Specter’s Party Switch Underscores Moderates Need To Fight For A Home in Republican P

Discussion in 'Politics' started by JimofPennsylvan, May 2, 2009.

  1. JimofPennsylvan
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    JimofPennsylvan VIP Member

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    I am a devout Independent and Republican from Pennsylvania. Although I am extremely disappointed in Senator Specter for becoming a Democrat I completely understand his actions and will still be voting for his reelection next year. The Conservative Right Wing has taken over the Republican Party and they make it such that elected Republicans that don’t tow their line are considered traitors. This Right Wing is greatly responsible for thinning the ranks of the Republican Party and it is completely understandable that Arlen Specter would not want to subject himself to a vetting in a primary election by a right wing electorate that doesn’t represent mainstream America and doesn’t offer a good future for all America.

    However, the Senator failed to fully consider that the American electorate frequently trashes their elected officials in polls long before an election, but as the election day nears the electorate gets practical and chooses the better candidate and Specter is clearly the better candidate over Toomey, Toomey is out of his league in comparison to Arlen. Further, the Senator did not fully consider that a true abundance of people across Pennsylvania know and would not forget the great work that he has done for Pennsylvania and the nation during his long career, and he would have, if he made it a priority, been able to call on a large number of Pennsylvanians to register as Republicans and carry him to the nomination. As for his stimulus legislation vote that wasn’t and isn’t a liability rather it is a feather in his cap (and this comes from a citizen that thinks this legislation was a disgrace for all its social spending) because the Republican Party’s alternative was stupid beyond belief, tax cuts are a weak means of generating quick stimulus and job creation, its Economics 101.

    The other item that none of the political analysts have really focused on but would have significantly helped Arlen in the 2010 Republican senate primary is that year’s Republican governor’s primary. That race will mirror what would have been Arlen’s race with Toomey. Because in that race you have Tom Corbett a loyal foot soldier of the Republican establishment, like Toomey, against Pat Meehan, who is his own person and a strong leader who is essentially an independent and moderate. The prevailing political wisdom is that Corbett’s going to sail to the nomination but that wisdom would be wrong if Meehan runs well. Pat Meehan is the better candidate; he is better in the areas of character, values and image and ordinary Pennsylvanians can readily see this. Moreover, Meehan is well-known and well-liked in southeastern PA for his work as U.S. attorney where he was responsible for driving a spear into the “pay-to-play political culture” beast in the Philadelphia region. Meehan could readily tap into that grass roots support and produce an enormous increase in Republican registration for the 2010 primary, and these Meehan voters in dramatic percentages would have also been Arlen voters over Toomey voters because these are independent and moderate voters.

    The lesson from the Arlen Specter story is that Republicans have to make a good home for moderates and independents in the Republican Party. The crux of the solution to this problem is to provide a guaranteed strong campaign funding means for these types of candidates and elected officials, freeing them from having to rely on the Republican Party bosses and the Republican Party apparatus which are and is squarely in the Right Wing camp. Such a solution addresses the harsh reality in American politics today which is that candidates need money to get into office and stay in office, political campaigns today are largely contests in advertising and campaign staff efforts and these elements of a campaign take lots of money. Moderate Republicans have to galvanize and make it clear to the right wing and any other wing in the Republican Party that we are going to have a safe and supportive home in the Republican Party and that it will be obtained peacefully or it will be obtained through fighting but it will definitely be obtained. To completely fill in the picture here “moderate” Republicans’ position should be you Republican “right wingers” go off and be as nutty, tunnel visioned, class divisive as you want to be just don’t threaten our existence in politics and in the Republican Party.

    Back to the money answer for solving this suppression and purging problem of moderates in the Republican Party. Moderates need to set up a national organization within the Republican Party, call it the Moderate Republican Club have it have a board of directors of high profile Republican moderates like Tom Ridge, Colin Powell, Olympia Snowe, etc. This board will elect a Director whose primary task will be twofold. First, the Director’s task will be to raise money for moderate Republican candidates for elected office and distribute the raised monies to these candidates and secondly, the Director’s task will be to certify one organization in each state to be a state level Moderate Republican Club to do the same work as the national club which is to raise money for statewide moderate Republican candidates and distribute the raised monies to them. It is important to have a state level certification process because otherwise America will see unscrupulous Republican leaders who don’t care about moderate Republican values and seeing the implementation of those values in America utilizing the appeal of the moderate movement to raise money from moderate Republican supporters and funnel this money to right wing candidates. Moderates need to turn this Moderate Republican Club movement into a movement like the Blue Dog movement in the Democrat Party, it is a movement that is a potent force in American politics, it is a movement members are proud to be part of and wear their affiliation with the movement as a badge of honor.

    The natural and critically important question which this initiative raises is what is Moderate Republicanism. First off Moderate Republicanism is a broad category. The clearest picture of what this category includes is by focusing on the Right Wing Movement of the Republican Party. The Right Wing Republican Party movement are zealous opponents to raising taxes and that means any kind of taxes and they are absolutest that is they are vehemently opposed to even minor tax increases. The tax issue is one of the major defining areas of the moderate Republican Movement. Moderate Republicans recognize the need for some increases in government spending like for the Food and Drug Administration, the Security and Exchange Commission, the Commodity Futures Trading Commission, etc. and believe that even cutting unnecessary spending the Federal Government is facing significant and unsustainable budget deficits and considering that America is currently in two wars which are extremely expensive some tax increases are in order and the repeal of the Bush tax cut on wealthiest American’s qualify as in order. Right Wingers are opposed to the “polluting emissions cap and trade” legislation because it is practically a tax on ordinary Americans, moderate Republicans recognize that government has to take action to bring about the nation taking meaningful progress in cutting CO2 emmissions at least from the power generating industry and this needs to be done through what is practically a tax. Moderate Republicans, unlike Democrats that want to tax an activity just because it pollutes, want to tax polluting activities that will bring about meaningful reductions in pollution and in an economically sensitive manner, that believe scientist and economists should be directing a slow phase in this cap and trade initiative where science and responsible economics are guiding the action not politics. The spending issue is another of the major defining areas of the moderate Republican movement. As stated Moderate Republicans believe that some increase in government spending is in order and not at the expense of warranted social spending, right wingers recognize the need for increased government spending in certain areas but want to do it at the expense of warranted social spending, right wingers don’t really care about government social spending they would cut whatever they could practically get away with in this area.

    For the moderate Republican movement, the above mentioned financial issues are the top priority in defining what is a moderate compared to what is a right winger or today an ordinary Republican. In implementing any initiate to provide financial support for moderate candidates these financial concerns should be given top priority all other concerns fall into levels far below this financial issue level and after a Moderate Republican Club has done right by moderate Republican candidates that are moderates on economic matters like described above than providing support to other moderates can be pursued.

    Again looking at Right wingers is the best way to define a moderate. A moderate believes in comprehensive immigration reform as opposed to a right winger, in part, because America has twelve plus million illegals in America and America has used many of these individuals labor for many years giving a wink and a nod to enforcing immigration laws, America is morally obligated to find a path to legalization for these individuals. A moderate believes in stem cell research and kicking the abortion issue to the states a moderate view believes a human being comes into existence and the corresponding human right to life at least sometime after the early part of the beginning of the first trimester of a women’s pregnancy when a human brain has developed in the fetus. A moderate believes that solving the nation’s crime problem doesn’t include longer and longer prison sentences but rather separating the bad law breakers from the savable law breakers that can be put on a path where they will be good citizens and believes in creating a criminal justice system that does just that. A moderate believes that the government essentially has to regulate the financial industry to shut down or restrict a lot of avenues of investing because there is no good public policy basis for such investing it doesn’t aid a business doesn’t create jobs, etc. because a lot of it is investment to create profit for big financial industry firms where non-big financial industry firms and individual investors get hurt from the activity and because a lot of it is essentially casino capitalism. What moderate Republicanism entails is extensive and is ever growing with the issues that arise up in the nation and in a general sense it is often simply that which is not Right Wing Republican positions on issues. It is not necessary to define entirely what it means to be a moderate Republican, it is clear to America in a general sense what is a moderate Republican and Americans who consider themselves moderate Republicans or good Americans at-large need organizations of people to protect and support moderate Republican candidates for office and elected officials so they can bring their values and their outlook to the American political process and move America forward.
     
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  2. JohnStOnge
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    JohnStOnge Member

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    I don't think a political party should exist for the purpose of getting elected. I think it should exist for the purpose of promoting and working for a certain set of governing philsophies and positions. The objective should be to make the arguments for those positions in a convincing manner then let the chips fall where they may. If the result is that enough people are convinced so that the party gains power, that's great. But the party should not start off by identifying how it can gain power then adjust its "principles" accordingly.

    Take research on embryonic stem cells. You either believe it's wrong or you don't. It's not "moderate" to say it's OK as opposed to "right wing" to say it's not. So the party adopts a position. If someone doesn't like the position, that someone can opt not to support the party.
     
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    Last edited: May 2, 2009
  3. Xenophon
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    Xenophon Gone and forgotten

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    Spector neer followed what the GoP considers it's basic principles, he should never have been one to begin with.
     
  4. mash107
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    mash107 Active Member

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    Hell, I consider most modern day Republics are just Democrats that enjoy a more aggressive foreign policy. (Even though, Obama threatening to invade Pakistan is just more of the same warhawk rhetoric). These "Republicans" are the same ones that mandated Education be controlled by the central government, though that is explicitly forbidden in the Constitution. The same ones that invaded two countries to nation build. The same ones that vastly expanded Medicare. The same ones that added a multitude of bureaucracies like the Department of Homeland Security. And so on, and so forth. All those that voted for any of that should all just defect to the Democrat side, so that either a Barry Goldwater type of Republican party can resurface, that actually stand for the rights of people and a return to the Constitution... or a third party will have to emerge.
     
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  5. amrchaos
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    amrchaos Pentheus torn apart

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    So, are you saying that the Republican party is an attachment of the Democratic party?

    You do know that there are Democrats that are hawks like the Clintons, so calling Repubs War Hawk Democrats is not true(What is Ron Paul then? Oh right--a Libertarian!!)

    It is Domestic policies that shapes a political identity. Foreign policy has absolutely nothing to do with it. Also, from the Domestic policy there tends to be a description of what the purpose of government is. How this purpose can change over time. And How non-idealogues tend to switch from agreeing with one party to another due to these concepts.

    Republican party has one real platform issue--Cut taxes. Everything else is emotions, opinions and Pro-American flag waving.
     
  6. Gunny
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    Gunny Gold Member

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    That just about covers it.
     
  7. Xenophon
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    Xenophon Gone and forgotten

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    It does indeed, it's what i have been saying since I arrived here.
     
  8. WillowTree
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    WillowTree Diamond Member

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    You might have convinced me that the Republicans drove Spector away,, until I found out that before he was a Republican he was a Democrat.. Seals the deal,, Spector did it for Spector,, cause another Republican would have kicked his ass in the primary.. End of story.. no more snow jobs.. Now,, who trusts Spector??? Anybody???
     
  9. Bfgrn
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    Bfgrn Gold Member

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    You mean one WITH a conscience?


    This is a man who in his own business, before he entered politics, instituted a profit-sharing plan, before unions had ever thought of it. He put in health and medical insurance for all his employees. He took 50 percent of the profits before taxes and set up a retirement plan, and a pension plan for all his employees. He sent monthly checks for life to an employee who was ill and couldn't work. He provided nursing care for the children of mothers who work in the stores. When Mexico was ravaged by the floods from the Rio Grande, he climbed in his airplane and flew medicine and supplies down there.

    An ex-GI told me how he met him. It was the week before Christmas during the Korean War, and he was at the Los Angeles airport trying to get a ride home to Arizona, and he said that there were a lot of servicemen there and no seats available on the planes. Then a voice came over the loudspeaker and said, "Any men in uniform wanting a ride to Arizona, go to runway such-and-such," and they went down there, and there was a fellow named Barry Goldwater sitting in his plane. Every day in the weeks before Christmas, all day long, he would load up the plane, fly to Arizona, fly them to their homes, then fly back over to get another load.

    During the hectic split-second timing of a campaign, this is a man who took time out to sit beside an old friend who was dying of cancer. His campaign managers were understandably impatient, but he said, "There aren't many left who care what happens to her. I'd like her to know that I care." This is a man who said to his nineteen-year-old son, "There is no foundation like the rock of honesty and fairness, and when you begin to build your life upon that rock, with the cement of the faith in God that you have, then you have a real start!" This is not a man who could carelessly send other people's sons to war. And that is the issue of this campaign that makes all of the other problems I have discussed academic, unless we realize that we are in a war that must be won.

    Address on Behalf of Sen. Barry Goldwater, Ronald Reagan, 1964
    Ronald Reagan Presidential Library, Simi Valley, CA., p 22-36
     
  10. JohnStOnge
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    JohnStOnge Member

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    While the Republicans have been a disappointment to those who believe in limited government, I do think there are notable differences between them and the Democrats. Though they have faciliated some expansion of government, I think that if you step back and look at the big picture Democrats have and will expand it to a greater extent. I think you can especially see that when you look at how major programs, such as Social Security, were established in the first place. I think that if Republicans had been in total charge since 1920, there would be no Social Security System, no Medicare, and so on.

    I think another difference involves philosophy pertaining to Judicial appointments. The majority opinion among Republicans is that Justices should lean towards sticking to the original understanding of the Constitution while Democrats believe more strongly in the "Livining Constitution" concept that entails the position that the original understanding really doesn't matter much. While it's true that Republicans nominated milk toast justices like Souter and Sandra Day O'Conner, I don't think that was their intent. I do not think George H.W. Bush knew how Souter was going to turn out and I think Ronald Reagan made the mistake of being to anxious to be put a woman on the Supreme Court. You're not going to see a Clarence Thomas, Antonin Scalia, John Roberts, or Samuel Alito nominated by a Democrat and you're not going to see a Ruth Ginsburg nominated by a Republican. Though they've "missed" on several nominations in that the Justices turned out differently than they thought they would, the fact that Republicans were in office at times over the past 20 years makes the nature of the current Surpreme Court a whole lot different than it would be if Democrats had held the Presidency throughout that period.
     
    Last edited: May 3, 2009

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