Senate The Future of the Republican Party

Discussion in 'Archive: The Senate Floor' started by Jabbadabbado, Nov 6, 2008.

  1. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    KnightWriter, I hope you will forgive me porting this over from the election thread. To me, this issue deserves its own thread and is a great topic for discussion.
  2. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    There are a lot of issues in there. How does/should the Republican party address:

    1. Changing demographics of the American population

    2. The competence gap

    The Gonk conundrum of the apparent preference for social issue stances over a broader assessment of competence to lead.

    3. The social conservative dilemma

    (Also, the Peggy Noonan thesis that President Bush destroyed the Republican party when he pushed immigration reform.) George Bush destroyed the Republican party

    4. The prosperity problem. The Reagan tax revolution of the 80s and under George Bush, Jr. and the intervening gutting of social welfare programs in the Clinton years have created a problem in which much of the traditional core Republican base has perhaps not shared in the economic growth and prosperity of the Bush years. You see the results I believe in the broad rural "blue shift" that the NYT described in an article today: See voting shifts tab
  3. AaylaSecurOWNED Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 19, 2005
    star 6
    I'll reiterate something I said in one of the election threads as well, which is that if Romney becomes the front runner in the Republican party between now and 2012, I believe the Republican party will splinter, with the Evangelicals breaking away to follow Huckabee or Palin and many conservative Democrats (my father included) and libertarians joining to support Romney and the new Republican party. No matter who emerges in 2012, I think that radical social conservatives (the kind who believe e.g., that abortion should be illegal even in cases of rape and incest, that stem cell research should not be performed on embryos that are going to be destroyed anyway, that evolution should not be taught in schools, and that homosexuals should not be allowed to adopt or have civil unions) are putting a lot of pressure on the party that secular and non-radical conservatives whose focus is on fiscal issues will not be able to abide much longer.
  4. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I don't see why incest should be viewed as an extreme case for abortion.

    That aside, I'd love to see Romney take the healm. I think that it might be able to hold the evangelicals in, if for no other reason than they may see they'd lose influence if they splintered off, but I'd love to see the social conservatives lose their strength in favour of fiscal conservatism. I'd agree it'd definitely pull off Democrats, especially those that are mainly Democrats for the social issues.

    Its interesting, I think, how the Republican party seems much more liable to have a divide, when the Democrats have a big gap on social issues, with, for example, something like 70% of African-Americans in California voting in favour of Prop 8. This disconnect within parts of the Democrat Party seems to not be as visible, and I wonder if it will ever be at some point or not.
  5. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    African-Americans may oppose gay marriage in large numbers, but they don't prioritize it the same way social conservatives do. Issues of shared prosperity and social justice are a lot higher on the list, so gay marriage isn't something you can exploit as a wedge issue to gain the black vote.

    Also, the California vote is in any case a big warning for Obama, as if he didn't already know, to steer clear of gay marriage as a national domestic policy issue.
  6. Ghost Chosen One

    Member Since:
    Oct 13, 2003
    star 6
    I predicted that the 2008 U.S. presidential election would conclusively prove if the Christian social conservatives should go on being treated as a special group of Americans that somehow had more power and influence than the others. Barack Obama has been elected the 44th President of the United States, and I think that should be conclusive proof that the social conservatives have become more of a burden than a gift to the Republican Party.

    Here is what I posted in the election thread:



    I will offer some advice to my Republican friends. The Republican Party of personal liberty, personal integrity, fiscal conservatism, smaller government, self-reliance, and less taxes will always have an important voice and value to America. I respect those things, and agree with them, even if they're not always possible. I believe Republicans will and should continue to counter and respectfully debate with the Democrats. No side will ever, or should ever, dominate the government for all time. The thing is, the Republican Party has lost its way and not stayed true to itself. Neo-conservatism is dead, rejected, and has been for a while, so that's one step in the right direction already. I know the GOP is traditionally conservative, but the nation has been in an inevitable transition period, and they must learn to if not advocate for change at least adapt to it. There are three things plague the Republican Party. If dealt with, and depending on the circumstances, I would actually consider voting for a Republican.



    1. Incompetence. If Bush had succeeded in everything he did, he would be disagreed with but not nearly as unpopular. Do not make it solely a popularity contest or a test on sounding the most Republican. Substance and execution matter, not just ideas from the hopes of dreams. Not that the two cannot go together, but competence must be more highly valued than an ideological test.

    2. Ignorance. I know some of you may still disagree, but Sarah Palin was viewed on by the majority of the nation as too ignorant to be Vice President. I know many who would have voted for McCain if Palin had at least demonstrated better intelligence, understanding, or at least curiosity. Do not let the GOP become the symbol of anti-intellectualism. You must also clearly and conclusively reject the racist and xenophobic supporters, who have made headlines making hateful and ignorant comments lately.

    3. Social Conservatism. This may be more personal bias, but I really think Republicans should not thrive on the social/moral/cultural issues that divide Americans very passionately. Issues like abortion, gay marriage, seemingly motivated by solely religious or traditional reasons, which is not what the party of small government should be about. You have the right to disagree, but I don't want you or anyone telling people how to live their lives, or at least not making it a centerpiece of their campaign promises. Substance should come first, Republicans must learn to win by uniting rather than dividing. So I guess this point is more about the Republicans have to reject divisive and fear-mongering politics, as well as "tradition for the sake of tradition" arguments and learning to at least adapt to change if they cannot advocate change directly (just get out of focusing on the past, and always referencing Reagan, look forward with hope and vision!). Although these divisive and fear-mongering politics, as well as having an un-adaptive focus on the past, are almost always tied in directly with "culture war" issues like abortion and gay marriage. Again, I respect your views, and personally I too love and support families and marriages, I honestly don't know anyone who doesn't have those values (even if some points are disagreed upon). Just please, to even have a chance at coming back, instead of trying to "win" the culture war or trying not to "surrender," just call the war off respectfully and peacefully, and ignore these types of issues or at least don't make them your backbone support. Seek our common gr/>
  7. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    I think the party's best hope is in Romney. If Huckabee and Palin use the latent anti-Mormon bias of Evangelicals again in 2012, the Republican party will turn out the way KW predicts. I would have had a tough time picking between Obama and Romney this time around, but after four years of Obama and the Republicans being put in a corner, I think the country will be ready for Romney. Obama will have either moved in a reasonable manner to fix the excesses of the Bush adminstration, or he will have overreached. In four years I think I will want a Democratic Congress checked by Romney.

    The thing to remember is that social conservatives don't need to be alienated by Romney, he largely agrees with them. Their problem comes from their anti-Mormon bigotry and refusal to accept any candidate that does not explicitly spout their views all the time. Subtract the economic crisis, and if McCain had been able to pick a moderate GOP VP and not pandered to the base, a few winks and nods about Supreme Court picks should have got him in. He then could have picked the people the conservatives would have liked because he knew if he didn't the Republican Party would have imploded. It is like if the South had demanded the North to legalize slavery. By keeping the issue below the radar they were able to keep the system going for much longer.

    I just don't think I will see the day when we elect a Mormon. The Evangelicals should have known Huckabee didn't have a chance of winning, but they supported him anyways even though it meant the least socially conserviative candidate won (that was viable, Guiliani was a joke).
  8. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    I'm not sure whether Obama will really be measured so much on the overreaching-underreaching scale. Job number one is ending the recession. No one knows exactly how long this will take or whether the president can affect the outcome at all, but if the economy is still struggling in two years, then Obama is in trouble too.
  9. DarthLowBudget Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 5
    I think its going to be interesting watching the Republican Party rebuild itself over the coming years. I wonder if it is possible for their to be, even briefly, a three party system where we have a party made of hard-left liberals, a party made of moderates leaning both slightly left and slightly right (likely the largest party), and a party made of hard-right conservatives.

    I wonder how that would effect the power balance in Washington, and whether it would be more, or less stable than the two party system we've had for years.
  10. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5
    Jabba, that might very well be true for the electorate. Personally I'm not going to blame him if he hasn't fixed the economy even if others will. I will be happy if he stands up to his base when he makes the tough choices he faces, even if things get worse before they get better. Now if his policies clearly made a bad situation worse, that is a different story.
  11. Mace's Apprentice Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 13, 2000
    star 1
    I don't know what is going to happen in the next few years. Romney was the clear choice. If not for brother Mike he would have been the nominee. People in the deep south backed Huckabee even though he was not a good canidate. They backed him because he was once a southern baptist minister. In their minds that represented a straight flush.

    As for Palin i think she is a political lightweight. Her interviews with Couric and Gibson and being made a fool of by Tina Fey will follow her for the rest of her national political career. However, nobody has mentioned on this board that if Senator Stevens of Alaska secures relection he will most likely not be seated by the next congress because of his conviction on bribery charges. In this case Governor Palin must appoint a sucessor. According to Alaska law she can appoint anyone she wants including herself without calling a special election. Supposedly this happened under the last Governor when a Senator or Congressman died. That Governor appointed his daughter who ironically had no prior political experience. Supposedly wierd things happen like this in Alaska politics. So, the only way I think Palin can redeem herself would be to correct her reputation in the Senate. Stranger things have happened.

    There has been alot of talk by Republican strategists of developing young talent. One of those we should keep our eye on is Congressman Eric Cantor. He has put forth his name for the second ranking position in the house. It think it's possible that he may become the future face of the party in the coming years. Then again people were high on Rick Santorum. Nobody knows, but the Republican party must put forth a better ticket in 2012. Personally, if Obama does reasonably well he should coast to relection no matter who the Republicans trot out.
  12. DarthLowBudget Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 5
    Well hopefully the revelation that Palin made it to age 44 without knowing that Africa was a continent, and not a country, will effectively kill her political career outside of Alaska.
  13. Espaldapalabras Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Aug 25, 2005
    star 5

    Posted just to give our liberal members a bit of humility.
  14. KnightWriter Administrator Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Nov 6, 2001
    star 8
    I thought this was amusing:

    3) Media - We need to destroy the current media. They must be punished for their abdication of their duties within a free society. Establish alternative sources to reach the voters with our message. Financially ruin the mouthpieces of the Democrats. Buy the New York Times and fire their editorial board, replacing it with one leaning right.


    Sure thing, chief. Old style media is on its way out, though the NY Times is still relevant today. Newer media, particularly bloggers and influential sites like Politico, are the wave of the future. They reported the facts on both sides, and when you have a rotten set of facts, it's easier to blame the messengers.
  15. DarthLowBudget Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 5
    Wow. They really don't give much stock to the First Amendment, do they?
  16. PlagueisesApprentice Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 16, 2008
    star 1
    I believe that the true republican party died with Reagan, all there is now is a lie unfortunatley.
  17. Jedi_Keiran_Halcyon Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Dec 17, 2000
    star 6
    Reagan was just as dominated by the fundamentalist social conservatives as Bush was. The man gets canonized for being lucky enough to be in office when the Soviet Union imploded, but he was by no means a paragon of nobility or honesty.
  18. DarthLowBudget Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jan 17, 2004
    star 5
    I think some might argue that the final death knell of the old conservatism that had defined the Republican Party in the past was the retirement of Barry Goldwater from politics.
  19. PlagueisesApprentice Jedi Knight

    Member Since:
    Oct 16, 2008
    star 1

    Fair enough but to the american public he embodied strong conservative value and the destruction of the soviet union made americans feel safe, it doesn't matter if what was thought about him was true or not.
  20. Obi Anne FF admin Celebrations, Europe

    Administrator
    Member Since:
    Nov 4, 1998
    star 7
    Since some of you think that the Republican Party will split, do you think that would mean that there would be a possibility for a third party to actually come to prominence on the national level? The election system clearly favours a two-party system, but it's the same in the UK and there at least you have the Liberal Democrats that have managed to rise up as a credible party anyway.
  21. yankee8255 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    Good job starting this thread, Jabba. Following the election (heck, even the days before, given that the outcome was pretty much set by the start of last week), I had two questions:

    1. Once elected, does Obama stay in the center, where he campaigned, or move left?

    2. Who gains control of the Republican party? Do moderates move in droves to the democratic party, abandoning the GOP to the religious right?

    I have to admit, I have something of a bad feeling that that may happen. However, the Prop 8 vote (leaving aside whether you agree with it or not) shows something very significant, imo: people voted for Obama certainly because they hope he can unite the country, and because they think he is more likely to get the economy going. But the news from California should serve as a very loud warning: Most people in the middle resent the way social conservatives want to intrude further and further and into people's private lives, but that does not mean they support unrestricted abortion rights, unrestricted stem cell research, or gay marriage. If Obama "goes left", the moderates will likely penalize him in 2010, just as they did Clinton in 1994.

    At the same time, the right, as embodied by everyone's favorite fat, blathering idiot, Rush Limbaugh, is already on the move, trying to sell the loss as the result of McCain not being a true conservative, saying that 20% of "conservatives" voted for Obama, and also attacking McCain's camp for attacking Palin.

  22. Jabbadabbado Manager Emeritus

    Member Since:
    Mar 19, 1999
    star 7
    What else would Rush say? He plays to his base without serving their interests in any way. He doesn't want to help the Republican party, he just wants to tell his audience what it wants to hear.
  23. yankee8255 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    May 31, 2005
    star 6
    I went to his website knowing full well what I would find there.

    One day I'd like to hire a private investigator to follow Rush around for a few months, then give that report to his conservative base. When was the last time he even saw the inside of a church? How often has the guy been married?
  24. CucumberBoy Jedi Grand Master

    Member Since:
    Mar 11, 2007
    star 3

    1.Most cases of incest are child abuse.
    2.Inbreeding leads to increased homozygosity (the genes from the parents of the offspring are alike) which can lead to (from wikipedia)

    * reduced fertility both in litter size and sperm viability
    * increased genetic disorders
    * fluctuating facial asymmetry
    * lower birth rate
    * higher infant mortality
    * slower growth rate
    * smaller adult size
    * loss of immune system function.
  25. Lowbacca_1977 Force Ghost

    Member Since:
    Jun 28, 2006
    star 6
    I'd point out that the parent notificaiton for abortion managed to lose at the same time that prop 8 passed. Which was a bit surprising, I'd thought they'd go together.

    CucumberBoy, if there's interest going back down this road again, I can seek out the old abortion thread or kick up a new one.