Finding Your Way Out Of The Wilderness: Republicans Are Doing It Wrong

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13 Responses

  1. And Kyle returns with a vengeance! So your recommendation is to just let party discipline go to hell, and essentially be a leaderless party? IOW – the best way out of the wilderness is to not think about how to get out of the wilderness? Zen-like! There may be something to this…Report

  2. Kyle E. Moore says:

    Well, this is weird for me because I don’t think I would lose sleep if the Republican party dissolved, or, even better, just stayed way the hell out of power.

    But the thing is, they are trying to get back into power, and everything they do comes with that context which severely undermines anything they do.Report

  3. Mike says:

    …it is hard to take seriously anyone who says that the Republican party has “abandoned” conservative principles

    Are those the principles of Goldwater, Reagan, Gingrich or George W? I think part of the problem is that the Right, much more than the Left, seems to gel around people instead of ideals. When they set a weird or confusing agenda, we feel compelled to follow blindly, or at least refrain from asking tough questions. The Left, to their credit sometimes, gel around ideas. I remember seeing a panel interview with all the candidates for the RNC spot and when asked who their favorite republican president was, all answered Reagan. That actually kind of scared me.

    In many ways, President Obama will set the tone for the GOP, just as Bush did for the Left for eight years, at least in the short term. At some point, there’s reason to believe that a clear line of attack will present itself. Democrats spent 2000-2003 mostly flailing around for direction. After Iraq they began to gel around intelligence failures and then expanded that into FISA, Guantanamo, Abu Garib, water-boarding, etc. Basically a complete trashing of everything Bush did with the war on terror. The economic recovery is the Left’s Iraq. The inevitable blunders will most likely give the Right a signal as to how to proceed.Report

  4. What no one seems to have noticed (yet) is that the Democratic party has blundered into the wilderness as well.Report

  5. E.D. Kain says:

    As evidenced by their capture of the Senate, House, and Presidency?Report

  6. Kyle E. Moore says:

    lulz @ Kain.

    On a more serious and substantive note, I wanted to address Mike’s points earlier up in the discussion and I think he is very much correct, and this point has led to many frustrations as both a liberal and a Democrat.

    The fact that liberals tend to be more individually minded often times is a political handicap as liberals tend to misunderstand politics and frequently lack cohesiveness even at opportune moments. The liberal blogosphere during the 2008 general election was simply amazing to me and very uncharacteristic for liberals in general. Outside of that, it’s not overly difficult to find liberals fighting just as much amongst each other as they will with Republicans.

    What Mike touches on with Republicans may be better addressed by the League’s conservatives and libertarians, but I have observed much more of a tendancy towards developing a cult of personality, for the time being, that personality is Ronald Reagan.

    In fact, as I was covering the presidential primaries, I remarked numerous times just how frequently Republican candidates attempted to establish themselves as the next Ronald Reagan, invoking the late President’s name over and over again, almost as though, if you said it enough, people would believe you were him reincarnated.

    The funny thing is, I think these canonized figures of both parties will do more harm than good politically. If you are comparing yourself to Ronald Reagan or JFK, if you are using them as yardsticks, does that not only show your own shortcomings all the more?

    On a final note, I do so love making the distinction between the different kinds of conservatism. From my point of view, there are actually only two types: actual conservatism based upon the conservative (dictionary definition) principles or Jeffersonian principles. To me, this kind of conservatism is equal across the board–smaller government in terms of foreign policy, economy, and social issues.

    The other kind of conservatism with a broad stroke is much more malleable, and is defined as anything right of center which chooses to self identify as conservative. And now I must leave.Report

  7. Kyle, I’m sorry you don’t find my commentary on the political wilderness that we — Democrats, Republicans, and everyone else — have blundered into serious and substantive.

    Also, I am confused. Are we now calling Thomas Jefferson a conservative?Report

  8. Tony, I’m sorry if you misconstrued my intent with serious and substantive. That was directed more at my “lulz” comment and not at your comments at all.

    As for Jefferson, I consider him a libertarian which, in my mind is the intellectual center of true conservatism.Report

  9. Kyle, apologies for my pique. My feeling is that 10 years from now “liberal”, “conservative” and “libertarian” are going to mean very different things than they mean now, if they mean anything at all. (Actually I think that’s were we are now, ie in the wilderness.)Report