Fixing the GOP Redux

Stacy McCain has a tongue-in-cheek rebuttal to my post on the Republican Party’s future in which he notes that Sarah Palin graduated college, some non-Southern states voted for McCain, and than some non-rednecks agree with Palin on some issues.

James doesn’t want the Republican Party identified with redneck opponents of illegal immigration (like that illiterate hillbilly Mark Krikorian) and he doesn’t want the GOP identified with dimwitted foes of abortion (like that inbred peckerwood Pope Benedict XVI). And heaven forbid any Republican should side with a knuckle-dragging homophobe like Antonin “Bubba” Scalia in dissenting against the gay-rights agenda.

There’s a very powerful wing of the Republican party that’s anti-intellectual, anti-science, and anti-education.   Highfalutin book learning is a poor excuse for the common sense of Real Americans like Joe the Plumber.  Evolution is just a “theory” perpetuated by egghead scientists and should be presented as just one alternative view alongside the idea that God said “poof” and made Adam and, the next day (from one of Adam’s ribs) Eve.   Universities are places where librul professors like Ward Churchill seek to undermine the hard work of parents and turn our kids into America hating Commies.

The Deep South plus Texas is the Electoral College base of the GOP now.   Yes, we won most of non-coastal states in the West; unfortunately, they have small populations and, thus, numbers of Electors.  And we’re losing the intellectual centers even in Red States.  Austin, Athens, Research Triangle, etc. are all Democrat these days. (We held Tuscaloosa, however.  Roll Tide!) [Correction: Actually, Obama won Tuscaloosa proper overwhelmingly (62 to 38) but lost Tuscaloosa County (44-56).]

The GOP is doing a decidedly hamhanded job of handling illegal immigration, turning a no brainer of an issue — enforcing the damned law — into a cultural war against the 2nd largest and fastest growing demographic in the country.  It’s long since cost us California, with which we’d almost instantly be transformed back into a majority party.  Reagan, Nixon, even Bush 41 carried California until the anti-immigrant backlash of the late 1980s/early 1990s.

I’m pro life and think Roe a Constitutional abomination.  As a matter of law, though, it’s a done deal.  The fight, therefore, has to move beyond making it illegal to making other alternatives — including avoiding unwanted pregnancies to begin with — more acceptable.  Again, this is a winner of an issue for the GOP but it’s being pursued in the wrong way.

Scalia, ironically, has carved out the proper path for religious conservatives on gay rights, namely, that the judiciary shouldn’t impose its will in preference to society’s judgment on moral issues absent fundamental rights outlined in the Constitution.  If society believes that “marriage” is an institution that should be reserved to one man and one woman, then it has a right to withhold its blessing from other unions.   Over the medium term, however, I think this is a losing issue in that society is simply not going to see it that way much longer.

More fundamentally, a coalition of Americans who share the most controversial beliefs of Krikorian, the pope, and Scalia is too small to govern.  It may be able to win the White House, narrowly, for a while if the stars align properly.  But without expanding the tent, it’ll never manage to get beyond the narrow margins of the last eight years.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Steve Verdon says:

    It may be able to win the White House, narrowly, for a while if the stars align properly.

    Cthulhu ftaghn!

  2. Steve Verdon says:

    More seriously though, I agree with you. If the Republican party wants to remain relevant in the future it is going to have to come to terms with relegating abortion, homosexuals/homosexuality, and illegal immigration to lesser positions in the party platform and possibly even eliminate them altogether, or looking at alternative ways to addressing these issues.

    I’m not sure that this can be done. These seem to be the current base of the Republican party a party which was all too happy to see the libertarian-esque wing of the party pack up and leave, or if they were going to stay, STFD and STFU.

  3. RW Rogers says:

    Surely you aren’t arguing that any of these issues were given more than passing reference in the recent national election. How many of the statewide elections for senator or governor featured these issues?

  4. Michael says:

    I am looking forward to watching what seems to be the Great Republican Flame War. This is going to be fun.

    If the Republican party wants to remain relevant in the future it is going to have to come to terms with relegating abortion, homosexuals/homosexuality, and illegal immigration to lesser positions in the party platform and possibly even eliminate them altogether, or looking at alternative ways to addressing these issues.

    Good luck trying to get the base to abandon a method they feel strongly about imposing, to achieve a goal they have long since stopped caring about.

  5. odograph says:

    There’s a very powerful wing of the Republican party that’s anti-intellectual, anti-science, and anti-education. Highfalutin book learning is a poor excuse for the common sense of Real Americans like Joe the Plumber. Evolution is just a “theory” perpetuated by egghead scientists and should be presented as just one alternative view alongside the idea that God said “poof” and made Adam and, the next day (from one of Adam’s ribs) Eve. Universities are places where librul professors like Ward Churchill seek to undermine the hard work of parents and turn our kids into America hating Commies.

    YIKES!

  6. Jeffrey W. Baker says:

    Republicans can start winning again when they dump all those dumb issues that James mentioned. Democrats have long forgotten about gun control. They just don’t care any more, and it helps them at the ballot box. Same thing applies to the other side.

  7. ken says:

    Democrats have long forgotten about gun control.

    Sad, but true. The lobby for gun violence is too strong and cannot be defeated at the ballot box.

    Perhaps if the murder and mayhem perpertuated by gun owners goes on long enough decent people will start calling for gun regulation, as specified in the Constitution, be finally implemented.

  8. Brett says:

    knuckle-dragging homophobe like Antonin “Bubba” Scalia in dissenting against the gay-rights agenda.

    I think Scalia is a knuckle-dragging homophobe, particularly since he brought up that little nugget about the “gay agenda” in reference to a case concerning the right of gay couples to practice sodomy in their private homes.

    Scalia, ironically, has carved out the proper path for religious conservatives on gay rights, namely, that the judiciary shouldn’t impose its will in preference to society’s judgment on moral issues absent fundamental rights outlined in the Constitution. If society believes that “marriage” is an institution that should be reserved to one man and one woman, then it has a right to withhold its blessing from other unions. Over the medium term, however, I think this is a losing issue in that society is simply not going to see it that way much longer.

    Ah, but there’s the rub – “moral issues absent fundamental rights.” There were probably a lot of people who thought that preventing miscenegation was a “moral issue” before Loving v. Virginia ended it.

  9. Anderson says:

    Every 4 years, I’ve been anticipating the GOP split between the religious fundamentalists and the free-market (= corporate welfare) fundamentalists. But it never comes to pass.

    So I’m reluctant to believe it’s finally going to happen.

  10. Jamie says:

    I think most Republican voters already understand that social conservative positions are merely a litmus test for a candidate’s character.

    Abortion will never be outlawed, homosexuals are only going to gain more rights, and illegal immigrants are going to keep coming into the country because there will always be employers willing to pay them. Only the farthest fringe of the Republican party believesany of this can bechanged.

    At the same time, the poobahs of the party, who are much more liberal than the faithful who actually vote for the candidates, put up too many squishy conservatives like McCain, Dole, and Bush 41 because they are terrified of some pat Buchanan-like pitchfork populist stirring up the yokels and stealing the nomination.

    What it boils down to is the party elites are not fond of the party voters. someone is going to have to compromise and frankly, I think it is the elites. When rank and file Republicans do not like the candidate–McCain–they stay home and we get four years of Barack Obama.

  11. Wayne says:

    Since everyone is speculating why the Republicans lost here are my two cents worth. The reason the Republicans lost was they lost their conservative values. They try to coop some left issues in order to get some votes and ended up losing more. The spent like drunken sailors and look like Democrat light for the most part. McCain was a prime example. Most of the big ballet initiatives that were up for votes went the conservative way including a couple in California. It is not the conservative principals losing out but the lame candidates we put up to attract the so call middle.

    In two or eight years when the country is in a mood for a change again, all these “speculations” will be repeated just like it has done so many times before.

  12. LFC says:

    Wayne said… Since everyone is speculating why the Republicans lost here are my two cents worth. The reason the Republicans lost was they lost their conservative values.

    I’ll sorta’ disagree with that. The problem with the Republicans is not so much that they lost their values as much as they are simply viewed as incompetent. (You might be counting competence as a conservative value, though.) Two failing wars, Katrina, the financial crisis … that’s a whole lotta’ f***-up.

    I think the majority of this country tends towards competence, and it would be willing to move either right or left (though not way right or left) to get it.

    The GOP held on by its fingers by using the fear card after 9/11 to overwhelm the need for competence. “Vote for us, or you’ll die!” But now many people who did vote for them no longer feel that they can trust the GOP to keep them safe, so they have moved away. If Obama proves himself to be competent (I think this is highly likely) and Reid/Pelosi don’t screw up too badly (not as likely), it will be very tough era coming up for Republicans.

  13. LFC says:

    I just ran into this interesting post that shows that evangelicals were a bigger part of the Republican vote than in 2004.

    This may be a strong indicator of which way the GOP is headed.

  14. Deanna says:

    Until this party gets over the Sarah Palin fetish it is going to suffer from members moving away. While her parents may have been happy to breed for stupid, there is no reason why the Republican Party should have to tolerate her brand of politics that rejoice in ignorance and pander to the stupid.

  15. Steve Verdon says:

    Good luck trying to get the base to abandon a method they feel strongly about imposing, to achieve a goal they have long since stopped caring about.

    Yes I know, that is why the first sentence of the very next paragraph starts with, “I’m not sure that this can be done.”

    Anderson,

    Every 4 years, I’ve been anticipating the GOP split between the religious fundamentalists and the corporate welfare fundamentalists. But it never comes to pass.

    There fixed it for ya. The libertarian part of the party has long since left the building, by and large or at best have zero ability to influence the party. Using the term “free market” even as a euphemism is just insulting to those of us who actually think there is something to the idea of a free market (i.e. no corporate welfare).

  16. Triumph says:

    Fixing the GOP Redux

    The GOP is not “broken.” Everything is fine, so lets just drop this discussion ASAP

  17. Michael says:

    Well since we’re all arm-chair party builders here, I’ll going the fray and give my expert opinion on why the Republican party lost this election:

    They got fewer votes.

    Now, this is going to be a controversial position, I know, but hear me out. For all the talk about huge increases in Democratic voter registration, they didn’t turn out all that many more voters this year. The GOP, however, managed to turn out less voters.

    Now I’m not saying that a better GOP turnout could have changed the result of the election, but it could have made it a close loss instead of a blow out. McCain did a lot of things wrong, like Palin, the campaign “suspension”, and Joe the god-damn Plumber, but I don’t think any of that swayed enough people to account for his loss. Ultimately, I think too many people just didn’t care enough about him to do anything to help him. Both the people that loved the choice of Palin and the people that hated it voted for McCain, and even combined it wasn’t enough, so trying to split the party over that issue is perhaps the stupidest idea of all.

    In the end, this isn’t a referendum on the GOP platform like some on both sides would like to think. It was a small shift in voter affiliation and turn out, not a mass rejection of the platform. The country’s demographics have been drifting left for a while now, and that shows no sign of stopping, so James’ advice is still apt, because people are rejecting the Republican platform, it’s just been in a trickle not a flood.

  18. Anderson says:

    The libertarian part of the party has long since left the building, by and large or at best have zero ability to influence the party. Using the term “free market” even as a euphemism is just insulting to those of us who actually think there is something to the idea of a free market (i.e. no corporate welfare).

    Fair enough.

  19. I don’t accept the premise. The Big Tent argument is that Republicans should engage in the same kind of identity politics as Democrats, by compromising principles and offering goodies out to build a 50% + 1 majority and then screw the other team.

    I’d rather see a return to principles (limited government, enumerated powers, national sovereignty with respect to laws and borders, responsible budgeting, a federal republic, etc.) and educate the masses to understand why this stuff matters. People used to get it, no reason that can’t get it again unless we don’t try.

  20. odograph says:

    I’d rather see a return to principles (limited government, enumerated powers, national sovereignty with respect to laws and borders, responsible budgeting, a federal republic, etc.) and educate the masses to understand why this stuff matters. People used to get it, no reason that can’t get it again unless we don’t try.

    Neat list, but it’s a non-social movement. Actually in both senses of non-social: it does not recommend social norms, nor does it benefit from wedge issues.

    Maybe that’s an interesting question … was this the election cycle in which wedge issues failed?

  21. Joe R. says:

    If society believes that “marriage” is an institution that should be reserved to one man and one woman, then it has a right to withhold its blessing from other unions.

    I always thought that people had rights, not societies.

  22. Michael says:

    I always thought that people had rights, not societies.

    Your assertion being that people have the right to the same legal privileges we offer to married couples?

  23. tom p says:

    And we’re losing the intellectual centers even in Red States. Austin, Athens, Research Triangle, etc. are all Democrat these days. (We held Tuscaloosa, however. Roll Tide!)

    Uhhhh, James, not to burst your bubble but… this just in from the Tuscaloosa News:

    “Bill Maher said something to the effect he would believe race had not played a role in the 2008 presidential election “When Tuscaloosa, Alabama, votes for Barack Obama.”

    Well, guess what, Bill, our fine city of 80,000 or so on the banks of the lovely Black Warrior River, went overwhelmingly for Obama, 62 percent to 38 percent, by my preliminary, rough estimate.

    Now it is true that Republican John McCain carried Tuscaloosa County 55.5 percent to 44.4 percent, but within the city limits of Tuscaloosa, which is a majority white city and the home of the University of Alabama (whose Crimson Tide football team is ranked number one in the country, in case you haven’t noticed),”

    Which I guess, only reinforces your point.

    ps: I would provide a link, if I could ever figure out how to work the link button!!! One of these days I will get my geek GF to help me with it. In the meanwhile, AS provides one over at the Daily Dish.

    pss: GO MIZZOU!!! (I know, i know, I become more and more like a cub fan every day)

  24. Michael says:

    ps: I would provide a link, if I could ever figure out how to work the link button!!! One of these days I will get my geek GF to help me with it. In the meanwhile, AS provides one over at the Daily Dish.

    Quick HTML lesson:

    <a href=”http://you.url/here”>Your Link Text</a>

    Put that in the your comments and you get: Your Link Text

  25. tom p says:

    Many good points, but it is late for me, so I will only touch on a few:

    Every 4 years, I’ve been anticipating the GOP split between the religious fundamentalists and the corporate welfare fundamentalists. But it never comes to pass.

    There fixed it for ya. The libertarian part of the party has long since left the building, by and large or at best have zero ability to influence the party. Using the term “free market” even as a euphemism is just insulting to those of us who actually think there is something to the idea of a free market (i.e. no corporate welfare).

    Steve V, I love ya (no not that way) The real problem is not Gov’t, or “Big Business”, it is the incestuous(sp?) affair going on between them.

    odograph:

    Maybe that’s an interesting question … was this the election cycle in which wedge issues failed?

    An interesting question, but the answer depends upon which side of the issue one layes on. 3(4?) anti gay measures passed, 3 anti abortion measures failed… I am with James on this one. Abortion is a dead issue. Gay marraige soon (10 yrs?) will be.

    LFC:

    I think the majority of this country tends towards competence, and it would be willing to move either right or left (though not way right or left) to get it.

    Dead on. The vast majority of this country view the last 8 yrs as an utter disaster (this includes a sizable # who voted for McPain, just look at Bush’s approval ratings)

    That is why Republicans lost this election. But if you look at the #s, you can see why they will continue to lose elections for the forseeable future: The youth vote, largely went Obama. The minority votes… Obama.

    White-southern-middle class/lower class-evangelical voters… They are the new minority. It was good for a cycle or 2, but the free ride (50% + 1) is over.

    Charles:

    I’d rather see a return to principles (limited government, enumerated powers, national sovereignty with respect to laws and borders, responsible budgeting, a federal republic, etc.) and educate the masses to understand why this stuff matters. People used to get it, no reason that can’t get it again unless we don’t try.

    Ain’t saying they ever really got it…. but it is a start.

    Michael:

    I always thought that people had rights, not societies.

    Your assertion being that people have the right to the same legal privileges we offer to married couples?

    No, but we could start by offering persons the same rights as corporations

  26. tom p says:

    Quick HTML lesson:

    Your Link Text

    Put that in the your comments and you get: Your Link Text

    Michael, you give me way too much credit. I mean, I looked at that and said “Huhhhh???? In my world, when things aren’t right, you hit it with a BFH and then everything works.

    Thanx for trying tho.

  27. Ben says:

    Even though I think abortion is icky (sorry, Atrios!) I’m still pro-choice, but I have to say that I think letting the abortion issue go would be a huge mistake for Republicans. I’m under the impression that there’s a non-insignificant number of Americans who are basically Democrats on economic issues, but vote Republican because of the life issue. If that’s correct (and I’m not sure that it is), wouldn’t that be disastrous for the GOP.

  28. James Joyner says:

    tomp: Thanks. I did a quick search but only found Tuscaloosa County, not the city. I fully expected it to have gone for Obama, as the University is so dominant and has been for the Democrat for as long as I can remember.

  29. Michael says:

    No, but we could start by offering persons the same rights as corporations…

    Corporations can’t marry.

  30. G.A.Phillips says:

    Perhaps if the murder and mayhem perpertuated by gun owners goes on long enough decent people will start calling for gun regulation, as specified in the Constitution, be finally implemented.

    lol, hey Ken.

    Good God this is sad, Is it the High priced books full bullsh-t, oops I meant donkeypoop learning, that has corrupted all your minds and spirits?

    Now If you believe in slavery, evolution, murdering the unborn, and rights for the perverted and the unnatural why not just join the Democrat party and try to get them to cut taxes and limit government.

    Trained to believe in what fools tell you, evidence be damned, history be forgotten, what a sad sad way to view the world.

    ps: I would provide a link, if I could ever figure out how to work the link button!!! One of these days I will get my geek GF to help me with it. In the meanwhile, AS provides one over at the Daily Dish.

    don’t know much about the link button, I copy a link then past it, it works for me, but ask Micheal, he is smart on those functions.

  31. G.A.Phillips says:

    Corporations can’t marry.

    why not? so those who get off on similar sex organs should be able to but those who get off on similar tax loopholes should not, man And I thought you was a liberal.

  32. odograph says:

    Me:

    Maybe that’s an interesting question … was this the election cycle in which wedge issues failed?

    Tom:

    An interesting question, but the answer depends upon which side of the issue one layes on. 3(4?) anti gay measures passed, 3 anti abortion measures failed… I am with James on this one. Abortion is a dead issue. Gay marraige soon (10 yrs?) will be.

    It’s true that Prop 8 attracted huge activity and funding out here in California. I guess I knew that in part of my mind … but it didn’t feel like it moved the general population to the right. People I’d regard as serious Republicans were pretty much exhausted and depressed by time the election rolled around … for the same surface causes everyone cites: Palin and economy.

    So there were people out there picketing for 8, but not as mobilized for McCain.

    As someone who doesn’t think 8 was a terribly important issue (either way), it was an odd thing. Surely war, or economy, or something, should attract more attention …

  33. G.A.Phillips says:

    There’s a very powerful wing of the Republican party that’s anti-intellectual intellectual, anti-evolution based theoretical science for a religious substitution, and anti-evolutionary theoretical science religion indoctrination education.

  34. odograph says:

    I think, G.A., it’s a question of whether it’s conservative to stick to 18th century ideas, growing out of the Scottish Enlightenment, or to pine for earlier, less tolerant times.

    To me some of the anti-intellectualism is a roll-back of things conservative for 200 years.

  35. G.A.Phillips says:

    To me some of the anti-intellectualism is a roll-back of things conservative for 200 years.

    hmmm very interesting, Here be my idea:

    A series of debates in prime time on national television, the scientists of creation, and apologetics, vs. the scientists of evolution. from all fields to show the evidence from both sides. then we let the people decide so that we might all stat anew or have at lest the view of both sides that I do.

    But it will never happen, the so called real scientists fear the truth as much as they fear honest and open debate.

  36. John Cole says:

    I’d rather see a return to principles (limited government, enumerated powers, national sovereignty with respect to laws and borders, responsible budgeting, a federal republic, etc.) and educate the masses to understand why this stuff matters.

    Where is this fantasy world? Where were these principles ever acted on? During the exploding deficits of the Reagan years? During the Bush years? Where did you stand on the Schiavo legislation? Or the Patriot Act? Where exactly were the Republicans practicing the principles of limited government? Were the raids by the feds on medical marijuana operations in California part of a respect for federalism? Where did the Republicans stand on that?

    A return to principles should read “a return to fiction,” because the only time the Republicans ever hold these “principles” is when they are out of power and decided they have to go back to their “roots.” And then they get elected, and blow everything up again.

    And how exactly do you intend to educate “the masses,” when your party is overtly hostile to every institution of education, and when we are told that education is elitist? Isn’t even the use of the term “masses” an elitist turn in the party of Palin and pig ignorant Joe the Plumber?

    Damned fantasy world.

  37. odograph says:

    The problem with that is that while there are take-no-prisoner types on the extremes, there are also moderates who find Religion and … basically empiricism … compatible.

    I’d actually prefer an integration of sorts, and less conflict. I am not a Catholic, but I can see their statements on evolution as that kind of rational framework:

    Today, the official Church’s position remains a focus of controversy and is fairly non-specific, stating only that faith and scientific findings regarding human evolution are not in conflict, though humans are regarded as a “special creation”, and that the existence of God is required to explain the spiritual component of human origins.

    I know that the religious feel the slings of the militant Atheists on the evolution front, but they don’t really own the issue. Not really.

  38. odograph says:

    (My last post was responding to G.A., sorry for the confusion …)

  39. […] James Joyner: […]

  40. eyelessgame says:

    There’s a very powerful wing of the Republican party that’s anti-intellectual, anti-science, and anti-education.

    This liberal Democrat honestly wants you, and yours, to prevail over such as those. Because the reality is that sometimes our nation elects a Democrat, and sometimes we elect a Republican; when the Republican is conservative, I fear only for my priorities; when he is anti-intellectual, anti-science, and anti-education, I fear for my country.

  41. Mike says:

    Step one in the Republican Reformation: Can y’all starting calling the Democratic Party by its proper name? “Democrat Party” is childish name-calling, like saying “Papist” instead of “Roman Catholic”.

  42. tom p says:

    No, but we could start by offering persons the same rights as corporations…

    Corporations can’t marry.

    Michael, they can merge, and I suppose they can receive a death sentence (see Arthur Anderson) but I’ve never seen a corporation doing time in prison.

  43. tom p says:

    don’t know much about the link button, I copy a link then past it, it works for me,

    GA: Duuuhhhh… So simple, why didn’t I think of that? Because I am a computer idiot.

    thanx!

  44. Grewgills says:

    tomp,

    re: links the easy way
    James (or his designers) have made this an easy and HTML free thing.

    1) highlight some relevant word in your text
    2) hit the link button above the dialogue box you are typing your comment in
    3) paste or type your link into the dialogue box that appears
    4) press OK

  45. G.A.Phillips says:

    I know that the religious feel the slings of the militant Atheists on the evolution front, but they don’t really own the issue. Not really.

    The doctrine of the fanatical evolutionists permeates all of main steam everything, it’s is my hope to put so called fact against so called fact so that we can all judge for ourselves what the so called facts are, this is the only way to determine what so called intellectuals are up to intellectually and if their Fields of study have any meaning or purpose in shaping our perception of reality.

    But then again what do I know, I always seem to go for the easiest solutions and poopoff the so called smart people,and as I have said it’s not going to happen and why.

    oh and beleive it or not it has much to do with the destuction of the GOP.

    oh and that I respect the Catholics for their will and want to worship God, the doctrine of the Catholic Church holds no sway in what would shape my understanding, I read the KJV and pray for the Holy spirit to guide me.

  46. G.A.Phillips says:

    GA: Duuuhhhh… So simple, why didn’t I think of that? Because I am a computer idiot.

    lol me too and no prob,and look Grew has told us both how.

  47. odograph says:

    The doctrine of the fanatical evolutionists permeates all of main steam everything, it’s is my hope to put so called fact against so called fact so that we can all judge for ourselves what the so called facts are, this is the only way to determine what so called intellectuals are up to intellectually and if their Fields of study have any meaning or purpose in shaping our perception of reality.

    I gave you the rational alternative, and you rejected it, right?

    I didn’t call anybody “so called” anything. I spoke to the middle, and those who do not find conflict.

    What’s the line from the Godfather? I was out and they pull me back in again? Stop trying to pull me into your Culture War. I don’t want it, and I don’t need it.

  48. odograph says:

    BTW, the American Lutheran Church of my youth is gone through a merger (how American is that!), but the Evangelical Lutheran Church In America states:

    The ELCA doesn’t have an official position on creation vs. evolution, but we subscribe to the historical-critical method of biblical interpretation, so we believe God created the universe and all that is therein, only not necessarily in six 24-hour days, and that he may actually have used evolution in the process of creation.

    Would it be fair for me to generalize, and say that the Religious Right think they speak not only for Real Americans, but Real Christians as well?

  49. tom p says:

    lol me too and no prob,and look Grew has told us both how.

    Thanx Grewgills!! Now you all will be subjected to totally pointless links (like this one) as I practice, practice, practice…

    It’s the only way I ever remember anything with this stuff.

  50. tom p says:

    AHAH!!! It works!!! (even for me, I swear to God, computers have it in for me, someday soon I will exorcise their demons)

  51. […] Fixing the GOP Redux […]

  52. Xanthippas says:

    I’m pro life and think Roe a Constitutional abomination. As a matter of law, though, it’s a done deal. The fight, therefore, has to move beyond making it illegal to making other alternatives — including avoiding unwanted pregnancies to begin with — more acceptable. Again, this is a winner of an issue for the GOP but it’s being pursued in the wrong way.

    Careful. You invite the ire of Ross Douthat for such heresy.

  53. G.A.Phillips says:

    I gave you the rational alternative, and you rejected it, right?

    It depends on your definition of rational and No, just giving you another. plus you said “the” like it was the only one:)

    What’s the line from the Godfather? I was out and they pull me back in again? Stop trying to pull me into your Culture War. I don’t want it, and I don’t need it.

    If you look at it as a culture war, it seems more to me a war of truth vs. fiction and it’s effect on what people are now willing to rationalize still believing themselves to be good persons no matter what they support or ignore. Sorry like I said I rub everyone the wrong way or maybe I’m just not well enough instructed in the art of formulaic argument. But the line from the Godfather was good.

    Would it be fair for me to generalize, and say that the Religious Right think they speak not only for Real Americans, but Real Christians as well?

    No, but it’s hard for me to stay civil and I like to use the tactics of liberals against them, but I do apologize for profiling. Well some of the time.

    so we believe God created the universe and all that is therein, only not necessarily in six 24-hour days, and that he may actually have used evolution in the process of creation.

    My exact reason for the debate I have suggested, it’s the reason I believe that people believe this, I chose to believe the Word of God,but the evidence that evolutionists and creationists keep digging up don’t hurt.

    Oh and just one more observation, the middle of the battlefield is not a good place to stand.

  54. odograph says:

    FWIW, my score at politicalcompass.org is pretty darn center:

    Economic Left/Right: -0.62
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -2.87

    When people see me as “left” that usually says more about them than about me.

  55. odograph says:

    Will Wilkinson points to another one, the World’s Smallest Political Quiz

    I score Centrist there as well.

    Your PERSONAL issues Score is 70%.
    Your ECONOMIC issues Score is 50%.

    Maybe it’s good thing (high time) I de-register as a Republican after all … and yup G.A. that’s where I am, in the middle.

    Of course, your calling it a “battlefield” does not attract me to your position, nor does it encourage me to accept Republican representation.

  56. Michael says:

    A series of debates in prime time on national television, the scientists of creation, and apologetics, vs. the scientists of evolution. from all fields to show the evidence from both sides. then we let the people decide so that we might all stat anew or have at lest the view of both sides that I do.

    Public debates on topics of science don’t work, because for a debate to be constructive the facts must be agreed upon in advance, and only the conclusions are debated.

    If the facts are agreed upon, then the science is already determined. If they are not agreed upon, as I imagine would be the case in debates such as these, then constructive debate is impossible.

    A much better solution would be for each side to make a series of testable predictions derived from their respective theories, and then let the tests be conducted, verified and repeated by both sides, and then hold a public discourse on the outcome of the tests to determine which theory was most accurate in it’s predictive ability. Would you support this, G.A.Phillips?

  57. Michael says:

    Michael, they can merge, and I suppose they can receive a death sentence (see Arthur Anderson) but I’ve never seen a corporation doing time in prison.

    Yes, but Merging and Marrying are totally different legal concepts.

  58. odograph says:

    A much better solution would be for each side to make a series of testable predictions derived from their respective theories, and then let the tests be conducted, verified and repeated by both sides, and then hold a public discourse on the outcome of the tests to determine which theory was most accurate in it’s predictive ability. Would you support this, G.A.Phillips?

    Would you expect every viewer to agree with the outcome? And then for them to expect legisltion based on the result?

    (Some people have been trading those kind of rational, or attempted-rational, arguments for a few thousand years now, without resolution.)

    I’m fine with everyone deciding these questions on their own. I just don’t want them moved into schools or made litmus tests for the conservative party.

    Parents can take their kids to the Churches of their choice, adults can attend the Churches of their choice. It’s a system that works.

  59. G.A.Phillips says:

    A much better solution would be for each side to make a series of testable predictions derived from their respective theories, and then let the tests be conducted, verified and repeated by both sides, and then hold a public discourse on the outcome of the tests to determine which theory was most accurate in it’s predictive ability. Would you support this, G.A.Phillips?

    Sure, sounds like fun, but as I have already explained it ain’t gonna happen.

  60. Michael says:

    Would you expect every viewer to agree with the outcome? And then for them to expect legisltion based on the result?

    That’s the wonderful thing about science, it doesn’t need agreement to come to a conclusion. When the tests are conducted, people won’t be asked whether they agree that the results matched the prediction, they either do or they don’t, regardless of the observer.

    (Some people have been trading those kind of rational, or attempted-rational, arguments for a few thousand years now, without resolution.)

    I’m not talking about arguments, I’m talking about tests. Arguments depend on the observer, tests do not.

    I’m fine with everyone deciding these questions on their own. I just don’t want them moved into schools or made litmus tests for the conservative party.

    But the thing is, the universe doesn’t give a damn what they decide. G.A.Phillips can deny gravity until he’s blue in the face, but he isn’t going to start floating. Stop patronizing people by telling them they can pick their favorite reality.

    Parents can take their kids to the Churches of their choice, adults can attend the Churches of their choice. It’s a system that works.

    Faith is a personal matter, and you should have your choice on where and how to worship, if at all. Science is not a personal matter. Parents can teach their kids whatever they like at home, but in school they should be taught reality, not preference.

  61. Michael says:

    Sure, sounds like fun, but as I have already explained it ain’t gonna happen.

    Yes I know it ain’t gonna happen. But unlike a debate, this solution doesn’t require coordination between the parties. Evolution can (and does) unilaterally make predictions, describe means to test the predictions, and compare its results to its predictions to determine its accuracy.

  62. odograph says:

    I think the thing you miss Michael is that the world is capable of being described many ways … ways that are all self-consistent and consistent with available data.

    It has always been true, and for a couple thousand years, that some can say “it’s what you see, that’s it.” It’s also been true, and for a couple thousand years, that some can say “you just need Faith.”

    I can’t conceive any evolution “test” that wouldn’t come out that way again. And that’s really the beauty of it, because Faith requires Faith. Proof of God would upset His applecart, because no longer would anyone need to make the personal leap.

    Now, that leads us back to why the heck this comes up in a thread about the reinvention of the Republican party. I think it’s because a few people with very specific kinds of Christian Faith are not satisfied with teaching it on Sundays. They want their Faith, and not mine, in public school during the week.

    That is an extreme position, but also one which is extremely arrogant. It gets back the the One True Faith issues that we in the West were supposed to have left behind.

  63. odograph says:

    BTW Michael, you might be interested in this:

    African cichlid fish: a model system in adaptive radiation research

    Those small African fish split into new species very rapidly, sometimes in just a few thousand years, and provide data on evolution which is almost real-time.

    As nature or God intends ….

  64. G.A.Phillips says:

    Economic Left/Right: -0.75
    Social Libertarian/Authoritarian: -1.95

    Your PERSONAL issues Score is 60%
    Your ECONOMIC issues Score is 100%

    Of course, your calling it a “battlefield” does not attract me to your position, nor does it encourage me to accept Republican representation.

    lol, you do what you feel is right, it was just a truthful joke, and thats my scores, I would have liked better questions and or a different answer though.

  65. odograph says:

    I guess by some measures you are here in the middle with me then 😉

  66. G.A.Phillips says:

    Those small African fish split into new species very rapidly, sometimes in just a few thousand years, and provide data on evolution which is almost real-time.

    lol, let me know when it turns into a monkey and not just another fish. Oh and I for one am against experimentation on oscars, one of my favorite pet fishes.

  67. Michael says:

    I think the thing you miss Michael is that the world is capable of being described many ways … ways that are all self-consistent and consistent with available data

    But they all describe the same thing. You can describe a car motor in terms of mechanics or fluids, but you’re still describing the same events, making the same predictions, using the same tests, etc. Evolution and Creationism/ID describe different things, make different predictions, and contain different (or no) tests.

    It has always been true, and for a couple thousand years, that some can say “it’s what you see, that’s it.” It’s also been true, and for a couple thousand years, that some can say “you just need Faith.”

    Yes, but from a truly practical perspective, an explanation for an event that cannot also make predictions about future events is useless. Your car doesn’t run on faith, it runs on physics.

  68. Michael says:

    Those small African fish split into new species very rapidly, sometimes in just a few thousand years, and provide data on evolution which is almost real-time.

    I’m not at all surprised. We see this kind of example all the time. We perform this exact feat as a test of Evolution in high school biology classes.

    lol, let me know when it turns into a monkey and not just another fish.

    So you’d have no issue believing that one species of fish can evolve into another species of fish, but you do have an issue believing that one species of mammal can evolve into another species of mammal, even in the same family?

  69. G.A.Phillips says:

    So you’d have no issue believing that one species of fish can evolve into another species of fish, but you do have an issue believing that one species of mammal can evolve into another species of mammal, even in the same family?

    lol, when did I say that, but if it turns into a barracuda and not A VARIATION OF CICHLID let me know.

    programing is a very different thing then evolving, and hey I thought we we gonna get the experts to do this.

  70. Michael says:

    lol, when did I say that, but if it turns into a barracuda and not A VARIATION OF CICHLID let me know.

    Cichlid is a family, not a species. So again, if you accept odograph’s evidence, then you accept speciation within a family at least, one cichlid evolving into a new species of cichlid. Is that accurate?

  71. G.A.Phillips says:

    That’s the wonderful thing about science, it doesn’t need agreement to come to a conclusion. When the tests are conducted, people won’t be asked whether they agree that the results matched the prediction, they either do or they don’t, regardless of the observer.

    Good golly I almost missed this,wow.

    I’m not talking about arguments, I’m talking about tests. Arguments depend on the observer, tests do not.

    that don’t make no sense.

    Faith is a personal matter, and you should have your choice on where and how to worship, if at all. Science is not a personal matter. Parents can teach their kids whatever they like at home, but in school they should be taught reality, not preference.

    like math and how to read and right not stupid theory and murderous political philosophies spawned by stupid theory.

    But the thing is, the universe doesn’t give a damn what they decide. G.A.Phillips can deny gravity until he’s blue in the face, but he isn’t going to start floating. Stop patronizing people by telling them they can pick their favorite reality.

    lol, gravity was discovered by a >>>>>>> and man what do you call a universe worshiper I forget.

  72. G.A.Phillips says:

    I guess by some measures you are here in the middle with me then 😉

    ya lol, still not a good place to stand.

    That is an extreme position, but also one which is extremely arrogant. It gets back the the One True Faith issues that we in the West were supposed to have left behind.

    and with respect I’m not sure were you got this idea from or what you mean buy it, but I got to get to bed, got to get up early and make some money for the liberals.

  73. Michael says:

    that don’t make no sense.

    Let me try and explain it better then, on the off chance that you’d not being pedantic.

    If a tree falls in the woods, and nobody is around to hear it, it still makes a sound. If there is somebody there but they are deaf, it still makes a sound. If there is someone there who doesn’t want to believe that the tree fell but rather the tree was always laying on the ground exactly where God created it, it still makes a sound.

    The results of a scientific test are what they are, regardless of what you want them to be, and regardless of what you believe them to be.

    like math and how to read and right not stupid theory and murderous political philosophies spawned by stupid theory.

    How to read and write are not facts that you are taught, they are actions you are taught to perform. Math, on the other hand, has a substantial amount of theory, theories are behind almost every complex mathematical concept that gets taught in school.

  74. G.A.Phillips says:

    Oh and one more thing, Its veterans Day, Thank you for my freedom and for what all of you sacrafice for us

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BSJ8rDlBZ_I

  75. G.A.Phillips says:

    The results of a scientific test are what they are, regardless of what you want them to be, and regardless of what you believe them to be.

    OK in the first place reading and writing and math in their various forms are more of a truth then what most people use them for, lol theory that sometimes actually we get proof for i.e. dookypoop and how many votes do you to steal and buy to achieve communism.

    And in the second second place if you apply the truth of this to some the tests I’m sure your talking about you might see that I am right about what I said about what you said.

    My friend, please look at theory and philosophy and see them for what they are for change.

    And I thought we were going to let the experts do this in front of everyone arrrrr………….

    but I won’t look back here please have the last word.

  76. Dress Left says:

    If you can get people to believe that Earth is 6,000 years old, that the entire fossil record is a plot by Satan, and humans had to avoid being squished between dinosaur’s toes, you can get them to believe anything.

    Thus the Republican base, and love of Sarah.

  77. Michael says:

    OK in the first place reading and writing and math in their various forms are more of a truth then what most people use them for, lol theory that sometimes actually we get proof for i.e. dookypoop and how many votes do you to steal and buy to achieve communism.

    I swear sometimes you just type random words to make your posts longer.

    And I thought we were going to let the experts do this in front of everyone arrrrr………….

    But G.A.Phillips, the experts already have.