Apr 28 2009

GOP Keeps Sinking – Updated

Published by at 12:44 pm under All General Discussions

Update: Well, Michael Steele was on Hannity (the right wing is apoplectic while trying to put on a brave face) and agreed with Hannity that the best path forward was more purity. The plan is to limit the primaries to only true conservatives! These people prove why Darwin was right all along. Those who adapt will survive.

Update: Words of wisdom from Michael Barone:

I think this shows the folly, from the point of view of expanding Republican numbers in Congress, of Pat Toomey’s candidacy. His chances of winning a general election, in my judgment, were far lower than they were in 2004, when he ran against Specter and lost the primary by only a 51%-49% margin. In 2004 Pennsylvania voted for John Kerry by just a 51%-48% margin. In 2008 Pennsylvania voted for Barack Obamaby a 54%-44% margin, despite McCain’s frequent campaigning in the state. In between some 200,000 Pennsylvania voters switched their party registration from Republican to Democratic. This does not seem to have been just an opportunistic move to vote in a particular primary but the sign of a genuine switch in allegiance. And it’s not just a Pennsylvania phenomenon. Republican party identification has sagged significantly since 2004 in most parts of the nation.

Some commenters think I am being too hard on the conservatives. Sorry, but objective analysis can be brutal. As I noted below I saw this coming in 2005 if things did not turn around. The fact things have played out as I feared is a testament to my objectivity and being willing to post the hard realities. 

Powerline notes the self destruction is welcomed by those unable to tolerate differences of opinions:

DeMint says he would rather have 30 Republicans in the Senate who really believe in principles of limited government, free markets, free people, than. . .that don’t have a set of beliefs.” Both prospects sound gruesome to me and we may be getting very close to the first of the two.

In response to DeMint and one of my commenters, everyone has principles and beliefs. There is no monopoly on these traits. The conservative movement’s superiority complex is running headlong into reality. This is America with all its diversity, which has strength and wisdom gained from that diversity. Realize that and respect it, or continue to run in the lead for the political Darwin Awards for the 21st century.

Update: Words of wisdom from Real Clear Politics.

Update: Folks, Specter is not the only Pennsylvanian to leave the GOP – not by a long shot:

Terry Madonna, a professor of political science at Franklin & Marshall College, estimates that more than 130,000 Republicans left the Pennsylvania GOP over the past 15 months.

“Many of them were moderate Republicans who have been in the party more than 20 years — in other words, Specter Republicans,” said Madonna. 

People are making choices and moving away from the right. Specter is not who people think he is:

Tom McClusky, vice president of government affairs at the Family Research Council, a prominent conservative advocacy group, said that Specter has also earmarked hundreds of thousands of dollars for embryo adoption. 

No one is a pure and true conservative, no one.

– end update

Well, in what has to be a clear sign to conservatives they are way too toxic for public consumption, Arlen Specter has moved to the Democrat Party. Now Pat Toomey, who was probably going to win the GOP primary, will get a big taste of voter backlash. I meant to write a post predicting Specter would pull a Lieberman if he lost the primary. Seems the GOP is so dysfunctional, close minded and basically insulting that Specter decided to go all in. I now predict Toomey will lose big time in the blue state of PA. Should be an interesting flame out.

If Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins also get to the point they realize there is no place in the small tent conservative GOP, then the right will have sunk into complete irrelevance.

As I said many times, the purity wars raged by the far right since 2006 would only result in an impotent minority screaming in their echo chamber, unappealing to the American voter. Distilling the movement down to its radical core has done its damage. And conservatism won’t be coming back until they realize they have to share this nation and its future with everyone.

Addendum: I can understand some people think I take joy in the conservative slide into oblivion, but that is not the case. The sad fact is I saw this coming years ago, and have tried for years to stop the self destruction. Let’s take a trip down memory lane to illustrate why this ex-conservative is not happy, but not surprised at how far the right and conservatism has fallen.

Let’s begin in October 2005, when the far right went ballistic over one Harriet Miers:

My position on the Miers debacle is clear: the anti-Miers ideologues, driven by their irrational fears and wild fantasy scenarios, have become so fanatical they are killing the conservative movement dead in its tracks. Only an ideologue could claim that Bush looked weak in his selection of Miers, therefore it was OK to actually weaken him with open resistance (Rush Limbaugh)

I do not trust fair weather allies who give up everything when they do not get their way. I said before, here, that the fanatical right had to be careful and not go so far out on the fringe or they would lose the normal conservatives. I should have known better. Obsession blocks out everything else – especially logic.

This was when the purity wars began, and it has raged for years, whittling down the conservative coalition into an inept core. Let’s now move to November 2006:

When is the conservative movement going to get over the rejection and stop blaming everyone else. It was not Bush. It was the crude infighting, it was the rejections of compromise, it was the holier than thou attitudes. People rage against the Gang of 14 but we got all these wonderful justices and judges on the bench. It is the result that matters – or at least should matter. What is wrong with Schwarzenegger? He not conservative enough? Are we going to push him out of the party even though he has given us the first chance in a decade to make a comeback in CA? Did we purge Chafee and lose the senate in a snit of purity? Did we do the same to DeWine? Did DeWine lose because he was a member of the Gang of 14? A better question for the conservatives right now – is did he deserve to lose? I respectfully ask Republicans to answer this question.

Did DeWine deserve to lose his seat because he was a member of the Gang of 14? Was it better for the party that he lost? The answer to this question will foretell the future of the Republican party. It will not be Bush – it will be the base and how diverse the base is willing to be.

How about April 2007:

Far right (or hard right) Republicans/Conservatives have a decision to make: either purity or Power.

Purity or the Power to change things? We less strident conservatives (like myself who have unequivocal support for Bush II and Reagan) support the general conservative approach. But we are not signing up for any hard right turns. The immigration issue is another where the far/hard right is way out of step with the country. And as long as the far right will not compromise and look long term and accept steps towards the full promise of conservative thought then they will be going nowhere. This mess started when the far right had a fit over Harriet Miers and would not even let the women express her views. Since that moment, when the far/hard right took off into the weeds the Bush Presidency and the War started going down hill. Sensing the schism – as many of us did – the Dems went all out and gave al Qaeda hope. Hope that a Pelosi would come and save them from annihilation. And it worked.

Now June 2007, when the Amnesty Hypochondriacs sent a clear message of anger and hate to a major and growing segment of our society:

Watch many of those be Democrats – like in 2006. Democrats want to win so they will recruit a broader spectrum of candidates. The GOP wants to be right. They will be looking to purity and will belittle some of their strongest members – like Schwarzenegger and Guiliani and McCain. As they have always done. We will see a lot of Ned Lamonts on the GOP side I fear.

Got one today, didn’t we? July 2007:

The Immigration debacle is not over. The purity wars are in full bloom as the Amnesty Hypochondriacs move to make sure they will never come close to seeing real reform. In fact, some fools are calling for Sen Martinez to be defeated or recalled (which will, of course, leave Florida with TWO Democrat Senators).

Say adios to the GOP as a major political voice in 2008.

Sadly, nailed that one too. How about August 2008:

We on the conservative side want the liberals to be more open minded on Iraq and the war on terror, yet we cannot muster an ounce of respect for those on our side who do open their minds and discussions. The entire point of the article referenced is how the pressure on Democrats has them moving in our direction. Why risk this and more progress by denigrating the process?

What America is weary of is the inability of the parties to find reasoned compromise. What drives the GOP to the margins of history is their inability to respect good faith discussions and reasoned compromise. They have this knee-jerk annoying habit of looking down their nose at anyone who tries to solve problems. And it is why the Democrats are poised to win the elections this year despite their abysmal performance on all issues important to Americans.

Because in the end, rightly or wrongly, the Democrats are seen as respecting the average American. And given the tone of some on the right like Michael Savage, Pat Buchanan, Michelle Malkin and others it is a wonder the GOP is not in more trouble.

I can go on and on, year after year, reviewing my attempts to raise the alarm bells that the movement was being destroyed. But why? No one listened then, and they are not listening now. But things are still going as I expected – sadly.

45 responses so far

45 Responses to “GOP Keeps Sinking – Updated”

  1. kathie says:

    I was at the dog park this morning, at last a sunny day, hugh park, grassy and dogs can run free and play. Adults stand around and watch. There were a number of 30 types there, one a college teacher, another works at NCAR and teaches, I’m not sure what the others do. But educated and thoughtful.

    We were talking world view stuff. Very interesting. They all agree that there is really no reason to define countries with borders. They are all happy with the government taking over medical care because private insurance companies are only trying to make money and will deny care if it effects the bottom line, don’t think government will. Cloning and embryonic research is great, and we in the future will all need new body parts. There is absolutely no need for a military, we do not need to be the worlds policeman. the defense budget would be better spent on real things that people need, education, health care. And why kill people anyway. Homes are for making money and moving on, jobs are a 4 year deal pretty much, and then you move on. Life is an exciting, heady experience filled with adventure and undetermined experiences.

    I got the feeling that they couldn’t wait for all of us old folk to die off and take our values and rules with us, because they just restrict the possibilities of what could be. Republican social values will be left in the dust, capitalism ok but so is socialism. This is the world view of the educated, young. Sounds like Obama to me.

  2. enigma3535 says:

    I remember reading a post by Coulter after the 2002 elections when she opined that the Repubs would rule for many elections [I am not certain, but she may have mentioned “a generation”].

    At the time, I was chagrined that one-party rule would be detrimental to this country [and that she was being short-sighted; things would eventually balance out].

    I feel the same way now that the Dems are in the majority; with a caveat.

    There is [IMHO] a high degree of probability that the measures taken by the Obama admin and the Dem dominated legislature will fail*; the US [and WW] economy will tank and the [condensed to the fringe] Repubs will return to dominance.

    Unfortunately, the Repub leadership will probably be dominated by wing-nuts, making their return to power a predecessor to fundamental changes in the way the US is governed … the outcome of which [IMHO] will be different from what a vast majority of the US populace would have supported in their vote had they known.

    * – IMHO, the measures taken have probably mitigated the chance of a full-fledged depression … a U [or L] shaped recession would be considered a failure by the voting public; and one of them is probable.

  3. owl says:

    I should probably put myself at the head of the intolerance list. Freely admit it. One of my fav blogs decided to wear the Bush hair shirt. Another just wanted to quietly stab Bush with Israel every other day. The legal one just had to be the Decider. Then the grand dame who managed to end every post with a Bush jab (even if we talking the weather), finally got her issue front & center with the result of another good blog shouting “treason”.

    I do not think any of us agree. I am no longer tolerant of Specter nor McCain. I understand a politician is just that. Some I watch closer than others. Bush far exceeded my expectations. I voted McCain. His ego got us all beat.

    I agree with ph2ll……………….we need new blood. Fresh faces and tolerance. There is a problem though. Dems understand keeping power and they do not play fair. Down and dirty best describes that bunch. This party does not get it. Give me honor and principles in my President but show me a fighter in my Congressmen. After all, they are just Politicians. What good are a bunch of Congressmen if they refuse to fight the other side?

  4. ama055131 says:

    Alan from Fla.

    The problem with the so called conservative talking heads is they all claim to be in sync with Pres. Reagan which is a load of crap.

    They forgot the term Reagan Democrats, which in my book means right center not hard right.

    It was the blue dog dems. that helped Pres. Reagan get most of his agenda through congress.

    He also coined the term its one big tent we may not agree on all social issues but if we agree with national security, a good economy, smaller goverment we would debate all the other issues in a ambical fashion, not our way our the highway, as Rush, Sean, Laura, Ann and ect. have spouted for the last 6 or 7 years.

    I still agree with my family in Pa. about Sen. Specter. Any politician who is more concern about their agenda and not for the people who voted for them is not worth voting for.

  5. crosspatch says:

    ama055131, I agree. What won for Reagan was tolerance. He didn’t demand that anyone share his values but he wasn’t afraid to state them either.

    But AJ, I support the notion of a closed primary because open primaries lead to abuse. For example, Democrats can cross party lines and vote for the least electable candidate in the general election without having to change party affiliation. This leads to idiocy where people are voting more to sabotage the other party than to see that the best person gets elected for the job. In a worst case scenario, it could mean the worst candidate wins the primary for BOTH parties and then we have a real disservice to the people.

    Primaries need to be closed to only members of the party holding the primary else they lose their meaning.

  6. Jason says:

    I don’t think the problem with the GOP has anything to do with standing by principles. It has to do with positions on issues, not principles. If you take principles, they are unchanging and should allow for some debate regarding certain positions. So you have a bigger tent where people agree on the principle, but disagree on how specific issues get seen through the lens of that principle(s). This allows for intellectual discussion and growth while staying achored to what really works. The problem with the GOP now is that if you don’t take a certain position on an issue, you are labeled a RINO. President Reagan created a revolution based on some pretty simple principles, namely that men have the capability of self government. You can run a whole list of issues through that principle without alienating a great majority of people.

  7. ivehadit says:

    I’m sorry but my anecdotal evidence is not jiving with democrats “looking reasonable”. Everyone and I mean everyone I know is utterly outraged at what Washington has done in the past 100 days and is about to do. Their rage is deep and is not even being expressed…just held in until the midterms come to undo what has been foisted upon us. There is nothing moderate about this administration in Washington now.. Oh sure, there may be bits and crumbs thrown to throw you off the scent, but make no mistake this president is extremely liberal.

    And the article from GALLUP that this president is the 2nd most disliked president ever at this time in his presidency…second only to Bill Clinton-doesn’t jive with what the media is trying to perpetrate.

  8. Mike M. says:

    AJ, the problem is not one of purity, but of honesty.

    Conservatives have always known that we won’t get 100% of what we want. Nobody does. But when we make a deal to support a moderate who is promising to give us 60%, we take getting 35% very poorly. Nobody likes to be cheated.

    And I’ll add that demanding that conservatives grovel to you in apology will NOT make your case. That is precisely the sort of divisive tactic that will guarantee the radical Left perpetual power.

  9. lurker9876 says:

    If both parties are sinking, what’s left?

    CP points to the Modern Whig Party. Looks better than Libertarian and the Constitutional Parties. What’s their take on foreign policy?

  10. AJStrata says:

    Mike M,

    They don’t need to apologize to me! They need to make amends with all those traitorous, lousy independents and moderates who won’t vote for them anymore!

    Enjoy the purity of political oblivion.

  11. sorkad says:

    I usually don’t say much, I just read, listen and learn.
    While we are/were busy debating the current events of the day, The State of Washington recently passed this in it’s infinate wisdom!

    SENATE BILL 5599
    1 AN ACT Relating to approving the entry of Washington into the
    2 agreement among the states to elect the president by national popular
    3 vote on the same terms and conditions as entered into by the states of
    4 Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, and New Jersey; amending RCW 29A.56.320;
    5 adding a new section to chapter 29A.56 RCW; and creating a new section.
    Here’s a link to the complete bill


    What the bill basicly says is all of the states electoral votes will go to the candidate with the most popular votes nationally.

    So, if I find myself outraged at the fact that they did this and did it so quietly and quickly and hid it from plain sight (except for those of us that know how or care to watch) and voice an opinion of outrage does that automaticly reserve me a seat in right fringe kook club. If it does then so be it!
    I don’t see how one can be center/compromising on this issue. I have a very profound belief in what the Founding Fathers put forth in the Constitution and I fear it is being destroyed before our very eyes.

  12. Redteam says:

    I could go on and on – but the far right is convinced they are the best of the best of the best.x

    on and on! but the only thing you rehashed was the illegal alien thing.

    Right now, in comparison, Obama and the Dems look more reasonable. The conservative movement needs to gulp down their crow, eat the humble pie and do their mea culpas.

    Obama and the dems have spent more money in 100 days than 43 previous presidents did in over 200 years. Reasonable?

    Socialism! reasonable? universal health care! reasonable
    cap and trade, skyrocketing home power bills! reasonable? global warming! reasonable? ESCR! reasonable? none of them are to me.

    xIs Obama a moderate? Compared to who – Michael Savage, Sean Hannity, Malkin?x

    Obama is not moderate compared to George Soros. Obama is not moderate compared to Bill Ayers. Obama is not moderate compared to Rev Wright. In fact, I can’t think of a single human in the USA that he is moderate compared with.


    Why did John McCain lose? Isnt he a moderate? x

    mike, McCain lost before he ran. He never had a chance. The choice was between Obama and Obama light, further right conservatives will not support obama light. I did, but only because I saw everyone in the USA as being a better choice than Obama.

    private insurance companies are only trying to make money and will deny care if it effects the bottom line, don’t think government will. Cloning and embryonic research is greatx

    Yes it’s amazing how all the around 30’s have all the answers. They don’t think the government will deny health care, they should check with Cuba and Canada and, well all the countries that have socialized medicine. Canadians stream to the US daily because they can’t get care in Canada, at that’s a civilized country.


    If both parties are sinking, what’s left?

    That’s what I was wondering, one day it’s the Admin that has screwed up and can’t recover, the next it’s the far rightys.

  13. Redteam says:

    First I hope what they’re trying to do is unconstitutional and requires an amendment.

    but let’s take it to the extreme(as Rush would say ‘demonstrate absurdity by being absurd’) and suppose that the national vote was separated by one vote, say 50 million to 50 million and one. and suppose Washington had voted 99.9 % for the guy with only 50 million. They would then cast their electoral votes for the ‘other’ guy. I’ll just bet that would go over well.

    In any national popular vote election, the state of Washington would play a very small or no role, basically the election would be decided by NY, CA, Fl and TX.
    The people in the lower 25 populated states could just stay home on election day, their votes would be insignificant.
    Is that what anyone wants?

  14. Redteam says:

    and suppose Washington had voted 99.9 % for the guy with only 50 million.

    No, wait… suppose they had voted 100% for the guy that lost and they still had to cast their electoral votes for the other guy. Yea, that’s it.

  15. sorkad says:

    I would hope no one would want that!
    This appears to be a “contract” with several other states, “Hawaii, Illinois, Maryland, and New Jersey” are actually named in the bill, with a “clause” to include more. I certainly hope it is unconstitutional. The way it is written, it looks like they are attempting a sidestep. It is an example of what goes on behind the smoke and mirrors.

  16. […] am I glad I left the conservative fevered swamps when I did. Talk about self destructing! As I posted on earlier, in response to the political center dumping conservatives into oblivion Jim DeMint made the […]

  17. AJStrata says:

    Yeah Redteam, that is how bad the GOP and conservatives look, they make Obama look reasonable.

    Frightening – and accurate.

  18. AJStrata says:


    As you should know by now neither fringe impresses me very much. Both are out of touch and obsessed beyond sanity in their own special ways.

  19. crosspatch says:

    “CP points to the Modern Whig Party. Looks better than Libertarian and the Constitutional Parties. What’s their take on foreign policy?”

    At this point I don’t that that really matters because they seem to be in the process of forming the party and the local level. Rather than immediately running candidates for the top of the ticket, they are working from the bottom up. You get candidates in local and state offices, then you start working on Congressional seats and only once you have some of those do you run a Presidential candidate.

    A President needs some help from Congress and if there are enough seats to make a difference in swing votes, they can provide a President what he needs to get his policies through. That party would need to side with Democrats on some issue and Republicans on other issues.

  20. crosspatch says:

    “The State of Washington recently passed this in it’s infinate wisdom!”

    That is simply insane. The electoral college was invented to PREVENT the most populous states from trampling over the rest.

    We need to do something almost the opposite. If all states adopted this, it would mean an electoral landslide in every election. We need to do something quite different.

    What we need to do is for states to change the way they divide electoral votes according to how people in their state vote rather than winner take all. You would do it this way: 2 electoral votes to the candidate who takes the state popular vote, 1 electoral vote for the candidate who takes each congressional district. This results in no changes whatsoever in the electoral college, requires no changes at the federal level, and can be done by each state.

    The result would be that the division of electoral votes would more closely match the popular vote and it would be nearly impossible for a candidate to win the popular vote but lose the electoral vote.

    But most importantly, what it would do is provide a mechanism for political moderation rather than a mechanism for greater political polarization as Washington’s law does. A third party candidate could get an electoral vote by carrying a single congressional district. As it currently stands, a candidate must win an entire state to get an electoral vote. If a major party candidate had to worry about losing electoral votes from extreme policies, they might be inclined to moderate their positions a bit.

    Washington’s law would disenfranchise everyone living outside the Seattle/Tacoma area. Washington state has 6,549,224 people. The greater Seattle area has 3,203,314 or about half the population. Here is the 2008 results by county. That kind of electoral regulation would disenfranchise a lot of people giving entire regions of the country not a single electoral vote. THAT is the kind of polarization that gets people fighting each other.