GOP Website a Travesty

Picture 1

He's coming. He's coming.

Its logo suggests an elephant sneaking up behind you. Its flagship blog underwent a name change within its first three hours: from the self-consciously “hip” title “What Up,” to the inoffensive “Change the Game”. It lists the Iraq War as a success. It’s the new Republican Party website, and the damn thing just parodies itself. Read all about it here, but I feel compelled to add this last part —

Republicans love to call themselves the “Party of Lincoln” (the website is no exception), and attribute that great man’s accomplishments to their party. Their party, fine, but not their ideology. While Lincoln was a Republican, remember, the Republican Party was founded out of the ashes of the Whig Party to be a radically liberal, anti-establishment party bent on first “free soil,” and second, abolition. The former stance was fairly center-left in 1863; the latter, stridently progressive. But the events of the twentieth century stood the two-party system on its head, converting the Republicans into the status quo party, and the Democrats into the progressives. FDR and Johnson started the flip; Reagan finished it.

It’s this same sort of historical legerdemain that lets the Republicans take credit for the Fourteenth Amendment, which they now oppose, except as applied to the Second; and the construction of the first trans-continental railroad, which required both profligate use of eminent domain, and incredible state expenditure — socialism!

While the Republican Party was once the nation’s thought leader, carrying the twin torches of liberty and science forward, today, in the modern era, those days are long past. Tracing names can get you a lovely talking point, and a fine-sounding motto, but it’s not exactly the most honest way to trace a modern group’s intellectual roots.”Grand Old Party” indeed: its grandeur is long past.



  1. BerlinCitizen · ·

    “Read all about it (a href=???)here(/a)”
    The link seems to be broken.

  2. Fixed — thanks! WordPress sometimes drops links if you press “enter” in the wrong order… at least on macs…

  3. Ames – if you want to take the time to plow through a LOT of comments there have been some very interesting comments going on in these posts at The League of Ordinary Gentlemen. They are also discussing the GOP, the state of conservatism, etc. It’s pretty enlightening and higlights the complexity of thought that is taking place as the Right struggles to (re)define itself.

    1. This is all very interesting stuff — I’m paging through it — but what’s interesting is the gap between ideas and action, too. Yours is a party of Palins and Grassleys, and before you throw out the Dems, you may have to throw out the current conservative standard-bearers. Do you agree?

      1. Ames, The Palin thing has zero traction. I mean really, I rarely even hear conservatives even talking about her. I don’t personally know any conservatives who have not soured on her.

        Beyond that – how long do you think this meme of ‘the GOP is a tiny party of Rush Limbaugh clones’ is going to work? I don’t even think you believe it. Our party is no more a party of a couple individuals than your party is a party of Reid and Pelosi. Conservatives know better than to believe that a liberal in NYC is the same as a liberal in Kansas. Do you believe your side of the aisle is that homogenous?

        We aren’t obligated to throw out anyone right now. We need all the votes and voices we can muster. We just need to all get on the same page and I think 9 months into a 4 year administration leaves us PLENTY of time to do that. So what’s the rush? It took you all 8 years to get your stuff together after 2000. You were spinning your wheels until 2006. So let’s not pretend that the GOP is on a different time schedule.

        The point of those posts I linked to is that there are a lot of conservatives out there having these kind of tough conversations about what it means to be a conservative and where that fits into the political puzzle. The League has healthy readership and gets quoted a lot in conservative circles. That is how these things build momentum.

      2. I wasn’t aware that you had given up on Palin — or that you were reconciled to a couple terms in the wilderness. If so, that’s fine, justified, and realistic, but it’s news to me.

        And even set aside Palin — you’re not going to get anywhere with Grassley and DeMint, or even TPaw. Look at what your base is doing to Lindsey Graham!

        1. I still believe Palin could re-invent her…but she certainly has an uphill battle. But when I heard one liberal commentator the other day call her, “The defacto leader of the Republican party,” I just about choked on my breakfast. that’s just a ridiculous notion. If she ever serves in a national office it will be a long time from now.

          Depending on how the winds are in 2012 we may have a sacrificial lamb like we did in 1996 (sorry Bob, you never had a chance). But there are all kinds of folks that we can call up. Paul Ryan is a good one. John Huntsman. I think Charlie Crist is a player. Mitch Daniels in Indiana is hugely popular. Here in KY we have a rising star in Trey Grayson who has a good shot at the governorship next year and then national office. Let’s not forget that a lot of the old guard in the GOP is reaching ‘retirement’ age.

      3. …but what’s interesting is the gap between ideas and action, too.

        The same could be said for us liberals, too. We’ve finally gotten action, but it’s a pathetic shadow of our ideas. Our politicians sometimes have “brave” opinions on controversial political topics – gay rights, health care, lobbying, etc. – but generally are not brave enough to act or to act fully.

        1. I agree there. We’re rapidly approaching the end of my patience.

          1. One topic that someone brought up in that discussion at the League is whether or not conservatives have to take responsibility for every action (or inaction) of the Bush years. Like, do I, as a conservative, share the blame for Iraq? Hurricane Katrina?

            On the flip side – if the Left fails on their promises despite a big majority in Congress and the WH – are liberals responsible?

  4. as simplistic as this sounds, i’d love to throw the whole bunch out, both sides and start fresh, with fresh people and fresh ideas. sadly, not possible.

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