Nov 10 2006

Hyper Partisanship Is Dead

Published by at 8:14 am under 2006 Elections,All General Discussions

I noted in this earlier post that the drive for purity ion the Republican party was what allowed the Democrats to go into rural America, run as conservatives and attract the center vote. The hyper partisanship has been a complaint for a year – since Katrina – and people are fed up with it. And so the democrats snuck to the center on the ground, while the national leaders went toe-to-toe in their usual fashion

The funny thing is, I don’t think the Democrats planned all this. I think they had it foisted on them by the fact centrist democrats got elected in the primaries (with the exception of Joe Lieberman). You cannot plan this. What the Democrat leaders did do was, for once, not fight the movement. Bob Casey is the example here. He was shunned during the Democrat’s purity purges, but now he is the Senator from PA.

My guess is Bush was pressured by the far right political leaders to push partisanship, to give the red meat to the base. It was out of context for him. But political strategies are consensus efforts. Do not for once think Bush or Congress or the RNC just run off doing their own things. They all decided to play to the far right -and in doing so they lost. The ones who held on, like Shays in CT and Wilson in NM, had sufficient moderate credentials to weather the storm.

In fact, I think the Dems would have done a lot better had Kerry not opened his mouth and had the created scandals not energized a lot of conservatives. The polls did measure an uptick in the conservative side of the equation, so it could have been a lot worse.

Hyper partisanship is dead. Purity efforts shrink the tent to the few who all agree completely. The centrists own elections and they elected centrists or new faces. Because the Reps had power they handed the mantle back to the dems to see if they learned anything from 14 years in the wilderness. We shall have to see on that matter. But clearly the days of calling people RINO’s or declaring what ‘true conservatism’ is are over. That cocky, condescending approach to politics where people try and belittle someone into compliance is over. The only question is, will the Reps let go of it or will centrist conservatives have to keep pushing the dems away from from the hyper partisans. One side is going to be willing to join forces. We know where the natural home of a centrist conservative is. The question is are they welcomed and respected in that home.

13 responses so far

13 Responses to “Hyper Partisanship Is Dead”

  1. Rich says:

    AJ, how true. People want their government to work, not fight. Hopefully the Reps remember that and don’t run over an ideological cliff. Let’s get the McCain/Guiliani dream team together, get behind them, emphasize the common ground among conservative and moderates that generates a significant coattail effect and capture the holy trinity in 2008. That requires the recognition of somekind of normalization program for illegal immigrants, some fed $$ for ESC research (I personally am opposed but am sick an tired of evangelicals carrying the burden on this issue for the corrupt Catholic Church, who have failed to lead on the issue), entitlement reform that will include a mixed bag (partial privatization, higher FICA and reduced benefits – face it, there’s no easy answer here, spending caps and a strong foreign policy. That will work.

  2. Karig says:

    No offense, AJ, but I’ll believe it when I see it. Maybe after six months go by without more of the Michael Moore/Ted Rall/Daily Kos type of smashmouth rhetoric, I’ll be able to let out that sigh of relief too.

  3. Limerick says:

    I like the tone of working together, but as a certified RINO by people in my own party I don’t see it happening yet. The Moore/Kos dhimmis have a lot of money in the pockets of the Dem leadership. I just cannot believe that the moderate Dems will be able to hold back Pelosi, Rangel, Shumer, and Conyers. We might get a couple of months of working together stuff but it won’t last.

    On my side of the isle it is just as bad. The ‘pure’ Rs are slamming us RINOs around pretty hard and I am getting pretty damn mad about it.
    Somehow, for these ‘pure’ versions of me, the word compromise is tantamount to surrender. The push for a purge is loud and ugly.

    That said, I am FAR from the position as stated by RICH. I definately am not ready to get on a McCain bus and my view of the Catholic Church is more muted. Taxes?….yeah I can work with that….but THAT is why I am a RINO afterall. I’m surrendering.

  4. AJStrata says:


    Whether the far left or far right get it or not, the voters decide. They do the final ‘purging’. We will see those like Buchannan who’s ego is so large he cannot admit his mistakes, and they will head off into the dustbin of history. You can’t stop them.

    But I am ready to see how a conservative Democrat does. I have supported them before.

  5. ama055131 says:

    AJ great post, as you already know my opinion until our party goes back to Pres. Reagan ideals which included the one big tent we may not agree with every social issue but everyone would have a voice, I believed it back then and still believe it today this is the only way the gop will survive. No group in our party should have the right to hijack it and expect the others to follow in lock step.

  6. lurker9876 says:

    Seeing how Chafee continues to insist his vote against Bolton, I’m grateful to see him go.

    I think the polarization is going to get worse as we see the Democrats start their investigations and impeachment process and abuse their subpoena power.

    This polarization just might be a good thing though. This may get the voters to become more vocal and active down from the grass root levels; leading to limited government with fiscal and social responsibility and respect for our US Constitution and amendments and Bill of Rights, including the civil liberties and security of our own country.

  7. Carol J says:


    “Seeing how Chafee continues to insist his vote against Bolton, I’m grateful to see him go.”

    But he still insists on a vicious parting shot at the President by his assinine vote against Bolton…and his willingness (it seems) to at least consider switching parties! Go for it Linc! You will ALWAYS be on the wrong side. What will you do when the Republicans take back Congress? Switch sides again? Thought so. Good riddance indeed.

    Can we get Bolton through BEFORE we loose a majority? God I hope so! Frist and the rest of the SANE Republicans just cannot roll over for these idiots!


  8. MerryJ1 says:

    Sorry, Carol, and this one made me as ill as the loss of Rummy. One of our new national leaders… Schumer or Durbin, I think, but could have been Biden, stated in no uncertain terms that Bolton would not be confirmed.

    And I have to “ditto” the “good riddance” sentiment about Chaffee, and I firmly believe that the Primary interference for Chaffee and against a grass roots candidate by the RNC (and/or NRSC) and the President, as well as similar interference in a few other spots, including the 2004 pro-Spector/anti-Toomey case, and the anti- or best-case luke warm Katherine Harris and similar tinkering, was a good part of the apparent “score settling” element of this election.

    There are a lot of conservatives who think cutting off our national nose to spite their noses-out-of-joint equates to “standing up for a principle.” Their rigidity is every bit as harmful to our national welfare as the most devout leftist’s deliberate sabotage.

  9. Barbara says:

    Of course they can roll over for the democrats, they have done it consistently for the last 12 years since they have been in power. You would never think they were the party in power all this time. The republicans had this idea they needed to work with the democrats, but the democrats felt they had to work with no one but themselves. The trouble with politicians is that they do or do not do things that will get them elected. They don’t stick their necks out and do the right thing for the good of the country.That is what is called non -partisan. ” Mr. Smith goes to Washington” is a Hollywood fallacy, politicians do what is good for themselves not the people they represent. The democrats are in power now and maybe all that wailing and gnashing of teeth from their party and people will stop. Instead we will have the arrogance and superiority back in place. I was always surprised that the republicans got as far as they did (getting there, not what they did when they got there) with the media completely on the democrat side hiding democrat corruption and blasting the republicans with false stories and skewing the news to aid the democrats. The thing I can’t stomach is that the democrat party cares nothing for this country. They say they do but their actions speak louder than their words , witness they think there is no war on terror. They are so naive that they think they can talk these terrorists out of their hatred for us. No, not naive, they think they are smarter than the terrorists and can talk them out of it. And the irony is that the terrorists hate us for the very things the libs have brought us…free sex, pornagraphy, gays. I am astonished that the people of this country would elect a party that actually says that they will not protect this country. However, maybe two years of the dems will show everyone that the lesson they wanted give the republicans will backfire on them. Maybe after we have another or several 911’s people will wake up. The dems want to wait until disaster has struck before they go after the perpertrator and even then did nothing during the Clinton years. Maybe they will put the Gorelick wall back in place. They have no idea of preventative methods. Hell, they don’t want us to have missile defense or even a military. All this intrusion of privacy crap they have been spouting all these years is just that…crap. It sounded good so they went with it just like they do everything. Nevermind it failed the litmus test. Remember Clinton’s Echelon? Bottom line….the dems will not work with the republicans. Never have and never will. The dems have always felt entitled to be in power and like most people who have tasted power, it made them mad to have to give it up. The moderates recently elected will not buck the party. They have seen what happens to anyone who does this. We will still have everything based on party lines and nothing will be done. The dems have their own little communist party within their party. Toe the line or die politically. The dems will put forth bills to regress all the things Bush has accomplished and Bush will veto them. The dems do not have enough votes to override the vetoes. The dems and the press will hound Bush more than ever because they will feel they have a mandate. The people in this country have loaded the gun the dems always have hadso should not be surprised when they shoot it. Congress seems to have this quaint idea that they are the ones who should run the war. Thankfully, they are not. The only thing they can do is stop the money. That is what happened in Viet Nam and I would be very surprised if that did not happen in Iraq. The dems cannot allow Bush to succeed in the ME. That would be disastrious for them. As lackadaisical as the republican congress was the dems will be worse. Paint as pretty a picture as you want to but we are screwed. History will look back on this time in amazement that we cared nothing for our safety in that we elected a congress that worked against us and for their own ideology.

  10. The Macker says:

    Which of the following constituencies did the “hijacking?”
    1) Immigration control
    2) Freedom to own firearms
    3) Reduce government
    4) Cut spending
    5) Constitutional originalists
    6) Consider all human life noble
    7) Don’t change the definition of marriage
    8) The GWOT is a just cause and must be fought where necessary

  11. wiley says:

    Another point is several of the reps that went down were against dems campaigning to the right of them. That’s right. Although, it doesn’t mean that’s how they’ll vote once in congress. Bottom line — the right did not lose the election. I like Bush, but he was the main reason.

  12. Rich says:

    Limerick, I am a Catholic. Macker, I think you’re missing the point. I agree with you on all 8 of your points. However, the thought of some conservatives that you need to agree on all 8 of these to get their vote is the problem. Theoritically, there should never be a drop-off in turnout in pres vs off year elections but clearly this year there was (as there always is) and the answer is that it was a lot of conservatives sat this out because of their candidate not being 8 for 8 with your list. Just for argument, I’m for immigration control but think an enforcement only approach is impractical.

    The fact is that this election loss was a case of a death of 1000 cuts. Iraq, good democratic candidates at least running as moderates, GOP scandal fatique and GOP straying from conservatism. Each manifested itself differently in different districts and alienated swing voters but in the relatively “safe’ districts that turned, it was the conservative’s desire to punish the GOP that was decisive. Can’t say I call that a good strategy now.

  13. The Macker says:

    I agree. By sticking together, conservatives and libertarians can better advance all of their agendas than by splitting off.