Sunday, April 26, 2009

GOP's Brewing Internal Rebellion

We have all heard warnings of a impending GOP civil war, between those who believe the party is not conservative enough and those who believe the party should be more moderate. Politico has an article discussing a "rebellion brewing" between the GOP base and its leadership. Money quote:
A quick tour through the week’s headlines suggests the Republican Party is beginning to come to terms with the last election and that consensus is emerging among GOP elites that the party needs to move away from discordant social issues.

... The party’s top elected leaders in Congress, meanwhile, spooked by being attacked as the “party of no,” were recasting themselves as a constructive, respectful opposition to a popular president.

But outside Washington, the reality is very different. Rank-and-file Republicans remain, by all indications, staunchly conservative, and they appear to have no desire to moderate their views. GOP activists and operatives say they hear intense anger at the White House and at the party’s own leaders on familiar issues – taxes, homosexuality, and immigration. Within the party, conservative groups have grown stronger absent the emergence of any organized moderate faction.
While I am an ardent Democrat, I must admit that, during moments of lucidity, I do yearn for a strong and creative Republican minority. This imagined minority, unlike it's contemporary counterpart, would be able to offer constructive alternatives to Democratic legislation, in effect creating a robust dialogue of ideas, strengthening our political system. Unfortunately, the current Republican party is far from providing positive checks and balances to Democrats, and, I believe, that a movement further right, instead of towards a moderate middle, will prolong the party's current political death-spiral (1, 2, 3).


matt said...

unfortunately Drew, i feel that should the republicans be able to mount any kind of unified minority party, even less would be accomplished in washington. the reason i believe this is that the two parties are nearly 100% incompatible with one another, esp with regards to social issues. please note, that it is the left's drift further left that has made the right seem so "extreme". republican social platforms have not changed, and not too long ago, democrats and republicans were much closer with regards to social issues.

some issues (most, in fact) cannot be compromised on, so i say let the party in power do what they will - they earned it. there's hardly any point in debating anymore.

Teri Orlando said...

They should have followed Congressman Perriello around during his campaign. It was a mix of all parties coming together to make the 5th district a better place to live. I, as a proud Republican, was encouraged. It is too bad the rest of the USA cannot follow Tom's way of thinking and dealing with the issues....

Drew said...


I'm not sure the left drifted further left. I'm sure there is a hardening of hearts on both the margins of the left and the right, but for the most part, the Democratic party has drifted towards the center, with the Republican party drifting further right. At least, that is how I see it.

And, while I admire your honesty, your sentiment sounds defeatist. Don't you think a little dialogue between a strong majority and minority party could hammer out better legislation?

matt said...

drew, i have some ideas on why i think the left has drifted further left, but what are the issues on which you think they have drifted towards the center?

and it's not defeatist, it's the logical conclusion to my opinion that there is no common ground to find, or compromise on. and although we know each other only briefly, i think you probably know i'm not one to give up easily.

Drew said...

Off the top of my head and in a few seconds, on immigration, gun rights, and foreign policy Democrats have moved to the center.

Didn't mean to imply that you were defeated. I guess I misread your comment. Sorry.

But to your point, I'm not so sure that compromises aren't available, but, perhaps, that we have politicians who refuse to compromise. Even in our most ardent disagreement, there is common ground.

matt said...

gun rights? left = pro control control, always has. didn't know of a drift center there (for the record, i am for control control as well). anyways, i dont want to debate specific points, but i feel that for many core issues to both parties - abortion, taxes, govt regulation, wealth redistribution (or 'equality') labor, gay marriage, etc. - there really isn't room for compromise without watering down both side's desired outcomes.

we can descent and debate all we want (minority party), but the democrats won, and get their chance at creating their America, just as we would if we would have won. isn't that the point of winning? not everything is all or nothing of course, but for the big ticket items, i think they mostly are.