We’re more like the Democrats now than 3 years ago.
What prompted me to bump this was that I was reading the final pages today of Craig Shirley's marvelous account of Ronald Reagan's 1980 campaign: Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign That Changed America.
In the epilogue, Shirley blasts the modern-day GOP as having completely lost its way from the path that Reagan envisioned for it. He referenced this Manchester Union-Leader interview with Ed Gillespie discussed on this thread and quotes from Ed Crane's 2003 Cato article on the subject, "The Rise and Fall of the GOP". Here is the passage from pgs. 597 and 598 of Shirley's book:
"In 2003 George W. Bush's handpicked chairman of the Republican National Committee, Ed Gillespie, attended an editorial meeting of the Manchester Union-Leader. Afterward, the paper wrote that Gillespie 'said in no uncertain terms that the days of Reaganesque Republican railings against the expansion of the federal government are over...Today the Republican Party stands for giving the American people whatever the polls say they want...The people want expanded entitlement programs and a federal government that attends to their every desire, no matter how frivolous? Then that's what the Republican Party wants, too.'The question is still on the table as we approach what is hopefully a watershed election in Nov., 2010.
Was Gillespie right? Is it all over? Reagan populism as a force inside the Republican Party has been replaced by a belief that America needs two big-government parties. Whether the GOP ever returns to its pro-freedom, smaller-government roots is open to question."
BC, FYI. You might find that Cato article interesting. They don't have much use for Bob McConnell's campaign manager.