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Posted by on Nov 2, 2006 in At TMV | 29 comments

A Republican Leaves His Party In Disgust

Dallas Morning News columnist Frank Schaeffer finally had enough after getting a call from supporters of Senator George Allen of Virginia suggesting Allen’s Democratic foe Jim Webb is a “perverted pedophile.” Schaeffer describes himself as “a Christian, a writer, a military parent and a registered Republican.

And he feels his party has left him.

My wife and I have reached the tipping point. We plan to go to town hall to dump our Republican voter registration and reregister as independents. I don’t care anymore what party someone is in. These days, what I care about is what they’re made of.

Wartime demands leaders with character and moral authority. The political party smearing Mr. Webb proves it has neither.

Details here.

Our suspicion: he will not be alone. Non Bush-faction Republicans and independents will likely cast protest votes on Tuesday due to a host of concerns.

A FEW OTHERS FROM VARYING VIEWPOINTS COMMENTING ON THIS COLUMN: Facing South, Alabama Liberation Front, Dean’s World, Ed Morrissey, Shakespeare’s Sister, Riehl World View, Booman Tribune, The American Street



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Copyright 2006 The Moderate Voice
  • Ryan S

    Hmmm, Dugust? That sounds painfull.

  • Joe

    The typo was fixed. People often do this. If you see a typo it’s best to email me because by the time you’ve left your comment it could be gone. I post something fast (usually as I’m about to go out the door) and then add some other things. Sometimes something slips by me but I usually catch it relatively fast. Sending an email is better than a comment.

  • Ryan S

    NP, Its just something I’d do so I had to make fun.
    That way its burned into the post for ENTERNITY! MUhahaha…

    Our suspicion: he will not be alone. Non Bush-faction Republicans and independents will likely cast protest votes on Tuesday due to a host of concerns.

    I think your right, but I can’t shake this feeling that maybe things won’t turn out as we hope. I hope thats just some irrational failure copeing mechinism talking.

  • Marlowecan

    I would have agreed with Joe’s comment about the Repub. protest non-vote before Kerry’s “Bushism” earlier this week. Now I still agree, but am not so sure…

    The Dem’s know they can only win this one big if lots of Repubs stay home…hence the Foleygate strategy, splitting the evangelical vote (an old Dem. strategy…recall Kerry/Edwards falling all over themselves to bring up Cheney’s lesbian daughter in the 04 debates…or the mass fax of Bush’s DUI days before the OO election).

    The Dem’s know how very important it is not to stir the Repub base. Thus, they have locked up Kerry, and are soft-playing Clinton and Pelosi.

    I wouldn’t place much credence in this particular story, given how this strategy has also been seen in elections past. I recall a piece in the Washington Post just before O4, about how the “soccer Mom” vote was leaving the Repubs, and featuring a lifetime Republican voter and soccer Mom who was now voting Kerry (but, thanks to bloggers, it was revealed that she had been a peace protestor since the 1970s, and even had a website where she had been denouncing globalization, the Repubs and Bush for years).

    Note some of Joe’s links that give more background on this fella and his criticism of the war. Much like that “Marine vet and constinuent beaten by Allen thugs” story the other day, when we look closer things aren’t as they sometimes appear.

    All that said, as a conservative, I suspect Joe might be right here. But has Kerry helped remind the Repub base of how much they hate liberals?

    Int. Repub polls are showing that Kerry impacted the base by about a percentage point. The average House loss for the WH party in an off-term election is 26 seats &the Repubs have a huge spread of vulnerables. Will this percentage point be enough to limit the damage?

  • Elrod

    I don’t think the Republican base matters as much. The Republican base wins if the Independents split down the middle. But Independentsf favor Democrats by 2 to 1. Even if they they show up at fairly low numbers, that’s still enough to push it to the Democrats. And then there’s the Democratic base, which is seething right now. The GOP base may make the difference between losing 25 seats and 45 seats. That matters, to be sure. But it won’t save the House.

  • Mr. Moderate

    I would have agreed with Joe’s comment about the Repub. protest non-vote before Kerry’s “Bushism” earlier this week. Now I still agree, but am not so sure…

    What did you think of Bush’s non Bushismish joke about looking for WMD’s in and around the oval office? Kerry is definitely great at putting is foot in his mouth, but I don’t think that’s a reason to not vote for Democrats. If that is the rationale for not voting for a party, then Bush’s gaffes must make it even more difficult to vote Republican.

  • Ryan

    The Dem’s know they can only win this one big if lots of Repubs stay home

    Actually, I think they know they can win it by capturing the independent/moderate vote. People like Schaeffer will be what puts the Dems over the top, not lockstep Republicans staying home. I don’t see how the Kerry situation will greatly, if at all, affect this.

    As Elrod stated, getting the Republican voters out en masse may mean less losses for the Republicans but it won’t turn the tide.

  • Ryan S, Joe:

    Du gustibus non est disputandam. (Or something like that.)

    Of more consequence, though, I would not look forward to a rush of people heading to the county registrar’s office to reset their party affiliations.

  • Good comment Marlowecan, in general I agree. It is important to note that it could be less, umh, original than thought.

    However, Joe’s point is perfect, in my eyes: whether or not this person is a ‘conservative’ and life long, real republican is irrelevant to the ‘greater development’.

    The bigger picture is that conservatives are fed up with the GOP, feel betrayed and / or even disgusted.

  • Ryan S

    Why am I not put at ease by this .

  • Rambie

    Marlowecan: The Dem’s know they can only win this one big if lots of Repubs stay home…hence the Foleygate strategy… The Dem’s know how very important it is not to stir the Repub base.

    I don’t agree, the moderates &independents will determine the election, not the base of either party. Kerry’s stupid joke may stir up the GOP base a little, but I don’t think it’ll make too many independents change their minds.

    Are you really trying to sell the Dems can only win by using dirty tricks idea?

  • Rudi

    I made a mistake and read Riehl world, the man is deranged and worse. He attacks Frank Schaeffer, whose son served as a Marine in Iraq. I could support the War if the Republican leadership had more Schaeffers and Webbs and less Riehl and Pierce Bush. And the Repub attacked Kerry as an eliteist, look at Barbara Bush and her fine son Neil LOL.

  • Chris

    And check out what’s happening in Kansas
    Our nation’s right wingnut experiment may finally be ending.

  • Marlowecan

    Rambie said: “I don’t agree, the moderates &independents will determine the election, not the base of either party.”

    To clarify, I said that the Dems can only “win this one BIG” if Repubs stay home. The polls indicate the Dems will pick up seats…will likely take the House…the Senate, who knows. But the strength of the Repub GOTV will determine whether this is a marginal win or a ’94 wave echo.

    Rambie said: “Are you really trying to sell the Dems can only win by using dirty tricks idea?”

    It isn’t inaccurate to state that a key Dem. strategy has been to split the Repub base. Has been for years, no question. The Bush DUI is a matter of historical record…and while some might say the Bush National Guard records of Rathergate fame “were fakes that pointed to a larger truth”…they were fakes! I would also point out that the executive producer of “60 Minutes 2” show (no, not Mapes) who OKed the program was a senior advisor to five (!) Democratic presidential campaigns from Humphrey thru Mondale (senior advisor, not a Dem. contributor or spear carrier).

    I don’t think it is “dirty tricks” to remove your controversial figures from public prominence before an election. It just makes sense.

    BTW: One reason I like Moderate Voice is that it is often home to intelligent, strategic thinking Liberals. While all Liberals are going to burn in hell, I would point out the contrast between the smart folks here who recognized his political blunder, and the nutters at DU who cheered and insisted Kerry carry on “speaking truth to power” to the election (I sometimes wonder if Rove isn’t behind DU?!!:) Better quality conversations and comments.

    But yah, Michael’s point above is about right. Conservatives are not happy (I find the House leadership especially embarrassing). The degree of their unhappiness will determine, IMHO, the degree of Dem success next week.

  • Marlowecan

    Oh, and in regard to Dem. dirty tricks, I would point to the incident involving the “Democratic activist” (the Washington Post’s description) who has mounted a stalking campaign of Allen to ask him: “Why did you spit on your wife?”

    As is widely reported, this veteran and constituent was attacked by Allen thugs yesterday.

    Of course, the question he asked is is a matter of grave public concern to constituents. BTW: it has been since denied by Allen’s former wife, but has been rumored on Liberal blogs to be in the sealed divorce papers. (Of course, for these Liberal blogs to to know what is in the papers sealed by the courts would itself be illegal, if not dirty…but as his wife is denying this claim, it would thus just be dirty but not illegal to spread the rumor).

    A series of shots taken from a different angle from the video shown on CNN, today on conservative sites, show the “victim” face an Allen aid and push him in the chest in order that he get closer to Allen to ask him this question (before aides hustle him out of the way).

    Now, of course, the “spitting” rumor has made all the local newspapers.

    To think that control of the Senate could be determined by this Dem. being successful in his admitted campaign to “stalk” and “provoke” Allen.

    Of course the Dems will use “dirty tricks”. Before the age of the blogger, Rather/Mapes would have probably been successful in their use of forged documents to take down a sitting president in a time of war. It almost worked for the Dems before…why not try again.

  • SnarkyShark

    Of course the Dems will use “dirty tricks”.

    Of wich I heartily approve. You want to fight Rove, you have to crawl into the gutter where he lives and get medievil on his furry butt.

    Time for showers after the job is done.

  • Ryan

    Of course the Dems will use “dirty tricks”.

    As will the Republicans. Please don’t pretend this is one sided. Both sides “play the game” and both should be ashamed of doing so.

  • Marlowecan

    Snarkyshark said: “You want to fight Rove, you have to crawl into the gutter…and get medievil on his furry butt.”

    Ah jeez…Man, what an image:

    …crawling in the gutter with Rove and doing things to his furry butt…

    I know you libs are obsessed with the rotund dark lord and master of the universe, but that is a furry butt too far!

    Besides, have you thought he might like it?!! ahahahahahahahaha…

  • Holly in Cincinnati

    I don’t want to hear or think about Karl Rove’s “furry butt” – can we drop this?

  • Pyst

    Instead of commenting about “his furry butt” why not just uppercut him in one of his chins?

  • SnarkyShark

    Please don’t pretend this is one sided. Both sides “play the game” and both should be ashamed of doing so.

    Bullhockey

    I am ashamed that the Dems didnt go after Rove harder in 2004.

    How many more people would be alive.

    Must be quite a view up there on your pedastal though.

    As far as furry butts, I was conjouring up images of a rat for petes sake.

    Dont you people go all John Kerry on me.

    I was not attacking rats, I swear.
    .

  • Kim Ritter

    Snarkey- stop defaming the rats—-I’m not referring to the human one —though he appears more porcine than rodent-like!

  • SnarkyShark

    I’m not referring to the human one —though he appears more porcine than rodent-like!

    Touche!

    Guess I should have went with the Wilbur and Charlotte analogy instead.

    Live and learn.

  • Isidora

    I wouldn’t place much credence in this particular story, given how this strategy has also been seen in elections past. I recall a piece in the Washington Post just before O4, about how the “soccer Mom” vote was leaving the Repubs, and featuring a lifetime Republican voter and soccer Mom who was now voting Kerry (but, thanks to bloggers, it was revealed that she had been a peace protestor since the 1970s, and even had a website where she had been denouncing globalization, the Repubs and Bush for years).

    Frankie Schaeffer isn’t some anonymous soccer mom; he’s been quite well known for decades in certain circles. I’ve read at least one of his books, quite probably more. I’m most familiar with him as a former Evangelical Christian who converted to Orthodoxy, and I know very little of his politics, except for what he himself said in the newspaper opinion piece that Joe linked to, but his father was a very prominent Evangelical theologian, so it surprises me not at all to learn that he has been a lifelong Republican.

  • Rambie

    As will the Republicans. Please don’t pretend this is one sided. Both sides “play the game” and both should be ashamed of doing so.

    Which was the point I was making both sides have their. I didn’t mean to hit a nerve with Marlowecan but to open a dialog about both parties practices.

  • Isidora

    Of more consequence, though, I would not look forward to a rush of people heading to the county registrar’s office to reset their party affiliations.

    Nor would I. I’m sure that this is just a personal thing for him and his wife, but, even if his entire demographic bailed out of the party along with him, what practical effect would it have if Greek Orthodox American writers (all two dozen of them) left the Republican party?

  • Apartment 604

    “Both sides “play the game” and both should be ashamed of doing so.”

    I’m surprised anyone from either side wants to run for office anymore.

  • C Stanley

    Apartment 604 (mail):
    “Both sides “play the game” and both should be ashamed of doing so.”

    I’m surprised anyone from either side wants to run for office anymore.

    I recently heard some analysts say that campaign strategists hate to work for candidates who won’t go negative because they always end up losing. Nice commentary on our current state of political affairs.

    And unfortunately, this environment ends up selecting only smarmy candidates. You might think that ‘good guys’ would have a chance because their opponents couldn’t smear them, but things have gotten so bad that even things like parking tickets can be twisted to make someone look like Charles Manson. So, honest good people are afraid to enter the political arena, because they know that people would find ways to attack them but they don’t want to have to attack opponents and they know they don’t stand a chance that way. Meanwhile, people who have closets overflowing with skeletons are perfectly willing to enter political races because they feel that all they have to do is make the other guy look even worse.

  • C Stanley

    BTW, if you read Ed Morrissey’s take on this story, he thinks that the e-mail that Schaeffer objected to was probably not sent out by Allen’s office (because Ed himself is on the Allen campaign’s mailing list and he didn’t receive this). It will be interesting to see if there is any truth to that, and whether it’s the case here or not, I do think that a lot of campaigns are being hurt by negative campaigning that they aren’t officiallly endorsing. There seems to be no end in sight to that phenomenon.

    Either way, obviously Schaeffer’s feelings weren’t entirely based on that one e-mail and there is plenty of officially endorsed smear campaigning going on too, so his feelings are justified.

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