Jan 05 2008

GOP Self Destruction Continues

Published by at 12:05 am under 2008 Elections,All General Discussions

I have to laugh at the GOP stalwarts are just now beginning to wake up to the reality of 2008. I listened to Laura Ingraham and Chris Corr this morning on the AM radio and it was enlightening. Just about everyone is trying to figure out what is going on and failing miserably. One of the more interesting posts I saw on this was over at one of my all-time favorite sites – Powerline:

To the extent that a skewed caucus process in one state can produce a loser, last night that loser was mainstream conservatism. That’s because the only two major Republican candidates who take mainstream conservative positions across-the-board both fell short of expectations. Mitt Romney finished a distant and disappointing second, while Fred Thompson failed to finish a strong third, which he said he needed to do at a minimum. Thompson is plainly on the ropes and Romney will be if, as I expect, he fails to win in New Hampshire.

Please read the whole post. It echoes a lot of what I heard – where is the old time conservative candidate. Answer: gone. Tancredo and Duncan and a few others were from the old conservative model. But that model is inviable. It is not just because of the mistaken path of the angry conservative on a purity drive. Hyper-partisanship in general is on the way out on both sides (do I need to note how Obama is tapping the cross-the-aisle compromise concept?).

But the angry, arrogant, insulting conservative is a big part of the problem. Those who called moderates RINOs chased away their partners in their governing coalition. Those whose response to diversity of views – even when the cause is common and only the methods differ – is insult have destroyed the GOP. And sadly I can give you a prime example of what I mean:

Dear Iowa Republicans,

I’ll put this in language even your tiny little Iowa brains can understand: What the f*** is wrong with you people?

So I repeat the question: What is wrong with you people?

All my love, you corn-sucking idiots,


You want to know what is wrong with the conservative movement in this country? There’s your answer. After years of the hard core right saying Bush is to centrist, too much of a moderate, why are these same name callers (e.g., RINO, El Presidente Jorge Bush) shocked independents are fed up and leaving the GOP? Why are the name callers shocked that the moderates like McCain and Romney and Giuliani actually lead the pack? Why is it Bush’s resolve on Iraq and bringing success there is shied away from?

Ugh. When will people on the right learn that you do not lead through badgering and insults, you lead through respect and reasonable compromise. I see a lot of people on the right celebrating Hillary’s demise – like slaying the Clinton dynasty is all that is needed in 2008 to feel good. Obama is a hard core liberal who will surrender to Bin Laden in a micro second. Stop gloating over the Pyrrhic victory of Hillary (who would be one of the easiest Dems to beat) and start figuring out how to patch up a conservative coalition.

If I may (and I don’t care how much it sticks in the craw) I suggest apologies for the insults to moderates are well past due. No more denigrating southerners, or urban people. And no more lashing out at people who YOU failed to convince with sound and reasoned arguments. If you have fled to the cover of personal insults (drag queen comes to mind) you have lost the debate and simply haven’t admitted it.

Either that and stay the course and head to the dustbin of history. This is not the Purified States of America, it is the United States of America, bound by common cause and able to accept our differences without rancor. At least that is what we used to be until the hot heads lost control.

20 responses so far

20 Responses to “GOP Self Destruction Continues”

  1. kathie says:

    I think a conservative could win this election if he states this policy with measured tones, no screeching, no belittling, no name calling, in what I call a soft voice. Listen to Fred’s tone for an example, his tone is kind, his policies conservative. It was his voice that first drew him to me.

  2. Bikerken says:

    Huckabee is a conservative as far as that goes along with evangelical values. In everything else, he is as far left as he can be. 80% of the people who voted for him were evangelicals. He played this up to the hilt, with his comments about mormonism and numerous other remarks and with that famous comercial showing the ‘accidental’ cross in the background. My friends a professional photographer who assures me that was no accident because any pro would have caught the lighting imbalance. Huckabee destroyed the republican party in Arkansas because only the evangelical conservatives were given any power and that tore the party in half.
    Rush was absolutely dead on right about Huck Fibb. Religious zealots chose religion over party that’s why he won. It will not play in the rest of the states.

    AJ, you are not a republican, you are probably best described as a Hawkish semi-democrat, sometimes conservative, which is fine, you’re entitled. But you continuosly try to tell the republican party that they will only survive is if the GOP becomes the moderate party. You are dead wrong. If Huckabee were to somehow get the nod by some miracle, we will have our next democrat president I think you know that. While the dems fight dirty all the time, ignore votes in the senate and do any underhanded thing they can to get around the law, you think the GOP should play nice with them. You seem to envision a democrat party made up of democrats and a republican party made up of half democrats and half republicans in order to create a ‘coalition’. Pardon me if I vote no. I do think that the GOP should embrace conservative princples and any independants who embrace those tenets are welcome. But I don’t think we ought to adopt a liberal platform because some people think that’s the only way we can win. It’s a sure fire loser.

    The Huckster is not doing that well nationally and will not hold his lead unless we take votes only southern baptists. By the way, what do you think this first primary vote would have looked like had Utah been the first state?

  3. Terrye says:


    You are a dream for the likes of Obama, you really are. The largest group of voters in this country are Independents and right now they are leaning left, away from people who think like you.

  4. Terrye says:

    People responded to Obama and Huckabee because they were not full of hate and anger all the time. It is that simple. These candidates fill a need. Otherwise they would not win. Can they sustain it? I doubt it, but right now they should not be ignored or treated like idiots.

    There is a blogger I know, Dennis the Peasant who says he is a Regan Republican. He devoted an entire post to me because I took exception with him for calling Bush a moron. He told me he loathed Bush because he has turned the Republican party into a bunch of bigots and loons. In fact he said he was angry with Bush for not finding away to get some sort of social security and tax reform done, and for failing to reform our immigration system.

    Therefor it is safe to say that Bush is damned if he does and damned if he doesn’t. But the larger fact is that people like Dennis no longer feel comfortable with the Republican party, in spite of the fact that they do not consider themselves liberals in any sense.

    The problem is that conservatives forgot that the Republican party is a political party. It has to win elections and form coalitions and find common ground in order to meet certain goals. Conservatism is a creed, it is not a party and it does not represent a majority any more than Liberalism does.

    Obama is appealing to people across party lines. He is doing what Reagan did and Republicans had better stop running people off or they just might find themselves stranded.

  5. AJStrata says:


    I voted Dem once since 1978, I am hardly a democrat. I differ with the far right on methods to the end. I am against abortion and very much pro-life. I use science to defend when life begins. I am not for wasting time on making abortion illegal. I feel more lives would be saved by changing the culture. Speeding is illegal, the culture says it is OK to do it once in a while. Laws do not create behavior, they represent consensus on what is right and wrong.

    I am clearly pro-Bush. And Bush has been pilloried for not be far right enough (Miers, Dubai, immigration, education, prescription drugs for the elderly, spending). When the far right got angry because their patience ran out (so sad, too bad) they destroyed the coalition.

    People who helped do this don’t like to hear me say it – and of course the best form of denial is to claim I am not really a conservative. But really, who cares? They destroyed the party – I am just doing the autopsy and trying to find a way to patch together a new one.

  6. AJStrata says:


    I agree. If the party would just go back to being mature and stop acting like the nutroots against it allies it could (and should) win.

  7. lurker9876 says:

    My gut feeling is that by the time we narrow down to two nominations, the independents will begin to see how far left Obama truly is and many independents will begin to have second thoughts about Obama by changing their votes to the Republican candidate at the end. Surely, they would think twice about the foreign threats, which they would see that Obama would lack the backbone to defend our country as our CiC.

    The far right have turned me off in more ways than one but I still read some of their blogs in order to keep abreast of the latest news.

    I do see two “crowds” within the Republican party. One crowd is the sensible, quiet, fiscally conservative but more socially conservative. The other crowd is the more outspoken and too far right. The quiet crowd is the majority.

  8. Lurker9876,
    After Iowa, I am not so sure.

  9. ivehadit says:

    Great posts here today. AJ, you are right on the money, imho.

    The Laura Ingram and Ann Coulter conservatives, imho, have gotten ahead of themselves. And now, instead of seeing this election as just an imperfect brick in the road on the way to continuing to implement our conservative desires: less government intrusion, fiscal responsibility, low taxes, strong military and defence, etc. , they are crying and saying the game is over if the country doesn’t nominate/elect THEIR guy. I’ve had enough of them. Nothing personal. They are team players, how?

    This politcal game, just like the War on Terror, is a LONG TERM event, not a single battle. I liked what O’Reilly told Laura Ingram last night: Several leaders of the WWII era were effective leaders but had less than pristine personal lives. He told her you aren’t going to get pristine AND competent in this election. He’s right. Pristine vs. competent/effective-Laura Ingram demands both. Fine. But in this particular time in our history, we may not have the option of demanding both. I want to win in November so that many of the policies that I believe in can be implemented, not lose and and act like a victim/martyr.

    I think many of the Laura’s in the republican party are more interested in their ideology being triumphant right now than winning this long term war. And they have opened the door for the likes of Huckabee, aka Jimmah Carter, to swoop right in and really do harm.

    All this being said, Mark Steyn has a great article out today and it makes me feel a bit optimistic. He points to the fact that Huckabee has captured the Christian Left. This is a good thing for us in that we have blocked the Left from trying to “out-religion” us and steal those voters. This is a multi-layer painting we are creating this political year. Who knows what the final image will look like!

  10. Boghie says:


    I, too, think the ‘Reagan Coalition’ is no longer the standard under which conservative politics can be marketed…


    Because there is little left to fight for.

    Taxes: Bush’s tax code is dead center for me and most folks in America. I am middle class. My 25% bracket just seems fair. I no longer pour over deductions – looking for every edge. I just pay ‘my fair share’. Under Bush my first $15,000+ is untaxed, the next $48,000+ is taxed at 15%, and anything over at 25%. Under Clinton my first $54,000 was taxed at 15%, and the rest at 28%. Why should a married couple making less than $15,000 pay tax. Why should a middle class chap almost pay 1/3 of his income in federal tax? The tax code is fair. We just pay. The corporate tax is much the same. The tax treatment of dividends wiped out ENRON style fraud. What is left – the 28% bracket. Small stuff…

    Defense: Bush came into office with the DOD funded at about 2/3rd’s of requirement. Remember, we ran out of Tomahawk missiles when dealing with Afghanistan. Remember the flood of senior SNCOs leaving the military. Remember the officer corps exiting stage wherever. Remember the ammo shortages. Remember a 162 ship Navy. An 8 Division Army. A depleted Air Force. That was the Clinton Legacy. We are now a much more modern and effective military. We just need a bit more numbers – and, both the Army and Marine Corps are growing in a sustainable fashion. Clintons last budget appropriated $344 Billion (inflation adjusted). Bush’s last budget appropriated $450 Billion – excluding supplementals for the war. That is on target. And, it didn’t come with an unmanaged splurge.

    Social Values: Tried ‘Faith Based Initiatives’ – public didn’t rally. Appointed quality judges – got no credit. Demonstrated healthy Judeo-Christian values in public – decried as a theocrat, an ignoramus, and/or a liar. How many 40 year old issues will move tens of millions? Abortion – not for me.

    Those were the old issues. The new ones are:

    Spending Responsibility: Bush had to fight a war. The Libs wanted bribes and the ‘Fiscal Conservatives’ wanted a big piece of the growing pie. I put ‘Fiscal Conservative’ in quotes because they proved not to be. They figured that since the pie (tax revenue) was growing so rapidly they could take bigger bites and still shrink the deficit in a timely manner. Well they misjudged. The folks in America figured that the $250 million dollar bridge in Alaska could have partially funded the supplemental. The folks figured out that income does not always go up in America. Sometimes there is an economic downturn. The credit card does come due. We are actually in a great position for a politician to remind the voter that we can run in the black for decades – and, do so with no pain.

    Social Security: Bush fought the good fight – but powerful trust funders in the Senate squelched and mangled the message. On purpose – some. Out of complete ignorance – most. I mean, if you have $10 million earning 4% I think you can live off of $450,000 a year especially when you have a salary of $220,000 a year. So these ignorant louts think that a 30 year old ‘investing’ 12% of his/her income can do the same with the same interest. Safe and sound. The morons cannot do basic math. The results are about $11,000 in annual benefits. Now, we watch as the Rangel $1 Trillion dollar tax hike affects the way corporations and individuals account for their assets. Surprise. Oh, well. I think this is a solid angle with all the 401(k) investors out there.

    American Values: Classic WASP values can be proposed and lived by Americans. Who cares about which faith he/she believes in. We really don’t need a ‘Baptist Based Initiatives’ project – but a ‘Faith Based Initiative’ or a ‘Values Based Initiative’. Yup. Good idea. Where would you rather send your money – the Salvation Army or the Federal Department of Education?

    So, the message is still there. But we don’t have to surround the walls of Jericho anymore. We already have that city.

  11. AJStrata says:


    I agree 100% – we ran out of common ground. Bush was so successful there was not much left the coalition could agree with!

  12. ivehadit says:

    Boghie, I have copied your post to my computer. May I use it often?

    And AJ, you know I am a Bush lover, too or as one of the blog naysayers called me several years ago, “a Bush loyalist”. Proud to be one for the rest of my life. He is a great man. We are going to miss him very much after Jan. 09. Some of the so-called conservatives that have bashed him is what turned me off to them.

    Go George! We love you! Can’t wait for you to tell us what REALLY happened and who was doing what to whom during your 8 years!!!

  13. Dorf77 says:

    I for one would like to be in the first Bush “Poker Lessons to Win”. He seems to win the critical fights regularly.

  14. Boghie says:


    That is a bit of a weird request in a public forum. The only answer is yes. Just don’t put too many ellipses in any quote – those (…) dot things that Mad Magazine uses to twist things around. Yuk, yuk. We’ll see plenty of that action this year from the politicians, eh. I don’t know if I can fit my big ole ego through the door. I have to finish sanding and staining the unfinished furniture my wife informed me was a Saturday tasking…

    I have been putting some thought to this topic for some years now. Just spilled out. I still regret never voting for Reagan or Bush Sr. I actually voted for that idiot La Rouche (as a lark – his was the last political ad I saw in my first election), Jesse Jackson, and Ross Perot. Uuuggggghhhhhhhhh. I will never vote in youthful ignorance again!!! Alas, poor York, I am too old for that folly.

    I think 2006 was similar to what 2008 will be. Folks aren’t streaming to the hard left, they are just streaming toward leadership. The Democrats sounded the part. They wailed about the spending, the war, ENRON, and the rest. Then they get elected and spend even more, demand a ‘stay the course’ till surrender is immanent, and scream for higher corporate and income tax which will result in EXXON and I moving our assets in legal fashions that will dramatically negate their tax increase. Watch what happens when they demand higher dividend tax rates – maybe again treating them as ordinary income. I will no longer desire dividends so those companies I influence as a stock holder (however small that may be) will again emphasize ENRON style stock appreciation. Yippeeeeee. The Boomers will love that just as they are retiring, yuk, yuk…

    I am actually starting to feel good about this election.

    The ‘Conservatives’ rail on Huck because he rose taxes. Let’s get real. Arkansas was running a deficit on an annual tax revenue base of $1 Billion. The government was probably not meeting its basic needs. Still, I don’t like the sound of demanding ‘Corporations pay their fair share’. I mean, the corporate tax rate is 35% – almost the AMT. And, corporations pay ½ of Social Security and Medicare. And, their employees pay the other half, plus income taxes, plus state tax, plus sales tax, plus… That turnip has been squeezed. Anyway, how can Huck desire a straight sales tax and then demand a higher corporate income tax. There would be no corporate income tax. He is still thinking on his feet.

    Laura Ingraham rants that her tax rate is 40% – but then has to actually put some thought into whether she is an elite or not… Huh… 40% is the high AMT. She is an elite. She has to live off of millions. Her and Arianna Huffington probably swap tax avoidance strategies over tea. I don’t agree with the AMT, but she is out of touch with the average voter who is in a 25% – 28% tax rate. I think ‘W’ was right though – her federal burden should never exceed 1/3rd of her income (33%). Me thinks you might also be an elite if you write published books, eh.

    Social ‘Conservatives’ look with a stink eye at – oh my God – a Mormon running for office. Who cares. He used to be fiscally conservative but socially liberal. I was as well – see above. Does that mean I will vote OBAMA!!! Nope… But, he is a bit like Bush. Incremental and sustainable improvement and change. Nothing flashy. But sustainable. Kinda boring. And, again, I will not vote on the abortion issue – at least directly. Romney is fine with me. Rudy is fine with me. Thompson is fine with me. Hucky’s fine.

    Fiscal ‘Conservatives’ are being forced into realizing they have a spending problem. I think they see it. Just got to get the oldsters out of office. They seemed to have chaffed at the Kiddies Thanksgiving table for decades. When they pulled a chair to the adults table they grabbed for the whole turkey. Who cares about taxes, cut the damn spending! All the Republicans are talking this up. And, they won’t have the issues Bush had to deal with which forced instant spending growth. They will come to office with a victory in war, a strong and stable and growing economy, and a message of compassion – if they can piggy back on a successful message.

    The only issue is that the Republicans are voicing their issues as Reagan would have. There is still work to do – but Reagan, Bush Sr., Gingrich, and W have resolved the problems they have resolved. Now we need spending restraint, tax restraint, governing reality, etc… The other side really is not an option.

  15. ivehadit says:

    “The only issue is that the Republicans are voicing their issues as Reagan would have. There is still work to do – but Reagan, Bush Sr., Gingrich, and W have resolved the problems they have resolved. Now we need spending restraint, tax restraint, governing reality, etc… The other side really is not an option. ”

    So true.

  16. Terrye says:

    I honestly have not heard anyone make an issue of Romney being a Mormon. I know people say that Baptists do that, but I know a lot of these people and have never actually heard it. Sometimes I think there are people out there who just try to create division where it does not need to be.

    BTW, I do not think Huckabee is another Jimmy Carter. At least he is not afraid to name the enemy and he supports the surge in Iraq.

    But I doubt he can win in the long run. My fear is that people attacking him will run off his supporters. And then we will get another Jimmy Carter in the White House.

  17. The Macker says:

    Much to agree with in AJ’s post and all the comments. We all just prioritize differently.

    Seems like conservatives should coalesce to achieve our common objectives and put aside unessential disagreements.

  18. ivehadit says:

    Agree, Macker.

  19. Terrye says:

    We need to remember also that Iowa is just one contest. The voters in that state should be able to vote for whoever they want to without people calling them names. And then move on to the next contest. BTW, Romney wins in Wyoming.

  20. Neo says:

    Is the author if the “Dear Iowa Republicans” rant, the same guy mentioned on the mag cover ?