Republican Infighting? Say it ain't so!!!!!!!!

Discussion in 'Politics' started by Psychoblues, Oct 21, 2006.

  1. Psychoblues
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    Psychoblues Senior Member

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    Republican Woes Lead to Feuding by Conservatives


    By DAVID D. KIRKPATRICK
    Published: October 20, 2006
    WASHINGTON, Oct. 19 — Tax-cutters are calling evangelicals bullies. Christian conservatives say Republicans in Congress have let them down. Hawks say President Bush is bungling the war in Iraq. And many conservatives blame Representative Mark Foley’s sexual messages to teenage pages.

    With polls showing Republican control of Congress in jeopardy, conservative leaders are pointing fingers at one another in an increasingly testy circle of blame for potential Republican losses this fall.

    “It is one of those rare defeats that will have many fathers,” said David Keene, chairman of the American Conservative Union, expressing the gloomy view of many conservatives about the outcome on Election Day. “And they will all be somebody else.”
    Whether the election will bear out their pessimism remains to be seen, and the factors that contribute to an electoral defeat are often complex and even contradictory. But the post-mortem recriminations can influence politics and policy for years after the fact. After 1992, Republicans shunned tax increases. After 1994, Democrats avoided gun control and health care reform. And 2004 led some Democrats to start quoting Scripture and rethinking abortion rights, while others opened an intraparty debate about the national security that is not yet resolved.

    In the case of the Republican Party this year, the skirmish among conservatives over what is going wrong has begun unusually early and turned unusually personal.
    But almost regardless of the outcome on Nov. 7, many conservatives express frustration that the party has lost its ideological focus. And after six years of nearly continuous control over the White House and Congress, conservatives are having a hard time finding anyone but one another to blame.

    “It is pre-criminations,” said Rich Lowry, editor of National Review, the conservative magazine. “If a party looks like it is going to take a real pounding, this sort of debate is healthy. What is unusual is that it is happening beforehand.”

    Some conservative leaders have often been quicker in the past to turn on Republican officials and one another than their rank-and-file supporters. But this year polls show broad disaffection at the grass roots, prompting some Republicans — including former Speaker Newt Gingrich — to worry that the public sparring could dampen turnout.
    This year’s antagonists also include some new critics, including Mr. Gingrich’s one-time lieutenant, Dick Armey, the former House Republican majority leader.

    In recent weeks, Mr. Armey has stepped up a public campaign against the influence of Dr. James C. Dobson, founder of Focus on the Family and an influential voice among evangelical protestants. In an interview published last month in “The Elephant in the Room,” a book by Ryan Sager about splits among conservatives, Mr. Armey accused Congressional Republicans of “blatant pandering to James Dobson” and “his gang of thugs,” whom Mr. Armey called “real nasty bullies” — arguments he reprised on the editorial page of The Wall Street Journal and in an open letter on the Web site organization FreedomWorks.

    In an interview this week, Mr. Armey said catering to Dr. Dobson and his allies had led the party to abandon budget-cutting. And he said Christian conservatives could cost Republicans seats around the country, especially in Ohio.
    “The Republicans are talking about things like gay marriage and so forth, and the Democrats are talking about the things people care about, like how do I pay my bills?” he said.

    Mr. Armey also pinned some of the blame on Tom DeLay, the former Republican House majority leader, who “was always more comfortable with the social conservatives, the evangelical wing of the party, than he was with the business wing.”
    Mr. Armey, who identifies himself as an evangelical, said he was tired of Christian conservative leaders threatening that their supporters would stay away from the ballot box unless they got what they wanted.

    “Economic conservatives,” he argued, were emerging as the swing voters in need of attention, in part because they had become more likely to vote Democratic in the years since President Bill Clinton was in office. “A lot of people believe he brought us from deficits to surpluses, and there is a certain empirical evidence there,” Mr. Armey acknowledged.

    In a statement on Thursday, Dr. Dobson said Mr. Armey was “still ticked” over a long-ago House leadership race in which Dr. Dobson endorsed someone else, and he restated his warnings to Republicans that social conservative voters “would abandon them if they forgot the promises they had made.”

    In a recent newsletter from Dr. Dobson’s organization, Representative Mark Souder, an Indiana Republican counting on Christian conservatives to turn out for his re-election, called Mr. Armey’s comments “disgusting” and insulting to “the many Christians around the United States who devoutly hold conservative moral beliefs.”

    Christian conservatives began complaining last year that the Republicans had put proposed Social Security changes and tax changes ahead of issues like abortion and same-sex marriage, risking the support of social-issue voters.

    Over the summer, Congress held a rush of votes on just those issues — an election-year ritual intended to motivate those voters — and in an interview last week Tony Perkins, president of the Christian conservative Family Research Council, said he believed it had begun to revive some grass-roots enthusiasm.

    “But the Foley scandal just let the air out of the tires,” Mr. Perkins said.
    Others dismissed the Foley scandal as largely irrelevant outside of Mr. Foley’s district. Several conservatives said Republican incumbents were using it as a scapegoat.
    “It will make you feel better to say, I didn’t lose the election; Foley lost it for me,” said Grover Norquist, the president of Americans for Tax Reform. “Your wife and kids will believe it.”

    Mr. Norquist said the Iraq war was the biggest drag on Republican candidates even before their big wins in 2004.

    “Some people think we did it just to prove we could do it, like people who go running with weights on their ankles,” he said.

    Many blame neoconservatives who argued most vocally for the invasion of Iraq. “The principal sin of the neoconservatives is overbearing arrogance,” Mr. Keene said. Neoconservatives, in turn, blamed Defense Secretary Donald H. Rumsfeld’s insistence on holding down troop levels for the fouling up of the war

    “There is a bit of a battle between people who say, Hey, your tax cuts wrecked our war and people who say, Hey, your war wrecked our tax cuts,” said David Frum, a former Bush speechwriter who was among the war’s proponents.

    Mr. Frum argued that the problem with the Iraq war was in its execution, not in the idea behind it. “The war has to be seen through the prism of Hurricane Katrina,” he argued, “because conservatives will support a tough war if they are confident in the war’s management.”

    William Kristol, editor of the conservative Weekly Standard and another prominent advocate of the invasion, said he doubted that soaring spending was turning off as many voters as tax-cutters like Mr. Norquist or Mr. Armey suggested.
    “The spending bill that was supposedly going to destroy the Republican Party was the Medicare drug bill,” he said. “I have heard almost no one talk about it one way or the other.”

    Mr. Kristol argued that the Bush administration was suffering politically for applying too little force, not too much. “I am struck that people have the sense in North Korea and Iran that things are spinning out of control,” he said.

    Mr. Frum and others blamed the Republican Senate’s support for the president’s guest-worker immigration proposal for angering the grass-roots talk-radio crowd. But Mr. Norquist, who favored the immigration proposal, argued that the election would provide a verdict on “restrictionism” in the fate of Randy Graf, a Republican candidate in Arizona running on calls for tighter borders. Polls show Mr. Graf faces long odds.
    Mr. Gingrich, for his part, made the best of the fray, saying, “I would rather have a movement active enough to bite itself rather than a movement so moribund it didn’t realize it was irritated.”

    edited to add the link: http://www.nytimes.com/2006/10/20/u...67b8fa0b&ei=5094&partner=homepage&oref=slogin


    Hell, even I have to admit. There are a few intelligent Republicans.

    Psychoblues
     
  2. Avatar4321
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    Avatar4321 Diamond Member Gold Supporting Member

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    Sounds like the media is projecting itself again. They want to find Republicans fighting so they are trying to start it. Problem is it doesnt seem like any of the base is getting the message.

    We might not like a few things the President has done. But that isnt going to make us vote out our representatives who have largely done what we asked for. Nor are we going to give up the House or the Senate to the Democrats just to teach the moderate Republicans a lesson. After all why would we want to give the moderates more power?
     

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