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1 OvertonWindolt  Mon, Sep 20, 2010 11:53:03am

Fiscal Conservative social libertarians would be a nice place to start. I think this firghtening level of ideological purity is harmful no matter which party you belong to. My two favorite Senators are the Warners from Virginia. Both Mark and John served our state with distinction, even though they probably disagree on several major issues. Both are often considered heretics by the more psychotic members of their own party.

2 sffilk  Mon, Sep 20, 2010 12:03:21pm

I honestly think there’s nothing the GOP can do to bring the former Republicans back short of everything on the list above (and that wouldn’t be enough), but I don’t honestly see that happening.

3 DaddyG  Mon, Sep 20, 2010 12:03:52pm

That is a tough one. I don’t know if I’m a former, but I definately have one foot and most of the other out of the party. I keep hoping for the grown ups to return but the GOP seems intent on snaching defeat from victory this fall and in the forseeable future.

One big factor is the theocratic wing needs to back down on insisting the GOP has to be a conservative Christian party (with a very narrow definition of Christian). This would cover the anti-“alot of things” stances.

Another factor is “lose the wingnuts” and vet some experienced statesmen instead of going for the cheap demagogues.

4 Decatur Deb  Mon, Sep 20, 2010 12:43:13pm

Someone starting a Home for Recovering Republicans?

5 Killgore Trout  Mon, Sep 20, 2010 1:08:48pm

I’m not a former Republican but I was a Republican leaner for a while.
For me the big issue is honesty. Republicans can’t seem to even have an honest debate anymore. Even if you exclude Glenn Beck and his nutty Birch Society conspiracy theories there’s still a serious problem. Why is it that every time a Republican think tank like Heritage or Cato put out a report about the economy it’s based on bogus math? I’m not an economist but it doesn’t take much to debunk claims of “2.2 million dollars spent for every job created”. These bogus claims are repeated by Republican leaders. Don’t they have an honest reason for opposing the stimulus? I don’t think they do or we would have seen it by now.
The same thing happened with Healthcare reform? They used the same dishonest math and bogus claims of death panels.
I’m realistic. I expect a certain amount of spin in politics but the outright lies are troubling. To me it shows that they don’t have an honest alternative to offer.

6 Glenn Beck's Grand Unifying Theory of Obdicut  Mon, Sep 20, 2010 1:17:18pm

I’m a very, very, very former Republican.

For me, it’d take them rejecting the Socons.

Since they are almost entirely Socons at this point, I doubt that’s going to happen.

7 Lidane  Mon, Sep 20, 2010 3:41:26pm

I’m not a Republican. Never have been, though in the past, I did cast a few ballots in local/state races for an (R).

I will never, ever do that again. For me, everything on your list still isn’t enough. They’d not only have to quit pandering to the socons, they’d have to exile them outright and tell them to STFU and go to the Constitution Party where they belong.

Other things for the GOP to consider—

1. Stop treating women as non equals. It’s a goddamn insult that women like Palin and O’Donnell are considered worthy candidates when they so clearly lack any kind of intelligence or substance at all. They just parrot the hyper-partisan lines and smile pretty for the cameras while doing it. They’re ciphers, and to present them as some sort of ideal for women to aspire to is just asinine.

2. Stop treating people who aren’t Christian as non equals. There’s more than one religion in the world, and in this country. Deal with it. Yours isn’t superior, nor was it the basis for the founding of this nation. STFU with that garbage already.

Of course, this is just a pipe dream. It will never happen. They’re too far gone at this point to come back from the abyss. Right now, the only thing that could conceivably bring them back to sanity is Obama curbstomping them in 2012 by an even bigger margin than he beat McCain with.

8 Shiplord Kirel  Mon, Sep 20, 2010 8:05:41pm

I would do all of those things, but this goes beyond specific positions. We need to end the conflation of institutional, social, and fiscal conservatism in the political arena. Institutional conservatism has to do with the structures and institutions of government, the other two are familiar to anyone who reads this blog or pays attention to politics.
These are three very things, and their conflation into a ramshackle political philosophy is little more than a semantic coincidence. Sometimes, the three different forms of conservatism do share a common position. In Europe, conservatives were originally those who favored the retention of monarchy and its prerogatives against the pressure of liberal reformers and republican radicals. This is institutional conservatism. They were supported by the institutional clergy (social conservatives) and, less often, by the wealthy classes who favored fiscal conservatism for their own rational if not always benign reasons.

This isn’t 18th century Europe however. In 21st century America, fiscal, institutional, and social goals that might be labeled conservative are as likely to conflict with each other as not. For example, how could we really outlaw abortion (a social objective) without an outrageous extension of governmental power, thwarting conservative institutional goals?

Barry Goldwater, who always favored abortion rights and gay rights, was one of the first to perceive the irreconcilable conflict in this “big tent” of fundamentally incompatible species of “conservatism.” I submit that this incompatibility is so great that it has virtually institutionalized cognitive dissonance within the Republican Party. This is the real origin of the “bad crazy,” the irrational and often conflicting positions we see from GOP candidates.

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