Three Types of Republicans

Jon Henke captures my thoughts nicely: “A Progressive Republican like John McCain is better than a Bush Republican, but it is not the Goldwater Republican for which I hope.”

See the link for an explication of the three types and much more discussion. Missing from the analysis, though, is a retort to the inevitable “Only Ron Paul Loves the Constitution!” commentary. Perhaps a fourth category, Nutty-as-a-Fruitcake Republicans, should have been added.

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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. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.


  1. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    A Progressive Republican is a Democrat.

  2. James Joyner says:

    A Progressive Republican is a Democrat.

    Teddy Roosevelt was a Democrat?

  3. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    Teddy Roosevelt was a Democrat?

    Perhaps, perhaps not. But since he died 89 years ago, how is this relevant?

  4. Perhaps, perhaps not. But since he died 89 years ago, how is this relevant?

    Its totally irrelephant but you’re out of order. So is the plumbing. Please make a note of that.


  5. legion says:

    …but how that irrelephant got into my pajamas, I’ll never know.

  6. legion says:

    But to actually say something on-topic :-), here’s something else from Henke’s article:

    I may be less concerned about McCain because I agree with him on torture, I am closer to him than to many on the Right on immigration, I think he’s right to place more importance on spending restraint than additional tax rate cuts, I agree with him that anthropogenic global warming is real even if we may not agree on the solutions, etc.

    Let’s see… McCain (having actually undergone it) realizes torture is bad & counterproductive, and has some moderate (for the GOP) ideas on immigration. I thought I’d already heard McCain pledge to continue Bush’s tax breaks for the rich (tho I may be mistaken), and I haven’t seen anything of his positions on global warming, but let’s give Henke full credit for the sake of argument. Those are _exactly_ the positions the GOP base is crucifying McCain for now, and will _never_ let him actually implement.

  7. Tlaloc says:

    This raises a kind of interesting point-
    I can think of a good number of quite conservative democrats (granted most of whom are pretty old). I can’t think of any nationally known progressive republicans.

    There are *populist* republicans like Huckabee, but their populism is rooted in a literally theocratic philosophy which is anathema to progressives.

    Why do you suppose that is? Is it because the country really is conservative, as the GOP always claims? Or is it because the GOP has been far more inquisitorial towards those who don’t toe the party line, as dems often believe? Something else entirely?

  8. Dave Schuler says:

    My answer to your question, Tlaloc, is that until fairly recently the Democratic Party was enormously larger than the Republican Party (between, say, 1935 and 1975). Democrats have tried to purge their conservatives just as Republicans have tried to purge their liberals, like Lincoln Chafee or Olympia Snow. Republicans have accepted into their numbers a good number of the conservative Democrats, particularly the Dixiecrats but not all.

    There were so many more Democrats not all of the conservative Dems have left the party. Most of those who’ve left have been social conservatives.

  9. Tlaloc says:

    Yeah, I considered that, along with arguments based on the sourthern strategy and realignment.

    My guess is there are a lot of factors. Maybe the size issue is the first order effect, but I’d bet the others play a role. *shrug* Make an interesting PoliSci thesis.