What Happened to my Party?

By PampaPro Posted in Comments (19) / Email this page » / Leave a comment »

This is my first attempt at blogging though I have commented a couple of times. I want to know what happened to my party or what I thought was my party. I became politically aware during the Carter presidency. I remember high interest rates and high unemployment and I remember I was supposed to be ashamed to be an American.

Then came Ronald Reagan, and I learned about the Rebublican party and what I felt were Republican principals. First, a trust in the ability of the individual. Second, a distrust of large Government. I specifically remember a railing against deficit spending and the expansion of entitlement programs. Third an emphasis on equal oppurtunity not equal results. Fourth, with his "evil" empire depiction Reagan made it possible to love America again. Despite our flaws as a Nation we still had much to be proud of including a political system that allowed change to be brought about.

As I looked at these positions I became convinced they were closely aligned with the intentions of our founding fathers and as a result I have voted Republican since I turned 18 in 1984. I was never prouder than 1994, when we finally got hold of both Houses of Congress, through 2000 when we controlled the deficit.

I was ecstatic when President Bush won in 2000 and we had control of Congress and the Presidency. We spent the next 8 years not adhering to the principals I'd always voted on. Where were small government, fiscal responsiblity, individual responsibility, and the rule of law.

I've come to the point I ask myself what is the difference who is in office? Do any of the politicians out there really listen? Do they have principals that guide them or do they just want to get elected? We spent money on prescription drugs, on no child left behind, on a variety of pork. We expanded the size and scope of Government like FDR.

I look at our Candidates for president today.

In regards to immigration do they believe in the rule of law or not? I think myself like most Americans beleive in fair play and not rewarding someone who breaks the rules.

In regards to Small Government who in this slate of canidates do I really believe will lessen the role of the Federal Government? I want spending cuts not decreases in the amount we're raisng spending.

What happened to the principal of equal oppurtunity not equal results? Why are taxpayers going to be bailing out people who made bad decisions on the houses they purchased or the mortgage they signed? When did education become a right instead of a priviledge? Was it at the same time it began to indoctrinate our children into the world of political correctness instead of teaching them to read, write, and do arithmetic?

How many of our candidates first instinct is that government is not the answer? How many stand up and say I love the USA, I love who we are and what we stand for. I love that America provides an atmosphere where if you want to, and work hard, you can be a success. I believe our greatness comes from providing oppurtunity, not guranting outcome. I believe the Federal govt should spend money to provide oppurtunity but never should it spend money to gurantee an outcome.

I look at our slate of Candidates and the only one who seems to have the principals to govern as a Republican is Fred Thompson. I look at the previous primaries and where Fred stands in the Polls today and I say; What happened to my party?

I look at Rudy Giuliani, his position on abortion and say how could my party consider electing a man who doesn't believe in the sanctity of life? What happened to my party?

Sadly I'm beginning to wonder if what happened to my party is it never really stood for what I thought it did at all. Thankfully, I see what Gov Jindal is doing and saying in Louisiana and have some small hope that my party isn't totally gone.

I'm with Fred as well and will end up with Mitt if Fred doesn't put it all together in South Carolina.

The current Republican frontrunner is a man who abandons the base regularly and often (John McCain). The current runner-up is someone who is utterly and abjectly clueless when it comes to foreign policy (Mike Huckabee).

I feel like the Indian at the end of that Simpsons episode that ends with them moving the whole town 5 miles down the road because they've flooded the old town with garbage, telling the other Indian "Don't turn around."

Finrod's First Law of Bandwidth:
A picture may be worth a thousand words, but it takes the bandwidth of ten thousand.

I was watching Reagan's farewell address this morning.
Towards the end of the video he gives us a warning, its an interesting read


Great post. I followed a similar path as you lay out. Why have the Republican politicians sold out on the core values that made this Country great. This talk of "modernization" of the Republican party is just selling our to the liberals.

Fred Thompson seems to be such an easy choice. Why he can't get traction is hard to understand. Has the VRWC become brainwashed by the MSM to believe that McCain and Huckabee are conservatives. They have sold us out so many times that I can't believe they have this kind of support.

I'm letting everyone I know that Fred is the man to get this Party and Country back on track. His record speaks for itself and I trust that he will stand by his values.

"Those who expect to reap the blessings of freedom must, like men, undergo the fatigue of supporting it."
-Thomas Paine: The American Crisis, No. 4, 1777

...and came to a very simple conclusion. Which your otherwise very good post happens to demonstrate perfectly, in one single quote:

I look at Rudy Giuliani, his position on abortion and say how could my party consider electing a man who doesn't believe in the sanctity of life?

What I believe happened is this: We stopped selecting our leaders based on their support of those principles you so rightly identified above. Instead, we now pass over good people who otherwise fit those ideals, solely because of their disagreement on That One Issue. You can have a person who is otherwise the perfect example of the GOP ideals you list, *except* for That One Issue, and a strong vocal third of the party will point fingers at them and decry them as "liberals" or "RINOs".

Meanwhile, having been blinded by That One Issue, the party forgets about the other principles and ends up picking people, over and over again, who do not conform to those principles, yet are right on That One Issue. Up until recently, you didn't see people like that being called "RINOs", although many of them, IMHO, deserve the term far more than others I can name who have been labeled as such.

To the point where now, today, we have someone who is truly the antithesis of those principles running for President in our party, but because he's right on That One Issue, he's managed to somehow gain enough support in the party to win Iowa and, if he wins SC tomorrow, there's actually a chance he might eventually win the nomination.

In many ways, while the majority of your post was well written and gave excellent arguments, with that one quoted line you undermined the entire thing. How does That One Issue *really* result in smaller government? Better fiscal responsibility? Better individual responsibility? Better support for the rule of law? It doesn't, because it's *not* a part of the classic GOP principles that your post, except for that single line, extolls.

Frankly, even though I'm somewhat pro-choice myself, I've slowly come to support overturning RvW. Not because it is wrong. Not because it's bad law. But because by doing so we'll have a chance to return this issue to the states, and let our GOP get back to picking our leaders based on something other than That One Issue.

"Government cannot take care of you. You've got to take care of yourself." - Rudy Giuliani

Steve I guess I always took it for granted that the party that recognizes where our rights come from also recognized that the killing of any innocent person was murder whether born or unborn. I feel there is no more conservative principal than the sanctity of human life. I don't deny that may eliminate some otherwise qualified cadidates. That is why I'm asking where has my party gone that these are the choices we are presented with?

"Frankly, even though I'm somewhat pro-choice myself, I've slowly come to support overturning RvW. Not because it is wrong. Not because it's bad law. But because by doing so we'll have a chance to return this issue to the states, and let our GOP get back to picking our leaders based on something other than That One Issue."

In my opinion, if you hold this belief, then you need to think harder about what conservatism really means to you.

I'm not sure where I am personally on the abortion issue -- though to be sure, holding your own child for the first time certainly changes your perspective.

However, I am 100% opposed to Roe v. Wade not because of the policy, but because of the law. It is plain and simple bad law. It lacks fidelity to the constitution. It eviscerates federalism and allowed for judge-made amendments, when the amendment process is built in to the Constitution itself.

In some respects, I believe the ultimate arbiter of whether an idea/principle is or is not conservative is to ask, "Does it cohere to the constitution and the founding principles of the country?"

I believe that you can be conservative and be pro-choice. I do. I can't think of anyone who is, and I'm sure they would be called out by some in the GOP, but conceptually, it isn't impossible. But I don't believe that you can be conservative and be pro-Roe v. Wade.


"When men fear work or fear righteous war, when women fear motherhood, they tremble on the brink of doom; and well it is that they should vanish from the earth." - Teddy Roosevelt

That's a good point, I'm pro-choice in the first trimester as Fred Thompson originally was years ago. But I absolutely oppose Roe v. Wade because it's an unconstitutional power grab by a few liberal judges. If the Founding Fathers wanted to make abortion a national right, they would have done so! If we allowed the states to decide this issue, as well as all other social issues, we wouldn't have nearly as much anger because a majority of the citizens of each state would be happy with their state's social laws and if they weren't they would have the option to move to a nearby state. Federal elections would be based on the management of the $3 trillion budget and foriegn policy instead of letting those go to hell because of abortion and whether gay people get married (which I oppose, but come on it's not even one of the top 30 most important issues!).

Southpark and others you do understand that for those who vote abortion as an issue it is because we consider the termination of a preganancy as murder! With that being the case it is non-negotiable in regards to a nominee. I too would like to see the decision returned to the states or put forward as a constitutional amendment which as my original post pointed out was one of the things I considered great about our Country, the ability to change our Constitution through amendment.

Until that occurs the murder of 1.4 millon or more Americans a year is a bigger priority issue than fiscal conservitism or foriegn policy. I'm not asking you to agree but please understand, If 1.4 millon Americans were being killed every year by anything other than abortion the public outcry would be deafening. Believing abortion to be murder how do I relegate it to a "not in the top 30 issue"? I don't want to let the fiscal or foreign policy part slide but I can't support a pro choice candidate either.

This is why I'm puzzled as to the people running as Republicans and the percentage that supports each. It doesn't seem as if the party's traditional principals are being adhered to.

You may note I didn't say RvW wasn't wrong. Nor did I say that RvW wasn't bad law. I suspect it is both wrong and bad law in fact. But I'm not a lawyer, nor am I particularly schooled in constitutional law. I can read the constititution (and have) and interpret it based on my knowledge and education and just plain common sense, but who am I to definitively say RvW is wrong or bad?

Therefore, I base my specific objection to RvW on the utterly disasterous (IMHO) side effects it's had on politics in general since it's passage, and in the Republican party in particular.

That said, I suspect the odds of it ever being overturned are slim at best. And even if it is, I suspect the pro-life activists out there may not be particularly happy with what happens after it's overturned. They should be careful what they wish for - they might get it.

"Government cannot take care of you. You've got to take care of yourself." - Rudy Giuliani

We used to be the party of balanced budgets. Bush Jr - with help from Tom Delay - destroyed that. I hate that they did that - I think saddling our kids and grandkids with lots of debt is horribly immoral. I'm embarrassed with our recent record on this issue. Part of the reason I supported Perot (and I still don't regret it) was his position on the deficit. Between Newt and Clinton (of ALL people) the budget was balanced. Bush destroyed it - and other than Paul and McCain, none of the other candidates seems to care more about it. All they want to talk about are tax cuts, tax cuts, tax cuts. Anyone who has looked at the Laffer curve knows there is a point where tax cuts do NOT bring in more revenue. I don't want any taxes raised, but I don't want to hear about another tax cut while we are at war and are running a deficit. Cut some spending first.

John S. McCain III.

Come on. Bush didn't end our interest in balanced budgets. The fact that Democrats turned 'balanced budget' into code for 'tax hike,' destroying our attempt to make it code for 'spending cut,' is what ended Republican uniformity on that issue.

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Why did we let them do that? We can't cede the issue to them. I think historically the GOP has a lot more credibility on this - we need to fight for it.

And Bush was a budget-buster. No way anyone can convince me otherwise.

John S. McCain III.

Does that mean you don't think Bush was a budget-buster?

John S. McCain III.

I came to the conclusion that the fault was properly rested on Tom Daschle's shoulders.

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to a point where taxes are cut so much that they do not bring in more revenue - & we certainly need to get there!!! Cut spending, I'm with you 100% there! A great way to start that is to shink the scope of federal government, which has not happened under Pres. Bush.

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