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From the Notebook

-Finished “Mostly Harmless” by Douglas Adams, completing my run through the five book Hitchhiker’s trilogy. I enjoyed this book more than the previous two books, and almost as much the first two books.

-A knuckleballer and a flamethrower? (RA Dickey and Juan Morillo) I like the way Bill Smith thinks. Apparently the Twins GM has been reading my series on the ideal baseball roster.

-Twitter is monumentally stupid.

-Chief Meyers for the Hall of Fame. I’m hoping to write up an article on the Dead Ball era catcher, but it will have to wait…

-Mainly because I have an 18 page paper due next week. Expect light posting.

-Political Thought: What’s the point of having two parties if they have the same policies? It’s like changing managers (baseball or business) who do things the same way. There should be a philosophic alternative (a difference between the parties). Moving the GOP to the center would do no good if the policies of left of center politics fails. So please Democrat friends, you can stop telling me the Republican Party needs to move to the center (That means you Gov. Schwarzenegger and Sen. Snowe).

-In 1932, 1964, 1976 and 1992 the Republican Party was declared dead. In 2002/2004 the Democrat Party was declared dead. I highly doubt 2008 signaled the end of the Republican Party.

-Just FYI Flu Fans, face masks don’t prevent the healthy from getting sick, but they go a long way in keeping the sick from spreading the disease to the healthy. If you’re feeling sick, quarantine yourself and wear a mask to prevent the spread of your flu. (I’m a CPR/Safety/Professional Responder/First-Aid instructor for the Red Cross, so I’m not completely unqualified to say this.)

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6 Responses

  1. I’m certainly not a Republican anymore (been about 6 years), so what I say about what the Republican party should do is worth about as much as my non-licensed legal opinions are. Nonetheless, I would say this in response to your “philosophical alternative” argument. If a person agrees with you on a majority of the issues, and you push that person away because they aren’t “ideologically pure,” it seems to me to be a mistake. Specter is weird and should have been an Independent for the last 40+ years, so I’m not really even referring to him — but as Lindsay Graham said, it’s not a good idea to have various litmus tests that make someone who is 70% in agreement with you (I think that was his number) feel that they can’t survive in your party.

    I guess if you believe that there are enough voters to sustain a party that is unwelcome to lukewarm Republicans, or if you believe in the Field of Dreams philosophy of Republicanism (i.e. “if you don’t tax them, they will come”), I suppose I can see why you would support driving out the moderates. Otherwise, from the sidelines, it seems to me that Orrin Hatch and Lindsay Graham have the better of the argument. Unless I’m wrong, and Jim DeMint’s “Big Tent of Freedom” is actually a thing — but I sort of suspect he’s just nuts.

  2. The fact is Arlen Specter had a lifetime ACU rating of 42. Meaning most of the time Arlen voted with Democrats (over the course of his career. He had some highs and lows over the course of his career). So I’m not sure where your 70% figure comes from.

    But look, the GOP didn’t drive out moderates. Moderates are just the guys who lose elections because they live in swing districts. Club for Growth does run a few candidates against incumbant Republicans (and many moderates have to deal with primary challengers) but rarely does it actually result in a change of endorsement.

    Lets be clear, Bush and Santorum campaigned for this guy in 2005 and Republicans in Penn endorsed him 5 times in primaries. I also don’t see where I have ever promoted throwing moderates out of the party. I supported McCain (who really was 70-80% Republican) very early on, not the more conservative alternatives (Only Giuliani was more moderate than McCain, and even that resulted in no practical differences as Giuliani said he’d support the same constructionist judges McCain would).

    I did support ousting Jim Ramstad as he was more moderate than his district and I was right, a more conservative candidate won in the 3rd and in 2008 no less. Otherwise I consider primary challenges to be tool of last resort.

    But I must ask, what is the point of having two parties with no operational philosophic differences? Then elections just turn into finding out who is the better manager rather than having a real choice.

    (Okay, final thought. The Dems are riding high right now but it’s a mistake to call the GOP out of the game. In 1964, 1976 and 1992 the GOP was in a similar situation but has always bounced back.)

  3. Marty,

    I wasn’t saying Specter was a 70% Republican — in fact, I said Specter shouldn’t even factor in because he’s just weird and should always have BEEN an independent.

    The 70% figure comes from a Lindsay Graham quote — he essentially said he doesn’t like the idea that his party is not welcoming to people who are 70% with him on the issues and 30% against. This is coming from a very conservative southern Republican, not from me, so take issue with him if you don’t like the number.

    As for the philosophical differences, I agree with you that the parties should not be the equivalent of, say, cherry coke and cherry vanilla coke. There should be more of a Coke vs. Mountain Dew feel to the thing, with distinct differences. But that’s what the PLATFORM is for — and ideally your candidates agree with the majority of the issues on your platform. I don’t think that welcoming moderates into the party in hard-to-reach districts means that the party becomes a milquetoast version of itself — I think it means that the party is being pragmatic and accepting the reality of the district at hand.

    Essentially, you and I agree on the need to mold your candidate to your district (at least that’s what I get from your discussion of Ramstad). The disagreement seems to be centered around how much that should trouble the members of the party who are more clearly in the base. You seem to have some sort of angst about the moderation, as evidenced by your question about the point of having two parties with “no operational philosophic differences.” I think you can let the angst go — welcoming some moderates from the Northeast doesn’t mean that the party doesn’t believe in its platform.

    As for the GOP not driving out moderates — well, most of the registration evidence suggests you’re wrong, but that could be a one cycle issue. Look at Pennsylvania — the Republican moderates sure aren’t Republicans anymore. That’s what doomed Specter more than anything. Maybe those people left because they suddenly all became fire-breathing liberals, but my guess is that they left because they felt the party moved too far to the right and no longer suited their political views.

    Again, if you can win elections with your base, fantastic and more power to ya. If you can’t, its not a good idea to have folks like Limbaugh shouting “good riddance” as the less (or non-)conservative members of the party bid goodbye.

  4. Hey, I’m a very pragmatic conservative who has actually volunteered his time working for socially liberal/fiscally moderate candidates. So all this crap about me wanting moderates out of the party or happy to rely on the base for election wins is a lie. And I think you’re reading too far into my words if you’re seeing “angst.”

    As for you other stuff;

    The GOP Platform hasn’t changed significantly in 30 years, The GOP hasn’t moved to the right, that’s just a popular talking point right now (and rarely does anyone who say it actually give some sort of evidence to prove it).

    There was no Orwellian effort to drive out moderates.

    What has happened?

    -Most polls show the unpopular Iraq War drove millions of people away from Republicans.

    -Demographics in this country have shifted in favor of Democrats (Read “The emerging Democratic Majority”).

    -The natural economic cycle slowed down the economy right before an election, the party in power always takes the blame for this rightly or wrongly.

    Any electoral strategy is always a question of whether to focus on turning out the base or capturing the center (Rove v. Morris). Niether philosophy is correct 100% of the time. Politics is local. The two party system has shown both parties have come back from major defeats. The system is competitive.

    So please, no more assigning attitudes to me that I don’t hold.

  5. I think you’re reading too much into my use of the word “you.” I wasn’t referring to YOU as in Marty Andrade. I was saying “you” as in “if you are such a person as believes X”. I don’t think that Marty Andrade wants to get rid of moderates. I think there are many Republicans (especially some prominent ones) who do. I could probably have been more clear — but it’s a blog comments section. Such things are all about screeds, not polish. I try to conform.

    I did say you were angsty. Frankly, the image of an angsty Marty makes me happy. For this, I will not apologize . . .

  6. Well, if you want to conform, I suggest more grammatical errors.

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