do you think all the Republicans have gone?
(i.e. we can hold our own on the social issues, whilst not focusing on them to the detriment of the movement.)
Big mistake. I am a Reaganite, and as such, I know that the winning strategy is to stand on Conservative principles. ALL of them. To suggest that "social issues" are to the "detriment of the movement" is wholly and utterly false.
Social issues govern the votes of the largest segment of the Conservative movement. Do you expect them to "shut up and vote", while their issues are tamped down out of sight?
The issues you champion are good issues, don't get me wrong, but not any better as issues than the rest of the principled stands that Reagan Conservatives have promised to defend among the three pillars.
“Close to half of the independents ARE the Conservatives. Where do you think all the Republicans have gone?”
OK, but conservatives (I am one) haven’t figured out a way to win many competitive races since about 1994 - or perhaps we just didn’t know how to govern and hold our own party together. So we need to figure out a way to coalesce with the other independents - the so called Reagan Democrats. How would you suggest we do that now? We can either remake the Republican Party, or start a powerful 3rd party movement (remake the Republican Party by a different name). So let’s you and me not split hairs here. :)
“To suggest that “social issues” are to the “detriment of the movement” is wholly and utterly false.”
Listen to what I said - ‘whilst not focusing on them...to the detriment of the party.’ While not focusing on them, to such a degree and with such an intensity, that those social issues end of peeling away people that are not as inclined to them as we are. That is not to say that we are not standing up for them, or standing on our principles as social and fiscal conservatives. But it is saying we need to find a way to coalesce with the Reagan Democrats again - how would you suggest we do that? I think Reagan did it well - with his populism and optimism. That’s the difference, see. Reagan knew how to focus on populism, while still standing on socially conservative values like pro-life. He didn’t focus on them to such an extent that he limited to too great a degree his populist message with Reagan Democrats. We need to re-learn that approach. That’s really my point, I suppose.
That said, I’ve marched in pickets at Valley Hospital in Kent, WA and stood in pickets in Olympia protesting abortion and adovcating for the sacredness of life. You can do both well.
My views on the subject should be self-evident.
I have already abandoned the Republican party because I think it is hopelessly and irretrievably without value as a vehicle for the Conservative movement. It has positioned itself in a way which is extremely biased against Conservatives rising through it's ranks. It has become a gigantic heat sink, effectively cooling Conservative dissent, and co-opting the Conservative message.
The old proverb, "A house divided cannot stand," serves to describe the Republicans well. There is no sense in continuing to prop up what must fall down (a ready piece of logic to use throughout this Union, and to include even the Union itself).
As to the question, "What to do otherwise", my own efforts are soon to be joined to one of two parties: Either the Falcon Party, or the American Independent Party, both based solidly in Reagan Conservatism, and the only two fully Conservative offerings, to my knowledge.
I am leaning quite heavily toward the AIP at this point. It is not only Conservative, but activist, putting it's money where it's mouth is. And in less than a year, it has grown to be the third largest party in the nation, according to member registration.
I will make that decision with finality in early summer, and at that time, I WILL advocate. I will convince regional and small national funding sources I am involved with to come with me, and I may also become involved in party structure, to the degree that I can without creating a conflict of interests with my primary political role.
In my opinion, it is not a matter of crafting "a message". It is about getting out "the message" in an honest and reliable way. It is about putting our trust in statesmen, not politicians, statesmen who regard their charge as a sacred oath, and are duty bound to express the will of the people and the states, within the boundaries of the law.
What Reagan did to attract the people was "MEAN IT". What the "Contract with America" did to earn the trust of the people was "MEAN IT". Unfortunately, the Republican party, under which these two revolutionary uprisings took place, does not "mean it". They are not devoted to the Conservative cause, in fact, they stand against it.
Conservatives tend to think linearly: If this, then this.; Here is what was attempted, here are the results.; Based on experience, this works and this does not work. Etc.
Liberals do not think that way. Liberals are easily conned and manipulated, and relentlessly unwilling to admit when they are wrong. Democrat correspondents’ obsession with attempting to elicit apologies from Republicans all the time is an offshoot of these strained thought processes.
Liberals, when confronted with a bare-bones truth that challenges their world view, will scrunch their eyes shut, shake their heads, and chant nah-nah-nah-nah-nah-nah until whatever truth it is they find offensive goes away, rather than revise their thoughts and beliefs to conform to the truth before their very eyes.
Certainly, there are notable exceptions such as David Horowitz, PJ ORourke, Bernie Goldberg, and others who were smart enough to lift themselves out of the silly liberal mindset but these are, unfortunately, rare exceptions.
Being an unashamed liberal is a matter of character (or more accurately, a lack of character). Liberals are mostly humorless and bitter. Everybody else is ______ (richer, happier, luckier, fill-in-the-blank) than they deserve to be and its not fair. True liberals (as opposed to the self-serving parasites who comprise the Democrat party base) are often either permanently victimized malcontents or white, guilt-ridden heirs who feel that their own good fortune is undeserved.
Interestingly, true liberals are often physically slow and unathletic - - make that downright clumsy - - and have no interest whatsoever in competetive sports. Additionally, liberals really dont get jokes, even if they chuckle as if they do.
Liberals can appear to be normal people, and are often able to handle their jobs and academic endeavors competently, and socialize normally with others, even if their self-centeredness prevents them from ever having real, honest-to-God friends.
But the most troubling thing about liberals is that they see no problem in walking into the polling place on election day and voting for big government to confiscate more money - - from their NEIGHBORS. Normal people would view this behavior as selfish and rude, but liberals actually believe that they are somehow accomplishing something - - perhaps they soothe their irrational guilt with the tragic misbelief that they are helping others, notably, the poor. Apparently, voting for government to take more money from their neighbors so that their Democrat politicians may use that money to buy votes makes liberals feel good about themselves. (Dont ask me - - figuring out liberals would best be left to a team of psychiatrists.)
Thanks Roamer. I think we need to throw our efforts behind a 3rd party movement at the state level - and support conservative Republicans everywhere we can, especially nationally (not to prop up Republicans, but to support conservatives.) I think done well (perhaps Perot was a recent interesting example, though not a conservative one), this can succeed electorally and create a coalition force to be reckoned with, for perhaps the first time since 1854.
The problem nationally is that the laws and rules relegate against all 3rd parties.
For instance the lack of any proportional representation prevents 3rd parties from receiving any electoral representation. This is why we see 3rd parties laboring for 50, 75 years for NOTHING.
Also, 3rd party candidates now need to be polling 15% prior to the debates to be included. That would have eliminated both Perot and Anderson from the debates the participated in in 1992 and 1980. What chance is there if we’re not even included at all in a seat at the table? Do you relish laboring and financing a national 3rd party candidate that’s marginalized? If someone can show me a strategy that would bring a 3rd party candidate to the debates - I’m willing to listen.
Better option would be work within particular states that are most amendable to 3rd party candidates and begin there to field candidates and win electorally. The Reform Party did this (MN), but didn’t have a lasting vision/energy. Without some strategy toward electoral success, forget about it, it’s just a waste of time, treasure and talent.
You can certainly advocate for for changes to the laws (hmmm, tough to do without any electoral power), but I think remaking the Republican party is a better short to medium term goal, perhaps in conjunction with changing laws related to 3rd parties.
The Politico lies. It is a lefty rag. Who cites Megan frickin McCain, a nobody, and I do mean “nobody”, as a GOP leader?
Bush Senior and Bush Junior both said that they were fiscal conservatives and both lied. Do not blindly follow someone just because they call themselves a conservative. Trust but verify.