Sunday, April 26, 2009

"Rebellion" Brewing at Base of GOP

Here's The Politico's report, "In GOP base, a 'rebellion brewing'":

A quick tour through the week’s headlines suggests the Republican Party is beginning to come to terms with the last election and that consensus is emerging among GOP elites that the party needs to move away from discordant social issues.

There was Sen. John McCain's daughter and his campaign manager who last week demanded that their fellow Republicans embrace same-sex marriage. Utah Gov. Jon Huntsman – the most devoted modernizer among the party's 2012 hopefuls – won approving words from New York Times columnist Frank Rich for his call to downplay divisive values issues. The party’s top elected leaders in Congress, meanwhile, spooked by being attacked as the “party of no,” were recasting themselves as a constructive, respectful opposition to a popular president.

But outside Washington, the reality is very different. Rank-and-file Republicans remain, by all indications, staunchly conservative, and they appear to have no desire to moderate their views. GOP activists and operatives say they hear intense anger at the White House and at the party’s own leaders on familiar issues – taxes, homosexuality, and immigration. Within the party, conservative groups have grown stronger absent the emergence of any organized moderate faction.

There is little appetite for compromise on what many see as core issues, and the road to the presidential nomination lies – as always – through a series of states where the conservative base holds sway, and where the anger appears to be, if anything, particularly intense.

"There is a sense of rebellion brewing," said Katon Dawson, the outgoing South Carolina Republican Party chairman, who cited unexpectedly high attendance at anti-tax “tea parties” last week.

That same sense is detectable in New Hampshire, where Union Leader publisher Joseph McQuaid – a stalwart of the base – warned in a column last weekend that the push for same-sex marriage in the state legislature was really about “forcing society to embrace and give positive reinforcement to their lifestyle and agenda in our schools and in every other area of public life imaginable.”

And it is perhaps most tangible in Iowa, where same-sex marriage will become the law this month in response to a state Supreme Court ruling. There, Republican activists and officials say the party is as resolute as ever, if not more so, on cultural issues – regardless of the soundings of some party elites.

Rep. Steve King, an outspoken conservative who represents all of rock-ribbed western Iowa and may run for governor next year, said he had held 11 town hall meetings across the state since the early April state Supreme Court decision.

"Of those 11 meetings, 10 of them were full. Most of them were standing room. The marriage issue was the No. 1 issue on their minds. No. 2 was the massive federal spending taking place. In every discussion, immigration came up."

And these Iowans, King noted, "stand in the same square they always have: They believe marriage is between a man and a woman, and they're opposed to amnesty."

"My e-mail overfloweth," said David Overholtzer, a longtime GOP activist in western Iowa's Pottawattamie County. "Amnesty is still very much a hot-button and gay marriage especially is here in Iowa. The view is that we've got to hold our legislators' and governors' feet to the fire."

"I’ve never seen the grass-roots quite as motivated, concerned and angry," said Steve Scheffler, the head of the Iowa Christian Alliance and the state's RNC committeeman.

The marriage issue and other traditional conservative litmus tests aren't likely to fade before the state's next presidential caucuses, either.

Asked about how a presidential candidate urging the party toward the middle on cultural issues would fare, Scheffler said flatly: “They’re not gonna go anywhere.”

In one sense, Republican leaders face the same challenge their Democratic counterparts did during the Bush years: how to effectively channel the deep emotion of the base while tamping down its excesses.
There's more at the link.

Photo Credit: Obi's Sister, "
Atlanta Tea Party Pictures."

Related: Snooper's Report, "
Obama: The Incessant Whiner."


Obi's Sister said...

Thanks for the link. Isn't she a cutie?

Snooper said...

The Leftinistra, the armies of the socialist liberal (read that as Marxists) have no earthly idea what they have wrought and it frightens them. It is human nature to be frightened of the unknown and, the more they don't know, the more frightened they become.

This isn't strictly limited to the democrats or republicans. The Leftinistra are in full swing in either party.

Remember Nancy's admonitions? "Don't fear a single party rule."

Single party rule. Think about that.

What I am seeing is the ultimate fear that their success at a one party rule, albeit temporary, is in fact falling apart. Thus the slurs, bigoted rhetoric and attacks on that which they fear the most - us.

Compromise? Not hardly. I am a Warrior and compromise meant sure death in the Field. Compromising is for pussies and charlatans.

Good article and thanks for the link.

shoprat said...

The Democrats never did tamp down on the excesses of their extremists. They hid their extremism and won. The same extremism, which they mistake for mainstream America, will destroy them.

Red, White, and Blue Patriot said...

Donald now is the time for a real revolution. America needs to be restored to it's rightful place in the world. A pre-'60's America. We have to deport illegals stop immigration, expand the military, bring back moral values, let the church expand it's reach into every nook and craney of public life. I think now Is a good time for a revolution.

Tim said...

Red, White and Blue Patriot: Um, you're not.

The Vegas Art Guy said...

Snooper, I don't think that many in the GOP have any idea either. They better learn quick though!

Tim, why do you say that RWB is not a patriot? Because he does not share your view of the world? Is it really 'free for me but not for thee' when it comes to freedom of expression? Or are you afraid of all those right wing extremists actually getting involved politically when there is no election coming up?

Snooper said...

Evidently, Tim is a member of the soon to be extinct Leftinistra. We are watching them.

Tim said...

"...let the church expand it's reach into every nook and craney of public life"

What, do I have to explain to people how ridiculous this is?!

Of course that is freedom of expression. It's also freedom to be stupid. Just pointing it out, as is my job here.

Anonymous said...

RW & B P, you forgot the chicken in every pot.

And Shoprat, where is the Republican party going to hide you extremists?

And Snooper, love Leftinistra. I'm so going to steal that. But, do charlatans really compromise? Not sure I get that. And I would think any women commenting here might be offended by the other half of that statement. Besides, those Israeli ladies from yesterday would probably kick your ass.

smitty1e said...

The GOP has to worry about rebellion only insofar as the GOP is functionally equivalent to the Democratic party.
Let the RINO purge continue.

Dennis said...

The tax and spenders need to be removed from office no matter what party they say they are a part.

Tom the Redhunter said...

This year we're going to get a taste of whether the GOP has in fact gotten it's act together.

There are state elections in New Jersey and Virginia this year.

NJ is probably lost to the Dems, but the governors race could prove interesting, as Corzine is not popular

The real action will be in Virginia. We've got a great candidate for governor, Bob McDonnell, and Lt. Gov. Bill Bolling. AG is up in the air until the convention but either Brownlee or Cuccinelli will do fine.

But the Dems will be energized, and I expect we'll be outspend 2 or 3 to 1. They'll bus in workers from other states, and will take advantage of the huge Obama database.

I'm working hard here locally to turn VA red again, but it's going to be a battle. Wish us well.