[FoRK] "Hopeful and Decent"

J.Andrew Rogers andrew at ceruleansystems.com
Sun Nov 7 20:57:10 PST 2004

On Nov 7, 2004, at 8:12 PM, Russell Turpin wrote:
> Not in the base. The moderates who haven't
> yet realized the nature of the new GOP soon
> will.

No, I definitely disagree.  I have been tracking internal policy 
arguments of both the Democrats and Republicans for a long time.  The 
Republican Party is currently a coalition between libertarians and 
religious conservatives, and while Bush comes from the latter faction 
both hold significant sway.  If the libertarian faction walks, the 
Republican Party cannot get anything done.  It has taken these two 
groups a long time to work together effectively on their common goals 
despite significant ideological differences.  The infighting has been 
destructive for decades, and even though they are unusually 
well-functioning internally at the moment, the relationship is still 
tenuous.  They *almost* lost the libertarian faction for this election 
(the drug entitlement just about sealed it), but managed to pull it 
together in the latter part of 2004 when the 1994 gun ban was put out 
to pasture.  The libertarian faction is owed a few bones, and there 
will be some conflicts.

Your notion of what constitutes "the base" is not really accurate.  The 
Republicans are a coalition party, and that includes a strong faction 
that is not at all interested in passing constitutional amendments to 
prevent gay marriage.  This particular issue causes some fairly furious 
discussion in Republican circles.  Even liberal Democrat areas 
generally do not support gay marriage, but I see no support for an 
amendment to the Federal Constitution outside of the religious 
conservative faction.

There has been a lot of propaganda surrounding this election that is 
going to bite liberal Democrats in the ass next time around if they buy 
into it.  The religious conservatives came out in the same numbers that 
they came out in 2000 -- that is not why the Democrats lost.  The 
percentage of gays and atheists that voted Republican is revealing as 
well, and clearly shows that religious conservatism is not the only 
driving force for that party.

Let things settle down.  Everyone on both sides is over-reacting, and 
Washington DC will be back to normal in no time.  Remember, other than 
a few seats changing in Congress, nothing has really changed.

j. andrew rogers

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