Actually it has been going on on much longer than that, as it was almost a year ago that I gave the GOP the good ol' GFY. I did so because the party had degenerated into the party of the moderates. The party that is embarrassed by their social conservatives. The party that believes in big government, with the words 'free market' strung on with twist ties to differentiate themselves. And most importantly, the party that allows the debate to be defined by Democrats.
But since the election, there's been two distinct schools of thought. The moderates, including names like the loser McCains, Obama supporters like Colin Powell, and turncoats like Arlen Specter believes that the future of the GOP is to moderate further, become more enlightened, ditch a lot of what differentiates them from Democrats. The other school of thought would be what I will label the Rush/Reagan/Patrick M (damn, I'm an egomaniacal bastard) philosophy, which draws significant and absolute distinctions between conservative and liberal modes of thought, and believes that the focus on consensus in the party is what cost the GOP the elections in 2006 and 2008, and will lead to a party that no one can really support (except the old-line party hacks).
Now I can say without hesitation that no two conservatives will agree on everything, because we focus on the individual rather than the group (which kicks our ass when it comes to getting voting blocs). But it is that articulation of the value of the individual, the importance of personal freedom, the banishment of labels of division (race, class, sex, etc.), and the limitation of intrusion of government in our daily lives that defines true conservative thought.
To that end, for the GOP to reenergize its base and get back the support of those of us who are fed up with their soft shoe bullshit, they need to do several things.
1. Stop propping up moderates - People like Susan Collins, Olympia Snowe, (formerly) Arlen Specter, and my own Senator, George Voinovitch (who's thankfully retiring) are the reason the GOP is dying. In siding with Democrats and expanding the role of government in our lives, they dilute the ideas. And I'm not talking requiring a lockstep adherence to the party here. But supporting liberal incumbents when conservatives are available (the Specter/Toomey issue for example) is the kind of thinking that leads to a party with no identity.
2. Don't compromise principles, compromise to advance principles - A necessity of politics is the ability to compromise. I recognize this. However, when you promise to not add earmarks and you add earmarks, or you talk conservatism in the election and then grow the government like a coke addict in a house insulated with blow, or you talk about wasteful spending in Washington and then vote for massive bailouts, or say something like "Read my lips; no new taxes," and then raise taxes, you're bound to be deader than fried chicken in the political sense. You stick to principles and you can win even when you lose.
3. In a war of ideas, only real ones matter - Earlier, I mentioned letting Democrats define the debate. That's what has gotten the GOP into trouble. Whether it's a "solution" for MMGWH, or a "stimulus" package, or a new program to fix something, accepting the premise of the Democrats is not putting new ideas on the table. it's just trying to compete with their existing ideas. It's like riding the horse off a cliff. So while mantras like "less government" and "lower taxes" are generally good philosophies, there has to be real ideas how to achieve this (the FairTax, for example) rather than coming up with the Republican version of a Democrat idea. And abdicating that responsibility is sheer asshattery.
And on that last note:
Here's why: "...when the RNC meets in an extraordinary special session next week, it will approve a resolution rebranding Democrats as the “Democrat Socialist Party." I can agree with the reasons they give for doing so, as the Democrats have greatly accelerated our descent from a powerful free country into the micromanaged and neutered serfdom of European socialism.
However, if this is all the better they can do, and they can't even get their own chairman to go along, is there any point in doing anything other than laughing at them in their impotence. Then weeping if you're of a conservative bent, because there's only a few people standing on the tracks when while the Soul(less) Train that is Obamalism comes a'barraleing through.
Seriously, if this is what the RNC has up its sleeve, why don't they get get John McCain's family as their spokesdolts and replace Michael Steele with Colin Powell? That would be a more winning strategy than this drizzling shit.
At this rate, the Libertarian Party is looking better by the minute.