The Continued Death of the Moderate Republican

With Florida Gov. Charlie Crist’s decision to run for the U.S. Senate as an Independent, rather than as a Republican, MSNBC takes a look at a phenomenon that Republicans out West have seen firsthand for years:

Crist’s fall from the GOP’s favor has been dramatic. Once considered a shoo-in for the seat, the prized recruit of the National Republican Senatorial Committee now trails by more than 20 points to an upstart former House speaker. Crist, strategists say, failed to take Republican challenger Marco Rubio seriously.

His decline is also one of a handful of examples of GOP races across the country in which the Republican Party’s internal ideological battle – a tug of war between the pragmatists and the purists – has been on full display.

Despite GOP’s expected short-term gains this fall – largely owed to the nation’s high unemployment rate – problems still lurk for the party’s long-term stability. Republicans’ ideological civil war, the recent passage of a controversial Arizona immigration law, and an uncertain shortlist of Obama challengers all raise questions about its ability to compete on a presidential level…

…The GOP’s ideological fight has raged since President Barack Obama was elected in November of 2008. Bolstered by the Tea Party movement, GOP purists have argued for the purge of members who fail to adhere to strict conservative views. But some other Republicans worry that the quest for purity will eliminate candidates best equipped to prevail against Democratic opponents in a general election.

It’s interesting to see national reporters finally paying more attention to an issue that has been obvious here in Colorado — and in other Western states — for several election cycles. This is the big downside of the “Tea Party,” as we’ve discussed before, because it only exacerbates the feeling by GOP candidates that they can never be far enough to the right. Yet the more they move to the right, the further they move away from a position that would better suit them in a General Election.

It’s happening again in Colorado this year, with GOP Gubernatorial candidate Scott McInnis staying as far to the right as he can and Senate candidates Jane Norton, Ken Buck and Tom Wiens all trying to out-conservative each other in order to win the Republican Primary — all of which makes them vulnerable in a General Election in which Colorado voters have shown a preference for whichever candidate is more moderate.  

68 Community Comments, Facebook Comments

  1. BlueCat says:

    how groups are already calling about relocating conventions planned for Arizona to Colorado.  It mentions how Colorado lost about 100 million to biusiness boycotts back during the time between passing the amendment prohibiting the protection of the rights of gays and the overturning of it.  

    Does Mcinnis believe that pandering to the right is worth throwing away the position that Colorado is now in to be among the first choices for those looking for alternatives to holding conventions, doing business with and locating businesses in Arizona?   Does he think running on putting Colorado in Arizona’s shoes, once the public becomes  aware of the downside for Arizona, is a political winner?   More important, does he think that actually doing so if elected is a winner for the state at a time when we need to accelerate economic recovery ? Will the middle agree with him?

  2. SSG_Dan says:

    “What happened? Well the Republican Party was top-heavy for a long time and it was subsumed by the Christian right as it sought to increase its grassroots base, win elections throughout the Sunbelt and the West in places it couldn’t win before. But what they did was they brought a radical movement into the fray, a movement that wound up substantially taking over the party, so that the big tent party of Dwight Eisenhower, which could have held power on a national level, has turned into the one-ring circus of Sarah Palin.

    http://www.pbs.org/kcet/taviss

  3. BlueCat says:

    Just read your reply to my comments on profiling on yesterday’s thread;

    McInnis’ 2001 Racial Profiling Speech Makes National News

    and am really sorry that that I offended you so deeply and hope you’ll check out my reply to yours. I hope it goes some way toward explaining what I meant a little better even if you still totally disagree and think I’m a jerk. Jerk or not, I do respect your service to our country.  

    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

      is the right to be an asshole from time to time.  Perhaps, I shouldn’t exercise it quite so vociferously.  I do deeply respect your view, and regret that I may have implied otherwise.  I want to specify that my remarks re: profiling were limited, as were McInnis’s to the airport security situation.  There, there is no absolute constitutional right to get on board a plane and there are legitimate reasons to consider some racial or religious factors as one, though only one and by no means an overriding one, factor in a terrorist profile.  They also look at such obvious factors as 1-did you buy a one way ticket.  2Did you buy at the last minute?  3-Did you bring any luggage.  etc.\

        I don’t want to imply in any way that I support the Arizona law.  It is an unconstitutional one in my view for several reasons:

       1.It violates the Supremacy clause of the U.S. Constitution.

        2-It violates the 4th Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.

        3-There is no pressing or overriding need for such a policy when less instrusive measures would suffice.

        Stopping someone from blowing up an airplane is considerably better justification for a search than stopping someone from working in my garden.  (I just suffered a lost tree in the recent blizzard.  The guy who removed it at a reasonable cost may have been illegally in this country.  The horror, the horror.

        The keys to controlling illegal immigration are a verifiable national ID card, employer sanctions, a guest worker program, and a path to legal residency (not necessarily citizenship) to those already in this country who obey our laws and pay our taxes.  

        The thing about the supremacy clause may only appeal to scholars, but its the fatal flaw in Arizona’s law.  If Colorado were to pass its own bankruptcy law, the courts would strike it down.  Congress preempts that because only a national law can cover bankruptcy in all 50 states.  Surely immigration, like bankruptcy, requires a national law.

        Again, forgive an old man if I got too grouchy with you.  I do deeply respect your views, even if sometimes I let the jackass in me get the better of the Montaigne in me.

  4. Gilpin Guy says:

    of the Republican Party is not the kind of publicity that keeps wind in the sails of change.  The continued national narrative is that the Republicans have become so inbred that they can’t innovate or represent the broad majority of people.  They attempt to serve only a narrow fringe element which doesn’t make sense electorally.

    Drip drip drip.  You can hear the vaunted Republican tidal wave of 2010 quietly dripping away.

    American has been most successful when it has rejected radical extremism and if there is anyone who governs from the middle it is Obama.

    • BlueCat says:

      He could hardly be more in the middle but a white octogenarian saw my Obama bumper sticker in the parking lot the other day and felt the need to inform me, loudly and belligerently,  that Obama is a terrorist.  How many just like him are going to be leaving the scene in the pretty near future and being replaced by young and minority voters?  

      Yes, older voters are more regular voters but any way you cut it, if the GOP has decided to target this type of grumpy old, bigoted, ignorant voter, where is their future?  At best, going this route, they can make 2010 hard on Dems.  After that, where do they think they’re going with this purging the moderates, shrinking the tent strategy?

      • marilou says:

        Obama’s sticker?  Really?

        • Steve Harvey says:

          people like me will just be that much more determined to put and keep people like Obama into office. Because, while we wish you nothing but health and happiness, there are those among us who recognize how critically important it is to humanity that we relegate your archaic and shallow understandings of the world to the dustbin of history.

        • Steve Harvey says:

          people like me will just be that much more determined to put and keep people like Obama into office. Because, while we wish you nothing but health and happiness, there are those among us who recognize how critically important it is to humanity that we relegate your archaic and shallow understandings of the world to the dustbin of history.

        • BlueCat says:

          We Dems may get a little disappointed and impatient but he’s doing a pretty good job, all things considered. The damage in so many areas that were so totally screwed up by 8 years of Bush II and over a decade of GOP domination has been slowed, stopped  or, in some cases, even reversed. You don’t turn this kind of thing around on a dime.

          McCain sounds more confused every time he opens his mouth so I really shudder to think of a McCain presidency. If he does get re-elected, I predict the same kind of dementia before his 6 year term is over that Reagan clearly suffered during his second term.  One Commander in Chief far gone enough that he couldn’t tell the difference between his movie experiences and real experiences was enough. And a senile President with Palin for back-up?  How could I not be forever grateful that that didn’t happen?

          And we need to remember that the Bush presidency did cause a truly historic, stunning,  mind boggling amount of destruction on every level, nationally and internationally.  Nobody was ever going to be able to fix it in their first year and not quite a half. Especially with a minority bent on spending all its energy saying no and with no  intention of solving any problems for the American people.  They think the have a better chance of taking back power if nothing gets done for us so that’s what they’re for: Nothing.

          Those of us who voted for Obama never mistook him for a super-hero or saint. But we knew he was a good choice and our best choice.  Still is. So yeah, I still proudly display my sticker.  If you take pride in being on the same side as birther idiots who claim Obama is an actual terrorist who hates his country, well it takes all kinds, doesn’t it?  But if you yell at me in the parking lot, you’ll get an earful back.

          • Duke Coxdukeco1 says:

            I couldn’t agree more.

          • VoyageurVoyageur says:

            But, alas, he has become a caricature of himself.  Sucking up to the worst elements of the party has removed any value he still has to the Senate.  No one has had a more honorable life of serving his country than John McCain.  But the final act is not a pretty one.  As Charles de Gaulle said of Petain — another war hero turned politician — “Old Age is a shipwreck.”  

        • Ralphie says:

          I have Obama bumper stickers on both my cars.

      • SSG_Dan says:

        It tends to shut up the members of the 101st Chickenhawk Typewriter Brigade.

        • VoyageurVoyageur says:

          In my army days, I was an expert at the Browning Automatic Typewriter!

          We were known as REMF, which I am told stands for Rear Echelon Support Personnel.;-)

           In point of fact, I missed going to Vietnam as an artilleryman only because I was called out of basic training on my last day and given a new assignment as a 71q20, information specialist. The Army in those days was a lottery and I drew a very lucky number.  But unlike the Chickenhawks, I did enlist and at least took my chances.   In the end, I suffered nothing worse than poverty pay and really bad haircuts.  But at least I earned the right to tell the chickenhawks to Shut the F up!

          • Steve Harvey says:

            both because of the luck of that other draw, when I came of age (late 70s, early 80s), and because I didn’t relish the idea either of being shot at or of shooting at anyone else. But, despite being a new-age hippy pacifist at the time, I did a two-year army enlisted infantry tour of duty, and I’m really glad I did.

            • VoyageurVoyageur says:

              was the fear that they might shoot back.

              In the immortal words of Yossarian: “The enemy is whoever is trying to kill you.”

              Vietnam, frankly, was a crappy war and the only thing we accomplished by fighting it was to paper over the Sino-Soviet split.  Losing the war set the stage for Nixon to play the China Card and ultimately for the U.S. to triumph in the Cold War.

                Everybody I knew in college understood that…only LBJ still seemed to think in terms of monolithic communism.  But there is still a social contract.  I enlisted precisely one day before I would have been drafted.   As much as I disagreed with the war, I was no pacifist.  I would certainly have been honored (if terrified) to serve in World War II.  My father-in-law fought as a combat engineer (these guys built bridges and disarmed mines, under fire!) in Normandy.  So I did my duty, knowing that civilian control of the military is the keystone of our Republic.  And I lived to tell about it.  I do have a slice of survivors guilt about my 58,000 comrades who died there.  But such has been the soldier’s lot since the Battle of Megiddo.

              • Steve Harvey says:

                I felt for him when he foolishly ripped up the phone number of the beautiful Italian girl….

                I would have been unhesitantly willing to serve in WWII (as my father did), but still aware of the human perversity of resolving our conflicts through massive organized violence. I’ve never literally been a pacifist; I’ve always understood that unilateral refusal to engage in violence only cedes the world to the most ruthless. (That’s why pacifism has not been an evolutionarily successful cultural meme in human history, while some degree and version of militarism has been).

                But I also believe that, as was learned by the French and Belgians early in WWII, one of the biggest of all strategic mistakes is to fight the last war. And, in a very broad sense, our “last war” is a history of a less global interdependence and a customary quick reliance and high honor given to militarism in most societies, whereas the “current war” is one of establishing and refining effective international law and pacifying our conflicts (turning terrorism, for instance, from a misnamed “war” into the global police challenge that it really is).

                It will never be collectively rational for us to waste our resources inflicting death and suffering on one another. But it will never be individually (nationally) rational to refuse to do so when necessary. The trick (and one we have not gotten down as well as we should) is to distinguish between “necessary” and “convenient”.

                • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                  In the American experience, I classify them as

                  1. Necessary and honorable.  This has three in the category: The Civil War (from the Union side), World War II and Korea (the first real attempt to make collective security and the United Nations work to ultimately eliminate the need for war.)

                  2. Unnecessary and dishonorable but on balance  profitable.  This includes the Mexican War (we stole a lot of land for a relatively small butcher’s bill.  Unfortunately, so much land destabilised the Missouri compromise and led to the Civil War.  C’est la guerre.  The Spanish-American War is also on the list, where we did, to our credit, liberate the Phillippines from Spain only, to our enduring dishonor, to crush an indigenous Phillipine independence movement and go Colonial.  We made up for that by giving Independence to the Phillippines after WW II.

                  3.  Unnecessary and counterproductive.

                  War of 1812.  The Brits kicked our butts.  We should have stayed out of it.  Henry  Clay’s worst mistake.  We didn’t really care about impressing seamen, we thought we could seize Canada.  Dumb move, we made our play in 1812–after Napoleon was crushed in Russia.  Ooops.  

                  World War I.  Big, big, mistake.  After campaigning that he kept us out of war, Wilson led us into one.  He claimed we’d make the world safe for democracy.  Actually, he gave us Hitler, World War II, and a Soviet occupation of Eastern Europe for almost a half century, plus a cold war.

                   Vietnam.  This folly delayed our victory in the Cold War by at least a decade.

                  4-The one that is a historical toss-up.

                  The War of Independence.  Yes, we won our sovereignty.  But “freedom?”  That’s debatable.  We certainly are no more free than Canadians and Australians are today — and they not only won their freedom without a civil war, they have health care!  Our “freedom” included the freedom to own slaves, so millions of Americans would have been better off if we’d stayed in the British empire, which abolished slavery long before we did.   An Anglo-American union might have been strong enough to actually keep the world safe for democracy, thereby avoiding World War I, World War II and our bloodiest conflict, the Civil War.

                     On Balance, I wish we could have talked the Brits into self-governing dominion status in 1776.  Of course, if we had, McDonalds would be selling something called bangers and we’d play football with round balls. But we might have been spared the designated hitter rule.

                     In the end, what happened,happened.  We can only try to learn from our mistakes.  

                  • Steve Harvey says:

                    I’ve always put it in the “convenient” category, and think that national mythology has largely blinded us to that. The Confederates “four score and seven years” later identified themselves as the political and spiritual hiers of the American revolutionaries, and they were surprisingly accurate in that assessment, even in terms of which side opposed and which side defended slavery at the time.

                    But, however clear minds might judge it in retrospect, it has certainly made for a robust and interesting branch of human historical experience!

                    (I’m not sure I agree that America’s very late and marginal participation in WWI had such a decisive effect on European history: The same side probably would have won with or without us, and would have imposed the same reparations, with the same results).

                    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                      if we had stayed out of it.  Remember, they had wiped out Russia, not to mention lesser powers like Serbia and, for the most part, Italy. Read “The Doughboys” and other works for this point.

                       At minimum, Germany would have stood on the defensive until France and England sued for peace.  Remember the French mutinies of 1917?

                      Our entry was late, but decisive.  The Ludendorf offensive damn near succeeded was it was.   The Doughboys arrived late but at a decisive point.  They stiffened allied morale at a key point — and it was the prospect of all but unlimited reserves of fresh troops arriving in 1919 that finally broke German morale.  As it was, we had more than a million men in France by late 1918.

                        Finally, remember the near success of the German U-boat campaign in 1917.  Without the U.S. Navy’s help in convoying ships, England might have b een starved out of the war.  And access to Ukrainian foodstuffs and Russian natural resources would have pretty much ended the effectiveness of the British blockade.  

                        The treaty with the Russians indicates the German peace might have been as Draconian as the allied one imposed at Versailles.  So, who knows what would have happened.  But I have no doubt that U.S. intervention prevented a German victory in World War II.  Our contribution was small, but came at the decisive moment.  It’s like Mohammad Ali and Joe Frazier fighting for 14 rounds to exhaustion, then we leaned over the ring and hit one of them over the head with a blackjack.    

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      My knowledge of that epoch is fairly superficial.

                    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                      cointribution to the allied war effort, including the massive shipbuilding, a performance repeated in World War I.  If we had stayed scrupulously neutral, they wouldn’t have had the cash to pay for those goods.  Lend/lease was FDR’s pre-war solution to that dilemma.

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      Yes, that had a major influence on the outcome from a much earlier date. (And I got that you meant “…repeated in WWII”).

                    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                      struggling with my final capstone paper on the Colorado Appellate Rules and breaking the stupefying boredom thereof every hour or so to screw around for a while on pols.  Are you going to the Democratic state Convention perchance, Steve?  I might see you there.

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      I’m outlining Climate Change Law, and, as I always do when I’m outlining, procrastinating every few minutes here on Pols.

                      Yep, I’ll be at the state convention. Look for Gandalf (Ian McKellen) with a lot less hair on top and a more scraggly beard trimmed closer to the face. (And a name badge….)

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      I think that changing outcomes of major events in history would generally result in both more and less dramatic changes than our guesses usually capture. More, because more chains-of-events are altered than we identify, many with reverberating consequences that could never have been predicted. Less, because I think history has its own “strange attractors,” historical forms and equilibria toward which the underlying dynamics of what we are and how we interact will tend, regardless of the details of the stories that lead to them.

                      I’ll leave it to you to put the meat on the bones of that observation (either in the privacy of your own imagination, or shared here for the rest of us to enjoy).

                    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                      His American Empire series assumes the south won the Civil War because of British intervention.  A vengeful U.S. then sides with Germany in World War I, leading to a Central Powers victory (we finally steal canada.)  

                        The U.S. pummels the CSA in World War I, but CSA stays independent.  In the WWII rematch, the U.,S. finally conquers CSA again, but not until Germany, Britain, the U.S. and the CSA exchange a few atomic bombs.

                        It’s a good yarn of about 12 volumes.  Harry can pump them out.  Incidentally, he expands the actual Mormon War, a historical footnote, albeit one that featured Albert Sidney Johnston, into a major Iraq-style insurrection.  

                    • VoyageurVoyageur says:

                      Make it through them, and you can borrow the rest.  I’ts useful to read them in chronological order.

                    • Steve Harvey says:

                      Really. I’ll take good care of them.

  5. StrykerK2 says:

    I think it’s interesting if we look at Crist and Lieberman in the same light.  Joe was also big in the Democratic party (he was VP candidate after all) who lost in a primary and then ran as an I

    Maybe Crist was trying to avoid that kind of thing happening to him and wanted to get ahead of the primary loss by becoming an Indep now.

    • Cartesian Doubt says:

      But he’s done a fairly good job as governor.

      He can pick up more votes as an I, I think.

      I don’t see a sense of entitlement in Crist that I saw in Lieberman.

      • StrykerK2 says:

        I’ll be honest that I don’t know much about his actual record as Governor.

        If he pulls this off, that will make 3 indeps in the senate.  I wonder how many it takes before they stop caucusing with one party or the other and start caucusing together — as an actual voting block that needs to be swayed.

        Of course they are very different people — we have a socialist, a conservative dem, and Crist — not exactly a likeminded bunch.

    • BlueCat says:

      Especially since Rubio isn’t going along with supporting the Arizona craziness.  Where do the crazies go now? Do they just stay home? This will be fun to watch.

    • Colorado PolsColorado Pols says:

      He’s running as an Independent because he can’t win a Republican Primary. But he’s probably a better General Election candidate than the guy who will win the Primary.  

  6. packeryman says:

     It is interesting to watch the hypocritical fringe right whine about Crist going Independent after their support of Lieberman on his Independent bid.The hijacking of the GOP by the religious and fringe right will end the wave they thought they were riding into 2010 and 2012. These sheep have followed the directions of their DE facto leader(Limbaugh), who urged they flush and purge the party of moderates and rhinos. They have succeeded, losing more Independents daily with this move to the right and playing the obstructionists role in Washington. How could any party win a majority with their spokesmen right wing AM radio shock jocks. Most of these guys were DJs spinning records, druggies, alcoholics, draft dodgers, etc. Overnight they became far right all knowing political gurus. What a joke.Independents are beginning to question why they ever though they could support the GOP. The answer is, they can’t. The tea parties were started by these shock jocks and Republican operatives(Dick Arney and his Freedom Works)Most attendees were right wing Republicans(from the signs,  Obama haters). Those in power with the GOP tried to distance themselves, others tried to tie the to the party. It makes no difference, as the demographics of the country continue to change the GOP will go the way of the Whigs.

  7. marilou says:

    Check out the Denver Post poll of readers’ opinion of the Arizona law.

    • Middle of the Road says:

      I’m pretty sure if you polled the majority of Southerners in the 1960s’, they would have overwhelmingly supported their Jim Crow laws, their love of separate bathrooms, not sitting at the counter to eat lunch, forcing people to sit in a balcony at a movie theater, forcing people not to vote or be allowed on a jury, et al. Sometimes there really is such a thing as a very bad piece of legislation that does more harm than good, even to the point of being racist or promoting racism. The AZ law is the latest example.

      And an even more stunning revelation to you, I’m sure, is that sometimes the majority isn’t always right and is behind the curve on things that really matter. And sometimes the minority opinion isn’t all that interested in waiting for you to pull your heads out of your asses and do something right.

    • Either it says that Denver Post reader polls suck, or it says that people don’t really understand the AZ law, or that they don’t understand its implications, or maybe that they actually support it.  I vote “all of the above”.

      First, reader polls aren’t scientific.

      Second, most people probably haven’t read the bill, nor do they understand what all the clauses and mixed-in bits of existing law mean.

      Third, even if they understand the words, they probably haven’t considered how it can/will be used and abused.  FYI, it’s not the undocumented immigrants that will be most affected – it’s legal immigrants and citizens who will have their civil rights abused, and its already under-budgeted cities and sheriff’s departments that will be sued because someone decides they aren’t enforcing the new law “enough”, regardless of the reality on the ground.  And it’s the police officers who won’t be trusted in some communities when they come asking for information about “real” criminals.

      And then there are folks like you who are true believers.  It must be nice to live in a world of brownblack and white.

  8. marilou says:

    What is a moderate Republican?

    Do they kill only half of their unborn, soak the rich half the time, and provide free health care that has to be paid for, sometimes?

    • gertie97 says:

      They realize that some level of taxation is necessary to run the government. They like having the troops trained, supported, fed and paid. They think highways are cool, and prisons are necessary to lock up the bad guys. They believe in education, acknowledge that their own was paid for by the previous generation, and they’re willing to do their share. They would like, however, government intrusion into their lives be kept at a minimum. That includes the bedroom, and their businesses, where they’d like regulation kept to what’s only necessary.

      Since they think government should be less intrusive, they think abortion and sex lives of adults are none of the guvmint’s business. They think taxes should be fairly levied and they don’t like expansion of government unless it’s absolutely necessary. They hunt, target-shoot and like their guns. They do support helping the elderly, disabled and desperately poor.

      In short, they’re not unlike moderate Democrats. It used to be that the two breeds were commonly sighted in Washington and state capitols and had learned to work together.

      Unfortunately, moderate Republicans are demonized as RINOs and driven out of the GOP, while “progressives” attack Democrats whom they don’t believe are pure enough.

      Is this explanation simple enough for you?

    • DavidThi808DavidThi808 says:

      kill people in other countries that never harmed us, soak the non-rich all the time, and provide corporate welfare and tax relief for the rich (including to pay for their tax deductable health plans).

  9. Laughing Boy says:

    …that the only folks I see lamenting the ‘loss of the moderate Republican’ (whatever that is supposed to mean) are liberals. And David Brooks.  

    • sxp151 says:

      Arlen Specter? David Frum? Dede Scozzafava?

      Oh, I guess they’re all secretly liberals, so that explains it. The Republican Party was always an extreme right-wing party, it just had secret Communists like Dwight Eisenhower infiltrating it until now.

    • SSG_Dan says:

      There was a time when Dems would come to the legislative table and offer A, the Repubs would offer z, and we’d end up with 26.

      Now, regardless of which party it is, we start (and finish) with whatever the majority wants, simply because the other side doesn’t want to do anything that might be spun as a “victory” for the other side.

      I hated that smirking chimp of the prev President with every fiber of my being, but I had a good chunk of respect for his Dad. Most of that came from the deal he worked out with Congress in 1992 that ended up fixing Reagan’s madness on the Federal Budget. Bush wanted cuts, Congress wanted tax increases, but instead of playing for the cameras, they worked together using both to make things work.

      I’m a successfully recovering Republican. I’m a Dem now because this Party, despite it’s many MANY faults, tolerates my views on Gun rights, small business and immigration.  I could never be a Repub, because even thinking about being Pro-choice, for single payer health care and regulatory reform of the financial industry would get me lynched.

      • Automaticftp says:

        Dan–

        My first diary here was about the challenges faced by the GOP, and why I could not be a Republican.  In short, it’s because it has turned into the party of intolerance and ignorance (deliberately, in part).

        I agree with you regarding the first Bush–he was a pragmatist, and understood what it meant to send people to war–after all, he had been there and smelled gunpowder (so to speak).  

        Whatever happened to Republicans like Thomas Kean, Mark Hatfield, etc?  I could support someone like that.

    • cologeek says:

      If you have any sort of a disagreement with a liberal, you are automatically a right wing extremist.

      • Steve Harvey says:

        if you’re a right-wing extremist you automatically have disagreements with liberals. Potato, potahto.

      • SSG_Dan says:

        F’r instance, we’re trying to get the immigration reform bill passed. I throw out that we should offer a way for illegal immigrants to get some sort of legal status in this country. I start with an offer that says the best thing they can hope to achieve is legal residency, but any kids born here are US citizens.

        If you say that’s a bad idea because it rewards illegal activity, that’s a disagreement.

        If you say I’m a naive Socialist who wants to destroy America from within with my coddling of illegal immigrants, that’s being a current member of the Republican’t Party. (and Demagoguery.)

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