Skip to comments.Potential Republican Crack-Up
Posted on 07/31/2005 1:19:25 PM PDT by KMB
For the past 20 years, there's been a discussion in political circles and the media about the "fault lines" in the Republican party over the hot-button social issues such as the death penalty, abortion, affirmative action and gay rights.
The presumption has always been that these issues would ultimately cause a rift between conservatives and moderates that would split the Republican coalition. The pundits and the MSM have been expecting and predicting this split for as long as I've been watching politics and they've been puzzled by the fact that it has never occurred.
I believe that the reason that it hasn't occurred is that the underlying assumptions are wrong. There are no "moderate" Republicans. I think Republicans are almost all conservative. Today, there are no Republicans left who are philosophically in line with Nelson Rockefeller, John Anderson, Lowell Weicker or Mark Hatfield. I know that this line of reasoning may be challenged by the Maine & Rhode Island Republican senators but the Republicans in those states (who vote Republican in presidential elections) are conservatives. The New England Republican Senators get elected by appealing to Democrats in overwhelmingly Democratic states.
There were approximately 62 million people who voted for GW Bush in 2004. I believe that probably 61.5 million of those people (1) support the death penalty (2) oppose affirmative action and (3) oppose gay marriage. I also believe that an equally high percentage of Bush voters (even those who are pro-choice) believe that the Roe v. Wade case was a hideous decision.
Pro-choice Republicans also are aware of the dirty little secret of the abortion debate -- which is that even if Roe v. Wade were overturned tomorrow, there would probably be no effect... There are probably no more than 7 - 9 states where abortion would actually be outlawed and there are currently few (or no) abortion doctors practicing in those states today anyway. Overall, the number of abortions occurring in the next ten years would only be affected by 1% or less if Roe v. Wade were reversed.
So this is, I believe, why the Republican coalition never cracked or splintered. It has confounded and infuriated the opposition but the Republican coalition really never had the fault lines that so many people thought it had.
However, I now think that one may be developing. The impending divisions in the Republican party won't be "moderate" vs. "conservative". It will be "evangelical conservative" vs. "non evangelical conservative". The issues that cause the breach won't be abortion, the death penalty, gay marriage or affirmative action. Instead the divisions will be caused over: (1) stem cell research, (2) evolution and (3) the Terri Schiavo case.
I think that 25 years from now, we'll all look back on the Terri Schiavo case as a cataclysmic event in American politics. There were tens of millions of people who looked at the pictures of Terri Schiavo and thought just one thing: "My god, if that ever happens to me, pull the plug, stop the feeding or do whatever it takes to finish me off."
At the time many Republican leaders spoke of the fact that this was a unique case but the tone of the debate both in and out of the media was that this was essentially a first step.
I remember that pro-Brady Bill and pro-Assault weapons ban politicians repeatedly assured the public that this wouldn't mean banning guns while activists and media pundits indicated that this was a first step towards doing so.
With the Terri Schiavo case, activists -- evangelicals --similarly didn't view this as a unique case but as a first step towards preventing feeding tube or life support removal in any case regardless of living wills or not.
This had an effect on non-evangelical Republicans or "secular Republicans" . . . By itself, I don't think that it would be enough to cause a breach but this isn't just one issue. The other issues that are occurring at the same time are an inexplicable renewed debate over evolution and the stem cell research debate.
With regard to the former, there's no polite or nice way to put it so I'll just be direct. People who believe in evolution think that people who don't believe in evolution are idiots -- pure and simple. The perception that an evolution believer has of a non-evolution believer is of a person saying, "Duh, my grandfather wasn't no ape."
Secular Republicans look at people who publicly discuss their doubts about evolution and who don't want it taught in public schools with utter disgust.
With regard to stem cell research, secular Republicans are excited at the prospects and supportive of practically any scientific research and they simmer at the thought of obstruction of research on religious grounds.
These three issues: evolution, Terri Schiavo and stem cell research are close to causing (or may have already caused) an irrepairable breach in the Republican coalition.
I'm a conservative. I believed in a 2nd war against in Iraq to remove the regime of Saddam Hussein as early as 1998. I also believe in making the '01 & '03 tax cuts permanent; drilling in anwar; that members of al Qaeda who are captured are illegal soldiers and not entitled to due process. I believe in progressive indexing of SS benefits, support the confirmation of John Roberts, think Antonin Scalia is the ideal justice and favor ballistic missile defense.
I also support the death penalty, oppose affirmative action, oppose gay marriage and think that the Roe v. Wade decision was a farce. I could go on but the point is made -- I'm a conservative....
But, I also accept the truth that the human species has a pre-history and I support stem cell research and I think that keeping Terri Schiavo's existance without life going was cruel and sadistic. That feeding tube should've never been inserted 14 years ago.
As a result of all of this, I now find myself in a position that I would have never dreamed of 5 or 10 years ago which is that I object to Hillary Clinton far, far less than I object to Tom Delay. Or Rick Santorum. Or Sam Brownback. Or Tom Tancredi.
Hopefully, Rudy Guiliani will be the nominee in '08 and make this all a moot point but if he isn't then I'm confronted with the possibility that I'll probably vote for Hillary Clinton despite the fact that she stands against so much that I believe in.
If there are others like me out there, and I think there are, then get ready for a 2nd Clinton Administration.
I gotta got watch the dreams. The weather is making me sleepy.
I am fortunate indeed.
Good night, Face.
So is the castle going to be here too?
NIght, 'Face! Is this our new home?
See you all tomorrow.
Buy it? BUY IT?
Get Real, Folks! I'm not even gonna LEASE it.
Three Cheers for the Troll ! /sarcasm
I'd forgotten about the Forgotten Realms story arc of Curse of the Azure bonds
Plus it was a great video game.
No wonder he had that, errr, sh*t-eating grin...
Yeah, one that I'd missed!
I think this is our new home - for now. 'Face and Bob put links to it on the UT2. I suppose the list can be pinged. :-)
If the Undead Thread is going to start moving around like this willy-nilly, I need a volunteer to take over the ping list. I am too busy these days to keep the list and graphics all up to date; the last move took days to preparate. Everything I have is tied to the apparently now-abandoned thread, and I'm willing to post there a "forward" link to this thread if this is the new home of the Undead Thread... but my ability to maintain things otherwise ends right now. I am too tied up with too many things to accomodate such quick changes.
What you'll get is the ping list, source for graphics, and maybe ideas and hints on running the ping list. And maybe even consultation from time to time (though it's easy enough you shouldn't need it).
I think we have found our next UT thread...
maybe this one can be the Son of the Undead Thread (in keeping with the Chucky theme)
hey Bob I am putting that onto my homepage!!!
Advice only good for the next day or so. New name is needed.
It echos in here. Needs more keywords to dampen the sound.
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