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Ken Mehlman says his GOP goodbyes
Posted by: McQ on Sunday, January 21, 2007

And he leaves the party with a warning:
Ken Mehlman, the departing chairman of the Republican National Committee, warned on Thursday that his party would suffer even more devastating losses in 2008 than it did in 2006 if it did not reach out to minorities and address voter concerns about ethics.
Might be nice if they could come up with a viable candidate or two as well.
Mr. Mehlman addressed the roughly 170 members of the Republican National Committee at their annual winter meeting, a rather glum affair at a downtown hotel here. Party members are still nursing the wounds of the mid-term elections and are riven by divisions over Iraq, immigration and other issues. Members are also beginning to take sides in the contest for the Republican presidential nomination in 2008.
Ethics, immigration, Iraq all stand to further divide them as those standing for election put their fingers in the air and try to determine which way the political wind is blowing (for example, some Republicans throwing their hats in the presidential ring who've suddenly "gotten religion" concerning Iraq).

Nope, what Reps need to do is at least return to their fiscal principles and be loud (and effective) about it. That, more than anything, will probably hold them in better stead with voters than anything else they can do.
 
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I hate to say it, but I have huge doubt’s whether the so called "fiscally conservative" wing of the Republican Party will ever come back. I don’t know whether it’s time for a third party or whether an embrace of the democrats will be better for those seeking liberty and freedom. Fiscally, the democrats are a disaster but so are the Republicans, no? As a Libertarian, I have to ask myself which party will do worse, the party of "conservative" (i.e. religious ) values that threatens social liberty, or the party of big government that threatens fiscal liberty.

I’m torn. You?

 
Written By: BqTM
URL: http://www.bequeeththemasses.blogspot.com
Nope, what Reps need to do is at least return to their fiscal principles and be loud (and effective) about it. That, more than anything, will probably hold them in better stead with voters than anything else they can do.
Just what evidence do you have to support this statement? The federal deficit is fairly low as a percentage of GDP and is getting smaller. The mainstream media complains about the deficit only when a Republican is in charge. I believe that polls show that the deficit runs pretty low in the concerns of American voters. The big-spending items such as the Medicare prescription drug bill have been pretty popular—and the big complaint against No Child Left Behind is that supposedly not enough money is being spent on it.

As much as I dislike some of the Bush administration’s spending, I doubt that fiscal conservatism will be popular by itself. Even Ronald Reagan concentrated on other things first. Iraq and perceived ethics is what many people will care about.
 
Written By: Rory Daulton
URL: http://
As a Libertarian, I have to ask myself which party will do worse, the party of "conservative" (i.e. religious ) values that threatens social liberty, or the party of big government that threatens fiscal liberty.
well you would have to explain exactly how anything done by the social conservatives has directly effected my freedom. I don’t see anything really. I do see how something like the Patriot Act might be abused, but no evidence that it has been. I haven’t seen any book burnings, or library closures, or anyone forced to convert.

To me the fiscal concerns trump almost everything right now, but not just those, we have problems with a continued assault on freedom of speech in the name of campaign reform, an assault on private property from the Kelo fallout, and the continuing farce of the war on drugs. None of those things are either caused by or solely championed by the "social conservatives".
 
Written By: kyle N
URL: http://impudent.blognation.us/blog
Here’s one illustration of the GOP’s problems: last year KarlRove spoke to the NationalCouncilOfLaRaza, a far-left group that supports IllegalImmigration. He gave legitimacy to a group that - while many consider them "mainstream" - has links to and funds extremist groups. What he should have done is worked to discredit such groups and those who support them (the MSM and HarryReid for instance), instead he gave them legitimacy. The GOP leadership is completely corrupt.

(Since I’ve been banned, remove the underscores from this: lon__ewa___cko.com)
 
Written By: TheBannedOne
URL: http://exampleddddddddd.com
"reach out to minorities’? You mean, the Republicans haven’t been doing so?
Or are we to emulate the Democrats in solving their problems by tossing money their way, the way the Democrats have been doing?

 
Written By: Bithead
URL: http://
I agree with you and that’s why I continue to vote for Republicans more often than not. But what I was referring to is the trend of conservatism embracing social concerns more than fiscal concerns. I would consider gay marriage amendments, wiretapping, the potential of the patriot act, faith based programs, SWAT abuse, and yes, the war on drugs to be prodominantly socially conservative problems. They may not have been "solely championed" but wouldn’t you agree the republicans offer more worry in these instances?

I’m afraid that the party of conservative values is becoming less and less about fiscal freedom. You don’t need to have book burnings to see that. The perscription drug plan was a huge expansion of government. How does that not infringe on my freedom? The Democrats are worse you’ll say? Maybe, but the divide is getting slimmer by the day.

Good point on the private property issue. I completely agree with that.

BqTM

www.bequeeththemasses.blogspot.com
 
Written By: BqTM
URL: http://www.bequeeththemasses.blogspot.com
BqTM,

While I agree with your general drift, let us be careful.

Wiretapping and the Patriot Act- The type of things covered under this vastly increased under Clinton, and many other invasions were considered. In fact, while this administration seems to have expanded such things, they have done less than Clinton asked for (but didn’t get, often due to Republican resistance, especially as regards federal invasion into our finances.) The expansion of federal authority seems to be a product more of 9/11 than the Republicans per se. I am not at all sure that if a Democrat were in power (such as Gore) that they wouldn’t have asked for even more authority of this type. Especially since they supposedly would have wanted a more "law enforcement" paradigm. I see no reason to suppose that the Democrats are any better in this area other than they are opposed to the Republicans doing such things.

SWAT abuse- Yet another area that is a long standing concern of mine, and one that saw its real explosion under the Clinton administration. Exactly what evidence do we have that the Democrats would be better on this? I realize that is the impression, "soft on crime" etc. However, the evidence is that the Democrats are more likely to make the prosecution of criminals difficult, but that they are willing to criminalize as many or more things and actually send in the police just as much. Think Elian Gonzales, Waco, etc.

War on drugs- Sorry, why do the Democrats get a pass here? Most of the actual legalization proponents seem to be libertarian leaning Republicans or outright conservatives (William F. Buckley, though he holds no office.) There is no movement of significance however in either party for ending this war. I use to have this discussion with a friend of mine in the ’90’s. I always asked him, this is a party that regulates what can be labeled a pizza, a party that has moved hard against tobacco, which is legal, and is for increasing regulation of drugs for medicinal purposes. Under what circumstances are they going to be able to justify making medicines they feel are dangerous, or not as effective at treating what they claim to be illegal and then turn around and legalize drugs that have side effects and no medicinal benefits for most of us? How are such things going to be made legal for recreational use once the FDA gets a hold of them? It is a pipe dream. The Democrats are not better on this, ultimately they have to be worse because much of the rationale for their interventions run afoul of legalization. Conservatives at least generally localize the issue to recreational drugs rather than a general governing philosophy. William F. Buckley can surrender to the notion that combating drug use causes more harm than good, he is suspicious of the FDA for similar reasons. Hillary Clinton can’t, because it means the end of the rationale for the whole public health movement of government regulation.

I don’t see how we can say on any of these issues that Democrats are appreciably better.
 
Written By: Lance
URL: http://asecondhandconjecture.com
Lance,

Thanks for the response. Again, I can’t say I don’t agree with what you are saying, but my worry is about the current trend in the Republican party. You are right to say that most of the proponents of legalization tended to be Libertarian leaning Republicans, but with the split of the libertarian vote, the moderates leaning democratic, who can we count on to actually try to get something done about it?

I would refer you to Moulitsas article for Cato about the case for the "Libertarian Democrat." I don’t agree with many of the points laid out in the article but the slipping of the Republicans I think is undoubtedly true. Just take a look at what they did with the Teri Shiavo case:

"Republicans acknowledged that the intervention was a departure from their usual support for states’ rights. But they said their views about the sanctity of life trumped their views about federalism."

This attitude, as I see it, is more and more pervasive in the Republican party and is what scares me from what the future may bring. The Democrats don’t offer anything appreciably better yes, but for the Libertarian, neither party offers a full platform we can support. As I see the shifting party platforms, I see a democratic past and a Republican future I can’t support. Where the parties are today is sort of ambiguous...
 
Written By: BqTM
URL: http://www.bequeeththemasses.blogspot.com
"Republicans acknowledged that the intervention was a departure from their usual support for states’ rights. But they said their views about the sanctity of life trumped their views about federalism."
I think your point is well taken and I don’t necessarily disagree with you.

One of the strategies we talk about here is allying ourselves with both parties at certain times on issues with which we agree with their basic thrust, i.e. a thrust which enhances liberty. That would mostly preclude a formal alliance with either, but would instead see us as more of a swing bloc.

Your concerns over the Shiavo case are shared by any number of libertairans where it concerns Republicans. OTOH, I think it is entirely feasible and probably necessary to team up with them on fiscal matters ... which is precisely why I said they should concentrate on returning to their fiscal principles.

On the left, there are some ’rights’ issues (such as Shiavo) where we should support liberty enhancing policies. But just as you’re concerned about Shiavo on the right, we have the left pushing the "Fairness Doctrine", speech-codes on campus and other such anti-liberty policies.

So we have to be cognizant of the fact that it isn’t just the one party which has problems in the "authoritarian" area and support whoever is doing the most to enhance and advance liberty (as our foremost goal for political action) on particular policies of interest.
 
Written By: McQ
URL: http://www.qando.net/blog
Absolutely.

Our task, at present, is to influence both sides. Don’t misunderstand my point. I do not seek to endorse the Democrats blindly, nor the Republicans. My argument simply was that with recent developements in the Republican Party, I am losing my faith in their hope for liberty as a primary goal.

"But just as you’re concerned about Shiavo on the right, we have the left pushing the "Fairness Doctrine", speech-codes on campus and other such anti-liberty policies."

This is undoubtedly true on the left, however I see the mainstream Democratic party distinguishing itself from far left viewpoints such as this. The Democratic Party gained many more "centrist" members with the recent elections, and for them (largely), centrist means more conservative fiscally.

I in no way am saying that the Democrats now monopolize the fiscal conservative mantra, but they are taking steps in the right direction where as the Republicans are slipping.

Good Points though. I agree with you entirely about both parties having authoritarian tendancies...

BqTM




 
Written By: BqTM
URL: http://www.bequeeththemasses.blogspot.com
"if it did not reach out to minorities..."

Aren’t Republicans a minority?
 
Written By: timactual
URL: http://

 
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