What Fresh Hell Is This?

August 31, 2006

Dissent in God's Own Party

We recently posted some criticism of Rick Santorum coming out of the Washington Times. The Washington Times is allied with a magazine called Insight Magazine - just as conservative, just as loony.

Check this out. The article, while purporting to be fair and balanced (oo that phrase!), is a complaint among the ultra-conservative about the less-than-ultra conservative. President Bush has been trying to maintain a united Republican Party amid flagging conservative support and a split with the GOP’s "liberal" wing.
The two wings are so far apart that party strategists no longer envision a united front for the November congressional elections. The strategists said many of the liberals, already alienated from the White House, have been campaigning as opponents of the president in an effort to win re-election as part of an expected Democratic Party sweep of Congress.
It's so weird to read about the "liberal wing" of the Republican party. Just something about that phrase just doesn't make sense - I'd thought they'd purged all the rational Republicans by now.

I remember when Craig Kilborn was hosting the Daily Show - he made a joke about "Moderate Christian Conservatives."

He said they're the ones who smile at you when they tell you that "God hates fags."

Back to the magazine.
Ryan Sager, a New York Post columnist, has published a book that argues that Mr. Bush's agenda has split the GOP. Entitled "The Elephant in the Room: Evangelicals, Libertarians, and the Battle to Control the Republican Party," Mr. Sager says Mr. Bush's promotion of bigger government combined with evangelical Christian values has separated Republican support in the traditional South from what he termed "leave me alone states" such as Arizona, Colorado, Montana, New Mexico and Nevada.

Mr. Sager said Mr. Bush has attracted a new breed of Republicans, whom he termed big government conservatives. He said this group is mostly female, southern, religious, and seeks solutions from government.
"Big government conservatives"? That's as odd as "liberal Republicans." Who knew there'd be so much nuance in George Bush's party?
"If the Republican Party is no longer the party of Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, Newt Gingrich, limited government, or fiscal restraint, then what is it?" asked the Cato Institute, which hosts Mr. Sager next week. "And what's a self-respecting, small-government, fiscally conservative, socially liberal voter supposed to do?"
Uh, go with a small-government, fiscally conservative, socially liberal Democrat, I guess.

The writer of the article has a few problems with those pesky (and obviously independent) liberal Republicans:
In 2006, the GOP’s liberal wing has so far joined with the Democrats in blocking conservative-drafted legislation that would bolster the U.S. military presence in Iraq, halt illegal immigration, and aim at energy independence and health care reforms. Republican liberals also joined with Democrats against a proposed constitutional amendment that would ban gay marriage.
Uh-oh. These "liberal Republicans" want to undermine our troops while supporting the millions illegal immigrants streaming through our borders. They want to keep us dependent on those Arabs for our oil and worst yet, they siding with the sodomites on the definition of marriage!

Why are they even Republicans??

I'll give the last word to that clear voice of proper right-thinking morality, Newt Gingrich:
"Republicans need to step forward and regain the conservative wing of the party that stands for fiscal responsibility, individual freedoms and protection of America's reputation and its borders," Newt Gingrich said in a report entitled "Thinking About November.” “The party has been an abysmal failure on all points for the last 12 years. The only reason they have not lost is due to the inability of the Democrats to come together as centrists."
This part I don't understand. The whole article is about how the "liberal wing" is doing damage to the party by not agreeing with the "conservative wing." So why do Republicans need to "regain" the conservative wing?

In any event, it's nice to see that Newt thinks that:
The party has been an abysmal failure on all points for the last 12 years.
Wait 12 years ago is 1994, right? Wasn't that when the Republicans gained 54 seats in the House and, well, took over? So is he saying that it's been all downhill from there?

I couldn't agree more.

1 comment:

EdHeath said...

Well, I don’t want to try to rehash history here, so I will just say that, smart as they are, the repub’s are being tripped up by their own rhetoric. Because they made extraordinary demands of big donors ("give only to us") and because repub incumbents want to keep their seats, Repub congressmen have spent and cut taxes like mad, many of them speaking of the “needs” of *their* constituents while still mouthing the party line.
I see a parallel with contemporary business practices. Business leadership argues that stockholders (mostly a few large institutional ones) demand ever increasing profits. The only way to achieve this, to exceed profit estimates, is to make ever increasing cuts in their workforce. Of course, the price for this is higher and higher pay for business leadership. Oddly, this is possible and even sustainable in the short run because of ever increasing profitability. But not in the long run. So too with the repub’s, their spending and tax cuts and the Fed’s interest rate cuts kept the economy going after 9/11, even though that is not sustainable in the long run.
It’s hard to believe that the libertarian mantra would ever be a majority opinion in US. "Don’t help me, let me make it on my own, don’t protect me from bad business practice, let the free market sort out winners and losers". Sure, we would be a rich country, but most of us might be quite poor Actually kinda where we are headed now). You wonder if Newt, bright as he is, understands human nature.
Anyway, I think voters are beginning to mistrust republican incumbents. The problem is that democrats are not usually comfortable with the idea of being the fiscal conservatives, and because they still want some corporate donations they tread carefully on the ideas of rolling tax cuts back. And then there is the factor of the redistricting that has been done by enough republican controlled state legislatures that the democrats are unable to advance a lot of viable candidates.
There’s lots of other stuff going on too, so it is no surprise there is a lot of voter apathy and disenchantment. It’s also no surprise the repubs are becoming as hapless as the democrats were in the Carter era. I wish I could say that implied a change is coming, but I don’t see why that should be the case.