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Mark Shields: Republicans Saw Off the Atlantic Seaboard (hurl alert)
US Daily ^ | 5/2/09

Posted on 05/02/2009 2:33:13 PM PDT by lewisglad

You call Tom Rath, the former New Hampshire state attorney general and longtime Republican national committeeman, because he is smart and he is quotable. Rath was upset that, after five terms in the U.S. Senate as a Republican, Pennsylvania's Arlen Specter -- for his own political survival -- had left their party to join the Senate Democratic majority: "Forty-five years ago, Barry Goldwater so disliked the Eastern establishment that he proposed sawing off the Atlantic Seaboard. In 2009, that's what the Republican Party is finally doing."

Don't just take his word for it. Listen to this from a prominent national Republican: "You can walk from Canada to Mexico and from Maine to Arizona without ever leaving a state with a Democratic governor. ... And on the East Coast, you can drive from North Carolina to New Hampshire without touching a single state in between that has a Republican in the U.S. Senate."

Those are not the musings of an academic -- they are the blunt words from a speech to the Republican National Committee by the GOP's Senate leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, who warned: "(T)he Republican Party seems to be slipping into a position of being more of a regional party than a national one. In politics there's a name for a regional party -- it's called a minority party."

McConnell's concerns were rejected by the nation's most popular radio talk-show host, Rush Limbaugh, who upon receiving news of the conversion, urged Specter to take Sen. John McCain and his daughter Meghan with him.

Contrast this with what a Democratic Party leader told me in 1995 when then-Colorado U.S. Sen. Ben "Nighthorse" Campbell, the Senate's only Cheyenne tribe member with a fondness for bolo ties and driving a motorcycle around Washington, deserted the Democrats for the GOP: "When the one Indian in the Senate with a ponytail and a Harley leaves your side to become a Republican, you know your party's in real trouble."

Lindsay Graham of South Carolina apparently believes, unlike Limbaugh, that politics is a matter of addition and not subtraction. Graham told Fox's Greta Van Susteren: "Here's the challenge for the Republican Party. Can the person running in Pennsylvania win? ... I can't win in Pennsylvania. Rush Limbaugh can't win in Pennsylvania. If you're worried about turning the country over to the Democratic Party and not being a vibrant, relevant Republican Party, we need to find somebody that can win in Pennsylvania."

Which brings us to an iron rule: The vitality of a political party, or any organization to which people voluntarily belong, can be accurately measured by whether that party is spending its time, effort and energy seeking and welcoming converts or exposing and banishing heretics.

In 1980, the Republicans under Ronald Reagan's leadership were recruiting with open arms disaffected members of the opposition. Remember "Reagan Democrats"? In 2008, Barack Obama repeatedly courted Republicans and other non-Democrats to his campaign and cause. His efforts were rewarded in November when he carried independents, suburbanites and Catholic voters.

Those avenging Republicans who might prefer the recreation of another Salem tribunal must first confront these numbers. In 2005, there were 55 Republicans in the U.S. Senate. And with Democrat Al Franken of Minnesota almost certain to eventually be seated, there are now only 40 Republican senators. In 2005, there were 232 Republicans in the U.S. House. Today, there are 178.

Barely five years ago, according to the authoritative Pew national poll, 33 percent of voters identified themselves as Democrats and 30 percent self-identified as Republicans -- just a three point difference and almost within the margin of error. In 2009, 35 percent proclaim themselves Democrats, while Republican identification has slipped badly to 22 percent -- opening up a 13-point gap.

Rath and Graham, two grown-up politicians, understand from personal experience in the arena what too many in their party do not: Politics is always a matter of addition, not subtraction


TOPICS: Editorial; News/Current Events; Politics/Elections; US: District of Columbia
KEYWORDS:

1 posted on 05/02/2009 2:33:13 PM PDT by lewisglad
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To: lewisglad
In 2009, 35 percent proclaim themselves Democrats, while Republican identification has slipped badly to 22 percent -- opening up a 13-point gap.

So who wants to be a member of the big spenders party owned and operated off of wall street. This story says 12+ percentage see the GOP as Democrat lite.

2 posted on 05/02/2009 2:39:33 PM PDT by org.whodat (Auto unions bad: Machinists union good=Hypocrisy)
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To: org.whodat

They should ask who sees themselves as CONSERVATIVES or ask for their opinion on specific issues.

Most of America is right wing... they just don’t know it yet.


3 posted on 05/02/2009 2:43:20 PM PDT by SolidWood (Palin: "We do not want to becomes slaves of Washington.")
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To: lewisglad

Another nonsensical ‘analysis’ of the Republicans in 2009, this one from Mark Shields who is no friend of the party.

Not a credible source or analyst.


4 posted on 05/02/2009 2:44:00 PM PDT by Will88
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To: lewisglad

“Hurl alert”? If Republicans don’t recognize that they’re turning into a regional party and do something about it they’ll never recover. This doesn’t mean compromising on our core fiscal values, which should be able to have as much appeal in Connecticut as in Utah, but it does mean eschewing messages like Sarah Palin’s “pro-America areas” of the country comment.


5 posted on 05/02/2009 2:48:44 PM PDT by Arguendo
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To: lewisglad
What a nutty article. We all know very well that the red state/blue state dichotomy is true down to the county level, and that reveals there are still vast stretches of this country that are Republican, and small dots that are Democrat.

You get a good, deadly flu epidemic underway and those dots are toast!

6 posted on 05/02/2009 2:48:50 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: lewisglad
In 2009, 35 percent proclaim themselves Democrats, while Republican identification has slipped badly to 22 percent -- opening up a 13-point gap.

frequently quoted, while polling showing that the generic congressional ballot now shows R43%-D41% and is ignored. That said, I agree an idea that is more inclusive, as formulated by Gerald Ford, certainly an establishment Republican, " The government that is big enough to give you everything you want is big enough to take everything that you have," is a good starting place.

7 posted on 05/02/2009 2:49:27 PM PDT by gusopol3
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To: lewisglad

And the Dems advantage in party affiliation percentages has eroded since the November vote, down by 2.6% since December. Some Obama followers are finally looking beyond “hope and change” and are not quite so thrilled as during 2008:

http://www.rasmussenreports.com/public_content/politics/mood_of_america/party_affiliation/party_affiliation/summary_of_party_affiliation


8 posted on 05/02/2009 2:50:14 PM PDT by Will88
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To: lewisglad

I thought Mark Shields was dead....killed in a violent crash with total stone-cold obscurity, in a Prius driven by Eleanor Clift.


9 posted on 05/02/2009 2:50:45 PM PDT by Petronski (Learn about the 'cytokine storm.')
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To: muawiyah

In 2006 and especially 2008, even many of those “vast stretches” went to the Democrats. And the entire Northeast and mid-Atlantic region is not a “small dot.”


10 posted on 05/02/2009 2:53:18 PM PDT by Arguendo
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To: gusopol3

I usually see the figure 21% cited for the number of people who identify themselves as Republicans. We’ve seen enough polls that have been manipulated to know that the numbers can’t be trusted too far, but even if the numbers are right, that means nearly half the people in the country don’t identify with either major party.


11 posted on 05/02/2009 2:53:52 PM PDT by Verginius Rufus
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To: Arguendo
Not true ~ you had a marginally higher rate of voting in the "small dots". There are still Republican office holders throughout the Northeast.

If the cotton picking machine hadn't been invented in the 1950s this wouldn't have happened.

12 posted on 05/02/2009 2:55:43 PM PDT by muawiyah
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To: org.whodat

They party i.d. numbers have change considerably in Republicans’ favor since Obama and the Dems won. The parties are even again now. But dem polsters still use the old numbers as does this author calling for Republican liberalism.


13 posted on 05/02/2009 2:58:40 PM PDT by SaraJohnson
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To: Arguendo
Republican victories should result in more than high-fives on a Tuesday in November. Electing Republicans should result in legislation to lower taxes, eliminate burdensome laws and regulations, and defund agencies and endowments. Otherwise, what is the point in gathering campaign contributions? To line the pocket of the political consultants? Governance is not American Idol or a horse race. Elections are about where the country will head in the future. Smiling a map that is more red than blue is pointless when the red-state politicians bring on the same programs as the blue state ones.
14 posted on 05/02/2009 3:02:32 PM PDT by sefarkas (Why vote Democrat Lite?)
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To: muawiyah
There are still Republican office holders throughout the Northeast.

Very few. There are now no Republican congressmen in New England, and only three (out of 29) in New York. New Hampshire, only recently strongly Republican, is now almost completely run by Democrats. Likewise Virginia has seen a significant shift--if we can't win Fairfax County we probably can't win America.

15 posted on 05/02/2009 3:02:38 PM PDT by Arguendo
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To: SaraJohnson
Showing opposition to the tarp and all the bailouts is not support for the GOP per-se.!
16 posted on 05/02/2009 3:03:03 PM PDT by org.whodat (Auto unions bad: Machinists union good=Hypocrisy)
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To: sefarkas

Exactly. And there are lots of fiscal—but not social or cultural—conservatives in the Northeast. Many of these used to be Republicans, but what did they get for it? Some of the fastest spending growth in decades under Bush? I’m not surprised they abandoned the party if the Republicans are little different than the Democrats on fiscal issues, and they lean Democratic on other issues anyway.


17 posted on 05/02/2009 3:05:59 PM PDT by Arguendo
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To: lewisglad

And Dems sawed off the South a long time ago.


18 posted on 05/02/2009 3:07:49 PM PDT by HapaxLegamenon
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To: org.whodat

Right. So Republican numbers have gone up since the election for some reason. Maybe it is just that Obama and the Democrats have scared the heck out of people and the slow road to hell offered by the rinos is better than the fast road to Obama’s Utopian hell.


19 posted on 05/02/2009 3:26:57 PM PDT by SaraJohnson
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To: lewisglad

Couldn’t you find anything from Pravda?


20 posted on 05/02/2009 3:28:51 PM PDT by Deb (Beat him, strip him and bring him to my tent!)
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To: HapaxLegamenon

“And Dems sawed off the South a long time ago.”

Tell them that. Obama won in North Carolina, Virginia, and Florida.

North Carolina, Tennessee, Arkansas, Kentucky, and Virginia are governed by Democrats.

They hold Senate seats in Louisiana, Virginia, Florida, North Carolina, and Arkansas. Both US Senate seats in Virgina and Arkansas, for that matter.

Even the Mountain West, which has traditionally been far more loyal to Republicans than has the South, is splintered.


21 posted on 05/02/2009 3:56:11 PM PDT by CaspersGh0sts
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To: lewisglad
Don't just take his word for it. Listen to this from a prominent national Republican: "You can walk from Canada to Mexico and from Maine to Arizona without ever leaving a state with a Democratic governor. ...

Tell the DA "prominent national republican" to take the long way and stay out of Indiana!

22 posted on 05/02/2009 3:58:17 PM PDT by sausageseller (http://coolblue.typepad.com/the_cool_blue_blog/)
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To: CaspersGh0sts

That’s because they are winning.


23 posted on 05/02/2009 4:10:34 PM PDT by central_va (www.15thVirginia.org Co. C, Patrick Henry Rifles)
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To: lewisglad

Now you know why Rush calls him Maxi Shields...


24 posted on 05/02/2009 5:34:58 PM PDT by lancer (It's near impossible to get a pig to cut his own throat...ask any Congressman.)
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To: CaspersGh0sts

You make my point. Election are cyclical.


25 posted on 05/02/2009 5:35:38 PM PDT by HapaxLegamenon
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To: SolidWood

“Most of America is right wing... they just don’t know it yet.”

The problem is the definition of right-wing...if you don’t get it “exactly right” too many stay home. Libertadrian’s and “strict constructionists,” depending on the subject, need not apply.


26 posted on 05/02/2009 5:48:55 PM PDT by A Strict Constructionist (Support the 10th. Ammendment and become a Neo-terrorist.)
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To: lewisglad
In 2009, 35 percent proclaim themselves Democrats, while Republican identification has slipped badly to 22 percent -- opening up a 13-point gap.

Bush II effect. Put a real conservative in and these numbers get flipped wholesale. A couple of years of Obama-stink and people will flock in droves toward someone like Sarah Palin.

First, you have to have a conservative, then, you can make comparisons that really matter. I'll take your popularity poll and raise you one genuine American.

I'll wager in five years you'll hear nothing of gay marriage, nor will you have a flaming faggot trashing Miss USA contestants. We'll have gone through whatever the pig flu throws at us by then and Obama's response will be on record. We'll have seen major corporations taken over by government and the ill created that will also be on Obama's ledger.

The Left's pendulum swing peaked with the Caramel Messiah. They've known all along that they only had a small window of opportunity to exploit and boy, are they exploiting it. It won't last and they know it.

27 posted on 05/02/2009 6:41:38 PM PDT by budwiesest (I calls it like I see it. FUBO)
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To: lewisglad

Income Tax =Socialism

The more income tax, the more redistribution, the more the Dems will use your money to buy their votes.


28 posted on 05/02/2009 7:19:56 PM PDT by plenipotentiary (Free the Oil, Topple the Saudis. Confiscate Putins money. Disconnect Siberia.)
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To: lewisglad

We haven’t sawed off the Northeast though Goldwater joked about doing so. The Northeast has severed itself from constitutional principles.


29 posted on 05/02/2009 8:01:25 PM PDT by Theodore R. (GWB is gone: Now the American sheeple can sleep at night!)
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To: A Strict Constructionist

No, “right-wing” terrifies the American people and has since the days of Senator Joseph McCarthy, who was right on 90 percent of his charges. The people want these government programs, and even a conservative like Bob Taft supported socialized housing after World War II.


30 posted on 05/02/2009 8:03:23 PM PDT by Theodore R. (GWB is gone: Now the American sheeple can sleep at night!)
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To: Arguendo

You are correct, Louisiana has twice as many Republican U.S. representatives as New York State.


31 posted on 05/02/2009 8:05:12 PM PDT by Theodore R. (GWB is gone: Now the American sheeple can sleep at night!)
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To: sefarkas
Electing Republicans should result in legislation to lower taxes, eliminate burdensome laws and regulations, and defund agencies and endowments.

It should have the added bonus of forcing Obama to veto such legislation as well, gaining ammo for a (hopefully) conservative candidate for POTUS to use in an election bid.

32 posted on 05/03/2009 2:18:39 AM PDT by Smokin' Joe (How often God must weep at humans' folly. Stand fast. God knows what He is doing.)
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To: Theodore R.

“No, “right-wing” terrifies the American people”

I was talking about the FR definition.


33 posted on 05/03/2009 8:16:37 AM PDT by A Strict Constructionist (Support the 10th. Ammendment and become a Neo-terrorist.)
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