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The Republican Post-Mortems

by: Left Coast Libertarian

Sun Nov 11, 2012 at 11:02:52 AM EST

The post-mortems on the election are sickening.  
Left Coast Libertarian :: The Republican Post-Mortems
Reporters are interviewing Democrats about how the Republican party should change. One thing Democrats love is to not only tell you what the Democratic party should stand for but what Republicans should too. They do find some "moderate" Republicans, mostly disgruntled people who no longer have a role in the party, who agree that the Democrats are brilliant in their wisdom.

The message is simple. Republicans need to abandon their positions on abortion, religious freedom, traditional marriage, immigration, and lower taxes and embrace the Democrats' positions.

We need to pander to minorities, although they are never clear how.

I'm libertarian and I differ from my party on some of these issues, but I can say that this is all bull dung. There's no doubt that the party should always examine what people like about us and what they don't and determine the best way to communicate what we believe and have a big tent.

The critics want us to jettison conservatives and become Democrats light. We tried that from 2001-2007 and America rejected Republicans big time. Because America doesn't need Republicans to be Democrats light. If they want what the Democrats are selling, why go for a watered down Republican version?

Jim Geharty weighs in and notes that a lot of Republican moderates lost.

We suffered a horrible electoral defeat in 2008. We must've done a good job of figuring out what America wanted because we made a historic comeback in 2010. From reading the media we didn't just lose to a sitting President by nearly 5 points less than we did in 2008. The loss is by a similar amount that John Kerry lost in 2004. No one was telling Democrats to change their message then, only that they needed a better candidate than Kerry.

The critics are acting like this defeat is worse than 2008 and that 2010 never happened.

Romney just won White women 56%-42% after losing them four years ago 53%-46%. That was the biggest gain we had. And we're supposed to abandon our message to women and go with the losers' message?

I welcome introspection and I won't be upset if the party moves closer to me on immigration. We can certainly improve our message and refine our positions. We can evolve. I'm clearly disappointed with the election. We could've done better. But I look at where we stood after the 2008 election and where we stand today and think we must be doing something a lot better than we were then.

After the 2010 election Nancy Pelosi chalked up the loss to the Democrats being too good at their jobs and accomplishing so much that their opponents were motivated. They hadn't made any mistakes or needed to do anything differently. I hope they continue with this attitude and spend all their time providing advice on how we should change. That may annoy me but it sure doesn't help them.

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Conservatives and the MSM
From the time (about 1987/88) I became aware of "the media" and its power to shape public opinion, there has never been a single national election in which the majority of the media did not claim that the Republican party was being (or soon would be) harmed, or held back, or in some way disadvantaged by its connection with conservatives, and "social conservatives", in particular. Such claims are simply a part of the media's electoral universe, and I think they always will be.

In reality, far more people in the US self-identify as "conservative" than as "liberal". Mobilizing that plurality in the face of a hostile media is a challenge, but a surmountable challenge. Doing so should be the proximate electoral purpose of the Republican party moving forward.

Age 44. Location: GA-04 & GA-05.

The problem with ideological self-identification
Many, if not most blacks and Hispanics self-describe as "conservative." They're pro-life, anti-gay marriage and vote Democrat on almost every occasion b/c they still love their big government.

25, MA-07, Rockefeller Republican. Jeb 2016. Visit me at

[ Parent ]
That's a part of it
But just part. Democrats would get a larger share of the conservative vote if that was the explanation. Liberal has a negative connotation by some liberals. Other want to think of themselves as moderate. If they're moderate, then they're reasonable and Republicans are extremists. Republicans will call themselves conservative even if they're moderate.

So conservative will always outweigh liberal.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
We have for quite some time been a 40-40-20 Conservative/Moderate/Liberal society. That's why things like "80% of Rs identify as conservative while only 40% of Ds identify as liberal" and "Democrats are winning 75% of the Moderate vote" are just dumb all around.

R - MD-7

[ Parent ]
But it's no longer only RINOs advocating a more moderate GOP
It's now the likes of Bill Kristol (now in favor of repealing the Bush tax cuts on $250K+), George Will (now apparently pro-amnesty/gay marriage/pot) and, to a minor extent, Sean Hannity (pro-citizenship path). And, for what it's worth, I hardly think Republicans flopped in '06 and '08 because the party became "Democrat-lite." Independents were irked about and Democrats emboldened by Iraq, Katrina, the tax cuts, Harriet Miers, etc.

In my humble opinion, in spite of my disagreements with the GOP on both matters, I don't believe Republicans necessarily need to tack center on abortion or gay marriage. They should, however, defend their conservative positions on both without bombastic rhetoric and certainly devoid of mentions of the r-word. Unlike Will, I think Republicans are fine politically on the drug war, which is basically an irrelevant issue for now. On immigration, I do think it'd be wise to put Cruz and Rubio out there to rally the party on some sort of moderate, sensible reform effort, esp. before the Dems come up with their own proposal. And on the tax cuts, I think Boehner should give in on the $250K+, but ONLY if there's substantive entitlement reform and spending cuts in return.

25, MA-07, Rockefeller Republican. Jeb 2016. Visit me at

Discussion, yes, throw out the platform no
Iraq and Katrina were issues, but the tax cuts? You know that 82% of the tax cuts went to people making less than $250k a year? George W. Bush is the reason that 47%, instead of 33%, of people pay no Federal income tax. It'd be something if the tax cuts that people love were the reason Republicans lose.

But the tax cuts weren't a negative. Iraq and Katrina weren't issues in 2008. What was an issue was Republicans stewardship of government, running up big deficits. Even though Democrats controlled congress in 2007-2008 people thought the Republicans did and blamed them for the financial meltdown.

Big deficits, including Medicare Part D, are Democrats lite.

Will, Kristol, and Hannity aren't calling for Republicans to abandon their principles and ditch conservatism. They're calling for more flexibility and negotiation on some issues. Here's Kristol:

The leadership of the Republican Party and the leadership of the conservative movement has to pull back, let people float new ideas. Let's have a serious debate,

I don't really understand why Republicans don't take Obama's offer to freeze taxes for everyone below $250,000, make it $500,000, make it $1 million. Really? The Republican Party is going to fall on its sword to defend a bunch of millionaires, half of whom voted Democratic and half of whom live in Hollywood?

Kristol isn't saying that Republicans should abandon being the party of no tax increases but to talk about it for some portion of the public.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
We should have always been talking about the option
Saying we won't accept $10 in spending cuts for every $1 in revenue increases makes us sound extreme and unpalatable to the average voter. Democrats largely won the battle of messaging on a few issues by successfully painting us as extreme and our own candidates didn't help.

Even if most of the country wouldn't have a problem voting for a pro-life candidate, Akin showed us that even in a darkish red state talking about rape can crush a candidacy. Republicans would win on abortion when we had Democrats defending partial birth abortions, and Democrats will win on the issue when we're talking about cases of rape or life of the mother. I'm not saying that we should become pro-choice or pro-taxes, but sacrificing good for the sake of perfect only harms us.

I think as a party, aside from messaging, we only need to change on a few positions. One is climate change, where we should be focusing on the best way to mitigate it at the lowest cost, rather than denying it. There's near scientific consensus on the issue and pretending it doesn't exist only serves to alienate the younger / educated voters who buy into it.

The second is what to do with existing illegal immigrants. Not immigration, but dealing with people who are already here. Given that the number is thought to be around 10 million, it'd be both impossible and economically disastrous to deport all of them. I'm not sure why Republicans opposed the DREAM act. Spouting platitudes about not rewarding illegal immigration does nothing to solve existing problems on the ground. Immigration alone won't win Latino voters, but vigorously opposing a path to citizenship might very well cause us to lose them.  

Rand 2016

[ Parent ]
the problems are
#1: Not so much actual individual; but that most small businesses are organized as sole proprietorships; which are taxed at individual rate.

#2: I would agree less said the better; but just go with if someone has to die over it; it should be the rapist and not an innocent party.

#3: Here there is wide disagreement among scientists on AMOUNT of global warming CO2 and other gases cause. If the ones saying the least are correct; little at all needs done.

#4: Problem with DREAM in isolation is it would indeed create an incentive for those with young kids to illegally cross.
And its not good to allow people to cut in front of those who have legally followed the rules.
Some of the illegal number has gone down when the economy did.
It would though be a good idea to increase the country quotas for both green cards and citizenship. If that's coupled with tighter enforcement against employers not checking for the green card, it should get the process normalized.

43 Male Republican, Maryland Heights, MO Pattonville School District, Maryland Heights Fire District (MO-2). Previously lived in both Memphis and Nashville.

[ Parent ]
I'll save the policy for an open thread,
But if we're at 49 senators on November 9, 2016, every pro-choicer in the country will be thanking their stars that Akin and Mourdock threw away their seats, along with a Republican's ability to replace Kennedy with a conservative.  

Rand 2016

[ Parent ]
The issues
You should read more about global warming. To steal from Dennis Prager, there are three legs to global warming:

1. It's getting warmer.
2. Man is at fault.
3. We can fix it through

The first leg is complicated, but it is warmer than it was before El Nino. The second leg has no consensus. Most experts agree that man likely makes a contribution to global warming. It's a question of how much at fault man is, but no one can know for sure. I'm not sure that man has so much power over nature to be so responsible for anything and that anything we can do will fix it. This planet is far more awesome than us.

What we need to do is come up with a plan to reduce carbon emissions without getting into the whole global warming thing.

A problem with the DREAM Act is how it provides legalization for people who spend a semester at community college. Republicans will agree to legalization for veterans.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
I have done reading
To present at least one survey of scientists (full article here: http://ijpor.oxfordjournals.or... and survey results here: http://ijpor.oxfordjournals.or... ) the numbers were 97%-1% that global temperatures have risen and 84%-5% that human-induced warming is now occurring. That's what I'd call consensus.

Your third point may have merit, but even if we can't fix it we can fix some of the underlying causes. For all of the hand-wringing when Nixon signed the CAA and CWA, levels of things like lead and sulfur dioxide have plummeted without a marked impact on the economy. Although CO2 is, admittedly, much more pervasive in everything we do.  

Rand 2016

[ Parent ]
Mitigation > prevention
Even the most aggressive targeting of CO2 won't affect temps by more than a degree or so, and would cost 15-20% of world GDP.  It would be more effective to think about mitigation and geoengineering strategies rather than current CO2 levels.  

[ Parent ]
I'm not denying that. And mitigation strategies would be something Republicans could propose instead of merely saying the problem doesn't exist. Instead we're letting the Dems get out in front - even though historically environmental issues have been pretty bipartisan.

Rand 2016

[ Parent ]
We don't say it doesn't exist
Democrats say we don't. We're not climate change deniers. We're skeptics. Since when is it wrong to question what you're told and not accept it blindly?  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
First off, you're right that most people should probably be categorized as skeptics instead of deniers.

As to your question, sometimes I think it is just wrong to be skeptical. Personally, I think the ~40% of Americans who are skeptical of evolution are flat-out wrong (to be clearer, the young-earth variety of skeptics). I also thought it was wrong to be skeptical of polling last election cycle. Some people may disagree. Actually, a lot of people disagree, or have disagreed, on both issues.

Of course climate change and evolution are not equals in terms of their basis in science. But yea, it can be wrong to be a skeptic.

Rand 2016

[ Parent ]
Devil's advocate
With evolution, or specifically man and ape - Where's the missing link? We haven't found it yet. There's a big jump there. Could it be there somewhere? Maybe.  

I think it's a plausible theory (and proven among many non human species), more so than the disproved Young Earth Creationist. I also think young earth creationism is DOA in most quarters, including more Christian religious denominations. I think it exists most in the eyes of those who want to create a strawman to battle those who doubt their views. That's one of the reasons I use YEC to attack these global warming studies of 25 or 125 years. It only matters if the YEC supporters are right, and it a slap in the face insult at the same time.

On the other hand, Michael Moore is a very good case that man did evolve from apes. That's it! The missing link.  :)

MI-08 - Chairman - Livingston County Republican Party Since 2013 - Opinions are my own and not that of LCRP.  

[ Parent ]
models and amount
Yes; consensus is some is human-warming and direct effect is not much.

What's in dispute is how quickly and much this causes indirect warming. The jury is very much out on how much there is.

Of course the cheapest mitigation against sea rising regardless of source is not permit new homes to go up on barrier islands and land below sea level to begin with.

43 Male Republican, Maryland Heights, MO Pattonville School District, Maryland Heights Fire District (MO-2). Previously lived in both Memphis and Nashville.

[ Parent ]
there was a recent NASA study coming out on radiation of heat into space
and the heat radiated into space were much higher than what the models of the more alarmist projections were.

(More heat radiation into space = less and slower indirect warming / less radiation into space = more and faster indirect warming)
What it suggested was that CO2 doesn't appear to have increased the cloud types that block radiation much.

43 Male Republican, Maryland Heights, MO Pattonville School District, Maryland Heights Fire District (MO-2). Previously lived in both Memphis and Nashville.

[ Parent ]
I say again
Most experts agree that man likely makes a contribution to global warming. It's a question of how much global warming is man caused and how much is nature. We live in a complicated eco-system, one that can't be replicated in a lab or with computer models. Seven years ago the global warming experts predicted that hurricanes would now happen in increasing severity and more frequently. Yet we had the longest period without a major hurricane.

What really gets me is the term "settled science." It shows a complete misunderstanding of what science is. Science is developing a theory based on evidence. It's knowing we'll find more information and refine theories. Science is constant discovery. No true scientist should stop that discovery by deciding something is settled.

Climate change is controversial. Lowering carbon emissions isn't.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
mostly agreed
"Carbon emissions" is fairly broad though.

Carbon Monoxide also has well documented health risks and so the only questions proposed by lowering run into is how much would it cost.

Carbon Dioxide though is also emitted by natural sources and doesn't have more direct health risks so there is more question on that. But even in this case getting more fuel efficient cars (desirability of this not controversial other than not wanting to move so fast it would force truck space to be reduced / max acceleration to be cut) automatically reduces them.

The other green house gases tend to be more in classification 1 (also having some health risks)

43 Male Republican, Maryland Heights, MO Pattonville School District, Maryland Heights Fire District (MO-2). Previously lived in both Memphis and Nashville.

[ Parent ]
4. Is it a bad thing?
Almost all the data I've seen uses data from a short period, at most 125 years, right after we start exiting the "Little Ice Age." Climate has changed in areas for hundreds of years. There were warm and cold periods in the past.

Let's just say for the sake of argument that man made global warming is real. I'm not convinced outside of heat islands in some urbanized areas, but for argument's sake.

Is it a bad thing outside of people in the desert (insert Sam Kinison joke)? For me it isn't. Longer growing season. Less heating bills. Less snow.

Some of the green pushers want a stagnant climate. That never happened, doesn't happen, and won't happen.  

MI-08 - Chairman - Livingston County Republican Party Since 2013 - Opinions are my own and not that of LCRP.  

[ Parent ]
Its both good and bad
Longer growing season, more agriculture, less heating bills/other energy costs, fewer deaths/injuries due to cold weather, sea transportation in the Arctic, less snow, less disrupted air travel, gains for business, more oil drilling and mining in the mountains etc.

The negative: incread air pollution, allergy, asthma, earlier drying of forests leading to increased forest fires, disruption of animal ecosystems,

So it depends which side you like most.

[ Parent ]
The upside of CO2 is increased plant life, since that's what they require to live. Far from destroying plants, they thrive. Hence, they call it a "greenhouse effect."

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
Sea levels
I'm not inclined to get into a full blown discussion about the climate change issue, but I'm surprised that no one has mentioned what is arguably the biggest potential downside of global warming: collapse of the polar ice caps and inundation of coastal areas, including a number of major cities.

A drastic reduction of crop yields in the Tropics (on the order of 40%-60% of staple grains) is another potential downside. However, I personally think that genetic modification can resolve that issue long before it becomes a serious concern.

Democrat, NC-11

[ Parent ]
I think you just referenced the models that the NASA heat emission ones contradicted
It turns out that observed heat emission into outer space is much higher than the models that had the fastest (and largest) level of sea rises.
(hasn't as trapped nearly as much as those models suggested)

I still think it's a bad idea to build on barrier islands or in other areas below sea level. But a hard immediate threat to both are naturally occurring hurricanes.

43 Male Republican, Maryland Heights, MO Pattonville School District, Maryland Heights Fire District (MO-2). Previously lived in both Memphis and Nashville.

[ Parent ]
It feels like Democrats don't care about getting things done, only winning elections
There are things Republicans are willing to do on climate change, immigration, and gay marriage. Instead of figuring out what Republicans will agree to, it's confrontational, our way and the highway, and you're anti-science, anti-gay, and xenophobic. Such rhetoric may win elections, but it doesn't accomplish anything.  

Democrats present an all or nothing proposition and then deliver nothing. They tell their constituents that they're trying and getting nothing is okay. They'll get everything when the Dems win the next election.

The major argument against working with Republicans is that the compromise doesn't accomplish enough. Something is better than nothing. Arafat expressed the philosophy to take what you can get now and then go back to the table and ask for more.

There is a chance that now that Obama doesn't have to stand for election again, he can achieve something on all three issues. No, it won't be everything progressives want, but if he's able to ride off into the sunset having done something, however small, on climate change, immigration, and gay marriage, that'll be more than anyone else has done.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
What are Republicans willing to do on climate change, immigration, and gay marriage?

Bear in mind that Democrats were very much on board with the Bush-McCain immigration overhaul. It was Republicans who killed it.

Democrat, NC-11

[ Parent ]
There are places to agree
The Comprehensive Immigration Reform Act of 2007 failed a cloture vote 34-61. While it's true Republicans didn't vote for it, some Democrats voted against it.

Republicans are pro-military. They'd certainly vote for any bill that gave a path to citizenship for someone who served. Marco Rubio had an immigration bill earlier in this congress. Harry Reid said it'd never get a floor vote because it was inadequate.

Republicans have supported bills that reduce carbon emissions and will do so if it doesn't require the government spending a lot of money, put an undo burden on business, or result in something that's in essence a tax for the public.

Gay marriage is a tougher issue Federally, because most Republicans feel it's a state issue. The pro-marijuana crowd was able to get the pot proposition passed by presenting it as a removal of government power. This issue can be approached the same way.

Some of the issues associated with marriage, e.g. hospital visitation rights, are ones that Republicans wouldn't oppose. The issue for social conservatives is the "marriage" name.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
This is a fair argument to make
Admittedly one that doesn't get much play on either side

Rand 2016

[ Parent ]
Embrace "global warming"? Are you drunk?
Any candidate that spouts that nonsense is not receiving my vote, regardless of party. That's the one, probably the only, issue I take a 100% zero tolerance attitude on.  That's the reason the GOP lost the senate seat in Delaware.  If Castle hadn't voted for cap-and-trade, he would have trounced in the primary.

Want to loss every gain the GOP has made with midwestern whites over the years and then some? Then embrace the climate change nonsense.

I'd embrace a 30% tax increase before caving on energy and environmental issues. Taxes on the rich only affect most Americans indirectly; shit like cap-and-trade and other greenie nonsense hit EVERYONE anytime they fill up their gas tank or flip a switch.

Anyone that embraces policies that will lead us to European gas prices should never have any influence in the Republican party.

Saint Paul (MN-4)  

[ Parent ]
The Party Has some issues
to face and thats why I am very nervous this election was a tipping point election.  I don't see how anyone can say this nation is not a center left nation.  The last big electoral win for us was back in 88 ( W never received huge electoral vote wins).So many parties are dead to Republican Party now.  Illinois, California, New York have no party infrastructure.  Colorado and Nevada seem very tough to get back.

1. Have we lost young people do to gay marriage and abortion issues?  Even if we become pro gay marriage it can hurt us with evangelicals and it didn't do much for Republicans who supported it in NY State.  

2. Hispanics.  Do we favor Dream Act/Immigration Act which will turn other parts of our base off and does it really help us at all with Hispanics?  I can't imagine many Republicans in DC in favor of this they fear primary because of it.

Mitt won Whites 18-29 51%-44%
Obama won 30-44 by the same margin as 2008, 52%-46%. So when the 26-29 year olds replaced the 41-44 it didn't change things. Our problem isn't with women or with 18-29. It's with minorities.

Our problem isn't with support of traditional marriage. It's being seen as anti-gay. If we want to protect traditional marriage, we need to offer an alternative that is acceptable to the gay community.

Abortion isn't a problem. This Gallup poll says that 18-29 are the highest "illegal in all circumstances."

Our problem is that we are seen as depriving women's rights and this year being pro-rape. We have to stop being against the liberal view and be for something.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
The problem with Gay Marriage as an issue
Is that Republicans haven't made a case as to why it shouldn't be allowed other than a religious one.  To a population gradually shifting away from organized religion, that's not a winning strategy.

I think that's the fundamental difference between Abortion and Gay Marriage as social issues.  The political question Abortion really boils down to is "at what point does a fetus get political/social rights", which isn't religious in nature.  Its entirely possible to be a Pro-life Agnostic (I should now, being one myself).

24, Conservatarian Republican CA-12
Liberals dream things that never were and ask why not.  Conservatives shout back "Because it won't work"

[ Parent ]
Non-religious arguments
There are non-religious arguments against SSM.  They're just harder to articulate.  

[ Parent ]
18-29 whites
51-44 is not a large margin. W hit 55% with that group both times.

28, R, PA-07.

[ Parent ]
Who needs a large margin?
We're winning every White age group. Winning by 1 point is all you need and 18-29 year olds vote more Republican as they get older. This group isn't the problem. It's minorities.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
we need a large margin I suppose
The 18-29 crowd is growing (populationwise) and more minority than prior generations.

You have to compensate somewhere as it grows.

28, R, PA-07.

[ Parent ]
Or do better with minorities
Accept we're doing well with Whites 18-29 and concentrate on the minority issue.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
it's not an either or proposition
Remember, Reagan got near 70% of 18-29 whites. Like it or not, the Democrats seem to be buying them off with birth control and other social issues; 18-29 unmarried women don't seem to be very fiscally conservative.

28, R, PA-07.

[ Parent ]
I was one of them in 1984
So, yes I remember it. Of course I was in the minority at NYU. You can't get everyone. If we get the majority of 18-29 Whites I'm happy.

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
We need to work hard and work smart
What I think we need to do is this.

1. Vet candidates. We need to make sure that:
A. Candidates aren't talked into running, but want the job. If you told me at the beginning of the year that Tommy Thompson would lose, and that Pete Hoekstra would have lost by a bigger margin than Mike Bouchard in 2006, I'd say you would be full of crap.
B. Candidates can control their mouths. Akin and Mourdock.

2. From an ideology standpoint, we can't pander. It insults minorities. It ticks off the base. There's nothing good about that at all. If we abandon principles because of minorities, we lose the relatively few minorities who already support us. I'll say this. The Republican minorities I know are not that fiscal conservative. They are more social conservative than I am. They liked George W Bush quite a bit, a lot more than I did.

3. Immigration. We need to welcome Americans and legal immigrants who wish to become Americans. Notice how I phrase that. Americans. Some of the immigrants I know, who are natural conservatives (some are R's, some are conservadems) do not trust some elements of the Republican party and think that to us, they aren't "real Americans". That's a problem, and that can be helped with our tone. We can support - and should support - border security and opposition to illegal immigration (which most legal immigrants despise), but we can't be Pete Wilson.

4. We can't spit on social conservatives. As they correctly tell us. We ran a moderate in the last two (some say five) elections. All of them lost. I don't think we need to be Pat Robertson at all, but social conservatives, especially pro-lifers, need a seat at the table or we will never win another election.  

MI-08 - Chairman - Livingston County Republican Party Since 2013 - Opinions are my own and not that of LCRP.  

some aspects of social conservatism probably need to go
Issues like gay marriage probably favor us in a pure vote of the electorate.

The problem is that it seems to motivate their guys more than it does ours. We are getting drenched by all this urban turnout.

28, R, PA-07.

This talk of the electorate being socially conservative is hogwash as a good number of these social conservatives are voting Democratic regardless.

29, Republican, PA-6

[ Parent ]
Some are, some aren't
We aren't going to get anywhere being me too. We need to offer a position that protects social conservatism without alienating other people.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
I think the Republicans are not framing the debate properly.  The Republicans should frame the debate as one between a responsible society filled with responsible individuals over a libertine society filled with irresponsible individuals.

Being socially conservative is not responsible by itself.  It can be a foundation of a responsible society, but there is something more.  The Republicans need to push good choices not to oppose bad choices.

On the marriage issue, this means not just pushing against gay marriage, but focusing on the fundamental problems with the institution as a whole.

29, Republican, PA-6

[ Parent ]
Gay Marriage
I said about three years ago that eventually DOMA will be gone likely due to Full Faith and Credit. Between Loving v Virginia, and the reciprocity movement in Concealed Carry, I expect it to happen through the courts eventually.

Personally, I'd like to get government out of marriage altogether. It's a religious institution. If other religions (or the church of atheism) want to perform gay marriages, I don't like it, but it's not my business. Mine won't be performing them anytime soon.

Government should be out of marriage. Everything else relating to it should be through private contracts.

MI-08 - Chairman - Livingston County Republican Party Since 2013 - Opinions are my own and not that of LCRP.  

[ Parent ]
marriage isn't supposed to be a contract between the two spouses on different sides;
it's instead a contract with both spouses on one side and the community on the other.

43 Male Republican, Maryland Heights, MO Pattonville School District, Maryland Heights Fire District (MO-2). Previously lived in both Memphis and Nashville.

[ Parent ]
Both parties are unrealistic
People seem to think this is some sort of ideological triumph for the Democratic Party.  I see little evidence of it.  If anything, I see neither side having an ideological mandate because neither of them offer a realistic alternative.  We had a closely divided congressional and presidential vote.

I guess if I had to advise the Republicans on ideology, I would advise Republicans to be the party of responsibility.  This means advocating responsible behavior.  Right now we have a party that supports social policy largely based on faith and another that is libertine and reckless.

29, Republican, PA-6

Part of the Problem is the entire concept of "Minorities"
Having gone to University in the UK I think I have something of an odd perspective on this. I think part of the problem for the Republican party is a wider problem with the way Americans divide into majorities and minorities, with "minorities", whether sexual, racial or religious, defined by the priviliges or rights they either receive or are denied. The fact is that no right-leaning party can ever make headway with a group that considers itself a minority.

On the Gay Rights issue for instance, and bear with me for a minute here on something that may be a bit icky. The Oxford student conducted a survey in 2007 that found that 73% of males at the the University had experienced homosexual activity at some point. Let that sink in, 73%. That number did not indicate a higher percentage of actual gay students, but what it meant was that the entire division in society was not between "Heterosexual Males" and "Gay Males" destined to diverge at the very beginning of their lives, but between individuals who engaged in activity and liked it, and those who tried it and didn't much care for it at all. This does not mean that there was no genetic component in regards to who fell into category A or B. But it has huge impacts on how the issue as a whole is perceived.

For one thing, it eliminates "moral" arguments. Anyone trying to maintain opposition to Gay Rights on the basis of opposition to the activity is in effect accusing a majority of their potential audience of immoral acts and therefore pretty much dismissed. With any sort of linkage between behavior and identity removed, for most people "Gay Marriage" is simply a question of whether or not people should be able to marry who they chose.

Equally importantly however, it has an effect on the "Gay" Community. Rather than a permanent minority group linked by genetics, it is a group identified by who its members chose to have relationships with. That means there is a much weaker group identity, and non intrinsic linkage to the left or right. And far less self-ghettoization and the paranoia that follows.

The same is true of racial groups. Racial minorities tend to be identified by economic status. Almost no-one would think to consider an Oxford educated banker a "minority" worthy of special treatment. In the United States by contrast, and African American employee of Goldman who went to Philips Andover is still considered a minority first, and in many cases still expected to identify with their wider community.

The greatest disaster for the Republican party has been the elimination of class politics. While superficially a good thing, the fact is that people seek identity, and in the United States, class identity and class handouts have been replaced by racial identity and racial handouts. And this is a far worse situation. Rational compromises and agreements can be made between class interests that benefit everyone because the identity is based on something concrete(measurable income) and something everyone can agree on as a good(getting everyone more of it). By contrast, no one knows what their groups goals are. What is the Hispanic "issue" in the United States. People seem to think its immigration, but what happens after the Dream Act or Amnesty What is the African American issue? What is the White issue? What is the Jewish Issue? Israel?

Buying off demographics is unlikely to be as futile as some claim. Demographics can be bought in America. The issue is whether they stay bought. Because none of them have any idea what their rational aspirations are its impossible to buy them in the long run.

Same-Sex Marriage is not going to buy off the Gay community for the simple reason that the identity of its American component has mutated far beyond caring about defending their choice to live the way they wish, and by buying the idea of permanent alienation from the majority, put themselves in a position where they have no choice but to continue demanding more. And everyother group is the same.

29 London/MA-07

Centrist Foreign Policy Realist - Recovering Academic putting skills to work in Commodities Trading and Analytics

73% of Oxford's male students
That is an amazing statistic. I am probably about as cynical as anybody when it comes to the morality of elite-level college students, but I have to admit I never would've guessed that.

"Conservatism" -- as I understand the concept -- will never be able to placate people who think of themselves as "a minority" as well as "liberalism" is able to do. Not only that, but it shouldn't really try. Because conservatism is an invitation to give one's primary political identity to the overall community (a neighborhood, a city, a state, a nation) first and foremost. If someone views their primary identity through a different prism ("women," "gays", "students", "minorities"), well they are already 90% lost to conservative politics anyway, and conservatives will just have to cope with it as best they can.

Age 44. Location: GA-04 & GA-05.

[ Parent ]
That is fucked up.
I had no idea Oxford was so depraved. I'd glad stuff like that doesn't happen at American colleges.

[ Parent ]
It's amusing you guys are so shocked
Homosexuality in British colleges and boy schools is a cliche and a running joke since like the 1830s. Eton is probably the most notorious for it.  

[ Parent ]
Yes and no
I agree the reputation for "buggery" among British adolescents is fairly widesread. But I thought that reputation was mostly based in the past, I thought it had mostly affected "public school" rather than "university", and I thought the prevalence of it was somewhat less than 73%.

Age 44. Location: GA-04 & GA-05.

[ Parent ]
Huge Split Between "Tried it" and "Continued to do it"
The culture at UK Boarding schools(and a number of state schools where starting around age 16 week-long trips with limited supervision is common) combined with a massive degree of misogyny in the wider culture means that from basically age 13 or so it is probably something boys on your floor are doing in one or two of the rooms a few nights a week.

At this point you have three groups of boys. Boys who do it and find they enjoy it, whether because they are gay or because its situational. Boys who notice that it is common, get drawn into it because especially at Eton and other schools the social structure (fagging - ie. the assignment of a younger boy as a "servant" to upperclassman) means that there are perks to doing so, or because everyone else is doing it and they want to give it a chance. Finally, there is the third group who see whats going on, and disprove enough not to participate.

The thing is that the group behind door number three tend more often than not culturally to be social shut-ins, since expressing moral disapproval of things a majority of your peers are doing at age 14-17 is usually not a good method of making friends or of making yourself popular. And given how vital popularity and social networking is to later success in the UK, both academically and careerwise, it is almost certainly a disadvantage.

Basically not partaking is on par with not partaking in Pot usage or Alcohol at somewhere like Phillips Andover. Undoubtedly many students do decline to partake, but the social consequences are rarely positive and its as often a sign individuals were not invited to partake as it is that they chose not to. Definitely it is perceived that way.

Again the main difference is not with where people are at age 25. Its far more in terms of what people tried before that because the entire system of social pressure is a bit inverted. Much like Lesbians until graduation is an urban legend, albeit one where the participation are not tagged as gay, having had a "same-sex" experience is not seen as making someone Gay.

The best cultural example of this is probably Christopher Hitchens' claim that he slept with four(male)future members of Margaret Thatcher's Cabinet while at Oxford.

That article almost drips with innuendo from almost everyone.

29 London/MA-07

Centrist Foreign Policy Realist - Recovering Academic putting skills to work in Commodities Trading and Analytics

[ Parent ]
OK folks
I understand where this started, but why are we still talking about it? This is a site about elections and campaigns, and this is a fairly ridiculous derail.

[ Parent ]
I don't know Inoljt well enough to say. But at any rate, the headline on the 10:22 comment is quite true. Sad to say "stuff like that" undoubtedly does occur "at American colleges," though I tend to doubt that it affects 73% of the male students.

Age 44. Location: GA-04 & GA-05.

[ Parent ]
Yale - 18% of Males Gay, 4% BI, 8% and 13% for Woman

Though as they admit, numbers may be inflated.

29 London/MA-07

Centrist Foreign Policy Realist - Recovering Academic putting skills to work in Commodities Trading and Analytics

[ Parent ]
LGBT 5% of 2012 voters - 76-22 in favor of Obama
According to the exit polls, LGBT voters were 5% of the 2012 electorate and voted 76-22 in favor of Obama.  As you point out the Yale poll indicates getting a handle on how many people are Gay, Bisexual or Lesbian is not that easy.  People may engage in same sex activity but not consider themselves LGBT for a variety of reasons. However, I think the exit poll 5% number is a reasonable figure for people who identify as LGBT based on other polling I have seen (and remember asking people if they have engaged in same sex activity as opposed to identifying as LGBT will likely lead to your getting different results).  

[ Parent ]
A good column from Nolan Finley of the Detroit News
basically echoes what Left Coast Libertarian says above:

Republican in deep blue MI-14

If the GOP has to change one part of it's policies/platform
It should be the neoconservative/strong defense stuff rather than the social or economic issues.

From 1952 until 1992 Republicans did just fine in Presidential elections, winning 7 out of 10, mostly by wide margins.  They did second best in the Senate.  The US House and Governorships/state legislatures were the biggest problem.  Since 1992 the exact opposite has happened.  Democrats mostly win the Presidency while the GOP controls the US House and a majority of governorships and now increasingly state legislatures too.  The Senate is still in between.

Voters used to say they trusted Republicans more on national security/defense but Democrats on domestic/economic issues.  That appears to have flipped.  The GOP used to win more for the offices where foreign policy was a major concern - now they are more likely to lose.  Domestic policies had little to do with Republican losses in 2006.  It was voter unhappiness over Iraq/Afghanistan that led to Congress flipping.  When Republicans roared back in 2010 it was both economic and social issues that led the way.  Foreign issues were no help.

The key change is the end of the Cold War.  In 1988 George HW Bush won in part because he was viewed as being a much better commander in chief than Dukakis (remember the tank videos).  Of course this did the GOP little good in downballot races.  By 1992 with the Cold War over people didn't seem to care as much about that stuff and the famous slogan was "It's the economy stupid".  Republicans finally figured out how to win Congress and most governorships in 1994 though and it was domestic issues that led the way.

Being viewed as a pro-war/foreign adventure party contributed to college towns and Middle Eastern-Americans shifting much further to the left this past decade.

Regionally being in favor of more defense spending/foreign involvement only seems to help in the south, where Republicans are already strong, while hurting them in the midwest, northeast, and west.

One of the biggest problems with the strong on defense/neoconservative foreign policy angle is that being the party that on average wants more defense spending makes it difficult to get the budget under control.  Defense/foreign policy related spending is still a large chunck of the federal budget.  I'm confindent that voting to put Republicans in charge in Lansing Michigan will result in lower taxes, quickly balanced budgets, and less spending and corporate welfare.  I'm much less sure of that when it comes to the White House and to some extent Congress.  Thus I can kind of understand voters liking the GOP for state/local offices but Democrats for President.

Republican in deep blue MI-14

Agree, but how do we make the move
The problems are this.

1. Americans aren't against war. They are against the cost of war. They are against losing war even more.  

2. A lot of Conservatives still have a large paleoconservative side to them and most I know did not support Libya at all. A lot of them did not support Iraq for that matter. However, they 'supported' it to the extent that it is flat out unAmerican to protest and contribute to the defeat of American by raising morale of the enemy. This is why John "Jane Fonda" Kerry lost. People were still angry about 1972. Lessons from Vietnam go two ways. It was lost by politicians and protestors. Good people don't contribute to those losses.

What I think we need to do is this:

1. Start having a lot of the Europeans start paying for their defense. Stop being the world's cop.

2. Get out of Libya. I think the new bosses may be worse than the old bosses (for Americans) with the Arab Spring.

3. With Iraq and Afghanistan, take out the rest of Bin Laden's gang or go home. We won't know for 25 years whether it was s success nationbuilding or not. That's not in the hands of the US.  

MI-08 - Chairman - Livingston County Republican Party Since 2013 - Opinions are my own and not that of LCRP.  

[ Parent ]
My main worry
Is that people take too much solace from the House results. Gerrymandering has made the House such a silly representation (pun!) of democracy it's bonkers.

An anti-public union, market-loving moderate.

The House vote
Nationally it's 50.1% Democratic, 49.9% Republican. The House vote, while not perfect, is a better representation of the national mood since it's not dependent on just the two Presidential candidates, one of whom has strong minority appeal.  

Gerrymandering does give Republicans an edge, but some of it is self-packing. The Democrats gerrymandered Illinois, but still had candidates win with 83% and 85% of the vote, something no Republican will achieve.  

R, CA-37; hometown: PA-2

[ Parent ]
that's well within margin of error considering
Some California seats with only 2 Republicans and no Democrats on the ballot.

Some California seats with only 2 Democrats and no Republicans  on the ballot.

Misc seats where there was either no Republican or no Democrat on the ballot.

43 Male Republican, Maryland Heights, MO Pattonville School District, Maryland Heights Fire District (MO-2). Previously lived in both Memphis and Nashville.

[ Parent ]
Coming from a Democrat
but one who I like to think is pretty sober-minded, I think there's really only two issues the GOP needs to change on: civil unions and immigration.

With immigration reform embraced by the national Republican party similar to the one proposed under Bush, I think Republicans can get back to 35 or 40% of the Hispanic vote, and increase their Asian totals as well.

Civil unions at this point are not an issue, but I do think that since 60%+ of Americans support them, and the number is growing by the day, the GOP will soon need to as well.  And some Republicans, even conservative ones like Ron Johnson, do support them.

Other than that, I don't see a need to change, just like Democrats didn't need to change after 2004.  That's my assessment.

Age 22, CA-18 (home), CA-13 (college)

Law and Order Communitarian, Civic Nationalist, Democrat, Francophile.

I'll become a conservative when America becomes a meritocracy

I'd say a good deal of good old-fashioned house cleaning is in order too
Simply put, we got out-hustled and out-played.  Less so than in 2008 but then again we had very strong headwinds that year.  2012 was pretty close to a "neutral" environment, and we need to re-evaluate how we run our campaigns if we wind up losing in the end.

Basically we need our 2005 Howard Dean.  The RNC chair race is going to be interesting and will probably matter a lot this year.

As for immigration, I think the GOP would benefit from championing (and facilitating) LEGAL immigration.  A huge part of illegal immigration comes from just how difficult it is to go through the formal immigration process.  It would certainly make the "Law and Order" approach to illegal immigration a much easier sell to Hispanics and the rest of the country.

24, Conservatarian Republican CA-12
Liberals dream things that never were and ask why not.  Conservatives shout back "Because it won't work"

[ Parent ]
"our 2005 Howard Dean"
I'm not sure what that phrase means. I realize Howard Dean became DNC Chairman in January 05, but I don't believe his position played any significant role in the Democrat gains of 06 or 08 (and maybe that's not what your implying, anyway). Dean just happened to be there, IMHO. The successful recruitment of moderate-ish Blue-Dog Dems in red-districts and -states was the work of Rahm Emanuel/DCCC and Schumer/DSCC, not Dean/DNC.

Age 44. Location: GA-04 & GA-05.

[ Parent ]
The 50 State Strategy
Was largely Dean's idea he put into place over the protests of the DNC consultant class.

[ Parent ]

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