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The Future of the Republican Party


By David Sayers - Posted on 09 September 2008

Over the last few months, I have been pondering what will become of the Republican Party that we once all supported. I am sure that we can all agree that Barry Goldwater would be ashamed of what we have become. He warned us to stay out of people's bedrooms. No longer are we the party of ideals. We are now the party of hate, fear, fiscal irresponsibility, gotchas, worldwide policemen, and the hard right of religion.

Where do we go from here?

Many of use who are more moderate or fiscally responsible feel that we no longer have a place at the table, especially after the Palin pick. The hard right has officially taken over our party.

I certainly hold no crystal ball, but based on the discontent I see in our party, I see two scenarios:

1) Moderates leave the Republican party in droves, becoming Independents, leaving a large Democratic party, and small Republican party, with the majority identifying themselves as Independent.

2) Fed up Republicans form a strong third party. This would create a large Democratic party, a medium sized Conservative/Constitutional party, and the remainder hard right Neoncon Republican party.

Regardless of what we may want to think, does anyone really believe that this race would not be 60-40 at best if Obama was named Smith, was White, and drove a pickup truck?

McCain's making BIG GAINS among white women according to the latest polls CNN and MSNBC (55%) close to what Bush had in 2004.  Obama's lead amongst women is also down significantly!!  Is this Palin trick really working?  If so we might as well throw in the towel since white women will decide this election!

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/09/09/AR2008090902518.html 

Polls are lame.  We don't even know the validity of these polls.  I don't know anyone who has been contacted by the pollsters.  What are the demographics of who they are calling?  I'm a woman noone has called me. Kerry was ahead in the 2000 polls when it was him and Presdent Bush.  Kerry lost.  Let's just wait and see.

Felicia - Texas

Exactly Felicia.  I am a white woman too, but I have never been called to participate in a poll.  The idea that the pollsters only call landline phones is a valid theory as to why the poll numbers are the way they are.  Most young people these days NEVER use a landline phone... they are all about cell phones and the internet. 

Plus, I am a firm believer  that there are WAY more Obama supporters out there than anyone realizes... and that, for whatever reason, people are uncomfortable coming out and saying to anyone that they are indeed planning to vote for him.  So, that's another reason that I try not to give too much credence to the poll numbers.

A few things:

I it clear that if this race were not Obama-McCain (but especially Obama), there would have been a strong third party.  Unity08 had gotten a few very big people together in case the race was Romney-Clinton, or something like that.  Mike Bloomberg, Chuck Hagel and others got together in early 2008 in Oklahoma to discuss a third-party/independent run. 

If things continue the way they have been, I think there may be room for this, but it's still a bit of a stretch.  We'd need many more independents before this could happen.

With regard to your first scenario-- this is already happening, and continues to happen.  Our party is old, bitter and pretty homogenius.  Not only are we losing people by the thousands every month, but we're pretty much attracting no new members.

 

The big problem. I think, with independent party movements is that they want to start at the top. They could build grassroots support from the masses by running candidates for offices like city council, mayor, county commission, school board, etc. After that, for governor, state legislature, etc. Then run for congress. These candidates would then be in a position to run for POTUS, given that they would then have an accumulated political organization, as well as grassroots support, and would then likely be taken more seriously by the press.

 

Excellent point, wc!!

Just saw your handle change, Suzi. Cute!

 

Swing voters often like the two parties to compromise and find common ground, but the GOP thought that having both Houses of Congress and the White House gave them a mandate to run their neo-con agenda. 
 
The same thing happened when the Democrats held both Houses and the White House - they ran amok and the center left them.
 
Whether or not the GOP holds on the the White House, they are going to lose seats in both houses of Congress and also lose governors' mansions.  Even the GOP strategists admit that.  The best the GOP can hope for is a split decision.

In order to be competitive in the future, the GOP is going to have to keep the loyalty of swing voters.  That means they'll have to give up certain ambitions and find some middle ground.  Fortunately, those ambitions are ones that a significant majority wants them to find middle ground.  

"The same thing happened when the Democrats held both Houses and the White House - they ran amok and the center left them."

 This is one of my main reasons to be against Obama. 

This is something to think about, but for my money the GOP has gone so over the top in their ambitions that the voters need to smack them hard to sober up.  It took the same thing for the Dems to really comprehend how bad they had gotten.  In the warped minds of the GOP leadership, a split decision would be a victory.

 

 

Aileron, are you old enough to remember the last time the Democrats dominated the government from 1977 to 1980?

Yes.  Awful stuff, I know. 

However, I have a deep personal problem with the GOP's recent running amok that makes it much worse than when the Dems ran amok.

In order to win votes, the GOP leadership fanned the flames of xenophobia in 2000 and in 2004 poured gasoline on the fire.  I don't care what xenophobes say to me... It's actually quite entertaining hearing chickenhawks calling a former Navy pilot like me unpatriotic and un-American.  As my kids get older though, they'll hear it too.  I really don't want them to go through that, but I know it's inevitable.  The leaders of the GOP should be ashamed of themselves.

 

You are exactly right, aileron, only a smackdown of WWF proportions will make the GOP respond to more constituencies than the ultra religious right.

 

There are some excellent articles online, from various sources, which talk about Republicans who have tried to fight the good fight: Jim Ramstad and Jim Danforth to name only two. 

Each story describes how they've been ostracized and bullied by the extreme factions that speak so loudly in the Republican party. 

I'm extremely saddened by this. There really ARE Republicans who want to stand up for the old values of the party -- but more so, what's right for this country. And what do they get in return?

The Grand ol' Party is no longer Grand, it's just old.
Here in my part of Maryland, there is growing interest in the Libertarian Party.  People seem more and more attracted to folks who want more conservative fiscal policy along with more liberal social policy.  I've seen two Bob Barr yard signs!

Do you think we will see a formal endorsement for Obama from Hagel? Any other possible Republican endorsements on the horizon? You all know I'm waiting for that Powell endorsement. Any word? Maybe after he hears the Palin interview, he will be convinced enough.

As for polls, one poll (can't recall the name) has Obama up by 5 points in Ohio. When it was being discussed the expert said it was a very reliable poll (2 point margin) because they polled over 1300 people. They were only going to poll 800 (the norm) but they saw that Obama was winning handily and they were a bit surprised and felt the need to poll more people to see if it was a fluke. But the lead stayed the same. There are other polls today showing McCain ahead in Ohio but I took special note of the validity of that one.

I know we are seeing the women #'s sway towards McCain. Let's give it more time. Buchanan praised Obama's "service" forum tonight and said it gave him a good break to have this one day of peace for both campaigns. I needed that breather-for once a day of no non-stop wacky attacks on Obama. And now Obama will be on Sat. Night Live tomorrow, doing lighter stuff that should ebb the Palin hysteria-remind people of Obama's positives. Plus-Palin's interview. Maybe women (and men) will open their eyes and the press will actually be balanced/honest in it's critique. I only read the transcript but to me she sounded coached (and maybe not well enough.) But I'm biased-will the media and others pick up on that? How wil the GOP spin it?

 

Actually, in my opinion she looked perturbed but yes disciplined to repeat the same answers - robotic.

I was not impressed - she will crack... Media needs to ask her even harder questions.

On the Radio, I have heard on a few stations the following soundbite:  Palin could not define the Bush Doctrine...   Which is fact. 

 

Not one republican thought here? Hmmmmmmmmmmmm?

The strength of the Republican party has also become its greatest weakness. While the Democrats seem disorganized and sloppy in their process, they are inclusive and toss around more ideas and positions than they can sometimes handle.

Republicans on the otherhand are disciplined, well organized and keep any ideas that do not fit the agenda under wraps. We are exclusive and this shows in our conventions where white men out number women and minorities in great numbers. However, this lock step mentality keeps our debating the issues to a minimum, and encourages narrow dictatorial attitudes. The term RHINO, was developed to intimidate Republicans with divergent views from stepping forward. Of course for a party that believes in small government and individual freedoms, this single minded imposing block of group think has taken on a power of its own, for its own sake, and is a complete contradiction of the party's original principles.

I do not see anyway for the Republican party to find its foundations until those leaders who disagree and want change, step forward on a regular basis in great numbers. Though John McCain's criticism of the Bush administration and Congress seem to be accepted by the party, I think its all for show. No necons would vote for McCain if they really thought he was a maverick.

 

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