I’m About To Do Something I’ve Never Done

and I’ve done a lot of crazy things…

I’m going to recommend you read today’s column by Jay Bookman. I’ll go so far as calling it required reading if you self-identify as either a conservative or a Republican.

I don’t recommend it because I believe he is right, and I don’t agree with many of his premises. But it is a lengthy, detailed, and logically presented criticism of modern “conservatism”.

Conservatism is at a tipping point as its primary vehicle, the Republican Party, has failed it for a generation. Worse, the internal civil war within the Republican Party between various factions who wish to claim the mantle of conservatism and purge all others are waging a scorched earth policy from which we will not quickly recover.

We have allowed conservatism to become a caricature of itself, to the point where it is much more easily defined by its enemies than by its supporters and standard bearers. We are now neither the party, nor the ideology, of Ronald Reagan.

There are many things conservatives need to do differently, but before we can even rationally discuss the options, we must first agree to take the first step. We must admit we have a problem.

We can quibble with Bookman’s words all day long, but if we are to succeed, we must understand this: Bookman’s view, as articulated today, is how a majority of Americans view conservatives.

78 comments

  1. The idea that any party must be one of compromise is a fundamental idea of a two party system. Even in a multi-party system, parties have to compromise to build coalitions.

    But I’m not so keen on it. I think there has to be some core issues that will not be compromised. I’m cool with the Republican party not being one of social conservatism; but to depart from fiscal conservatism is an entirely different beast.

    As it stands now, I find it difficult to draw distinct lines between either of the two major parties. They may have well defined platforms, but the lack of enforcement of that creates two amorphous blobs that look the same.

    • John Konop says:

      Ronald Daniels

      The problem is we cannot even agree on what is being a fiscal conservative.

      I would argue tax breaks without proper spending cuts is fiscally irresponsible many would not.

      I would argue a service fee and impact fess in most case should match the cost of providing the service ie toll roads, library fees…….many call this a tax and would not.

      I would argue that our Nation Building foreign policy is fiscally irresponsible and many would not.

      I would argue the GOP Senior Bill of Rights is fiscally irresponsible to add on a Medicare system that already pays out 3 dollars of service for 1 dollar it takes in. And this is the biggest fiscal issue we face!

      • Anyone who can’t deduce what it means to be fiscally conservative, should not be able to apply that label to anyone.

        I’m far from a sixth grade English teacher, excuse me Language Arts, but the term fiscal seems to relate to matters of money. The term conservative seems to be based off the word “conserve.” Put the two together and I reckon a person of average intelligence should deduce that it means to “be frugal” or “thrifty”, if we have to break it down to cornbread language – “to shop at Goodwill.”

        It’s not that hard. The fact of the matter is most people simply do not want to be truly fiscal conservatives.

        • Icarus says:

          Ronald,

          There’s a large group of self-described “fiscal conservatives” who believe that just cutting taxes is conservative. The more taxes you cut, the more conservative you are.

          If you cut taxes to zero, in theory, you get maximum points for being conservative from these folks. No bonus points are awarded for actually cutting government spending, however.

          Simple things usually aren’t in politics.

          • You hit the nail on the head with the term “self-described.”

            I can call myself a Duck all day long, but that isn’t going to make me grow feathers or quack – though it may inadvertently make me croak. But because I describe myself as a duck, do we concede I am a duck? No.

            Here’s a plan for the Republican Party – throw out anyone who isn’t a fiscal conservative – not just self described, but an actual fiscal conservative. I know we are all low grade political junkies, but really have we come to the point where I have to establish some caveat as to what I mean when I say fiscal conservative?

            It can be inferred and it should be inferred. Does it matter that not everyone can agree what it is? If I may be so bold, but it really doesn’t matter if everyone agrees on something like this – if you follow the ends of both strands presented here, one leads to something that is impractical and the other actually works out. It’s a bit much to have to account for the stupidity or ignorance of others who purport to uphold the same ideals as you.

        • Game Fan says:

          Ronald
          I’m afraid you’re making the same mistake many make and that’s to blur the lines between your own behavior and what you would see as the ideal behavior for politicians. From my point of view, as it pertains to politics (I’ve never used the term “fiscal conservative” outside of the political context) I’m a fiscal conservative, as most probably would be as most would prefer fiscal responsibility and a balanced budget with our elected officials. So this would cross all ideologies and probably apply to people with many different lifestyles too. But were we to actually have fiscal conservatism this would actually enable the taxpayer to spend MORE money. So, basically it’s us or them. Our money and freedom is inversely proportional to that of those who take ours on a daily basis.

          • Game Fan says:

            Maybe “blurring the lines” isn’t the proper term, but, again, IMHO the more they have the less the average American citizen has, so, in some respects it’s the opposite. You would want them to SAVE more so you can HAVE more. Whether you have good spending habits or not in your private life would be immaterial.

    • Donna Locke says:

      Social conservatism as it is often defined by Republicans is to many the antithesis of conservatism, even by the former’s definitions.

      The problem is the two-party system. An addition of a third and a fourth major political party would eliminate the need for some compromises of principle many voters feel forced into now, though what we’d end up with in election outcomes under such a split is anybody’s guess.

      I’ve done more than my fair share of compromise and coalition-building. For the sake of immigration control. In the course of allying with various orgs and lawmakers, a number of Republicans, some in leadership positions, have told me privately they want to be more relaxed on some social issues, such as gay equality, but their party, the situation they’re locked into, will not allow it.

      My sister was gay and was murdered in a hate crime a number of years ago. I am an advocate for gay equality.

  2. griftdrift says:

    Almost exactly a year ago, I wrote an essay that was pro-gun, pro-business and pro-property rights, but because I suggested moderation on abortion and climate change, someone called it the liberal point of view.

    So there you go.

  3. B Balz says:

    Correctomundo Mr. Danials:

    “…As it stands now, I find it difficult to draw distinct lines between either of the two major parties…”

    “I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies. Already they have raised up a moneyed aristocracy that has set the government at defiance. The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.” Thomas Jefferson

    Worse than TJ thought could occur, now corporations and banks co-opt both the Dems and GOP.

  4. To hear many Republicans tell it, the conservative party hasn’t nominated an actual conservative for president since Ronald Reagan 25 years ago.

    (The truth is, Reagan couldn’t either. He signed three major tax increases, turned tail and ran when our Marines were ambushed in Lebanon, ran up huge deficits, secretly traded arms for hostages with terrorists in Iran and tried to eradicate all nuclear weapons, including our own. If somebody were to run with Reagan’s record today, the Republicans would purge him as a liberal.)

    Truer words were never spoken. It baffles me that Reagan is claimed to be such a litmus test, and that televised debates during the primaries are contests to see who can name-drop him the most. In reality, half of Reagan’s actions would be EATEN ALIVE by Rush, Hannity, Beck, etc if a Republican leader did them today. He would be a “hill for Erick to die on”.

    The man isn’t even a man anymore. He’s a religious icon that his followers don’t examine too carefully.

    • Game Fan says:

      Steve
      Reagan is simply a benchmark for many. Contrasted with the Bushes there’s no comparison. Frankly I’m shocked at this idea that somehow any Bush or any Clinton is in the same league with Reagan. We’ve sunk a long way since Reagan. You would have to be in your 40s to understand possibly. Or perhaps you need to utilize that thing called the internet once in a while.

      • Dash Riptide says:

        Reagan was the last Cold War president. He represents a time when the proper image to project was not all that complicated. Wishing for another Reagan is like wishing for another Beatles; it’s never going to happen. Life is far faster and more complex than a 21st Century Reagan could handle. Longing for Reagan is really longing for a simpler time with far fewer shades of gray. We tend to think of the 50s as the quintessential simpler time, but everything is relative. The 80s are the new 50s, and Reagan is our Ike.

    • Sleepy Tom says:

      “The man isn’t even a man anymore. He’s a religious icon that his followers don’t examine too carefully.”

      You mean like…[whispering] Jesus?

  5. GOPGeorgia says:

    I read the article and I agree that it was well written. I disagree with what a lot of it says, and I disagree that the GOP is in a civil war within itself. The closest I can remember that to be the case was in 1991 with the Pat Robertson crowd and the convention shenanigans that followed with it. The Ron Paul followers are interesting, but except for a few isolated incidents, I don’t see them as a faction with any real power in the GOP. I do recognize them as a faction, but they are not in a position to take over or even to mount a good attempt at a power grab.

    I think there is still plenty of room f0r compromise within the GOP. I put that figure for myself at about 80%. If someone agrees with the GOP platform at about 80%, I welcome them as a voter and a candidate. Yes, candidates who don’t agree with 100% of the platform are still welcome. That doesn’t mean voters won’t agree with someone who is closer to the platform. If Harry Reed wanted to move to Georgia and run as a Republican, we would have to take his money. We would still probably field a candidate to run against him and have him defeated in the primary. My point is, the tent is still pretty big, regardless of if some of us like it or not.

    As far as within the GOP leadership, I don’t go around with a litmus test asking where people stand on the GOP platform. I don’t agree with 100% of it myself. It used to read the GOP will preserve and protect social security. I think people can better manage their money than the government can. I don’t agree with hardly anyone 100% of the time, including statewide elected officials. Just because they have an R beside their name doesn’t mean I agree with everything that they do. It may make me more prone to agree with them, or at least compromise a bit. Don’t make the perfect the enemy of the good.

      • B Balz says:

        Neat quote:

        Donal Blaney: Don’t make the perfect the enemy of the good

        This is a Rule that all of us overlook frequently. In politics, as in life, one can never achieve everything one sets out to achieve. Life and politics are a matter of give and take. Compromise is frequently a necessity.

        Of course, my wife views compromise as utter and complete submission to her will.

        • benevolus says:

          I would qualify that by saying, one can never achieve everything RIGHT NOW. Sometimes it takes a little time.

          Much of the disagreements between like minded people seem to involve whether to insist on complete victory NOW or take what you can get and keep fighting.

    • I’ll chime in just to make this comment to GOPGA:
      If Harry Reed wanted to move to Georgia and run as a Republican, we would have to take his money. We would still probably field a candidate to run against him and have him defeated in the primary.

      Actually, the current GOP BIG GOV (fiscal liberal/socialism light) Party has recently been known to do just the opposite, either by trying to unseat a true fiscal conservative with a hand picked well funded lackey or by not running someone against the sitting fiscal liberal. Therefore, I call BS!

      Also, agreeing with 80% of the gop platform is not the problem with the gop members as I see it… it’s getting the gop to nominate and elect candidates that adhere to 80% or more of the platform that’s the real problem… and what earns you the Party of Hypocrisy label. (Don’t worry, when it comes to delivering promises of social Liberty, the elected Dems are earning this lable as well).

      *kill the messenger in 3,… ,2,… 1…*

      • GOPGeorgia says:

        DNA,

        You can call BS all you want, but that doesn’t make it so. BY LAW, we have to qualify those who state they want to run as Republicans. Can you name a fiscal conservative in Georgia that the GOP has tried to unseat? As for not running someone against a fiscal liberal, it’s called picking our battles and winning the majority. Optimum allocation of resources, you should look into it.

        At least we have people running for office. We don’t field a candidate for every office, but that’s not always a choice that’s made by the GOP. If no one in a county or a district wants to run, we can’t breakout the shotgun and make the county chairman run. There are very few Republicans in Georgia that I think don’t agree with at least 80% of the platform.

        I have no intention of killing the messenger. There are fates worse than dying. Next year, I’ll get to ask you how well your party did in the election.

        • Can you name a fiscal conservative in Georgia that the GOP has tried to unseat?

          Most recently in GA, Broun. If you really want a list, I’ll provide it.

          As for not running someone against a fiscal liberal, it’s called picking our battles and winning the majority.

          Cop-out and more BS.

          There are very few Republicans in Georgia that I think don’t agree with at least 80% of the platform.

          Rhetorically, maybe, But I said adhere to it… I can name only 3 US Congressmen and 0, ZERO, US Senators.

          Next year, I’ll get to ask you how well your party did in the election.

          Please do. I’ll even sit down with a beer and discuss it with you. Ill buy.

          • GOPGeorgia says:

            Broun was challenged by Fleming, not the GOP. What part of we can’t control who runs as a GOP don’t you get? Did Fleming get backing from the GOP? Nope, Broun did. Fleming did get some backing from GOP legislators (he did make friends), but not from GOP party people (as near as I could tell.) Broun raised twice as much money.

            You can call BS all you like. It doesn’t make it so. We have the majority, and your party has……

            As for the rest of your argument, it reminds me of an old warning. Never argue with a fool. They will bring you down to their level and beat you with experience. Not saying you are a fool, just implying it…lol. Actually not you, but your stance on the GA GOP federal legislators.

            I’ll have a drink with you…eventually.

          • That “BS” probably needed some explaining… it wasn’t as much geared to what you said but to the result… if you win the majority with a majority of fiscal liberals, what have you won? It’s an empty victory. It’s almost like cheating to win… you know, down deep, that you really lost…. and we’re all worse off because of it.

            When we win, we’ll have actually won something.

            I’ll have a drink with you…eventually.
            Looking forward to it.

  6. ByteMe says:

    I think Bookman missed some of the target. He’s right that conservatives are unfit and disinterested in leading. But he’s wrong in the underlying thread to conservatism that a lot of folks miss: paranoia.

    In the ’50’s, conservatism was all about communist paranoia. And that worked as Communism was on the rise in a number of parts of the world, even if that threat was far away. That fear drove people to put conservatives in power.

    What are the conservatives paranoid about today? Terrorism and immigration. The problem is that the fear and the threat from these aren’t so obvious to people who aren’t in a continuous state of fear, so conservatism is on the decline.

    Eventually, there will be an external threat and people will run to the conservatives again. But it won’t last, because conservatives hate the actual process of running a government (unless it benefits them personally) and once the fear subsides, people will see that again.

    BTW, to those who want to claim the mantle of “fiscal conservatism”, there’s a huge difference between “fiscal conservatism” and “fiscal liberatarianism” and the voting majority aren’t buying into the latter.

  7. Bucky Plyler says:

    Mr. Bookman could have used much less words & just made this column his daily Twitter without using all the standard, liberal talking points. Here it is: ” Whaaaaaa..conservatives don’t play w/ others well.”

    Liberals never say the same thing about liberals when they are in power.

    The current agenda on Capitol Hill is not being held up because R’s don’t play well. The House & Senate leadership can’t even get their own to agree.

    Maybe it’s not so much political ideology and whether someone can compromise. It appears that most probably it’s just bad ideas & policies that most voters don’t want.

  8. brander says:

    It is hilarious to me that Conservatism is so distasteful to the oh so enlightened moderates, who bathe in the gloriousness of indecision and call it sophistication. Conservatism wins elections every time it is adhered to in elections, policy development etc.

    Sarah Palin revived the worst political campaign for president in the Republican Party history, but it was too little too late. It was visibly distasteful to the party old guard who were aghast at the idea that a political “novice” would be so overwhelmingly accepted by the base.

    Newt Gingrich, back when he was a conservative, lead a rag tag group of plumbers, gas station owners, doctors, school teachers and small business owners to the largest victory the Republican party ever had by running on the conservative manifesto known as the Contract with America.

    Oh and let’s not ignore or marginalize the town halls, TEA Parties, free market health care rallies or that small gathering of 2.1 million people on the Washington Mall back on September 12th. Those my friends are conservatives and they are pissed off that the party who calls them, emails them non-stop, and continually begs them to donate volunteer and vote is mocking them.

    I don’t know of a single moderate movement, they don’t have them because that requires taking a position before anyone else, that has been as successful in shaping the debate. The 912 rally had more people attending it according to the Captain of the Capitol Hill Police that I interviewed, than the I Have a Dream speech(855,000) and the One’s inauguration(1.18 million) combined and your telling me that the conservatives need to change? Hah.

    This is an attempt by the status quo huggers to once again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory. It reminds me of Charlie brown trying to kick the football and Lucy pulling it away at the last minute. As a political consultant and campaign manager back to 1993 in the Republican Party, I pray to God that this party will wake up and stop running to the center in order to be more liked by our enemies. Where has it gotten us?

    • John Konop says:

      Brander

      FYI

      That photo of the 9/12 march on Washington? It’s fake.

      CSM…Problem: the photo is from a totally different event. Politifact, a nonpartisan journalistic fact-checking organization, checked in on Monday with Pete Piringer, public affairs officer for the DC Fire and Emergency Department. Piringer “unofficially” estimated that between 60,000 and 75,000 people had shown up. He added that the photo circulating conservative sites was almost certainly not from this year. Here’s Catharine Richert of Politifact:

      “It was an impressive crowd,” Piringer said. But after marching down Pennsylvania Avenue to the Capitol the crowd “only filled the Capitol grounds, maybe up to Third Street,” he said. Yet the photo showed the crowd sprawling far beyond that to the Washington Monument, which is bordered by 15th and and 17th Streets. There’s another big problem with the photograph: it doesn’t include the National Museum of the American Indian, a building located at the corner of Fourth St. and Independence Ave. that opened on Sept. 14, 2004… That means the picture was taken before the museum opened exactly five years ago. So clearly the photo doesn’t show the “tea party” crowd from the Sept. 12 protest…..

      http://features.csmonitor.com/politics/2009/09/14/that-photo-of-the-912-march-on-washington-its-fake/

      • brander says:

        John,
        I was not basingthe number I quoted on a photo, I was there and actually, get this, stood next to the office from Capitol Hill police getting the number from the helicopter crew flying over doing the estimates. At 1:48 in the afternoon the first flyover produced an estimate of 1.53 million. At 3:18 the second flyover produced a flyover of 2.14 million.

        I urge you to look at the time lapse photos Michelle Malkin puton her site from the Post office building. or go to http://www.americanpatriotnetwork.com and look at the videos they have up from the event showing the crowd all over DC walking to and at the event. Those are the most conclusive videos out there.

    • umustbekidding says:

      All that you’ve mentioned is based more on being a fiscal conservative, not a staight up Republican. That is were the party needs to be strong instead of turning candidates away because they might be “pro-choice” or on the fence on the abortion issue. The GOP needs to focus on money; how to save it; how to cut spending; and how to get it back to it’s rightful owners.
      They are just playing the game to get back in power right now and hoping that no one will realize they are part of the problem.

    • Conservatism wins elections every time it is adhered to in elections, policy development etc.

      LOL. If your definition of “conservative” is “a Republican who won”, then yeah… conservativism always wins by definition.

      John McCain was one of the most fiscally conservative members of Congress, and a military hawk who stood by the Iraq war even after half the GOP had backed down. But after activists in the 2000 South Carolina primary spread nutty whispers about him fathering a black baby and not hating gays enough, McCain remarked about “agents of intolerance”. For that, he been branded a “liberal” and “RINO” ever since.

      George W. Bush’s record has been beat to death. Suffice it to say that he was a conservative icon until his poll numbers hit 30%, at which point conservatives “suddenly realized” he wasn’t one of them after all.

      From what I can gather, the official definition of “conservative” is: (1) one who isn’t too tolerant toward minorities or gays, and (2) doesn’t lose to a Democrat or cause the party to lose to Democrats. Beyond that, it seems like a mushy free-for-all based on the conveniences of the moment. So coalesce on a stable definition of “conservative” and then we can talk about how successful it’s been.

  9. griftdrift says:

    I think this is my favorite part.

    “The 912 rally had more people attending it according to the Captain of the Capitol Hill Police that I interviewed, than the I Have a Dream speech(855,000) and the One’s inauguration(1.18 million) combined and your telling me that the conservatives need to change? Hah.”

  10. Doug Deal says:

    grift is right (about abortion at least). It is the only issue that the loudest and most vociferous “heads on pikes” types care about. They will merrily expand the size and scope of the Federal government if it means they win on this issue. These are not conservatives by any stretch.

    If the Republican party wants to recover it must retake the mantle of limiting the size of government, instead of shoving a particular set of laws down everyone’s throats.

    • Fawkes says:

      It is the only issue that the loudest and most vociferous “heads on pikes” types care about.
      Never mind we have had Republican Presidents WITH Republican Congresses and we still have abortion with no amendment to the Constitution (drink up Icarus).

      Doug, you are spot on with this quote:

      “If the Republican party wants to recover it must retake the mantle of limiting the size of government, instead of shoving a particular set of laws down everyone’s throats.”

      It’s time the Republican Party got back to basics, i.e. small government and NOT ramping on every social issue that crosses its path.

  11. B Balz says:

    I am glad this dialogue is taking place. Our GOP leadership really ought to understand and listen to the moderate voices here.

    I understand those who believe the sanctity of life transcends all other issues and do not believe that their voice is the voice of the majority. The movie “Gone, Baby, Gone’ addresses idealism and the gritty nature of human frailty, perhaps art is imitating life.

  12. John Konop says:

    This is classic example of how life is not as easy as conservative or liberal. A social conservative would want the lady to be force to have a child if she got pregnant from a rapist with no heath insurance. Also they scream up and down about the unborn child yet any woman in this situation with children cannot even get a heath care policy. As I said some of you are pro-birth not pro-life.

    On the fiscal side if this lady gets sick after being a victim of a rapist and being denied heath insurance who will pay for it? If someone in this situation or a similar situation has children and she dies from lack of healthcare who ends up taking care of the kids?
    And if they file BK do we all not end up paying for it one way or another?

    Life is not as cut and dry as many of you make it!

    Woman Denied Health Care Insurance After Rape Tells Her Story

    HP-Christina Turner was drugged and raped by two men in 2002. After taking anti-HIV drugs prescribed by her doctor as a preventative measure, Turner was denied health insurance. The HIV drugs, Turner was told, raised too many health questions for her insurer.

    Watch

    http://controlcongress.com/uncategorized/woman-denied-health-care-insurance-after-rape-tells-her-story#comments

  13. MadMan says:

    As Stonewall Jackson’s Chief of Staff R.L. Dabney said of such a humanistic belief more than 100 years ago:

    “[Secular conservatism] is a party which never conserves anything. Its history has been that it demurs to each aggression of the progressive party, and aims to save its credit by a respectable amount of growling, but always acquiesces at last in the innovation. What was the resisted novelty of yesterday is today one of the accepted principles of conservatism; it is now conservative only in affecting to resist the next innovation, which will tomorrow be forced upon its timidity and will be succeeded by some third revolution; to be denounced and then adopted in its turn. American conservatism is merely the shadow that follows Radicalism as it moves forward towards perdition. It remains behind it, but never retards it, and always advances near its leader. This pretended salt bath utterly lost its savor: wherewith shall it be salted? Its impotency is not hard, indeed, to explain. It is worthless because it is the conservatism of expediency only, and not of sturdy principle. It intends to risk nothing serious for the sake of the truth.”

    • Ashley Petty (occasional commenter here) organized a book club a month or so back, intended to be a pretty eclectic blend of libertarians, conservatives, and liberals. The first book we read was “The Conservative Mind”, by Russell Kirk.

      I thought the book was painfully bad (surprise!)… about 20% was snide remarks about liberals, 75% was the author trying to appear intelligent by name-dropping every philosopher in history, and only about 5% was original thought. However, that 5% actually was pretty interesting. Essentially, the author’s thesis boils down to, “Conservatism is based upon belief in God, while liberalism is based upon belief in human potential”.

      For purposes of this comment, I’ll stop there without any judgments either way, or opinions on whether those two views are truly irreconcilable. However, MadMan’s quote here makes me think that Russell Kirk really did have his finger on the pulse at the heart of it all.

    • B Balz says:

      @MadMan

      I was enjoying the historical quote, a real gem, until I read:

      “…its impotency is not hard…” and laughed uncontrollably for five minutes spilling my coffee.

  14. slyram says:

    Icarus and Ron: This little civic war also means that there will never be a Black GOP member of congress from the south. The next one will be during the Obama presidency——President Sasha Obama. I had to put Newt’s newsclip on the subject on my blog; I like his term “adequately conservative.” You all know I want to see someone who looks like me in the GOP House conference but then again people in hell wanted ice water. (where did I store my original Blue Dog pin when I left the Hill anyway….wonder what I can get for it on Ebay or should I dust that bad boy off.)

    • MadMan says:

      Mr Slyram, Just would like to encourage you that there is hope. Remember that JC Watts of Oklahoma was elected as the first southern black GOP member in of the house and served from 1995 – 2003. He was accused of being a sellout, an Uncle Tom, because he did not join the black causcus. As far a I can remember he was a man that held to priciples, and maybe that’s why he is not longer there.

    • B Balz says:

      @slyram. Some time back, I checked out your blog:

      http://projectlogicga.com/about/

      because I saw it on the PP blogroll. Just so ya know, I think your approach offers superior content with deep analysis of important issues. Thought provoking without being incendiary.

      I disagree: “… there will never be a Black GOP member of congress from the south.”

      The power of plain, truthful, civil discourse offers GA’s GOP a wider variety of representation. How long?

      Don’t know, but things are going to change, our GOP base cannot accept what we have now much longer. Keep up the thoughtful writing and activism. You would have my vote.

        • John Konop says:

          I agree Sly is great addition to the PP and they should make him a front page poster! BTW I also thinkk BB should be a front page poster.

          I do not always agree with them but they always make very intelligent and well thought out comments!

  15. Three Jack says:

    the gop needed a good wakeup call and now is the best time for conservatives to provide it.

    ny23 is a good first test with many others to follow next year including georgia’s us senate seat where johnny isakson should face opposition from a fiscal conservative. he probably won’t get a real challenger, but one can hope.

  16. South Fulton Guy says:

    The GOP would make more headway into the Black community if they did not assume all Black Folks vote Democratic and support those Black Conservatives who espouse conservative believes and dare to vote Republican at their own peril.

    The ultimate irony is Black Christians are very conservative morally and on Sunday, but for too many their politics and vote at the polls simply does not line up with their religious faith.

    Some in the GOP want to kick Evangelical Christians to the curb, but they have an important role in ministering to Black Electors about how their vote needs to be consistent with what they say they believe on Sunday.

  17. griftdrift says:

    Here’s where I think Bookman gets it right – that 40% number is pretty telling. We talk a lot about Ox’s number and keep coming around to the conclusion that it’s impressive until you realize it’s not moving. What if 40% doesn’t move?

    It’s about that number and the strategy it takes to move it. Erick and others on his side have basically side it’s time to choose sides – pick the old way or pick our way. If the Erickson/Malkin/Palin axis is correct then the number will grow buoyed by a new “conservative” revolution. The problem is if they are wrong, not only does the party stagnate but you lose the entire northeast and potentially the far west and stagnation may be your upside.

    That’s a big risk to take. Especially when, despite what their harpies on the radio say, demographics show a shift away from the very issues they are purporting to be critical.

  18. Progressive Dem says:

    The problem for Republicans is that your base has been soaking in a toxic marinate: “Obama is a foreign born Muslim”, “Democrats are socialists/communists/Marxists/Fascists,” “Death Squads will control medical costs,” “Obama is a racist,” “Acorn and George Soros are masterminding policy” etc, etc.

    Beck, Limbaugh, Hannity, Dobbs and a host of other nut jobs, some inside the party and some out, regularly feed and pander the base and keep them in a barely contained rage. To have any success in a general election, Republicans and conservatives must appeal to independent conservatives who don’t buy into the fear and phobia and at best see it all as a gross rhetorical excess. Can they secure the base while appealing to the more rational?

    • brander says:

      Pro Dem,
      So you refer to exposing the truth as a toxic marinade? Instead of always attacking the messenger, provide evidence of wrong statements. Surely you can do that if us moronic right wing fundamental Christian Taliban as y’all like to call us, yet another demonstration of your enlightened tolerance of those with whom you disagree, can’t stop dissing you and The One.

      Rules for Radicals was a good read and provided excellent insight to the strategies and arguments of the group in DC and their followers. One of those rules is to demean and name call anyone who argues against your stand. Marginalize them and make them seem small if they oppose you. That sounds oddly familiar.

      • So you refer to exposing the truth as a toxic marinade?

        Uhh… which of those “truths” are you referring to? The President being a Muslim? The Democratic Party being communist and fascist simultaneously? Death squads in the (not yet existent) health care bill? George Soros controlling the universe with ACORN?

        I don’t know if “toxic marinade” is the phrasing I would use. I’m thinking more like full-blown, all-out, over-the-top, “the moon landing was fake” levels of nutty.

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