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Nov 7th, 2008

Republicans Cast About for Answers

Future of GOP: Reach out to new voters or consolidate base?


Is the GOP broken? (MSNBC, Nov. 5, 2008) — Former Sen. Lincoln Chaffee, R-R.I., says Republicans are being held hostage by social conservatives, telling MSNBCs Rachel Maddow his party was “bankrupt.” (4:05)

By Alex Johnson

November 6, 2008



The national ticket of [John] McCain and Sarah Palin may be getting most of the blame for Republicans’ losses, but at the local and state levels, Republicans say their problems run deeper.

Top Republicans echoed the assessment of the National Review, a leading organ of conservative Republicanism, which thundered in a post-election editorial that “the public has … clearly rejected the Republican Party in its present configuration.”

“Sometimes, I think we’ve forgotten what we stand for,” said Stewart Iverson, who resigned Thursday as chairman of the Republican Party in Iowa, where Barack Obama easily won the presidential vote, Democratic Sen. Tom Harkin was re-elected by an even bigger margin and Democrats consolidated control of the Legislature.

“We’re going to have to look at rebuilding the Republican Party,” Iverson said.

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., likewise called for his party to “embrace a bold new direction.”

“We have got to clean up, reform and rebuild the Republican Party before we can ask Americans to trust us again,” he said. …

Difficult days ahead for GOP

Lincoln Chafee, a former Republican senator from Rhode Island who endorsed Obama, predicted a bloody struggle for the soul of the party.

The election results demonstrated that the party had hit rock bottom, Chafee said, but he feared that socially conservative party activists — “the Rush Limbaughs, the Bill O’Reillys, the Sean Hannitys” — were incapable of changing course.

Chafee said adherents of “the Karl Rove strategy, if you will,” had been “great at winning elections by dividing the country and energizing the base, but then they have been an utter failure at governing, because once you divide the country, it’s so difficult to govern.”

“Now they can’t even win elections,” he said. “So they are bankrupt on both cases.”

Rep. Mary Bono Mack, R-Calif., who comfortably won re-election Tuesday, said Republicans should accept that “the American people have given [Obama] a huge victory.”

Mack, who described herself as a moderate Republican, said she felt a responsibility to “support and work with Barack Obama when he becomes president in January.”

Young, minority voters to be a priority

Republicans of all stripes said their biggest challenge was the party’s perceived identification as predominantly catering to the white middle class.

Alex Triantifilou, chairman of the Republican Party in Hamilton County, Ohio, said his party was at a turning point after Democrats won a majority on the county commission Tuesday.

“We need to take a deep breath and look to the future,” said Triantifilou. There was “just no question” that Obama was succeeding at luring new, young and previously disaffected voters to the Democratic side with a message of optimism and change, he said.

After reliably Republican Houston and surrounding Harris County elected a Democratic sheriff and turned out 23 Republican judges, Texas state Sen. Dan Patrick agreed that Republicans urgently needed to expand their base. …


11/21/2012 Update

Republican Underground Emerges From The Shadows

A Planned Parenthood supporters participates in a rally near the Republican National Convention in Tampa on August 29, 2012.
A Planned Parenthood supporters participates in a rally near the Republican National Convention in Tampa on August 29, 2012. (Photo credit: Kevin Dietsch — UPI / Newscom via Talking Points Memo)

By Evan McMorris-Santoro

Talking Points Memo
November 19, 2012

They are few, but they are vocal: the pro-same-sex marriage, pro-choice, pro-tax Republican activists. For years, these groups have labored off the radar, trying to convince a party unwilling to listen that it needs to moderate on issues from social to fiscal. But after the Democrats’ decisive victories on Nov. 6, [2012] the Republican Underground says its finally time to go mainstream.

In the days since the election, TPM has talked with what one could call fringe Republican activists from across the issue spectrum. Like most in the GOP since the election returns that “shellshocked” the top of the ticket came in, they’re eager to see the Republican Party become more appealing to the national electorate. …

Republicans everywhere talk about a change in tone — rejecting divisive language like Mitt Romney’s post-election “gifts” comment has become the national pastime for the GOP in recent days. …

The only real policy shift to come out of the election so far is a return to support for comprehensive immigration reform that was a central plank of many Republican campaign platforms in the cycles before 2012. On other issues, there are plenty of Republican leaders who say the GOP can hold the conservative line and still win.

The Republican Underground has a different theory. They’ve called for the party to get with what they see as the program on issues like gay marriage and women’s health for years. But they’ve largely been talking to themselves. Now, they say Republicans are coming to them and they’re cautiously optimistic that could mean real changes for the party down the road.

• Abortion

“What happened on [Election Day] is essentially what we have been warning the party about for the last four years,” said Kellie Rose Ferguson, executive director of Republican Majority for Choice, a group that supports abortion rights. The group called out its fellow Republicans in the days following the election for alienating women with its language about abortion. …

• Same-Sex Marriage

Conservative LGBT group GOProud is perhaps best known from the 2012 cycle for its tussles with the Log Cabin Republicans, the more mainstream LGBT rights advocates inside the GOP. But with a clear line drawn between Democrats and Republicans on same sex marriage this election, GOProud says its time for all LGBT activists in the GOP to work together toward the goal of getting the party in line with national polling showing public support for expanded LGBT rights on the rise. …

The group suggests Republicans adopt a “federalist” stance to same-sex marriage, advising future presidential candidates to support the rights of states to make their own decisions about marriage, rather than signing “NOM’s crazy pledge” calling for a federal ban on LGBT marriage rights. …

• Moderates

Moderate Republicans — or “former elected officials” as they’re often known today — have suffered great losses in recent years after conservatives voted them out in primaries or Democrats defeated them by painting them with conservative policies of the modern Republican mainstream. After seeing conservative stances drag down Romney and lose the GOP a chance at the Senate, one of the moderates leaving Congress this year says his type of Republican is ready to fight back.

Rep. Steve LaTourette (R-OH) announced he wouldn’t run for a another term in Congress back in July [2012]. But he gained national fame in the past couple of weeks as he smacked down tea party claims that Romney lost because he wasn’t conservative enough. In his new job heading up the moderate Republican Main Street Partnership advocacy group, LaTourette says donors have been beating a path to his door hoping to prevent the moderate GOP from being primaried into oblivion. LaTourette says the answer is a super PAC, and he hopes to get one off the ground soon. …

• Women’s Health

As part of the party’s swing to the right, Republicans have taken a hardline against Planned Parenthood. The defenders of the organization at the edges of the GOP say they’re getting new attention from the mainstream after Democrats succeeded with their “war on women” messaging, which centered around the attacks on Planned Parenthood.

“A clear message was sent,” said Randy Moody, a co-founder of Republicans for Planned Parenthood. He noted that a committee in the Ohio legislature is trying to get state Planned Parenthood funding eliminated during its post-election lame duck session, a sign that not everyone in the GOP paid close attention to Nov. 6. “You have to wonder what they’re thinking,” he said. …

• Taxes

There have been Republican voices calling on the party to drop its fundamental opposition to tax increases for years. But only now, after President Obama won an election where he called for new taxes at nearly every campaign stop, are those voices starting to be heard. Even though it might be the most sacrilegious policy shift the Republican party could take, there are signs a shift away from 100% opposition to tax hikes in any circumstance is starting to take hold.

Full story



Security Developments in Iraq

Following are security developments in Iraq on Nov. 6, 2008, as reported by Reuters.

HAWIJA – U.S. soldiers killed one man in an operation targeting al Qaeda near Hawija, 130 miles north of Baghdad, the U.S. military said.

BAGHDAD – Two roadside bombs exploding in quick succession killed two people and wounded five in central Baghdad, police said. The bombs apparently targeted a U.S. backed neighborhood patrol but did not hurt any patrol members.

BAGHDAD – A roadside bomb wounded nine people, including five employees of Baghdad Municipality, near al-Hamza square in Sadr City district of northeastern Baghdad, police said.

MOSUL – Police found the body of a woman shot in neck and chest in eastern Mosul, 240 miles north of Baghdad, on Wednesday, police said.

MOSUL – A U.S. helicopter killed two suspected al-Qaeda militants as their aircraft come under fire in an area northwest of Mosul on Wednesday, the U.S. military said in a statement.

3 Responses to “Rebuilding the Republican Party”
  1. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Rebuilding the Republican Party Says:

    […] Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Rebuilding the Republican Party … Top Republicans echoed the assessment of the National Review, a leading organ of conservative Republicanism, which thundered in a post-election editorial that “the public has … clearly rejected the Republican Party …” […]

  2. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Missing Person Joshua Guimond Says:

    […] Rebuilding the Republican Party […]

  3. Immelman for Congress » Blog Archive » Quo Vadis, Tea Party? Says:

    […] Rebuilding the Republican Party […]

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