Thursday, October 22, 2009

The GOP: Has the party of Lincoln become the party of Jefferson Davis?

Is the GOP in danger of becoming a far right party with little strength outside of the old Confederacy? Some seem to think so...
Is there room in the Republican Party for genuine moderates? Truth to tell, the GOP can't decide. More precisely, it's deeply divided over whether it should allow any divisions in the party at all.

That's why the brawl in a single congressional district in far Upstate New York is drawing the eyes of the nation. Conservatives are determined to use the race to prove that there is no place in the party for heretics, dissidents or independents.

President Obama set up the fight by nominating the district's former representative, John McHugh, as his Army secretary. Maybe Obama is as fiendishly clever as his more paranoid opponents believe him to be.

When local Republicans picked a moderate, Assemblywoman Dede Scozzafava, as their candidate for the Nov. 3 contest, many on the right rebelled. They are backing a third-party conservative, Doug Hoffman, and he may well drive Scozzafava into third place. For the moment, at least, polls show that Bill Owens, the Democratic candidate, has jumped into first place on the split.

It demonstrates just how right-wing some Republicans have become that former House speaker Newt Gingrich is on the moderate side of this civil war against his old nemesis Dick Armey, who served under Gingrich as majority leader.

Gingrich, who backs Scozzafava, always understood that he would never have become speaker without help from Republican moderates. Armey prefers ideological purity and, like fellow members of the Tea Party movement, is supporting Hoffman.
Read the rest here.


George Patsourakos said...

The Republican Party needs to become more moderate, if it expects to regain the U.S. Presidency in three years, or even in seven years, from now.

To remain ultra-conservative -- as it is today -- can only result in a fiasco for the Republican Party.

Reactionary said...

The Republican Party is 'conservative' in that it seeks to preserve the modern US state. Basically, they are competing with the Democrats to see who can administer welfare better.

The Republican Party is not 'traditionalist' or 'reactionary' in any sense.

Chris Jones said...

I don't know the candidates in this race or what they stand for, but I am a bit skeptical of accepting E.J. Dionne's definition of "moderate" and "conservative." Historically, what the NY Times and the Washington Post call "moderate" Republicans are, in fact, liberal Republicans.

At the same time, I am so disgusted with what has passed for "conservative" in recent years that I am no longer a Republican and I will be very slow to vote for anyone who claims the mantle of conservatism. If I lived in that NY district I would probably stay home on election day.

Call me when there is someone who is both pro-life and anti-war and then I might be willing to go to the polls.

Anonymous said...

"The Republican Party needs to become more moderate, if it expects to regain the U.S. Presidency in three years, or even in seven years, from now."

you've got to be kidding. after the republicans fielded one of the most disasterous candidates in years, you come up with this gem. mccain was the ultimate moderate to appeal to moderates like, say, colin powell, who ended up voting for obama anyways. unreal.

btw, what exactly should republicans "moderate" on that they haven't already?

Tregonsee said...

>>Is there room in the Republican Party for genuine moderates?

And you are assuming there are ANY moderates in the Democrat Party? Yeah. Sure.

Tom Degan's Daily Rant said...

They have cut the throats of the poor and the middle class.

They have looted our national treasure.

They have abandoned their constituency in favor of a multi-national corporate behemoth and an out-of-control military industrial complex.

They have created a global, geo-political catastrophe in the Middle East that will take at least a century to remedy.

They have shoveled a generation of American children into an untenable slaughterhouse in Iraq.

They have engendered an economic nightmare so immense that generations yet unborn will still be bearing its burden.

They have sold our nation's soul to the highest corporate bidder.

They have made a mockery of the First Amendment.

They have squandered a trillio-plus dollar surplus with a tax cut for a class of people who didn't need it.

They have gutted vital social programs that aid the poor and the elderly which have been in place for over seventy years.

They have gutted laws meant to protect working men and women.

They have plundered the environment.

They have depleted our educational system.

They have hijacked this nation's political dialogue.

They have ruined our international reputation.

They have handed our domestic agenda over to religious fanatics.

They have stolen two national elections.

They have trampled on our constitution.

They have sent our Bill of Rights through the sausage grinder....

They must never, ever be allowed to govern our country again.

The grand old party is over.

Tom Degan
Goshen, NY

DNY said...

Mark Steyn on NRO has proposed that Scozzafava is so far left in her views that RINO is too tame an epithet, proposing Democrat In All But Lable Only (DIABLO) instead.

As long the Republicans' only way of distinguishing themselves from the Democrats is "but cheaper" or "but slower" as modifiers on whatever the Democrats are pushing, the GOP will, as it was from the 1930's until 1980, remain the minority party. (And I seem to recall that the main feature of the 1980 election was not running a "moderate" for the top spot.)

The Ochlophobist said...

Call me when there is someone who is both pro-life and anti-war and then I might be willing to go to the polls.


In eastern TN, in portions of Arkansas, and in much of Louisiana, there are a number of pro-life Democrats who are conservative on social issues, and often conservative within the Dems on economic matters as well. It is an interesting political phenomenon. The Democrats For Life of America site (which is down for repairs at the moment) has a list of pro-life democrats, state to state, which includes local state reps and state senators, etc. I would not consider myself a pro-life Democrat, though I have in the past been active in the pro-life caucus of the Democratic-Farmer-Labor party in MN, but I find political groups like the pro-life Dems a good thing for America.

Chris said...


When you say such things as "They have stolen two national elections" it reveals two things:
1) You are suffering from a persecution complex
2) You are a conspiracy theorist and are not connected to reality.

I'm sure you also believe the GOP caused 9/11. Get a life, please, for your own health!

John (Ad Orientem) said...

For the record, while I do think the GOP has gone off the tracks and has been hijacked by a bunch of neo-con (and neo-imperialist)right wingers I will also be frank in saying that I could not in conscience vote for the GOP candidate described by the author as "moderate." A a radical liberal Dem masquerading as a Republican holds no appeal to me.

I have often said that if the Democratic party could divorce itself from the proponents of infanticide as a human right as also the knee jerk hostility it holds towards private property and free enterprise it might one day get my vote. Until then...


John (Ad Orientem) said...

A quick reminder, no Ad Hominems please. Debate issues not personalities.

VSO said...

No offense George P but I'm in agreement with anonymous. The GOP is as conservative as I am a muslim.

Tom are you talking about the Bush Administration? The current communist government is doing all of that.

Anonymous said...


Isa Almisry said...

Moderates. Yeah, that worked so well with McCain. It has worked so well here in Illinois.