Republican Party

Problems of the Republican Party

The current Grand Old Party is in despair and acknowledging some need for change. Since the end of the Reagan Administration it has slowly become the “Grumpy Old-White-Man’s Party” with little appeal to individuals outside of its traditional coalition, and even within that coalition there is little enthusiasm. So, most acknowledge there are problems; But what are they? How can they be fixed? These are the questions party insiders and loyalists are already attempting to answer.

What are the Problems?

While the mistakes made by George Bush’s Republican Party are so numerous one could probably never compile a completely conclusive book on the matter, most can be traced to fundamental root causes that desperately need to be identified and purged- below are a few of the broad policy mistakes committed by the Party.

Choice for the GOP

Senator Joe Lieberman (I-CT), the former Democratic Vice Presidential candidate with Al Gore and ardent John McCain supporter, is considering a move to the GOP. According to this story from Politico, Senate Minority Leader, Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has approached Lieberman and discussions have taken place.

Senate Majority Leader, Harry Reid (D-NV), is apparently upset at Lieberman’s support for McCain which was cemented with his speech at the Republican National Convention in September. Lieberman, who has served in the Senate since 1989, had to run as an independent in 2006 after losing in the Democratic primary. He has continued to caucus and align himself in the Senate with the Democrats.

Palin Going Rogue? About Time.

Palin_rogueCNN is reporting that Palin is ready to “bust free” of the constraints placed upon her by the struggling McCain campaign and all I have to say is, “Thank goodness!”

Beyond Defeat: Conservative Renewal (hopefully)

With only one month until the election and an Obama win looking more solid with every passing day, it is hopefully becoming clear to Republicans that their future success does not lie on the road they are currently taking. The road of big government “conservatism” has worn thin and Americans have had enough.

Mary Landrieu’s defeat gives Republicans control from Carolinas to Texas

Mary Landrieu

“Democrats no longer hold a Senate seat, governor’s mansion or legislative chamber from the Carolinas to Texas,” writes Alex Rogers in Time in the wake of incumbent Democrat Senator Mary Landrieu’s thumping on Saturday to Republican challenger Bill Cassidy. 56 percent of voters lined up behind Cassidy, while just 44 percent supported Landrieu. But the magnitude of this thumping isn’t illustrated in the topline results from Saturday.

The number of qualified votes in Louisiana breaks down like this:

Registered Democrats: 1,375,027 (46.7%)
Registered Republicans:  816,594 (27.7%)
Registered Other: 754,110 (25.6%)

Cassidy garnered 712,330 votes, and Landrieu captured 561,099 votes. If most Republicans voted for Cassidy and most Democrats voted for Landrieu, then fewer than half of Democrats turned out on Saturday (about 40%), while roughly 87 percent of Republicans turned out for the runoff. This hypothesis doesn’t account for Independent voters, who likely broke for Cassidy.

At Time, Rogers continues:

Democrats are dead in the land of Dixie.

With the fall of three-term Sen. Mary Landrieu Saturday, Louisiana will not have a Democratic statewide elected official for the first time since 1876. And the Republican Party will control, as the Associated Press noted, every Senate seat, governor’s mansion and legislative chamber from the Carolinas to Texas.

Rand Paul hires top Establishment GOP fundraiser — and that’s a good thing for the grassroots.

Rand Paul 2016?

According to National Review Online’s “The Corner,” Kentucky Senator — and prospective 2016 Republican candidate for President — Rand Paul has hired incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell’s top fundraiser, Laura Sequeira.

NRO reporter Eliana Johnson writes:

Rand Paul is bringing on Mitch McConnell’s national finance director, Laura Sequeira, to play a key fundraising role at his political-action committee ahead of an expected 2016 presidential campaign.

Over the past two years, Paul, a tea-party darling, has labored mightily to woo establishment donors into his camp. Sequeira’s arrival will certainly help with that. She is fresh off the campaign trail, where she helped McConnell, the incoming Senate majority leader, raise millions for his reelection campaign.

Paul’s fundraising shop now includes operatives with reach into both the Republican establishment and its insurgent wing: Sequeira joins Erika Sather, the former director of development at the Club for Growth, on Paul’s fundraising team.

In a thorough investigation of “McConnell world” last week, POLITICO highlighted Sequeira’s role on McConnell’s re-election campaign. According to the most recent reports available to Open Secrets, the McConnell campaign raised just over $31 million for the 2014 cycle.

Rand Paul talks #ConservativeRealism with liberal Bill Maher

Rand Paul Conservative Realism

Senator Rand Paul took his message of “conservative realism” to liberal comedian Bill Maher’s HBO program on Friday night. Maher, well known self-proclaimed “libertarian” (he seems to throw the word around without much philosophical grounding) and critic of conservatives, welcomed Paul to his show and had high praise for Paul’s genuine efforts to reach out to new constituencies to broaden the Republican Party’s appeal.

Maher praised Paul’s efforts to restore voting rights to non-violent felons who have served their time, allowed Paul to further explain his stance on foreign policy, and called Paul’s efforts to curtail the War on Drugs “music to my ears.”

During the interview, Maher signaled that independents like himself and others in key states might be able to support Paul, should he decide to run for president in 2016.

“I am available to the Rand Paul campaign,” Maher said, but cautioned Paul on the Republican Party’s stance on environmentalism. Paul pushed back against over-regulation and expressed concern for the loss of jobs over restrictive regulations. Paul applauded advancements in renewable energy, but stressed the importance of continuing to use resources like coal and natural gas. Paul noted he was working on a bill to help deregulate the renewable energy industry, so more Americans could access “green” energy alternatives.

Twitter reacted postively to Paul’s appearance. Many tweets came from self-described Democrats who had previously not been open to Paul’s message:

Rat head in the Coke bottle: Getting Republicans out of the tax-raising business

Grover Norquist

Americans for Tax Reform’s President, Grover Norquist, tells it like this:

The Republican Party is a brand. Like Coca-Cola. Consumers know what Coke tastes like. It tastes the same from every bottle and out of every soda fountain. There’s no guessing what Coke tastes like from one drink to the next.

Since ATR’s inception in 1985 at the behest of Ronald Reagan, it’s been trying to brand the Republican Party as the party of lower taxes — the party opposed to tax increases. That attempt has been largely successful.

ATR’s “Taxpayer Protection” pledge puts candidates and elected officials on record opposing tax increases. And it holds them accountable when they stray.

So, when a Republican attempts to raise taxes, that damages the brand. It’s like a rat head in a Coke bottle. Someone drinking a Coke wouldn’t discover a rat head in the bottle and say to themselves, “Hmmm, perhaps I’ll finish this bottle later.” No. They would seriously consider whether or not they would drink another Coke ever again. They might tweet about it, show their friends, and discourage others from drinking Coke. That’s a branding problem.

Let’s consider a few surprising gubernatorial pick-ups from last Tuesday and see what those Republicans did that helped them cross the finish line.

In Illinois, Maryland, and Massachusetts, the Republican candidates for governor largely ran against their opponents’ records on taxes.

Successful Republican challenger Bruce Rauner in Illinois outlined his tax plan online:

The Quinn-Madigan 67% income tax hike.

Congress just got a lot more diverse, and you can thank Republicans


Diversity is the Democrat Party’s raison d’être. They exist solely as a coalition of smaller demographic and issue groups. So it’s pretty big news when Republicans make big strides among minority voters or elect women and minorities to high office. In the historic GOP wave that swept the country Tuesday, that’s exactly what happened. And it’s about time.

Among the eight (!) new Republicans joining the US Senate next year will be the first woman elected from Iowa, Joni Ernst, and the first black Senator elected in the South since post-Civil War Reconstruction, Tim Scott of South Carolina. Scott was previously appointed by SC governor Nikki Haley (who is herself Indian-American) to fill the seat vacated last year by the retiring Jim DeMint. It’s quite something that the very state that started the Civil War has elected the first black man from the former Confederate states since their electoral processes returned to normal.

Also worth noting, though it’s not quite the same kind of diversity, is that Tom Cotton, the new US Senator from Arkansas, is the first Iraq War veteran elected to the chamber. He will certainly add a new perspective to discussions of foreign policy and military issues (though this site is likely to disagree on them).

Establishment GOP will win* on Election Day, and it’s up to grassroots conservatives to hold them accountable

Senate Republican Leadership

All most signs point to Republicans taking the majority in the U.S. Senate tomorrow and sending Harry Reid and the Democrats “into the wilderness” for at least two years. For conservatives, tomorrow’s 74.4%-sure Republican victory will prove to be a double-edged sword.

This is a hard pill to swallow: Conservatives lost more than a few key primary battles against Establishment-back Republicans this cycle. It’s important to admit it — because, from there, conservatives can do two things:

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