Sunday, July 12, 2009

The Republican Party - Is it becoming irrelevant?

As I have stated before, I am not a Democrat nor am I a Republican. Although I have libertarian leanings, I believe that once a libertarian joins a political party, he becomes his own enemy. I am an independent in the true sense – I depend on no party to dictate my philosophy.

I watched for the last 30 years as the Democratic Party made itself irrelevant in the south. It began when Lyndon Johnson signed the Civil Rights bill in 1964. Richard Nixon seized on it and the Republicans and Democrats basically made a trade. The Republicans got the Democratic South and the Democrats got the solidly Republican black vote.

Ironically, the Democrats made themselves irrelevant in the south (so far as national elections go), and now the Republicans are making themselves irrelevant in the rest of the country.

Look at the numbers: 30% of voters will vote Republican no matter what. Ditto for the Democrats. That leaves a broad 40% section of the country who will decide elections based on the people running and their confidence in those people.

Republicans ‘got it’ for a while. During the Reagan years they picked up a lot of popularity. In 1994 Newt Gingrich and his Contract with America swept the congress. This led to the election of George W. Bush in 2000, along with majorities in congress.

That’s when they stopped getting it. In 8 years The Republican President and Congress doubled the national debt, something they admirably kept under control when Bill Clinton was President.

Republicans, who are self-styled guardians of our constitutional rights, gave the Bush administration carte-blanche on legislation that invaded those rights. Of course, the shoe is on the other foot now and some are re-thinking their beliefs. Too late, the cow is out of the barn. If you ever concede protections (habeas corpus, search and seizure, etc.) to the government in the name of security, you have paid with your liberty.

Don’t look for a Democratic administration to ‘undo’ any of this – they love it. Just as the Republicans did, they will cite ‘national security’. As Benjamin Franklin said, if you give up your liberty for security, you deserve neither.

The unholy alliance between the Republican Party and the religious fundamentalists is becoming unraveled. That is a good thing, as this was a deal with the devil on both sides. It resulted in a political mantra of ‘family values’ from the party. The problem is, the people (those who are not blinded by party), understand that the definition of true family values is that you value your family. You don’t have to endorse one political ideology over another to do this.

The Republicans loved ‘family values’ as long as it got them votes; when push came to shove, however, they failed to live up to the brand they had adopted.

Only in the case of Congressman Mark Foley did the party demand, and get, a resignation. This was because in addition to liking boys, he liked underage boys.

Senator Larry ‘Toe Tapping’ Craig served out his sentence term. In the cases of Senators Vitter and Ensign and Governor Sanford, the party has suddenly developed some libertarian feelings, claiming that it’s none of our business what they do. Very few have called for these sleazebags (that’s what they are) to step down.

David Vitter is raising huge amounts of money and will probably be re-elected with the help of the Louisiana Republican machine. The fates of Ensign and Sanford remain up in the air.

Yes, I get it, Democrats aren’t pure either. I am aware of Bill Clinton, Gary Condit and Barney Frank. The difference is, they have not assumed the mantle of moral superiority that the Republicans have. Yes, Democrats are big spenders and believe in government solutions. That is their brand, and they live up to it. At least they are honest.

As to the Republicans, they have one goal – to gain power at all costs. What they just don’t seem to get is that the broad range of people around the country just aren’t buying it. (Louisiana is somewhat an exception, as we tend to love our crooks, adulterers and whoremongers.)

The people have heard the cries of ‘small government, lower taxes’ and ‘family values’ from the GOP while they spend like drunken sailors and some of their leaders display the morals of jackals – with impunity. The people aren’t as stupid as Washington thinks they are; they understand that taxation is not the problem, spending is. The people also believe that if you claim to be the party of prudence, constitutional protections and pure values, you should live up to it. Otherwise, they will continue to elect the other guys – the ones who don’t claim those things. Why? Because they are not saying one thing in order to get elected and then doing another when they gain power.

The Young Republicans have just elected Audra Shay as national chair. Audra was the center of controversy last week when her facebook remarks came to light. When a commenter said something about getting rid of these 'mad coons and illegals', Audra replied 'You go Eric. lol.'. Sure sounds like she was endorsing a racial slur to me. She doesn't get it, neither do the Young Republicans who elected her.

The old adage ‘fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice, shame on me’ seems to apply here. The people were fooled by the Republicans in the last decade. If Republicans are able to make gains in the next few years, they had better live up to what they profess, because this is probably their last chance.


  1. Jim, you claim to be an "independent" with libertarian leanings, does that mean you get to just sit on the sidelines and judge everyone else's shortcomings? Being an independent alone means you will never be heard or taken seriously politically. The libertarian claim is kind of confusing based on their belief that "each person is free to live his life the way he chooses so long as he respects the equal rights of others." From what I've read on your blog, you could never be seriously accused of being a libertarian.
    So having said that, don't you agree that of the two political parties we have today, that the Republicans are the only hope of us not becoming a socialist country? The only hope of retaining the motto "IN GOD WE TRUST" and the only hope of basically remaining a free America? I will readily admit that since Reagan we have sent many supposedly Christian conservatives to Washington that it turns out had no backbone and no guts to stand up to the liberals that would love nothing more than to turn this country into a socialist state.
    You take shots at Jindal, Vitter, Adley and any other republican with a runny nose, but I don't see any blogging about the insane votes of Landrieu and her ilk. Now the young republicans are on your radar. Is that the very best you can do? Seriously, you're really a liberal democrat aren't you? Come on admit it.

  2. 1. "From what I've read on your blog, you could never be seriously accused of being a libertarian."
    - Didn't say I was. The libertarian leanings I have are in favor of a limited government.

    2. "So having said that, don't you agree that of the two political parties we have today, that the Republicans are the only hope of us not becoming a socialist country?"
    - In what way are we not already socialist?

    3. "You take shots at Jindal, Vitter, Adley and any other republican with a runny nose . ."
    - Jindal because so far he hasn't lived up to his promise. He still might.
    - How can you trust David Vitter when he can't be true to vows he made before God in marriage?
    - Robert Adley - don't know where that one came from.
    Kudos to Robert Adley
    Adley questions spending
    Adley questions blog

    4. Seriously, you're really a liberal democrat aren't you? Come on admit it.
    - Good try, but that dog won’t hunt. The fact that I don’t worship at the altar of the Republican party doesn’t make me a liberal Democrat. You can do better than that!
    Check the history – I have blogged in favor of Republicans and against Democrats. Read this, this and this

  3. Great blog Jim!

    I think it's time for the party system to just go away. It seems like the only things you hear in politics today are old rhetoric and no action.

    Real ideas for real people are going to win in the coming years. The people want results yesterday, not a bunch of the same old politics.


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