The Republican Party's time to choose

Discussion in 'Politics' started by AK Forty Seven, Jan 19, 2013.


    The Republican Party's time to choose
    By: Joe Scarborough

    History casts an unforgiving eye on political parties that don’t adapt to changing times.

    The Whig Party collapsed in the 1850s because it didn’t move together against slavery. Republicans spent 20 years in the wilderness after Herbert Hoover took the blame for the Great Depression. Democrats were routed in five out of six presidential elections following the radicalization of their base in 1968. And today’s GOP lost the popular vote in five of their last six runs for the White House, in part, because they couldn’t keep pace with the rapid change in demographic realities.

    Republicans will continue their dreadful collapse unless they adopt William F. Buckley’s view that “conservatism, except when it is expressed in pure idealism, takes into account reality.”

    Had GOP voters followed Buckley’s advice to vote for the most electable conservative instead of the most extreme right-wing choice, Harry Reid would be in retirement and a Republican would be Senate majority leader.

    For the GOP to win again, it must embrace Buckley’s ruthless, pragmatic approach to primary elections and once again vote for candidates who can win sweeping majorities. That means they must also stop electing idiots in primaries who are little more than ideological indulgences that only advance the Democrats’ cause.

    WFB never forgot that beating liberal Democrats sometimes requires voting for moderate Republicans. The winds of history have blown Barack Obama’s way of late not because of some irreversible sociological trend but because supporters of Todd Akin, Richard Mourdock, Christine O’Donnell and Sharron Angle voted to indulge their Republican resentments instead of electing a candidate who could win in the fall.

    Supporting this pragmatic approach has not come naturally to me. I remember speaking out against Colin Powell’s possible candidacy in 1996 because he was too moderate to be the standard-bearer of my Republican Party. But watching the retired general on “Meet the Press” last weekend made me understand why Ronald Reagan and George Bush drafted him to be a critical player in their White House teams.

    Today, this war hero with historic accomplishments (the first African-American chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff and secretary of state) should still be one of the leading voices of my of Republican Party, especially since it faces demographic trends that could spell its doom. Instead, General Powell is a Republican relic from a different age — little more than a reminder of a majority party that once beat Democrats in landslide elections every four years.

    Republicans could kick General Powell around for the next four years or they could get smart and start celebrating the fact this commanding figure still identifies himself as a Republican. Then they should do everything possible to drag him back into a big GOP tent.

    Unfortunately, the Republican Party of 2013 bears little resemblance to the party of Ronald Reagan, who would have responded to Powell’s concerns with an all-hands-on-deck effort to win the war hero back. That’s because President Reagan lived by the belief that “just because I’m your friend 80 percent of the time doesn’t make me your enemy 20 percent of the time.”

    If the Republican Party is big enough to reach out to disaffected moderates like Colin Powell, then it is big enough to win the White House back in 2016. The question is whether the GOP will choose to go the way of William F. Buckley or Todd Akin.

    The party’s survival depends on that choice.

    A guest columnist for POLITICO, Joe Scarborough hosts “Morning Joe” on MSNBC and represented Florida’s 1st Congressional District in the House of Representatives from 1995 to 2001.
  2. Lucrum



  3. [​IMG]
  4. wjk


  5. You'd have to define what a Reagan type candidate is. His politics. Or his personal demeanor, charm, and ability to communicate? Reagan might have been a former Democrat, but he had been espousing conservative views for at least 20 years prior to 1980. Unlike Romney, he was - or appeared - quite authentic.

    I know you said a Reagan type candidate, but if Obama ran in '84, I am sure his outcome would have been worse than Mondale's. And if Reagan had run in 2012, he could well have done better than Romney.

    Also, the time had arrived for each person, Reagan in 1980, Obama in 2008.

    To knock off an incumbent, you have to be more than just the anything but the incumbent, you need to present a new vision that appeals to most of the nation. Romney didn't, couldn't do that.
  6. Lucrum


  7. jem


    Who cares if Powell leaves the party... no real republican could ever vote for obama. .
    We have to decide... what is a republican.
    A republican believes in smaller govt, more freedom and lower taxes.

    you can be in a party which supports a country rugged individualists like Reagan or food stamps like Obama.

    its is that simple.

    Republicans may differ on social issues... but to be republicans we must believe in something. The party must stand for the constitution, smaller govt, and lower taxes...

    otherwise... we could all be govt sucking democrats...
    on the left wing the party you would have the hate america crowd and the handout loving crowd and in the center of the party you would have the overtaxed working democrat with restricted liberties and no future.


  8. I voted for Reagan and Obama.
  9. Gee whiz AK, you and many others sure are worried about what the Republicans need to do.

    Is your concern for the Republicans that you would like a better choice than the Democrats have to offer? I think so. I think you guys are thoroughly pissed at Barry and secretly would have voted for anyone but him, if you had a better option with a Rep.

    Imo, Barry's recent tax increase has definitely united a large majority of the middle class, against him. Everyone employed now has reason to be pissed off at Mister "fair share".

    When Obamacare kicks in next year. The middle class will side with the rich, it's there only hope. There's no percentage in uniting with the party that promotes poverty.
  10. Thoughts on Chris Christie (other than he needs to lose a lot of weight!)?
    #10     Jan 20, 2013