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State of the Republican Party

Some loosely related threads seen on memeorandum this morning:

  • California’s Republican Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger allows as to how he could conceivably endorse a Democrat as his successor — while insisting that he will himself remain a Republican
  • Texas Republican Congressman Joe Barton likened the Bowl Championship Series, which determines college football’s top division’s national championship, to Communism.
  • Red State’s Erick Erickson repeatedly Twitters that retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter is a child molester who also enjoys the occasional goat. (I could not find independent corroboration of this via Google.)
  • Right Wing News’ John Hawkins takes to the pixels of Pajamas Media to argue that conservatives are hamstrung by being too civil and should be more like the Democrats

Related Posts:

About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He earned a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Pete Burgess says:

    Hawkins is wrong. Dems project their collectivist nonsense through gaining power and letting useful idiots do their bidding. Republicans should remain individualistic, free enterprise promoters, opponents of government growth, low key on social issues, and states rights advocates. Dems will overreach as they always do and Republicans should not attempt to emulate them in any way. Republicans should promote bold issues like The Fair Tax, social security reform, Medicare reform, health care reform and term limits. Stay the course on these issues. The public will eventually see the wisdom of this agenda. If they don’t, they deserve the government they get. The voters in this country are woefully ignorant of economics and civics. When the pain inflicted by liberal ideas gets serious enough, perhaps the public will begin to take serious notice.

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  2. odograph says:

    Republicans should remain individualistic, free enterprise promoters, opponents of government growth, low key on social issues, and states rights advocates.

    Heh, the low long term memory party.

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  3. An Interested Party says:

    Republicans should remain…

    “Remain”? Who would you be referring to? Certainly not the leaders of the Republican Party over the last 8 years…

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  4. Pete Burgess says:

    I should have said “Conservatives.” Over the last 10 years there were very few conservatives in power. The republican party self destructed when it began the Clinton recriminations. It continued to unravel as it became intoxicated with its majority status. Understand something-conservatives tend to be individualistic, not prone to coming together in groups to accomplish their goals. So they tend to do poorly in governing as a group. Doesn’t help our two party system to have a continuously weak party, but it is still a foil to dems who push the pendulum too far one way.

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  5. odograph says:

    In this environment, I think the trend toward greater independent (no party) registration is a good thing.

    One fact is indisputable: Since the 2004 general election, Democrats have witnessed a 15,230 drop in their ranks and there are 1,433 fewer Republicans registered, but the non-affiliated, or so-called “independents,” have soared by 27,205.

    and

    “It’s a nationwide trend,” Republican Chairman Doug McKinney said. “It’s not just in West Virginia. We’re not unique. Remember when Joe Liebermann got elected in ’06. There were more voters who called themselves independents than Republicans or Democrats in Connecticut.

    Of course you might have to be somewhat moderate to take that route.

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  6. Pete Burgess says:

    Not sure if that results in any significant change. As republicans are branded and dems are branded, why wouldn’t independents be branded? (The Party of fence sitters, or no convictions, or aren’t interested enough in politics to declare one side, or any number of less than complimentary names). How does the two party system improve with such a development?

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  7. steve says:

    Since conservatives came to power in the 80’s, if one judges by their actions and not their words, they champion very little of what you propose. They offer lower taxes with the same spending leading to higher debt. They promote social issues on their plank but do little about them once in office. They have carefully avoided any real recommendations for health care and Medicare reform. Social security? They are afraid to touch that one. You also forget to mention foreign policy, perhaps the most important role of govt. How about achieving a prudent foreign policy that recognizes limits on our power and ability to spend forever?

    We desperately need a party that is willing to promote that idea of responsible government. That will generally, but not always mean smaller government and lower taxes. We need to make our allies become responsible for their own defense. Not maintaining huge bases against the Red menace is not a sign of weakness, but rather recognizing the financial burdens. Republicans need to stop reading their own propaganda and realize that we do have the most expensive system in the world by far, and have little extra in the way of outcomes to show for that expense (true also within our own country). They need to offer plans that recognize these problems.

    Steve

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  8. Bill H says:

    “Congressman Joe Barton likened the Bowl Championship Series (…) to Communism.

    He did not. What he said was that it had one trait in common with Communism, in that neither of them could be fixed. I suppose you would claim that I likened humans to pigs if I commented that both of them are living brings.

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  9. odograph says:

    I think independents are less the “no convictions” party, and more the “show me.”

    I’ve known people who have committed to one Party or the other, for life. I’ve tried to explain to them that their vote no longer counts. Their politicians no longer have to satisfy them. For some reason they didn’t get it.

    (It’s fine to always end up with the same party, after a rational process, but to say “I’m X for life” is another less rational thing.)

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  10. Our Paul says:

    Every time I come to the conclusion that our host has a slightly deficient sense of irony he puts together a post that tickles the fun bone, and brings out the Deadly Serious Crowd in his faithful correspondents. Making Frank Lutz the poster boy for the Reservation where Americans dissatisfied with a problem solving and transparent government can reside surely took top honors for the month of April. And on Derby Day we already have a front runner for May with today’s offering!!!

    In the Pantheon of Republican flimflam artists and smear virtuosos today’s offerings are mere pikers, boys playing in a man’s game. Surely we are not comparing Justice Scalia’s famous man on dog pronouncements with Mr. Erickson’s inanities. After all, throwing a hissi fit when falling to a minority on a Court decision is on a higher plane then slamming a retiring Supreme Court justice with innuendos of homosexuality. It does not even approach the art of the whisper campaign, allegedly attributed to Carl Rove, which sank Ann Richards, and brought us a real Christian stud for President.

    Whether the Membership Committee to Pantheon will have time to screen John Hawkins, and his rather weak offering for a chair in the gathering of the immortals is questionable. Newt is always too distracted and self-centered to notice the crowding at the top, and The Hammer is too beset by legal problems to devote efforts in maintaining the purity of the gathering. Perhaps the man with the golden bathtub where all things repulsive are drowned will step in and settle the matter; unfortunately, he is in seclusion and cannot be found.

    The only hope I see is that Hawkins call to arms to the smear and mud crowd drew 374 respondents at last check in at PJ Media and that somebody is smoking some powerful stuff in Pete Burgess (May 2, 2009 | 08:33 am) lair. He leads the Very Serious Crowd with this:

    Republicans should promote bold issues like The Fair Tax, social security reform, Medicare reform, health care reform and term limits. Stay the course on these issues. The public will eventually see the wisdom of this agenda. If they don’t, they deserve the government they get.

    Health Care reform? Last time I checked it consisted of (1) Liberating the Insurance Companies from regulation so they could do a better job. (2) Buying our meds from Canadian pharmacies. (3) Tax free “Health Accounts” where those with money could store more of their money, and make even more money on their stored money.

    That James Joyner has been distressed by the performance of the Republican Party is well known to most of us. Co-blogger Steven Taylor at his shop has a similar series, my own favorites are the November 11th ’08 (the Future of the GOP) and the November 9th ’08 (The Republicans Anti-Intellectualism Problem) posts which can be accessed by scrolling down from the link. There, in a slightly large nutshell, lie the root of the problem…

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  11. […] Congress wastes time on the BCS. (Hat Tip: Outside the Beltway.) […]

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  12. hpb says:

    RE

    Red State’s Erick Erickson repeatedly Twitters that retiring Supreme Court Justice David Souter is a child molester who also enjoys the occasional goat. (I could not find independent corroboration of this via Google.)

    Try search.twitter.com.

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  13. James Joyner says:

    hpb: I saw Erick’s tweets easy enough. I’m referring to Souter’s alleged proclivities.

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  14. Our Paul says:

    My pappy, known fountainhead of wisdom, told me that if you do not get the message the first time, simplify what is presented.

    Thus, if the post is about the State of the Republican Party, Arnold Schwartzenegger (might endorse a Democrat) and Congressman Barton (communism is everywhere) are but warm up acts for what is to follow.

    Erik Erickson’s (redstate.com) contribution on Twitter just simply cannot be defended. You do not smirch a honest and honorable man, such a Justice Sutter, by labeling him a child molester without firm evidence to this fact. James Joyner knows this, and tellingly places friend Eric before the last of our Republican spoke persons.

    John Hawkins (the last of our foursome) column in P.J. Media is aptly summarized by our host as “… argue that conservatives are hamstrung by being too civil and should be more like the Democrats”. Right, as if the current State of the Republican Party can be cured by more vigorous personal attacks.

    Baahh, humbug… I should have skipped my praise for James Joyner sense of irony, and requested a Hallelujah chorus for the arrival of the Swifboaters.

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  15. Grewgills says:

    hbp,

    How hard did you look?
    Google Erik Erickson child goat and there it is.

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