May 11, 2009

Mike Huckabee isn't happy about the talk that the GOP should be more open to the American people to expand their party by diminishing the views of social conservatives:

In an interview with the California newspaper The Visalia Times-Delta, Huckabee said the GOP would only further decline in influence should it alienate social conservatives — largely considered the most energetic and loyal faction of the party.

"Throw the social conservatives the pro-life, pro-family people overboard and the Republican party will be as irrelevant as the Whigs," he said in reference to the American political party that largely disbanded in the mid 1800s. "They'll basically be a party of gray-haired old men sitting around the country club puffing cigars, sipping brandy and wondering whatever happened to the country. That will be the end of the party," he said in the interview published Thursday

What he's saying is a big problem for Republicans. To be a more inclusive party they would have to try and entice Latino voters over, but since the extremists want to round up Latinos and are so opposed to anything that will handle our immigration problems, that's a "no go."

If they want to appear more moderate in the gay rights arena, then they will alienate the religious-right bloc that has been a significant part of their base for year now, and has enjoyed enormous influence within the GOP ever since Bush took office (and Rove used them to win in 2004), so that's a "no go.".

The Washington Monthly has more:

But Huckabee's point isn't wrong. If the religious-right crowd no longer feels welcome or valued in the Republican Party, and the GOP is left with a country-club base, it's not likely to do well in national elections. It might as well be "the end of the party."

On the other hand, if the Republican Party takes the culture warriors seriously, and signals to the rest of the country that the GOP is dominated by far-right activists who are principally concerned with gays, abortion, Terri Schiavo, and state-sponsored religion, the party will remain stuck where it is now. And that's not a good place to be.

It's quite a conundrum. Good luck to the whole gang.

I wouldn't write off the Republican Party, folks, because that's a very dangerous proposition. They play word games and handle the media better than most, so if they are given an inch they will take a mile. Here's the Luntz memo on health care:

GOP wordsmith Frank Luntz has authored a new messaging memo defining the Republican rhetoric on health care reform (READ FULL MEMO HERE). The memo is titled “The Language of Health Care 2009″ and it lays out the argument for “stopping the Washington takeover” of health care.” But if fully implemented it may very well stop health care reform:

This document is based on polling results and Instant Response dial sessions conducted in April 2009. It captures not just what Americans want to see but exactly what they want to hear. The Words That Work boxes that follow are already being used by a few Congressional and Senatorial Republicans. From today forward, they should be used by everyone.

Luntz warns that “if the dynamic becomes ‘President Obama is on the side of reform and Republicans are against it,’ then the battle is lost and every word in this document is useless.’” The trouble is, it already is useless. Because rather than challenging the tenets of American reform proposals, Luntz establishes a straw man argument against a non-existent health plan.

Buried amongst the usual rhetoric about government-run health care is Luntz’s predictable contradiction: he instructs Republicans to “be vocally and passionately on the side of REFORM” but then urges GOP lawmakers to misrepresent and obstruct any real chance of passing comprehensive legislation.

“Humanize your approach,” but argue that health care reform “will result in delayed and potentially even denied treatment, procedures and/or medications.” “Acknowledge the crisis” but ask your constituents “would you rather… ‘pay the costs you pay today for the quality of care you currently receive,’ OR ‘Pay less for your care, but potentially have to wait weeks for tests and months for treatments you need.”

The games have begun and the Democratic Party needs to get with it fast or they will turn Americans against good and effective health-care reform forever.

Since Rush Limbaugh constantly rips any "moderate Republican" and even whips conservatives that he likes if he perceives them straying even slightly, even for a minute -- I'd say a new party is brewing. And to me it looks like Newt Gingrich wants to lead the new revolt for Republicans.

I so dub them "The Twigs." It'll be made up of social conservatives, dittoheads and teabaggers.

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