Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Calling Dr. Phil for the GOP

Oh-oh, the values party is having trouble behind closed doors, and some within their ranks may soon be headed for a breakup. Ron Chusid @ Liberal Values points to one example of discord from a journalist at the New York Times:
Frank Tierney has written about yet another group, South Park Refugees. Andrew Sullivan previously labeled them South Park Republicans, however they no longer look like they plan to vote Republican. [...]

It turns out that the creators of the show are actually libertarians, and not the type of libertarian who goes along with the GOP:
"We're the long-suffering, battered spouse in a dysfunctional political marriage of convenience,"” said Nick Gillespie, the editor in chief of Reason. "Most of the libertarians I know have given up on the G.O.P. The odds that we'’ll stick around for the midterm election are about as good as the odds that Rick Santorum will join the Village People."” [emphasis mine]
In the past the Republicans received support from libertarians who were fooled into believing their rhetoric supporting small government, freedom, and the free market. Once they took power, however, Republicans have become the party of big government, a more authoritarian government, and corporate welfare instead of capitalism. Increasingly libertarians are considering voting for Democrats or staying home rather than voting Republican. This includes many of the people the Republicans thought were South Park Republicans.
It's not just the voters who are disillusioned. David Broder said incumbents are starting to see their marriage with the GOP in a different light too.
For all of them, service in this Congress has turned out to be a handicap rather than a benefit to their chances of advancement. The reason was explained in blunt terms by the Republican governor of one of the states where a congressman of his party is struggling for statewide office. "What has this Congress done that anyone should applaud?" he asked scornfully. "Nothing on immigration, nothing on health care, nothing on energy -- and nothing on the war. They deserve a good kick in the pants, and that's what they're going to get."
It certainly doesn't help when some GOP family members run around making racist comments or accusing others of having lost their minds. And to make matters worse, some EX-family members are even admitting they lied for the White House. Geesh! Didn't Karl tell you people not to air the family's dirty laundry in public? (That's okay though - Karl's not worried. The Republicans just picked up Tom Cruise for their team.)

I would have said the party had a chance to reconcile their differences a couple of months back, but the situation has now gone from bad to worse. Republicans are now supporting Democrats. (No, not Lieberman.)
GRAND RAPIDS - A Republicans for Granholm committee, a big-tent grass roots effort, supporting the re-election of Governor Jennifer Granholm, was announced today during a 4-city press briefing tour by Chairman Gil Ziegler, a former Republican Candidate for U.S. Congress.

"I am a Republican, and will continue to be one,"” Ziegler said. "“But after careful and thoughtful consideration, I have concluded that the best course for our State of Michigan is to re-elect Governor Granholm."

"As an automotive supplier, no one needs to tell me that Michigan has taken some hard hits in its manufacturing economy,"” Ziegler said. "“But Governor Granholm has strategies in place to bring us through this difficult period, with a stronger and more diverse economy in the future."

Ziegler pointed to Governor Granholm'’s "“21st Century Jobs Fund" as one example, an innovative investment strategy which won bipartisan support from the Michigan Legislature. He also cited the Governor's grappling with a state budget which she balanced without raising income or corporate taxes. He also noted that Granholm has signed 59 tax cuts into law.

"This was a hard decision,"” said Ziegler. "“I'’m going to disappoint some people in the Republican party. But, those are the extremists in the party who want to block stem-cell research and who turned out of office a good man like Congressman Joe Schwarz (MI-R 7th district)."”[all emphasis mine]
It doesn't surprise me that people are starting to push back against the far right, but it does surprise me it took them so long. Sadly, as Ziegler points out, their reluctance to speak up sooner hurt some good people, but it also cost them something even more valuable - trust. Once you've squandered that trust it's hard to earn it back - just ask someone who's been in an abusive relationship.

UPDATE: The Impolitic had something to add to this list of unhappy Republicans.
First Bush lost the WalMart women. That's a heavy blow for the GOP. But now it seems, he's also lost the Beauty Parlor moms.
As you might expect, the war is a big issue with these moms:
At Natalie's Beauty Shoppe, they talk about Katrina, about Roe v. Wade, about religion, but the conversation always comes back to Iraq. These Vietnam-era moms are now worried about their grandchildren. And then my mother said something I hadn't heard before:

"If they had sons, this would be different."

My mom's a little old-fashioned and still thinks of the armed forces as male. But it's true that when it come to close combat, America's boys take the brunt of it. And between George W. Bush, Dick Cheney and Donald Rumsfeld, there are seven children, six of them daughters.


Lew Scannon said...

It's good to see not all the Republicans are drinking the Amway Kool-Aid. I think that party loyalty is one of the main problems with the system, people will vote for racists or incompetents just because they are from the party. I would not vote for a candidate simply because they are a Democrat or Republican, and often vote third party than vote for either. Like in 2008, if the Dems run Hillary, I'm voting libertarian again.

Zack Pohl said...

Part of the reason the GOP has been so successful in Michigan and nationally is that they've been able to build this big tent and bring in the old-school moderate repubs, the libertarian crowd, and the wingnuts. But since they've been proving time and again that they have absolutely no clue how to run a government, the big tent is starting to rip at the seams.

Now it's up to the dems to build big tent coalitions of their own to win back majorities in Lansing and Washington.

abi said...

For me, part of the problem is that the Dems as a whole have also lost my trust.

A related aside - I just read a US Census stat that said 31.4% of people in Detroit live under the poverty line. That almost defies belief. How does a city like that survive?

pissed off patricia said...

Looks like they are starting to eat their own. I'm happy to watch.

So there is some sanity in the GOP, good to know that. For a while I thought they had all become pod people.

Kathy said...

Lew, I'm the same way. I've voted Republican and Independent many times over the years. I may identify with the ideology of Dems, but if you put someone like Jeffrey Feiger on the ticket you lose my vote. BTW, I don't want Hillary OR Kerry on the ticket for president next time around.

Zach, it's also important to interact with the people invited into that tent. No one likes being snubbed once they get to the party.

Abi, I agree that the Dems have lost the trust too. That's why I think we have to stop supporting people who have tainted or questionable ethics and go with some new blood.

To answer your question about Detroit: The city manages to survive with the help of outside agencies, charities, etc., but the situation is grim. There is plenty of blame to go around from all sides on how this was allowed to happen, but that would take forever to explain. We need to move forward as a city, state and nation to address these entrenched pockets of poverty - and we need to do it quickly.