Axis of Right

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

Posts Tagged ‘republican party’

Don’t Stop the NCGOP Ad!

Posted by Ryan on April 25, 2008

I know I’m going to disagree with John McCain more times than my conscience will like, but he needs to back off this one. The North Carolina Republican Party is trying to paint a Barack Obama out of touch with mainstream North Carolinians by citing Obama’s close relationship to the crazy Reverend Wright.

Here’s the ad which is causing all sorts of stress for the GOP right now:

John McCain calls the NCGOP as “out of touch” for airing such an ad.  It’s not out of touch, it’s a decent ad which highlights real voter concerns in a local election.  For McCain to come out before the MSM to condemn this ad, he’s adding unnecessary friction within the GOP at a time when we need to sit back and enjoy the other side’s breakdown.  Obama’s people are already painting this as McCain’s inability to control his own peeps.  Unfortunately, I’m sure this will not be the last time parts of the GOP clash with McCain this year in such a fashion. 

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Posted in Election 2008, Media Bias, Politics, Religion | Tagged: , , , , , | 1 Comment »

No One To Blame But Ourselves

Posted by Mike on February 7, 2008

Although I don’t condone McCain Derangement Syndrome, there is no doubt that conservatives are rightfully in a funk. Who wouldn’t be after the party they know and love nominates someone who has repeatedly thumbed his nose at it? Before conservatives start lashing out at McCain however, it might be a good idea to take a deep breath and look in the mirror. We conservatives did this to ourselves.

This year our party had one conservative option and only one conservative option. When presented with that option however, many conservatives sacrificed principle for a certain je ne sais quoi. Some call it performance, I’ll call it style. What it can’t be called is principle. Despite having just about every conservative principle embodied in one candidate, conservatives scattered to non-conservative alternatives. Some went to the pro-amnesty Maverick. Others went to the tax-hiking pro-lifer. Others still went to the candidate who routinely switched his positions based solely on whatever his ambition happened to be at the time (three flip-flops on the abortion issue alone).

So why are we here? It’s simple if we look in the mirror. Fredhead-turned-Mitten Mary Matalin said it best:

“You reap what you sow. We like to applaud ourselves as the party of ideas and principle, but we turn out to be the party of performance art. All we did was gripe about Fred’s performance skills as opposed to his principles and policies — and . . . here we are,” Matalin said. “We let the perfect — as defined by performance — be the enemy of the great.” Fred Thompson would have been “a great candidate, a great standard bearer for conservatism, and a great president,” Matalin said, and his candidacy’s failure could mean that “we’re going to have to burn down the village.”

Conservatives who chose the fiscal liberal or the gumby-like faux conservative over Fred (most conservatives) because they didn’t like his “lack of energy,” poll numbers, late entry or any other superficial reason are really the last people who should be faulting others for choosing John McCain based on electability instead of principle. The Rubicon of abandoned principle runs through South Carolina, not Super Tuesday. Hopefully next time conservatives will heed their principles before complaining about the party abandoning its principles.

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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 »

Reagan Takes McCain to the Woodshed

Posted by Mike on January 31, 2008

Michael Reagan that is. It seems that the 20th Century’s greatest President’s son is not about to join Olympia Snowe, Susan Collins, Arnold Schwarzenegger, and Joe Lieberman on the John McCain’s bandwagon. Like many conservatives, Reagan is having a hard time overlooking the maverick’s attitude.

I’m not as hard on McCain as many other conservatives. Sure, he’s dead wrong on too many important issue, but he’s also so-so on other issues and pretty decent on others. he isn’t the perfect candidate or even a good one, but he isn’t She Who Must Not Be Named either. That said, I’ve also never denied that McCain has a habit of giving the base the finger and has no business leading our once-great party. After reading Reagan’s latest column, however, I realize that my middle finger analogy was an understatement.

Given our current situation, I think our party should simply take a chance on Mitt and see what happens.

Hat tip: Mark Levin

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 4 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.   

Posted in Election 2008, Politics | Tagged: , , , , | 3 Comments »