Posts Tagged ‘GOP’
October 22nd, 2010 at 12:30 pm
Tea Party Jolts the GOP Back to Life

In today’s Wall Street Journal Peggy Noonan lets loose with an unequivocal endorsement of the Tea Party’s contribution to revitalizing the GOP.  According to Noonan, Tea Party activists kick-started the Republican resurgence by decoupling it from former President George W. Bush’s ideological grip.

The tea party did something the Republican establishment was incapable of doing: It got the party out from under George W. Bush. The tea party rejected his administration’s spending, overreach and immigration proposals, among other items, and has become only too willing to say so. In doing this, the tea party allowed the Republican establishment itself to get out from under Mr. Bush: “We had to, boss, it was a political necessity!” They released the GOP establishment from its shame cringe.

Much like 1995, 2011 will feature a Republican congressional majority that is unabashed in its demand for fealty to first principles, the Constitution, and limited government.  Oh, the anticipation…

September 24th, 2010 at 12:31 am
Ramirez Cartoon: The Party of No More
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

September 17th, 2010 at 10:08 am
Ramirez Cartoon: Tea Party Message to the GOP
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Below is one of the latest cartoons from two-time Pulitzer Prize-winner Michael Ramirez.

View more of Michael Ramirez’s cartoons on CFIF’s website here.

May 6th, 2010 at 3:27 pm
GOP Donors Demand Crist Return Donations

Earlier this week, I posted that Charlie Crist was in a lifeboat without a paddle.  Now he may have to return the lifeboat as well.  Crist currently has $7.6 million in his war chest, but RCP’s Brendan Farrington reports twenty major Republican donors have demanded he give it all back.  Their letter reads:

“For years you have been one of the Republican Party’s most outstanding and vocal leaders. But now, because of simple self-interest and political calculation, you are walking away from the people and principles that you often told us defined you ‘to your core.'”

Furthermore, they are not simply demanding the return of their own contributions, but those of supporters they brought to the table, writing,

“We helped to support, and yes to bankroll, your political career. For years you have been asking us for money. And for years we have put our names and credibility on the line by asking our friends to donate to you. Those days are over.”

In making his break from the GOP, Crist has repeatedly asserted his allegiances lie first with the people of Florida.  Those donors are people and each made contributions based on his candidacy for the Senate as a Republican.  Gov. Crist may not have a legal obligation to return a cent, but if he’s as committed to Floridians as he says he is, the public trust should compel him to reimburse anyone who feels betrayed.

April 12th, 2010 at 2:33 pm
Romney, Pawlenty Back Charles Djou

Hopefully, Charles Djou (R-HI) will be throwing a luau for all the GOP heavies weighing in on his race to replace the retiring congressman, Neil Abercrombie (D-HI).  The May 22nd special election is getting Djou plenty of face time with CFIF and National Review.  Now, he can claim endorsements by former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney, and outgoing Minnesota Governor Tim Pawlenty.

Pray tell, could fiscal conservatism be set for an electoral comeback?

February 13th, 2010 at 10:17 pm
Republican Candidates Should Beg to be Co-opted by Tea Partiers

In today’s Wall Street Journal, blogger Glenn Reynolds makes an interesting observation about attendees at the recent Tea Party Convention in Nashville.

Press attention focused on Sarah Palin’s speech, which was well-received by the crowd. But the attendees I met weren’t looking to her for direction. They were hoping she would move in theirs. Right now, the tea party isn’t looking for leaders so much as leaders are looking to align themselves with the tea party.

Indeed.  Republican leaders would do well this election cycle to figure out how to get GOP candidates co-opted into the Tea Party movement, not the other way round.  Unlike many voters, tea partiers aren’t looking for a candidate to sell them on an idea; they want a candidate who is going to implement the Tea Party creed.

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January 5th, 2010 at 3:21 pm
Ain’t No Sunshine When He’s Gone
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From the Sunshine State today comes news that Florida GOP Chairman Jim Greer (one of the closest allies of moderate Governor — and U.S. Senate aspirant — Charlie Crist) is resigning from his post. The chairman came under fire from the right for his unsubtle support of Crist against the more conservative former Florida House Speaker Marco Rubio in the Republican senate primary, as well as for being a bit of a spendthrift.

The delicious irony is that Greer — a man who had been justifying his every action on the basis of creating a “big tent” party — chose to leave office with a scorched earth message:

Greer said his opponents want to “burn the house down and destroy the Republican Party.”

“I am not a purist,” he said in describing his vision for the party. “I have never been a purist. I believe that our party stands for principles and values and that anyone who has an interest in our party should be able to participate.”

Greer’s beauty pageant eloquence aside, these statements are an intellectual schematic of political breakdown. If your party “stands for principles and values,” then you can’t strengthen it by attempting to marginalize those who take those principles and values most seriously. Too many GOP moderates seem to think that creating a big tent means pushing conservatives out of the back end. They’re going to have to learn how to be partners and not adversaries in the future. If they don’t, expect to see more centrists dethroned ala Jim Greer.

December 21st, 2009 at 10:44 pm
How the GOP Lost Health Care … Years Ago
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Ross Douthat, who took over as the New York Times’ house conservative after Bill Kristol‘s brief stint during the 2008 election, has become increasingly insightful as he has settled into his new perch. In an entry on a NYT blog today, Douthat dissects the criticisms of the GOP approach to health care by The New Republic’s Jonathan Chait (a liberal) and former Bush speechwriter David Frum (a self-loathing Republican). Douthat doles out judicious criticism to each, but his own diagnosis is much more provocative:

In the end, when the history of the health care debate is written, I don’t think any of the choices that G.O.P. lawmakers made this year will loom particularly large. The choices that they made, or didn’t make, across the last fifteen years are what made all the difference. Between the defeat of Clintoncare and the election of Barack Obama, the Republicans had plenty of chances to take ownership of the health care issue and pass a significant reform along more free-market, cost-effective lines. They didn’t. The system deteriorated on their watch instead. And now they’re suffering the consequences.

Absolutely true. As good as many of the free-market healthcare reform ideas swimming around are, the reality is that, with the exception of marginal advances on Health Savings Accounts — a necessary, but not sufficient aspect of reform — the GOP has done nothing to advance an alternative vision for health care. And the party’s one major accomplishment was a massive and unfunded expansion of the welfare state in the form of the Medicare prescription drug benefit.

One other interesting note from Douthat:

As far as the Republicans’ rhetorical emphases go, meanwhile, I’d really prefer to live in a world where the G.O.P. hadn’t decided to remake itself as the party of Medicare now, Medicare forever. But judged purely as a short-term political strategy designed to derail the legislation, it’s hard to argue with the results. Public opinion has turned dramatically against the bill, and every swing-state Democrat who votes for it is courting political suicide.

Me: I’d gladly trade away potential GOP wins next year for defeating the health care bill now. After all, the point of  political victory is to influence policy outcomes.  And once the government embeds itself in the healthcare industry there will be no turning back — like our British counterparts, most of the domestic policy agenda will become focused on who can better manage a bloated welfare state.  The next few weeks may thus see the biggest epochal shift in American politics since the constituent parts of Reaganomics made their way through the Congress.

December 9th, 2009 at 12:27 am
Will Palin Save or Destroy the GOP?
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Today’s version of the Washington Post’s “The Fix” blog notes that Sarah Palin gave a radio interview over the weekend where she seemed to leave the door open to a third party presidential run in 2012.  This could potentially be politically disastrous for the GOP come Election Day.

Under present circumstances, Palin probably doesn’t have a strong enough coalition to take the GOP nomination. What she does have, however, is an intensity of support that would likely lead many of her supporters to follow her out of the Republican Party’s presidential fold.  Given the schismatic tendencies that the Tea Party movement has begun to show, Palin could also potentially have a much more organized, coherent base than most independent candidates.

This prospect is just one more impetus for a Republican coalescence before the next presidential race.  From Theodore Roosevelt to Ross Perot, the legacy of strong third-party candidates has tended to be creating murder-suicide pacts with the candidate that they’re ideologically closer to.  If Sarah Palin bolts the GOP in 2012, she may end up spending two election cycles in a row being blamed for Barack Obama’s presidency.