Open Letter to the Republican Party

THIS is another departure from the usual contents of this blog. We don’t do this very often, but news of “The Controversy” is scarce at the moment. We focus on that as part of our larger concern with preserving Enlightenment values, so this isn’t too far off-topic for us. What you’re about to read is our imaginary address to a vast assembly of Republicans.

My fellow Republicans:

As our party is going though a much-needed period of introspection, please consider that there was a time when this party stood for the Constitution, the rule of law, national defense, free enterprise, limited government, low taxes, balanced budgets, and individual rights. We still honor those principles; but those who now govern have no concern for or even understanding of such matters.

While the other party has been winning elections and undermining everything we have traditionally valued, what issues dominate our political discourse? Our party has been talking about sex and religion.

When we say “sex,” we mean topics like abstinence, promiscuity, homosexuality, pre-marital relations, contraception, sodomy, nudity, pornography, masturbation, same-sex marriage, sex education, abortion, and morning-after pills. Does that list sound familiar? It should, because those are the issues that too often dominate your campaigns.

Except for late-term abortion, where the other party has an extreme position that could be exploited (except that it’s lost in a sea of other sex-related issues), there is absolutely no reason to discuss such matters as part of our party’s policies. The Constitution doesn’t give the federal government any authority over those issues. If they need to be addressed, it should be done only at the state level.

When we speak of religion, we mostly mean the current movement to insert religious doctrines into public school science classes, especially creationism and its love-child, intelligent design. It seems to us that this is a latter-day substitute for prayer in public schools, which is essentially a dead issue these days, but still a hot-button item. There are other religious issues, like objections to certain areas of biological research.

Our obsession with creationism and blocking biological research has earned us the reputation of being an anti-science party, which is a burden our adversaries are delighted to exploit — notwithstanding their Luddite opposition to nuclear energy, oil exploration, aerospace technology, etc. The opposition’s anti-science positions are based on their exotic ideology, ours are based on religion. But religious issues should not concern the national government, especially when we have so many vital matters — our traditional principles — that must be addressed before the republic is lost forever.

Any of these sex or religion topics would be a fine subject for a sermon; but experience teaches us that they are not issues that will propel a party to national leadership. Regional, yes; national, no. A successful political party should understand this, but it seems that we don’t. That is why, at the moment, we are not a successful political party.

If a politician’s principal issues are sex and religion, and he wants to campaign with a bible in one hand and his carnal concerns in the other, that’s his choice; but he should know that this approach — although thrilling to a vocal faction of the party — isn’t attractive to a broad majority of the population. If you feel that you must campaign on those issues, please do it as a member of the other party. In most parts of the country you’re going to lose either way, but you’ll still feel good, and at least you won’t be hurting us.

To know what issues appeal not only to Republicans, but also to most Americans, consider Newt Gingrich’s Contract With America, the most successful thing we’ve done since nominating Ronald Reagan. Each item on Newt’s list was poll-tested. We loved them, and so did most Americans. Significantly, religion and sex were not on the list, except indirectly in the case of some welfare reform provisions affecting unwed mothers, and some non-controversial items in the proposed Family Reinforcement Act (tax incentives for adoption, stronger child pornography laws, etc.) . Wikipedia says: “Gingrich insisted on ‘60% issues’, intending for the Contract to avoid promises on controversial and divisive matters like abortion and school prayer.” Source: Contract with America.

Newt knew exactly what he was doing, and it worked. Why have we abandoned a successful strategy?

An inordinate emphasis on sex and religion makes hypocrites of half of us, and fools of all. More importantly, it will permanently marginalize the party, while the opponents of our traditional principles triumph.

/s/ The Curmudgeon

Follow-up post: Open Letter to Republicans: “Big Tent” Addendum

See also: Open Letter to the Republican Party, #2.

Copyright © 2009. The Sensuous Curmudgeon. All rights reserved.

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133 responses to “Open Letter to the Republican Party

  1. carlsonjok

    I wouldn’t be so enamoured of Gingrich. He is not above pandering to the Religious Right. In this article he holds up the “altar of god” quote at the Jefferson Memorial as proof of the Founders Godly intentions.

    Ignoring Jefferson’s decidedly secular viewpoint and using that quote completely out of context (It is taken from a letter to Benjamin Rush, who had informed Jefferson he was being attacked by clergy in Philadelphia as an infidel who stood in their way of a less secular government) is bad enough. That Gingrich, who is supposed to be a professional historian, does the same borders on malpractice.

  2. carlsonjok says: “I wouldn’t be so enamoured of Gingrich. He is not above pandering to the Religious Right.”

    I know. Newt panders, as they all do. But he understands what works, and he’s one of the few who do.

  3. mightyfrijoles

    So the Republicans dump the Religious Right in the guise of Creationists. What centrists do the Republicans get to replace them? Or do they shrink even further? If you can’t carve out a piece of the middle the GOP is doomed.

  4. mightyfrijoles says: “So the Republicans dump the Religious Right in the guise of Creationists.”

    Don’t dump on them, just stop giving them top billing. That (silencing the sex and religion obsessives) will let people in the political middle consider what else the party has to say.

  5. Curmudgeon:

    An inordinate emphasis on sex and religion makes hypocrites of half of us, and fools of all.

    I don’t know about the religion, but I think you are being generous in saying a focus on sex makes only half of all politicians hypocrites.

    mightyfrijoles:

    mightyfrijoles // 4-May-2009 at 9:39 pm

    So the Republicans dump the Religious Right in the guise of Creationists. What centrists do the Republicans get to replace them?

    Mighty, I’m a centrist. And I can tell you you don’t have to ‘carve me out’ and make me a republican to get my vote. Stop pandering to the religious right’s pet issues and I’ll be more inclined to vote for your candidates without any other change in platform.

  6. I just did a blog search on Google for “Republican party” using the quote marks, and got about 1.8 million hits. This article is on the second page. Not too shabby. There are over 5 million hits without the quote marks, and we’re still on the second page. Does this mean anything? No, not really.

  7. Awww… Just come on over to the dark side. – I did, and the water is grand. ;-)

  8. Colloquy says: “Just come on over to the dark side.”

    You must be one of those suffragettes.

  9. mightyfrijoles

    Eric wrote:
    “Mighty, I’m a centrist. And I can tell you you don’t have to ‘carve me out’ and make me a republican to get my vote. Stop pandering to the religious right’s pet issues and I’ll be more inclined to vote for your candidates without any other change in platform.”

    I look it as an opportunity for a new party to shake off the loonies on the Left and the Right – the both have their wackos. Have simple ideals that do not require highly partisan solutions. I think even Curmy would be attracted to such a solution.

  10. CapeCoddah

    Spot on.

  11. Greg Stinson

    This is a good start but we face a steep challenge in redefining what it means to be a Republican. For decades, the majority of news dessiminators have, in their (perhaps unconsciously) subjectivity in glorifying Dems and burying Reps, have defined us incorrectly in the mind of the average voter.

    Let’s face it. Intellectually honest discourse is extremely rare these days. I personally believe the majority of the venom is found on the Left but the existence of the venom alone is enough for casual observers to assume Limbaugh et al are literally fascistic when we, of course, know that is absurd.

    Democrats have mastered the power of the meme. Republicans know they’re just peddling buzzwords without results but we need an articulate counter-argument that is both short and (pains me to say) attractive on a base, emotional level.

    I fear the days of complex communication to the public is over since we learned how effective a recycled version of “hope” could be so popularly effective.

    I don’t have the answer but a renewed “Contract” might be a good place to start.

  12. It appears that Little Green Footballs has discovered our humble post. They’re welcome to look around.

  13. Abortion is not “about sex.”

    “Morning after pills” are not “about sex.”

    They are about EXTERMINATION of one third of our population at their most helpless time in life, in an abominable atrocity that is of greater destructiveness than even slavery.

    They are about the MURDER of 50-60 million people.

    They are about the WILFUL PARTICIPATION of its supporters (and spineless bystanders) in the most mind-boggling act of child abuse in human history.

    They are about the DISAPPEARANCE of 1/3 of our workforce under the age of 35.

    To say that they are about sex is like saying that the Civil War was about a boring constitutional concept instead of the destruction and subjugation of an entire people (and its abolition).

    Like slavery, this issue will NOT go away until it is abolished.

    (((shaking heads at the persistent moral blindness of some people)))

  14. R. L. K. esq “…”
    _____________________
    Richard – your views simply do not, and never will, represent those of the majority of Americans. I respect your opinion, but it is just that – an opinion.

    (((shaking head at the persistent desire of some people to be relegated to the fringes of political discourse while the country goes to hell in a handbasket with a permanently elected Democrat house, senate, supreme court, and presidency)))

  15. I like the 60 percent mark for issues – ones that resonate with all of America, not just coteries within our party. I want a positive future, not the nihilism of post-America that the left is offering right now.
    That’s not going to happen if some do not adopt a bit of the pragmatism of Newt Gingrich, who is demonstrably in favor of many of those same social issues, but who put them aside in favor of what citizens wanted that match up with our core values as a party.
    I’ve also suggested that a survey be conducted here:

    http://noblesseoblige.org/wordpress/2009/05/03/republicans-need-new-strategy-ii-the-shores-of-desolation/

  16. Richard Kent btw is someone who shows up in most threads that mention creationism or abortion. Check at LGF for some of his past insanity.

  17. Richard Kent’s response is illustrative. Does anyone believe abortion will disappear if it is outlawed? The status quo of abortion in the U.S. is an imperfect situation, I do not believe it represents the atrocity Kent suggests.

    Ironically, the U.S. civil war really was about boring constitutional concepts. The realities of institutionalized slavery weren’t fully understood by people in the north until late in the war.

  18. Captain Ned

    @ RLK, Esq:

    If your demand is that the Republican Party be absolutist on abortion, you’ve just condemned the party to perpetual minority and cemented perpetual Democrat rule. You’ll never win a presidential election with a hard moralizing anti-abortion platform, because you simply don’t have enough fellow believers to win the necessary votes. The decision you need to make is harsh, but real: Do I get 90% of my position by going with a Reagan-type Republican or do I pull out the Samson Option and bring the house down because my ego issue wasn’t stroked.

    Despite your fulminating, this Republican of libertarian bent doesn’t see abortion being made illegal anytime soon. That ship has sailed and those of you who base your entire politics on its eventual abolition are surely to be disappointed.

    Forever.

  19. Thanos says:

    Richard Kent btw is someone who shows up in most threads that mention creationism or abortion. Check at LGF for some of his past insanity.

    I’ve already got him on moderation. This blog has been merrily chugging along for a year now, without intemperate commentary. I have no interest in “expanding” into the abortion issue.

  20. Very well written and nice to read.

  21. Greg Stinson

    I’m not trying to flood this post but this is the most excited I’ve felt about being a Republican since early in W’s first term.

    I’ve long felt we need to take science back from the Democrats, especially considering their “science” is based on little more than Al Gore’s slide show, which has been proven so inaccurate I feel redundant even mentioning it.

    Many of my friends are self-described liberals but even they are open to domestic drilling (with some reasonable restrictions) and seriously concerned about the fiscal inebriation of Obama and Pelosi. Anecdotal evidence is hardly a reliable indicator but it at least demonstrates an opening we can seize.

    Their main beef with the GOP (besides W and Iraq)? Creationism and “anti-choice.” Their term.

    Nice work Mr. Curmudgeon.

  22. Greg Stinson says: “Nice work Mr. Curmudgeon.”

    Thanks. It’s something I’ve been wanting to say for quite some time, but focusing on creationism controversies has been mostly what we do here. It has long bothered me that the Republicans have lost sight of the big picture.

  23. A very nice letter — I’m also a conservative of libertarian sorts, and I agree with all the points you made. Thanks for putting that into words … now if you can just hammer it through the skulls of folks who think Adam and Eve rode dinosaurs to the Walmart 6000 years ago, that would be nice. :D

  24. John B says: “… now if you can just hammer it through the skulls of folks who think Adam and Eve rode dinosaurs …”

    In the words of the Godfather: “That I cannot do.”

  25. Amen. The GOP is going to have to move on from absolutism on abortion and gay marriage/civil unions, immigration, etc. I’d venture to say that 70% or more of Americans are fine with “choice” in the first trimester, and then broadly split after that. We’re never going to ban abortion completely in this country, but it may eventually be banned from 5 months on as these unborn children can live on their own with help. But two months? Three? Sorry, but the GOP’s going to lose on this.

    Civil Unions for gay couples appear to be the emerging consensus nationwide. Again, GOP absolutism against any form of recognition of gay couples is a losing issue. Leave it up to the states as our federal system intended.

    Immigration/Amnesty is another minefield. As a moderate Republican, I can live with amnesty ONLY if there is a price to pay for the person who illegally entered such as a prohibition on chain migration. The formerly illegal person gets to stay but can’t bring any more family in.

    I’m not religious, and it’s amazing how many times I’ve been told by other Republicans that I can’t be a “true conservative” because of it. Ridiculous.

    The Democrats will overreach badly in the next year or so. The GOP can profit from this, but it’s going to take a lot of new voters to do so. Pushing away all but the hardcore social conservatives is not going to do it.

    If the religious right won’t budge (and they control the state parties), we may need a new party for the center. I imagine there are a lot of moderate Dems who would be comfortable there too. “Progressivism” does not appeal to all Dems.

  26. Hear! Hear! And Thank You!

    I cannot tell you how many times I’ve seen people simply shut down whenever a so-called conservative uses the word “life.” Invariably, I cringe whenever I hear it. You are spot on when you mention that our Constitution is silent on almost all of these social issues and so have no business being debated at the Federal level. Unfortunately our SCOTUS has exceeded their authority and largely removed them from the realm of public debate. Our goal should simply be to restore these decisions to we the people and leave it at that.

    I hear Rush and others railing against the “big tent” movement, and I agree with their premise that we need to stand for something. But then they so often go and try to establish the wrong things to stand for! The way to enlarge our tent is to open the minds of those who feel differently about abortion and same sex marriage and the like and concentrate on what we all have in common. That is security and freedom and opportunity and all the other items that are the promise and our heritage from our founders through to today.

  27. Scott, abortion is a tough one, but it shouldn’t be a federal issue. As for the gay thing, I’ve never understood it and don’t care to delve into it; but I’m certain that we can’t be a victorious national party if that’s a dominant issue. Most people don’t want a President who spends all his time thinking about such things.

    Immigration shouldn’t be a big problem if illegals can’t get welfare, and can’t take advantage of birthright citizenship for their children. I agree that the dems are going to blow it — big time — and we’ve got to be ready to provide a serious, rational alternative. A party obsessed with issues like condoms and Noah’s Ark isn’t going to succeed.

  28. MJBrutus says: “I hear Rush and others railing against the “big tent” movement …”

    My letter doesn’t advocate a big tent. I don’t think we should adopt positions we don’t agree with. We should follow the Constitution and let the states deal with those things; and then … just shut up about them in national campaigns. When we appear obsessed with sex and creationism, a majority of people don’t think we’re a serious alternative.

  29. That’s odd. The same people attacking the “religious Right” and calling for the party to return to the fiscally conservative “center” are also lambasting Rush Limbaugh.

    Is there a greater fiscal conservative than Rush Limbaugh? No. Is Limbaugh a religious Right? No. Yet he’s lumped in with the RR and “extremists” of the party by these so-called “moderates”.

    Which leads to me wonder, who exactly are these Republican “moderates” we keep hearing from, and more importantly– what exactly do they want?

  30. “My letter doesn’t advocate a big tent.”

    While I deplore those who seek to win elections for the sake of winning, we must win elections to bring about the goals we all want. We are very much in agreement, and perhaps I’m just not making myself clear.

    I believe that we should make our party inclusive by eliminating the divisive issues that are not central to our nation’s success. I am referring to most of the social and religious issues that you addressed. As the saying goes, when you dine with the devil bring a long spoon. Reagan understood this and kept the devout devils at a good distance. His successors did not and now we are stuck with having to define conservatism all over again. Unfortunately, the left and their media organs (and even many of those on the right, Fox News, Rush, etc) don’t want to let us do that. So, conservatism in the eyes of the public implies a strong and unhealthy component of the religious right.

    I believe the way to enlarge our tent is by subtraction! Subtracting the religious right is the way to bring in flocks of people who would not consider joining us in the important objectives we seek because of those who are trying to legislate their faith.

  31. >>>Subtracting the religious right is the way to bring in flocks of people who would not consider joining us in the important objectives we seek because of those who are trying to legislate their faith.

    I’m genuinely curious. How exactly are the RR trying to “legislate their faith”?

    And what do you think of Rush Limbaugh? Do you agree with Colin Powell that he’s a detriment to the Republican party?

  32. longshadow

    A party obsessed with issues like condoms and Noah’s Ark isn’t going to succeed.

    Quote of the month, and arguably the best so far in 2009…..

    The art of forging a successful political coalition is essentially a question of finding the fewest logically consistent positions that attracts an electoral majority (in a two-way race, a plurality otherwise.)

    I have long felt that focusing on fiscal responsibility, limited government, pro-economic growth/low taxes, and adequate national defense will get you about 85% of the way to winning an election, if not better than that.

    Obsessing about Underwear-drawer™ issues (to borrow a term from the Curmudgeon’s own lexicon) may attract support from certain groups, but the price of doing so is chasing away lots of socially tolerant Republicans, independents, and even Democrats who would otherwise feel favorably disposed to support a candidate whose platform embraced the limited set of planks I set forth above. In the aggregate, it’s a net loser, and it gives the opposition a broad brush with which to paint otherwise decent candidates.

    The first rule of limited government is realizing that not all problems can be solved by government, nor should they be, as the price to do so inevitably results in diminution of our individual liberty, the protection and preservation of which is the foremost purpose of government in a free society.

  33. I am also in complete agreement with your post, and I took the liberty of reproducing it, with link and attribution, on my own blog. I hope you don’t mind–if so, I’ll excerpt portions, but it seems like the entire thing is important for folks to see.

    What we need to do is figure out how to sell federalism and limited government into the headwind of the media/government complex’s Crisis Of The Week.

  34. Now’s a good time to break out an old column by Charles Krauthammer blasting ID, “Phony Theory, False Conflict.”

  35. Thanks, Longie. A party doesn’t need a big tent to win. It needs a few, well-chosen issues (and Republicans have traditionally had those issues), and then it needs to avoid sounding like a bunch of kooks over issues of — I’ll say it — lesser importance. Besides, if we simply stop talking about gays and creationism in national elections, where will those single-issue voters go? To the dems? I doubt it.

  36. With respect, the whole “Creationist” label is primarily the fantasy of the left. Which brings me right to a major problem with the Republican party. They often believe the memes that the Libs dream up to characterize them. They shrink as a result and worse, they stop standing up for and articulating their principles. The problems with our party is not the Palins, and the Reagans, it’s the Snowes and Specters. Stand up and be confident, articulate ideas and go to the mat for them. If the Libs poke you in the eye, kick them in the ass.

  37. filbert says: “I took the liberty of reproducing it, with link and attribution, on my own blog. I hope you don’t mind …”

    In the case of this issue, it’s okay. I want to get the word out.

  38. >>>With respect, the whole “Creationist” label is primarily the fantasy of the left.

    I agree. I’m a conservative christian, but I don’t recall voting for any Republican running on the “religious” platform, nor do I even know of a Republican who ran on such a platform. That’s why this controversy stinks to high heaven of a leftwing strawman. But why is it being echoed by some self-identified Republicans? Again, who are these “moderates” and what are they ultimately after?

  39. James, that’s a good one. I quoted from it in one of my oldies: Conservatives and Intelligent Design.

  40. Filbert:

    “What we need to do is figure out how to sell federalism and limited government into the headwind of the media/government complex’s Crisis Of The Week.”

    I think that the genius of Curmudgeon’s letter is in identifying just WHAT must be done. The question, I find, is HOW to do it. How do we disassociate conservatism from the bedroom issues? People like Huckabee are regulars on Fox News, presented as shining examples of conservatism. The other side is only too happy to reinforce the same erroneous association. How do we convince those on our side that we are better off without this part of “our base?” People like McCain or Specter are pariahs, not because of their heresy on social issues, but because of their support for big government. And yet, good luck find anyone who will report it that way.

  41. MJBrutus asks: “How do we disassociate conservatism from the bedroom issues?”

    The same way the dems did back in the day when the old Solid South was part of their base. Tell them to keep quiet and run their states as they like (the silent issue was race in those days). Let the adults run the national party. We’ll keep the nation safe, the currency sound, the economy free, and taxes low. Just stay out of the way. If some state wants to outlaw abortion, God bless ‘em. But that’s not national platform stuff. Besides, pregnant girls in a pro-life state can get on the bus and go to a neighboring state where the laws may be different. That’s the genius of federalism.

  42. Terry wrote:

    With respect, the whole “Creationist” label is primarily the fantasy of the left.

    I have to say, that’s not the impression that a casual viewer would get from the GOP presidential primaries. Mike Huckabee, Sam Brownback, and Tom Tancredo all affirmed that they didn’t believe in evolution (setting aside the caveat that the term should be “accept”), and Huckabee went on to say that he didn’t believe humans are descended from primates, even though…we’re primates. Duncan Hunter and Ron Paul later said they didn’t believe in evolution either.

    I couldn’t believe that I was hearing such anti-Enlightenment tripe from multiple presidential candidates of a major American political party. On the bright side, it was the wake-up call that I, as a scientist, needed to be vocal in my science advocacy – so, thank you, Mike Huckabee!

  43. I just did another Google blog search on “Republican Party,” with and without quote marks. Millions of hits either way, and this post is now on the first page.

  44. Doctor Stochastic

    Well done. One can hope that the GOP movers and shakers take note.

  45. Wolfhound

    Daver, *I* am a moderate Republican and what I want are the Jesus freaks and science deniers OUT of my party and back with the whackloon Democrats from whence they came. I want the idiots at the party’s helm who scream about “more freedom/less government” to stop their assault on freedom by trying to legislate their particular brand of relgiously based morality. Trying to have the government dictate what people can and cannot do in their bedrooms and with their bodies and the contents therein is NOT smaller government/more freedom.

    I want them to stop trying to deny basic rights such as legal marriage and the benefits associated with it to couples whose lifestyles they disagree with.

    I want nutjobs like Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee to stop being the “new face” of my party (even though I LOVE Huck’s stance on the FairTax).

    I want to stop seeing every bit of pro-forced-maternity, gay-bashing, morality-policing, anti-Establishment-Clause, Jesus-license-plate-designing, reality-denying legislation with 80% or more of the sponsors’ names followed by an (R).

    That’s what I want. Until I start seeing a divorce from the anti-intellectuals and theocrats who have highjacked my party, I can’t vote with any confidence.

  46. Doctor Stochastic, good to see you!

  47. retiredsciguy

    Scott wrote:
    “If the religious right won’t budge (and they control the state parties), we may need a new party for the center. I imagine there are a lot of moderate Dems who would be comfortable there too. “Progressivism” does not appeal to all Dems.”
    A new party will need a new name. How about the Center Party? Any other suggestions?

    And damn, Curmy, you’re as good writer! First time I remember that it’s taken more time to read the comments than the article. You did a fantastic job. How ’bout sending this to Newt? Maybe he can see that the right Republicans read this to make a difference.

  48. retiredsciguy

    Curmy, I meant to say “…you’re a good writer.”
    My teachers always told me to proofread carefully…

  49. Dang could agree with you more. Im raised in the south sence i was 1 yrs old and like lost tennesseans im a liberal conservitive.

    Liberal conservitism is the middle ground.

    Gay marrage has me thinking this way. Marrage is stated in the bible to be between a man and a women. There however i believe that if two consenting adults want a civil union more power to em they should have the same tax rights, etc. as any other people.

    Creationism doesnt belong in schools. Creationism is a veiw that is religious in nature therefore doesnt belong in science class they want a seperate class at some colleges go ahead but i dont want to pay for it in our school system.

    Abortion to me the only abortion that should be banned is late term 4 months or whatever and onward. For the rest let the states decide. Though i do believe teaching abstenance is better than just handing out condems and birth control pills like there peez dispencers.
    But hey abstenance is acusally shown to work.

    Taxes….i come more and more to the opinion that a flat tax is best.

    But like i said i couldnt agree more im so tired of the racist like Ron Paul (did i mention he’s freaking insane) and evangelicals like Huckabee (even if he is a nice guy who i agree with sometimes) who believe that there righousness makes them unconquerable.

    Last is this….obama won because

    a) he wasnt bush

    b) he made ppl feel good

    c) he was good at manipulating people and organizations

    d) guys like chris mathews had orgaziums go up there leg when he spoke

    e) he said whatever you wanted to hear.

    Basicaly it like this…Obama is winning because he figured out that it doesnt matter what you do….as long as you can blame failures on some one else and say your working on it.

  50. “If the religious right won’t budge (and they control the state parties), we may need a new party for the center. I imagine there are a lot of moderate Dems who would be comfortable there too. ”

    You should check out the Modern Whig Party.
    modernwhig.org.

  51. Btw didi mention he wasnt bush?

  52. How about a Centrist Party?

  53. Seems to me the GOP “moderates” got everything they’ve always wanted in John McCain. And they lost.

    And now they’re blaming that defeat on the “Jesus freaks” even though Sarah Palin is the only thing that kept it somewhat close (look at the pols before and after she joined the ticket).

    So now these same loser “moderates” want us to give the GOP to the very same losers who lost us the last election for a repeat effort in 2010 and 2012.

    There’s always the Libertarian party, losers. They don’t believe in much either and would welcome you with open hands.

  54. Federalism: national issues, national stage, national legislation
    Personal issues are not national issues, they should be dealt with at the level of gov closest to the issue. The social issues are state issues at most.

    Curmudgeon, I agree with you completely and joined and led the American Conservative Party in it’s initial growth to get just the view you share with us built into the foundation of the party.

    Individual rights mean that some people are going to make choices we strongly disagree with – but if we want the right to choose, we MUST guarantee their right to choose.

    Great letter.

  55. Here’s the candidate you’re looking for:

    http://www.joelwalker.net/

  56. Great article. I was actually coming into work today thinking that the GOP needs to become the party of Optimism. Steal BO’s thunder and tell the world we are looking to a brighter future where we can dream of putting men on the moon again. Where the US can continue to be the party of technical and intellectual innovation. That we embrace healthy discussions, and that we will no longer stand for ad hominem attacks. No more calling people “stupid” “dumb”, etc., like the lefties do.

    Religion and Morality issues are clearly a state and local issue. It has NO discourse on a national stage. It doesn’t mean that on a local level the GOP cannot embrace ideas and thoughts, but on the national stage it is necessary to marginalize this.

    Another thought is we need to embrace Illegal Immigrants instead of fighting them. Make them citizens and give them a right to vote. Can you imagine 20-25MM extra votes? The USA has always welcomed the world and let’s not continue to be the party which stops it.

  57. Thank you curmedgeon! My sentiments exactly.

    My problem these days when I go to vote is that one party wants to be in my wallet and the other wants to be in my bedroom.

    Neither belongs in either!

  58. Ineterested Party

    Newt panders, as they all do.

    Does that make Newt a pander bear?

  59. Wolfhound

    Yes, Daver, I DID like McCain. Adding Palin to the ticket killed his viability for myself and many others. Loser religious nuts should go form their own theocratic party like they’ve been threatening, then the rest of us won’t have to be ashamed any more.

  60. JamesinTN

    My sister was going to vote for McCain but when he put Palin on the ticket she voted for Obama because she hated palin and she like joe biden…..dont ask i dont understand either.

  61. Wolfhound

    My brother and I both were going to vote for McCain but when Palin was added to appease the evangelicals I jumped ship for Barr and my brother went over to Obama.

  62. Brightsun

    The GOP should stand for preserving the last, brittle crust of undefiled Western civilization.

    Europe is already lost to the tranzi ilk, and the fifth column leftists at home have largely succeeded in bringing that corruption into our sacred homeland.

    But what are the Republicans doing as the Democrats blatantly undermine American sovereignty and economic/political influence with their destructive policies? They wring their hands over the interests of troglodytes more concerned with their Bible than the erosion of our individual liberties.

  63. Palin attracted more fence sitters than she turned off. Look at the before and after pols. That should tell you which direction the GOP is going to go.

    The GOP is a party for CONSERVATIVES, not just libertarians. If you can’t handle that then I suggest you take a long hard look at the losertarian party instead of trying to hijack the GOP. It ain’t gonna happen.

  64. I followed the last election and do not recall discussion of sex and religion as top of the ticket.

    I recall the two year campaign about hating GWB, the doomed economy and Climate Change; all of which Republican candidate John McCain sided with his opponent.

    Republicans ran a moderate’s moderate who is just as moderate as Democrats and was a national humiliation who managed to get a weak horse elected into the White House.

    If Republicans are going to be just like Democrats what good are parties when both are headed towards path of tyranny.

    And I say this as a former brain-dead Liberal who converted to Conservatism after 9/11, they only party I know obsessed with sex is the party full of people who go into a raging hateful wrath against anyone who does not agree with them. See Miss California and what is being done to her.

    Lastly, if America is attacked I am blaming the moderates for failing to get their priorities straight…moderates with their heads up someone’s anal cavity does not mean much when cites are blown to bits.

  65. “That’s what I want. Until I start seeing a divorce from the anti-intellectuals and theocrats who have highjacked my party, I can’t vote with any confidence.”

    This party would be Charles Johnson and the freaky lizards…go join them.

    Guys, may I suggest that you you pull your head’s out of each other’s anal cavities because you are stuck-on-stupid stuff.

  66. Unfortunate for the Libertarian sex life that you would not post my sexual suggestion because Libertarians are in desperate need of good sex.

    [Babbling nonsense deleted]

  67. longshadow

    If you won’t listen to my valuable advise (sic) …

    My “Irony Meter” just pegged full scale.

    You just can’t make up stuff this good.

  68. Great letter Curmudg …

    About the comments. While I am intolerant of creationists attempting to legislate their faith, I don’t understand those who are intolerant of faithful people who do *not* attempt to legislate their faith.

    There is a good bit of Palin bashing above. Why? After some hard core vetting by the Other Side, all that anyone could find was a cloudy comment about ID she made during a governors race. But during the VP run, and while running AK, she has wisely avoided the issue.

    I have to think that a big reason for Palin derangement syndrome among Republicans is that Christians loved her, so people who dislike Christians hated her, even though she properly separated her faith from her career.

    Republicans who are intolerant of Christians need to understand that if they chase away Christians, they have no hope of winning anything. That doesn’t mean Republicans have to adopt creationism, but it does mean they have to tolerate those who privately believe in such things, as long as the creationist Republicans don’t try to make their belief a political issue.

  69. Getting a bit carried away here.

  70. Certain concerned Republicans should reconcile themselves with being exemplars of social conservatism and not activist proselytizers of religious based value systems. All Republicans should center themselves on a defense and expression of our constitution, especially the counter-tyrannical nature of its design.

  71. narby says: “There is a good bit of Palin bashing above. Why?”

    Good to see you, narb! Back during the campaign, I had literally dozens of Palin posts here in which I defended her. Yeah, she’s probably a creationist, but she always kept that stuff to herself, and never tried to impose it on the town when she was mayor or on the state as governor. Her religion is her own business, and that’s how she played it. The lefties always referred to her as a “moose-hunting creationist,” which I suppose she is, but that plays no part in her politics.

  72. Alright, mass confusion ensues for me. The comments to this letter, not the subject of the letter itself, are why the Republican Party is failing. I am religious, but not a creationist (I do scientific research for a living) although after reading the enthusiastic responses, I feel I have no place in the Republican Party being advocated here.

    Sarah Palin was given as an explicit reason to vote against McCain, yet as already pointed out she did the exact thing moderates ask of the more religious conservatives. That is, leave that stuff to the side. Newt Gingrich was attacked almost immediately for his “altar of God” comment and he was also someone who set aside his strong personal convictions for his 60% philosophy. Despite what self proclaimed moderates say, that doesn’t seem to be enough.

    So belief in God should is the requirement for the moderate’s pogrom of the Republican Party? Are Republicans allowed to have convictions on anything? If you silence them for expressing their beliefs, by insinuating they are unworthy of representation, how is that any different the government passing a law banning the expression of these beliefs?

    Libertarians should be ashamed of themselves for taking these kinds of positions. I am no fan of getting hammered over the head with the anti-science label but from my personal experience I find that the number of truly anti-science conservatives to be small. And those that are, will listen and even be persuaded otherwise. I look forward to bringing them into the fold, instead of listening to the red-faced, foaming at the mouth self-righteous moderates screaming to cast them out.

  73. To play off of the famous Clinton-era saying, “IT’S THE FEDERALISM, STUPID!”

    If you want to be a full-blown social conservative, that’s fine and dandy with me–do it at the State level. I tend to agree with social/Christian conservatives on many social issues, but coming at them from a fairly agnostic, libertarian point of view.

    It frustrates me no end when those same social/Christian conservatives simply assume that because I self-label myself a “libertarian” I’m automatically their enemy.

    Based largely on this post and discussion, I’m hereby dropping the term “libertarian” self-label in favor of “federalist.”

    Ich bin ein federalist.

    I saw McCain as your standard squishy-statist Rockefeller Republican, and was disinclined to vote at all in the 2008 election until he put Palin on the ticket. Palin may be a social conservative but I believe she truly understands federalism and limited government, in a way that I don’t think McCain really ever grasped.

    I am of the opinion that, on a national level, it will be much easier to build a national majority party on federalism than it will be to build a national majority on social issues. The headwind I referred to on my first comment is only a stiff gale against federalism but gets cranked up to Cat 5 hurricane by the media-government complex when social issues are the question.

    It’s not that those social issues aren’t important to a large segment of the coalition we’re trying to build here, it’s about the tactics and strategies we employ to try to restore what the Founding Fathers created–a federal republic with limited, enumerated powers.

    That’s what we all really want in a government, right?

  74. Mighty Skip says: “Alright, mass confusion ensues for me. … So belief in God should is the requirement for the moderate’s pogrom of the Republican Party?”

    You got that out of this thread? Funny, I’ve been following it rather closely, and that’s not how I see it.

  75. SouthParkConservative

    Great post; this is the first time I’ve visited your site, and I have to say, I agree with it 100%. You nailed on the head why I no longer register as a Republican voter; I’m a constitutional libertarian who believes that legislation of moral issues was never supposed to be the the purview of the federal government; those issues need to be left up to the people to decide at the state level. Because I’m not religious, I’ve been excoriated as well as not being “truly conservative”, even though I believe in what I think are the most important precepts of the conservative movement. So I’m an independent, and have been for a few years now.

    If the Republican party is going to find its way out of the wilderness it has consigned itself to, it needs to cut away the issues of lesser importance, and focus on the issues which made our Republic the most successful country in the history of the world.

    Social conservatives have a place at the table; it shouldn’t be at the head, however. For better or for worse, the world has become a different place, and the party that focuses on issues that the public either a: has no opinion on, or b: actively holds a different view of is doomed to wander in the wilderness of political obscurity.

    I know for a fact there is a contingent of the gay population that is highly conservative in everything except the sex of their partner, who loathe the Fulsom Street and Up Your Alley fair degenerates, and who are ruthlessly attacked by their so called “liberal” friends for not toeing the Leftist line.

    However, they don’t feel welcome with the party that most agrees with their values, due to the social conservatives actively and vocally demonizing them and their lifestyle. Many vote Republican regardless, because they know, despite the more “accepting” nature of the Democrat party, that the Democrats are wrong for the US. Some don’t vote at all, or vote libertarian; and some of their friends do the same. After all, why vote for the party that demonizes a friend of yours?

    If the Republican party would narrow their focus onto the issues which are most important, they would better be able to communicate with the segment of the population that is horrified by the socialist tendencies of the Democrats, but sees no better alternative out of the Republican side due to adamantly and vehemently held beliefs.

  76. This post is dead on. I am a moderate voter (voted McCain) but believe in smaller government and lower taxes, so am put off by democrats. However, I see moral and religious issues as huge distractions. I hate the abortion issue, creationism, gay marriage issue, etc. I know the republicans will never drop them as planks or major issues. However, if they dropped them as non-issues, I would vote republican a lot more than I do. What was Goldwater’s position on abortion? Hmmm.

    Know this. I will never vote for any politician who believes that the Bible’s creation stories are literally true. Never. Yes, it is a litmus test, at least for me. And anyone who does is a fool who should have no more power in government than Carrot Top.

    Listen up or keep losing.

  77. I don’t get all this nonsense about the Republican party and the religious right and sex. Where is it in our campaigns? It’s not! It’s in the media about our campaigns. As a person who signed the Contract with America, the Republican party has never been about religion and sex. We preach personal and government responsibility, which includes tenants from Jewish and Christian religions and adherence to the Constitution. The problem with us republicans is that those in charge of the party violated our belief in personal and governmental responsibility.

    So guess what, we lost. Big deal. We lost in 1964, 1976, 1992 and we came back to our roots.

    The more I read in the Blogosphere the more I am turned off by the bloggers sense of history and the importance of such much non-issues like the religious right, creationism, and sex. These are issues for the demos, so we should let them rant and rave about them. We as Republicans have more important issues to talk about.

    Our beliefs are fine. The fact that we lost has nothing to do with expanding the tent, but has everything to do with planting the tent. My only hope is that we plant it on conservative soil.

  78. Gary,

    It is not just that the Republicans lost this time, it is that for the moment at least, when we speak we are only talking to each other. The rest of the country is not listening. And the biggest reason they are not listening is because of the Republican stand on gay marriage, abortion, creationism (or “intelligent design” if you will). Whatever your own personal feelings about these questions, they are non-issues as far as the health and welfare of the country is concerned (except for creationism, which threatens critically important science education). Therefore the Party should stay away from them. It is not important when compared to militant islam, energy independence, the environment, the economy, etc. And now we have more fundamental constitutional issues such as Socialism and the involvement of government in private enterprise and capital markets. People vote for those issues and against anyone focused on the soft social issues.

  79. I think I’ll have to post a “Part 2″ about this perceived Big Tent problem.

  80. Mike (Los Angeles)

    The Curmudgeon – Thanks for such a well-written article. Fiscal responsibility, and the low taxes and small government that can come from that, must be the highest priority items. The bottom line is we are staring at a $20 trillion debt by the time Obama leaves office. If that doesn’t result in an AIG / Iceland style blowup, the $1 trillion a year in interest payments alone will crush US citizens.

    It is okay to have strong opinions about sex and religion, and good for people who want to go door to door convincing people of their strong views. Just keep it out of the Republican Party and government. The country needs a fiscal conservative party.

  81. Well I’m not sure what to say to that really. There is this absolute insistence that the religious right is somehow, or more important should be relegated to, a separate entity. What I read is, “we appreciate your vote on fiscal issues, but keep your mouth shut about all those silly religious pet issues”. Which, I cannot imagine how you do not think this is insulting. Maybe I’m lucky, but I find people who would probably considered part of the religious right much more accommodating to positions of moderates then vice versa.

    The reason the Left is so successful is because they do not turn on each other. They have the uncanny ability to ignore blatant oppositional viewpoints between the individuals to gain political power. You think the religious right is too prominent and you well may be right. Adopting groupthink is not something I’m advocating but a true moderate would find a way to bring people into the fold.

  82. Awesome post, Curmudgeon. I had been thinking about writing this sort of letter for a while but I’m glad I didn’t – I couldn’t have worded it better.

    I have one thing to add. It seems to me that during the Reagan years the ideas which you enumerated were fresh. That’s not to say they were new – certainly anything but – but that they were intellectually en vogue. How do we reverse this?

    The most infuriating part of this period of introspection is that our representatives are to blame! Their squandering of our political capital has given Obama and his ilk an excuse to dismiss these ideas as if they had somehow been discredited over the last decade.

  83. retiredsciguy

    Curmy,
    In a response to a post way back there somewhere, you wrote,
    “You got that out of this thread? Funny, I’ve been following it rather closely, and that’s now how I see it.”
    I’m sure you meant “…that’s not how I see it.”

    Again, great letter. Ever had this many responses before?

  84. Wolfhound said, “My brother and I both were going to vote for McCain but when Palin was added to appease the evangelicals I jumped ship for Barr and my brother went over to Obama.”

    You might as well have voted for the Easter Bunny for as much of a chance Barr had. And you’re brother’s vote for Obama, sheesh.

    So far the only articulated positions you seem to hold are anti-creationists and anti-jesus freaks.

    Sounds like a winning platform to me.

  85. Gary Gill

    Panda:

    As a life-long Republican, we Republicans only ever talk to ourselves because the other side has nothing to say. It wasn’t popular to support the freeing of slaves but we still did it and only won the white house in 1860 because the demos split their vote. We can all agree that economic issues overcome social issues for the vast voting block called the center, but you can’t build a political party around the center because there is no passion emanating from the middle.

    I am a pro-life non-creationist Catholic (evolution is not incongruent with Catholic teaching on revealment). Catholics voted for Bush in 2004 and Obama in 2008. There is an argument within Catholic circles that Obama won the Catholic vote in 2008, because the Conservative Catholics did not come out to vote for McCain.

    Conservatives are not monolithic and thus,we need to build a coalition to win elections much like the non-monolithic left. Religion was not a subject much talked about in Republican circles when I was growing up. It only became important when the Supreme Court erroneously heard Roe v. Wade and ruled uber legislatively from the bench.

    I understand that the abortion issue, gay marriage, and pre-marital sex is uncomfortable to fiscal conservatives, but politics makes strange bedfellows as they say and we need religious conservatives in order to have a meaningful political say on fiscal matters.

    The loss we took in 2006 and 2008 had much less to do with the religious right than it did with Republican leadership acting like demos. The conservative base of the Republican party does not come out to vote when Republican politicians stray far from the conservative farm.

    This war within the fiscal and social conservatives is nothing more than a spat after a loss. In fact, it’s not even new. It’s been around to some degree since Ford-Reagan.

    Now that we are out of power, 2010 offers us an opportunity to get back to our conservative roots and speak broadly to the people about what concerns our nation. Let’s quit complaining about a lot of nothing and get to work for the good of the country.

  86. Junk Science Skeptic

    Eloquently said, Curmy. Mix in a bit of reality on the immigration issue and you’ve outlined a platform that would win in 2010 and 2012.

    If the Republican Party won’t adopt it, maybe the TEA Party should.

  87. Gary:

    You may be right about having to keep religious conservatives to have a fighting chance at winning elections. As a result, as someone who feels reason, not faith, is the most important foundation of our country, I can never, ever call myself a republican. I will just have to pick and choose candidates as an independent, as I always have. I wish republicans would keep in mind that the religious right was not such a huge factor in the party until the 1980’s.

    Sorry, the Falwell/Robertson contingent is poison to me.

  88. retiredsciguy, thanks. I fixed my typo.

  89. Well Curmudgeon, He may not have created earth and all that lies herein but there MUST be a God – else how would I have been led so fortuitously to your most excellent blog? :-))

    You have perfectly expressed my own long-held opinion/frustration about the posturing of some Republican politicians regarding “sex” and religion. The distraction from REAL issues was infuriating enough prior to the last election. Now it’s reached critical mass. Unless the Republican party (which is sadly, our best hope) doesn’t become “Enlightened” very soon, this nation’s demise will make the fall of Rome look like a mere stumble.

  90. Just a comment from an officially independent voter who considered herself a fiscally conservative & socially liberal – Several people have mentioned how Republican campaigns don’t focus on these Sex & Religion issues so the Curmudgeon’s complaint must be invalid.

    I don’t think these commenters are addressing the real problem – Based on previous experiences with Sex & Religion Issues, the average centrist voter is less likely to vote Republican. In an age of Googling candidates, it doesn’t matter what the official campaign’s position is. Does the average voter think, based on the candidate’s record, that these Sex & Religion issues will be focused on once said candidate is in office?

    And unfortunately, too many Republican candidates fail this metric because their previous record either hints or outright states that they will make these issues a priority once elected. Independent voters like me don’t trust them to stay out of our bedrooms & our faith. One of the reasons I liked Palin was because she appeared to be able to distinguish between private morality & public law – If more Republican candidates did that, we would not be having this discussion.

  91. Jessica says: “One of the reasons I liked Palin was because she appeared to be able to distinguish between private morality & public law”

    Exactly. Although the media unanimously claimed the opposite.

  92. I think you hit the nail on the head, Jessica. It’s more often perception than reality. In many cases, it’s a perception that is fostered and fed upon gleefully by the opposition.

    Sarah Palin is a case in point – she has indeed demonstrated her ability to distinguish between private morality and public law throughout her political career, but you wouldn’t know it to listen to her detractors. I firmly believe it was abject fear of her firm stand and blunt talk on the other issues that created the need for liberals and their lapdog media to paint her as “added to the ticket to appease Evangelicals” – and embellish their meme with all that label implies.

  93. The Republican Party MUST go shift towards a more libertarian/classic liberal position, or else it has NO chance of surviving.

  94. longshadow

    I wonder if the UnDyscovery Institute’s (home of the “Purveyor’s of UnKnowledge”) blog gets this much action in a day?

  95. Longie asks:

    I wonder if the UnDyscovery Institute’s (home of the “Purveyor’s of UnKnowledge”) blog gets this much action in a day?

    They’d need a million visitors a day to equal the IQ total of our viewers.

  96. Comments! Wheeeeee! :-)

  97. retiredsciguy

    I’m writing this just to be the 100th comment. What an honor!

    Hope your addendum comment list grows as long.

  98. Thomas Jackson

    Weeee another rino TELLING US TO BE A DHIMMIE LITE PARTY. Lets just adopt a policy of free sex, free drugs and anything goes. My pals at the country club will be so thrilled to hear of yet another enlightened dhimmie in their midst.

    Seems to me McCain was your guy and we did really, really well with his ideas didn’t we.

  99. retiredsciguy says: “Hope your addendum comment list grows as long.”

    No chance, unless Little Green Footballs does a post about it.

  100. I’m new to your blog. Incoming via LGF.

    One item that your excellent essay omits is the GOP’s love affair with our ahistoric, immoral, and anti-Constitutional War on Drugs. The imposition of which is as much an issue of belief/religion as are sex and creationism.


    Regards,
    Dann

  101. Dann says: “… War on Drugs. The imposition of which is as much an issue of belief/religion as are sex and creationism.”

    Yes, but it’s less obvious than the other issues. I’ve had comments complaining that abortion isn’t a sex issue, so I’d rather not stretch things too far. The current list is enough to make the point.

  102. “No chance, unless Little Green Footballs does a post about it.”

    Could just be you’re moving beyond needing LGF now, I’m sure MANY of us “lesser lights” have posted links to this letter and pointed at least a few of our readers in your direction. You have gained some new followers, at the very least.

  103. Kathleen says: “Could just be you’re moving beyond needing LGF now …”

    The LGF post gave us quite a surge. We appreciate the efforts of the “lesser lights” too. Traffic is definitely up. We gain new readers whenever something like that happens, and then things seem to settle back down — but at a new plateau, higher than before. It’s all good, but if LGF wants to goose this place again, we certainly won’t object.

  104. Gary Gill says “I don’t get all this nonsense about the Republican party and the religious right and sex. Where is it in our campaigns? It’s not!”

    The GOP 2008 Platform at http://www.gop.com/2008Platform/Values.htm talks about abortion and gay marriage. How are these not about sex? If it is in the platform, it is in the campaign.

  105. Che is dead

    “But religious issues should not concern the national government, especially when we have so many vital matters — our traditional principles — that must be addressed before the republic is lost forever.”

    So, the threat to the republic stems from the GOP’s acknowledgement of the importance of religion to a major segment of it’s traditional base – not from the socialist indoctrination of our children in the public schools and universities. Have I got that right?

    If those religious fanatics would just shut up and go away rather than insisting that they have as much right to the public square as the rest of the population everything would be A-OK.

    Name a Republican who has campaigned with “a Bible in one hand and and his carnal concerns in the other”. It certainly wasn’t John McCain. He was your ideal “moderate”. Remind us all again, how did he do? And name a single instance where the GOP has “blocked biological research”.

    It seems that you’ve swallowed every bigoted stereotype the left has constructed over the last 40 plus years. That says absolutely nothing about the people you malign, but it says an awful lot about you.

  106. “It certainly wasn’t John McCain. He was your ideal “moderate””

    Who a lot of conservatives whined about as being too moderate, causing him to pander to the “hardcore” religious right by nominating Palin, a “folksy” “real” “conservative” with “values” who had too little experience, making McCain’s first major decision look iffy.

  107. Ken says: “The GOP 2008 Platform at http://www.gop.com/2008Platform/Values.htm talks about abortion and gay marriage.”

    Good show, Ken!

  108. Che is dead says:

    Name a Republican who has campaigned with “a Bible in one hand and and his carnal concerns in the other”.

    Huckabee.

  109. Che is dead says:

    And name a single instance where the GOP has “blocked biological research”.

    Stem cell research.

  110. Che is dead

    Hey, genius. President Bush was the first president to approve federal funds for embryonic stem cell research. Look it up!

    Yes, he restricted that money to work on existing lines, but he still took a step that Clinton, and the Democrats, did not take. As it turns out, Bush was right to impose conditions. Science has since shown that there is absolutely no need to use embryonic stem cells because adult stem cells can be regressed to their plenipotentiary stage.

    Michael J. Fox will not be cured because of embryonic stem cell research. Watch this VIDEO

    There are currently more than 70 therapies and treatments using breakthroughs in ADULT stem cell research. There are ZERO stemming from the use EMBRYONIC stem cell research.

    Get a clue.

  111. raginggenius

    The reason eveyone is crazy about stem cell research if because people are afraid to die. Well, since I am a Christian, death would be the best thing to happen to me.

  112. Che is dead

    … causing him to pander to the “hardcore” religious right by nominating Palin, a “folksy” “real” “conservative” with “values” who had too little experience, making McCain’s first major decision look iffy.

    So, Palin is “hardcore” because she chose to keep her child instead of killing it? And just which of her values is it you find so offensive? Maybe it’s because she came from a working class family and did not attend some Ivy League indoctrination camp that you find her so objectionable. Or because she refuses to apologize for her beliefs. Strong women have a way of scaring beta males, like Wade. I guess you missed it, but McCain had no one at his rallies until she was nominated.

    As for her experience, she is the governor of a major state. She got that job by challenging and defeating a corrupt and entrenched cabal within her own party. She was, and is, more qualified for the presidency than Obama.

    Why do you think the MSM is so anxious to destroy her?

    Let me ask you geniuses something, how is your position – that religious people should be shunned by the GOP – any more open and tolerant than the characterization you offer of the “religious right”, who you claim want to exclude “moderates” from the party? Aren’t you just flipping the same coin?

  113. retiredsciguy

    Che is dead writes,
    “As for her experience, she (Palin) is the governor of a major state.
    The only way Alaska is a “major” state is in geographic size, and that’s not really relevant to political importance or governor’s experience.

    But that’s really beside the point that the Curmudgeon makes with his open letter to the Republican Party, and the tone of many of these comments proves his point — the Republicans need to go back to Newt Gingrich’s “60%” rule of the Contract With America, and get away from being identified with the most divisive issues of the day.
    This doesn’t mean we need to abandon our principles. We just need to focus on the core principles of liberty, small government, lower taxation, etc. rather than pounding on the wedge issues. After all, if we can’t win a national election, how is that going to help promote the important issues?
    Let’s all stay focused in these comments.

  114. retiredsciguy: agreed

    Che is dead: you have your opinion, we have ours.

    Thanks for the insults, though…good luck winning new members into the party…

    I will say it again…no creationists or anyone who believes prayer protects you from witches…ever.

  115. retiredsciguy says: “Let’s all stay focused in these comments.”

    I guess I need to do a bit of moderating.

  116. longshadow

    I guess I need to do a bit of moderating.

    Yeah; it looks like it’s “Internet Day” at the Retreat for the Perpetually Addled ….

  117. Che is dead

    We just need to focus on the core principles of liberty, small government, lower taxation, etc.

    These principles are supported by religious people. The two are not mutually exclusive.

  118. Che is dead says: “Let me ask you geniuses something, how is your position – that religious people should be shunned by the GOP …”

    Che, read the Addendum to the letter that I posted a day later. It’s here. It’s all about you.

  119. Che is dead

    I read your Addendum and I think that you are mistaken about who is emphasizing these “sexual” issues. You believe that if Republican candidates simply downplay these issues that they will somehow go away, or at least fade into the background and we can get back to talking about our “core principles”. I believe that the media, not the Republican party, controls when and how these issues are discussed and tries to shape the public’s views on these issues.

    You seem to operate on the assumption that there are a sizable number of voters who, while secretly desiring small government, refuse to vote for any politician that objects to their being allowed to “display their genitals in public”. Where is the evidence for this?

    In every instance, when gay marriage has appeared on the ballot – at the state level, where you think it should be – the voters have rejected it. Every Democrat running for president including Clinton, Gore, Kerry and Obama has stated their opposition to gay marriage. Have both parties got the polling wrong? Liberals may, over time, manipulate the culture into accepting gay marriage. The trend seems to be heading that way. But it is not there yet. In fact, the black community, where we need work, polls strongly against gay marriage.

    As for abortion, the polls show the American people almost evenly divided on the issue, with strong majorities in favor of certain limitations. Why do you think that Democrats are so careful in their language when talking about abortion? Why should they proclaim publically that a medical procedure, which they believe to be benign and without moral entanglement, must be “safe, legal and RARE”? Why must the numbers of abortions be reduced if there is no moral component?

    I agree that Republicans should be more focused on the issues you care about. More importantly, they must act according to those principles once elected. But when asked or pressed on moral issues they have a responsibility to speak their minds openly and honestly. Where they may need help is in how to focus that message.

  120. Che is dead,

    The federal funding restriction on ESC research is still an example of how the GOP blocked biological research. As for your claim that “Science has since shown that there is absolutely no need to use embryonic stem cells because adult stem cells can be regressed to their plenipotentiary stage,” you need to read more about the subject.

  121. Che is dead

    Ooops, this just up:

    When weighing personal freedom alone, Alaska is the clear winner, while Maryland brings up the rear.

    Sarah Palin’s Alaska does extremely well on personal freedom, conclude study authors. Reasons for its high personal freedom alone score include: fully legalized possession of small amounts of marijuana (accomplished through a court ruling), the best (least restrictive) gun laws in the country, recognition of same-sex domestic partnerships, and possibly the best homeschooling laws in the country.

    Link

    Bible thumper! Let’s shun her!

  122. Che is dead

    As for your claim that “Science has since shown that there is absolutely no need to use embryonic stem cells …

    Nice try. Like I said there isn’t a single approved therapy or treatment using embryonic stem cells. Here’s a little reading for you.

    Here’s just one of the articles concerning the ability of ADULT stem cells to become pluripotent embryonic-like stem cells which eliminates the risk of cancer associated with the use of EMBRYONIC stem cells.

    Even the New York Times is catching on.

  123. I don’t think anyone wants to “get rid” of the religious people. I think Curmudgeon has been at pains to point out that the religious right is part of the Republican Party. But the country has critical and existential issues that are not addressed by the distraction of those issues. That is why I, a Jewish Democrat, crossed the line and voted Republican in the last two presidential elections. I think the Democratic Party has abandon the defense of the country (from immigration to anti-terrorism), and is more obsessed with political correctness than it is with preserving the freedoms we enjoy. Only in the Republican Party do I see these issues raised and that is why I am here. I will not support the corruption of science education by the introduction of “intelligent design” and other religious dogma. And I do believe that Political parties have no place in the bedroom — what two consenting adults do in the privacy of their own home is not any or our business, no matter how repelled I may personally be by what happens there. I believe we look foolish in limiting stem cell research, we would look intelligent by opening up the debate as an ethical and moral question to religious leaders and philosphers to guide the regulatory limits that must be placed on stem cell research. Historical facts are not open for opinion, and the historical fact is that this country was NOT established as a specifically Christian nation which is why it has been so successful. We have been established as a religious nation, broadly defined, with complete freedom for those who choose not to believe at all. BIG DIFFERENCE! And as for abortion, right or wrong, for better or for worse, that fight is over. Bill Clinton did have that one right, that the best we can hope for at this point is to keep abortion legal, safe, and extremely rare. Don’t shoot me guys, I’m only the messenger on that one.

  124. Che is dead

    I guess your “tolerance” doesn’t extend to dissenting opinions.

    As much as I would like to respond to some of these posts, I will not have some authoritarian troll looking over my shoulder, editing and censoring my speech.

    I doubt that you people will get very far if you are unwilling to engage someone like me who agrees with you on so many issues.

    Given your propensity toward censorship, you may be more comfortable in the Democrat party.

  125. Che is dead says: “I guess your ‘tolerance’ doesn’t extend to dissenting opinions.”

    I’m being uncharacteristically tolerant. Just keeping an eye on things so they don’t stray too far from this blog’s standards. We don’t do insults or flame wars here.

  126. Che is dead says: “I will not have some authoritarian troll looking over my shoulder, editing and censoring my speech.”

    I missed that the first time. Your name is now more appropriate than you knew.

  127. It’s hard to put the genie back in the bottle.

    The fact is that Pat Robertson, Sarah Palin, and the rest of these bible thumpers have killed us politically. And they’re not going away.

  128. retiredsciguy

    Curmy,
    Liked your answer to Che is Dead —

    “I missed that the first time. Your name is now more appropriate than you knew.”

    Now, THAT’S funny! And in MHO, appropriate.

  129. All I can say guys is that we have a war to fight and we need to get united so we can be successful. The outcome of this war for our culture and our existence is not be based on our national policy on abortion, intelligent design, prayer in schools, or what gay people do or not do. The outcome of this fight depends entirely on who believes in liberty and freedom enough to do something about it and who does not. The Democrat Party has largely abandoned this fight in favor of political expediency. The only question left for The Republican Party is will we follow down the same path or not?

  130. raginggenius

    I would greatly appreciate it if you would erase all of my comments posted to your blog. This blog is not what I thought it was, and I would like to thank you personally for the lessons that I have learned from this process. Sincerely TRG

  131. Reading through all of the comments here which represent different wings of the Republican party, as well as those of Libertarians, brings to mind the “circular firing squads” that the pundits who observe the scene in DC write about. Plenty of blame to go around for everyone.