A National Party No More

Sorry, Zell, but it seems like the title of your book can now be officially referring to Republicans rather than Democrats.  Amazing difference 2 years can make, aint it? 

While Georgia Republicans are clearly having their day in the sun (and congratulations are in order to Sonny Perdue, Casey Cagle, and Karen Handel for running great campaigns), the Republican Party nationally is looking more and more like a regional party limited to the South and parts of the Great Plains country. 

Republicans were simply crushed in the northeast and the midwest yesterday.  Many of the remaining moderate Republicans of the midwest and east were defeated. Republicans were particularly hit hard in the border states, i.e. Missouri, Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana, where they once held overwelming majorities.  Blue collar, Reagan Democrat states like Michigan and Pennsylvania are now solidly blue.  The West Coast is, and has been, solidly blue.  And the Rocky Mountain states are becoming more and more competitive (see Montana, for example). 

The more the rest of the country sees the Southern, religious right brand of Republicanism, the more it moves away from the Republican Party. 

While voters across the country were rejecting Republican candidates, conservative South Dakota rejected an extreme right wing attempt to ban all abortions, conservative Missouri passed an amendment to their Constitution to protect stem cell research, and Arizona (the home of Barry Goldwater and once a bastion or Republicanism and which still has 2 Republican U.S. Senators) became the first state in the country to reject an anti-gay marriage amendment.

So, while Georgia Republicans should celebrate their victories, they should know that the rest of the country is moving against them, and, like Zell Miller said about the Democrats moving too far to the left, by moving too far to the right, they are becoming “A National Party No More.”   

33 comments

  1. John Galt says:

    Republicans didn’t lose because they went too far to the right – they lost because they didn’t go to the right enough!

    Record federal spending, Prescription drug bill, NCLB, a sieve for a border, McCain-Feingold, …these are all victories for liberals pushed through in the last six years by a Congress hamstrung by moderates and endorsed by a moderate president. Next on the horizon is probable amnesty for illegals, and still no fixes for Social Security and Medicare.

    Don’t blame for conservatives for losing this election. Blame the do-nothing RINOs.

  2. Decaturguy says:

    Well, maybe then, John, the Republicans should put up Rick Santorum for President. You can see how that might work out.

  3. debbie0040 says:

    Seven states passed the gay marriage ban yesterday and 11 states passed the ban in 2004. There were blue states that passed the ban.

    You sorta leave that little tidbit out.

    You also left out the fact the most of the Dems that won in red states ran as conservatives. Ideology wise, there was not a big difference between the GOP incumbent and the Democratic challenger. Voters wanted a change, so they voted Democrat.

    The national GOP did not have vision or present and agenda. They just gave voters reasons not to vote Democrat and that failed miserably.

    To even to try to counstrue the election as a move to the left is ridiculous.

  4. Decaturguy says:

    I don’t think that the election was a move to the left, but it was a rejection of the hypocritical, madness of the extreme right. I have no doubt about that.

  5. debbie0040 says:

    Well said John Galt !!!!!

    GOP voters are not very forgiving when they think they are electing a Republican and as soon as the candidate takes office, they start governing like Democrats.

  6. shep1975 says:

    I wrote this an posted it on my blog site yesterday. Since I now have a grand total of two posts on the site, I won’t bother anyone with the website URL.

    Yet I hold this against you: You have forsaken your first love. Remember the height from which you have fallen! Repent and do the things you did at first. If you do not repent, I will come to you and remove your lampstand from its place. Rev. 2:4-5

    Eight years ago I sat in a small room on a Wednesday morning at the Cobb County Galleria Center having breakfast. The was nothing extraordinary about the breakfast; scrambled eggs, bacon, fruit. What was extraordinary were my breakfast companions that morning; House Speaker Newt Gingrich and senior advisor Joe Gaylord.

    These two men had planned the Contract With America GOP Revolution in 1994 and were expecting another GOP tsunami in 1998 as President William Jefferson Clinton was teetering on the edge of impeachment. The polls showed them winning fifteen seats. In the end, the Democrats picked up five.

    Shortly after breakfast, I waited in the back of the room as Newt stood in front of a backdrop emblazoned with “America’s Victory

  7. Decaturguy says:

    Oh, and the same sex marriage thing. It may have passed in 7 states, but hardly the 70-80% vicories of 2004 in most states (with the exception of Tennessee). The numbers are moving against you Debbie:
    Arizona: 49%
    Colorado: 56%
    Idaho: 63%
    S.Dakota: 52%
    Tennessee: 81%
    Virginia: 58%
    Wisconsin: 59%

  8. Paul Shuford says:

    The Republicans were given an opportunity to do the things that they promised – reduce the size of government, reduce spending, cut taxes, abolish unnecessary government waste – and they did just the opposite. They increased the size of government, increased spending, increased earmarks, pork, and other unnecessary government waste – and even the tax cut they passed will evaporate in a few years.
    Everything the Republicans promised has gone up in smoke, because they decided to pursue a ridiculous agenda of religiously-motivated social engineering and foreign expansionism instead of doing the things they promised, which are what got them elected in the first place. It was a bait-and-switch, why are people surprised that the Republicans got the boot after what they’ve pulled?

  9. Decaturguy says:

    Everything the Republicans promised has gone up in smoke, because they decided to pursue a ridiculous agenda of religiously-motivated social engineering and foreign expansionism instead of doing the things they promised, which are what got them elected in the first place.

    I agree with you 100%, which was sort of the point of my post. The election was not a move to the left on the part of the American people. It was a rejection of the hijacking of the Party by the divisive, extremist politics of the social conservatives like Debbie.

    If the Democrats take this as a license to move the country to the far left, then I agree that they will pay the price. But I think they will tread cautiously.

  10. John Galt says:

    Wow Debbie and I finally agree on something.

    Decaturguy, what in the world do you mean by saying the GOP should choose Sanctum Santorum – who betrayed conservatives by endorsing Specter – for president? Santorum and is ilk caused the losses!

  11. Decaturguy says:

    Then who is this pure conservative that you suggest who could win nationally? Because, right now it is looking like McCain.

  12. John Galt says:

    Decaturguy,
    I think I see the point you are trying to make, but you need to explain it better. If I read your post at 3:59 correctly in which you cite the “ridiculous agenda of religiously-motivated social engineering”, then you and I actually agree 100%. What you describe is the foundation for disastorous and failed policies of “compassionate conservatism.”

    But I disagree that the social conservative rank-and-file are to blame for compassionate conservatism and, thus, the Tuesday Night Massacre. Instead, lay your blame at the feet of Bush, Rove and Mehlman. They used the term “compassionate conservatism” to get the social conservatives’ votes, then ran to the middle to govern.

    As far as the conservative I think could win nationally, it certainly isn’t McCain, who isn’t a conservative. Newt Gingrich is the only keeper of the Goldwater-Reagan flame who has indicated a desire to run for president.

  13. George Bush in 2004 was the conservative standard bearer and he only got 46% of the vote in Pennsylvania. Santorum got 40%. Are you trying to suggest that conservatives abandoned Santorum because he endorsed Arlen Specter in 2004?

    That’s ridiculous. According to the Pennsylvania exit poll, Santorum still received 80% of votes from conservatives. Even if he had gotten 100% of these votes, he would have still come up a few points short of Bush in 2004. Meanwhile, Casey cleaned up among moderates and liberals, getting 65% of the moderate vote.

    Any gain in conservative votes for Casey has much more to do with his social conservative but economic populist approach to politics.

    I believe your reading of these elections results is entirely incorrect, and I encourage the GOP to follow your logic. Voters don’t dislike the prescription drug program because it is a “liberal” entitlement, they dislike it because it is poorly drafted lobbyist appeasing legislation that prevents the federal government from negotiating to keep drug costs low and is written in such a twisted way that seniors are on the hook for thousands of dollars of medication once they cross a certain threshold. And the Republicans didn’t do this because they thought it was good policy, they did it as a budgetary trick to reduce the cost of the program because they weren’t negotiating for lower costs.

    The same goes for social security “reform.” Assume there is a looming problem, I reject that assumption based on a formula that says the program is only in deficit to the tune of a couple of trillion dollars over ETERNITY. I mean, what’s a couple of trillion dollars over ETERNITY.

    Voters rejected Republican efforts to reform this program because their taxes wouldn’t have gone down one iota but their social security guarantees would be cut massively, and much more than needed to fix the eternal shortfall.

    Please, offer up some conservative craziness. If you do, you have completely missed the point of this election. Voters didn’t say to Republicans we don’t like you because you aren’t conservative enough, they don’t like Republican legislators because they don’t pass competent well written legislation. To just give you one example, voters would rather have a functioning drug entitlement for seniors than whatever right wing alternative (health savings accounts?) the Republicans may offer.

    Republican leaders know that the conservative stuff will never fly, so they tried to be liberals who also gave away the house to lobbyists and drug companies. That’s why they were rejected. It had nothing to do with conservative vs liberal, it was corrupt and incompetent vs “not”.

  14. Rick Day says:

    poor poor, Republicritters….

    thats all I can say….

    poor poor Republicritters…

    waaah waah waahh

    I remember feeling this way back in Nov 1992.

    Yes, even as an Indie…I see it is a GOOD day indeed!

  15. John Galt says:

    Chrishardcore,

    I am 100% suggesting that PA conservatives abandoned Santorum in 2004 because he endorsed Specter. If you recall, conservative congressman Pat Toomey ran against Santorum for the GOP nomination. Santorum and Bush endorsed Specter (they shouldn’t have got involved in a party primary in the first place), which completely pissed off Western PA conservatives.

    If you also recall, VP Cheney – Cheney! – as booed by conservatives when he campaigned in PA for Bush. Yesterday, Santorum and, to an extent, Lynn Swann, felt the payback.

    Trust me – I’ve talked to a lot of pissed off PA voters since 2004, and Bush’s defeat, Santorum’s defeat, and Swann’s defeat was a message sent.

    One more thing – save the “Bush was the conservative standard bearer” BS. Bush will never be accused of being conservative.

  16. debbie0040 says:

    Well said again J ohn.

    Compassionate Conservatism is a way to package entitlement programs to appeal to conservatives.

    Just for your info Decatur guy, I oppose gay marriage but believe marriage should be left up to the states to decide not the court system.

    I would not be in favor of a federal constitutional ammendment addressing gay marriage unless it said that marriage was a matter for states to decide.

    It is not just social conservatives that oppose gay marriage. Liberal states have passed the ban as well.

  17. buzzbrockway says:

    There’s a real danger for Democrats and Republicans in misinterpreting the results of yesterday’s election. If Democrats take this as a mandate to “get Bush,” and launch endless investigations, or block funding for the troops to force us out of Iraq they’ll have problems.

    Also, if Republicans interpret the election as a mandate to be the party of even bigger government (more so than they have been) they will stay in the minority for a while.

    We must analyze the election results to see what really happened, but I think the reports of the demise of the GOP are greatly exaggerated.

  18. JRM2016 says:

    Decaturguy,

    Who can deny your statement that the GOP is a National Party No More?

    Democrats have an overwhelming 15 or so vote majority in the House and, if Virgina holds, a 1 vote advantage in the Senate.

    Of course, the GOP holds the only office which appears on the ballot in all fifty states, the Presidency. But the GOP has only held it for 26 of the last 40 years.

    I am going to get on the phone right now and let Ken Mehlman know we shouldn’t even bother fielding a candidate for the White House next time, since we were so thoroughly trounced in this awful mid-term drubbing where the GOP lost fewer seats that the average for a six-year itch election.

    Thank you decaturguy for opening my eyes to our desparate situation. Now I can go spend my time doing something more productive, like fantasy football.

    P.S.–A gay marriage ban passes in seven more states, and that position is weakening? It must be nice to live in Democrat-land.

  19. Chris says:

    And that gay marriage thing is just more unifying inclusiveness of the Republican party.

    Buzz, if the Dems don’t take this election as a mandate to restore accountability to our government and prosecute corruption where its found, then you can rest assured they’re no different than Republicans.

    I cannot believe that the party of small government, fiscal restraint and personal responsibility has in six years time managed to get the government so far up our asses that privacy is no longer a valid word in our political lexicon, that billions upon billions of dollars just wafted off the table into oblivion while the GOP just sat there turning their heads and whistlin’ dixie. The people choosing the GOP label at this point in time have obliterated the ideals of “small government, fiscal accountability and personal responsibility” by blaming everything and everybody else for the disastrous results of their actions.

  20. debbie0040 says:

    I have heard pundits point to the War in Iraq. Bush even got rid of Rummy because he believes that.

    One problem with that is, how do you explain Lieberman’s victory? He got defeated in the Democratic Primary because he supported the war and Bush .

    Lieberman ran as an Independent and trounced his GOP and Democratic opponent. Lamont was very much anti Iraqi war.

  21. Chris says:

    I recommend to the Republican party to issue framed sworn and signed certificates to each of their elected officials that reflects their commitments to:
    small government;
    fiscal restraint;
    and
    personal responsibility

    And instill in them the absolute necessity to look at that plaque before each and every piece of legislation they write and determine whether the current action they’re taking meets those standards.

    Is the problem really so dire that the government must act to solve it?

    Is it absolutely necessary to authorize this much money for a proposed government solution?

    Am I willing to stand behind this action proudly and completely?

    If you can’t keep your actions within your own stated ideals, then don’t act.

  22. ColinATL says:

    debbie,

    You misunderstand the dynamics of the CT Senate race. Lieberman’s supporters were primarily Republicans. The Republican candidate was a non-candidate early on, and the national Repubs (Rove, lobbyists, etc) all threw their support behind Leiberman.

    Leiberman won IN SPITE of his support of the war, not because of it. Lieberman won because of his (IMO somewhat disingenuous) call for bipartisanship. He won because of a long history of support for SOME progressive causes.

    Lieberman’s win was a product of the inverted dynamics caused by a 3-way race, and had little to do with his support for the war.

  23. Dorabill says:

    Decatur Guy
    You define border states as Missouri, Virginia, Kentucky, Indiana. People in the real world define them as Texas, Arizona, New Mexico and California. That’s one reason for the shakeup. Another is Iraq. A third one is Bush’s social spending, # 4 Bush’s departure from conservatism and violations of the Constitution. # 5 would be scandals and hypocrisy. And we have more bans on gay marriage than we used to. Not that that’s a big issue with me. Did I miss anything?

  24. caroline says:

    The GOP is officially the Southern Fundamentalist Party. It’s become obvious over the last 6 years where the priorities lie-heck even some posters here are showing those same priorities-things like gay marriage, flag burning etc.

  25. JP says:

    If the Democrats march toward the Wes Clark side rather than the Pelosi side–and be aware that 25 of the seats that changed hands were supported if not strategized by Clark’s PAC–the days of the far right leading outside the deep South are gone.

    That said, as a moderate Democrat, I am very disappointed in the state of Georgia in its lack of disgust at what’s been going on–Republicans won far too many elections with wide margins here yesterday. If this state has no room for even moderate Democrats, it’s in poor shape indeed.

  26. Decaturguy says:

    None of you are disputing that the GOP has now become a regional party pretty much limited to the South. It can no longer compete in the northeast, the west coast, most of the midwest. It is a national party no more.

  27. Maurice Atkinson says:

    Shep, I agree with your premise. In fact, in May I sat with a group in Washington DC with a prominent RNC pollster who accurately predicted a tsunami. His assessment was that the Republicans on the federal level abandon their fiscally conservative principles, they failed to tackle illegal immigration, Iraq and oil. The lobbying scandals also emboldened the opposition. His polling had been trending downward for a year and a half.

    So what happened yesterday? Nearly all candidates with connections to Jack Abramoff were sent packing. Congressmen with moral deficiencies were sent packing. And perhaps there was some collateral damage with some good and decent legislators having to pack up their DC offices.

    There are some tremendous Democrats that were elected. I like Bob Casey in Pennsylvania. If he’s anything like his dad, he’ll represent PA well. I also heard about some fellow in North Carolina who ran on the Dem. ticket but is a fiscal and social conservative.

    What happened, as it appears, is not a bunch of wackos but mainstream candidates. Time will tell how they deal with their away from mainstream leadership.

    This certainly is not the end of the world but a time to reassess our philosophy and recruit candidates that are capable of governing effectively for all.

    Decaturguy, there is always a vacuum in politics and a cycle to everything. Who knows what tomorrow holds, but the winners will be those that most listen to the people. My party got spanked, and rightfully so. We’re down today but far from being out.

  28. IndyInjun says:

    The Georgia GOP has a very tough decision to make. This election proved conclusively that the people will not stand fake conservatives who abandoned the central tenets of the Republican Party.

    The trouble is that MOST of the GOP US Representatives and the two senators are IMPOSTERS as conservatives and should be next on the list to be taken out.

    They all voted for the $8 trillion Medicare Drug entitlement that is anathema to all things Republican and conservative. The Dems never even DREAMED of such irresponsibility in 40 years.

    It is now time for the party to do a self examination and dump all of the imposters. We have two years to do it. We had best get busy finding true conservatives who will take on the entrenched incumbents and those in the party who worship power instead of principled leadership.

    Go back and read the Contract with America and GOP platforms.

    Take a good look in the mirror and ask who and what you really are.

    Then let us get together and SHOW THE PEOPLE that we are serious about principles.

    Saxby must go.

  29. Bill Simon says:

    Debbie, hang-on to that “gay marriage” issue for yourself as long as possible. Boy-howdy, that is one threat to the Constitutional Republic of The United States greater than ANYTHING else possible.

    (In case you did not know what the definition of a “moron” was before today, you are one.)

  30. Dorabill says:

    Decatruguy
    The reason we did so well here in GA is we gave Ralph Reed the boot, we’ve got some tough immigration laws, and we’ve got a good climate for small business and big business. And they’re listening to folks like John Konop re: things like Corporate welfare. It’s not like we’re living in the stone age here. We’re on the “cutting edge”. hehe.

  31. DougieFresh says:

    Maurice,

    I agree with you, it was the various scandals that did the Reps in. You have to be harder on your own than you are on your opponents when it comes to ethics, otherwise you have no credibility.

    DeWine was a fairly popular RINO in Ohio, yet he was bumped off because 6% approval rating Taft took the party into the sewers. Republicans need to ask themselves if they want these sewer rats representing them simply because they are next in line. (That’s why Taft got elected in the first place, and Blackwell was not governor in his place).

    1994 is still very fresh in my mind, and I remember staying up till 5 AM watching the returns come in. I knew how corrupt the Democrats were, and I thought that we would make a difference. Sadly, averis, gluttony and huberis only took a few years to settle in.

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