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November 02, 2009 03:06 AM UTC

A Tale Of Two Republican Parties

  • by: Colorado Pols

(Bumped into Monday – promoted by Colorado Pols)

Respected Denver Post columnist Fred Brown published, we love him but we have to be honest, an exasperatingly Pollyannish op-ed about the state of Colorado Republican Party politics today:

The Republican Party, at least in Colorado, may finally be turning away from the wedge issues that have divided it in the past and may have cost it more than a few elections.

At a forum last weekend in Colorado Springs, the three candidates seeking the party’s nomination for governor said they will avoid being dragged into an argument over social issues. They all said they will focus instead on the economy. And they pledged not to be too enthusiastic in their attacks on each another.

…[T]hey took questions from the audience. And it was there that all three moved firmly but politely away from issues such as same-sex marriage.

They’re all social conservatives, they said, but it was “time to keep the bedroom out of the campaign,” in Maes’ words. “We can’t be the finger-waving party,” Penry said.

There was little enthusiasm for the old social agenda. An earlier speaker, who described an ugly encounter with some immigrant gardeners, was criticized…

Sounds good, doesn’t it? We’ve been saying for years that the wedge-issue fixated GOP had dug its own grave in Colorado, and we were proven right in election after election–now comes the new-and-improved “big tent” Republican Party for 2010, at least as far as keeping “the bedroom out of the campaign” persuades you.

Unfortunately, the Colorado GOP’s image makeover is taking place against the backdrop of a hard-right purge among Republicans nationally, and you’ll recognize some names–Brown continues:

In a congressional race in northern New York state, the official Republican nominee, Dede Scozzafava, is shunned by hard-line party members because she supports abortion rights and would tolerate same-sex marriage. One of those opposing her is Marilyn Musgrave, former congresswoman from Colorado, who told The New York Times, “This is the shot that needs to be fired to Republican leaders to wake them up.”

Brown concludes with an admonition about the Dede Scozzafava affair, warning that “it’s possible to get so ‘conservative’ that a more fitting label might be ‘radical'”–and expressing relief that despite Marilyn Musgrave’s divisive purging of Republican wedge-issue infidels elsewhere, “moderation” may be “making a comeback” in Colorado.

Folks, we really do wish this was an accurate assessment. Despite what critics allege, we would like nothing more than for the Republican Party to abandon manipulative games about the private lives of other people and focus on the things that matter. It would be game-changing electorally (meaning bad for Democrats) for Republicans to field more Don Marosticas and fewer Dave Schultheises, but it would be a wonderful development for the state of Colorado as a whole.

We just don’t see any evidence this is actually happening. Republicans can say that they need to stop focusing on divisive social issues, but they also know that they can’t win a primary if they don’t focus on divisive social issues.

In the case of now ex-candidate Dede Scozzafava, Colorado Republican leaders did everything they could to assist her purge, right-wing columnist Michelle Malkin says:

Received this statement from a group of conservative Colorado Republican legislators who are lending their support to NY-23 conservative candidate Doug Hoffman. They tell me they “hope the effect will be to energize other Republican state legislators around the country to do the same:”

Colorado Republican legislators Sen. Scott Renfroe, Sen. Kevin Lundberg, Sen. Greg Brophy, Sen. Dave Schultheis and Rep. Kent Lambert are pleased to endorse Republican Doug Hoffman, candidate for the 23rd Congressional District of New York. A liberal Republican candidate, Dede Scozzafava, is supported by the New York GOP in a contest that has not had the benefit of a primary election. Assemblywoman Scozzafava’s views do not reflect the conservative principles set forth in the Republican Platform.

The Republican establishment should stop supporting candidates that merely call themselves Republicans to get elected, and whose actions then undermine principled Republican legislation. We should represent our loyal Party members better by heeding their warnings against compromising Republican principles. Unlike Scozzafava’s views, the Republican Party Platform is pro-life, pro-capitalist, and pro-traditional marriage, and is opposed to radical leftist groups like ACORN…

You’ve got gubernatorial candidate Josh Penry, who has said that the Republican Party’s biggest problem is that there aren’t enough Tea Partiers. The same Josh Penry who refused to intervene as Minority Leader in members of his caucus wishing AIDS on babies or noting for the record the biblical death penalty for gay people. There’s fast-fading Senate candidate Ken Buck, who for all the angst among the GOP base over “DC Jane” Norton made the mistake of prosecuting the murder of a transsexual as a hate crime–bzzt! Disqualified. And isn’t this the same Colorado GOP that thuggishly muscled all competition out of hard-right Bob Schaffer’s way in the 2008 Senate race? We could go on and on.

All the way down to the Douglas County school board election this coming Tuesday, where the Republican Party has declared open war on a group of candidates, connecting them in robocalls to ‘prostitution-linked ACORN’ and ‘Obama’s socialist agenda’–conveniently omitting the fact that at least one of them is a registered Republican.

So, aside one obliging columnist, and as much as Ali Hasan would like for it to be true, where is the evidence for this new ‘moderate’ Colorado GOP? And if there isn’t any, indeed if a casual look at the state of the Colorado GOP reveals just the opposite–closer to what Brown said about the Scozzafava purge in New York?

The true “conservatives,” politicians who favor a more deliberative approach that includes occasional attempts to persuade those with other points of view – and even occasionally to cede a few points – seem to have been marginalized.

He should have stopped there, “but not in Colorado” doesn’t appear to correctly follow.


93 thoughts on “A Tale Of Two Republican Parties


      Who exactly is the third-party maverick arousing such ardor? Hoffman doesn’t even live in the district. When he appeared before the editorial board of The Watertown Daily Times 10 days ago, he “showed no grasp” of local issues, as the subsequent editorial put it. Hoffman complained that he should have received the questions in advance – blissfully unaware that they had been asked by the paper in an editorial on the morning of his visit.

      Last week it turned out that Hoffman’s prime attribute to the radical right – as a take-no-prisoners fiscal conservative – was bogus. In fact he’s on the finance committee of a hospital that happily helped itself to a $479,000 federal earmark. Then again, without the federal government largess that the tea party crowd so deplores, New York’s 23rd would be a Siberia of joblessness. The biggest local employer is the pork-dependent military base, Fort Drum.

  1. I can’t find the link on the Denver Post website, but I think it was an AP story in the back of today’s main section. My apologies — maybe someone better at searching the Post’s site will know what I’m referring to and will post the link.

    The gist of it being that dissatisfaction with both parties (Dems for not doing enough, Repub’s for being, well, Repub’s) is on the rise.

    The number willing to support a viable replacement for the Republican Party will only get bigger as long as the GOP’s self-marginalizing purity purges continue.

    All I can say is: Go Sarah GO!  Hooray Rush — there are plenty more $$million$$ to be had puking out your standard bile!  

  2. This is the primaries remember.  I bet these candidates would love to be more moderate but they can’t with the types of Republicans who actually vote in the primaries.  Social issues should not be what Republicans campaign on.  Especially in this economy and I believe the candidates realize that.  I can’t wait for the day when civil unions are the law and abortion is a settled issue.

  3. Rep. Lambert, the Colorado GOP’s latest appointment to the Joint Budget Committee, doesn’t believe public education (K-12) is an appropriate function of state government.


    Now, he like former Republican Senate President John Andrews, believe education is a taboo area for state government.

    Mr. Lambert’s position is not policy. From the perspective of national security, economic and social policy it is insanity.

    One question remains. Do Messrs. Penry and McInnis support Mr. Lambert’s position and if they don’t will they expressly support public education? The public has the right to know.  

    1. Question1 : Should gov’t have a role funding and running K-12 educaiton?

      Question, if yes: Which level of state gov’t- federal, state, county or other local level?

      Question, if no: How do we get K-12 education?

    2. sound a little hypocritical given that he is a huge beneficiary of public education at the collegiate level based on his graduating from the US Air Force Academy?

  4. .

    Conservatives belong in the conservative party.  In Colorado, that’s the American Constitution Party.

    Let the “moderate Republicans,” who don’t actually stand for anything except pandering to liberal voters, take over the GOP.

    Golly, why make them go to all that trouble ?  They should just join the Democratic Party.  It’s a big tent, and nobody would be excluded for anything as quaint as a principle.


    1. are, by definition, unprincipled, is clearly mistaken: Our principles are clearly expressed. Speaking for myself, I stand for the notion that human beings are interdependent, that we all want to thrive, that our humanity is based in large measure on our commitment to help one another to thrive, and that understanding the social and natural systems implicated in that challenge is the cornerstone of more effectively meeting it.

      That’s not an unprincipled position: It’s just a well-considered one.

        1. And typical.  Ever stop to think that the appearance of “trolling” is why third part candidates do so badly?

          Fine by me.  I’ll make sure to remember that anything you post is purely to upset the rest of us.  A shame really, I used to find your military pieces informative.  Oh well.

  5. This is by far one of the most manipulatively written diaries on Colorado Pols

    First off though – a couple issues of denouncement –

    I knocked on 20,000 doors last year promoting the Republican message, proudly carrying the Party on my shoulders – Parties are never perfect, but we unite, as one, under one banner to promote our best hopes for America and our good world – that said –

    SHAME ON ANY REPUBLICAN THAT ENDORSED THE NON-REPUBLICAN CANDIDATE in NY23 before Scozzafava dropped out – for shame – this is a direct denouncement of the Ronald Reagan 11th Commandment of ‘Thou shalt not criticize a fellow Republican’


    Too much family embarrassment here and not enough soap to wash the guilty mouths…

    shaking head



    The implication that Assemblywoman Scozzafava lost the GOP base due to her support of socially liberal issues (pro choice, pro gay rights) is completely wrong – Scozzafava lost traction with many GOPers due to her supporting the following –

    1. Obama’s economic stimulus

    2. the ‘first’ bailout (sadly, that many in my Party supported)

    3. supporting a New York state-sponsored bailout of banks

    4. voting in support of many tax-and-spend issues

    Clearly, Scozzafava could not make the argument that she was a fiscal conservative – in essence, she truly was a fiscal liberal

    Now – many social conservatives will try to paint a picture that Scozzafava’s fall was based on supporting abortion and gay rights (and of course, liberal outlets that are seeking to denounce Republicans will also promote a similar story) but this could not be further from the truth – Scozzafava’s long record on fiscal liberalism is what knocked her campaign down

    So what does this truly mean?

    What it means is that Republicans/Conservatives have drawn a line in the sand – yes, there’s some strong opinions on gay marriage, abortion, etc…. but the one stance that many Republicans will no longer tolerate is a candidate’s support for corporate welfare (bailouts) and/or stimulus spending – this line has been drawn and drawn hard – and in all of this fallout, the line of no longer supporting corporate welfare and stimulus is the only positive within this situation

    And let it be known that it is terrific policy to oppose corporate welfare, as well as the path of Obama economics and stimulus – one of the few economists who predicted the bailout, Roubini, is already predicting doom from the current policies of bailouts and stimulus spending –

    And for Republicans, this is a particularly harsh lesson – we lost 2008 on GOP leadership drafting and supporting the bailout… and it is a feeling that many Republicans, including myself, will never forget…

    …the bailout was the wrong policy… we knew it… sadly, our leadership didn’t….

    Thus… for those Republicans who think 2010 will be a Republican year because of increasing popularity over anti-gay-marriage and/or pro-life stances… you could not be more wrong – what will bring GOP prominence back is America’s true hunger for fiscal conservatism

    A hunger for Kent Lamberts, not Don Marosticas, to be serving on the JBC (and btw – Rep Marostica is a terrific person, but I completely disagree on his opinion towards the Taxpayer Bill of Rights)

    It is a hunger to empower the Taxpayer Bill of Rights, not spending on social programs

    Roubini knows the current economic policies are leading to disaster

    The majority of Republicans know it’s leading to disaster

    Sadly, Obama does not recognize such signs….. and neither did Scozzafava…

    …this was ultimately Scozzafava’s downfall…

    …but it will not be the GOP’s…

    …not this time…

    …not again


    1. I appreciate CPols giving me the shout out at the end

      However – my comments at CPAC were greeted with loud applause, not disapproval – in fact, I linked the video of my speech in that linked diary, so if CSPAN still has it online, you’ll see what I mean

      In addition, the journalists who covered my speech did not find a SINGLE attendee that would go on record criticizing my speech

      Again folks – my comments were celebrated at CPAC, not denounced

      peace and love all!

    2. But I guess that’s the kind of sloppy, non-reality based thinking that passes for cutting edge among Republicans these days.

      Did you even read Nouriel Roubini’s Financial Times article, which you inexplicably seem to think argues against the bailout and stimulus?

      You wrote:

      … one of the few economists who predicted the bailout, Roubini, is already predicting doom from the current policies of bailouts and stimulus spending

      Except that’s not remotely what Roubini says and that’s not what his article is about. In fact, up top, Roubini notes:

      This recovery in risky assets is in part driven by better economic fundamentals. We avoided a near depression and financial sector meltdown with a massive monetary, fiscal stimulus and bank bail-outs. Whether the recovery is V-shaped, as consensus believes, or U-shaped and anaemic as I have argued, asset prices should be moving gradually higher.

      All is not well, he argues, but the problem is monetary policy, not fiscal policy. Do you really not understand the distinction?

      And while it’s laudable you’re ahead of the state GOP when it comes to gay marriage, your contention that same-sex marriage and abortion no longer matter to Republicans is as ludicrous as it is unfounded.

      Penry and McInnis appear to have entered into an agreement they won’t remind voters what Republicans actually believe about divisive social issues, but they’re not fooling anyone, and it won’t last. You can try to pretend it’s all about TABOR, but voters know better.

        1. I know it is off topic and probably more fitting for the open thread but as you are on this thread, I’ll ask anyway.   Do you find this editorial bigoted?

          And while I’m off topic, do the members of our G/L community find this law suit bigoted?  I’m thinking it is.  But it is also funny as hell.

          1. …reminds me of Gay Day at Elitch’s about 10 years ago.  (It was the day after Pride Parade.)  Apparently some fundamentalist Christian Church scheduled its annual outing (no pun intended) for the same day.

              I was in line w/ some of my friends and recall overhearing some irate homophobe yelling at the ticket counter attendant that he and his fellow fundies should have been warned that “they” would be here today.

            1. were worried that they might find some of their parishioners at that Elitch Gardens event?  You didn’t see Ted Haggard there did you? The funniest part about the cruise event was that the couple found people they know on the ship.

            1. if you were pulled off your flight because you prayed (which I’ve seen and heard plenty of Christians doing at airports) or because you asked for a seatbelt extension?  And what is it you find offensive about “flying Imams”?


              1.    I am a lapsed Catholic and grew up in the 60’s.  Your “flying Imams” comment reminds me of the TV series starring Sally Field as the “Flying Nun.”  

    3. MAH, you write:

      The implication … Scozzafava lost the GOP base due to her support of socially liberal issues (pro choice, pro gay rights) is completely wrong

      Oh really? Why don’t we ask a stalwart of the GOP base.

      Here’s what Marilyn Musgrave, one of the many out-of-state GOP leaders who flocked to endorse Hoffman, wrote about her decision:

      Scozzafava’s embrace of abortion on-demand stands in stark contrast to the pro-life values held by Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman. That’s why the Susan B. Anthony List Candidate Fund chose to endorse Hoffman, a third-party candidate.


      Is she alone in abandoning the Republican nominee over social issues? Hardly. Musgrave goes on to write:

      We’re not the only ones saying it. A burgeoning conservative coalition is coming together to defend the pro-life, pro-family values that many Americans hold dear. Bona fide conservative endorsements continue to pile up for Hoffman: National Organization for Marriage, Family Research Council PAC, Concerned Women for America PAC, Fred Thompson’s FredPAC, Club for Growth PAC, Gary Bauer, Michelle Malkin, and Erick Erickson of Red State, to name a few


      Sure, Club for Growth could give a whit about abortion (except for all those foot soldiers!), but the rest abandoned the GOP nominee for precisely the reason you claim they didn’t.  

      1. I’m celebrating her getting forced out, but not over abortion, etc.

        Are you kidding me?  Running in a heavy R district, married to a Labor leader and supporting EFCA? She was the wrong choice for her State R committee to have picked.  Don’t let the door hit you in the ass.

        The fact that she endorsed the Dem after being prodded by Rahm et al after the NRCC had spent $900k in the race shows that her opposition from the right was right on target.

        1. But let’s face it, moderates in the Republican Party don’t exactly receive the welcome mat these days. And it’s hardly her fault that the Party put her up for this seat. They knew who she was all along. For them to belatedly have second thoughts is their problem, not hers. Considering how many prominent Republicans have turned on her, can you blame her for endorsing the Dem?

          This has been a solidly Republican district, continuously in Republican hands, for well over a century, which makes me wonder why the Party chose her in the first place.  

          1. But she was so far to the left of her constituents that there’s no way she should be representing the R’s in that district.

            Look, people are allowed to have their beliefs and be accurately represented by their elected officials.  The fact that Hoffman got in the race because Dede was so far off the target line of the Republicans in that district has nothing to do with “Stalinism” as that moron Frank Rich wrote, but with solid, beautiful Americanism.

            Look at the shit Bennet gets here for not speaking loudly or quickly enough about some issues that the Dems know he’s going to support.  Imagine if Bennet came out as a pro-lifer, anti-immigration Senator. The State Dems would lose their freaking minds.

            1. Which leads me back to my original question–why the hell did New York Republicans put her up as their candidate, knowing what they know about her? I mean, hello? Vetting, anyone? They do own a large portion of the blame for this mess and I’m somewhat amazed how that’s been overlooked by political blogs and Rich.

              And LB, don’t you think the conservative wing of the Party is really running the whole show, at this point? Because it seems to me, an outsider looking in, that they are the ones with the real sway and power. I may be wrong here and if I am, I’d like to see some discussion to persuade me otherwise.

              1. I think conservatives are about to kick the party’s ass, but more out of a functional reason than a purely ideologically.  The party itself has been horribly run, and absolutely out coached by the DNC the last few years, and this race proves that.  Wasted donor money is not taken lightly.

                As much as some folks on this blog love to trumpet the fact that self-identifying Republicans are around 20%, they are missing the point.  More people identify as conservative than anything else.  Lots of conservatives are fed up with the party, and its ineptitude and perceived slide to the middle, hence the drop in self-identification.

                Limbaugh makes a great point that we just nominated our most moderate, reach-across-the-aisle-make-nice-be-a-mavericky-guy-until-the-general candidate ever, and he got his ass kicked.  I think the Dems are whistling past the graveyard (figuratively only) if they really believe that there’s been a massive sea-change in the country in terms of how big they want government to be, or that conservatism is dead and buried.  If Corzine and Owens lose tomorrow (Deeds is already toast in a State where Obama smoked McCain) I would think that would send a signal.

                Anecdotally, I’m not seeing the pro-life, anti-minority seething that the lefties try to cast the changing R movement as.  I’m seeing a lot of people really pissed about spending and expansion of government.

                1. Your most moderate, reach-across-the-aisle-make-nice-be-a-mavericky-guy-until-the-general candidate ever swung hard core right when he put Palin on the ticket.

                  That was one of the most NOT moderate, NOT maverick, self calculated moves that backfired in recent history. Why is that fact never acknowledged? Is Limbaugh really naive enough to believe that most of forget our history if it happens more than 6 months ago? I can’t even count how many Republicans told me they voted for Obama because of their fear of Palin being a heartbeat away from her finger on the button. You didn’t run a moderate. You ran an idiot who had the unfortunate karma of being tied to 8 years of bad choices, misery and unwanted invasions of sovereign countries. The country was fed up and when the economy tanked, it was the last straw. McCain went for the hail Mary pass and it blew up in his face. Boo fucking hoo for him.

                  And let’s get real about Owens–he’s running in a district that has been in Republican hands for over a century. For the Republicans to lose this seat would be an embarrassment that would be unexplainable to the bitter end. Why do you think the RNC has dumped nearly a million dollars into a House race that doesn’t change their numbers in the House and is basically insignificant? This is a race that doesn’t even matter and yet the Republicans are fighting like mad to keep the seat–a seat that has been held by a Republican for over a hundred years. Their efforts speak volumes–that the Republican Party is most certainly not on sure footing and still scrambling to find their message.

                  And while the right wing, hard core continues to rule the nest, they will continue to scramble.

                  And when HRC passes (and it will, mark my words), they will only further relegate themselves to the party of the irrelevant–the Party of No…no ideas, no suggestions, no solutions.

                  As for Virginia, it’s no reflection on Obama but rather on Deeds when that race is lost. New Jersey is the state that I would focus crowing about if Republicans win there–that’s a major victory and despite the dissatisfaction with the corruption there, it’s still a major coup for the Republicans if they pull off an upset there. If they manage that, they should tout that as much as possible. Touting a win in Virginia isn’t as much a victory for the Republican Party as they would like to make it out to be.  

        2. If you look at the New York State Republican Party, as represented by its elected legislative members, it is significantly to the left of your average Congressional Republican.  In fact, the most conservative New York Republican legislator currently serving probably isn’t as conservative as the most liberal Colorado Republican legislator now in office.

          From the article:

          Scozzafava’s score puts her in the 58th percentile of her party, which makes her slightly more conservative than the average Republican legislator in Albany, so she’s a conservative in her party.

          DeDe at least was elected to represent part of the district, so it’s hard to say she’s not a fit.  If the national wing-nuts hadn’t jumped in, Hoffman would have remained an also-ran.

          1. If it was in her character to turn and endorse Owens, then screw her, ideology aside.  If that’s who she is/was then every member of the State committee needs to go, along with the leadership at the NRCC

            Expanding my metaphor for Bennet, imagine if he goes pro-life, anti-union, etc.

            He’s then primaried by Romanoff and starts getting his ass kicked in the polls.  He drops out of the race, and endorses Jane Norton.

            How would that go over?

            1. New York politics is a bit “odd”.  Candidates can be endorsed by more than one party.  It’s not unheard-of for the Republican and Democratic parties to endorse the same candidate.  Similarly, it’s not terribly unusual for the Conservative Party to endorse the Democrat, nor for the Working Families Party to endorse the Republican.

              In the case of NY-23, the Democratic candidate, Bill Owens, is politically to the right of Scozzafava.  The other candidate, Doug Hoffman, is a Conservative Party candidate.  He was run in opposition to Scozzafava, so it’s not like DeDe owed Hoffman any favors (especially after his graceless comments on her withdraw from the race).

              The Conservative Party has more recent history of opposing the Republican Party in the state.  Its disapproval of the GOP candidate is at least partially responsible for the loss of NY-13 to Democratic control last year.

              Conservative Republicans elsewhere in the country might not get all the subtleties of New York politics; in fact, given their behavior in the race, I’d pretty much guarantee it.  There’s no real comparison here in Colorado.  The closest would be a Democrat dropping out of the race and endorsing their moderate Republican rival rather than an ultra left-wing Green opponent.

            2. … but if you’re not troubled by the implications of the national party and hardcore activists inserting themselves into a state house race, you’re not really reflecting much on this issue.

              Typically, republicans say they’re about local control. These actions are just one more instance where the words are belied by the GOP kingmakers, who really are all about the power these days. LB, as an honest ‘pub you ought to be up in arms about his.

            3.    So Dede had the audacity to endorse a candidate running against the candidate annointed by her party’s leadership?  Makes her sound Sarah Palin or Dick Armey.

              1. I mean, Steele voiced his support for his party’s candidate and then almost immediately turned around and endorsed Hoffman – I believe before Scozzafava even suspended her campaign!

                Nothing like a little love from her own party to help her candidacy (and her attitude toward an endorsement…).

          1. …and knows which side of the bread will get buttered.

            My guess is that he will swing leftward again after Rubio loses in the primary.  And in Congress will be a moderate, old style moderate Republican, sometimes even voting with the Dems on some social and environmental bills.  

            Even this liberal Dem found Charlie – until the Rubio entrance – perfectly tolerable as governor.  Not perfect for me, but tolerable.  And certainly better than Gov. Bush.

        1. …but I’m wondering if he has a plan in place for handling the reported stories from the “Green Ignuana” that are expected to come out next year.

        2. Not too many months back CC showed up at an event that featured Obama in SW Florida.  I don’t recall what it was, but hoo boy, did the meat eaters go ballistic!

          A few days ago Obama came to Central Florida to celebrate the opening of the world’s larges photovoltaic plant.  Charlie is pretty darned green, and yet he snubbed Obama.  Without Rubio, I’m sure he would have been there.

          Only 200 people were there.  

        1. is political suicide and the most ridiculous idea ever. I fully support coupon vouchers though for low-income students to go to private schools though.  We should increase education funding around the board.

          1. We have a ton of open enrollment, which could benefit everyone, but really just benefits the more well-off. That’s because if you enroll out of your neighborhood school, you’re responsible for transportation. That can be quite a hurdle for many less-affluent residents.

            How would your proposal deal with this? I don’t see it.

            Other than that, I don’t really have a strong objection to vouchers for low-income students.

    4. that the gov’t has no role in K12 education?


      I know John Andrews signed a petition advocating the separation of school and state, basically privatizing all schools. But he does not now and I don’t believe is planning to in the future, hold elected office.

      But really? No publicly fundedK12?

  6. RNC Chairman Steele’s endorsement of Hoffman sent a very troubling signal to the Republican fanatics nationwide. By endorsing Hoffman, immediately after Scozzafava withdrew, he is telling the whole world it is ok to force out any Republican nominee if they don’t meet the strict ideological requirements of the far right. He has signaled that ideological purity is required if you wnat to be a Republican candidate and worst of all, his endorsement clearly signals the fact that the Republican Naitonal Committee is a pawn of the far right. Local Republican organizations are no longer in control of who they nominate unless they adhere to strict ideology – “God, guns, gays and abortion.”

    Chariman Steels should look at the 1858 election for the U.S. Senate in Illinois when the greatest Republican Abraham Lincoln challenged Senator Stephen A. Douglas. Senators in those days were elected by the state legislature so the trick was to win a majority in the general assembly. Lincoln spent much of his time in 1858 insuring the Republican coalition held together. For example, Congressman Owen Lovejoy of northern Illinois was considered a radical on the slavery issue. Lincoln persuaded Lovejoy to tone down his rhetoric to enable the more conservative Republicans in central Illinois to remain with the Republican ticket. The German immigrant vote was also very important and even though they were anti-slavery, they were leery of the Republicans because the Know Nothings (anti-immigrant) had merged into the party. Lincoln was able to persuade all of them to remain in the Republican coalition. He won the popular vote but lost the legislature and the senate seat. Contrast Lincoln’s efforts with chairman Steele’s over the weekend and the Colorado Republican legislators press release to Michele Malkin. They aren’t worried about building coalitions or holding groups together who may share many common values but differ on others. Over the weekend, they clearly let it be known that only one set of values is allowed or considered in the Republican Party and anyone, including duly nominated Republican candidates, who differ with them on those values can leave or they will be thrown out. Hardly the formula for future electoral victories. The party of Lincoln is no more.

    The fundamental problem and issue for most registered Republicans is whether or not they believe in or hold enough of the same values as the far right Republicans to remain in the party. I’m convinced they don’t. Frankly, the Republican Party, as it is constituted today, should disband. It no longer serves any worth while public purpose.  

      1. Corporations, when being granted charters in the old days, must serve an identified public purpose, it was limited in duration, the officers were guarantors, the charter was revocable, and could be in one line of business only.

  7. It’s just that it’s wrong to tell The People that they’re important to you – they just don’t seem to get it.

    It sounds like, at least here in Colorado, the party is realizing that it can’t sell itself on its social conservatism.  It has made the (wise) decision to sell itself based on the economic hard times that happen to have come (in part from bad Republican policies) during a Democratic reign.

    But it’s still the same party, and the same candidates.  If the GOP primary voters thought their candidates were actually moving towards social moderation, they’d abandon the party altogether as they did in NY-23.  This is just an attempt to put lipstick on the pig.

  8. We want to set women’s rights back 100 years.  We just don’t want to tell you.  We want creationism taught in our public schools.  We just don’t want people to know that.  We want to make second class citizens out of our minority and GLBT communities.   But the electorate doesn’t need to know that.  

    Voters should know what a candidate’s beliefs are on all issues.  But why should we tell voters what we believe?

    “Tell them to go jump in a lake. Josh Penry first and then all the lemmings will follow”.  –Don Marostica, Republican

  9. ….there ARE two Republican Parties. And the smaller, crazier uber-Conservative one is driving away anyone who might want to join the bigger, less vocal and saner one. Me included.

    It doesn’t matter if a few candidates try and embrace the Big-Tent ideas of Eisenhower  – any one who dares speak heresy against the Pure Articles of Conservatism are doomed to persecution by the talk-radio equivalent of the Spanish Inquisition. And whatever nutjobs-for-hire the rich Conservative activists get to do their dirty work for them.

    1/100000% of the Party has determined what the rest looks like. And for a Political Philosophy (cult?) that bases it’s dogma on non-interference, it’s seems the Cult Leaders have a lot of proclamations on how we all get to behave. And woe be unto you if you defy the Church of the Elephant…

    The main postulation of this thread was you can’t have a GOP candidate unless all the boxes are checked – even on moderate view on something (say, Pro-Choice) unleashes the Beasts of the party Faithful.

    If the GOP wants to be the American Whig Party, go for it. Enough of the non-faithful will find new homes in either Democratic Or American Constitution Party, and that will be the end of you…

      1. Good God, David, you’re smarter than that. They haven’t abandoned their divisive, unpopular social views, they’ve just decided they’re not going to share them with the general public. It has nothing to do with moderating the party and everything to do with playing voters for fools.

          1. since RG is talking about people claiming one thing in a campaign and doing something else once in office, while you’re talking about people wanting to do something once they’re in office and deciding against it.

  10. Now that moderate Republican DeDe Scozzafava has dropped out of the NY-23 special election, do Republicans really want Conservative Party candidate Doug Hoffman to win?

    If the leadership of the party is trying to moderate a bit, a win by Doug “Glen Beck is my mentor” Hoffman isn’t going to help them.  The Radical Reactionary Right is already starting to promote a Hoffman win tonight as the comeback of the Republican Party – more pure than ever and willing to fight for the soul of “their” party.

    Every time leadership gets it in its head that they need to moderate to win, they get smacked around by Limbaugh, Beck, and Hannity and revert to throwing red meat to the base.

    A win by Hoffman tonight isn’t going to help them moderate their voice, and is going to embolden the RRRs in the fight against Crist and in other contested primaries.

        1. Rumor started floating after Scozzafava suspended her campaign that she was considering switching parties when she returned to the State Assembly.

          I hadn’t heard any rumors that she was considering switching once she got to Congress, though.

              1. as David’s mom.

                She was the choice of the local Republican party leadership.  She was favored by the State GOP as well.

                Like it or not, the Republican Party isn’t uniform across the country.  New York Republicans from Nelson Rockafeller to Rudy Giuliani “aren’t Republicans” by your definition.

    1. Their anger has blinded them. They are only masters of evil. They’re more machine than men, now.

      The party is literally defined by getting revenge on Obama for stealing the Presidency. That’s the only thing holding them together. Supporting Obama in any way at all is treason to the party, and by extension to the nation.

      The few people left who appear to be trying to “moderate” the party are has-beens, and viewed as such by everyone in the party who actually matters. Everyone else has hitched their wagons to the full-on crazies.

        1. Snowe, we might be okay with – we’ve got a pretty big tent, and Snowe is probably to the left of Nelson.

          But you’d regret getting Lieberman.  He’s got enough ego for any three Senators, and he won’t be satisfied with anything less than his current Chairs to boot.  You’d be constantly looking at his votes and going “why did we want him in the caucus again?”

          1. Lieberman’s only 2/3 of the way down the “Democratic” party unity list.  Snowe is the most renegade of the Senate Republicans – which still makes her more conservative in her voting record than any other Dem.  I just checked it out at

            Of course, Snowe defecting to the Dems might do similar things to her voting record as it did to Arlen Specter’s.

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