Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

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Dionne on the Republicans

What do people think of today’s E.J. Dionne, Jr. column on the Republican blood-letting he anticipates? I think he’s right that there are and will continue to be battles within the G.O.P. They will, of course, be exacerbated if there are big losses today, but the kind of focus brought about by defeat (or a close brush with defeat) surely wouldn’t hurt.

Discussions - 8 Comments

Perhaps it’s because I’ve been working a lot on Reconstruction era politics lately, but I think that what we may see post-election (as was the case in post-Civil War America), is that the only interesting and relevant debates that are taking place are those within the Republican party.

The exit polls are the issues, if accurate, are bad. Corruption is rater higher than Iraq as an issue, and the late deciders broke D 60/40.

Note #1,

I agree, but think this has been the case for years.

IMO, the core breakdown is not between which type of "conservativism", but between the conservative base and the liberal big business "country clubers" (who are socialist when it suits them - as in healthcare - and libertarian when it suits them - as in environmental legislation) who are the real leadership in the republican party. This is a conflict between the "insiders" and the base, the voters. As a traditional Christian, I am a Kirkean conservative but I can get along in many areas with my libertarian friend. We both can not get along with the liberals who actually run the party.

I predict the situation to worsen in 2008, when the insiders will tact left and we will get a McCain, Giuliani, or similar candidate. 2010 is our first hope in bringing something resembling conservativism back to the GOP

Something’s busted.

Of course there is going to be political carnage in our ranks. And there SHOULD BE carnage in our ranks.

This party has lost its way, lost its bearings, and has quietly discarded the distilled wisdom of Ronald Wilson Reagan. We’ve embraced the Bush family ethos, and made our peace with soaring federal budgets.

Reagan put in the tomb Rockefeller Republicanism, but Bush pere dug it up, and Bush fils put some lipstick on that corpse, and made it walk the earth.

But it still carried the scent of death about it, despite the rouge and the lipstick.

Rockefeller Republicanism is a losing formula. We can’t enter into a bidding war with the Democrats. We have to offer something sharply different, but fully resonant within America’s soul. And that’s what Reagan managed to do. Not by shirking America’s past, but by fully embracing the rugged individualism of America’s character. NOT JUST IN DOMESTIC MANNERS, but also in foreign affairs.

Americans know that morality is something often defined in action, gun in hand. That’s why we have men like Doc Holliday in our past, as well as the fighting Earp brothers.

GW’s weird embrace of the internationalism proposed by our establishment has caused deep ripples of discontent throughout his party, as well the country.

You are correct, sir.

Anon,

Good post, however I can not blame the dug up corpse of Rockefeller solely on the Bush family. Certainly, they are a big part of it and I have longed for the day when their name is heard no longer. However, K street, bridges to nowhere, Prescription Drug Giveaways, all occurred because too many of the insiders and legislatures are Rockefellers. I am proud decided this election to unhitch their wagon from the GOP...

anon, That was very good and satisfying to read. I want to see the rugged individualism of America’s character and if this defeat will bring it, well and good.


Christopher, I hope this election brings an end to the proposed candidacies of the expected. I hope the GOP sees that it is only in the clear articulation of conservative principles that it has scored any major win in the presidency.

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