Friday, November 04, 2005

Out of the Ashes

Slate has an interesting article by Jacob Wiesberg comparing Karl Rove to the turn of the last century political operative Mark Hanna. It says a lot of the usual about how Bush has governed from the right and how that hasn't lead to a sustainable governing strategy. What is fascinating is that like Hanna of old, Rove has an enemy that threatens to undo his strategy. Hanna didn't like Teddy Roosevelt and tried hard to keep him off the 1900 ticket. Rove doesn't like John McCain and helped shut down his presidential campaign in 2000. McCain admires, Roosevelt, the refromer and trustbusting president. There is still a lot of talk that McCain very well might be the 21st century version of the Bull Moose, who will pick up the mantle of a reform-minded Republicanism.

Rove thinks as did Hanna, that a majority can be built on the far right. But you can't build on successes by catering only to one part of the electorate. History shows that to win, you have to appeal to everyone, not just a few wingnuts.

A year ago at this time, people were bemoaning the proposed death of moderate Republicanism. Then a curious thing happened. People started speaking up and speaking out. People like former New Jersey Governor Christie Todd Whitman and former Senator John Danforth began speaking out and against the religious right's hold on the party. John McCain keeps plugging away at refromist measures like his recent work to get the militiary to actually follow its own rules regarding torture. Log Cabin President Patrick Guerriero wrote a passionate essay urging gay conservatives to come out and be counted.

This a roundabout way of saying that there is a movement for change in the GOP. We are not simply the far right. As a Republican, I am dissapointed by President Bush for many things, but I am proud of the many Republicans who toil day and night to bring the party back to the center-right, because only from that standpoint can the GOP be a viable party with a lasting majority.

Bull Moose has a similar post about this very issue this morning. He hopes for a Democrat that can appeal to the center. My hope is that it comes from the GOP, but in reality it would be great if both parties fielded candidates that are concerned about what is good for America and not just for their Focus on the Family/ bases.

Hopefully 2008 will be a year of substance.


At 1:55 AM, Blogger RealRepublican1854 said...

The Republican Party, in its original form, was created by people who believed in the freedom of the individual to set his or her own path. The Republican Party, in its original form, grew rather quickly upon its inception into the most successful political party in America's history relative to elected officials across the board. Regardless of the Dan Rathers, Larry Kings, Walter Cronkites and Barbra Streistands...this rapid growth the Republican Party took and the successes it has achieved was not by mistake. The Republican Party, in its original form, dictates that the individual is responsible for him or herself. It stands for self-reliance, freedom, doing what one deems is right for them personally within the boundaries of sensible, logical laws for the masses. Senator Barry Goldwater put it best when he said..."keep the government out of your pocketbook, out of your bedroom and off your back.". The Republican Party, in its original form, doesn't care if two consenting adults of the same gender want to get married...doesn't the government have better things to do than worry about what two homosexuals in Topeka want to do in their bed? Who cares? The Republican Party, in its original form, doesn't want the government to support through American citizen's tax dollars a person who'd rather belly up to the bar than work. The Republican Party, in its original form, doesn't believe the United States should be the planets police chief. For some reason however the Republican Party was hijacked in the 1980's by deep pocket moralists; ie, the Religious Right (see Falwell, Robertson, Dobson of today---for my money the only nationally recognized religious leader worth his salt is Dr. Graham and he's never moralized relative to politics---maybe that's why more people have traveled to hear him in person than all the other "religious leaders" put together). The American electorate has made a transformation over the past few years. They like a little of this, and a little of that...that's why a centrist by the name of Senator John McCain is the most popular politican in America. The Republican Party better get it's head out of the sand and get back to its roots supporting people like John McCain for President in 2008, in the vain of Jefferson, Lincoln, TR, Robert Taft, Ike, Bob Michels, Jerry Ford, (can you name a NATIONALLY recognizable and continuosly successful Republican in American history, besides President Reagan out of ALL of them, who wasn't a Centrist? You give up? You wonder why you can't???) or they're gonna end up losing their prominence if they continue to allow Dobson and his crew to puppeteer people like Delay, Hastert, Brownback and Santorum into deciding that THEY know what is best for Americans more than Americans do. That's not the original Republican Party.


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