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One of the penalties for refusing to participate in politics is that you end up being governed by your inferiors. -- Plato (429-347 BC)

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Another View: Conservatives Fractured Response to Romney Defeat

Fighting Republicans
Bill Smith, Editor: While I normally do not share article from the Washington Post. In the following article by Paul Kane and Rosalind Helderman, they have flushed out the battle shaping up in the GOP. Indeed, there will be major conflict between those seeking to win at any cost and those desiring to stand on conservative principles and values. Mitt Romney did not lose because of conservative values and positions offered by other Republicans. He lost because he was himself and not the person that encompassed and connected even with everyone under the GOP tent. Many wished for more from Romney while others feared or cold not commit to Romney for varied reasons. This situation does not mean that Republicans and conservatives attracted to Republicans principles, voted instead for Mr. Obama or another candidate. But this does address why some conservatives did not vote in the Presidential race.

While the old political GOP political guard attacks what they call "bad nominees," as identified in the below article, they also evidence a failure to fully accept that it is the people who select their nominees and not them. If "we the people" wanted centralized control, we would be in the democrat party and not addressing the issues holding back the republican party.

It is also becoming clear to the grassroots that political operatives, be they Republican or Democrat, measure winning as a victory even if that victory compromises values and principles and or leads our country further into socialism or off a fiscal cliff. When glass replaces a diamond in a ring, the value is diminished. When the GOP operatives compromise principles and a conservative platform, their efforts become of little or no value. It is time to "run" towards principles and values verses running towards destructive values and beliefs.

By Paul Kane and Rosalind S. Helderman, WP Politics: Evangelical leaders and conservative activists have a simple message for establishment Republicans about Mitt Romney’s failed presidential bid: We told you so.

After nearly two weeks of listening to GOP officials pledge to assert greater control over the party and its most strident voices in the wake of Romney’s loss, grass-roots activists have begun to fight back, saying that they are not to blame for the party’s losses in November.

“The moderates have had their candidate in 2008 and they had their candidate in 2012. And they got crushed in both elections. Now they tell us we have to keep moderating. If we do that, will we win?” said Bob Vander Plaats, president of the Family Leader. Vander Plaats is an influential Christian conservative who opposed Romney in the Iowa caucuses 10 months ago and opposed Sen. John McCain’s candidacy four years ago.

The conservative backlash sets up an internal fight for the direction of the Republican Party, as many top leaders in Washington have proposed moderating their views on citizenship for illegal immigrants, to appeal to Latino voters. In addition, many top GOP officials have called for softening the party’s rhetoric on social issues, following the embarrassing showing by Senate candidates who were routed after publicly musing about denying abortion services to women who had been raped.

Ted Cruz, a tea party favorite, trounced Texas’s establishment candidate in a primary on his way to becoming the second Hispanic Republican in the Senate, and the battle he waged in the Lone Star State epitomizes the fight between the two sides. Although he is considered a rising star with a personal biography that GOP leaders wish to promote, Cruz falls squarely in the camp that thinks Romney was not conservative enough and did not fully articulate a conservative contrast to President Obama, except during the first presidential debate.

“It was the one time we actually contested ideas, presented two viewpoints and directions for the country,” he said at the Federalist Society’s annual dinner in Washington. “And then, inevitably, there are these mandarins of politics, who give the voice: ‘Don’t show any contrasts. Don’t rock the boat.’ So by the third debate, I’m pretty certain Mitt Romney actually French-kissed Barack Obama.”

Rick Santorum, a former senator from Pennsylvania who finished second to Romney in the GOP primary, lampooned Romney’s assertion that Obama’s victory was fueled by “gifts” to core liberal constituencies in the form of legislative favors.

“The American people do not want ‘gifts’ from their leaders, particularly when these gifts leave a steep bill for our children to pay, but they do want us to be on their side,” Santorum wrote in a USA Today op-ed published Monday. He placed the blame on the national party, saying it lacked an appealing agenda: “We as a party, the party of Ronald Reagan and ‘Morning in America,’ failed to provide an agenda that shows we care.”

The dispute began to take shape soon after Obama was declared the winner and Republicans, who had hoped to claim the Senate majority, lost two seats. Two days after the election, House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) told ABC News that the Republicans’ mission was to appeal to nonwhite voters: “How do we speak to all Americans? You know, not just to people who look like us and act like us, but how do we speak to all Americans?”

The fight ahead will come in two phases, the first being legislative debates on taxes, entitlements and immigration, and the second in the GOP primary battles in the 2014 midterm elections.

Congressional Republican leaders have rejected Obama’s call for higher tax rates on the wealthiest Americans, but they have opened the door to more revenue streaming into the Treasury by limiting exemptions and closing loopholes as part of a broad tax-code overhaul. The president says those measures would not produce enough revenue.

More problematic for Republicans is the drift of Hispanic voters into the Democratic fold. Obama won among Hispanic voters by 44 percentage points this year, up eight points from 2008.

“Hispanics are an ever-important part of the electorate that can’t be ignored. The scope of the challenge is broad, but there is opportunity ahead for conservatives to engage,” Jennifer S. Korn of the Hispanic Leadership Network, a Republican-funded group designed to do outreach, wrote in a memo circulated over the weekend.

Korn warned that two reliably Republican states worth 49 electoral votes combined could become swing states if demographic trendlines continue. In 2004, George W. Bush tied in the Hispanic vote in Texas and lost in Arizona by 13 percentage points. Romney lost the Hispanic vote by more than 40 points in both states.

After several years of focusing on border security as the centerpiece of their immigration proposals, many senior party officials have reversed course and suggested that they should at least support the DREAM Act, which would allow the children of illegal immigrants to avoid deportation.

Such a move would spark a huge internal fight with some conservatives. Dan Stein, president of the hard-line Federation for American Immigration Reform, insisted that the 2012 election was decided on issues other than immigration and that the push for the party to change its position represents opportunism by those who have always favored a more accommodating approach. He said the party’s elite is captive to business interests who favor increased immigration to reduce labor costs.

“There’s no evidence, none, that amnesty will bond Hispanics to the Republican Party,” he said. “This post-election chatter is coming from people who, for the most part, have generally disagreed with the need for stronger border control or less immigration. . . . This is going to be a long, protracted debate.”

The 2014 Senate races will serve as a test for establishment control of the political process. For the third consecutive cycle, Republicans will begin as heavy favorites to gain a large bloc of seats, and some party leaders want a bigger role in choosing those nominees. In 2010 and 2012, Republicans say, bad nominees in Colorado, Delaware, Indiana, Missouri and Nevada cost them what should have been easy victories. If those seats were in GOP hands today, the Senate would be deadlocked at 50-50.

Some outside groups, however, stand ready to fight for the most conservative nominee, pointing to Cruz and Sen. Marco Rubio (Fla.) as examples of rising stars who won Senate races without establishment support.

“The party is rarely in a position to determine the best candidate,” said Chris Chocola, president of the Club for Growth. “When you have someone who can articulate a clear, convincing, conservative message, they win.”

Tags: conservatives, republicans, fighting, re-analysis, post election, 2012 election, To share or post to your site, click on "Post Link". Please mention / link to the ARRA News Service. Thanks!
Posted by Bill Smith at 6:16 PM - Post Link

1 Comments:

Anonymous John Allison said...

"It is time to "run" towards principles and values verses running towards destructive values and beliefs."

Thanks for saying this Bill! It needs to be said, over and over again, from every mountaintop in the country! The party establishment is the problem. The GOP has moved to the left, and to the left, and to the left for years, hoping to get just close enough to the Democrats to get liberal voters to swing their way.

But as the GOP advanced toward the left, the liberals simply retreated farther and farther to the left, screaming the whole way, "Watch out for those far-right radicals!" while pointing their fingers straight at the establishment. (Mitt Romney was a prime example of this. In the '80s he would have been too liberal to even vote for Reagan in a primary probably, but the libs successfully branded him as a far-right candidate this year.)

Personally, I believe those in charge at the GOP don't really believe in true conservative principles. That's why they can't convincingly communicate those principles to the electorate.

Anyone who passionately believes in our message could do a better job conveying that message than the candidates we nominated in this cycle. Conservatism IS compassionate! Not in the sense of handouts, but in the sense that it gives people an independence, a self-reliance that instills a sense of pride and self-worth that lifts them out of poverty and dependency.

With the exception of the Reagan years, we've not seen true conservative policies taking precedence in decades. As liberal policies ran rampant in the '60s and '70s, our country fell so far so fast that, by the end of Jimmy Carter's term, for the first time in history, more Americans thought our future as a nation looked bleaker than the past. We recovered from some of that in the '80s with Reagan, but then immediately began sliding back with Bush, Sr.

In the '90s, while the internet spurred unprecedented economic growth, our sudden growth in material wealth was accompanied by a downward slide in our moral character, as individuals and as a nation. That decline in morality has continued to this day and I fear more our going off the edge of the moral cliff than the fiscal cliff.

If we don't right the ship, and fast, there will be no keeping her afloat. I'm afraid the GOP's ship has already taken on too much water and is headed for the bottom. Not because the seas were too rough, but because they left skilled seamen on the shore to take a bunch of yes-men and glory hounds, concerned more with advancing their own careers than with the safety of the ship.

I pray that we can recover, but I fear it's too late, and that we're too far gone.

11/22/2012  

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