Monday, November 9, 2009

The New GOP To Ignore Half The Country

"You don't attract people with pragmatism but with commitment to principles and purpose," former House Majority Leader Dick Armey had said, and believes the Republican Party will continue to lose if they do not embrace the right wing of the party.  According to Armey, the GOP's "future lies with the populist coalition of small government and libertarian conservatives, evangelicals and others who have joined tea party protests and challenged the Republican establishment to shun compromise with Obama and the Democrats." 

Essentially, Armey, along with the other people like Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin do not want compromise and only look to oppose anything Democrats put forward, but is that fair to Americans?  Assuming this belief, if elected, candidates such as Doug Hoffman from New York's 23rd District would have ignored almost half of the electorate to pursue his principles and purpose.  If being conservative means ignoring the other half that didn't vote for you, then there is some serious problems brewing in America.  These politicians are elected to represent a certain geographic location, but populism to them only means listening to the average voice of your party. 

Considering the health care reform bill that recently passed the House, only one Republican voted on the bill,  Rep. Anh Cao, from Louisiana.  "I listened to the countless stories of Orleans and Jefferson Parish citizens whose health-care costs are exploding -- if they are able to obtain health care at all," Cao said "Louisianans need real options for primary care, for mental health care, and for expanded health care for seniors and children."  His reasoning is exactly the type of legislating and governing the GOP fails to understand, and his vote for the measure will surely be punished by the party leadership.  Senator Lamar Alexander had stated "We have to decide whether we want to be a debating society or a broad-based, center-right governing coalition."  This is contrary to Armey's vision of shutting down the liberals in favor of the conservatives, but not just any conservatives, he means the ones furthest right (evangelicals, teabaggers, etc.)  Armey should take a cue from Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour, who was chairman of the GOP over a decade ago, who had said  "Every time a party loses, there are some people who say now's the time to get pure. Let's purify the party," he said on the day Republicans won Virginia and New Jersey. "That's 180 degrees backwards. In the American two-party system, both parties necessarily are coalitions. And when you lose, you need to go to special efforts to make everybody in your coalition feel welcome."

If the GOP does not embrace the moderates, they will lose them to the Democrats in the following elections.  Unfortunately, the GOP has no real leadership, and so the most vocal, which happens to be the right wing, seem to be leading the charge.  Sure they will get some votes, but they will probably alienate more by purifying their party.  If you consider any election that will be held between a Democrat and a Republican, would the evangelicals or teabaggers ever vote for a Democrat?  The answer is no.

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