Evangelicals vs. ‘Country Club’ Republicans

The Republican party and “conservatives” in general are far from monolithic.  There are different kinds of Republicans and different kinds of conservatives (social conservatives, fiscal conservatives, evangelicals, libertarians, neo-cons, paleo-cons, crunchy-cons, etc., etc.).  The main division in the Grand Old Party is between Republicans motivated by their faith and concerned with issues such as abortion–a group that is more populist and varied in income–and the so-called “Country Club Republicans” motivated by business interests, as in the Democrats’ stereotype of Republicans as being the party of the wealthy.  The Country Clubbers are blaming “evangelicals” for giving the party a bad image, but the “evangelicals” are blaming the Country Clubbers.  From Paul Stanley:

Leading evangelicals are pushing back hard against charges that social issues are weakening the GOP brand, asserting that the nation is rejecting the rich GOP “country club” image more than retreating on moral issues.

Over the past several decades, the Republican Party has primarily been formed along two major philosophical lines. The first are conservatives who not only want government to live within its means, but care deeply about social issues such as abortion and traditional marriage. The second group is more moderate in its views. Often referred to as “country-club” Republicans, they are mainly business types who care more about fiscal issues and try to avoid social issues at all costs.

Of course there are many that fall in between the two groups, and the distance between the two seems to grow farther by the day.

Bob Vander Plaats heads up The Family Leader, a pro-family group in Iowa that plays a key role in screening presidential wannabes when they come calling on the Hawkeye State.

“The moderates have had their candidate in 2008 and they had their candidate in 2012. And they got crushed in both elections,” Vander Plaats told The Washington Post. “Now they tell us we have to keep moderating. If we do that, we will win?”

Yet somehow the moderates look to their socially conscious brethren and blame them for the abortion gaffes of Senate candidates Rep. Todd Akin of Missouri and Indiana’s Richard Mourdock. . . .

And lest we forget, the Tea Party members fall into both camps but may tend to take an even harder stance on fiscal issues.Pam Wohlschlegel is the Florida State Coordinator for the Tea Party Patriots and describes herself as a fiscally conservative socially moderate. She is a Christian and Hispanic.

“Most tea partiers do not want to touch social issues,” Wohlschlegel told The Christian Post. “It’s not a topic we embrace because that is not what brought us together. When we get on social issues we allow liberals to define us. They turn a religious freedom issue into an issue by saying Republicans don’t like contraceptives. We should have been more forthright by saying that contraceptives weren’t the issue. Instead, it was about chemical abortions.”

via Evangelicals to ‘Country Club’ GOPers: Social Issues Aren’t Problem, You Are.

Did Mitt Romney fail to attract a majority of voters because he was was too militant in opposing abortion and gay marriage or because he represented “big money”?  Didn’t he downplay those social issues?  Before the Republicans lost with Romney, they lost with John McCain.   The point about tea partiers playing down social issues is also important, despite the way Democrats caricature this movement.

So should the Republicans emphasize social issues next time, or would that just be yet another way to lose?

About Gene Veith

Professor of Literature at Patrick Henry College, the Director of the Cranach Institute at Concordia Theological Seminary, a columnist for World Magazine and TableTalk, and the author of 18 books on different facets of Christianity & Culture.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    Next time they should promise twice as much as the Dems.

    That’s the only way to win in an un-American (ideals), America.

  • http://theoldadam.com/ Steve Martin

    Next time they should promise twice as much as the Dems.

    That’s the only way to win in an un-American (ideals), America.

  • http://www.wordsofthislife.ca Brian Reynolds

    Actually, Christians should get out of politics altogether. The New Testament is adamant and consistent in this, whether in the life and testimony of the Lord Jesus or in the apostolic epistles. We are in no way to judge the world (1 Cor. 5:12). To outlaw sin through political efforts is not only futile, but it is treasonous against the meaning of the cross. Man is done – period. There’s no probation or improvement possible. We are to be “salt and light” individually to but not politically. We are not called to implement a Christian sharia code…Further, where in the NT is there even a hint of such a thing as a “Christian country” – there are only three groups: the Gentiles, the Jews, and the Church of God (1 cor. 10:32).

  • http://www.wordsofthislife.ca Brian Reynolds

    Actually, Christians should get out of politics altogether. The New Testament is adamant and consistent in this, whether in the life and testimony of the Lord Jesus or in the apostolic epistles. We are in no way to judge the world (1 Cor. 5:12). To outlaw sin through political efforts is not only futile, but it is treasonous against the meaning of the cross. Man is done – period. There’s no probation or improvement possible. We are to be “salt and light” individually to but not politically. We are not called to implement a Christian sharia code…Further, where in the NT is there even a hint of such a thing as a “Christian country” – there are only three groups: the Gentiles, the Jews, and the Church of God (1 cor. 10:32).

  • Gary Harwood

    The Republican Party should make an all out blitz to garner the Hispanic vote by emphasizing social conservatives’ solidarity with Hispanics; pro-family, pro-life, pro Christian values. The Republican immigration policy is nearly identical to Obama’s but that is not at all what Hispanics think; Better PR is needed. The GOP should send Evangelicals to campaign for Republicans to our Hispanic friends. The caveat: The GOP cannot run a milquetoast candidate on social issues like the last two. It is a recipe for failure.

  • Gary Harwood

    The Republican Party should make an all out blitz to garner the Hispanic vote by emphasizing social conservatives’ solidarity with Hispanics; pro-family, pro-life, pro Christian values. The Republican immigration policy is nearly identical to Obama’s but that is not at all what Hispanics think; Better PR is needed. The GOP should send Evangelicals to campaign for Republicans to our Hispanic friends. The caveat: The GOP cannot run a milquetoast candidate on social issues like the last two. It is a recipe for failure.

  • Other Gary

    “Leading evangelicals are pushing back hard against charges that social issues are weakening the GOP brand, asserting that the nation is rejecting the rich GOP “country club” image more than retreating on moral issues.”

    Of course they’re pushing back. On the one hand, all they ever drink is their own kool-aid, so they actually believe their own protests. On the other, they feel threatened, because if the GOP won’t give them a seat at the table, there is no other table at which they can sit.

  • Other Gary

    “Leading evangelicals are pushing back hard against charges that social issues are weakening the GOP brand, asserting that the nation is rejecting the rich GOP “country club” image more than retreating on moral issues.”

    Of course they’re pushing back. On the one hand, all they ever drink is their own kool-aid, so they actually believe their own protests. On the other, they feel threatened, because if the GOP won’t give them a seat at the table, there is no other table at which they can sit.

  • Rick

    @2 Brian

    You said “Christians should get out of politics altogether.” I’m not sure what you mean. Do you mean that Christians should never run for political office or vote? If so, what happens when someone holding political office becomes a Christian? Should he step down from office?

  • Rick

    @2 Brian

    You said “Christians should get out of politics altogether.” I’m not sure what you mean. Do you mean that Christians should never run for political office or vote? If so, what happens when someone holding political office becomes a Christian? Should he step down from office?

  • SAL

    Given America’s demographics Republicans are going to lose no matter what for a generation.

    Since defeat is a foregone conclusion, Republicans ought to nominate candidates the base likes.

    Republicans ought not to campaign cautiously (as they’ve got nothing to lose). Republicans ought to promote their actual unveiled beliefs.

    I’m not into voting anymore, but I’d suggest to my Republican friends that they vote for candidates that openly promote exactly what they believe.

  • SAL

    Given America’s demographics Republicans are going to lose no matter what for a generation.

    Since defeat is a foregone conclusion, Republicans ought to nominate candidates the base likes.

    Republicans ought not to campaign cautiously (as they’ve got nothing to lose). Republicans ought to promote their actual unveiled beliefs.

    I’m not into voting anymore, but I’d suggest to my Republican friends that they vote for candidates that openly promote exactly what they believe.

  • SKPeterson

    The problem with most of the evangelical right is that they have little or no appreciation for federalism and the limits of federal governmental power. Ironically, I would wager that they are probably a majority of the people signing the electronic secession petitions, betraying their pettiness and ignorance in one fell swoop.

    Social issues are fine at the local level where people actually live. They are not matters of national policy. If social conservatives would actually make the small government case that such issues are not properly within the purview of federal authority. And that is the central problem with the social conservative movement in my opinion, as much as I might hold to many of their basic tenets: they worship at the idol of national government and power. Many of them conflate civic religion with their own theological peculiarities, perhaps revealing the poverty of theology within their own churches in their desperate need for governmental approval.

    The social conservatives need to advocate for the complete removal of government from marriage. If they don’t want marriage redefined, they need to get the government out of the marriage business. The legal aspects can be cleaned up at the local level through the common law and the liberals will be left trying to explain why the government needs to be involved in any way. Abortion can also be addressed locally, and it needs to be coupled with increased visibility and support of abortion alternatives by social conservatives. By way of example, my church provides several thousands of dollars to Tennessee Right to Life, but nothing to local adoption agencies. Right to Life movements are fine, but they are also showy, expensive, and largely political signalling mechanisms, with little or no direct impact on women facing crisis pregnancy. More dollars devoted to crisis pregnancy centers, adoption agencies and support for both adoptive families and single parent households by social conservatives would be more effective in arresting social decline, promote social cohesion and strengthen local communities. (Sheesh, that sounds too much like empty political sloganeering.) Essentially, what I am saying is that social conservatives need to give up on national movements, or rather on trying to coordinate a national political agenda, and concentrate on the local.

  • SKPeterson

    The problem with most of the evangelical right is that they have little or no appreciation for federalism and the limits of federal governmental power. Ironically, I would wager that they are probably a majority of the people signing the electronic secession petitions, betraying their pettiness and ignorance in one fell swoop.

    Social issues are fine at the local level where people actually live. They are not matters of national policy. If social conservatives would actually make the small government case that such issues are not properly within the purview of federal authority. And that is the central problem with the social conservative movement in my opinion, as much as I might hold to many of their basic tenets: they worship at the idol of national government and power. Many of them conflate civic religion with their own theological peculiarities, perhaps revealing the poverty of theology within their own churches in their desperate need for governmental approval.

    The social conservatives need to advocate for the complete removal of government from marriage. If they don’t want marriage redefined, they need to get the government out of the marriage business. The legal aspects can be cleaned up at the local level through the common law and the liberals will be left trying to explain why the government needs to be involved in any way. Abortion can also be addressed locally, and it needs to be coupled with increased visibility and support of abortion alternatives by social conservatives. By way of example, my church provides several thousands of dollars to Tennessee Right to Life, but nothing to local adoption agencies. Right to Life movements are fine, but they are also showy, expensive, and largely political signalling mechanisms, with little or no direct impact on women facing crisis pregnancy. More dollars devoted to crisis pregnancy centers, adoption agencies and support for both adoptive families and single parent households by social conservatives would be more effective in arresting social decline, promote social cohesion and strengthen local communities. (Sheesh, that sounds too much like empty political sloganeering.) Essentially, what I am saying is that social conservatives need to give up on national movements, or rather on trying to coordinate a national political agenda, and concentrate on the local.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    The election of Obama demonstrates that 51% of voters want government to pay for more stuff. If that is not your position, you aren’t getting their vote.

    Republicans can only win in certain districts. Those are the districts with fewer entitlement voters.

    Check out this cool NYTimes article on precinct voting in NYC:

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/11/24/nyregion/the-city-vote-precinct-by-precinct.html

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    The election of Obama demonstrates that 51% of voters want government to pay for more stuff. If that is not your position, you aren’t getting their vote.

    Republicans can only win in certain districts. Those are the districts with fewer entitlement voters.

    Check out this cool NYTimes article on precinct voting in NYC:

    http://www.nytimes.com/interactive/2012/11/24/nyregion/the-city-vote-precinct-by-precinct.html

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    I personally think that the GOP can win if only they start articulating their positions in a positive way. For example, on the immigration issue, I would think it would be hard to ignore the point that Mexico’s drug war could be eased if only we had a decent border fence–vehicle barrier backed by a sound fence–preventing them from just driving it across.

  • http://www.bikebubba.blogspot.com bike bubba

    I personally think that the GOP can win if only they start articulating their positions in a positive way. For example, on the immigration issue, I would think it would be hard to ignore the point that Mexico’s drug war could be eased if only we had a decent border fence–vehicle barrier backed by a sound fence–preventing them from just driving it across.

  • DonS

    Republicans are not good at messaging, and they are greatly hampered by a hostile press that amplifies and distorts every gaffe they make, while essentially ignoring Democratic gaffes and outrageous statements. But, that is the world we live in, unfortunately, until enough of our young and brilliant home-schooled students reach an age where they have assumed many of society’s levers of power ;-)

    In the meantime, it is clear that campaigns based solely on economics are not effective for Republicans. The Democrats and press demagogue the “wealthy aren’t paying their fair share” issue (what is their fair share, anyway?), and advocate punishing taxes on the few, for the benefit of the many. The voters are buying that approach, without realizing the damage they are doing to the golden goose.

    What Republicans need to do is not go full bore into “social issues” campaigning at the federal level. They need to respect Constitutional federalism and liberty protections, and the fact that we are now a big and diverse country with differing moral standards and ideals. What should, however, be emphasized in campaigning is the serious harm big government imposes on our private social institutions — families, churches, and schools. Big government, because of the Court’s horrible interpretation of the Establishment Clause, crowds out faith from the public square, including the public schools, to the great detriment of families and future generations. We have seen the secularization of our kids because of these influences. A government which consumes, in aggregate, more than 40% of GDP punishes families financially, forcing them to be two-earner families and not allowing them to properly save and plan for the inevitable expenses and disruptions that arise in life. Everything big government does is by regulation, which means coercion, which means a reduction in our liberties. We shouldn’t want to cede our freedoms to the government in exchange for the sad illusion of security — a bit of pottage.

    This is how the social issues should be couched. It has fallen to us to educate the electorate on these issues, and we need to undertake that job or fall further into irrelevancy.

  • DonS

    Republicans are not good at messaging, and they are greatly hampered by a hostile press that amplifies and distorts every gaffe they make, while essentially ignoring Democratic gaffes and outrageous statements. But, that is the world we live in, unfortunately, until enough of our young and brilliant home-schooled students reach an age where they have assumed many of society’s levers of power ;-)

    In the meantime, it is clear that campaigns based solely on economics are not effective for Republicans. The Democrats and press demagogue the “wealthy aren’t paying their fair share” issue (what is their fair share, anyway?), and advocate punishing taxes on the few, for the benefit of the many. The voters are buying that approach, without realizing the damage they are doing to the golden goose.

    What Republicans need to do is not go full bore into “social issues” campaigning at the federal level. They need to respect Constitutional federalism and liberty protections, and the fact that we are now a big and diverse country with differing moral standards and ideals. What should, however, be emphasized in campaigning is the serious harm big government imposes on our private social institutions — families, churches, and schools. Big government, because of the Court’s horrible interpretation of the Establishment Clause, crowds out faith from the public square, including the public schools, to the great detriment of families and future generations. We have seen the secularization of our kids because of these influences. A government which consumes, in aggregate, more than 40% of GDP punishes families financially, forcing them to be two-earner families and not allowing them to properly save and plan for the inevitable expenses and disruptions that arise in life. Everything big government does is by regulation, which means coercion, which means a reduction in our liberties. We shouldn’t want to cede our freedoms to the government in exchange for the sad illusion of security — a bit of pottage.

    This is how the social issues should be couched. It has fallen to us to educate the electorate on these issues, and we need to undertake that job or fall further into irrelevancy.

  • passin’ through

    I love to see you Righties fight with each other as you fall apart and become the permanent minority party in the US.

  • passin’ through

    I love to see you Righties fight with each other as you fall apart and become the permanent minority party in the US.

  • JDS

    Mitt Romney would have made a fine president – far, far better than the current inhabitant. The problem with Mr. Romney, and the Republican party, is that their message of either fiscal conservatism or social conservatism, or both, simply does not resonate with the majority of voters these days. How Republicans go about fixing that, I do not know.

  • JDS

    Mitt Romney would have made a fine president – far, far better than the current inhabitant. The problem with Mr. Romney, and the Republican party, is that their message of either fiscal conservatism or social conservatism, or both, simply does not resonate with the majority of voters these days. How Republicans go about fixing that, I do not know.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Eeyore — sorry, SAL (@6),

    Since defeat is a foregone conclusion, Republicans ought to nominate candidates the base likes. Republicans ought not to campaign cautiously (as they’ve got nothing to lose). Republicans ought to promote their actual unveiled beliefs.

    What makes you think Republicans aren’t promoting their actual beliefs? You seem to think that all Republicans think like you do. The evidence to the contrary, however, is fairly compelling.

    I’m not into voting anymore, but I’d suggest to my Republican friends that they vote for candidates that openly promote exactly what they believe.

    Why? Why would you fail to vote, yet encourage others to vote? If your vote doesn’t matter, why would theirs? Or, conversely, if their vote does matter, why doesn’t yours? If you’re not voting and you’re also not giving money, it doesn’t really matter what you think.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    Eeyore — sorry, SAL (@6),

    Since defeat is a foregone conclusion, Republicans ought to nominate candidates the base likes. Republicans ought not to campaign cautiously (as they’ve got nothing to lose). Republicans ought to promote their actual unveiled beliefs.

    What makes you think Republicans aren’t promoting their actual beliefs? You seem to think that all Republicans think like you do. The evidence to the contrary, however, is fairly compelling.

    I’m not into voting anymore, but I’d suggest to my Republican friends that they vote for candidates that openly promote exactly what they believe.

    Why? Why would you fail to vote, yet encourage others to vote? If your vote doesn’t matter, why would theirs? Or, conversely, if their vote does matter, why doesn’t yours? If you’re not voting and you’re also not giving money, it doesn’t really matter what you think.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@8):

    The election of Obama demonstrates that 51% of voters want government to pay for more stuff. If that is not your position, you aren’t getting their vote.

    Is no one paying attention anymore? Both major parties are the parties of “giving you stuff”. I don’t know how you Republicans can be in denial about this still. Do you remember the last time your party controlled the White House and Congress? Guess what we got: Medicare Part D. Hello? Anyone?

    And I really haven’t run into many people, Republican or Democrat, who want the government to give them less stuff. No, the cry, from both sides, is for the government to give other people less stuff.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@8):

    The election of Obama demonstrates that 51% of voters want government to pay for more stuff. If that is not your position, you aren’t getting their vote.

    Is no one paying attention anymore? Both major parties are the parties of “giving you stuff”. I don’t know how you Republicans can be in denial about this still. Do you remember the last time your party controlled the White House and Congress? Guess what we got: Medicare Part D. Hello? Anyone?

    And I really haven’t run into many people, Republican or Democrat, who want the government to give them less stuff. No, the cry, from both sides, is for the government to give other people less stuff.

  • passin’ through

    Sure, Mitt would’ve made a great president.

    But he’ll still be able to get the servants to light his cigarettes at the local country club.

  • passin’ through

    Sure, Mitt would’ve made a great president.

    But he’ll still be able to get the servants to light his cigarettes at the local country club.

  • trotk

    passin’ through, don’t you know that Mormons don’t smoke?

  • trotk

    passin’ through, don’t you know that Mormons don’t smoke?

  • SKPeterson

    trotk @ 16 – Don’t kill the meme, man. p’t is having too much fun.

  • SKPeterson

    trotk @ 16 – Don’t kill the meme, man. p’t is having too much fun.

  • passin’ through

    Then I guess it would have to be an e-cigarette.

    I’m sure Mittens could make an exception if he knew he could get a servant to light it.

  • passin’ through

    Then I guess it would have to be an e-cigarette.

    I’m sure Mittens could make an exception if he knew he could get a servant to light it.

  • brianh

    Evangelicals vs Country Clubbers? Is this the 90′s or 70′s? The Republican establishment is what Murdoch and Ailes have shaped. Big govt neo cons. Evangelicals are (finally) realizing they are being played. So are those concerned w the treasury’s fiscal health as well as small govt types.

  • brianh

    Evangelicals vs Country Clubbers? Is this the 90′s or 70′s? The Republican establishment is what Murdoch and Ailes have shaped. Big govt neo cons. Evangelicals are (finally) realizing they are being played. So are those concerned w the treasury’s fiscal health as well as small govt types.

  • http://fivepintlutheran2.wordpress.com/ David Cochrane

    I say learn from the Democrats. They do not give a flip about the disadvantaged, elderly, poor and working class. It is one of the best kept secrets. The Democrats get support from the same place as the Republicans.

  • http://fivepintlutheran2.wordpress.com/ David Cochrane

    I say learn from the Democrats. They do not give a flip about the disadvantaged, elderly, poor and working class. It is one of the best kept secrets. The Democrats get support from the same place as the Republicans.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I’m sure no servants are lighting Obama’s cigarettes.

    sarcasm

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    I’m sure no servants are lighting Obama’s cigarettes.

    sarcasm

  • SAL

    #13 “What makes you think Republicans aren’t promoting their actual beliefs?”

    Republicans nominated Romney in 2012 and McCain in 2008. Those were attempts to put moderate toned down faces on their party to soft pedal the beliefs of the Republican base. Romney/McCain both ran non-specific bland campaigns that promoted little for fear of giving offense. These nominees are substatially different than a Bachmann, Cain or Gingrich who probably would have promoted some specific policies and ideas as nominee.

    “If you’re not voting and you’re also not giving money, it doesn’t really matter what you think.”

    Absolutely correct. Neither of our opinions matter. I’m not a Republican so they needn’t heed my suggestion to stop putting the desire to win above their beliefs. It’s just a bit silly to continue seeking victory when that’s now impossible.

  • SAL

    #13 “What makes you think Republicans aren’t promoting their actual beliefs?”

    Republicans nominated Romney in 2012 and McCain in 2008. Those were attempts to put moderate toned down faces on their party to soft pedal the beliefs of the Republican base. Romney/McCain both ran non-specific bland campaigns that promoted little for fear of giving offense. These nominees are substatially different than a Bachmann, Cain or Gingrich who probably would have promoted some specific policies and ideas as nominee.

    “If you’re not voting and you’re also not giving money, it doesn’t really matter what you think.”

    Absolutely correct. Neither of our opinions matter. I’m not a Republican so they needn’t heed my suggestion to stop putting the desire to win above their beliefs. It’s just a bit silly to continue seeking victory when that’s now impossible.

  • JunkerGeorg

    Just my biased opinion, but if Romney would have had just a bit of the libertarian spirit and constitutional sense, he would’ve pressed the issue of freedom all the way to the election, showing the many ways that the supposed securities which Sugar Daddy Government will give you on the one hand will mean taking away more and more of your individual liberties with the other hand. It may not have won him the election, but I do think it might have helped to set the narrative better for the 2016 election.

    Aside from that, the funny thing about Romney is that the Dems portrayed him as some right-wing conservative, while the Republican establishment tried to do the same thing with the Republican base. For example, I found it odd how despite the Republican platform stance on abortion still claims “life of the mother” as the only exception, Romney officially added “rape and incest” to the list of exceptions. Also once Paul Ryan was nominated as his running mate, not surprisingly his stance changed to Romney’s. This disgusts me. I can’t blame a Democrat for being the unprincipled pragmatic progressive that he is. But I do find it appalling to see Republicans claim to be one thing on paper, and quite another in actuality. Hypocritical. Besides, people may be “stupider” today, but arguably there are still enough out there with a crap detector to recognize a phony conservative.

    I do agree with those who assert that the Republican’s need to simply be consistent with their base, as well as with their platform, and do a better job of communicating their principles, rather than compromising them for the sake of gaining a few more votes outside the party. Is this a winnable formula? In the short-term, likely not. But it’s really the only formula for the long-term, since if we keep presenting this divide to the voter between the moderate establishment and the conservative base, then it will only further undo the party. (A house divided can’t stand). I mean, if the GOP is really not serious about their espoused principles, and want to act like conservative Democrats, then there is really no point in having a Republican party, as many have already concluded by voting 3rd party.

  • JunkerGeorg

    Just my biased opinion, but if Romney would have had just a bit of the libertarian spirit and constitutional sense, he would’ve pressed the issue of freedom all the way to the election, showing the many ways that the supposed securities which Sugar Daddy Government will give you on the one hand will mean taking away more and more of your individual liberties with the other hand. It may not have won him the election, but I do think it might have helped to set the narrative better for the 2016 election.

    Aside from that, the funny thing about Romney is that the Dems portrayed him as some right-wing conservative, while the Republican establishment tried to do the same thing with the Republican base. For example, I found it odd how despite the Republican platform stance on abortion still claims “life of the mother” as the only exception, Romney officially added “rape and incest” to the list of exceptions. Also once Paul Ryan was nominated as his running mate, not surprisingly his stance changed to Romney’s. This disgusts me. I can’t blame a Democrat for being the unprincipled pragmatic progressive that he is. But I do find it appalling to see Republicans claim to be one thing on paper, and quite another in actuality. Hypocritical. Besides, people may be “stupider” today, but arguably there are still enough out there with a crap detector to recognize a phony conservative.

    I do agree with those who assert that the Republican’s need to simply be consistent with their base, as well as with their platform, and do a better job of communicating their principles, rather than compromising them for the sake of gaining a few more votes outside the party. Is this a winnable formula? In the short-term, likely not. But it’s really the only formula for the long-term, since if we keep presenting this divide to the voter between the moderate establishment and the conservative base, then it will only further undo the party. (A house divided can’t stand). I mean, if the GOP is really not serious about their espoused principles, and want to act like conservative Democrats, then there is really no point in having a Republican party, as many have already concluded by voting 3rd party.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Is no one paying attention anymore? Both major parties are the parties of “giving you stuff”. I don’t know how you Republicans can be in denial about this still. Do you remember the last time your party controlled the White House and Congress? Guess what we got: Medicare Part D. Hello? Anyone?

    Isn’t that what I said?

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    Is no one paying attention anymore? Both major parties are the parties of “giving you stuff”. I don’t know how you Republicans can be in denial about this still. Do you remember the last time your party controlled the White House and Congress? Guess what we got: Medicare Part D. Hello? Anyone?

    Isn’t that what I said?

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@24), no. You said (@8) that “51% of voters want government to pay for more stuff.” That implicates only those who voted for the Democratic candidate. But, again, all you have to do is look back to 2004 to see that those voting for the Republicans also want government to pay for more stuff. Point being, way more than 51% of us want that.

  • http://www.toddstadler.com/ tODD

    SG (@24), no. You said (@8) that “51% of voters want government to pay for more stuff.” That implicates only those who voted for the Democratic candidate. But, again, all you have to do is look back to 2004 to see that those voting for the Republicans also want government to pay for more stuff. Point being, way more than 51% of us want that.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    And I really haven’t run into many people, Republican or Democrat, who want the government to give them less stuff. No, the cry, from both sides, is for the government to give other people less stuff.

    Do you really get much from the federal gov’t?

    I want a whole lot less in military spending. So in that case do I want the government to give me less or do I want less given to others? I derive some benefit from the military spending, I guess. But I don’t think I need as much benefit as Washington thinks I need. I get to use federal highways and airports and I don’t want less of that.

    I don’t want less spent on local services that are paid with local taxes. We need municipal water, sewer, fire, police, etc. I don’t use the service of the public schools for my kids, but I am okay with school tax.

    It seems like most of the benefits people get come from state and local taxes. What do most people really get from the federal gov’t? I mean, a lot of welfare and Medicaid dollars come from the states not the federal gov’t.

    I think the thing that gets conservatives is the debt. If it were just tax and spend, then you can argue that you get what you pay for. As it is, the money is being borrowed, and responsible people kind of freak out on those debt numbers. Sure, the Fed will continue to cause inflation so as to lower the value of money paid back yada yada. But if you actually save money, aka exercise restraint and plan responsibly, you lose value. People who don’t save don’t have to worry about that, of course.

    Anyway, we aren’t just redistributing what we all have via the tax code. We are taxing the future and devaluing our capital. So, it isn’t as simple as asking someone to give you money that they actually have. Rather we are all signing a huge multi trillion dollar note. People who make a habit of only signing up for stuff that they are willing and able to pay for, really really get freaked out by this. It goes against their basic self preservation instincts. It reminds me of the Rapunzel story where they have to promise the witch the baby in order to get food for the pregnant wife. People don’t want to lay debt on their kids.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    And I really haven’t run into many people, Republican or Democrat, who want the government to give them less stuff. No, the cry, from both sides, is for the government to give other people less stuff.

    Do you really get much from the federal gov’t?

    I want a whole lot less in military spending. So in that case do I want the government to give me less or do I want less given to others? I derive some benefit from the military spending, I guess. But I don’t think I need as much benefit as Washington thinks I need. I get to use federal highways and airports and I don’t want less of that.

    I don’t want less spent on local services that are paid with local taxes. We need municipal water, sewer, fire, police, etc. I don’t use the service of the public schools for my kids, but I am okay with school tax.

    It seems like most of the benefits people get come from state and local taxes. What do most people really get from the federal gov’t? I mean, a lot of welfare and Medicaid dollars come from the states not the federal gov’t.

    I think the thing that gets conservatives is the debt. If it were just tax and spend, then you can argue that you get what you pay for. As it is, the money is being borrowed, and responsible people kind of freak out on those debt numbers. Sure, the Fed will continue to cause inflation so as to lower the value of money paid back yada yada. But if you actually save money, aka exercise restraint and plan responsibly, you lose value. People who don’t save don’t have to worry about that, of course.

    Anyway, we aren’t just redistributing what we all have via the tax code. We are taxing the future and devaluing our capital. So, it isn’t as simple as asking someone to give you money that they actually have. Rather we are all signing a huge multi trillion dollar note. People who make a habit of only signing up for stuff that they are willing and able to pay for, really really get freaked out by this. It goes against their basic self preservation instincts. It reminds me of the Rapunzel story where they have to promise the witch the baby in order to get food for the pregnant wife. People don’t want to lay debt on their kids.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    You said (@8) that “51% of voters want government to pay for more stuff.”

    Okay, I see. I meant to imply that at least 51% of voters, but I didn’t actually say it. We can’t know with absolute certainty how the folks who didn’t show would have voted, so I had to limit my statement to what was actually observed.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    You said (@8) that “51% of voters want government to pay for more stuff.”

    Okay, I see. I meant to imply that at least 51% of voters, but I didn’t actually say it. We can’t know with absolute certainty how the folks who didn’t show would have voted, so I had to limit my statement to what was actually observed.

  • fjsteve

    I see no need to bicker with other Republicans. The country made it’s choice, It wants bennies and wants someone else to pay for them. That’s the change Obama wants and America agreed with him. That’s it. Argue all you want about how the blue bloods or the religious right co-opted the party or whatever. None of that really mattered this time and that won’t change until the tap runs dry.

  • fjsteve

    I see no need to bicker with other Republicans. The country made it’s choice, It wants bennies and wants someone else to pay for them. That’s the change Obama wants and America agreed with him. That’s it. Argue all you want about how the blue bloods or the religious right co-opted the party or whatever. None of that really mattered this time and that won’t change until the tap runs dry.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @28 I heard one guy say we all need to vote Democrat so they will control everything and will ruin it all and won’t have anyone else to blame.

  • http://www.biblegateway.com/versions/Contemporary-English-Version-CEV-Bible/ sg

    @28 I heard one guy say we all need to vote Democrat so they will control everything and will ruin it all and won’t have anyone else to blame.

  • Michael B.

    @SKPeterson

    “Essentially, what I am saying is that social conservatives need to give up on national movements, or rather on trying to coordinate a national political agenda, and concentrate on the local.”

    But their focus on a national political agenda has been so greatly successful.

  • Michael B.

    @SKPeterson

    “Essentially, what I am saying is that social conservatives need to give up on national movements, or rather on trying to coordinate a national political agenda, and concentrate on the local.”

    But their focus on a national political agenda has been so greatly successful.

  • CRB

    A must view Youtube video!

  • CRB

    A must view Youtube video!

  • fjsteve

    sg, #29, nice thought but Obama has been in office four years and he’s still blaming Bush. These people have no shame. Who they can logically blame and who they can get away with blaming are two different things, and they know that.

  • fjsteve

    sg, #29, nice thought but Obama has been in office four years and he’s still blaming Bush. These people have no shame. Who they can logically blame and who they can get away with blaming are two different things, and they know that.


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