Monday, July 23, 2007

Which Way, my Grand Old Party?

An email conversation:

From: Scribbler
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 12:01 PM
To: some friends

At a toasting session of an unnamed organization recently, one attendee was arguing that it might be necessary to vote for Giuliani to defeat Hillary. Immediately, three of us (out of the seven at the table) insisted we would either not vote or vote for a third party. If we are indicative of the Republican base and the newly burgeoning independent segment of the population, Giuliani guarantees a Republican loss in '08.

Few Republicans are truly HAPPY about Giuliani's frontrunner status, but they are told he is viable. Truth is, he is a frontrunner entirely of the media's making. If every Republican actually supported the candidate he WANTED, Giuliani would be running fifth at best. Frontrunner status should be a creation of the will of the voters, not an imposition from those who think they know better how to choose for us.

I would not vote for Giuliani because I do NOT see him as enough lesser of an evil to warrant a lifetime of guilt. In fact, he would take the Republican Party further down than our current president has. And there can be no argument that Bush hasn't narrowed the Republican base significantly. Even those still pledging allegiance to the GOP feel little confidence in the wake of the amnesty push and other snubs. Count on Giuliani to exacerbate these sentiments and further degrade the party.

From: a friend
To: Scribbler and some other friends
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 1:02 PM

Maybe.... but you are taking a risk that the Party will come back right to get your vote rather than moving left to capture a majority instead. If that happens then you are totally out of luck. You will be stuck in the wilderness hoping for revolution or worse yet groping to get back into a party that thinks you are an outlier.

The purpose of the party is to create a coalition to win elections. People who are in the party reach a pact between each other that they will go with the candidate who wins the primary, i.e. who gets the majority vote within the party. They argue and complain but present a unified front after a candidate is chosen. In this way, the chosen candidate still owes some allegiance to all camps within the party, even those who didn't vote for him because they are part of the institution of the party. You may not like it, but that is how the game is played. If you decide not to play and abandon the party then the party owes you nothing.

I am surprised to hear the Ron Paul's supporters will not support Giuliani if he were to win the primary. They say this even though they assume that Giuliani's supporters would support Ron Paul if he won (and they call Giuliani arrogant). Why then is Ron Paul running for the Republican nomination if he is not accepting the pact of the party.

Further, abandoning the election to the democrats in hope that it will teach the country a good lesson smacks of an ideological stance rather than conservatism. Being a conservative is not about being ideological or supporting one revolution over another. It is about conserving the traditions we have. There is a great military maxim that states a good strategist must always leave an avenue open for retreat if fortune turns against you. If you don't all could be lost. I suggest conservatives take this stance in the coming election. They should fight tooth and nails for their candidate to win the primary. But, if they lose, they need to keep an avenue open for retreat by voting for the primary winner. Better for him to win and remain influential than have the democrat win and lose.

From: Scribbler
To: some friends
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 1:38 PM

I was not aware of this binding contract and will immediately seek counsel to determine my options. Some -- unwisely I might say -- endorse exercising the abstinance loophole.

If the purpose of a politcal party is to simply plot a position on the political map to achieve a majority in a general election, the GOP still fails with Giuliani. In a Giuliani nomination, the party 1) intersects with the left, splitting the leftist votes with Hillary, 2) leaving an unrepresented contingent on the right (if "right" is operative -- perhaps the "liberty wing" works better) which will more naturally merge with a Libertarian/Constitution Party candidate.

If the Republican Party is so, um, flexible as to nominate a statist, then certainly the voting public is within its right to enjoy its own flexibility.

----- Original Message -----
From: Scribbler
To: some friends
Sent: Monday, July 23, 2007 2:02 PM

Recall, if you will, the 1964 GOP nomination battle between liberal New Yorker Rockefeller and the Father of Conservatism, Barry Goldwater. The outcome determined the face of the Republican party for the next few decades. Barry Goldwater spawned the Reagan revolution, as is widely acknowledged.

Before you verbally wring your hands over The Great Society, either Nelson Rockefeller or Barry Goldwater would have lost that year to the sainted memory of JFK. This election is similar in that the nation, rightly or wrongly, is overwhelmingly against the quagmire in Iraq, and the victor will be the nominee who most closely sides with the people on this matter. Assuming the GOP nominee is pro-war -- I assume no such thing, personally -- and the Dem is anti-war, the Dem will win.

So if the GOP must lose, why not do so while advancing the principles of the party and conservatism?


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