Republicans deserved to lose

Dear Republicans,

You earned the beating you took yesterday.  You earned every bit of it.  It is your fault.  Democrats may or may not have deserved to win, but you deserved to lose.

The rebuilding and renewal of the Right will start soon.  This will be very important.   The Right and the Republican Party are at an inflection point, and there are many directions things can go.   The destiny of the Right and the Republican Party will be determined in large part by the decisions you make in the days, weeks and months ahead.

  • Some of you will say "we have learned our lesson", and then try to pass off cosmetic changes as Reform.  You are the problem.
  • Some of you will say "Republicans need to fight/hold Democrats accountable", as if it is sufficient to be against Democrats.  The pendulum may eventually swing back to you, but you won't know what to do with it.
  • Some of you will say "Republicans need to carry our message to the American people", as if the problem is that Republicans haven't been saying "tax cuts and limited government" loudly enough.  The problem is not the inability to communicate; the problem is that you have no idea how to actually deliver on those ideas.
  • Others will say "Republicans need to be more principled", as if the problem is a mere lack of personal courage and principle by Republicans.  Even the best people can't limit government if there is not an effective strategy for implementation - for getting "from here to there".  You don't need better people.  You need a better strategy.

The problem is not Republican politicians, although many Republicans politicians are a problem.  The problem is not with the basic ideals of limited government and personal freedom, either.  The problem is a movement that plays small-ball and cedes responsibility for infrastructure to business interests, leadership that rewards those who make friends rather than waves, an entrenched Party and Movement support system that mostly supports itself, an echo chamber that has rotted our intellect, a grassroots that is ill-equipped to shape the Republican Party, and a Republican Party that has replaced strategy with tactics, substance with marketing.

These problems can be fixed, but the fix is not cosmetic.  The rot is deep.  We do not need reformation of the Republican Party; we need transformation of the Republican Party.  That is going to require fresh blood, new ideas, new infrastructure...and perhaps more than a little time in the wilderness.

You have earned the time you will spend wandering in the wildnerness.  The land on the other side is not a promised land.   It will have to be earned, too.

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Five stars

Spot on target.

I used to register as a Republican. I turned in my registration when it was clear it was no longer a party that represented me or had any idea what to do in government any longer.

The party can have my registration back when they change. If all they do is what Henke outlines here, they'll never get it back.

When you get to the endzone . . .

 . . .try to act like you've been there before. Its amazing that the libs can't enjoy a rare victory without having to ruin it by acting like a bunch of immature idiots.

Obama will have to deliver on universal health care, tax cuts, a balanced budget, keeping foreclosures at bay, and all the other promises he made in his "tall ball" approach. Large blocks of people are going to be disppointed by the Chosen One.

At least he won't be taking any more money from Fanny and Freddie, and taking a million dollars a day in earmarks back to Illinois.

Go ahead and count the Republicans out for 2012. The disappointment that Obama has teed up for his supporters with his endless promises will will be starting soon. He is already trying to manage expectations, three days after he's been elected.



If all they do is what Henke

Kick out the bigots.

I joined the party at the eve of its collapse just so I could be in on the ground floor as part of the youthful movement to thoroughly jettison the intellectual dead-weight of the religious right during its rebuidling.

Intellectual dead-weight...

is far too kind a euphemism.

We've driven away a lot of

We've driven away a lot of nontheist intellectuals.  If we want them back, this isn't going to be a decade long rebuilding, but a generational one.

Religious right


Well look at the smart ones making plans to shave 30 percent off what base the GOP has left. Jettison the religious right shall we?

How did the modern GOP do in national elections before it incorporated the workhorses of the religious right in Reagan's victories? Exactly.

Come up with a plan better than that one, or you'll be enjoying the eternal wilderness.

The message of fiscal conservatism alone isn't going to turn a 'tranformed' electorate red again.

The key will be moderation on the policies of our current three legged platform, and outreach into the unharvested arenas. Send the 'religious right' into socially conservative black and hispanic communities and siphon some votes.

We need to stop any talk of dumping any part of the base overboard.. right here and now if we're going to survive.

I thought short-sightedness was an anathema to conservatism

Investing in religious fundamentalism is a dead-end.  It's whole existance is a reaction to the recognition of their religion's dying relevance. 

just what i was saying!

Do you read Dr. David Brin's blog? I swear, he's the only one some days that gives me hope for the Republican party!

Religion's dying relevance

Very good, Dr. Snack.

The conservative movement can push out the evangelicals. Then it can spend its time with a microscope searching for a constituency! And the country club conservatives can spend a lifetime looking for grassroots workers.

Suits me. I think atheists are pompous pendejos for the most part. Go for it, guys! 

Nobody's talking about pushing out any people

Just aspects of a platform.  Also entrusting the base one of the stupidest segments of the population.  One of the best illustrations was Huckabee's mistacken tack of actually taking political evangelicals seriously by peppering his speeches with biblical references that they were too ignorant to understand (he described Moses but when the audience was interviewed they didn't know who he was talking about).

What makes an atheist pompous?

Do you actually KNOW any atheists, personally? Or are you just talking about Richard Dawkins?

You realize of course...

... this means war.  I think there are more religious fundies than Goldwater Republicans left.  You want to kick them out?  OK, that's cool.  We'll just shatter the party and let America become a one-party system for a bit, then.

The problem is, the fundies are taking over.  Goldwater Republicans are on the way to becoming a vocal minority wing of the party, instead of the other way around.  Not sure what to do about that.

the goldwater republicans are already gone

see kos. see me. see brin.

you either attract them and win, or you become a regional southern party. you won't win with the fundies, as middle america hates their values.

I Agree A Lot Are Gone

So what are we left with?  We're the minority of the Right at this point.  The fact is, it seems we've ceeded balanced budgets to the Dems.  That's their plank now, not ours.  So we're left with trying to get small government... I dunno.  Do we just defect en masse to the Libertarians and try to make them a viable national party?  Would something like that be possible?  Could we peel off socially liberal but economically conservative Dems?  I don't have the answers.  I'm sure that's a horrible idea but I'm just thinking out loud.

But if the fundies are driving moderates away in droves, and we can't win without the fundies, we're screwed no matter what.

You figure out how to let the professionals have both parties

they're the competent folks who took over the democratic party following the debacle in 2004.

But the way you attract them is actually pretty simple:

Stop being so extreme, kick the fundamentalists out.

Then come down hard on the side of science and practical solutions (but that's what the democrats just did! -- yes, but you can also run against gerrymandering, and on fixing the electoral college, and on a lot of other tweaks to the system)

Be the loyal opposition, the people who are known to work with the Democrats.

This is something that you have to look back to gingrich to find, a willingness to work with others.

Libertarian is definitely a possibility. The Whigs collapsed in a heap, why not let the Republican Party do the same??

You can definitely peel off some of us. I'm a bleeding heart liberal, but I want practical solutions first, feel good idealogy as a very distant second.



"The Whigs collapsed in a heap, why not let the Republican Party do the same??"

Uh...maybe for the same reason that the Democrats didn't cease to exist in 2002 or 2004?

As Donald Rumsfeld used to say, stuff happens. Stuff includes elections. Not to discredit Obama's victory, but it's nowhere near the regular quadrennial rout Republicans used to deliver to Democrats. And with all fairness to the work he and you liberals did, what were your two real messages?

No, your real messages, the ones on TV, not the blog echo chamber.

I'll give you a hint: one was a four letter word that starts with a B, the other is embodied in your candidate himself, and neither will be available in four years. I think we can afford to wait juuust a bit longer before disbanding the Republican party.

What Happened to the Big Tent?

When I was a the late '70's, the talk in NW Florida where I grew up, and incidently met Pres. Reagan (he came into the mucisians pit after a speach in the '76 election..and shook hands w/all the kids in the band BEFORE meeting the $2k a plate supporters, none of whom were old enough to vote...then...4 years later we ALL could vote), the talk was all about the "Big Tent."  Wherein Republicans of all stripes from liberal to very conservative could meet and work towards a common goal...smaller more efficient government (no it's not a complete oxymoron).

In the past election cycle, I supported Rudi Guilianni, and then John McCain because he was the nominee of my party.  Not because I agree with him on every issue, but because I thought he had the possibility of winning the election. 

Now, we as a party cannot afford to descend into back-biting and acrimony.  We must come together and rationally discuss what we as a party must do to reclaim all of the ground our elected representatives lost...from 2001-2006.  The members of those 3 congresses must and should be ashamed of themselves.  They forgot what we represent as a party, and let greed blind them...and we are now paying dearly for that stupidity.

Come on people, quit the bickering...let's examine with open minds those mistakes that we as a party made, then do our damnedest to correct those egregious errors that we as a party permitted to be made in our name.

smaller tent needed

The issue isn't about whether some part of the GOP should be "kicked out", but rather who defines the purpose of the party vs who is just along for the ride.  When you talk about a "big tent" that can attract everybody, you are forgetting that everybody thinks it's their tent, and that the rest of the party is just along for the ride.  Who the heck's defining the goal when the tent is big enough for everybody?

The fact is that the evangelicals have not supported smaller more efficient government, and neither do moderates.  If they get under your tent, it's an invasion and a takeover.  That's exactly how small-government Goldwater-style Republicans wound up just being along for the ride.

and... who do you want to let take over the Repugs?

The Democratic party has changed a LOT in the past four years. You ain't learned nothin' yet if you can't see that.

Form a third party

Let the fundies have theirs. The rest of the Republicans can band with conservative Democrats to make a more centrist, moderate party.

One problem with your "idea"

Aren't conservative Democrats typically socially conservative, like the "fundies," but supportive of big-government?

If the Republican party splits, it will make the big-government, socially-liberal agenda dominant for a generation or more. No wing of the Republican party will benefit, period.

I'm a swing liberal

it's not an oxymoron. Competency first, ideology second. Run some competent people, and kick the total morons out of your party, and I'll consider voting for you guys.

Liberals tend to be pretty fiscally conservative, anyhow.


You think the religious right is what drove Reagan to victory?

My god... if anything the RR is what is helping destroy the credibility of the party, because it narrows its appeal and makes it little more than a joke to the mainstream.

False mutual exclusion

I believe the Religious Right was a huge force -- not the only one -- driving Reagan to victory.

I believe the Religious Right has royally screwed up the GOP to the point where it's not palatable to me (and I'm both conservative and Christian!).

The two aren't mutually exclusive.   The main difference in the two eras is, in 1980, the RR was a relatively immature political force.    Religious fundamentalists were excited to have any outlet for political action that took their concerns seriously.   In a way they were happy to ride the bus.   Over time, of course, they wanted more and more input into steering it.   Now they just don't want to brook any dissent.

i'll be pulling for you

this liberal does not like it when one of the parties is daggone crazy.

please give me a choice again!

Thanks, but I'm not a Republican

Haven't been one since voting age, really.    I've been somewhat active in the LP but I'm pretty fed up with it.

I'm actually wondering if becoming a "subversive" conservative/libertarian Democrat may not be the best way to bring about pro-liberty reforms for the next decade or so.    At least they appear to have adults in charge now.

I'm a liberal liberatarian

if you're in a democratic district, please register democratic. primaries are the only elections that matter anymore, what with the gerrymandering. otherwise, swallow your tongue and primary the republican.

Tester's a pretty libertarian kind of guy (and didn't Webb say he was proud to be a redneck?)

You'll be in good company. Sebelius talked half the Kansas GOP into going Democrat -- all they wanted to know is, "can you keep washington off our back? gun control ain't exactly popular here" -- good people, just wanted to run their state well.

Well to be perfectly honest,

Well to be perfectly honest, I dont think that they deserved to lose.

Mike - the grow taller 4 idiots and senuke dude.

How about a new electorate

I am not a Republican for precisely this reason.  I can assure you that if you lose the religious fundies, many young professionals will join you again.  I don't care for the Dems spending and taxation policies, but I am unwilling to waste my time in a party that incessantly makes gay marriage and ownership of my womb their message.  I could have been a Goldwater conservative, but the party as it stands holds no interest for me.  Am I crazy, or would you gain more than you would lose? 

1992 All Over Again...

Republicans are going to try and repeat 1994, which consisted of a massive negative campaign against the early results of the Clinton Presidency, and the Contract with America.

As much as I would love to see the Republican Party return to it's roots of personal liberty, fiscal responsibility, and removing obstacles to growth, it's not going happen.

Republicans are going to do what they have done in the past because it's just the path of least resistance.

Obama will likely have two early initiatives, one being the tax policy, which will be categorized as a tax increase for every American no matter what the reality is. Similar to the Clinton 1993 tax hike, which on income was flat for most Americans, but since there was a gas tax increase, they called it a tax hike on everyone. The second initiative will be health care, and the Republicans are going to do everything in their power to kill it, because if they kill it, it will be considered a failure and failure is something to run against.

The only real question is whether these tactics will work, but there is no question that these will be the tactics, and nothing in this require that Republicans take an introspective look at their principals.



Wow, Great Idea

"Hey, we need to break 50% in the next let's start by telling the largest remaining faction in our base to ---- off and die!"

It may come as surprise, but your personal embarrassment when talking to friends across the aisle about factions in your party whom you've never met but seen lampooned on the Daily Show is not a significant contributor to the electoral fate of the nation. You may be unaware, but your Democratic friends are much more embarrassed - or they will be very soon, if they're young - over the characters on that side of the aisle than you are of those crazy Americans who believe in God.

Moreover, it shows a complete lack of understanding of democracy - in fact a 180 degree misunderstanding - to say "who do we not need?" after an electoral defeat. The answer to that question is invariably "nobody." The entire methodology of winning elections in a democratic society revolves around expanding the tent. If you can't expand the tent, you lose. No, there are no excuses for bien pensant. Just ask the British Conservatives if you don't believe me, and can find one.

If you think Sarah Palin shouldn't be on the next ticket or televangelists should be shunned or whatever else you have in mind, fine. Vote and fundraise your heart out. But try to take, say, Pro-life or marriage or protecting America's cultural ties to Christianity off the ticket and you'll quickly discover that the religious right dumps you, not the other way around. That's not even mentioning the criminal stupidity of such an enterprise, considering that we just finished an election where both candidates claimed to be as far to the right on all those issues as they thought they could get away with.

It may come as a surprise to you but

many of these issues are a bit deeper for us than embarassment when talking to friends. 

Some of us like to win elections

Being part of a party that is big enough to win means sometimes tolerating and compromising with people you disagree with, if you can't do that, I hear the Libertarian party is a great place for ideological purists. 


And especially well-suited to those who prefer sitting around and discussing why the other 99.6% of the electorate just isn't as pure as them to actually mobilizing to change anything!

Did they really deserve to

Did they really deserve to lose? Mike

winter coats - jump manual review - buy regcure

At that rate... would forever be a minority party.

In all the thousands of ads I saw, I only saw one candidate clearly articulate why somebody should vote Republican.

Michelle Bachmann. After being caught in Matthew's ambush she released ads with her personally and effectively talking about Justice and Liberty. She won.

We must relearn our first principles and learn how to communicate them. We need more conservatives! We deserve to loose because we are unable to communicate our core principles, our vision.

Not our party leaders, US. The great unwashed masses "yearning to be free".

We need a "decider"

Can we all agree to let me be "the decider" of who "the bigots" are? And can I have the money of "the bigots" as they are kicked out?

Paul Krugman and Daily Kos name Republican "bigots"

Paul Krugman the 2008 nobel  prize winning liberal "economist" and those Krazy Kids name names of Republican "bigots" over at Daily Kos .



you forgot the Southern strategy?

Seriously. Take facts as they are -- the republicans remain the party of bigotry. See that nice brand spanking new map of the borderers--ehem, where Republicans did better than 2004 this year.

Lets start with you

If we're kicking out the bigots today, Dr. Snack, lets start with you. Heck, while we're at it, let's kick out the small-government types, since those greedy plutocrats invite a lot of opposition too.

Purges aren't going to get Republicans anywhere, the idea is to get more people to vote for us, not less. Kicking people out and alienating large blocks of voters is not going to help. Frankly, a Republican party without the religious right/social conservatives looks a lot like the Libertarian party to me, and they're not known for being very successful electorally. Why would we want to emulate them?

If anything, adjustments and compromises need to be made (and made explicitly) so that both the social conservatives and the small government conservatives can be happy together, and not undermine or alienate each other, because neither is strong enough by itself to accomplish its goals.

can't happen.

the fundies don't want to compromise, and they're pretty damn ruthless.

Couldn't have said it better

Couldn't have said it better myself. From a conservative standpoint, my fear of what an Obama Presidency would (now will) bring caused me to vote for the lesser evil, John McCain. As for the GOP Congress, for the most part - and with the possible exception of the entirety of the RSC - they are an embarrassment, utterly devoid of ideas, strategy, media/internet savvy, and passion.

My lesser fear in voting for McCain was that if he won, it would be a validation of sorts for moderate (read liberal) and populist (read media-loving) Republicanism. That it would perpetuate the problem, not cure it.

Now that that problem has been eliminated, we can move on.

Where do I sign up? 


Patick, you had the same thoughts I did.  I want to be able to contribute, but I'm not really sure how.  No one's made it readily available to use low level conservatives who hold steady jobs.

Sure, I can write/email a Senator or Congressman but their responses take a week or two to reach back.  That's rediculous.  We might be able to start by making the back and forth with our elected officials quicker and more productive, if that's possible.

I'm one of those too

I want to contribute too, but:

  • Have a day job
  • Live in a dem precinct of a dem county in a dem state.  (That's the new North Cackalacky for ya!)
  • Never been involved in politics, outside of voting in all primaries and general elections


Keep Reagan's big tent

<i>...the intellectual dead-weight of the religious right</i>

Posted under "kick out the bigots." The irony, it burns.

We've got Dem Underground saboteurs here, trying to drive wedges between essential parts of the conservative coalition. Making the enemy turn on themselves -- isn't that a Saul Alinksy tactic?





that includes buckley i take it?

or scaife, last heard saying "clintons not so bad"

Don't blame dems

it wasn't us who said people like Geroge Wills or David Frum or Peggy Noonan were now dead to the party,

head on over to redstate and suggest they expand the party and then blame it on democrats.

The problem is half the party realizes they need to expand, while the other half refuses, and says the party needs to head even more right.

here is the question, what is anyone talking about doing to get the 2 sides reconciling this?


because the fundies don't play nice with anyone

they want to take over, and that's that. they want their own party. and they've got the republican one headed steadily right.

bigotry lost you 2006.

fundamentalism lost you 2008.

republicans, take heed!

religious fundamentalism isn't the definition

of the furthest right.  That idea is a big problem itself.  Religious fundamentalism doesn't have to be a valid political movement period, let alone a permanent fixture on the political numberline.