Ya gotta love it when Democrats and “Progressives” try to analyze the great failings of the Republican Party and instruct the Republicans on how to resurrect their once fine party. How often have you heard Progressives tell us how much we need two strong parties? Then they proceed to tell us what that second strong party should look like. And the description they give is that it should look almost exactly like the Democratic Party, or perhaps something slightly more progressive than the Democratic Party.

Let’s get this straight. If you want two, or more, strong political parties, they can’t be twins one of the other. There need to be real differences, a choice if you will. But, before we even go there, let’s pause for a moment to get past the hyperbole over the recent election. The Republicans did not get their heads handed to them, no matter what any pundit tries to tell you.

Romney, flawed as he was as a candidate, came within a relatively few votes in a relatively few states of ousting Obama, notwithstanding the current clear advantage to Democrats in the Electoral College. Republicans did not do well in the Senate. Admitted, done. But, there were seriously awful candidates, as there were in 2010, and I’m not saying that the Todd Akins and Sharron Angles of the world shouldn’t be more thoroughly vetted (read eliminated) during the nominating process. Republicans held the House. The excuse here is gerrymandering, but that’s basically nonsense. Districts are always gerrymandered. Of more note is Republican strength at the state and local levels where future leadership will come from.

Self examination is in order. This is true whenever a party loses the most important races, in this case Presidential and Senate. But, the self examination needs to be exactly that, self examination. It does not mean allowing the other party and their partisans to define you or your path forward. It does not mean dropping to bended knee to beg forgiveness for not being more like Democrats. It does not mean flushing away core values like fiscal responsibility, low taxes, minimal regulatory intrusion into personal and business life, strong defense and the projection of power as part of a consistent foreign policy.

I look forward to hearing from the Republicans who they are and who they will be going forward. That doesn’t mean I will agree in every particular or that they will bring me back to the fold or even get my vote next time round. What I don’t look forward to is the next progressive pontification on what the Republicans should do and be. Those progressive voices need to have their collective memories jogged. They were almost this arrogant after the election of 2008. Remember 2010? We do need two, or more, strong parties. They do not need to be Tweedle-De and Tweedle-Dum.

ELIJAH SWEETE
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The_Ohioan
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The_Ohioan
3 years 10 months ago
Absolutely true. R & R got 59 million (59,000,000) votes as did M & P. That means somebody sees a difference in the parties. If they didn’t like what they stand for, they wouldn’t vote for them. All the Reps need to do is widen the tent a smidgen and they will take first prize. Far be it from me to help them. As far as getting electoral votes, that’s going to take more effort in the places that have big electoral prizes. Voter suppression didn’t work this time, but it’s well on its way to work in the future.… Read more »
Moose McNuggets
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Moose McNuggets
3 years 10 months ago
The economy is the one ground upon which all Americans meet, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, religious orientation, or anything else. If the Republicans want to start winning again, they need to focus exclusively on this common ground and get out of the social issues business entirely. For years Republicans have accused Democrats – not without cause – of playing identity politics. What Republicans failed to notice is that over the same period they became the masters of identity politics. It didn’t work for Democrats in the eighties, and it won’t work for Republicans in the twenty-first century. It’s… Read more »
StockBoyLA
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StockBoyLA
3 years 10 months ago
I’ve often called for the Republicans to be sensible and become a strong party. I think the US is strongest when everyone has a say. I think progressive views on the safety nets should be countered with the fiscal responsibility views of conservatives. Unfortunately the strengths the Republicans gave had as a party go away when they are in power. Instead of acting fiscally responsible they give gifts to their rich donors and insist the middle class pays for it, while leaving the poor in the streets, homeless and without tools to raise themselves up. So yes, I’d like to… Read more »
Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist
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Just a quick, off-the-cuff answer (Others probably will have more analytical, insightful ones): Of course, the anti-abortion-anti-gay-marriage, anti-whatever Americans deserve representation, and they will continue to have such in the form of a Tea Party or of some other ideological party or groups, whether the GOP “walks back” these ideologies — which I don’t think they will — or not. But whether these ideologies continue within the main GOP or in a splinter party or group, they — the ideologies — will not be transformed into laws of the land — as it should — simply because the votes and… Read more »
Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist
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should have been “as they shouldn’t be”

zephyr
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zephyr
3 years 10 months ago
Ya gotta love it when Democrats and “Progressives” try to analyze the great failings of the Republican Party and instruct the Republicans on how to resurrect their once fine party. Maybe so, but it’s not quite as amusing as when republicans try to do it. Of course people whose views aren’t the same as my own deserve to be represented, so long as this isn’t at the expense of human rights or the truth. A party that speaks primarily for well heeled white people, many of who seem to believe the working poor should be ignored isn’t one I feel… Read more »
roro80
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roro80
3 years 10 months ago
Hi tidbits — I was just thinking about the question you pose in comments. While a certain sizable percentage of the country is not on board with (for example) gay marriage, there is also a certain percentage who don’t think gay people should even be allowed to exist — employers should be able to fire them because they are gay, they should be publically shunned, they shouldn’t be allowed healthcare (because they do the sex in that way that’s icky!), they shouldn’t be able to have children, and we should all just agree that they are going to hell and… Read more »
Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist
Member
I now see what your concern is, the preservation of the two-party system. To that I have a very subjective — probably very partisan — answer. Since I am a Democrat, because I honestly feel that the Democratic Party is the better Party,I would not care if the Republican Party became splintered, withered on the vine, or was permanently relegated to a minority status. (To be frank, I wouldn’t mind that) I also feel that, should this happen and the power would corrupt the Democratic Party, the pendulum would swing to the other side and the Reps or whichever form… Read more »
dduck
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dduck
3 years 10 months ago
Nice try at voicing a moderate viewpoint ES. I almost totally agree with you, but disagree with the degree that the Reps lost which i do think was big. They ran a bad campaign with bad social positions, plus they completely are out of sync with women and minorities. Big loss and the EC is like climbing Mt. Everest in a bikini. I know it’s soooo easy to lump all of us together and I do agree that some of the party are knuckle dragging racists, and so on. But, some of us are fiscal conservatives, and for that reason… Read more »
StockBoyLA
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StockBoyLA
3 years 10 months ago
I absolutely believe that Christian values should be represented. I believe that helping the poor, ensuring that “money-makers’ don’t take advantage of others, that people are treated fairly and with respect, and emphasizing peace… I think these are all Christian (at least traditional Jesus Christ Christian) values. I also feel that Christians (and other religions or people) have a right to speak up when their values are being trampled on. However I think it is wrong for ANY group to force their views on others, including anti-abortion, same-sex, etc. I think the proper Christian response (and their might be other… Read more »
dduck
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dduck
3 years 10 months ago

I’ll bet you one value and raise you another value and while you may continue with your lifestyle I’ll value mine more highly.

Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist
Member

Hi Elijah,

Actually I didn’t think my comments were “brilliant” at all — but I’ll take the “compliment”? :)

I was just being brutally frank and — as I said — probably very partisan.

I am a Democrat because I agree with the Party’s platform, especially on social issues. But I do understand that some are very convinced on a “strong two-party system” and I’ll go along with that as long as the stronger party is the Democratic one. (You wanted honest opinions, I am sure?)

Peace, my friend.

roro80
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roro80
3 years 10 months ago
Well, the process is that as racism and anti-gay bigotry become more and more taboo, fewer public leaders will stand up in favor of them, driving them underground, soon to be forgotten. The process is that the GOP will get their rears whooped a couple of times due to these views, and then stop advocating them. With other issues the opposite will happen — take atheism as an example. We as a country only very recently elected an out and proud atheist to the mayor of a major city. Meeting a real atheist 80 years ago was almost unheard of… Read more »
Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist
Member

@Elijah:

I was too late to add/edit my previous comment, but yes, if Texas secedes, I want Austin to secede from the new Republic of Texas and become an independent state, just like Andora, or Monaco, or Liechtenstein, or San Marino, or …

roro80
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roro80
3 years 10 months ago

Kind of on a similar note, one of my favorite feminist writers compares fighting for social justice to trying to empty the ocean with a teaspoon. Some days you go at the task with vigor, with other spoon-whelding allies and friends, and some days the bigness and futility of the task makes you want to give up, sit on the beach, and cry. But everyday you wake up with the choice: to let that ocean just sit out there and storm, or pick up your spoon and get to work.

sheknows
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sheknows
3 years 10 months ago

I hate to be a bother, but could someone please tell me why we cannot leave a comment on Patrick Edaburns articles today? This has happened before and tech support has not responded.

zephyr
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zephyr
3 years 10 months ago
Well, Elijah, I just typed up a response to your comment and lost it again. I have a new laptop and am still getting used to the keyboard. It seems to have a mind of it’s own – highlighting paragraphs, redirecting the cursor at random, and sending my words into the ether. I hope I can manage to get used to it. I appreciate your desire to provoke thought, especially in the minds of stubborn and opinionated people like myself. With regard to your human rights example, I strongly believe the govt has no business making decisions about abortion in… Read more »
StockBoyLA
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StockBoyLA
3 years 10 months ago

I believe the Republicans should listen to all Americans and see how their policies fit in with those views. I would welcome a Republican leader asking me, ” What can we Republicans do represent your views? How can we help you succeed?” Not that I expect Republicans to follow every suggestion I have, but I do know that on some issues they can represent my values better than Dems.

zephyr
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zephyr
3 years 10 months ago

Sheknows – I couldn’ leave one either. Not sure why..

ShannonLeee
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ShannonLeee
3 years 10 months ago

Our two party system needs to go bye bye. Time to modify the holy Constitution. Our country has become too diverse for the current system. Let both party’s break up. Force competing interesting to form coalition governments.

I would love to vote for a party that I can actually identify with.

aint gonna happen…too much money in divide in conquer.

slamfu
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slamfu
3 years 10 months ago
I’m getting a bit late into this, but Elijah said ” 30-35% of Americans opposed abortion either in total or with very limited exceptions, 46-47% still oppose gay marriage, roughly 20% identify as evangelical Christian and some unknown (to me) percentage identify as tea party conservatives. If the Republican Party walks back its evangelical-Christian-anti-abortion-anti-gay-marriage-tea-party ideologies, who represents those people?” To my thinking, those people don’t need representation on those issues because they already have the right to engage in them. Those opposed to abortion are free to not have them. Those opposed to gay marriage are free to not have… Read more »
slamfu
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slamfu
3 years 10 months ago

To clarify, not that those people don’t need representation, rather that they have already been sufficiently represented, and are free under the law to pursue their lives according to their beliefs already. If their ability to do so becomes infringed then I would say otherwise.

Dorian de Wind, Military Affairs Columnist
Member

Good points, Slamfu

dduck
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dduck
3 years 10 months ago

Yep.

StockBoyLA
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StockBoyLA
3 years 10 months ago
Elijah, in response to you last set of questions (all very good): Education. There should be national minimum standards. How they are achieved should be left up to the local officials. I support national standards because we are all human and we all advance (learn) at more or less the same rate. Our collective experience tells us what a “typical” 1st grader, 3rd grader, etc. is capable of. When people graduate from high school we all know their basic capabilities (at least we can estimate). National standards also allow textbook publishers to publish books aimed at certain grade levels. Otherwise… Read more »
slamfu
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slamfu
3 years 10 months ago
Yea I can point out some differences there, and something that make sense. I think Hate Crime legislation is sorta silly from an individual perspective, but less sill when taken as a movement of many people that we would like to do something about. FCC imposes rules because they are using publicly leased airwaves. Get on your HAM radio you can say whatever you want. EPA is imposing regulations because all to often businesses engage in the oh so capitalist practice of SOCIALIZING their expenses. Why should I clean up the waste generated by my factory when I can just… Read more »
Dr. J
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Dr. J
3 years 10 months ago
Elijah, I agree with you: I don’t look forward either to further progressive pontifications on what Republicans should do. Progressives seem to misunderstand conservatives thoroughly, and with respect to political strategy their goals by definition diverge completely. But asking them to appreciate the value of the loyal opposition is asking a lot. No one wants debate and controversy, they want sensible policies. For the left, that means leftward policies. For the right, that means rightward policies. For the center, that means moderate policies. It’s only the last group whose interests are served by ensuring a voice for hardliners on the… Read more »
cjjack
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cjjack
3 years 10 months ago
I am neither a Republican nor Democrat, though I was a registered Republican up until about 20 years ago. I voted for Reagan, the elder Bush, and still cast my vote in the “R” column when I feel a candidate deserves my support. I doubt I’ll change my registration away from the current status, but if the GOP wanted to win back my votes, there are a few things they could do. You wrote: It does not mean flushing away core values like fiscal responsibility, low taxes, minimal regulatory intrusion into personal and business life, strong defense and the projection… Read more »
sheknows
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sheknows
3 years 10 months ago

I guess as long as every president we have places his hand on a Judeo-Christian bible when inaugurated, we will always have parties that bring religion into government. That alone has been, and will continue to be the biggest problem in political parties, most notably the Republicans.

StockBoyLA
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StockBoyLA
3 years 10 months ago
For example, outlawing abortion, while an imposition on women, defends actual lives from being murdered in the right wing mindset. Not saying that I agree with that, but it is what conservatives would say. RIght, and I agree with the conservatives that abortion is wrong. I don’t advocate abortion and do not believe in it. However I believe the “murder” issue is fuzzy in some people’s minds, abortion is a complex topic, especially if there are medical considerations/complications for the mother and/or child and I do not believe that anyone who chooses an abortion does so lightly. So while I… Read more »
cjjack
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cjjack
3 years 10 months ago
There is one more thing I forgot to mention. The GOP has been laser-focused on the “job creators” these last few years. Small businesses, entrepreneurs, innovators and intrepid capitalists have been exalted by the Republican Party. There is nothing inherently wrong with that. We are after all a society built on capitalism. Yet most Americans are not “job creators.” Most people have jobs. They do jobs. They work for businesses small and large, and it is their work which provides us the products and services which we enjoy. Today’s GOP offers them almost nothing. If you own a small business,… Read more »
StockBoyLA
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StockBoyLA
3 years 10 months ago

Thanks, slmafu and Elijah.

StockBoyLA
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StockBoyLA
3 years 10 months ago

Cjjack, you’re “forgot to mention comment” about GOP wanting to talk to employers more than the far more numerous employees… interesting observation and good comment. Thanks.

SteveK
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SteveK
3 years 10 months ago

“Fiscal Responsibility”

If anyone… I repeat ANYONE wants to succeed (or at least survive) you have to be “Fiscal Responsibility.” Let’s take that as a given?

Next step: There are people, wanting desperately to succeed, that through no choice of their own are in a position that needs help. Let’s take that as a given?

Next step: Unknown. Some want it to be, “Screw ’em” and others, “Give them a chance.”

I’m on the “Give them a chance” side… Where are you?

sometimes
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sometimes
3 years 10 months ago
If I were a Republican, I too would be wary of advice from the other side. Other things I would do: – I would look at the funders of the party and figure out if they were in it for themselves or for me. Norquist/Koch and Pat Robertson have both strengthened and weakened each other. – I would start applying some of the libertarian principles to the social issues, in a moderate (shocking!) way. So that would mean being pro-choice policy wise though personally against it. – I would not be so afraid to modify tax revenues. Norquist’s pledge is… Read more »
dduck
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dduck
3 years 10 months ago

ES said:
My takeaway. This thread shows the true depth of the partisan divide in the US. We each have our rationale for our views and the policies that impose our views on others who disagree. This applies to liberals and to conservatives…no one has a monopoly on this fundamental aspect of partisanship.From The Moderate Voice
I agree, ES.
Show some respect and perhaps you will get some back in return.

Willwright
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Willwright
3 years 10 months ago
The problem is as I see is as follows. The GOP let the far right into the tent and now they want the tent. This is scaring away a lot of voters and turning off minority voters in ever greater numbers to the GOP. They have painted themselves into a very small corner. If they broaden their appeal they will lose the right and if they don’t demographic changes will make them more irrelevant with each election. I see no easy exit for them. Its going to take some real changes in attitudes, not just slogans, and perhaps several years… Read more »
dduck
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dduck
3 years 10 months ago

W, yes it will take years if the moderate Reps to actually change the party.

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