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What if Barack Further Divides the GOP?

By John Martin - Posted on 15 November 2008

I saw a poll a couple of days ago that said about half of self-proclaimed conservatives believe Barack will be able to address the nation's economic woes.   We know that the campaign has said there will be a sizeable number of Republicans in the administration, and there's still a belief out there that Barack wants to be and could be a post-partisan president.

If Barack governs in a centrist, pragmatic way, he could peel off even more Republicans and neutralize the hard right, making it much harder for our party to unite any time soon.

Here's Ron Brownstein in the National Journal today:

In his attack on Obama's appointment of Rahm Emanuel as White House chief of staff and in a belligerent recent Washington Post op-ed in which he promised to start "vigorously fighting ... [Obama's] far-left agenda," Boehner signaled that he is adopting a shoot first, aim later strategy driven by the Right's demand for scorched-earth resistance.

If congressional Republicans follow Boehner and conservative militants like Rush Limbaugh down such a path, they could allow Obama to build alliances with the most-pragmatic elements of the GOP and the business community at a time when the Republican coalition is already contracting.

To seize that opportunity, Obama would need to overcome the objections of liberal Internet activists who are condemning as capitulation any effort to find accommodation with Republicans or the interests they represent. But outreach from Obama wouldn't be a form of altruism, much less a concession to the post-election conservative insistence that America remains a right-tilting country. Instead, it would be a hard-headed strategy for expanding his own coalition by dividing the GOP's. Systematically reaching out beyond his core supporters is Obama's best hope of advancing his policy agenda and of delivering on his overarching promise to bridge America's partisan and ideological divides.

From my perspective, I'm ok with Barack taking such a "hard-headed strategy" that could expand his support at the expense of the GOP leadership.  I guess I'm even hoping for this.  Let Boehner and Limbaugh continue to bitch and moan; if Barack is delivering the goods in a centrist manner, getting the economy on track and our image improved internationally, I'd be willing to wait eight years for a Republican revival.



I hope he divides the G.O.P., maybe he'll help flush the neocons and Religious Right in doing so!!  I know a lot of people have been saying "Bobby Jindal this," "Bobby Jindal that," but he is a neocon.  According to this article from the Weekly Standard:

 Jindal did not respond directly when I asked how he would respond to a pollster asking whether he approved of Bush's performance.

"Look, the history books will certainly judge the president," he said. Jindal pointed to Bush's education policies as one area of disagreement and he's been an outspoken critic of Bush on spending. At the same time, like Palin he pointed to Bush's "tremendous work behind the scenes to keep America safe after 9/11."

He added: "I voted for him twice and don't regret my votes."

Anyone who voted for Bush TWICE and DOESN'T regret it in my mind is simply not fit to be president of a box of wheat thins.  Besides, let's not forget during the campaign, Jindal was critical of Obama's, albeit respectful criticism, tax plan to provide relief to middle class families, calling it "liberal tax and spending" and he even still supports to this day the continuance of the Iraq War.  At this point, there are only three Republicans who have my respect: Hagel, Powell (he redeemed himself with his endorsement of Obama) and Crist (but I'd have to learn more about his foreign policy views)!!   

In regard to the Republicans, it's possible the fractured party could split into two openly warring political entities, with the "reformers" attempting to make an alliance with the Democratics, disaffecting the "far right wing" Republicans under a new party banner. The White House in January, one thing is clear: American capitalism's financial and social/political system, which has undergone enormous shocks in the past few months, may never evert back to the GOP status quo.

The clearest signs of this shift:

1. Those "models," which were pushed by far-right conservative thinkers like Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman, derived from an ideological belief that a free market always corrects its excesses, thus keeping the dreaded hands of government off the financial tiller. Now, Greenspan admits, there appears to be a necessary role for government regulation when banks and other financial institutions don't act in their own self-interest.

2. The Republicans, the true believers in unregulated free-market capitalism, overnight became semi-"socialist" in behavior. Reality made it necessary for them to compromise their free-market ideology and partially nationalize banks and giant financial institutions. A monumental catastrophe does that to you.

What's taking place right before our eyes is a seismic shift of the economic plates in America, with all sorts of "transformative" implications to society, the economy, the political parties themselves. We are in for mighty interesting times, both political and social in the decades ahead.

Maybe, maybe not.

House Republicans mostly voted AGAINST the "bailout" package.   Only after the Senate version came back loaded with pork were there enough votes "bought" to secure passage.

There is a possibility these new "regulatory transformations" may make the situation WORSE, not better.

The wisdom of Ayn Rand and Milton Friedman may turn out prophetic after all.


It's pretty strange, but my whole family was republicans. They all voted Demacrate this year! Some didn't like Mccain, some left when he picked Palin. The last hanger on bailed at the last moment. Just couldn't think of Palin that close to the presidency, he said! Some now say they were close to leaveing any how, because the republican party was just to steeped in religeon controling the party these days. Some hung on because of the Abortion issue's. But said in the end they could live with Obama's programs, and just couldn't see four more years of Old white men leading us down the same path. So I'm not sure what our party stood for any more, or why we became Republicans all those years ago. I get the idea this country isn't as divided as we think it is. It's simply that we didn't have a reason to leave the party, and their wasn't anything new untill now to feel hopeful for. If obama does a good job, and put the fears to rest in the next couple of years, I think he will be a shoe in for a second run.
Maybe with a voice like Powell (and many of our voices in support) the moderates could push out the ultra-right wing who still don't get it. That would be refreshing. Remember all that "unity" talk as the Dem. primary was coming to a close. Wow-the Democrats are united as never before. As for the GOP, I've never seen less unity in a party. This is a huge battle unfolding-does any one else feel it?
The endgame seems to be that the party will split, or at least it will lose a lot of members on one or the other end of the IQ scale.

Here's a bit of historical stuff...

The Democratic Party, less than 50 years ago, was associated with "states' rights" issues, and was associated with the racism and segregation of the former Confederacy. One presidential policy changed the Democratic Party indelibly, notably the strong support of civil rights by LBJ. Several things transformed the Democratic Party as a result in 1968:

  • The notorious assassinations of RFK and MLK.
  • George Wallace's electoral wins in many Southern states, particularly among formerly Democratic conservatives.
  • Nixon's Southern strategy, which drained the Democrats of any remaining conservative votes.
  • The riotous 1968 DNC convention, which further painted the Democrats as disorderly, ultimately helping Nixon's win along the "restoring order" platform.

The end result, socially, is that the segregationists were fractured among those who lined up behind Wallace and those who thought Nixon would support their views-- and those with Wallace didn't last very long politically. Today, while racists still exist and while some fringe reactionaries in conservatives' clothing still try to defend them through complex rhetoric and fallacies, they are no longer the dead albatross on the Democrats' necks. I hold out hope that if the Democrats can distance themselves from generations of malice and hatred and turn a new leaf, the Republicans can re-evaluate themselves in the coming years.

This doesn't have to mean that becoming Democratic, or liberal is the answer to the Republicans' woes, despite this straw man being perpetuated by critics of RFO*. But it also doesn't mean that becoming more conservative or more contrary to the Democrats is the answer. If anything, what Republican officials should take away from this election is not whether they should have won or lost (they seem to want to obfuscate that discussion to no end), but that Obama's message of more unity and cooperation with civil debate and discussion from all viewpoints is not something that ought to be viewed as a partisan wedge. It's a common theme called out by many voters: Enough with the hard lines, enough with the posturing, enough with the stupid games meant only to consolidate or preserve power. Just do your damned jobs.

* If this "criticism" originates with the RNC, I fear that this is their way of rejecting the Republicans who voted for Obama.


And there's no sense crying over every mistake
You just keep on trying 'til you run out of cake.

"If anything, what Republican officials should take away from this election is not whether they should have won or lost (they seem to want to obfuscate that discussion to no end), but that Obama's message of more unity and cooperation with civil debate and discussion from all viewpoints is not something that ought to be viewed as a partisan wedge. It's a common theme called out by many voters: Enough with the hard lines, enough with the posturing, enough with the stupid games meant only to consolidate or preserve power. Just do your damned jobs."

:::standing up and applauding!!!:::

Hear, hear!

More division coming.

Michael Reagan's article in Human Events is an example.  At a time with people losing their jobs, houses and life savings, he still thinks the voters' primary concerns are "defense of marriage" proposals and claims a victory in the election !!

You gotta read this----I can't believe he's even on the same planet with us, let alone political party.


Hard to believe isn't it?  Even worse are the comments to the article.  If we want a more moderate GOP, we have our work cut out for us.

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