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  • The Future Republican

    Posted by Smitten Eagle on November 5th, 2008 (All posts by )

    There are three types of Republicans in the world:

    1) Northeastern. These are the Rockefeller Republicans. They tend to be internationalists and fiscally conservative. This movement is all but dead. They were compelled to leave the party by the much more socially conservative Southern Republicans. George H.W. Bush was a NE Republican.

    2) Southern. These are the social conservatives. They tend to support a strong national defense. Fiscal discipline is only a talking point.  This movement is still alive, but was repudiated both in the congressional elections in 2006, as well as the general elections of 2008. George W. Bush was a Southern Republican.

    3) Western. The Western Republican is the Republican of libertarian leanings, generally favoring non-intrusive government in terms of social issues, and also favoring fiscal discipline. They tend to oppose nationalization of anything. They often, but not always, favor a strong national defense. Reagan was a western republican. This is the future of the Republican party, because the Western Republican can capitalize on the whims of the Independent Voter, who is usually fiscally conservative, libertarian socially, and for a strong national defense.

    The Northeastern Republican was the type of Republican your grandfather was.  The Southern Republican was just beat up in a brawl yesterday and is on life support.

    The Western Republican is the Republican of the future.  When the Obama-Reid-Pelosi troika overplay their hand in the next 2-4 years, conservatives and conservate-leaning libertarians will strike, and will reestablish a mandate to govern.

    Crossposted at Smitten Eagle.

     

    41 Responses to “The Future Republican”

    1. Phil Fraering Says:

      SO… maybe if we’d run Republicans from Alaska and Arizona instead of Republicans from the South at the top of the ticket this time around, we’d have made headway?

    2. Smitten Eagle Says:

      Not necessarily, Phil.

      Had we had a president from Arizona for the last 8 years, I do think the Republicans would be in better shape now. At any rate, the environment for Republicans today is highly caustic, and it is very difficult for them to survive no matter the flavor of Republican.

      Also note that McCain almost always polled better than the generic Republican. I do say that he probably did better than a Huckabee could ever do.

      But…the Republican of the future (the Republican conservatives should field in 2, 4, 6, and 8 years from now) is undoubtedly a Western Republican. There really aren’t any NE types, as they have been co-opted into the Democratic party. And Southern Republicans have been repudiated.

    3. Phil Fraering Says:

      SO this is your stake in the blame game, eh? It’s all those southerners’ fault for believing in your straw-man construct of the southerners’ position?

    4. Real Life Bundler Says:

      The recent election was a referendum on Bush who was victim of slow-drip media hatred for 6/8 of his term. Hatred of Bush is now simply sated with “change.” They don’t have him ‘to kick around anymore.’ Welcome back to 1975.

      18 months from now, Obama & co will run out of ways to blame Bush for a deep recession and laggard economy, 30% deflation and the corollary unavoidable unemployment at 8.5%. A tax increase will prolong the recession. Welcome back to 1977.

      Unemployment makes people angry. People wonder: Why don’t I have a job yet? What good is this $1500 welfare credit to feed my family? What good is this card-check union job if there is no factory and no construction site? Why didn’t anyone want to own equity (aka invest in) s&%tbox (aka low after-tax and social burden) cars built by my former employer, GM? Democrats lose some House and Senate seats. Welcome back to 1978.

      People may remember that they hated Bush but they will also remember what it was like to have a job and a house. The good old days (of easy credit, high nominal inflation and money printing) when we were busy and had some self-esteem! Iraq is already just a memory except for those who served there and their experience was far different than what CNN described.

      Obama will blame the “wealthy” = people who still have jobs and incomes. Why are they so “selfish?” Running scared congress asks: what programs can I invent to convince or force these selfish people to hire (my) people (constituents).

      Welcome back to 1979.

      Note to the staff members who I will be letting go to account for the fact that there will be far fewer profitable new business ventures for us to do over the comings years: See you in 2013 (aka 1983). Hope you are still around so I can hire you back!

    5. Bill Says:

      Say what you will about the “southern” Republicans, no “western” Republican can win a national election without them, so the westerners would do well to avoid trashing their allies.

      And I won’t be ready to accept your characterization of the rugged individualist out west until I can stop subsidizing his water.

    6. andrewdb Says:

      SE –

      Oh, from your lips to G-d’s ears. I can only hope.

      I really am a bit sick of this whole “compassionate conservatism” thing which apparently means nationalizing the banks and other commanding heights of the economy – and get the h-ll out of my bedroom.

      But then I am a conservative born and living in the People’s Republic of California.

    7. Phil Fraering Says:

      I really am a bit sick of this whole “compassionate conservatism” thing which apparently means nationalizing the banks and other commanding heights of the economy – and get the h-ll out of my bedroom.

      Which was supported by both “Southern Conservative” George Bush and “Western Conservative” John McCain.

      It’s my belief that when McCain went back to Washington and signed the bailout bill, he killed his campaign. And badly hurt those of us, in the South, West, North, and even East, who believed in fiscal conservatism.

    8. Danny L. McDaniel Says:

      Don’t over analyze the election results. If there ever was a President who should be sued for malpractice it is George W. Bush. This election, if anything, was a rupudation of W and not conservative ideology.

      Obama seems to work well with people unlike himself. He will work well with Harry Reid, a pro-life, pro-gun Mormon. It is Speaker Pelosi that will be the problem. Half of her caucus are liberal Democrats, the other half conservative Bluedogs. She won’t have W. to kick around and it will very interested in seeing how that turns out.

      Republicans need real leaders and stick to their fiscal responsibility and smaller, less intrusive government message.

      Don’t forgot that a election night victory is the equal to a ceremonial groundbreaking event, nothing has really been accomplished yet.

      Danny L. McDaniel
      Lafayette, Indiana

    9. kurt9 Says:

      Unfortunately, the libertarian-ish “western” republicans do not command much following outside the western states. The reason is that the “pioneering” culture that we think American culture is based on was only true for the western states (starting around the high plains). The East Coast, Mid-west (rust belt), and South never had this culture at all. The East and Northern Mid-west has a 170 year history of funky populist and political movements that have included everything from tee-totaling Christianity to fabian socialism. The South still is the cultural fallout from the attempted re-creation of the European feudal system by the Irish and Scottish settlers that originally settled in the South 250 years ago (along with chattel slavery).

      Culturally speaking, only the western states ever had the pioneering culture that most conservative people associate with American society. So, I think the appeal of “western” republicanism is going to be limited. I agree with the previous comments with respect to the social conservatives and Rockefeller republicans. Of course, I am libertarian and, therefor, never had anything to do with these other two strains of republicanism.

      I agree with everything “Real Life Bundler” except that inflation is more likely 18 months from now if the dems are able to push through their Keynesian fiscal stimulus packages.

    10. kurt9 Says:

      Also, the coastal west (California, Portland and Seattle areas) are as liberal-left as the East coast. That leaves only the Mountain and inland desert states, which have relatively small populations and, therefor, little electoral clout.

      Anyways, I think the future of economic and technological growth is East Asia (China and the rest) for the foreseeable future. This is probably where I will end up if things get real bad in the states.

    11. Dave Says:

      Godfather of Western Republicans – Goldwater.

    12. Tyouth Says:

      You could say that there is one more, overlapping, group that makes up the Republican party; the RINOS.

      This group can be further subdivided. RINO usually refers to those with more left-leaning views within the party. We have to admit that there are those of us on the right who feel this way.

      I am a CRINO (conservative RINO).

    13. PlanB Says:

      So…John McCain was a Western Republican acting like a Southern Republican while playing policy-stance-roulette on the (Corporate) Eastern Republicans’ Wheel of Fortune?

      Good luck with dividing up your own Party for the next election like you failed to do to America this election!

    14. Tatyana Says:

      This thread is a perfect illustration:

      “The Republican Party (which I care little for) is probably buggered. Not only is it going to take them a long time to get over the now-universal loathing of ‘Bush and the neocons’ but they are also likely to paralyse themselves with an extended period of intra-party squabbling about which directon to take. Furthermore, it is very unsafe to assume that they will move in the right direction. We made that mistake here after the Conservatives got their clocks cleaned in three consecutive elections. “They have no choice”, we said “but to take the party in a more free market, libertarian direction”. Boy, were we wrong about that. Instead, they decided that what they needed was a big dose of what the other guy was having. Don’t be surprised if you find that the whole centre of American political gravity has shifted semi-permanently to the statist/left.”

    15. Jonathan Says:

      Tat, I suspect that the Samizdata post is correct in its predictions.

    16. Chuck Says:

      All of this misses the point that communications is and always will be the route to success. GWB was a terrible communicator (other than immediately following 9/11). He could never explain any policy, and Sen. McCain even was worse during the campaign – unable to defend even the most obvious misrepresentations. WJC was excellent at selling ideas – and the President-elect learned that lesson. Give our conservative movement a first rate communicator who truly believes and we will be just fine – but until that happens buckle up for some severe turbulence.

    17. Real Life Bundler Says:

      [italic]”I agree with everything “Real Life Bundler” except that inflation is more likely 18 months from now if the dems are able to push through their Keynesian fiscal stimulus packages.”[/italic]

      The contraction of credit has subtracted $3.5 trillion from the US economy this year, equivalent to 1/4 of our Gross Domestic Product. Amazingly we have managed a keynesian streak of $1.2 trillion of injections from Paulson (TARP, various loans to own, etc). The government simply cannot print another $2.3 trillion for keynesian injections over the next 18 months. Especially not of Obama takes more dollars out of circulation through taxation. The deflation period is going to be much deeper and last much longer than 18 more months.

    18. Tatyana Says:

      Yes, Jon, I remember your post.

      Karol at AlarmingNews had a great resume on the subject, too.

    19. Tyouth Says:

      “He could never explain any policy, and Sen. McCain even was worse during the campaign – unable to defend even the most obvious ….” sayeth Chuck.

      Sigh, another case of not much “there” there, IMO. Mac doesn’t have much bottom, apparently, and what he did have was shallow. It wasn’t that he couldn’t express himself it was that he didn’t have much to express, no well thought-out philosophy, other than modern platitudes that largely aped opponents. That, combined with his apparent comfort, even compliance, with his opponents wasn’t very compelling.

      ” Give our conservative movement a first rate communicator who truly believes and we will be just fine ”

      How can one be optimistic? The Republican party nominated the liberal McCain. I think the country has moved on to the left and will continue that way.

    20. jaed Says:

      He could never explain any policy

      Well, yes, except that this isn’t true. Just as one example, Bush gave several speeches explaining the thinking behind the strategy of democratizing the Middle East, and Iraq in particular, between fall 2002 and spring 2003: the speech before the AEI when he introduced the “forward strategy”, the 2003 SOTU, and I think the West Point graduation speech of 2003.

      Yet in 2006 when this was discussed, the media line was “Aha, only now is Bush talking about democracy!” And they largely got away with it – that is, most people accepted this. If the media, the punditocracy and reporters alike, ignore something the president says, it drops out of public consciousness and people forget about it very quickly. If they repeat it, mention it, drop it into articles, it gets remembered. (This happens even if what they’re repeating was never said: how many people think Bush claimed Saddam Hussein posed an “imminent threat”?)

      What you mean to say is, “Give our conservative movement a first rate communicator — and a press corps that communicates his words, will report what he says and repeat it often enough that it sinks in as fact — and we will be just fine.” This is more difficult as it requires media cooperation on a broad scale, not just one person’s skill.

    21. Jonathan Says:

      Karol’s post is good.

    22. Roofie Says:

      First of all, the Northeastern elites are not going to easily give up their influence in the Republican Party. All they’re interested in is that the candidate attended the right Ivy League school and that we candiate really doesn’t talk much about social issues. The main group, Peggy Noonan, David Frum, George Will, Mit Romney, all believe that we can win with a Romney who is as uncypherable as Obama. Who knows what he stands for? We only have to look at his history and find that he was more a liberal than a conservative when he was Governor of a Blue state… we know how that plays with the independents and conservatives… not well… McCain was Democrat-lite, and the folks went for the real stuff, not the cheap spread.

      This group, while having an inordinate amount of infulence in the party (big money), don’t bring a lot of electorial votes. SO, we need to make peace with them… never again a Democrat-lite candidate.

      The idea that we could win anything without the social conservatives is not even worth discussing. Millions of voters sitting home in Georgia, Alabama, etc. is not appealing.

      The west is where the growth is so we need them. Most left the blue states to seek freedom out west, only to discover that the liberal/big government types beat us to the power levers… the outward migration from CA, because they didn’t like the result of big government, high taxes and increasing infringement of personal liberties. So, they brought the strange belief that they could bring the same CA policies to the other states, without the high taxes and increasing government infringement of liberty. They were wrong.

      Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, used to vote for personal freedom and property rights. No longer. They have been transformed by the California migration. We need to find a way to convince them that the reason they left California was for freedom of choice, not to transform their new state into a California-lite.

      We need to be a big tent… we will not win based on a geographic isolation as proposed in the theme of the comment. But our candidate needs to be someone who has political principles… and is able to communicate them. The Republican Party is invested in the free marketplace… McCain doesn’t understand what that means, and is therefore unable to communicate the principle. Remmeber, John believes in the religion of Global Warming and would have initiated a command and control regime that would have bankrupted the US just the same as Obama will.

      The command and control regime is one that will resonate with the electorate within a couple of years of a Democrat Administration. Once they unleash the EPA to interfere in every aspect of human life, and to regulate everything, it won’t take long for the folks to decide they’d rather not.

      It was impossible for the McCain camp to campaign on economic freedom… they obviously didn’t have their heart in it.

      That is behind the inability of Mac do come up with a cogent campaign… it’s in John’s nature to jump to anything that strikes his fancy. From infringement of the First Amendment, to infrimgement of the Second Amendment, John sees a problem and, being a man who knows nothing other than government, like the carpenter with only a hammer, proposes a big government solution.

    23. Anonymous Says:

      The government simply cannot print another $2.3 trillion for keynesian injections over the next 18 months. Especially not of Obama takes more dollars out of circulation through taxation. The deflation period is going to be much deeper and last much longer than 18 more months.

      You are probably correct. I experienced the deflation of Japan during the 1990’s and the U.S. is likely to experience a repeat version of it. However, this reality will not deter the liberal-left dems and the keynesian economists like Paul Krugman from doing their best to inflate our way out of this.

      He could never explain any policy, and Sen. McCain even was worse during the campaign – unable to defend even the most obvious…

      That’s because McCain himself does not believe in any free market policy. It is well known in Arizona that he is more of a democrat than republican. Every election, McCain panders to the right back home in order to be re-elected. Once re-elected, he continues to do whatever he wants. McCain started out as a carpet-begger. He picked Arizona and the republican party because he ran on the basis of being a combat veteran, Arizona is the home of many retired military personnel, and most of them vote republican. Hence, McCain’s joining the republican party. So, of course McCain was unable to articulate economic freedom in his campaign.

    24. kurt9 Says:

      The last post is mine.

    25. Helen Says:

      People who say America has moved to the left forget that countries move to the left only as long as they can afford it. As things stand, nobody can afford it for very long. France is the one exception where the right and the left remain barely distinguishable in economic terms.

    26. Bradley Says:

      Just wondering. During the campaign, many on this blog thought Palin was a far superior candidate than Obama. I argue she was not a serious thinker/politician. Is she the diretion you want to see the party go? Do you see her as your candidate in 2012?

    27. kurt9 Says:

      France is the one exception where the right and the left remain barely distinguishable in economic terms.

      This is because history is “directional” for everyone except the French, for whom history is non-directional.

    28. Bradley Says:

      Kurt9

      What do you mean by “directional”?

    29. MD Says:

      At Commentary, Jennifer Rubin keeps making the comment, ‘why don’t see what the governors are doing?’ in reference to the successful R governors out there. And there are a few. I find it interesting that the Blogosphere and Pundit types are interested in this type of hyphen-conservative discussion when we have examples of successful conservatism out in the worl, in practice and winning elections. Of course, that was supposed to be Palin, too….how to deal with the media?

    30. kurt9 Says:

      Bradley,

      To say that history is direction is to say that things generally improve over time and that peoples and cultures learn from their mistakes. I borrowed the term from Frances Fukuyama’s book “The End of History”.

    31. Ellen K Says:

      I don’t know that ANY Republican could have endured the double teaming of the media and the Congress. The media was the not so silent partner that put their own importance before the welfare of the nation. Only now, after the election, are some of them sheepishly admitting that maybe they didn’t ask the hard questions or give as thorough an analysis to Obama and Biden as they did to McCain and Palin. The public smear campaign of Palin is nothing short of character assassination. And it mirrors the way that Dan Quayle was treated a few years back. My one thought of comfort is this-if the Republicans can’t quash a “Fairness Doctrine” they can hold on to give it real teeth. I wonder how well internet sites such as Huffington and The Daily Kos will fare if they have to offer an equally strident conservative viewpoint? As for the rest of us, I predict a short honeymoon, followed by immediate wailing as many of the bills get bogged down in Congress. When taxes rise, you will see jobs leave. And the only bright lining to that is maybe we can also get rid of the undercutting of American workers through HB-1 visas. In the meantime, gun sales are up, and that should be of comfort to no one.

    32. Ellen K Says:

      BTW- I would like to officially announce my support in 2012 for Governor Jindal.

    33. kurt9 Says:

      Say what you will about the “southern” Republicans, no “western” Republican can win a national election without them, so the westerners would do well to avoid trashing their allies.

      This is a good point, Bill.

      However, why do social conservatives sometimes embrace statist policies on economic issues?

    34. Cousin Dave Says:

      Man, it’s amazing seeing all of the “conservative” pundits who are blaming Southerners for this. McCain wasn’t our choice; that choice was pretty much already made by Iowa and New Hampshire populists before we (other than the South Carolinians, who will have to answer for themselves) got to say anything about it. Yes, Huckabee would have been an even worse choice. But we also offered up Fred Thompson, who would seem to be philosophically ideal for the Westerners… and how far did he get?

      Go and look at the electoral map again. The South and West are conversatism’s base, its intellectual, moral, and financial underpinnings. If we split those two regions, conservatism in America is toast. And it’s not like it’s going to rebuild itself anywhere else in the world if it can’t do so in America.

      And to Bundler: I only disagree with one part of your analysis, and really only half of that part… we won’t see deflation, but stagnation. Increasing taxes, the cost of compliance, and other government interference in the markets is going to kill productivity. And then there’s all those greenbacks that the Treasury is printing up to clean up Freddy’s Fanny. I expect that we’ll be seeing price inflation of 3-5% per quarter, while wages (for people who remain employed) remain stagnant or decline somewhat. Ready for a return of the Misery Index?

    35. Tyouth Says:

      Bradley said:
      “Just wondering. During the campaign, many on this blog thought Palin was a far superior candidate than Obama. I argue she was not a serious thinker/politician. ”

      She was less cynical, less ossified in a particular political milieu with associated debts owed, she was younger and probably as bright as the others if not a “serious thinker” (although I don’t know what serious thinking the other three have done…none that I know of). I commented before that I’d rather vote for her and her imponderables than vote for the others with what I *knew* about the other three. I think we knew her well enough.

      IMO intelligence is not the most important attribute that is needed in a leader. Character, proof of character, and, again IMO, integrity of character are more critical. Serious thinkers can think (or maybe, some, pretend to believe, I suppose) that socialism, communism, and top-down societies offer viable humane alternatives to semi-free-market capitalism. Go figure.

    36. Real Life Bundler Says:

      “And then there’s all those greenbacks that the Treasury is printing up to clean up Freddy’s Fanny. I expect that we’ll be seeing price inflation of 3-5% per quarter, while wages (for people who remain employed) remain stagnant or decline somewhat. Ready for a return of the Misery Index?”

      Trust me. You are in a major deflationary period already. The keynesian inflationary whiplash only happens if the rest of the G-7 prints significantly less paper currency than we do. Fortunately for us, we are in a WORLDWIDE deflation where Europe and Asia are actually in even worse straits than we are. Their central banks are repossessing assets like the RTC had to do in 1992 while our Fed is only repossessing paper assets which causes substantially less dislocation. Right now 40,000 investment bankers in New York who used to get paid $300k per year are looking for jobs as waiters to make $60k. A billion chinese factory laborers are wondering why america has stopped buying lead painted toys and are cutting back wages from 3 bowls of rice a day to 2. All commodity prices have become de-speculated in the great unwind of leverage and are already down 30%. This is what I would call HYPER-deflation. Deflation and stagnation are normal partners.

      The turnabout to inflation won’t be seen for 5 years, just as it took money printing from 1974 to 1979 to achieve worst case scenario stagflation from deflation. Obama is truly Carter II.

    37. Cousin Dave Says:

      Why was my comment from yesterday deleted from this thread?

    38. Cousin Dave Says:

      Sorry about that previous; I see it now. Must be a browser problem on my end.

      Bundler, thanks for the info. I’ll have to confess that I still don’t understand how printing money can fail to cause inflation. Or are you saying that, at least in the short term, it’s being overcome deflation of assets? Because if that’s the cause, then judging from what I see of the stock market lately, I certainly can’t argue.

    39. Real Life Bundler Says:

      “Or are you saying that, at least in the short term, it’s being overcome deflation of assets?”

      A lot of ways of saying the same thing. Yes, in keynesian terms, if you haven’t printed up the same supply of dollars as the cumulative deflation of assets, you can’t have inflation. In monetarist terms, M x V = GDP. V has shrunk from, for example Goldman Sachs 30 times to a typical commercial bank’s 12. That means the velocity of money via Goldman has come down by two thirds. You have to print 3 x M to get back to the same total GDP.

      Trying to keep it simple but it would be easier to explain with a blackboard.

      Now let’s deal with exogenous issues. If you print a lot of money, but the europeans don’t the dollar will lose purchase power parity for key commodities which is a kind of inflation. We saw this phenomenon in 2007. Now that the rest of the world industrialized economies are printing as much as we are to solve the same problems, we won’t have to experience this.

      Timing is key though. You must stop printing when the other g-7 countries stop. And you must stop printing when you have restored the multiplied supply of money.

    40. Steve_NO Says:

      Pretty bizarre analysis. Those dead southern Republicans delivered their states for the non-social conservative former liberal media darling McCain. With the exception of states no longer southern in character due to invasions of Yankees, the South held the line.

      And to suggest that southerners are somehow congenitally less fiscally conservative than westerners is a strange, utterly unsupported assertion.

      BTW, Boyz, how did Illinois, who gave use this twit in the first place, turn out on election night?

    41. Ellen K Says:

      How about we start badgering the state legislatures and national parties to strip the power away from those early primary states by wising up and establishing a national primary day. Real votes, none of these caucuses such as Texas had where if things “feel” right they give support to that candidate or this. Then six months later, we have the General Election. This long campaign has helped nobody except the media moguls who ran this like a Macy’s Fire Sale campaign.