Skip to comments.The Dangerous Good Old Boys of the GOP
Posted on 04/30/2009 9:33:23 AM PDT by AJKauf
Since the election, the debate has raged. Who is responsible for the 2008 election debacle and the defeat of the Republican Party?
So far this question has centered on various groups attempts to reenact the scapegoat scene from Leviticus and cast all the sins of the Republican Party onto cultural conservatives and release their concerns into the wilderness.
The battle has been as entertaining as it has been misguided and pointless. Is there a war between economic conservatives and social conservatives? As someone actively involved in both social and fiscal issues, Ive seen a lot of crossover between the two sides in terms of people who show up. This crossover is quite common. A leading economic conservative group, Club for Growth, often backed the same candidates as socially conservative groups like National Right to Life, Government Is Not God-PAC, and Focus on the Family Action. Newt Gingrich has begun to go around with slides showing that the most socially conservative members of Congress were also the most fiscally conservative.
Im going to suggest an alternate conclusion. Im going to reject the conventional wisdom that the election was lost because of the party grassroots and go out on a limb and suggest that maybe the problem is not the partys activists. Perhaps (and I know this is shocking) the people who led the party over the cliff are the ones to blame.
The GOP doesnt have a religious problem, a gay rights problem, or an abortion problem. It fundamentally has a good old boy problem. Let us tell the story of a primary, and we dont have to name names, because the story is the same across the country....
(Excerpt) Read more at pajamasmedia.com ...
Well duh! The R party is rife with liberal moles. Not RINOs, Moles.
George W Bush and John McCain
The liberal media. Next.
I read they’re now trying to take out Toomney because they want someone more “moderate” to vs. Specter.
John McCain is responsible for losing his election. The GOP primary voters are responsible for picking him.
The only thing the Social Conservatives should be faulted for is not recognising and tolerating other types of conservatives who agree on most issues but disagree on some social issues.
You can win with a candidate who is a social conservative — after all, each seat only has ONE representative, and that person has to have beliefs of some kind.
You CANNOT win if you drive away VOTERS simply because they disagree with you on social issues.
We don’t want a pro-choice candidate (although we have to accept that if we refuse to support a pro-choice candidate, we WILL lose some seats by default, and if we refuse to support a pro-choice candidate who wins a primary over our pro-life candidate, we can’t get upset when the pro-abortion voters refuse to support our pro-life candidates later).
But if we ostracize and drive away pro-abortion voters from our candidates, and if we do the same with non-Christian voters, and gay voters, and non-married co-habiting voters, we won’t win very many elections.
Because if you look around, the pro-life, Christian, married electorate is a minority.
And their current answer is for those exact same “good old boys” to “rebrand” the formerly grand OLD party.
Ya gotta laugh so you don’t cry.
This piece is right on target. And you can bet that the Good Old Boys aren’t paying it any heed.
So far, as far as I can see, we have managed to get absolutely no further forward than we were last November. The movers and shakers STILL don’t understand what hit them.
You’d think that if they really want power and pork, they’d at least have enough sense to try to get the voters back on their side, and throw them a few bones. But they just don’t get it.
A Fiscal Conservative believes in a balanced budget (or a deficit below a certain GDP level); an Economic Conservative agrees, but believes the level of spending is also limited.
A Fiscal Conservative will make pain staking effort to ensure money is being spent wisely; an Economic Conservative will question the wisdom of spending the money at all.
A Fiscal Conservative believes in compassionate conservatism; an Economic Conservative disagrees that it is appropriate for the government to be involved in charity.
“The GOP primary voters are responsible for picking him.”
McCain had the nomination wrapped up before he won a majority of GOP voters in a primary.
“The movers and shakers STILL dont understand what hit them.”
Nancy and the Dems know what hit the Repubs. That’s why they are coax them leftward. They know the only chance of a future Repub victory will come from moving rightward.
That de Toqueville guy saw this coming. The masses are, and always will be, ignorant of larger issues presenting their society. When they are promised “free” goodies, they line up at the trough. They have learned to spend the treasury on themselves. The problem is that they bought into a lie: they are getting a dollar from the government in their left pocket while the government takes two dollars from their right pocket. They think this is a good deal.
It’s government ops 101; all democracies work this way, that’s why they all eventually collapse. All men have a price, including those who go to Washington. The more clever of them simply get a higher price while others sell out like cheap street whores. Either way, they all sell out eventually.
I’m afraid all of this is human nature. We see it for the inherent wrong and folly that it is. No one listens to us. The masses don’t care so long as they get bread and circuses, the political class laughs in contempt.
One might view this sort of pandering self-righteousness with the jaundiced eye of the carnival guest who finds a fellow's hand in his pocket and is told it's just being checked out for his own good. These are not people who have anyone's best interest at heart but their own.
The author alludes to this, correctly in my estimation. The actual reasons the Republicans lost were legion, principally because the public had been sold by a strident and partisan press that the Republicans had been "in power" for eight years, (during the last two of which the Democrats were actually in majority in Congress, a datum that was ruthlessly suppressed). Everything was wrong, wrong, wrong, the Republicans were to blame, and so the other fellows must, ipso facto be right, right, right. Change couldn't possibly be for the worse. It was the marketing strategy of a flim-flam man pointed at pre-schoolers and it worked.
To a point. The challenge now is to convince the public that everything actually is right, right, right now and that anything bad must necessarily be a holdover from the Republicans. That strategy is fraying after 100 days and the Dems are clinging desperately to their campaign mode. At some point even the lumpenproletariat that are the general run of American voters are going to realize that that warm liquid feeling on their collective back isn't rain.
That actually has very little to do with the Good Old Boys at RNC headquarters, but they're the ones who are going to have to do something about it and don't, actually, look up to the job at the moment. But recognize that most of the voices claiming that, do so out of malice, not analysis. All politicians lose elections. The good ones learn from it. If Tweedledee needs to go (and I think it's a fair case that he does) then we need to make sure that Tweedledum doesn't replace him.
To be perfectly accurate, it was not GOP primary voters who elected McCain -- it was the GOP primary system.
Open primaries and "winner takes all" rules allow McCain (and the Democrats) to game the system. McCain never won a majority of Republican voters in any primary until Super Tuesday -- by which time he had already locked up the nomination.
This statement covers all of McCain's primary runs from 2000 thru most of 2008 -- until California (and Arizona) gave him a majority of Republican voters on Feb 5. Even then, despite being the nominee designate, McCain was carrying only 60-70% of the Republican vote.
Accordingly, it wasn't Republican voters who selected McCain -- it was crossover "moderates" and Democrats plus rules which discriminated in favor of the largest minority.
McCain may be pissed because "conservatives didn't turn out" for him. But, under the circumstances, I'm astounded that he got as much support as he did.
well said. You make the distinction between VOTERS and CANDIDATES.
We ideologues often fail to make that distinction. When a CANDIDATE is both ECONOMIC conservative and SOCIAL conservative, the single issue ideologues insist insist on making the campaign single issue and pushing out VOTERS who don’t agree with them on that single issue. They don’t allow the candidacy to be a muilti-issue campaign.
Many multi-issue candidates lose as a result. Disproportionately the winners are the opportunists (aka RINOS) who have no ideology. They are not liberal or conservative. But, since they have no core values, they must resort to buying votes with taxpayer money and resort to pandering to every flavor of the month.
That, and constantly play the divide-and-conquer card by setting the libertarians against the social conservatives. Which unfortunately seems to work on at least that marginal percentage which they need to win.
This article actually made sense to me. I like it!!!
The prochoice voter is more willing to vote for a prolife candidate than a prolife candidate is willing to vote for a prochoice candidate.
Also, the abortion issue is more important to prolifers than it is to prochoicers.
So, there is NO good reason to DELIBERATELY run off voters that don't agree with us, on everything.
Tell the truth, but then move on, and do not look petty or preachy on the issue.
The view that prevails in the Washington establishment is that it was "the voters let them down". When, in fact, the voters hold the exact opposite view.
The whole Specter flap revealed this quite clearly -- in particular the Olympia Snowe op-ed which essentially blamed Pennsylvania Republican voters for being "too extreme".
The Rasmussen results are illuminating a very significant phenomenon. The nation's voters appear to be recognizing that their greatest enemy may not be the other party -- instead, it is Washington.
The GOP’s problem is the 24/7/365 war room of the MSM/DNC/Hollywood/Academia.
And the “American” people (and our pols) who let them run the United States.
Republican Party leaders don’t mind being the Democrats lapdogs. They all have to go. All of them.
Absolutely spot on. In my opinion the Republicans lost because of:
(1) They spent money like drunken sailors for the last XXX years, culminating in the Paulson coup.
(2) An open primary allowing democrats to pick who they’d like to run against. A system they do not seem to be in any hurry to change.
(4) McCain’s endorsement of Obama
(5) McCain’s inexplicable and ineffective intervention in the bailout mess. Not to mention the bailout mess itself. Not to mention McCain’s support of the bailout mess. See also (1) again.
(6) Republican party leadership’s ongoing efforts to neuter Sarah Palin. Even after it was obvious that she was generating the only excitement in the race, they kept her in the dark about campaign planning, and tried their best to marginize her.
(7) Liberals, including all the media, had a candidate and campaign they could enthusiastically support. Conservatives had a candidate they could barely tolerate. “He’s not as bad as him” does not win elections.
(8) all the reasons mentioned in the excellent article — too many Republicans ashamed of the beliefs of the people who voted for them and trying their best to be democrat-light.
Orin Hatch and his RINO buds trying to push Tom Ridge while dumping on Toomey.
I have a suggestion.
Hold a nationwide election so Republicans throughout the nation can decide who they want to represent them instead of merely having a small convention with a small handful of cnadidates who, let’s be frank, are fairly flaccid.
Then once said candidate is chosen all we need to do is work to convince the other side why he’s better than the Democrat candidate.
That way the Republican party can go to the polls with the solid base already in line and the only thing we would have to worry about is whether or not we have ocnvinced the other side of the merits of our candidate.
The article and posters make some solid points. However, I think what is needed is an honest re-evaluation of where we stand realistically from an electoral standpoint. While there are still a substantial minority of conservatives out there, there are also a smaller but substantial number of more influential liberals who support the socialist, anti-american agenda. There is also a larger group of SWING VOTERS, maybe 1/3 of the country, that determine elections. It is THEY who voted for Obama and still support him and what little they actually know about his “agenda”. Those are the people that we need to address.
The problem is that we now have a number of structural factors that are working against us that could doom conservatives electorally FOREVER if they are not addressed, and soon; First, DEMOGRAPHICS are against us. The simple fact is that minority voters vote Democratic in substantial numbers, and they are a fast increasing share of the electorate. (The most salient fact is that if the demographics of the U.S. in 2008 were the same as it were in 1992, and whites voted for the GOP in the same proportions, despite everything else McCain WOULD HAVE STILL WON THIS ELECTION HANDILY.) This should cause major concern for anyone who cares about limited government. The demographics are moving even faster against us given immigration and birth patterns. For conservatives to win national elections they need to address this issue as they need to either win an increasingly large share of the white vote (as well as address immigration and consider being more “polarizing”) or an increasingly large share of the minority vote (If anyone thinks they can do that without moving leftward on substantive issues, I’d like to hear their ideas AND see it work in practice)
Second, the liberal media has been successful in their long quest to influence voters; The MSM has never been so biased, but conservatives have to realize that the SWING VOTERS that determine elections are largely apolitical, and they get their news (what little of it) from headlines generated by a liberal newspaper or wire service, t.v. news reporters, etc. The media influences their view of events, and many of these voters believe that if they simply read something in a newspaper or see it on the t.v. news then it must be “true”.
Third, the CULTURE has been quickly moved to the left. The Universities are havens for Marxism and socialism, and there is nothing on the horizon to counter this. Jon Stewart is an unfunny leftist but he DOES have influence. So does Hollywood, MTV, etc. These influences make it “hip” to be liberal, and ostracize conservative views. Younger voters went 2 for 1 for Obama, are now overwhelmingly in favor of liberal positions such as gay marriage. They have been moving steadily leftward with the influence of the education system and pop culture.
Finally, MONEY HAS MADE A DIFFERENCE. George Soros and his billions (Through MOVE-ON.org, ACORN, Media Matters, etc. etc. ) have financed the Left’s agenda through the media AND registering voters. This was a conscious effort, and there is so far no similar committment on the part of any conservative billionaires to do what Soros was willing to do.
I’m not an alarmist, but the reality is that we are facing an existential threat to the America as we have known it. Demographics, media, culture, and money have successfully marginalized conservatives as an electoral force. While George W. Bush was a decent man, he was a “Christian conservative”, he was not an IDEOLOGICAL CONSERVATIVE. As a result, he let these left-wing forces garner strength during his 8 years in office due to his failure to articulate conservative principles, failure to build up conservative institutions, and inability to communicate. He allowed the Left to destroy his reputation and, by extension, the reputation of conservatism in the eyes of swing voters. We are now unfortunately reaping what has been sowed by the inaction. If we don’t get conservative leadership and counter these forces things will soon be irreversable...
Nonsense! You live in Virginia and know very well that when we went to vote on February 12th he had already been declared the presumtive nominee on January 29th after receiving 25.5% of the vote from only 7 states.
The state "central committee" had changed the rules at some point between 1-1-08 and 2-12-08, but no one knew exactly who, when or how it happened.
Obviously we in Virginia weren’t responsible, but there was a series of primaries, and somehow McCain managed to win the contest.
And the only argument I have against those who are arguing with me on this is that it was NOT democrats crossing over to vote Republican — the democrats had a hot primary of their own that was contested way past the end of ours.
McCain didn’t get a majority. That means that we should have been able to elect a conservative, because McCain had a minority of the vote leaving a majority not voting for him.
If everybody who didn’t want McCain had agreed on another candidate, we would have had another candidate.
But we didn’t. McCain had more people who supported him than any other individual candidate. And that is the fault of the GOP voters. It wasn’t McCain’s fault — he didn’t force us all to split our votes. It wasn’t the democrats — they didn’t cross over to vote McCain, nor did they force us to split our votes.