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Disarray on the right
Posted by: McQ on Friday, May 16, 2008

First there is what most would call a fairly mainstream conservative Republican running for the top spot in the Libertarian Party (Bob Barr). Then there is the Constitution party, which trumpets many of the same goals as the Libertarian party (and, supposedly, the GOP). Now comes the American Independent Party, a creation of Alan Keyes:
Alan Keyes, who was recently beaten 3-to-1 for the Constitution Party nomination for President, has decided to continue his run for President as an “Independent”. In order to facilitate with ballot-access, Keyes is trying to start a new party called “America’s Independent Party”. He has groupings of supporters in Texas, California, Florida, New York and Missouri. In what was their first major ballot-access hurdle, the Keyes campaign has failed to get on the ballot in Texas—collecting only 10,000 signatures. This is actually an impressive effort considering they had no time, no money, and no real support for such an effort, but nowhere near the 74,000 needed.
While it may be an impressive effort, even on a small scale, it further demonstrates the disarray the right finds itself in. Ron Paul's candidacy is another indicator of the problem. In the near past, the Republicans were able to impose some pretty impressive party discipline, out raise their rivals and be assured they'd take the requisite seats in the expected Congressional districts.

But they had a cohesive ideology around which to do that.

Not this election cycle. The party is fractured, poor and looking at getting their rear-ends kicked. And rightfully so. They've managed in 8 short years to go from the party of limited government and the requisite reduced spending and intrusion that should accompany that principle to outspending the Democrats in just about every way imaginable. They've now set the stage for a Democratic political orgy to follow that, at least in my opinion, is entirely their own fault.

In the meantime, the right thrashes around with former Republicans running as libertarians, Constitutionalists and now, "American Independents". If you look closely though, you see that each of these parties are, in at least one way, reflections of what Republicans once stood for but seem to no longer - parties of limited government.

No matter how small or electorally insignificant these parties might be they reflect a hunger by the American right to go back to the founding principles and get government out of their lives and wallets.

For proof positive of how far the present Republicans have strayed from their principles, one need only look at their nominee. A man who has said he'd rather have clean government than free speech. Who sponsored McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy and McCain-Lieberman. A candidate who is willing to commit his nation to a ruinous cap and trade system based on bad science. He is perfectly representative of why the Republican party is in the shape it is today and why many on the right are seeking alternatives to the GOP.

McCain is the embodiment of the "politics over principles" mode the GOP has fallen into over the years. The irony is that while he may be the best candidate the present version of the Republican party can field against the Democratic candidates, he is a compromise candidate with compromised principles. But to those on the right, he is, for better or worse, the face of the GOP.

And he is also why Barr is running as a libertarian, Paul continues his insurgent campaign and Keyes is starting another party.
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Previous Comments to this Post 

This doesn’t bother me that much. If the GOP can’t get their sh*t together, they don’t deserve to run things.

No more Lincoln Chaffee’s. And no more Denny Hasterts either.
Written By: shark
URL: http://
i think the gop made a poor choice with mcain and its going to burn them in the long term. he is not a real conservative.
Written By: slntax
URL: http://
In fairness, we should remember that their majority was small enough to create much in the way of go-along to et along’ type of stuff... that I note with some irony is the center of Mccain’s campaiging.

Was this shift due to a shift in thinking, or simply a product of trying to keep terrorism under control while facing a lot of nonsense from the Democrats, who took quite a bit to appease them?

Written By: Bithead
I tend to agree with Bithead. The Republican majority simply didn’t have the clout to get its way. Of course, there is also the problem of RINOs, but they act to further reduce the clout of any slim Republican majority.

The Democrats are currently in a similar situation. They have a slim majority that can’t really deliver what the base wants.

I agree with Ron Paul on many domestic policy issues, but I never saw him as a serious candidate (and I’m not sure how anyone could). The whole Paul campaign looked like a temper tantrum by a bunch of 5 year olds who didn’t get their way.
Written By: Don
URL: http://
The Republican majority simply didn’t have the clout to get its way.
That would account for failing to pass laws rolling back government and spending. But it totally fails to account for laws that extend government and spending (Medicare Rx, corporate and farm subsidies, steel tariffs, campaign finance reform, federalization of education, earmarks, ad nauseum). A party with any significant number of principled small-government types could and should have blocked those initiatives, because it doesn’t take a majority to do it, just a significant minority.

Ergo, there was no significant number of principled small-government types in the GOP the last eight years.
Written By: Billy Hollis
URL: http://
First there is what most would call a fairly mainstream conservative Republican running for the top spot in the Libertarian Party (Bob Barr).
Hey, don’t underestimate him. He’s a fairly recent convert. He may still be in that "more libertarian than thou" phase that most Libertarian Party members seem to go through.
Written By: Terry
URL: http://
Your article did not mention Dr. Chuck Baldwin, the Nominee of the Constitution Party who beat Alan Keyes by a big "landslide" majoriy of most of the delegates at the Constitution Party National Convention in Kansas City, Missouri.

If you go to Baldwin’s websites: and
you will see many excellent articles that he has written. These excellent articles show his great
problem solving knowledge, his great principles,
his honesty and reasons why he is truly the best Presidential Candidate for America.

The American Independent Party is the California
affiliate of the Constitution Party and we most
likely will support the Baldwin-Castle ticket of the Constitution Party!

We must not let the "sour grapes" Alan Keyes losers split up and confuse the voters by their
underhanded tactics of "Divide and Conquer" simply
because they did not get their way! With too many
minor parties, we will accomplish nothing!
Written By: Elliott Graham
Bithead is right. The Dems. had outright control of the Senate from 2000-2002 and had a de-facto tie from 2002-2006 when you factor in Snowe, Collins, Smith, Chaffee, Specter. They aren’t conservatives. When you factor them in, there was a significant liberal majority in the Senate that turned into a 50-50 situation through ’06. Then throw in Hagel and McCain who could be counted on to vote against conservative legislation and generally get their anti-Bush stances out into the media. The RINO’s in the Senate were the reason that the tax cuts contained the sunset provision, there was no social security reform, McCain-Feingold passed, etc. There really never was a conservative majority in the Senate during Bush’s tenure.

As for the House, Hastert was never a strong leader. He was chosen after Livingston was forced to remove himself from consideration precisely because he was under the radar. When you add in the fact that Republicans have never had the stomach to play hardball politics, you get tepid leadership. The loss of Tom DeLay was huge. I know that many on this blog believe he was part of the problem, but I think he was a better party leader than he gets credit for.

In the end, what Karl Rove didn’t seem to understand is that Republicans lost the House and Senate because they weren’t conservative enough, not because they were too conservative.
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