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The Future of the Republican Party

Discussion in 'Alley of Lingering Sighs' started by Aldeth the Foppish Idiot, Nov 5, 2008.

  1. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    Colin Powell would have been an obvious leader for them during the interim. But we know how that story ended. It's really too bad for both Powell and Republicans.

    I'll give you somthing to scare the "Mitts" out of you:

    http://governor.state.tx.us/

    http://www.rickperry.org/

    Just when you thought it was safe, here is the GWB wanna be. For the good of the nation and the rest of the world, we will try to keep him here....
     
  2. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Well, thank you. My pleasure.
    No, I do not think, and iirc did not say, that the decision has been made to move to the right. I observe that the GOP has moved to the right in the past, and that more of the same is the true believers's favoured choice. The Palinites certainly see it that way, and it would be a natural response. The move back to the center is the other, IMO better choice for the GOP politically, but alas, it is so ideologically impure as to make it hard to digest politically for the true believers. And there are more of them than just the Palinites.

    Indeed, it is my hunch that the GOP will decide to move to the right, but that's another matter.

    And even then there is the question of how far right they will move. As I see it, the true believers will see this crisis as an opportunity to purge the party of insufficiently zealous candidates. Bill Kristol's recent and successful efforts to drive Powell away from the GOP to gain neo-con supremacy over the GOP line on foreign policy certainly went in that direction. Palin would be a vessel for such policies. Newt Gingrich apparently opposes Palin - to him she's one of thirty GOP players - but he sees the opportunity of the crisis as well, albeit with different objectives than Kristol. I think his instinct will lead him to the right as well. The Ron Paul wing will also call the party back to their libertarian principles. It's all back to the roots.

    The centrist McCain will be seen by many on the right to be an exemplar for the problems of the GOP. That view will inform their reaction. In my understanding that means that the party will move away from the centre. Do I know that for sure? Hell, no. Anyway: For now, and probably for the time being, the GOP centrists are marginalised. They will have a hard time coming back. Powell has supported the enemy, has become a turncoat. He will not have much more credibility to call the GOP back to centre than Liebermann has in the Democratic party. For all practical purposes, he and his protégées are out of the game. So who then will call for moderation in the GOP? I don't see anyone.

    As a result, we can expect to see some seriously vicious infighting over the course of the Grand Old Party. Bring out the popcorn.
     
    Last edited: Nov 18, 2008
  3. pplr Gems: 18/31
    Latest gem: Horn Coral


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    I could see the GOP heading hard right after a number of moderates in Congress are gone and others say the GOP wasn't right enough. I could see this more right version of the GOP loosing again.

    Obama started left and moved to the Center. If he does a decent job as president (or is seen as such) then he will not have a fatigue factor to deal with as McCain did thanks to W. This means the GOP may not take a battering again in 2010 (as they are now out of power) but may not get the big gains they would want to make up for loosing congress.

    I would like to point out that I don't believe the religious right lost this election for the GOP, people still feel about the same about abortion and gay marriage as they did in 2004 (when the GOP won). I think 2006 and 2008 were in part do to economic problems (maybe due to a lack of needed regulations) and severe W fatigue. He is out in a couple of months and the inability of people he put in place to govern fairly or effectively will be gone with them (if he, finally, hasn't gotten rid of most of them already).

    Over the long term (30 yrs) it is hard to predict where things go but I can see a softening on the gay marriage thing, but I don't expect much change on ProLife issues. Granted I'm ProLife and ProGay so this is my bias, but I think it is the right one and current younger voters may be headed that way as well. Thus it won't hurt at the polls over time..
     
  4. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Absolutely. And they reliably did turn out to vote for Palin. But the salient point here is that the religious right as a group alone is too small a segment to win an election.
     
  5. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    I'm a religious right winger, but I'm not a wingnut (feel free to disagree, folks!) but I think that in a sense the Religious Right may have lost the election for the GOP. What I mean by that is this -- some of the extreme right wingnuts probably scared the tar of of swing voters and pushed them into either the Democratic camp or into not voting. I think the wingnuts wild statements and radical positions on certain issues were a deciding factor in the GOP loss. The fact that some Republicans now are saying that the solution to this problem is to turn even further down a path I will not call "right" but rather "reactionary / uncompromising" is worrisome, as I am seeing a party whose base principles I admire being hijacked by radicals. now I know, to a very tiny degree, how moderate Muslims must feel.
     
  6. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    If the far right is a wingnut is the far left a lugnut?
     
  7. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    They did not cost Mac the election. But they are obstructionists within the Republican Party. The real point is that they will make any attempts to moderate the party more difficult. The Republican Party, which used to be that party of educationed elites, wealthy and middle class white-collar voters, is now in danger of becoming the Southern, angry white, religiously fundamental, mostly less-educated, regional party - if the evangelicals get their way. Palin panders magnificently to this group. While Mitt, not so much...
     
  8. The Great Snook Gems: 31/31
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    No, the proper term is "moonbat"
     
  9. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    And Palin was one of those "wingnuts" making a few of those statements. But she's really nothing more than a political opportunist. The thing is, I know a lot of these "wingnut" evangelicals personally and they are great people in many ways. I was active in the Christian communtiy here in North Houston for many years, and I've been a guest member to some of their chruches.

    They are mostly not offensive or aggressive people, but rather very defensive. They feel that they are being made to apologize for who they are: white Christains (we can have a different debate about that). But it MAKES them reactionary to have to feel that way. The strange thing is, when they are accused of being narrow-minded, religious bigots by PC embracing "liberals," that's almost exactly how they respond, for the most part. But I guess what I'm trying to say is that I don't want to paint any group of people with too wide a brush, and portray them all as "wingnuts." And I admit of having a propensity for doing just that, and it is more my short-coming than it is a blanket condemnation of who evangelicals are as individuals. I don't want to be one of those "PC embracing liberals." Those folks are just the flipside of the same coin. But I'm still a "liberal" and proud to be one. ;)

    Nevertheless, evangelicals are prone to embracing very poor leadership, whether it's political (Palin and GWB), or religious ones (like Robertson and Hagee). It's just poor judgment, IMO.
     
  10. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    Well, comments like the ones about God using Katrina to punish New Orleans for rampant homosexuality make me shudder. I can just imagine how they would make someone who is more "on the fence" feel and react.

    As I said, Chandos, I and most of my real-time friends are right wingers. I was and am only referring to the truly wild fringe speakers who say ridiculous things like I mentioned above. THEIR antics, IMHO, may have been a contributing factor to the Republican defeat. Though I still think the "W fatigue" (I like that turn of phrase, pplr) was what really killed them -- that and the fact that Obama is a really, really good candidate.
     
  11. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    That's just silly LKD. Everyone knows that earthquakes and AIDS are God's punishment to gays. Hurricanes like Katrina are for cleansing "dens of iniquity" (in particular vile sodomites and adulterers).

    Tornadoes, on the other hand, are God's preferred method to bring his faithful back home -- particularly those faithful residing in trailers (commonly called trailer trash).
     
  12. Ragusa

    Ragusa Eternal Halfling Paladin Veteran

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    Great article shedding light on the origins of the Southern Strategy that Palin and McCain pursued in the election:
     
  13. Death Rabbit

    Death Rabbit Straight, no chaser Adored Veteran Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Here's a rather poignant piece by Kathleen Parker in a recent Washington Post editorial that I think needs airing in this thread.

    ===

    Giving Up on God
    As Republicans sort out the reasons for their defeat, they likely will overlook or dismiss the gorilla in the pulpit.
    by Kathleen Parker

    Three little letters, great big problem: G-O-D.

    I'm bathing in holy water as I type.

    To be more specific, the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn't soon cometh.

    Simply put: Armband religion is killing the Republican Party. And, the truth -- as long as we're setting ourselves free -- is that if one were to eavesdrop on private conversations among the party intelligentsia, one would hear precisely that.

    [The rest is after the jump.]
    The choir has become absurdly off-key, and many Republicans know it.

    But they need those votes!

    So it has been for the Grand Old Party since the 1980s or so, as it has become increasingly beholden to an element that used to be relegated to wooden crates on street corners.

    Short break as writer ties blindfold and smokes her last cigarette.

    Which is to say, the GOP has surrendered its high ground to its lowest brows. In the process, the party has alienated its non-base constituents, including other people of faith (those who prefer a more private approach to worship), as well as secularists and conservative-leaning Democrats who otherwise might be tempted to cross the aisle.

    Here's the deal, 'pubbies: Howard Dean was right.

    It isn't that culture doesn't matter. It does. But preaching to the choir produces no converts. And shifting demographics suggest that the Republican Party -- and conservatism with it -- eventually will die out unless religion is returned to the privacy of one's heart where it belongs.

    Religious conservatives become defensive at any suggestion that they've had something to do with the GOP's erosion. And, though the recent Democratic sweep can be attributed in large part to a referendum on Bush and the failing economy, three long-term trends identified by Emory University's Alan Abramowitz have been devastating to the Republican Party: increasing racial diversity, declining marriage rates and changes in religious beliefs.

    Suffice it to say, the Republican Party is largely comprised of white, married Christians. Anyone watching the two conventions last summer can't have missed the stark differences: One party was brimming with energy, youth and diversity; the other felt like an annual Depends sales meeting.

    With the exception of Miss Alaska, of course.

    Even Sarah Palin has blamed Bush policies for the GOP loss. She's not entirely wrong, but she's also part of the problem. Her recent conjecture about whether to run for president in 2012 (does anyone really doubt she will?) speaks for itself:

    "I'm like, okay, God, if there is an open door for me somewhere, this is what I always pray, I'm like, don't let me miss the open door. Show me where the open door is.... And if there is an open door in (20)12 or four years later, and if it's something that is going to be good for my family, for my state, for my nation, an opportunity for me, then I'll plow through that door."

    Let's do pray that God shows Alaska's governor the door.

    Meanwhile, it isn't necessary to evict the Creator from the public square, surrender Judeo-Christian values or diminish the value of faith in America. Belief in something greater than oneself has much to recommend it, including most of the world's architectural treasures, our universities and even our founding documents.

    But, like it or not, we are a diverse nation, no longer predominantly white and Christian. The change Barack Obama promised has already occurred, which is why he won.

    Among Jewish voters, 78 percent went for Obama. Sixty-six percent of under-30 voters did likewise. Forty-five percent of voters ages 18-29 are Democrats compared to just 26 percent Republican; in 2000, party affiliation was split almost evenly.

    The young will get older, of course. Most eventually will marry, and some will become their parents. But nonwhites won't get whiter. And the nonreligious won't get religion through external conversion. It doesn't work that way.

    Given those facts, the future of the GOP looks dim and dimmer if it stays the present course. Either the Republican Party needs a new base -- or the nation may need a new party.
     
  14. Chandos the Red

    Chandos the Red This Wheel's on Fire

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    DR, Ragsua - Those are both great articles. Nixon is one of the most fascinating characters in American politics, and certainly Bush II owed more to him and his influence than to Bush I, which is an odd thing considering the family relationship between them.

    There are two things that jump out on this thread:

    1. The complete failure of Bush II. Almost every conservative is blaming him for the election.

    2. The evanglelicals are narrowing the scope of the party to the point that it is becoming a regional party, rather than a national one.

    The first one is the most interesting, because all these conservatives were defending him just a year ago, even 6 months ago. Even on this thread there were conservatives who were still saying that the direction of the country was not his fault, but that he was a victim of circumstances beyond his control. :bs:

    Let me tell you why and it's very much like the conversation I just had with my wife this morning. My in-laws and my parents are all big time Republicans, and GWB supporters. Well, next week is Thanksgiving and everyone will be getting together, even the Virginia in-laws (Southern Baptists) are going to be here for the Holidays. So my wife "warned" me not to even think about mentioning the election. "My parents are so angry because their taxes are going up with Obama" (and it's quite a bit more than the 36 percent rate for those making 'just' 250K).

    "Excuse me, but why are they blaming Obama?" was my reply. "Who did they think was going to pay for the last 8 years? Me? Or you? We didn't vote for any of these wars, or this guy's spendomanic programs. THEY did. They wanted all this stuff; they voted for the guy - twice - now they can pay for it."

    Do I sound unsympathetic? I probably do. But I find it amusing that Obama, who has the job of cleaning up this mess is going to get the blame for fixing it from the very people who "enabled" GWB to make it. But I won't "mention" the election. :)
     
  15. T2Bruno

    T2Bruno The only source of knowledge is experience Distinguished Member ★ SPS Account Holder Adored Veteran New Server Contributor [2012] (for helping Sorcerer's Place lease a new, more powerful server!) Torment: Tides of Numenera SP Immortalizer (for helping immortalize Sorcerer's Place in the game!)

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    Not quite. I've attacked him on several issues (most notably going in Iraq). Bush is both a victim of circumstances and a victim of his own decisions. The economic woes go back almost two decades -- two decades where nobody did anything. According to many experts Greenspan was a major cause of the meltdown.

    If they bring it up, fire away. You won't get many visits from the in-laws over the next year or so -- which is generally a good thing. I think all taxes need to go up until we pay down the deficit and fix medicare and social security. Until those are taken care of we are simply selling our children into indentured servitude.
     
  16. Gnarfflinger

    Gnarfflinger Wiseguy in Training

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    Two things: First, Romney has earned a lot of respect for his conduct after withdrawing from the Presidential race. Secondly, Mormons have gained a lot of respect from Catholics and Evangelicals after their support of Proposition 8 and the heat they drew from the Gay Community (despite more sympathetic messages from Church leadership during the campaign). I think that Romney would be a good candidate to reacho out to the RINO crowd that Ragusa alluded to and the people that may not be sold on four more years of Obama.

    Another point for Romney. He's still a Christian, but would not be associated with the Evangelicals. For my money the only people that his Mormonism would offend were the ones that wouldn't vote Republican anyway.

    Which is why they can't make the move to the right. Mac was a Kinder, gentler Republican, but Obama truly appealed to the majority of the center, and that's why Mac lost. The Republicans would do well to learn from this...

    Again, keeping the issue as a wedge. What is needed is a new way to look at these issues. AS long as the Republicans stick with the forbiddance of these things, they will have difficulties.

    That's exactly what the Republicans need to avoid. I think Mitt Romney would be able to address the concerns of the Evangelicals without being hijacked by them. A stance based on understanding rather than division is what the Republicans need. Finding ways to meet the needs of the Evangelicals without alienating the rest of the people is the hope that the Republicans would have.

    But the erosion of Religion is seen as a problem to a significant portion of the Republican base. Perhaps the Bible offers a solution to the Republicans: By their fruits ye shall know them. Basically, live the principles of Christianity and your faith will be known without you needing to preach it. Perhaps campaigning on the wisdom and values taught in Christianity without talking about Religion itself would be more effective.

    And if you don't want religion directly mixed in your politics, then stop threatening to tear apart everything it stands for. Proposition 8 threatened to do just that. Many debates are now centred on the changing of the moral guard. Opponents are pushing the faithful and making it an issue. In the process, they're taking attention away from more important matters, like the economy and international affairs.
     
  17. Drew

    Drew Arrogant, contemptible, and obnoxious Adored Veteran

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    Gnarff, Proposition 8 was a republican ballot initiative and was specifically designed to take marriage equality away from homosexuals, so who was trying to take attention away from the economy and international affairs, again?
     
  18. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    That's not how Evangelicals see the issue. To them anyone who is not one of them does not get their support - even other Christians. They generally do not support Catholics or Orthodox Chirstians, and they did not support Romney in the primaries this time around. The Evangelical base is concentrated in the southeast area of the US. While Romney did not stay in the race long enough to see how his support would be throughout the southeast, he was around for the early contests (like South Carolina), and did not do well in them. Romney also stands no chance of getting their support if an Evangelical (like Mike Huckabee) is in the race.

    About the only point you make concerning Romney that I agree with is that the Evangelicals would probably support him in the general election over the Democratic candidate rather than stay home on election day. However, in order to be on the ballot in the general election you have to win the primary. I think he's no lock to win the primary, and even if he does, remember that the Evangelicals broke overwhemingly for McCain, but that wasn't enough.
     
  19. LKD Gems: 31/31
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    Aldeth, what I am hearing from you hear leads me to a few conclusions:

    1: Romney cannot get the support of the Evangelicals in the primary, though he can likely count on it if he should get the nomination -- as in, they will vote for their Republican candidate in the election even if they opposed him in the primary. Fair enough.

    2: The Evangelical vote is not sufficient to win a Presidential election.

    3: Therefore, Romney should seek to find common ground with other Republicans, and use their backing to secure a nomination regardless of Evangelical opposition. To do this he must reach out to moderates (RINOs, to use the phrase of the Hard Core) and draw them back into the fold, thereby bringing the party back from fringe status.

    Is this possible? Can a Republican nomination be secured without Evangelical support? I bloody well hope so or the country is doomed. A short term under the Democrats might be helpful to offset the mistakes of the past 8 years or so, but a long term Democratic government will not be healthy -- they can be just as radical and damaging as Republicans.
     
  20. Aldeth the Foppish Idiot

    Aldeth the Foppish Idiot Armed with My Mallet O' Thinking Veteran

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    @LKD - your desrciption is the trick that Romney has to pull off. He CANNOT win the presidency without the support of Evangelicals - they represent about 20% of the population of the US, and are almost exclusively Republican voters. A Republican trying to win the presidency without the support of Evangelicals would be like Obama trying to win the presidency without the support of African Americans (both groups represent about 20% of the population and both a fairly uniform in terms of which party they vote for).

    Romney has to hope that he has enough appeal to moderate republicans to secure the nomination. Once he has the nomination he has to hope that the Evangelicals will hold thier nose and vote for him as the better choice over a pro-life, pro-gay marriage Democrat, in much the same way that 90% of Hillary's supporters eventually came around and backed Obama.

    The Evangelical mindset is very hard to understand unless you really talk to them. I work for the Army, and as such, I meet people from all across the nation. One of the people I work with is a deeply religious, Evangelical Christian, and he has an intense distrust of all other religions. I get the impression from this guy that most Evangelicals truly believe they are the only ones who are going to be saved, so if you practice any other religion you are damned. To give you an idea of his mindset, he once told me that he does not consider Mormons to be Christians. It is that type of thinking that will cause problems for Romney.
     
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