The GOP Needs an Agenda


Mark of New Jersey

Mark is a Founding Editor of The League of Ordinary Gentlemen, the predecessor of Ordinary Times.

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40 Responses

  1. Avatar historystudent says:

    Very well. Suggest that agenda.

    For me, getting control of spending and reducing government rather than expanding it are necessary components of any proposed agenda. Without real commitment to these, I won’t support any candidate. And I don’t think the GOP needs a elaborate agenda. Just a few basic and FIRM goals.Report

    • I’d be ecstatic with a purely fiscal agenda or a government cutting agenda. The GOP doesn’t even have that, though, and when someone in the party actually tries to suggest something along those lines (whether it be Paul Ryan or Ron Paul or even Tom Coburn), the leadership immediately distances itself from that person.Report

      • Avatar Bob Cheeks in reply to Mark Thompson says:

        Mark, I absolutely agree with your analysis. However, don’t you think if the GOP continues to be dominated by the Neos/RINO’s that the TPers will move toward Independent candidates which will either allow commie-dems to maintain control of the lower house or fill the seats with Indys? So this may be a legitimate conservative rising?Report

        • I’d probably agree with that, Bob.Report

        • Avatar 62across in reply to Bob Cheeks says:

          Beyond the rhetorical flourishes, what makes anyone think that the TPers are any more fiscally conservative than the GOP? The TP is pro-entitlements (no cuts to Medicare) and pro-national security/military. Without putting forward profound entitlement reform and significant cuts to the military/security budget, how can one claim to want to reduce government spending?Report

      • Avatar historystudent in reply to Mark Thompson says:

        Your’e so right. All the more reason for the Tea Party and others to keep putting pressure on the GOP. The leadership still hasn’t fully understood what needs to be done. As we all know, the last time the GOP had the majority, it was fiscally very irresponsible. Steele and those in office or running for it, must understand this time that such actions while in power cannot be on their agenda.Report

        • Avatar Bob Cheeks in reply to historystudent says:

          I really have nothing but a gut feeling re: the TPers. If they don’t shatter into sudry groups as some have suggested, and if they maintain an anti-statist, though non-radical alignment, there exists the possibility that any number of librual and left leaning LOOG types will be casting their ballot for TP candidates…I love the rich irony of that thought, though I know you’d all tell me, post election, that you voted for these reformers!Report

  2. Avatar Michael Drew says:

    Can anyone explain to me the near-roadblock, bell-to-bell coverage of CPAC every year? Liberal publications as well as the MSM seem to regard it as extremely newsworthy nearly every hour it is going on, liveblogging during the day and whatnot. It’s almost as big a deal as the quadrennial party convention. Does anything of consequence ever come from the event? Don’t get me wrong, I’m happy Ron Paul won the straw poll and everything — he’s the best they’ve got. But unless I’m mistaken, his fifteen minutes are up, and he just doesn’t have the wherewithal to mount further serious campaigns. He’s also, somewhat strangely, not strongly connected to the Tea Party movement, from what I understand. I have a hard time seeing what his win, or anything else at the conference should tell me about how the conservative movement is going to seek to capitalize on the opportunity it has this year. Instead, it just looked like a bunch of self-congratulation and taunting. What am I missing?Report

    • The conference doesn’t seem to be any bigger this year than in past years, although I’ve not been following coverage of it in the MSM very closely. In terms of the blogosphere, though, if anything, it seems like it’s receiving less coverage in the past. I could be wrong about that, though.

      I’m not sure I’d agree that Ron Paul isn’t closely connected with the Tea Party movement. The roots of the movement to a large extent came out of his former campaign supporters, and his son is typically considered one of the movement’s darlings. (Google “Tea Party” and “Rand Paul” and you’ll get the flavor). At a minimum, there’s a lot of overlap between Ron Paul fans and Tea Partiers.Report

      • Avatar Michael Drew in reply to Mark Thompson says:

        I’ll defer on Paul and the Tea Party. I heard he himself wan’t much involved. But I’m sure the overlap is significant.Report

        • I would, however, agree that it’s not worthwhile to read much into Paul’s surprising victory in the straw poll. That said, it does show that Paul’s Campaign for Liberty has succeeded in developing a strong infrastructure of activists. GOPers and mainstream conservatives are foolish to the extent they choose to continue marginalizing that infrastructure, which cannot be matched by many (if any) other factions on the Right. This would be pretty simple to achieve, too – they wouldn’t even have to give up their positions on terrorism, torture, and civil liberties, just downplay them and then back up their newfound fiscal conservatism with more than just words.Report

  3. Avatar Rufus says:

    I’d agree with Michael on some of this; everything I’ve seen about the conference has convinced me that Ron Paul was the best thing there. If he’s unelectable, one would hope that he has some epigonoi making up the next wave of attack, because listening to Dick Cheney’s hubristic bleating about the permanent Republican revolution that’s coming any day now makes me feel like I’m watching Spinal Tap.Report

    • Avatar Bob Cheeks in reply to Rufus says:

      As Dear Leader reveals more and more of the essential characteristics of the librul the American right/center polis will move more and more to the right. Paul is very electable, he represents better than any candidate since Buchanan the virtues of an anti-statist American administration that will adhere to ALL the dictums of the founders and begin the process of restoring economic credibility, fiscal responsibility, immigration reform, and HCR!
      I think Paul will become more and more viable as time progresses.Report

      • Avatar 62across in reply to Bob Cheeks says:

        Viable like Buchanan ever was?? That sounds promising.Report

      • Avatar historystudent in reply to Bob Cheeks says:

        Paul is getting on in age to be a first-term president. Even our oldest president to date, Ronald Reagan, was not (quite) 70 yet when he first became president. Paul was born in 1935, so he’ll be 77 in 2012. Paul also has difficulty, sometimes, expressing himself effectively and in a way that really connects with the American people. Both of these concerns may seem relatively minor in the larger scheme, but they are important.Report

        • Avatar Koz in reply to historystudent says:

          “Both of these concerns may seem relatively minor in the larger scheme, but they are important.”

          There’s nothing minor about them. The weakness of Paul’s Presidential campaign was that it was all preaching to the choir, and no attempt to engage the mainstream of the party.Report

          • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Koz says:

            I think you mean ‘a weakness’. The most salient weakness was the candidate’s disposition and program.Report

            • Avatar Koz in reply to Art Deco says:

              It’s pretty much the same thing I think. Ron Paul has made a career self-consciously being on the fringe of American political dialog. I don’t think he ever had any intention of engaging the mainstream. He might not even know how if he wanted to.Report

  4. Avatar historystudent says:

    I completely agree about Dick Cheney. I’m not a neocon, and he is. I don’t want him influencing the GOP in 2010 or 2012.

    As for Ron Paul, I think many of his viewpoints are worthy. However, he is unelectable and should pass the baton on to someone else. He needs to tell his core followers that he will not run for president in 2012, and then they need to put their heads together and decide on a successor.Report

  5. Avatar Kyle says:

    The GOP Agenda is the same it has been and the same it will be….try to take over the world government.

    Color me jaded but the idea the the parties have policy aims and programmatic goals at this point in time seems exceedingly ludicrous after the Democrats, who we’re told have been thinking about health care for ages, decided to be risk averse in their pursuit of reform that, after the state of the union, you’d think was an ancillary goal rather than prime goal of the party of the last few decades.

    Democrats stand for election. Republicans stand for election. Presidents stand for election, popularity, & legacies (in that order). The only people who stand for policy are lobbyists, which policy depends on who’s paying and which day of the week it is.Report

    • Avatar Trumwill in reply to Kyle says:

      I took a constitutional design class in college. On the first or second lecture, the professor asked “For what purpose do political parties exist?” People came up with a bunch of answers about representing a conglomerate of beliefs and so on.

      The answer, of course, was “political parties exist for the sole purpose of getting elected” and that the conglomeration of beliefs that comprise of them are means to that end.

      It’s one of those things that sounds cynical because it’s cynical people are the loudest about it. But structurally political parties exist to win elections the same way that corporations exist to make money. However true this is, though, I do wonder the dangers of this becoming too apparent.Report

      • Avatar Kyle in reply to Trumwill says:

        True enough, the other day I off-handedly (and disparagingly) called the parties holding companies…sad but true.

        Though, I’m not at all sure what would be dangerous about this becoming too apparent? Disenchantment with the political process? (ship, sailed, what?)Report

      • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Trumwill says:

        If he told you “the sole purpose”, it is educational malpractice.Report

        • Avatar Trumwill in reply to Art Deco says:

          I suppose I could be misquoting him, but I still don’t find it to be wrong even in the more extreme argument. Everything else, from passing legislation to furthering an ideological agenda, is a means to the ends of winning elections. I suppose it might be more true to say “accumulating (political) power” rather than “winning elections”.Report

          • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Trumwill says:

            Your argument is that politicians are indifferent to the content of public policy. That argument is asinine.Report

            • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Art Deco says:

              They are interested in the content only insofar as parrotting it might increase their chances of re-election.

              See, for example, Republicans.Report

            • Avatar Trumwill in reply to Art Deco says:

              No, the argument is that *political parties* (remotely successful ones, anyway) are indifferent to policy. Individual members and contributors to those parties may be motivated by any number of things noble and ignoble. The party itself is more of a coalition matchmaker and success or failure from a party perspective is determined by winning or losing elections.Report

  6. Avatar Jaybird says:

    I posted this link elsewhere, I’ll post it again here, why not?

    This little screed by Bill Bennett tells me that the Republicans will be just fine with letting the pendulum swing back because they hope the American people realize that the Democrats are even worse.

    This tells me that the Republicans have learned nothing and will fall back deep into the same old patterns.Report

    • Avatar Art Deco in reply to Jaybird says:

      Bennett contends that politicians with some programmatic solutions worked out (e.g. Paul Ryan) are characteristic of the Republican leadership; this strikes one as wishful thinking (and is a variance with the opinions of others on the masthead at National Review, e.g. Kevin Williamson). He evaluates the general performance of the Republican Party in recent years negatively, and is explicit about that. (The statement in question is not a ‘screed’, btw).Report

    • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird says:

      “This little screed by Bill Bennett tells me that the Republicans will be just fine with letting the pendulum swing back because they hope the American people realize that the Democrats are even worse.”

      That’s at least a little ironic considering how much people here seem to want to piss on the Tea Partiers, and Glenn Beck in particular.Report

      • Avatar Jaybird in reply to Koz says:

        On website W, X says “This!”
        On website W, Y says “That!”

        How reasonable is it to mock website W for contradicting itself?

        Anyway, I’m one of the big tea party defenders (well, to put a finer point on it, I’m one of the defenders of peaceful assembly and free speech and other stuff) and think that Glenn Beck, from what I’ve seen of the people attacking him, is doing a pretty good job (though I’ve not really spent much time reading or watching or listening to him).

        OH! Here’s a joke! “Bennett’s only defending the Republican party because they spent 2002-2006 gambling away billions.”

        Okay, I guess it’s not that funny.Report

        • Avatar Koz in reply to Jaybird says:

          “…..and think that Glenn Beck, from what I’ve seen of the people attacking him, is doing a pretty good job…..”

          My apologies. I think it’s fair to say most of the people who’ve written about Glenn Beck on this site have been critical. I should have done a better job in attribution.Report

        • Avatar Mark Thompson in reply to Jaybird says:

          Dude- I’ve been pretty openly sympathetic about the Tea Parties, particularly of late, and at least as long as they stay true to their stated purpose. Did you not see the interview I did with one of the founders of the movement?

          As for Glenn Beck, my attitude is “Germans? Forget about it, he’s rolling.” I’ve not written much about the man at all.Report