Sunday, November 29, 2009
An internal discussion from the Republican National Committee regarding the funding of candidates continues the argument of the big tent. This is a discussion that has been ongoing for the Republican Party for several years now. The republicans on many levels seem fractured and lost in the wilderness. The party needs to decide if they are going to continue to fund candidates and sitting legislators that are voting against the party principles. Another way to portray this is to ask if the party is going to go on a RINO hunt or not.
This discussion has gained steam with the seemingly unimportant congressional election in NY-23. The party machine put up Dede Scozzafava as the republican candidate. While she has been an elected official in the conservative leaning district, her record is not one of a conservative. Her voting record made her much more a liberal democrat than that of even a moderate republican. The grassroots movement turned on this nomination and rallied for Doug Hoffman, the choice of the tea party movement and Sarah Palin; and others. While, as we all know that, Mr. Hoffman ultimately was unsuccessful in his bid for the seat, it has given more fuel to the discussion. Especially since the “party faithful” stood by Dede until she endorsed the democratic candidate after withdrawing from the race.
While the election is still a quite a ways away, the ground is fertile for the republicans to pick up quite a few seats. The pickup of seats on the senate side would be a very welcome thing to conservatives. The filibuster proof majorities in both the house and the senate make it much easier for the President to get his very left leaning agenda passed. I personally do not believe that they take back the house, but they can make it more balanced.
Among the positions the party is discussing are gun rights, defense of marriage act, opposition to the pork laden stimulus bill, and market-based solutions to the country’s needs in the areas of healthcare and energy.
The party members from more liberal leaning states are against this type of resolution. The northeast states tend to trend to the liberal side. While there are republicans from such states like Maine, they are very moderate. Olympia Snowe is the republican that President Obama is hoping to win over to his side on the vote for Obamacare. The reality remains that a staunch conservative would have a very difficult time getting elected to her seat.
The republicans do need to have a very cohesive message for the upcoming election season. With the economy remaining in the slowdown that it is currently in, funds are going to be harder to come by. People will not be able to make the same type of donations that they may have made in the past. This makes this discussion all the more important.
This is especially true of the senate race in Florida. Charlie Crist, the Florida Governor, is prime example of people that may very well be cut off if this resolution does indeed pass. The Governor is now backing away from his statements in the past of his approval of the stimulus bill earlier this year. His opponent, Marco Rubio, is a staunch conservative from the state legislator. His voting record and public statements would put him in the position to get the backing of the party and all that entails.
Another person on the cutting block could be Lindsey Graham. His statements on cap and trade, his voting for confirmation of judges such as Justice Sotomayor would put him in peril of losing the party funding and support. While established candidates can raise money on their own, they will lose the party machine. That machine is still necessary even if you can raise funds. The party is in charge of the get out the vote efforts. The state party is also in charge in getting out poll observers, putting up signs, and many other efforts that are necessary to win elections. The elections themselves are limited in the funds that they can spend, while the party is not.
My personal belief is that the party needs to make very clear where they stand on issues such as the national debt, taxes, spending, healthcare reform, market based solutions, and limiting the powers of the federal government. The social issues should be left to the state parties, candidates and the voters.
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