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Rebuilding the GOP

  1. Nov 7, 2008 #1

    Astronuc

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    We are supposed to have a two party (at least) system. One party in power just doesn't work.

    How will the GOP reform/rebuild? What direction does it need to take?


    I heard Mickey Edwards interviewed the other day, and I like what he had to say.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mickey_Edwards

    Edwards was one of three founding trustees of the Heritage Foundation and national chairman of the American Conservative Union. He is also a Vice President of the Aspen Institute and Director of the Aspen Institute-Rodel Fellowships in Public Leadership.
    And he voted for Obama.

    Edwards has a new book out - Reclaiming Conservatism: How a Great American Political Movement Got Lost--And How It Can Find Its Way Back
    http://www.amazon.com/Reclaiming-Conservatism-American-Political-Lost/dp/0195335589


    I also heard David Frum several months ago during the primaries.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/David_Frum
    Frum is not without critics.
    http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-news/1975915/posts

    Frum also has a book out: Comeback: Conservatism That Can Win Again
    http://www.amazon.com/Comeback-Conservatism-That-Can-Again/dp/0385515332
     
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  3. Nov 7, 2008 #2

    turbo

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    Rebuilding the GOP will be difficult, IMHO. There are factions of the party, like the neo-cons, that have incredible leverage with respect to money and influence in businesses, there are traditional fiscal conservatives (like myself) who have been turned off by the fake trickle-down "economics", and there are very conservative religious factions that have been co-opted to "turn out the base". There are, of course, many more factions of the GOP and a practically infinite number of motivations of its various members. I would love to see the party re-define itself, reject the Reagan bigger-government philosophy (I voted for him the first time and loathed him after he grew government by over 25% in his first term and gave tax cuts to all the rich people and businesses). We need a multi-party system of government, not wild swings between two parties that in practice are no different from Coke and Pepsi or Newsweek and Time.

    I would like to see the US move toward a form of government that allows locally-elected representatives to form coalitions, and then elect a head of state. The form of government we have now (including the electoral college) was crafted to address the difficulty and time-delays in travel and consensus over 200 years ago. It is not sacrosanct, and it is anachronistic.
     
  4. Nov 7, 2008 #3

    russ_watters

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    I reject the premise of the thread. Considering that Obama's popular vote margin was relatively small despite getting a big boost from a recent stock market meltdown and presumed coming deep recession, I would have to say it was a pretty competitive election. Obama backers consider Obama to be just about the greatest thing since sliced bread, but if he can't win a dominating victory under those conditions, either he isn't the superstar Democrats think he is or the Democratic ideology isn't as dominant as they think it is.

    So to reframe the question slightly: what does the GOP need to get back into the White House and gain seats in Congress? Well, given that the economy is unlikely to have a spectacular rebound in the next few months, Obama will have the best domestic situation to enter the White House under since Reagan. The economy will come back next year and by 2012, we'll be in the middle of a period of expansion. So he's pretty much guaranteed to win a second term.

    At the same time, Americans will not like the direction the country is going under his and the Democratic Congress's leadership. Obama's other flaws won't be enough to keep him from winning a second term, but they will be enough to get the Republicans back in control of Congress by 2012.

    The biggest X-factor I see in those predicions is foreign policy. Foreigners love Obama because they want a wet blanket as President of the US. People worried that Bush might spark another Cold War, but forget why the last one ended: The Russians were afraid of Reagan. Thought he was just nuts enough that he might nuke them. There will be no fear of Obama from our enemies and as a result, you will see them taking very aggressive action over the next four years. How bad it gets will determine if Obama can win a second term, but since foreign policy always takes a back seat to the econonomy, we'll need a full-on 2nd Cold War and/or explosion of violence in the Middle East to knock him out. That's not out of the realm of possibility. I'm sure Putin and Kim Il threw themselves a big party when Obama was elected, just like everyone else did.
     
  5. Nov 8, 2008 #4

    turbo

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    The election was not all about Obama. The GOP sustained some significant losses down-ticket. Also, we don't elect presidents by popular vote (remember President Gore?) but by electoral vote, and the Obama campaign did a bang-up job locking McCain out.

    The "Reagan defeated the Russians" argument is neo-con Kool-Aid. The Soviets had built an empire that they could not sustain, and Reagan happened to be president when it came tumbling down. The right-wing likes to cherry-pick positive things that happened while Reagan was in office and attribute them all to him, while glossing over some really bad stuff. Stuff like stealing weapons from our arsenal and selling them to a state that sponsors terrorism, and which was an avowed enemy of the US, in order to create a slush fund of cash to finance an unlawful war to overthrow a democratically-elected government in Central America. Have sex with an intern? Get impeached. Commit treason? Get a national airport and an aircraft carrier named for you.
     
  6. Nov 8, 2008 #5

    LowlyPion

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    Reject all you want. The fact remains that the GOP has seemingly destroyed itself in this last election. More than the glass ceiling was shattered. The fanatical Faith based social issue conservatives by exerting their activism and expressing their idolization of their simple minded Miss Congeniality, have apparently managed to alienate the moderate wing of the party that tends toward more compassionate solutions, to the extent that they are no longer choosing to associate themselves with the party. The number of Obama endorsements from previous Republican luminaries was more than rain drops on the roof. It sounded to me more like a wildebeast stampede.

    The Republican tent just got smaller.

    So long as the current remaining Republican right wing die hards attempt to cling to their strategies of division and turn their backs on the New Testaments of their Bibles, I suspect that they will continue to founder in a potential well of their own making.
     
  7. Nov 8, 2008 #6

    Bystander

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    Sounds like you've given the "economic crisis" about the same 10-30% chance of being real as I have. However, if "the solution" the dems see is to "ease the credit crunch," (BO on the news last night) they might succeed in turning it into a real, long-term recession. Then the scenario becomes one in which two years of clueless, expensive, ineffective flailing about is followed by republican takeover of the house in two years. Pretty much the usual two-party comedy.


    One or two more press conferences about crossing the Afghan-Pakistani border and that won't be much a mystery. Or, he can cut and run in both theatres and reconfirm the party's reputation as being only slightly less reliable an ally than the French, and achieve the same result.
     
  8. Nov 8, 2008 #7

    mathwonk

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    russ, you keep this thread from being boring.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2008
  9. Nov 8, 2008 #8

    Ivan Seeking

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    wiki

    According to Ed Rollins,

    - CNN panel discussion

    Yes folks, the neo-cons have been mortally wounded. The country is finally moving beyond this nonsense.

    Obama got 2/3 of the young vote.

    Rollins commented that the Republicans have become the party of white, Southern voters. I would add "old" to that line.

    Thanks to President Bush, Rove, Cheney, Rummy, and the entire cast of disgraced characters who helped to destroy the party.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2008
  10. Nov 8, 2008 #9
    Do you know specifically how well they did in the southern white youth?
     
  11. Nov 8, 2008 #10

    Ivan Seeking

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    No, I haven't see any data on that, but it can be seen that Obama did well in many southern counties, and you can bet this didn't come from the old white folks.

    I don''t have a link handy, but see the NY Times county by county map.

    Something else to note that is that Obama carried every demographic in the PEW poll except voters over 65.
     
    Last edited: Nov 8, 2008
  12. Nov 8, 2008 #11

    turbo

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    It is my sincere hope that the Republican party can be rebuilt, and that it will feature real conservatives in its reincarnation. I have tried to stay independent, apart from years in which there was a primary candidate that I REALLY wanted to support, and registered as either Dem or Rep to do so. I have not been able to support the Republicans much in recent years, as the Gingrich/Rove/DeLay machinations hijacked the party and betrayed its conservative roots. I am proud to say that Margaret Chase Smith and Bill Cohen came from Maine. Either would have made a great presidential candidate in their day.
     
  13. Nov 8, 2008 #12

    Ivan Seeking

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    I say let the Southern fundamentalists have the Republican brand. It is time for a new Conservative party to emerge.

    I don't think that will happen, but that would be my preference - a clean break.
     
  14. Nov 8, 2008 #13
    I'd like a lot more than two parties in power; bipartisan systems tend to be rather dominating, even when other view points are better, but under-advertised and "untraditional".
     
  15. Nov 8, 2008 #14

    turbo

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    I agree whole-heartedly. Reform of the entire electoral system would be required, since the two major parties have essentially hijacked the system to their own ends.
     
  16. Nov 8, 2008 #15

    Ivan Seeking

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    It will be interesting to see what economic platform is chosen. Supply-side economics, and trickle-down theory, are dead for the forseable future.
     
  17. Nov 8, 2008 #16

    turbo

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    I certainly hope so. It may be time for our government to get a little anti-monopolistic once again. "Too big to fail" seems to equate to a license to engage in extortion in the minds of some neo-con economists. In my opinion, "too big to fail" is equivalent to "too big to exist" as a single entity.
     
  18. Nov 8, 2008 #17

    Ivan Seeking

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    Yes, we can't have the world's economy held hostage by corporate crooks. But what do we see instead? We see failing companies merging to create even bigger companies.
     
  19. Nov 9, 2008 #18
    what doNOT see is any good way to reinpower the FAILED IDEAS of the current GOP
    the VOODOO FAILED tax cuts just created bigger debts
    the claimed downsizeing of the fed gov never even started
    the dereg failed and caused this crash and at least a recession if not a world wide depression
    their morals based on fairytales DONOT WORK look at palin's own kid

    unless they change their out look to a more middle of the road stance
    something I doNOT see them doing
    I fail to see any real support from the non neo-conned vast majority
    for the tried and proven to fail ideas of the current GOP
     
  20. Nov 9, 2008 #19
    Isn't politics wonderful? If there ever is a chance to mangle the truth, it's politics.

    Taking off the glass onions, a close look at the blue-red map at increasing zoom reveils the most prominent feature of political party division is urban vs. rural.
     
  21. Nov 9, 2008 #20

    Ivan Seeking

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    In the end, it is the electoral map that wins elections. And the old South was mainly rural. Rural areas of California, for example, don't matter, and haven't for a long time.

    I'l take my lead from a guy who has actually masterminded winning campaigns, thank you.
     
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