Saturday, November 8, 2008

Conservative Leader Blames "Moderates" For Loss

Or alternate title, would Reagan recognize this GOP?

Bizarrely, Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council and religious conservative Republican blamed the presidential and congressional losses on moderates.
Wow. This Republican is blaming moderates for not getting on board with social conservatives' agenda and wants to move the GOP farther right. Wow again.

Yes, some states passed amendments to ban same-sex marriage, or made English its official language or tried to ban affirmative action. Those types of issues are what Perkins is clinging to. Those issues work great for the GOP in state and local elections sometimes. And they help the GOP nationally when we're at peace and the economy is booming but not so much now or any time in the near future given our economic outlook and the fact that we're fighting two wars. The days of those "social" issues dominating the political landscape may be gone. The economy, taxes, foreign affairs, the issues that used to dominate elections, holds sway now.

For example, let's look at two of the religious conservative Republican's (I call them Pat Roberston Republicans, PRR's, as opposed to Barry Goldwater Republicans, BGR's) favorite red herrings in election years that they use to rally the base and scare the electorate generally, namely abortion and immigration. (see this blog post #22 for more on PRR's) Case in point, from 2000-2006 the GOP controlled the White House, and the Congress and arguably had a 5-4 majority in the Supreme Court but couldn't overturn Roe v. Wade. Furthermore, the GOP arguably doesn't try very hard to address the red herring issues they campaign about. How many test cases did the GOP get in front of the Supreme Court from 2000-2006 to try to overturn Roe v. Wade? They scare folks about immigration, but again from 2000-2006 didn't pass anything to punish employers that employ illegal immigrants, instead they talked about building a fence. A fence along the entire USA/Mexican border! And most of the Republicans, especially the PRR's, eat up these red herring campaign issues hook, line and sinker!

The fact of the matter is that McCain did pander to the GOP base, scaring them as best he could, at the expense of moderates, moderates that can be described as Reagan Democrats or Clinton Republicans. Moderates that don't see combating immigrants, abortion rights, gay rights, affirmative action, stem cell research ect., as the most important of the fights out there. I guess Perkins is frustrated that moderates weren't as easily scared as they were in 2004 by the bogeymen of a terrorist attack, the destruction of marriage, immigrants flooding across the boarder, ect, if a Democrat was elected. (Quick aside: does the state allowing same sex marriage mean that your individual church or faith has to allow it? No. Does it mean you have to attend every same sex wedding? No. Is the difference between a "civil union" and "marriage" semantics regarding a state providing a license for it? Yes.)

Perkins claims that he is attempting to go back to a Reagan-esque GOP. Really? Reagan advocated and passed the decriminalization of marijuana in California as governor. As president Reagan advocated and got passed the Earned Income Tax Credit for the poorest in our nation and amnesty to illegal immigrants in the USA who met certain criteria. I don't think Perkins really knows what Reagan stood for when it came to social issues. Reagan was arguably the most progressive on social issues of any president since LBJ, remember Clinton cut back on welfare when he "reformed" it. Reagan was actually consistent in advocating smaller government on economic issues as well as social issues. Reagan also balanced socially progressive stances by being a hawk.

So Perkins' solution to the GOP's poor performance in not only the presidential election but in congressional elections the last two cycles is to move farther to the right on social issues. Good luck with that. Dems, I'm sure, are quietly hoping the GOP follows Perkins' plan.


Sidenotes:

McCain versus Palin - McCain aides say that Palin, 1) didn't know what countries were parties to NAFTA, 2) didn't know Africa was a continent and not a country, 3) resisted coaching before the Couric interview.
http://www.latimes.com/news/printedition/asection/la-na-palin6-2008nov06,0,5597211.story

Palin wanted to address the crowd before McCain's concession speech, McCain aides said no.