The Alabama Moderate

Painting the Red State Purple.

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What’s Next for the GOP?

Posted by ALmod on November 6, 2008

David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

David Fitzsimmons, The Arizona Star

The Grand Old Party got, as Loretta Nall put it, “their spanked ass handed to them” on Tuesday.  As a Republican (technically speaking), I’ve felt for a very long time that our party was neither grand nor old.  Rather, over the past decade or so, it turned into something new and dirty.

It wasn’t easy for me to not back John McCain this past year.  His candidacy was the shiny silver dollar that I had been waiting eight years for.  When I finally got what I wanted, I realized that someone had handed me a spray-painted wooden nickle instead.  It wasn’t pretty.

I watched in horror as the same guy who had been a champion for us middle-of-the-roaders was morphed into this venom-spewing, cynical negative attack machine.  The kind of guy who spreads hate so strong that his supporters won’t even listen to him when he tries to tell them to tone it down.

Thankfully, we seem to have the old McCain back, and I’m just fine and dandy with that.  The old McCain is much better than the newer model that was paraded by his handlers.

But what does this say for the future of the party?  Oh, how I long for the good old days when we really were the Grand Old Party.  We stood for REAL conservatism– back when that meant the government minded its own business and knew how to balance a checkbook.  We would have laughed at this new “neoconservative”– this red-flavor liberal packaged as “moral values”.  Moral values don’t encourage hate, and conservatism doesn’t promote big government and an out of control spending habit.

Would this jolt be enought to whip the Republicans back into the Grand Old Party?  A good spanking might have been just what we needed.  Maybe now the more conservative (not neoconservative) and moderate members of the party will be encouraged to step up and lead.  Perhaps someone like Ron Paul will be taken more seriously by the party that merely humored him during the primaries.

I can hear you laughing, but Republicans can have hope and want change, too.


5 Responses to “What’s Next for the GOP?”

  1. Don said

    I’m a longtime admirer of Dr. Ron Paul, but I must face the fact of his age getting in the way by 2012. What do you think of Oklahoma Senator Dr. Tom Coburn?

    Oklahoma Senator Dr. Tom Coburn to conservatives and Republican Party leaders:
    “Conservatives should be reassured that our president-elect did not seek an ideological mandate in this election, nor did he receive one. The failure of the Republican Party in this election does not represent the failure of conservatism, but of the big government Republicanism that took over our party in 1996. Had the Republican Party not governed as the party of socialism-lite for the past 12 years, our candidates’ concerns about the excessive spending on the other side would have had more relevance.

    “Republican efforts to build a governing majority through spending and earmarks have ended in disgrace. The Republican Party can either restore its identity as the party of limited government or go the way of the Whigs. When Republicans decide to come home to the timeless conservatism present at our founding, the conservatism of Abraham Lincoln – which our president-elect graciously acknowledged last night – and the conservatism of Ronald Reagan that won the Cold War and led to unprecedented prosperity, they know where to find us.”

    The entire text of his statement can be read @

    Oh, BTW, your blog is much easier to read now. Thanks from aging eyes.

  2. j salerno said

    While I much preferred Ronald Reagan to his mean spirited successors, he can hardy be touted as an example of someone who knew how to balance a checkbook. He was an unapologetic supply sider; you may remember the famous description of his policies as voodoo economics. When, as most serious people expected, we turned out to be on the low side of the Laffer curve, his big spending ways coupled to tax cuts resulted in larger deficits than all previous presidents combined, blowing he roof off the national debt. His lax policies, designed to boost sun belt development, contributed to the S&L debacle, and creiting him with single handedly winning the cold war is ludicrous. We damaged our society by foolishly allowing ourselves to be drained in a proxy war in Vietnam. The Soviet Union, a much less robust society, collapsed when they arrogantly engaged in a what became a proxy war in Afghanistan. They’d been an empty shell for years after the failure of Brezhnev to build any kind of modern economy. And the idea that Lincoln was a conservative is ludicrous and anachronistic.
    Here’s a radical idea. Stop the BS and start thinking and talking about reality. There are plenty of recent examples of successful fiscal conservatives. How about people Dwight Eisenhower, the most honest and successful Republican president since TR? How about Goldwater?
    While I really liked some of the things Ron Paul said, there’s a good reason that he drew limited support. Micro government libertarians can’t really run the country. If you are too young to remember, read about Sputnik and its aftermath. The involvement of the federal government in areas like education and research came directly from the perception that the US would otherwise fall fatally behind its competitors. Fortunately Ike was a pragmatist about what the government needed to do. I don’t feel the same way about the Patriot act. I think we need to make better compromises.

  3. ALmod said

    J, if you read back through my post, you will not find Ronald Reagan mentioned– and for a good reason. I’m more of a Goldwater Republican, and Reagan was an example of what Goldwater believed to be wrong with the Republican party. Teddy Roosevelt and Ike are other great examples as well as Lincoln.

    I appreciate the hits and the comments, but please don’t respond to my posts before reading them. I even included a picture, and if you’ll notice, the very names you mentioned are included there– not Reagan.

    On the subject of Ron Paul, yes I do realize that he was a bit TOO extreme. However, I also realize that he was a realist in many ways. People (even supporters) seemed to ignore the fact that he stated several times that he couldn’t just do away with many of the programs he wanted to and that it would have to be a gradual process if done at all.

  4. j salerno said

    I didn’t mean to give you any hits at all; I was responding in part to the previous comment. Most of what you said seemed pretty reasonable to me. I don’t even mean to give Don a hit, just to register my opinion. I’d certain like to see the emergence of reasonable alternatives in American politics. We used to have a choice between Ike and Harry Truman. How did we get to the point where the choice was between W and Al Gore? I didn’t vote for the new McCain and would never vote for a ticket with Palin on it, but I have no doubt that the country would be better off if we’d elected the old McCain in 2000.

  5. ALmod said

    Ah, in that case I’d say that we are in agreement. Your statement here:

    “I didn’t vote for the new McCain and would never vote for a ticket with Palin on it, but I have no doubt that the country would be better off if we’d elected the old McCain in 2000.”

    …is something that I’ve been harping on for a while.

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