Friday, December 28, 2007

Iowa Republicans Are Concerned

Friday is Grand Ol’ Party Day

When I do my weekly radar scan for redeemable Republicans, I usually only turn up retiring or retired office holders. Such is the case in Iowa.

On a recent ice-swept morning, a group of self-described moderate Republicans met in a hotel convention room. About 60 people attended a the meeting convened by former Iowa Lt. Gov. Joy Corning, who served eight years under Gov. Terry Branstad until Democrats took over the governor's office in 1999. Their concerns had been heightened by a Republican presidential primary campaign that finds most of the leading candidates advocating a conservative social agenda. There, Corning is quoted as saying
Our goal is to get traditional centrist moderate Republicans to get to the caucus and make their voices heard. The moderates who are out there, they've been rather quiet for a few years. Many of them have dropped out of the party or become independents, and so this is an effort to regroup and encourage people to be active.
Christine Todd Whitman, a former New Jersey governor and former Bush Cabinet member who now leads the Republican Leadership Council, observed,
It means building the farm team and taking back the word 'Republican' to say we don't have to be the way we are perceived now at the national level, as a mean-spirited narrow-minded litmus-test party.

We can be moderate, conservative, liberal as long as we agree on the basic fundamental principles that make us Republicans. You can disagree with someone and not hate them. That's where we need to get, so that we can have the kind of campaigns at the federal level that actually talk about the important issues and try to solve them instead of trying to outflank the other person -- 'I'm more conservative than you are.'
Iowa resembles Illinois, where Republicans were a tighter organization until losing the governor's office in 2002 after a quarter-century of GOP chief executives. Chuck Laudner, executive director of the Iowa GOP, explained that his party was beset with a political free-for-all:
The governor was the rudder of our Republican Party. Without that, we've fractured up a little bit.

We've all fractured up, and everybody's gone and done their own thing. We've got to change the mind-set and bring everybody back in.
Former Congressman Greg Ganske, who is backing Sen. John McCain of Arizona, acknowledged that the presidential contest leaves some Iowa Republicans cold:
Probably all the people who are here are fiscal conservatives. We haven't been real happy with what has been going on with the federal budget and our deficits, our balance of trade, things like that. We have an unpopular war going on started by a Republican president, so I think it's fair to say there's less enthusiasm right now.
Redeemable Republicans’ taking stock is way overdue.

11 Moderated Comments:

Blogger Stella said...

It means... taking back the word 'Republican' to say we don't have to be the way we are perceived now at the national level, as a mean-spirited narrow-minded litmus-test party....You can disagree with someone and not hate them.

Christi Todd Whitman said that? Who knew? However, they are less perceived as "mean-spirited" and "narrow-minded" than they are in actuality.

I would be happy to see Republicans like Teddy Roosevelt who, despite his stance against Suffragism, was a staunch environmentalist.

Roosevelt "made conservation a central policy issue of his administration." Sure, he was a typical Rethug in many ways, but someone ought to mention to Whitman that environmental concerns would be a good place to start shedding their "narrow-minded," hate-filled perspective.

12/28/2007 07:12:00 PM  
Blogger GetaLife-ReadUrNews said...

A "redeemable" Republican sees evolutionary fascism coming in Amerika:

Ron Paul, Meet the Press, 23rd December:

"We're not moving toward Hitler-type fascism, but we're moving toward a softer fascism: Loss of civil liberties, corporations running the show, big government in bed with big business. So you have the military-industrial complex, you have the medical-industrial complex, you have the financial industry, you have the communications industry. They go to Washington and spend hundreds of millions of dollars.

That's where the control is. I call that a soft form of fascism -- something that's very dangerous."

12/28/2007 08:15:00 PM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Yessiree! by all rights, in a healthy GOP, Ron Paul should be a front runner this year. But the Republicans are not at all healthy, of course.

A symptom of their desperation is the candidacy of Fred Thompson, which is something I cannot understand.

A candidate's photogenic qualities shouldn't be a key factor for a presidential candidate. But that said, I feel compelled to say something about the Fredster.

Every time I see this guy, I think he has to have been drawn by Herblock, either as Joe McCarthy or as the H-Bomb. Actually, here's a better rendition of the H-Bomb. Checkout the upper left-hand corner warhead. I'm told women think he's sexy. Republican women.

For example, Fred Thompson is a terrible actor:

Perpetually ill-at-ease in front of the camera, his head shakes ceaselessly sending tsunamis of flesh rolling along his ample jowls. He clears his throat so frequently you'd think he had a toothpick wedged in his glottis crosswise. He ought to consider a tracheotomy. He doesn't smile often. When he does children cry.

When speaking off-the-cuff, his deliberate pacing turns sound bites into feature-length films. When posing for pictures his face betrays that he'd rather be getting acupuncture on his eyeball. His towering frame guarantees that most impromptu TV shots will angle up, distorting his head into a shape reminiscent of a honey-baked ham.

In the game of presidential campaigning, where appearing slick and unruffled while wading through a pool of mutant piranha is a prerequisite, Fred Thompson just can't do it.


I'm scratching my head to understand this candidacy. What does Fred bring to GOP's table?

12/29/2007 07:07:00 AM  
Blogger TomCat said...

Congrats, Vig! You finally found a Republican so obscure that I have no dirt in him. ;-)

12/30/2007 09:41:00 AM  
Blogger Non-Partisàn said...

GetaLife: If the Iowa Primary were restricted to blog-readers, Ron Paul would win hands-down. Look at this poll by Cyclone Conservatives.

12/30/2007 11:32:00 AM  
Blogger GetaLife-ReadUrNews said...

Right-On, N-P!

BTW, Ron Paul's alleged connections to racist/racism is effectively refuted here.

12/30/2007 03:40:00 PM  
Blogger The Real Sporer said...

An intersting but rather misleading view of the Hawkeye state Republicans.

Amazingly, in our state the Democrats routinely simply eject people from their party for being pro-life or for opposing homosexual marriage but to my knowledge I have never even heard of us doing anything even similar.

Moreoever, our intra-party ideological debate is far more robust than the madrassa like chant, "ush is bad, Iraq is lost, vote for the children, save the planet" flight of the lemmings that passes for debate amongst Democrats.

12/30/2007 07:38:00 PM  
Blogger GetaLife-ReadUrNews said...

Yeah, just how 'robust' is your GOP 'intra-party debate' if it excludes Ron Paul from the upcoming Fox News debate? Real Truth(er) is, Republican candidates don't want to be embarrassed by a confrontation over Bush's war.

1/01/2008 06:03:00 AM  
Blogger HILLBLOGGER said...

Brilliant Cole article you posted here Vigil.

One thing we in Europe are seeing is that seems that Iraq issue has is now lost on the US public as domestic issues take the center stage in the primaries' debates. Understandable but imperative not to let go of Bush that easy.

Could be that perception is wrong though....

1/06/2008 11:10:00 AM  
Blogger Vigilante said...

Watch for (and respond to) my next post, Hills!

1/06/2008 01:14:00 PM  
Blogger HILLBLOGGER said...

Darn! Posted the message under the wrong thread. Sorry 'bout that the Vigil.

1/06/2008 04:45:00 PM  

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