Saturday, May 17, 2008

House GOP Goes Low-Profile on Social Issues

CQ Politics had an interesting story on the 08 GOP regarding the social issues.

Something big is missing from House Republicans’ 2008 campaign agenda for American families — and that is no accident.

There’s not a single mention in the 47-point program of such red-meat GOP issues as banning abortion, outlawing same-sex marriage, allowing prayer in the public schools, banning flag burning and protecting the Pledge of Allegiance.

Instead, the plan focuses on such GOP-introduced ideas as allowing private sector workers to take compensatory time instead of premium pay for overtime worked (HR 6025) or permitting full tax deductibility for most medical expenses (HR 636)....

The social issues are hit and miss. Outside of the abortion issues (as abortion involves a distinct human being), the GOP does best when the GOP pushes against government regulations involving them - banning the pledge, schools banning prayer, gun bans, etc. They lose support when they (and democrats) ban gambling, push for constitutional amendments to ban things, etc. I'd mention the video game censorship push, but that's more with the democrats than with the republicans. The War on Drugs is both parties. The gay issues cycle. When it's pushed on people, there's resentment and a backlash. When the initial push is against gays without them pushing, the backlash goes the other way.

The problem with the GOP lately hasn't been social issues. It has been their strong LEFTIST tilt on government expansion on economic issues and defecit spending. It killed us in 06, and the house leadership brought the same people back.

More later on here:
Rep. Joe Pitts of Pennsylvania, head of the House Republicans’ 70-member Values Action Team, said he wasn’t concerned by the omission of social issues from the House GOP platform. “I have no assurance from the leaders about this. But I know the leaders and I know that when we come out with the whole big picture, these are all things we will stand for,’’ Pitts said.

“The worst thing you can do in an election year is deflate your base,” he warned. “They won’t vote against you, they’ll just stay home’’ if they feel abandoned by the party

Pitts is right, and it was the base that was neglected. It was neglected in 04 to a degree, and especially in 06. Social issues voters are PART of the base. Ecomonic conservatives and small l libertarians are another. The democrats won three straight special elections, and at least two of them were self-proclaimed social conservatives, at least on life and gun issues. One other problem is that a lot of these social issues voters expect their politicians to live the way they vote. Don Sherwood, the posterboy of everything bad in 06 lost in a district normally as republican as Livingston County. Why? He had an affair, and choked the other woman. Real stand up guy. I can just imagine the doors being slammed in his face by his base which has little tolerance for that stuff.

Pitts said conservative voters are rallying around McCain in part because he has indicated that as president he would appoint Supreme Court justices in the mold of President Bush’s conservative picks, Chief Justice John G. Roberts Jr. and Justice Samuel A. Alito Jr. Conservatives feel that with one or two more like-minded justices, the high court could overturn the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade decision legalizing abortion nationwide and issue other decisions they would support.

This needs to be emphasised. The uniting issue here is judges. Business orgnaizations don't like personal injury and negligence tort lawyers like John Edwards increasing their costs. The social conservatives want Roe v Wade overturned, and many states right supporters do as well bringing that issue home. 2nd Amendment advocates are watching DC v Heller. This is my top issue right here, and why I am voting for McCain, flip-flopping from where I was when I started this blog. It's the Supreme Court.

But the real problems wern't mentioned here. The real problem is the lack of plan from the house leadership, the senate leadership, and Bush. They haven't communicated a plan if they had one, and I haven't seen it. If I was Boehner and Blunt, I would resigned from leadership after 06. That aside, I would have said this. "We screwed up. We became like the democrats. You all taught us a lesson. We're going back to our roots. Here's our plan for the next two years. We're going to lead and have an alternative to Pelosi's socialistic agenda." What we got instead was yesmanitis, a fatal disease which is common in the beltway.

1 comment:

keithr said...

You forgot a few things Dan.

In addition to their addiction for massive government spending, Republicans are also hurting from high gas prices and the foreclosure mess, as well as from media propaganda about the war in Iraq.

Republicans need to unite with a plan to increase the domestic energy supply so the U.S. is less dependent on foriegn oil and encourage the building of additional refineries. Regarding foreclosures, regulations need to be tightened to prevent the kind of rampant speculation and irresponsible lending that led to the crisis. We DON'T need a bailout, just a return to common sense in real estate lending.

The Republicans also need to do a better job of educating the public about the progress made in Iraq, so they can see that the U.S. role is definitely diminishing.