Skip to comments.Trouble Brewing in GOP
Posted on 03/19/2013 5:15:46 AM PDT by Kaslin
For the first time, I am wondering about the long-term viability of the Republican Party. I say this not as an advocate of its demise or restructuring but as an observer of troubling signs.
The Republican Party is thought to be the institutional vehicle for the advancement of conservative policies, but for decades, the conservative movement has been frustrated with the party's deviation from conservative principles -- its refusal to live up to its decidedly conservative platform.
I believe that the disappointing results for Republicans in the 2006 elections and probably the 2012 elections, as well, were in no small part attributable to frustrated conservatives staying at home.
The thinking among many conservatives has been that the party has consistently fallen short by failing to restrain the growth of the ever-expanding federal government and by failing to nominate sufficiently conservative presidential nominees. That is, if we would just nominate and elect Reagan conservatives and govern on Reagan principles, we would recapture majority status in no time.
The main opposing view -- call it the establishment view -- holds that Republicans need to accept that the reign of small government is over, get with the program and devise policies to make the irreversibly enormous government smarter and more energetic. In other words, Republicans need to surrender to the notion that liberalism's concept of government has won and rejigger their agenda toward taming the leviathan rather than shrinking it.
I'd feel better if the ongoing competition between Reagan conservatives and establishment Republicans were the only big fissure in the GOP right now, but there are other cracks that threaten to break wide open, too. Our problems transcend our differing approaches to the size and scope of government and to fiscal and other economic issues.
Reagan conservatism is no longer under attack from just establishment Republicans; it's also under attack from many inside the conservative movement itself. Reagan conservatism is a three-legged stool of fiscal, foreign policy and social issues conservatism. But today many libertarian-oriented conservatives are singing from the liberal libertine hymnal that the GOP needs to remake its image as more inclusive, less tolerant, less judgmental and less strident. In other words, it needs to lighten up and quit opposing gay marriage, at least soften its position on abortion, and get on board the amnesty train to legalize illegal immigrants. I won't even get into troubling foreign policy divisions among so-called neocons, so-called isolationists and those who simply believe we should conduct our foreign policy based foremost on promoting our strategic national interests.
One might reasonably assume that President Obama's abysmal record would usher in an era of GOP unity, but ironically, his policies have put such a strain on America that they seem to be exacerbating, rather than alleviating, the divisions within the GOP. I see my more libertarian-oriented conservative friends on Twitter, for example, wholly frustrated with conservatives who refuse to surrender on the social issues and thereby, in their view, jeopardize a coalition that could successfully oppose Obama's bankrupting of America. It's as if they believe that all social conservatives have morphed into Todd Akins.
Maybe it's just from where I'm sitting, but it appears to me that momentum is building among Republicans to capitulate on the issue of same-sex marriage, no matter what negative consequences might result from society's abandonment of support for traditional marriage. Likewise, it seems that many Republicans are determined to surrender on the immigration issue on the naive hope that Republicans will instantly shed the ogre factor and be on equal footing to compete for the Hispanic vote.
I belong to the school that believes the Republican Party must remain the party of mainstream Reagan conservatism rather than try to become a diluted version of the Democratic Party. This does not mean Republicans can't come up with creative policy solutions when advisable, but it does mean that conservatism is based on timeless principles that require no major revisions. Conservatives are champions of freedom, the rule of law and enforcement of the social compact between government and the people enshrined in the Constitution, which imposes limitations on government in order to maximize our liberties. If we reject these ideas, then we have turned our backs on what America means and what has made America unique. What's the point of winning elections if the price is American exceptionalism?
I refuse to acquiesce to the cowardly notion that conservatives are intolerant or mean-spirited because they oppose discriminant treatment for groups and classes of people, because they support the rule of law, because they oppose a runaway entitlement state and because they adhere to traditional values, including the protection of innocent life.
But my personal preferences as to the future of the conservative movement and the GOP aren't really the point. The point is that no matter what I prefer, the hard truth is that the movement inside the Republican Party to abandon social conservatism is nothing short of a political death wish. Denying it will not alter the reality.
I posted the following rant on Facebook yesterday:
Today my grand daughter Gracie celebrates her 9th birthday .I love her and I worry greatly for her. I found the following comment in the newspaper today and would like to share it to demonstrate why I worry:
The United States is a banana republic thanks to the Democrats who think they are entitled to rule the rest of us since FDR captured the government in 1932. Eisenhower was accepted because both the Democrats and Republicans wanted him to run on their ticket. Joe Kennedy stole the 1960 election for JFK via the Chicago machine’s voting fraud. Nixon was taken out by a Democratic coupe. He didnt do nearly as much mischief as LBJ, Clinton and now Obama, all of which has been ignored by the media and public. LBJ’s power was gained by blackmailing the opposition with tapes made at a mafia owned hotel in Atlantic City where two way mirrors and peep holes entrapped gullible VIPS with free rooms, booze and women. Clinton’s coercion, misdeeds and perjury was notorious yet the Dem. Senate refused to uphold the impeachment and refused to even examine the proof of rape. Our country is in debt beyond its means to repay and the big fools just keep on keeping on. Our education system is deliberately dumbed down so that those who can and are willing to learn are not taught any more than the bottom feeders are able to learn, Clinton gave his beloved Chairman Mao’s Communist China our industrial base by allowing China to dump its cheap slave labor made goods here duty free and saddling our industries with so many regs that they couldn’t compete. . The name of the game was to save China so its communist govt. wouldn’t collapse like the USSR’s. Those in power are determined to make Communism work, one way or the other. We are a third world banana republic already and along with all the third world, uneducated, low mentality immigrants that are being brought in by the hundreds of thousands it can only get worse.
The only thing I can add is the Bushs didnt make things any better for this country because they belong to the same rat club in spirit and mind. President Reagan was the only true exception -— a throwback to the times of our founding fathers. Other than Reagan the only president to earn my respect (in my lifetime) is Harry Truman. He didnt take a dime from the government. He retired a poor man with only his Army pension. He even packed his own bags and paid for the moving van back to his home in Missouri without an allowance from the government. Truman represented the Democrat Party I was raised in and part of but that party has since made such a mess of things it is totally unrecognizable now and that is unforgivable. My adopted Republican Party is just as bad and corrupt now. I wish I believed in the efficacy of prayer and God because I would say, God help America! We need rescuing but I dont hold out much hope of that happening before the sewer of life swallows us down the drain of history.
Nice read. And spot on.
GOD, Liberty, Freedom and Guns... I will not give up any of them and I am willing to die to defend all four.
The GOP establishment has made it clear that the party is moving away from conservatism, so it’s time for conservatives to form our own party. It’s as simple as that.
I think he’s right on..........I haven’t been excited about a Republican nominee (other than Ted Cruz), for many years.
If there are any true conservatives out there, it’s time for them to come to the fore and either take over the party, or form another one.
It depends. I have no problem with discriminating against people who broke the law and are here illegally but I refuse to stiff arm those who grew up on the democrat plantation and know no other way.
You don’t have to pander or offer anything in order to reach out to Americans who need conservatism most but fear it.
...Or migrate to an existing party with an infrastructure in place. The Constitution Party might be a good option.
Out with the old, and in with the new! Rand and Rubio are the type of fighters we need. Expect them to be slandered in the media, and by the Soros trolls here on FR. Good riddance cronies. God knows what he is doing.
Once again, "traditional" marriage has three features:
1) It is permanent (no divorce)
2) Sexual exclusivity is enforced by the law (adultery is a crime)
3) Children of the wife's body belong to, and are supported by, the husband under penalty of law for default, bastards are the responsibility of the state. (no single mother custody).
Traditional marriage has been outlawed in the United States for at least 50 years. The replacement of traditional marriage with a temporary relation, terminable at will by either party without cause and existing primarily for tax benefits and social esteem, is perfectly suited for homosexuals (in fact, almost all "married" heterosexual couples have a "gay marriage" already).
The foregoing being undisputed, opening "gay marriage for heterosexuals" to its inventors seems inevitable.
they do the immigration thing then there will be nothing left of the republican party ...it will fracture the base so badly that in 2014 they will be destroyed in a way that they can’t imagine
The Constitution Party is a joke. It is like jumping from a sinking ship to a rubber dingy full of clowns. It has the three leg failure David Limbaugh was talking about with foreign policy/defense positions that mirror Libertarians. Considering that is the primary Constitutional role of the federal government, it is a deal killer.
The battle for the GOP can be seen real-time here on Free Republic among long time Freepers. Many threads championing cowardice on social issues just to win an election. Very disheartening.
The Constitution Party has no gonads and won't fight.
Note in particular my Post #7 on that thread:
" I exchanged some angry emails with the Goode campaign about giving up in Pennsylvania, and found that it is nothing but a spineless, defeatist bunch of losers unwilling to fight for anything. The Constitution Party will never amount to a hill of beans, based on what its senior officials told me earlier in the week when I was beseeching them to fight for PA."
If a sequester is what it takes to slow government down, lets have a new sequester every month.
Maybe in Sharia law or extreme puritanical situations but traditional views of marriage across most cultures and religions aren't like this. I haven't seen a church (other than Islam) this extreme in years and they are usually fringe, snake-handler types.
The republican party showed its true stripes when they controlled both houses and the executive branch and still spent like drunken sailors. I have not been a republican since.
Fool me once, and all that...
Those in charge of the Republican party have driven it so far off of Reagan’s highway that it’s truly in doubt whether anyone can bring it back.
That may be true at present, but they’re in very small numbers in the USCP. A big infusion of pissed-off, motivated, erstwhile GOP conservatives would overwhelm the defeatists’ numbers. This would be preferable to having to disentrench the spineless, defeatist bunch of losers unwilling to fight for anything in the GOP.
Those in charge of the Republican party have driven it so far off of Reagan’s highway that it’s truly in doubt whether anyone can bring it back.
Once it has “gone to seed” the condition in terminal and can never be fixed. It just gets worse and worse until it becomes a full blown ghetto.
That is the Republican party of today.
It’s time to move out of the neighborhood and start life anew.
I hope you haven’t forgotten that we had the attacks on 9/11 and two wars. Otherwise STHU
However there are two other issues Republicans are on the wrong side of history on. Drug legalization and Gay Marriage. I have moved to a more libertarian position on both of these issues. As Paul (and I was not a supporter of his during the primaries) said, the government shouldn't even be involved with “licensing” marriages to begin with, and thus shouldn't be in the business of deciding who can or can't marry. And the same goes for drugs. The government shouldn't be telling we the people what we can or can't eat or drink.
The Republicans do need to tweek their message a little bit. But it should be tweeked toward freedom, even if it means people use that freedom to do perverted things to willing others or to pollute their bodies with dangerous chemicals.
Freedom should never mean the freedom for us to decide what another can or can't do with their body (not talking about abortion) but freedom to do with their own body whatever they see fit (so long as it doesn't infringe on anothers rights)
True, but the Republican Party is also still the party of the likes of people like Ted Cruz and Louie Gohmert. A LOT of the problem can be reflected back at us, the people, for our lack of strategy, unification, and unwilling to really fight beyond lip service. We need a reset on our end (the people) and stop looking for DC for the solution but start at the bottom again. Our own ‘community organizing’. Start in our neighborhood, schools, and churches. Don’t just give up on them and hope someone ‘from there government who is here to help’ will champion us. Run for local office or school board. Become Republican precinct chairs (probably the most powerful position in the election cycle). Be active locally. We started heading that direction then the train went off the track as we kept looking for that national leader when we as individuals should be leaders.
The Democrats are writing the narrative defining what conservatives are. American who need to hear the conservative message are listening to the narrative of the Democrats.
To bad we can't elect Bill Whittle to be the spokesman for Conservative Republicans.
Any third party is a joke, if you ask me
You could very well be true, in which case we’re just circling the drain.
Medicare Part D
Yep, just go back and review the Santorum and ABO/Romney threads and you'll see all kinds of nasty comments directed at "St Rick," "Bible Thumpers," and "holier-than-thou evangelicals" by some of our very own in-house FR fiscal Conservatives. Remember their oft-repeated line about "electing a president and not a preacher?"
One thing we have to do is to stop fighting each other. Division does not help us one bit
Of course, and no one should be surprised
Rolling over and dying is counter productive.
..and Paul is wrong. As long as there are legal issues tied to it, such as inheritance, property ownership, taxes, etc and as long as it is a legally binding contract, the government has the responsibility under the Constitution to ensure that there are clear legal definitions and the law is equally applied (Article 1 Section 8 'Weights and Measures' clause per the Federalist papers, Measures includes uniform definitions that pertain to legal matters. Also 14th Amendment, the equal protection clause).
In order for government to be out of it, it would immediately require that all existing legal contracts that pertain to it be either voided or changed (a boom for lawyers). All pending or recently passed litigation in relation to marriage issues (such as divorce property issues) would/could be challenged.
You then have the one hundred million or so married couples who no longer have legal contracts recognized and you run into another Constitutional issue regarding Ex Post Facto laws.
If there’s any resurrection, it’s going to first come from the states outward. That being said, the good work that the Tea Party and Sarah Palin are doing is beginning to show forth with people like Ted Cruz. Here’s hoping 2014 will continue that pace.
“But today many libertarian-oriented conservatives are singing from the liberal libertine hymnal that the GOP needs to remake its image as more inclusive, less tolerant, less judgmental and less strident.”
He is correct. The Libertarians (Libertines actually) are destroying the Reagan coalition. I am primarily a SOCON, and I cannot abide Libertarians (calling themselves GOP) like Rand Paul anymore than N.E. liberal republicans being part of the party. IF guys like Rand Paul are the “future” of the GOP, then I will no longer be part of it. Guys like McCain are RINOs but he was rigth to call Rand Paul a “wack job.” While Paul was correct regarding his concern on Drones used against U.S. citizens, he is so terribly wrong on other issues.
They just don’t make “Ronald Reagans” anymore that hold balanced conservative views.
Marriages were not licenced in the US until Jim Crow, and it wasn’t an issue at all.
The whole concept of licencing marriage was to prevent “mixed” marriages.
One thing which continues to strike me is the assumption by most that Obama is the driving force behind all the socialistic changes being implemented. I have never viewed this guy as being as clever (politically) as he’s usually given credit. Instead, he continues to have plenty of help from many within the Republican Party.
A libertarian faction is on the rise in both major parties. It remains to be seen how much influence that faction will have in its respective parties.
Although the GOP has major internal issues, so do the Democrats.
For Democrats, the money is running out and you have unions fighting against Democrat governors and city mayors (Detroit, Chicago, and Philly, e.g.). Democrats can only keep their disparate coalitions together when there is sufficient $$$ to dole out to all. When there are only scraps left, the teeth are bared and the viciousness begins.
Fifty or so, to be precise - but this was exactly the situation, right here in America, the year I was born and for all the years in Christendom for more than a thousand years.
The term "traditional" doesn't usually mean "whatever has happened in the last few years that I happen to like".
“Republican” has become the “Democrat-Lite” party.
Both my husband and I have TRICare and are both on Medicare. Neither one has signed up for Part D and I am sure those who have, have to pay a fee that is deducted from their Social Security. Both my husband and I have part A and B which is both deducted from our SS.
Wrong on issues like a promised first budget that removes the department of education?
If the GOP jumps on the deviancy bandwagon and accepts homo marriage, it deserves to die as a Party. And I’d be the first to contribute bullets for its execution.
How about the DHS while the Republicans had full control? Great idea or a poor idea?