Axis of Right

Three Native Rhode Islanders Commenting From the Right on Politics and Anything Else

Posts Tagged ‘GOP’

Super Tuesday!

Posted by Sal on February 5, 2008

As those of us in twenty-four states go to the polls today, there are many things to watch.  I’m only going to touch on the GOP side, as I have not been following the particulars of the Democrat race (save the constant crying before a major election of She Who Must Not Be Named). 

California:  This is a closed primary state, which is Winner-take-all by District.  Polls are all over the map on this one.  The state is winner-take-all by district, so if Romney does well in the majority of districts, he could significantly expand his deleagte count here.  If he does not do well here, he is finished. 

The South:  This has been Huckabee’s stronghold, but he is now showing a sharp decline.  Recent polls have McCain/Romney up or near tied in many states.  Watch to see if either McCain or Romney make significant inroads in the south now that Huckabee is in decline. 

Massachusetts:  Yes, my home-state of MA is important today.  It is a state Romney is expected to win, but it partitions its delegates proportionally.  The margin of victory by Romney will be important as far as delegate count, so the higher the margin of victory, the better. 

Midwest/West:  There are several states that are holding caucus’ today.  Romney needs to win most or all of them to remain competitive. 

New York/New Jersey/Connecticut/Arizona:  All these are Winner-take-all, and heavily favored for McCain.  If he loses even one, it would be a major upset and probably finish him. 

Delegate Count:  At the end of the day, look for McCain to have around 600 delegates, Romney to have around 400, and Huckabee to have around 150 delegates.  If McCain has significantly more and Romney significantly less than the above, the race is basically over.  If the margin is closer by days end, look for Romney to have momentum.  Either way, today is an extremely critical day in the GOP primary race. 

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Posted in Election 2008, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Reagan Wisdom for Super Tuesday

Posted by Sal on February 4, 2008

As many of us go to the polls this Tuesday (myself included) to vote for the GOP Presidential Nomination, I want to present two quotes from Ronald Reagan from the 1970s that ring very true today, courtesy of Rush Limbaugh.  

I’m impatient with those Republicans who — after the last election — rushed into print saying we must broaden the base of our party, when what they meant was to fuzz up and blur even more the differences between ourselves and our opponents.  –Ronald Reagan, 1975

And: 

Don’t give up your ideals, don’t compromise, don’t turn to expedience — and don’t, for heaven’s sake, having seen the inner workings of the watch — get cynical. –Ronald Reagan, 1976.

And with that, not much else needs to be said. 

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Debating the demise of the Republican Party

Posted by Sal on January 25, 2008

There has been much talk of the demise of the GOP in recent weeks.  Rush Limbaugh has been making the case that if Huckabee or McCain are nominated, it will destroy the GOP.  In an article today, Peggy Noonan states that the GOP is already in shambles, and it is because of George W. Bush. 

On every domestic issue other than taxes and social issues, Bush has been somewhat of a disaster.  In an effort to build a permanent Republican majority, he tilted left on issues such as education, spending, health care, immigration, and other such domestic issues.  He was firm on the war, (almost to a fault in not sooner realizing that his war strategy wasn’t working and needed adjustment) terrorism, taxes, and judges (minus the Harriet Meyers debacle), but not so anywhere else.  Were we conservatives too complainant during the early years of No Child Left Behind, the Prescription Drug bill, and massive increases in spending?  Did we gloss over those issues because of our concern for National Security and the economy? 

Bush’s strategy now seems to have backfired.  We have lost the congress, and are in danger of losing the presidency as well.  Even if we do win the Presidency, it will be with a weak quasi-Conservative or a media-pandering moderate.  The party does not have the same unity of purpose anymore, it is too fractured.  Is Bush to blame as Peggy suggests, or is it something else?  What must the party do to return to its Conservative roots in the model of the era of Reagan?  Who is out there who can lead the party back to Conservatism and into the next several decades?

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The Republican Problem

Posted by Sal on January 22, 2008

The Republican Party over the course of my lifetime has been a source of both hope and frustration.  Hope because it represents the best chance for a return to the ideals of our Constitution, and for advancing the cause of Conservatism.  Even our moderate Presidents have helped to stem the tide of liberalism by blocking what the Democrats would do if they had complete power. 

The frustration comes in because, since 1980, the Republican party has not nominated a truly conservative candidate in the mold of Ronald Reagan for the office of President.  In 1988, George H. W. Bush succeed Reagan as leader of the party, even though there were more conservative candidates in the race (Jack Kemp, Alexander Hague).  In 1996, Bob Dole, a moderate, won out over the more moderate Lamar Alexander, and the more conservative Phil Graham, Pat Buchanan, and Steve Forbes.  In 2000, the seemed-to-be conservative-but-really-a-moderate George W. Bush won out over John McCain. 

Now, in 2004, the most viable Conservative candidate in the race, Fred Thompson, has lost what appears to be a critical defeat (although even Fred has his problems of not being a pure conservative which give one pause — his support for McCain-Feingold and his vote against convicting President Bill Clinton in the impeachment trial — the Constitution is important).  The remaining field is made up of candidates who appeal to one or two legs of the Conservative movement, but not all three, with the exception of Mitt Romney.  Romney’s problem is that he does not always appear credible on the issues and sincere, as he has had a history of changing his views on some issues to get elected (although not nearly as much as the press would have you believe).  He also does not inspire on a regular basis the way Reagan did (with the exception of his speech on Mormonism.  If we saw more of that, Romney would be leading the pack).  Rudy appeals to the fiscal and security legs, but throws off the social conservatives.  Huckabee appeals only to the social conservatives, and preaches a new-brand of populism that attempts to replace true Conservatism.  McCain appeals to security conservatives, as well as Democrats and independents. 

How did we get here today?  First, it has been difficult to find a candidate that truly inspires and leads in the way Ronald Reagan did, and who treats Conservatism as a guiding philosophy rather than a political necessity.  Even those who are close to being true Conservatives don’t inspire a movement like Reagan did.  Second, the party is fractured.  The true Conservatives make up a portion of the party, and a large portion, but not the majority.  The rest of the party is made up of people who support one or two of the legs (Social, Fiscal, and Security) but not all three, as well as establishment “Rockafeller Republicans”. Finding a true conservative that can appeal to all but the establishment is difficult, as one or another of the elements is usually missing. 

The open primary system is also a major problem for the Republican party electing a true conservative.  In this election, the results may have been drastically different if not for the open primary system.  For example, assume Huckabee wins Iowa.  New Hampshire comes around, and McCain is nowhere to be found, as he did not do well at all among Republicans in that race, and probably drops out.  Romney wins New Hampshire and Michigan, and we head to South Carolina.  With McCain not in the race, South Carolina decides between Huckabee, Thompson, and Romney.  McCain’s Republican voters probably do not go to Huckabee, so they would most likely go to Thompson or Romney, making it a very different primary. 

Finally, for the Republican party to succeed beyond 2008, it needs to get back to Conservatism.  To do that, a leader must be found who is both a true Conservative and who can inspire the base to vote for them.  I’m not sure if there are any out there right now, but one always has to keep hope.  The road to defeating liberalism may be long, but it can be achieved.  There will be missteps, elections won and lost, and two steps back for every three steps forward, but in the end Conservatism will defeat Liberalism. 

 Correction:  Mike pointed out that Thompson did indeed vote to convict Clinton on the charge of Obstruction of Justice, but not on the charge of Perjury.  While I still think that the vote to not convict on Perjury is questionable, it has a bit more credibility than a vote to not convict at all.  I stand corrected.   

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