Monday, November 10, 2008

Healing the GOP Part 1 - Schisms

In the wake of the election, the various segments of the GOP base have commenced the infighting, trying to wrest control from the other segments. And in the process, they illustrate how far the party has fallen from the days of the Reagan revolution, when the three disparate elements of the party were united under a conservative banner, even attracting moderates and Democrats in the process.

So here's the breakdown of the fragments:

The Reagan conservatives (RCs)- These are fiscally conservative, socially conservative to an activist degree, and are most closely identified as Reagan Republicans. They favor lower taxes, a strong national defense, less government in most ways, but favor laws in favor of upholding moral standards, including traditional marriage, abortion, gambling, and drug use.

The Social Conservatives (SCs) - these make up the wing of the party that focuses primarily on the same social issues that the RCs do, but may sometimes be liberal in terms of economic freedoms. They include the single-issue pro-life voters and the loudest of the Religious Right. Tao pretty accurately captures some of the issues with this bunch on his blog, so check it out.

The Libertarian Conservatives (LCs) - These aremy peeps. The focus is on personal freedoms, personal responsibility, minimal taxes, and very limited government. However, unlike the Libertarian party, we do believe there is a limited place for social conservative issues, and we favor more global involvement (including the War on Terror). But it's on issues like gambling and drugs we split, and we consider compromises on issues as polarizing as abortion (which will be covered in detail on a nother post!).

Compassionate Conservatives (CCs) - This is the current leadership of the GOP, and the description of the Bush presidency. It includes a strong national defense (including preemption), lower taxes, social conservatism, and lower taxes, but allows for government growth and intervention (including the rebate check scheme and the bailouts). The most extreme of this element are led by John McCain. I personally question the conservatism of this bunch, because it often borders on the moderate point of view (or lack thereof) and often involves lots of compromise.

So right now, from the traffic I've seen on the blogosphere, each segment of the GOP base is trying to make the case why their brand of conservatism will save the party. And since I have a particular leaning, I'll make the case, then let the comments section go wild.


I lean LC myself, having slowly migrated from the RC mindset, primarily because the social issues are driven more by beliefs and emotions, thereby making it harder to compromise or persuade on those subjects (details to follow in the abortion post). The reason that I think the GOP should come my direction is because articulating a clearly delineated opposing view to the idea of a big paternal government. The losses of freedoms to either moral or socialist views become more profound as more complexity and interconnectivity are introduced in our society.

So while the social issues of the SC's are an importan part of the base, much of this must be won in the hearts and minds of people rather than in the halls of Congress. It is a focus on the size of government, our dependence on and bondage to Washington, and an opportunity for people to choose to live the way they want that will lead to a GOP that can effectively win and counter the continued growth of government under the Obama administration.

26 comments:

Beth said...

You meant to say you lean to the LC side, didn't you?

TAO said...

OMG....a BUSHIE! :)

All my effort has been for naught!

Actually, I tought you did a really great job...you did forget the Neo Conservatives, who do not care about fiscal policy and are quite liberal on social policy but are big believers in National Security as defined under Bushies...

I also believe that this election saw the Reagan Democrats leave the party....

I also think that it is time to accept the fact that Sarah Palin actually represents a totally different wing of the party (the one we do not want to admit to but it is the one that scares me to death and you can see it here http://news.yahoo.com/s/huffpost/20081109/cm_huffpost/142488

Good Job...

TAO said...

http://news.yahoo.com/s/huffpost/20081109/cm_huffpost/142488

There is the complete link....

Patrick M said...

Beth: Oh crap. I'll correct that immediately!!! So naturally, your comments will look bad.

Tao: Beth caught my error. Not a Bushie!

Actually, the Neos should drop the term conservative completely, because if they're liberal but don't mind blowing shit up, they're on par with Joe Lieberman.

And should I mention what kind of idiocy spews from the Huffington Post? Although, you might have hit on another bunch (and I'm not sure this includes Sarah, but Pat fits in this category:

Isolationist Conservatives (ICs) - Fiscally conservative and socially conservative like the RCs, but they also obsess with 'protecting' America. They would have fit in here prior to WWI, when we didn't want to get involved. They despise things like NAFTA, the UN, and anything that ties us to other countries. They include people convinced that the UN is one step away from triggering the End Times. The key here though is they seek isolation, not engagement.

BB-Idaho said...

Out this way, we have the huge Mormon vote...SC all the way; the gun folk..GC only; and the 'fed is a vast conspiracy' people..IC, one suspects. They don't like or trust each other, but their distain for us libs unites them. :)

Toad734 said...

Compassionate Conservative is a made up word. I believe it was coined by the same guy who came up with the Death Tax. They aren't a real demographic.

Would the Republicans do me a favor and split into two parties. One with McCain and Lieberman along maybe with some libertarians and then let all the Jesus wackos start their own party.

And anyone who votes on a single issue like gay marriage or choice, is a moron, on either side.

Patrick M said...

Toad: HEY!!!! Don't put me in the same camp as the liberals McCain and Lieberman. They belong with the Bush legacy if anywhere which is what Bush's CC bunch is really about.

Robert said...

The "Jesus wackos?" Someone has been not onlly drinking the kool-aid but has missed the last two thousand years of world history. Actually, someone has missed the entire span of human history to make a stupid comment like that one.

The "Jesus wackos", or to be in line with this post the JW, not morons because of their religious beliefs. While I do agree that anyone who elects a President based on one issue is irresponsible, those who vote with their principles and beliefs and can actually express them should be favored over those who voted for Obama due to some intangible "change."

I am a RC, and proudly attest to the fact. The GOP is far more diverse and inclusive than the dems, and the fact that we don't all agree on matters like abortion and gay marriage are a testament to that fact.

Sarah Palin represents, for the most part, a "wing" of the party that has been left behind by the party. of course Reagan democrats left the party for this election because both candidates were too liberal and there was no option. The GOP once again offered weak candidates and the choice was the moderate or the left wing liberal, and to us RCs it is practically the same thing.

The ICs and the LCs are the smallest segments. By 2012, and hopefully bu 2010, the RCs will again assert dominance in the party.

Patrick M said...

Robert: I give you... Toad!

Just avert your eyes. It's easier that way.

But other than that, I can agree with most of your comment, except for the power of the LCs. I'm pretty loud all by myself. :)

Toad734 said...

Robert:

Ill put my knowledge of the last 2000 years of history up against yours any day of the week including what is written in the Bible. So exactly how is that an ignorant statement?? It is indeed the God Bobs who vote on a candidate based only on gay marriage and abortion. Most of those people who would cite that as a main reason for not voting for Obama probably couldn't tell me more than one other difference (real difference) between McCain and Obama.

Ya, the Republicans are very inclusive, they let both white rednecks and old rich white men in their party. Such diversity.

Thank God Palin is a part of the party they have left behind. Although, feel free to run her in 2012. That would be a Obamas dream come true and would guarantee him another landslide.

Toad734 said...

Patrick:

Ok, maybe you need 3 parties or you just need to become a Libertarian and give up on the GOP all together. I just meant that McCain and obviously Lieberman, were not Jesus freaks.

Patrick M said...

Toad: No, I'm going to be in on the fight to reclaim the GOP. But my loyalty will only go to the conservative part of the party. Good example: My GOP Senator (Voinobitch) come up for election in 2010. If he isn't replaced, I vote Democrat just to get the son of a bitch out..

I just meant that McCain and obviously Lieberman, were not Jesus freaks.

I hope Lieberman isn't. He's JEWISH!

TRUTH-PAIN said...

I am happy to find this blog. I am here courtesy of a link-up from Conservative Convictions (Robert and Jenn).

The one thing I have yet to read in anyone's commentary or in the posting itself, is this: Where is the GOP's own platform within your self-declared conservative wings? Has anybody ever truly read the agenda platform of the party just ousted? I have.

So I leave you with this second and (to me) more important question: Should conservative-leaning individuals try to fix Conservatism? or try to fix the GOP? .... or are they one and the same?... (sorry, I can't do my own mathemimatization,... that's 3 questions, not 1)

Patrick M said...

TP (wow, that doesn't work as initials, does it?): Welcome. I'm kind of expecting more traffic from that direction.

Now to answer your numerous questions:

I haven't read the entire platform, but I suspect it covers a lot of the things to satisfy each wing. But it's a matter of looking at the individual politician to see if they even live up to what is in the platform.

There are conservatives and Republicans, and a lot of overlap. But there are also a lot of people who try to redefine conservatism to fit their philosophy. That's where the problem comes. That's why I vary between conservative and libertarian a lot.

TRUTH-PAIN said...

T-P is a term of endearment,... I find myself amused at running in the caboose section of the though train and cleaning up other people's droppings...

Patrick M said...

LOL

Sounds like a shitty job.... :)

Lista said...

This is a very good Post, Patrick, and really clarifies the issues within the GOP. I’m probably a CC. I might even be a Moderate, but have been discovering lately that a lot of Republicans seem to think that Moderates are the enemy, just as much as the Democrats are. This seems odd to me because I think that the Moderates from both parties are the ones who can break through the Grid Lock and actually get things done, for constant Grid Lock and Lack of Compromise accomplishes nothing.

I will be responding to the issue of Social Issues being "Driven more by Beliefs and Emotions" in my Comment to the Post about Abortion.

Briefly, I disagree with what you said in the Post about the Socially Conservative Position not being based on "Hard Logic". I’ll be posting more on that soon in the Comment section of your Abortion Post.

You are probably right in your statement that "much of this" (The Social Issues) "must be won in the hearts and minds of people, whether than the halls of Congress", yet I feel that the "Hearts of People" should be swayed to Vote in Socially Conservative ways.

I might say more later, but I have to keep moving along.

Patrick M said...

Toad: Those damned aliens. Now all they do is give anal probes to people in trailer parks and Dennis Kucinich.

Lista said...

Perhaps I should respond to at least one of the comments.

Patrick,
You say that Lieberman isn't a Jesus Freak because he's Jewish, yet what about the "Jews for Jesus" and then there is another group that uses our church building on Friday nights to have their service?

They call themselves "Messianic Jews". They are Messianic because they have accepted the idea that Jesus is their Messiah. They meet on Friday nights because the original Saturday Sabbath begins at sun down Friday night.

Patrick M said...

Lista: Lieberman's still not one of them, though. At least as far as I know.

Always assume some mockery when I'm addressing Toad.

Lista said...

Yeh, I know about the Mockery. I guess I just added that comment because I've been surprised lately how many people do not seem to know that Christianity came out of Judaism. In fact, Christ was Himself a Jew, but you probably do know that.

Patrick M said...

I know. And Islam traces its roots to the Judeo-Christian tradition, filing Jesus in with the other prophets.

You'd think that would be enough to discourage fights, but no...

(I'd better stop before I start quoting movies again)

Lista said...

You know, I think the reason why it's so hard for me to post more often to my blog is because I so often feel inspired to write such long responses in the comment section of Blogs.

This is the second discussion I've had lately on this subject and I was considering the first time around actually doing a Post on the subject of the Christian/Islam conflict. To give you a hint, the Jews are descendants of Isaac and the Muslims are descendants of Ismael, both Children of Abraham, yet if I do a post on this, I would explain the Bible story relating to these two children of Abraham and what the Bible and the Koran have to say about it.

Unfortunately, sometimes Brotherhood encourages Sibling Rivalry, whether than harmony.

Patrick M said...

That a justification for a fistfight, not centuries of war....

Lista said...

Well, you know, people will continue to act like people do. We'll never grow up, will we?

On the other hand, it seems that the Muslims are often starting fights because of their concept of Jehad, which means "Holy War" and when they do this, there is really nothing that the other nation can do except defend themselves.

Patrick M said...

There's always nukes. :)