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Republican Senate Candidate Backs Same-Sex Marriage In New Ad

Monica Wehby, the Republican nominee for Senate in Oregon, comes out in favor of same-sex marriage in a new ad:

A Republican Senate candidate in Oregon will unveil a television commercial Tuesday that highlights her support for gay marriage — a reflection of the rapidly shifting politics of the issue.

Monica Wehby, a pediatric neurosurgeon, has been attacked by Democratic Sen. Jeff Merkley as just another cookie-cutter conservative. The first-time candidate supports abortion rights and gay marriage, and she’s looking for ways to show voters in the blue state that she’s different.

“My opponent keeps trying to paint me as an extreme right-wing Republican, and that’s actually not who I am,” she said in a phone interview. “I’m a very independent-minded person, like our state. I’ve always felt government should stay out of it. This isn’t a change in thought for me at all.”

The man who stars in the ad, Ben West, was a plaintiff in the lawsuit that successfully struck down the Oregon Constitution’s ban against same-sex marriage early this year. He and his husband, Paul Rummell, were intrigued by Wehby’s support for marriage equality ahead of the May Republican primary, in which her opponent was a socially conservative state representative.

West and Rummell reached out to the campaign and got to know Wehby over sweet tea, eventually agreeing to appear in a commercial for her.

The 30-second spot, created by the GOP firm FP1 Strategies and shared exclusively with POLITICO, includes photos and clips from the couple’s wedding and ends with a picture of the two and their adopted foster child.

“Marrying my husband was the happiest day of my life,” West says to camera. “I was proud of Oregon and our country. But there’s a lot of work left to do. Whether it’s standing up for equality or for the unemployed or for the next generation, we need leaders who have the courage to do what’s right. That’s why I support Monica Wehby. I know she’ll fight for every Oregon family, including mine.”

(…)

Republicans in blue states endorsing gay marriage is not totally new. Three openly gay GOP House candidates have featured their partners in campaign materials, including Richard Tisei in Massachusetts, Dan Innis in New Hampshire and Carl DeMaio in California.

But no Republican Senate candidate has ever run an ad like this statewide. Even in a blue state like Oregon, where gay marriage is more widely accepted, running this ad in 2010 or 2012 may have been judged too risky because it would keep conservatives home.

If Wehby won, she would join four Republican senators who support same-sex marriage: Illinois’ Mark Kirk, Ohio’s Rob Portman, Maine’s Susan Collins and Alaska’s Lisa Murkowski.

Wehby’s spot comes at a crucial time. Merkley’s approval numbers earlier this year suggested the freshman could be vulnerable, but every public poll has shown her persistently trailing by double digits.

Freedom Partners Action Fund, a Koch-backed super PAC, is spending $1.6 million attacking Merkley this month, but late last week they canceled their October reservation — a sign that they will redirect the money toward higher-priority races more likely to win control of the Senate for the GOP.

Wehby’s campaign said this new ad will be backed up by a significant statewide buy.

Wehby, the mother of four teenagers, said in an interview that Republicans should support less government interference across the board.

On the issue of abortion, she said: “As Republicans, we believe in limited government. Why would we want [the feds] to have any reach into our personal and private lives?”

Wehby likely needs all the help she can get in this race. While there was some belief earlier in the year that Senator Jeff Merkley was vulnerable, the polling that has been conducted since Wehby won the Republican nomination earlier this year has not shown the race to be competitive at all. The first term Senator has had a consistent lead in the polls, and presently has a 14.5 lead in the RealClearPolitics polling average. This ad probably won’t help Wehby overcome that deficit, but it’s nonetheless good to see a Republican talking sense on this issue rather than pandering to the party’s socially conservative base.

Here’s the ad:

Related Posts:

About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. superdestroyer says:

    Who cares? Monica Wehby had zero chancing of winning and the Republican in Oregon are irrelevant. At least this will show that being the Democratic-lite party will be of no help to any Republican who will just go along with the Democrats agenda.

    The only thing Republicans should be doing in Oregon is going out of business. The voters in Oregon are happy with a one party state. The current Republican voters would have more influence on policy and governance if they were voting in the Democratic Primary rather than running candidates who have zero chance of winning.

    Poorly-rated. Helpful or Unhelpful: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 18

  2. C. Clavin says:

    @superdestroyer:
    Yes…it’s not about civil rights…about treating people equally…it’s about Republicanism and oppressing others.
    But you’re no bigot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 3

  3. Scott says:

    Marriage equality is becoming less and less of an issue. Look how many comments were posted to your blog post “Seventh Circuit Strikes Down Indiana and Wisconsin Bans on Same-Sex Marriage.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 12 Thumb down 0

  4. superdestroyer says:

    @C. Clavin:

    This was reported in terms of elections. If it was not relevant to the Senate race in Oregon then the polling data and probability of winning should not have been discussed.

    However, it in the long run, the political opinions of Dr. Monica Wehby are irrelevant since she has zero chance of winning her race and her political views will probably not affect enough homosexual voters to be statistically relevant. Dr Monica Wehby seesm to be seeking the approval of a group of wealth urban elites who would never vote for her rather than thinking about how to influence the marginal swing voter. It just seems that it is another example of politics as status seeking.

    Since most homosexuals want the U.S. to be a one party state, shouldn’t the real discussion be how much influence homosexuals will have on political and governance in Oregon versus the amount of social conservatives will have.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 8

  5. C. Clavin says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Since most homosexuals want the U.S. to be a one party state

    Please provide a link that backs this up. In fact many in the LGBT community agree with me…a party that is actually Conservative would be of great benefit to the Republic. Today’s Republican party, as typified by people like you, is nothing but detrimental to the Republic.
    You are the only one who wants a single-party state. In fact you seem quite obsessed with it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 16 Thumb down 3

  6. stonetools says:

    Seems like the party Doug would like to vote for with a clear conscience is learning. That’s good for Doug and other “independent’ voters, I guess.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  7. superdestroyer says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Unless you define what you mean by “a party that is actually Conservative” it is a meaningless statement. My guess is that your idea of a conservative party would be a Democratic-lite party that would support higher taxes, more social engineering, open borders, and a lower standard of living for most Americans.

    All Dr Monica Wehby is doing is showing that establishment Republicans do not have a clue of how to make a conservative party viable in the U.S. I wonder what DR Monica Wehby’s position would be on set asides and quotas for homosexuals or whether the government should be able to ask people what their sexual orientation is for social engineering purposes.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 5

  8. Ron Beasley says:

    You are correct Doug, it won’t be nearly enough in Oregon. Merkley is running a very effective ad tying her to the Koch brothers. The RSC is spending no money on her campaign and if she continues to trail by double digits I imagine the Koch brothers will decide there are better races to spend their money. In addition she is a horrible campaigner and her keepers have done everything they can to keep her away from the public.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  9. C. Clavin says:

    @superdestroyer:
    Conservative means what it always meant…before today’s Republicans bastardized it to mean a xenophobic, fiscally delusional, imperialistic, and science denying cult.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 13 Thumb down 2

  10. michael reynolds says:

    The only thing more predictable than a GOP softening on gay marriage is their abandonment of Obamacare as a central issue. Anyone else notice how silent OTB and Glittering Eye have become on Obamacare?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 2

  11. superdestroyer says:

    @C. Clavin:

    I take that as a no, you cannot define a party that is actually conservative that is actually different from what you support from the Democrats.

    Of course, the real question is whether Oregon will benefit in the future from being a one party state where the general election is irrelevant and the few relevant elections are those few Democratic Party primaries where an incumbent is not running for re-election. What is humorous is how much progressives talk about the importance of elections while working very hard to make elections irrelevant in the U.S. Or course, Dr Monica Wehby is also working very hard to make elections irrelevant in Oregon.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 2

  12. C. Clavin says:

    @superdestroyer:

    I take that as a no, you cannot define a party that is actually conservative that is actually different from what you support from the Democrats.

    In terms of this topic it is individual liberty. The freedom to love who you want. Republicans don’t believe in this.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  13. Ron Beasley says:

    @superdestroyer: Oregon used to be a fairly conservative state. The Republican Party became irrelevant when it was taken over by Evangelical Christians which was not the brand of conservatism Oregon conservatives were looking for.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 15 Thumb down 1

  14. C. Clavin says:

    @Ron Beasley:
    Because they simply are not Conservative.
    Opposition to marriage equality is not a Conservatively defensible position.
    Opposition to an individuals freedom of choice is not a Conservatively defensible position.
    Opposition to market-based health care reforms is not a Conservatively defensible position.
    Attacking and occupying Iraq was never a Conservatively defensible position.
    Supply-side economics is not a Conservatively defensible position.
    Austerity in the face of the greatest economic disaster since the Depression is not a Conservatively defensible position.
    Denial of science is not a Conservatively defensible position.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 10 Thumb down 1

  15. MarkedMan says:

    This could have been an interesting thread. But then SD jumped in and others succumbed to the masturbatory pleasure of telling off a bigot.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  16. superdestroyer says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    I doubt there is any form of conservative party that would interest in voters in Oregon. I suspect that the votes in Oregon are somewhere between big govenment libertarains (let me do what I want but have the government backstop every decision) and the make life great for freelance writer party.

    You criticize the Koch Brothers but they were the fiscal conservative, social libertarians that many progressives claim should be the second party in the U.S. Yet, you attack them constantly. I suspect that the pro-social engineering, pro-entitlement, pro-high tax on other party will easly exist as the one relevant party in the U.S. and that there is no issue that will cause any current block inside the Democratic Party to switch its voting preferences. The only question for the future is how will the government fund all of the entitlements that are currently promised and can the situation ever get bad enough for the current blocks inside the Democratic Party to vote out the incumbents.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 4

  17. superdestroyer says:

    @MarkedMan:

    How does one make a post about an irrelevant politician who has zero chance of being elected interesting. How does one make another post that says “Go Team Blue, We’re going to win, win, win” interesting? The only thing the post shows is that when it comes ot noncompetitive elections that the candidate that is sure to lose will sometimes take on a position favored by the dominant party in hope of curring favor with that party. The result also shows that no matter how much the establishment Republicans curry favor with the Democrats, it does not matter. The Democrats know they are on a path to being the one, dominant party in the U.S. What is amazing is how hard political scientist, wonks, and pundits are working to pretend that the Republicans are still somehow relevant to policy or governance in the U.S. or even how relevant elections are in the U.S.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  18. C. Clavin says:

    @superdestroyer:
    This is hilarious…invoking the Koch’s who receive gazillions in corporate welfare to blast entitlements and social safety nets. Of course the Kochs are old white guys and entitlements go to..you know…those other people.
    The lack of self-awareness is awe-inspiring.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 0

  19. Pinky says:

    @superdestroyer:

    You criticize the Koch Brothers but they were the fiscal conservative, social libertarians that many progressives claim should be the second party in the U.S. Yet, you attack them constantly.

    Great observation.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 3

  20. superdestroyer says:

    @C. Clavin:

    The Koch Brothers are social libertarians and the left still cannot stand them and want to outlaw their participation in politics. Your response just shows why the U.S. will be a one party state in the future: no deviation from accepted, politically correct, conventional views will be tolerated from anyone.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 3

  21. Scott says:

    Fiscal conservatives care about balanced budgets and prudent approaches to government spending and taxation. I get the impression that the Kochs are not fiscal conservatives but merely anti-tax, especially taxes on themselves.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 7 Thumb down 1

  22. C. Clavin says:

    @superdestroyer:

    The Koch Brothers are social libertarians and the left still cannot stand them and want to outlaw their participation in politics.

    First…no one wants to outlaw their participation in politics. If you have to lie to make your point maybe you should reconsider your point.
    At any rate…maybe it’s because in spite of regulations, they kill their workers and pollute our air and water…and if their anti-regulation agenda is implemented they will be freer to kill their workers and pollute our air and water. Just sayin’.
    I think it’s terrific they are for gay rights…and that they contribute mightily to cultural and scientific research institutions. The good doesn’t outweigh the bad. What you are actually arguing…and don’t have the self-awareness to grasp it…is that because the Koch’s do some good things we should whole-heartedly endorse their entire agenda. Bunk.
    Here’s a perfect example of the machinations Republicanists must go through to support their ideology. The Koch’s contribute huge sums to Cold Spring Harbor Labs…the lab where Watson and Crick discovered DNA…and tremendous scientific research continues today. They also contribute mightily to climate change deniers who make stuff up to undermine science. A pretty significant dichotomy, if you ask me.
    Its terrific they support science. It’s a shame they don’t support science.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 1

  23. humanoid.panda says:

    @Pinky: Hint: wanting to cut taxes to the bone, defanging all regulations and working hard to deny global warming, our greatest looming strategic, economic and, in the long run, fiscal threat is not “fiscally conservative.”
    Additionally, their own opinions and funding of Cato aside, in the actual political world, the Kochs are giving money to the current iteration of the Republican party, social conservatism intact, rather than working to promote a more socially tolerant version of it.
    Case in point: in 2010, when the hardcore social conservative and hawk Johsnon ran against the hardcore civil libertarian, antiwar Feingold, the Koch money supported the former. Fancy that!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  24. humanoid.panda says:

    @superdestroyer: Being bothered by a single family spending about half as much money on elections as both parties combined in this particular cycle= banning the Kochs’ participation in politics. Seriously, don’t the sums the Koches throw around don’t bother you, even a little?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  25. humanoid.panda says:

    @C. Clavin: I don’t think we can say that the Koches are for gay rights in any significant sense. The money they are throwing around had clearly bought them veto power on some issues in the GOP (energy and global warming for once). The fact that they absolutely don’t exercise that veto power when it comes to gay rights tells us all we need to know about that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  26. superdestroyer says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    One just needs to look at the proposals for campagin finance reform and laws that limit what people can do to influence elctions so see that the left is eager to outlaw political speech that it does not agree with and to limit political speech to the acceptable groups that are controlled by progressives and Democrats.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 3

  27. C. Clavin says:

    @superdestroyer:

    laws that limit what people can do to influence elctions

    Imagine…wanting to limit what people can do to influence elections…obviously we want people to be able to do whatever they want to influence elections.
    Jesus-gawd you are pathetic.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 1

  28. humanoid.panda says:

    @superdestroyer: Let’s. cut the crap. In 2012, Obama spent about billion dollars on his reelect. There are probably 20 to 50 people in the Us that can write a billion dollar. check to a presidential campaign without diminishing their fortune too much. do you think they should be legally able to do so?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  29. superdestroyer says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    OK, what amount should be able to spend to get out what they want? mika brzezinski can spend three hours every morning on MSNBC repeating DNC talking points and every progressives finds is acceptable and would never think about putting limits on what she can say. But let a conservative spend a dollar of their own money on trying to influence other voters during an election and progressives are ready to change the meaning of political speech to whatever they agree with.

    People should be able to influence other voters and the government has no business trying to limit the electioneering of citizens. Otherwise you are just arguing over price. It should be the price we pay in the U.S. for having free elections instead of just rubber stamping whatever the establishment wants.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  30. C. Clavin says:

    @superdestroyer:
    If you are unable to discern the difference between a broadcast venture regulated by the Government and the Free-Market…and no aggregate limits on anonymous donations…then discussing this further is pointless.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 1

  31. superdestroyer says:

    @C. Clavin:

    After all the insults you pass out, I am going to pass saying anything other than MSNBC is not a broadcast network and is not regulated by the FCC. Of course, it would make sense to progressives that MSNBC and its employees deserve more speech rights and should have not ability to influence elections than normal citizens.

    I guess in the coming one party state, it would make sense that progressives believe that they will be in charge of everything and believe that want they want is the only correct view to have.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  32. C. Clavin says:

    @superdestroyer:

    MSNBC is not a broadcast network and is not regulated by the FCC.

    You got me…it is not a broadcast network, strictly speaking…but more tellingly you completely ignore the free-market…and “no limits on aggregate anonymous campaign spending”.
    There is still no comparison between the two…no matter my blunder.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  33. humanoid.panda says:

    @superdestroyer: You do know that campaign spending limits are not some newfangled progressive invention but had been with us for at least 100 years, at a time when our republic became much more democratic than in the 19th century, right?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  34. humanoid.panda says:

    @superdestroyer: Did you see any progressive ever oppose to the Koches establishing their own television channels, newspapers, research centers, museums, writing books, or launching propaganda blimps into the skies above major cities? What we are worried about are two things:
    1. That people that are deeply affected by government activities have half a billion’s worth of favors to politicians they can cash. It’s true that labor unions, and corporations and lobby groups also donate major sums, but those donations cancel each other on some level. The rise of the mega-donor who can give hundreds of millions and thus make all previous and counter-availing pressures moot is a new phenomenon (or rather the resurrection of a very old one; Montana, the first state to install a strict campaign finance reform, did so because the a handful of copper barons literally owned every single legislator in the state. In Pennsylvania, the joke went, “The Standard has done everything with the Pennsylvania legislature, except refine it. ”
    2. That those donations are not even disclosed to the public, so we have private individuals locating and providing the seed money for, senate campaigns, (see Earnest, the GOP candidate in Iowa, who basically admitted that the Koches made her candidacy), without the public knowing anything about it.Even if you think that no donation limits is the price we pay for freedom, you really think that the only way the publi should learn who is the source of money behind major campaigns for one of the most important jobs in the country only due to someone secretly recording her licking their boots in a closed event?
    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2014/08/26/koch-brothers-ernst-cotton-gardner_n_5718773.html

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  35. Kylopod says:

    @superdestroyer: What you have described as “Democratic-lite”–a party favoring gay rights, a recognition of climate science, higher taxes in order to balance the budget, and universal health care–is a very good description of the Conservative parties in Britain, France, Germany, Canada, and many, many other countries around the globe. Not only have none of these countries become “one-party states,” they typically have more than two parties with significant representation in their government.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 5 Thumb down 0

  36. superdestroyer says:

    @Kylopod:

    But in the U.S., if issues are not relevant to elections, then it just comes down to minor issues that are totally controllable by the establishment (think stem cell research or police armored vehicles) and demographics. Europe is different is that those country are parliamentary system and those countries do not have a demographic block of 30% of the population that automatically votes for one party no matter the performance.

    As the Oregon voting results are doing to show in November, the Republican candidates can pander all they want to the core groups of the Democratic Party and that candidate will not get one more vote. However, that Republican candidate can alienate people who might actually vote for her and cause them to stay home. The whole point of getting Republican candidates to pander to hardcore Democratic Party voters is not to save conservative politics in the U.S. but to just get it to fail faster that current demographic trends by alienating the core blocks inside the Republican Party. Then the only question is how high will taxes do, how big will the government become, and what social engineering programs will be tried by the order givers in the Democratic Party.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  37. Kylopod says:

    @superdestroyer:

    Europe is different is that those country are parliamentary system and those countries do not have a demographic block of 30% of the population that automatically votes for one party no matter the performance.

    Personally I prefer the parliamentary model to the U.S. presidential one, and I think our rigid two-party system (which was basically historical accident) is one of the problems with the way our country functions. Still, even within this system, it’s silly to say that the only way the GOP can distinguish itself is by continuing to resist gay rights, deny global warming, and oppose all tax increases. There are many real, substantive issues that the two parties could be debating, but which they do not, because the GOP takes such an extreme position that they effectively remove themselves from any serious discussion of the issue. For example, the only real debate on the budget (whether we should increase the deficit in the short term or not) takes place almost entirely within the Democratic Party; the GOP disqualified itself from seriously participating in that debate when they embraced the supply-side fairy tale and made themselves the benefactors of generous farm subsidies, defense spending, and corporate handouts. But most conservatives aren’t even aware of that debate, so they automatically perceive that anyone who questions their mythologies about taxes and spending, from Paul Krugman to Bruce Bartlett, must be advocating one single liberal viewpoint.

    As the Oregon voting results are doing to show in November, the Republican candidates can pander all they want to the core groups of the Democratic Party and that candidate will not get one more vote.

    We’ll see if the polling for the Oregon race in the coming weeks bears out this assumption. Of course Wehby is highly unlikely to win the seat, but she might do better now than she otherwise would have. All that aside, I’d like to hear you elaborate on what I think you are implying: are you really suggesting that a Republican has a better chance of winning statewide office in a blue state if they adopt uniformly right-wing positions than if they go moderate or liberal on at least a couple of issues?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 1

  38. michael reynolds says:

    @superdestroyer:

    You know, you should channel your paranoid dystopian imagination into young adult literature – it pays better than shilling for storm front.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  39. superdestroyer says:

    @michael reynolds:

    The problem with most young adult literate is that it is aimed at middle class and higher white females. As my daughter likes to say, most of the books are about whiny women. The honest trailer for the movie Divergent gives a humorous explanation of the issues with young adult literature. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPUZo3dQSEM

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  40. superdestroyer says:

    @Kylopod:

    so your argument is that two parties could differ over fiscal policy just as long as they agree with everything that the Democrats believe (taxes have no influence on private economic decisions, higher marginal tax rates have no influence on total taxes collected, there is no upper limit to the percentage of the economy that government can consume, having a growing public sector has no influence of other government policies). I fail to understand how two parties could exist when no disagreements can exist. Of course both Bartlett and Krugman is correct that growing the size and scope of the federal government and massive budget deficits cause the U.S. to drift to the left politically. The difference is that Bartlett sees that has a bad thing and Krugman sees that as a good thing.

    Of course, it in the long it will not matter because as the U.S. drifts into being a one party state, political fights will be about entitlements, who pays for the, and who gets them. What is appalling is that no one is thinking about who will be the winners and losers as the U.S. continues on the policy and governance path that it is on.

    The argument is not that the Republicans can do better while trying to remain a conservative party but that all paths lead to collapse of conservative politics in the U.S., will cause the U.S. to function as a one party state, and that governance and policy will be massively influence by that one party state. This is just different than the standard boilerplate of “Go Team Blue, We are Going to Win, Win, Win.”

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  41. C. Clavin says:

    @superdestroyer:

    can pander all they want

    Defending basic human rights is not pandering.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  42. superdestroyer says:

    @C. Clavin:

    Giving a political block whatever they want without asking anything in return and without putting in fire walls to keep the “pursuit of human rights” to quickly turn into a witch hunt is pandering. There is a conservative case for marriage equality but it has to be done to keep it into a hunt for reparations, quotas, set asides, disparate impact, and social engineering. That Dr WEhby and her staff are not capable of thinking that far ahead demonstrates why should not be involved in politics.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  43. gVOR08 says:

    @C. Clavin: To be fair, C., SD is not the only one who wants a single-party state. Karl Rove thought he just about had his permanent Republican majority. And if the aforementioned Koch Bros and their ilk manage to accomplish their corporatist oligarchy they won’t be allowing more than token opposition.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  44. george says:

    @Ron Beasley:

    Oregon used to be a fairly conservative state. The Republican Party became irrelevant when it was taken over by Evangelical Christians which was not the brand of conservatism Oregon conservatives were looking for.

    That’s a good point. In most of the world being conservative means something very different than it does currently in the US (or did in the US decades ago – today Eisenhower would be considered a left leaning liberal). There are still a good number of conservatives in the US who are much closer to the normal (world wide/historical) definition of conservatism than the current GOP are.

    In most of the world, conservatives are for a public health option, not against gay marriage (most conservatives in places like Canada, Germany, Sweden, the UK accept it now), accept abortion (again check the policies of conservative gov’ts and parties in those places). Arguably the modern US conservative movement should be sued for misleading advertising – what they’re selling has very little to do with conservatism.

    Meaning that its not surprising that some US conservative candidates in some states are sounding more like the world wide standard of conservatives than the weird US concoction that goes by that name.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  45. C. Clavin says:

    @superdestroyer:
    Basic human rights are not negotiable…you don’t get anything in return.
    What have you offered up in return for being a privileged white man?
    Face it…you won the lottery when you were born a white male in the US…and it kills you that anyone else should enjoy the same privileges.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  46. Kylopod says:

    @superdestroyer:

    so your argument is that two parties could differ over fiscal policy just as long as they agree with everything that the Democrats believe (taxes have no influence on private economic decisions, higher marginal tax rates have no influence on total taxes collected, there is no upper limit to the percentage of the economy that government can consume, having a growing public sector has no influence of other government policies).

    None of those things are what “Democrats believe”–not moderate Dems, and not liberal Dems either. For example, here is what Paul Krugman has to say:

    There is no question that incentives matter, that other things equal, someone facing a high marginal tax rate will work less than he or she would otherwise. How much they matter is another issue; in fact, careful empirical study suggests that they matter far less than right-wing mythology would have it.

    To back up his point, he links to an article which says the following:

    A family‚Äôs marginal tax rate is what its members pay to the government if they earn another dollar. If the government takes a smaller chunk of that dollar, a family has more incentive to earn it. Workers may choose to work additional hours, or a stay-at-home spouse may decide to work outside the home. Likewise, entrepreneurs may invest in a new enterprise or expand an existing one. Lower marginal rates also reduce people’s incentives to shield income from taxes, through legal and illegal means.

    The main question is whether these incentive effects are large….

    Not exactly the words of people who believe that “taxes have no influence on private economic decisions.”

    Are you capable of addressing the issue without resorting to strawmen? When it comes to U.S. debate over taxation, the only narrow orthodoxy is the one held by Republicans: the idea that raising taxes under any circumstances is bad. That isn’t a strawman, it’s the whole basis of Grover Norquist’s Pledge which in 2012 was signed by 95% of Republicans in Congress. The only thing you can accurately say “Democrats believe” on the topic is that this is nuts. Sanity is not an ideology.

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  47. superdestroyer says:

    @Kylopod:

    I think what Norquist really understands is that increasing government spending creates more automatic Democratic Party voters and fewer Republican voters. Krugman understands the same thing. Also, Krugman knows that deficit spending creates more automatic Democratic Party voters and that is why Krugman proposes increasing deficit spending know (to create a one party state) with higher taxes on the rich during some future boom time. As a left-of-center website has pointed out, the Democrats propose a tax and then spend it several different ways. http://www.vox.com/2014/5/7/5681002/the-buffett-rule-wont-pay-the-tab-for-the-liberal-agenda

    If conservative parties are suppose to be for nationalizing healthcare, the dole for everyone, and massive social engineering regulations, then there only room for one political party in the U.S. My guess is that in Europe there is not much difference between the “conservative parties” and the more liberal parties. It has always appeared that in Europe, elections are about punishing the party in power when a recession happens despite any difference on issues

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  48. C. Clavin says:

    @superdestroyer:

    increasing government spending creates more automatic Democratic Party voters

    So that’s why Republicans always…always…increase spending and the size of Government?

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  49. superdestroyer says:

    @C. Clavin:

    It is why the Republicans are no longer competitive in California, New York, Illinois, Mass., Maryland, Minnesota, New Jersey, Conn., etc. The blue wall exist because the Republicans cannot count, cannot think about the long term consequences of their policies, and cannot believe that everyone does not think like they do.

    Look at how Earned Income Tax Credit was suppose to be a conservative idea but has mainly just created more automatic Democratic Party voters. When people get government at a huge discount, they are going to want more government.

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  50. Kylopod says:

    @superdestroyer: To anyone with even minimal reading comprehension, my last post made the following point: your description of what “Democrats believe” consists of nothing but strawmen, and I proved that point by providing a direct quote from Krugman contradicting your claim that Democrats hold that “taxes have no influence on private economic decisions.”

    Now, what would be some ways to reply to my post? You could say, “Whoops, I apologize, my description was an unfair caricature, now let me give you a more nuanced take on Democratic beliefs and why I disagree with them.” Or you could have disputed that Krugman’s statements are representative of what Dems in general believe. That would be incorrect, but at least it would be a response.

    Your latest post was not a “response” to mine. It was a total non sequitur. The only sense in which it “responds” to my post is that I mention Krugman and Norquist, and so do you. You didn’t engage my point; you totally ignored it. That’s not surprising, since going on about how everything proves your thesis about the “one-party state” is easier than admitting you’ve been beaten in an argument.

    You know what really is a sign of the one-party state? It’s the fact that so many conservatives are just as bad at defending their point of view as you are.

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  51. gVOR08 says:

    I’m not at all sure why this is news. For establishment GOPs the anti-gay thing was just a tactic to attract votes from the rubes. It doesn’t work anymore, especially in a place like Oregon. Why wouldn’t they drop it?

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  52. C. Clavin says:

    @superdestroyer:
    Republicans are no longer competitive because they have no new ideas
    Their answer for every economic issue is to cut taxes on the rich…which has been shown not to work…repeatedly.
    Their answer for health care is to return to the status quo…which even they admit is unsustainable.
    As we speak they are working on yet another vote to repeal of Obamacare…the 51st, I think. But they have no ideas for an alternative.
    They want to eliminate a woman’s choice and control her reproductive rights.
    Their answer to every single foreign policy issue is to fire up the war machine.
    Their only idea for immigration reform is unworkable…deporting everyone.
    The deny science….and climate change…the biggest single threat we face as a nation and as a world population.

    Yet all you can see…ever…is free government give-aways…and that defending basic rights is pandering.
    We have problems. The Republican party is not the least bit interested in helping to solve them. And that’s why the Republicans are not competitive. It has nothing to do with your racist BS.

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  53. humanoid.panda says:

    @superdestroyer: So why are Kentucky and West Virginia, all-White states, poor and extremely dependent on federal largesse, automatically republican on presidential level? Why are Oregon and Washington, also nearly all-White states, rich and far less dependent on the federal government Democratic? The presence of minority and other takers cannot possibly account for that disparity, because your theory would predict voting patterns to be reversed..

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  54. humanoid.panda says:

    @humanoid.panda: Really, your theory of American politics, simplified is
    * States with significant population of minorities are Democratic
    * States with high proportion of dependents on the Federal Government are Democratic.

    The evidence from the Northwest and the Applachian South totally refutes this prediction, so your go to move seems to be to rant about hipsters and hipster values, but how is it relevant at all to your point? Hipsters who work for a design firm in Portland might be annoying, but they are not dependent. If their hipsterism is what makes them Democratic, that implies that the basic correlation between economic status and voting patterns you hang your hat on is not at all clear-cut, so your theory is yet again shows it has very low to non-existent predictive value.

    The way to fix your theory is of course to talk openly to what you allude to: White race awareness.

    Basically, there are four major social groups in American life: Whites with low racial awareness, Whites with high racial awareness, minorities and libertarian Whites. In states where the first 2 groups outnumber the latter 2 groups, in whatever proportion, Democrats dominate. In states where the latter groups are dominant (i.e the South and and the Mountain West), the Republicans are dominant.
    This division has nothing to do with economics and dependency, because as a general rule, the Whites with low racial self awareness are quite richer and less dependent on the government than Whites with high racial self awareness (libertarian Whites, who tend to be rural, are also quite poorer and and dependent on the government than the low racial self awareness Whites). Since in the foreseeable future, there is no way that the two republican groups will be growing, yes the GOP is in danger of becoming a permanent minority party. However, since I had just demonstrated that economic status is not the great dividing line of American politics you think it is, it has at least two paths forward: to appeal to non-affluent minorities on the basis of social conservatism and religion just as it appeals to race-consious non affluent whites, or to appeal to non race conscious, affluent Whites. In both case, yes, the kind of conservatism you embody is doomed to be on the margins of American political life, but that is more or less its traditional place throughout the 20th century…

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  55. superdestroyer says:

    @Kylopod:

    YOur point is that as along as there is some form of Republican Party that tries to make an issue out of taxes that Democrats also have to make some concessions to tax policy. However, what you seem to skip over is what happens when there is no more Republican Party and the U.S. is a one party state. How high will tax taxes go (such as the very high marginal rates of the 1960’s), how big will the government be (considering that the government is currently on course to consume 26% of GDP with no new program even though Democrats keep proposing new program), and how many more pages will be added to the Code of Federal Regulations.

    Since there is no way for a conservative party to survive in the U.S. given the portion of population that pays federal income taxes, participates in the work force, and works in the private sector, the only question should be what happens when the Democrats get whatever they want. As happens every four years, someone adds up the costs of all of the proposed programs in the party platforms and there is now way the Democrats can pay for all of their proposed entitlements without major tax increases in the future. Of course, the current method of handling that issue is for the Democrats to propose raising taxes on the rich (let someone else do the work).

    I agree with you that the Democrats will massively win in the future but at least I believe that Americans should think about what happens when more than 50% of the population automatically votes for Democrats and the Democrat face the issue of how to fund all of the entitlements that they have been proposing for the last five decades. Look at the current proposal for a guaranteed basic income for all Americans and ask yourself how politics will work when that is passed.

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  56. superdestroyer says:

    @humanoid.panda:

    I have no idea what you mean by racial awareness. The blue collar white family with school aged children living in very close proximity to large numbers of blacks in Alabama or Mississippi or large numbers of Latinos in Texas or North Carolina is much more “racially aware” than a college educated, single white professional living in Portland, the whitest metropolitian area and the whitest inner city in the U.S. It is very easy for single white professional hipsters to look down upon blue collar whites in many areas of the U.S. because those elite-wannabes do you have to think about schools, good homes in good neighborhoods, or how much it costs to now live next to the poor underclass. What is amazing is how much sacrifice that those hipsters demand from those blue collar whites while refusing to make any sacrifices themselves.

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