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GOP Looking for a Voice

Original post made by Paul Losch, Community Center, on Jul 3, 2009

Full disclosure: I am a registered Democat.

And I think it is important that there are two healthy political parties that guide what goes on in State Houses and in DC.

Alaska Governor Sarah Palin's announced stepping down today gives rise to my question about just what the voice of the Republican Party is, could be and should be.

It is more about principals than personalities. But the principals need to attract enough people/voters that can move things forward.

I found candidate Palin's rhetoric in the Presidential election last year to be of limited quality, but that was a campaign, not something that addresses the fate of a political party.

Are we as a country at a point as we were in the mid 1800's when it is time for political parties to change? Is the GOP today the Whigs of those days? If so, what are they to be going forward?

I really hate getting constant fundraising e-mails and snail mails from the Democratic Party that generally paint things to be a contest against the Republicans as opposed to asking for support on matters of policy. As far as I am concerned, it is poison from either side of the aisle.

And I would dearly love to see some true leadership in thought and personality from the Republican Party right now. I am not seeing it.

What is it going to take?

Comments (33)

Posted by Donald
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 3, 2009 at 6:02 pm

Rush Limbaugh is the voice of the Republican Party.

Sarah Palin, Megan McCain, Mike Steele, etc. may be attempts to tone down the rhetoric, but they do not change the core political values of Rush Limbaugh and his followers.


Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 3, 2009 at 6:49 pm

"Is the GOP today the Whigs of those days?"

Actually, the GOP is the party that liberated Iraq and Afghanistan. It also freed the slaves. Victory in the Cold War. Seems to be part of its DNA. Freedom. Power to the person. Celebration of the individual. Lower taxation. Property rights. Educational vouchers. Risk captial (with winners and losers)...and so forth. These values go up and down in popular opinion, and tend to rise as tyranny and socialism spreads. Obama and his crew are very good for the GOP.


Posted by Pete
a resident of Palo Alto Hills
on Jul 3, 2009 at 7:16 pm

I think Losch's worries are largely unfounded.

It was only 7 or 8 years ago that many annalists were writing of a permanent GOP majority, citing among other factors, the higher rate of growth in GOP leaning states and the inability of the Democrats to gain traction on the issues of the day. Many Democrats genuinely feared that Rove would achieve a complete political realignment.

Now democrats are in power, but as Gary suggests, they're overplaying their hand. I'm not Democrat or Republican (registered Libertarian), but I have many Democrat friends who are being made very anxious by the Obama spending orgy, and the taxes, inflation and budget problems they portend. Republicans, of course, are virtually unified in opposition to Obama's program.

Except for Obama himself, Democrats are very unpopular nationally. (Pelosi's approval is around 30%).

The lack of a "spokesperson" isn't really the issue Losch thinks it is. Two or three short years ago, no one knew who spoke for the Democrats. Obama wasn't even on the radar screen. If Obama's policies continue to allow the Republicans to gain political traction, spokesmen and women will appear - as Gary suggests.


Posted by Democrat
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 3, 2009 at 9:16 pm

Sanford, ensign, vitter, Craig are good for the democrats. Plus palindrome is just extra gravy.


Posted by Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 4, 2009 at 11:14 am

"Actually, the GOP is the party that liberated Iraq and Afghanistan. It also freed the slaves. Victory in the Cold War. Seems to be part of its DNA. Freedom. Power to the person. Celebration of the individual. Lower taxation."

Standard cotton-candy (spun to order history) Actually, the GOP is the party that put Iraq under Iran's influence by empowering Iraq's Shiites, while it handed Afghanistan to the Taliban and the heroin cartel, that is embarrassed by Lincoln and his "unconstitutional taking" of slaveowners' private property, that squandered the post cold war era while its leader (Bush) dreamily gazed into a KGB colonel's soul, that declared war on our Bill of Rights (Cheney-Bush), and that presided over the largest expansions of government (Reagan, Bush) and the biggest tax increase (Reagan) in history.


Posted by Desperate Times
a resident of Barron Park
on Jul 4, 2009 at 11:25 am

I don't care if the Republicans fade away or not. But we desperately need a strong second party.


Posted by Perspective
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 4, 2009 at 4:50 pm

I suspect the voice just resigned her Alaska Governorship.

I don't think she will be a voice for the GOP. I think she will be a voice for Conservatism. From that the GOP might find its way home, and pull the Dems back toward the right with them, like it did with Clinton.

Seems that in many ways the country works best with a very strong Conservative Pres and a Dem Congress, as in Reagan, or a very strong Conservative Congress, and a Dem Pres as in Clinton. All one party rule leads to ...well..this mess... for a lot of reasons.

So, I agree with Desperate timmes...we desperately need a second party that is far to the right of both parties we have now to help us balance back out.

We might be heading back to a strong Conservative Congress..but I fear that we haven't got the pragmatic Pres in place to know when to jump on that pony, as Clinton did in 94, when he announced "the days of big govt are over" after a colossal one-party failure for 2 years, and a clean sweep of Congress.


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 4, 2009 at 8:56 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Several generations of the Midwest will be warmed by the fuel whose delivery Palin facilitated. What other politician extant, of either party, has left posterity much beside debt?


Posted by Pipedream
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 5, 2009 at 2:31 pm

"Several generations of the Midwest will be warmed by the fuel whose delivery Palin facilitated. What other politician extant, of either party, has left posterity much beside debt?"

Wow, a gas pipeline to Alberta with no actual commitment by an energy company to to start building it in 2014.

Also, its nice to see a free market proponent pledge 500 million in state funds to a project that should stand or fall on its own economic merits.


Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 5, 2009 at 4:08 pm

"Wow, a gas pipeline to Alberta..."

Palin cut the Gordian Knot that was holding up the gas pipeline. She had the fresh view that action was required, despite the special interest influences spawned by Jimmy Carter.

Web Link

She is a breath of fresh air...because she was a point guard, smart, and knew how to make things happen. Comes with knowing how to field dress a moose. Hot and smart babe gets the job done, while the good ol' boys had no clue! Atta girl!


Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 5, 2009 at 9:56 pm

Palin's a quitter. It's one thing to not run again for an office, it's another to step down halfway through your first term.

Americans don't like quitters. Her political career's over.


Posted by Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 6, 2009 at 10:56 am

"Wow, a gas pipeline to Alberta with no actual commitment by an energy company to to start building it in 2014."

A pipeline built by a government is socialism, pure and simple. In this case, with corporate welfare to boot. Palin hoped nobody would notice, and indeed her true believers have been dutifully blind.


Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 6, 2009 at 2:54 pm

"A pipeline built by a government is socialism, pure and simple."

You are correct, Paul. However, a less than 2% seed investment is not. Palin made a good deal for Alaska, and the lower 48 states. Government is always going to be involved in such large projects, if only to issue permits (including eminent domain judgements). A 2% investment that pays back many fold is a good deal, period...and it limits state risk exposure.

Palin cut through all the influence peddlers and made a good deal for Alaska. She is smart, and she appears to be fearless. A real breath of fresh air. Once the American public tires of the Emptiness, she will look very good, as an alternative voice in the national debate.


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 6, 2009 at 4:11 pm

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Palin may also have protected our coastal cities from the risk of BLEVs from LNG tankers.


Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 6, 2009 at 4:18 pm

Guys, even I'm feeling sorry for you. The attempt to build Sarah Palin into something she never was even now that she's quit and run is just sad.


Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 6, 2009 at 4:47 pm

"The attempt to build Sarah Palin into something she never was even now..."

OP,

Well, let's examine your argument.

She was a point guard, and a very good one. She does know how to field dress a moose, accordidng to her family. She was a PTA mom with several children. She was mayor of Wasilla. She took on the well-established ol' boys in AK, and beat them, head on. She is guv of Alsaka, and she has really 'delivered' that state to the lower 48...it is no longer a backwater...she made it obvious that it is a national energy, and national security treasure. She electrified the base of the GOP for McCain. She supported the GWB policy of liberation. She is a mother, and a happy one. She is married, and it seems to be a good marriage (but who knows, for sure?). She is hot, and hot always sells (ask Jackie and Jack). She did the pipeline deal (a big thing for all of us). She is smart enough to get out, instead of spending the next 18 months fighting frivilous, lame-duck, nonesence...not mention the vicious Daily Kos, David Letterman hate attacks against her family. She has picked her own successor. I would call that both refreshing and VERY intelligent.

To call her a quitter is to call Koufax a quitter, when he went out on top.


The real thing that bugs Dem women is that she worked hard, and has it all...and she is hot. That is called jealousy, period...which explains why they insist that she is dumb...talk about sterotypes!


Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 6, 2009 at 4:54 pm


On Sunday Colin Powell said he was very concerned that Obama has over reached, has do many initiatives that he cannot manage, let alone lead, and has built a bloated dysfunctional federal gov.
He expressed grave concern about how we pay for all these boondoggles, he said we are chaining our grand children with enormous debt.
Now some, like Cheney, believe Powell is no longer with the GOP, in which case he is the voice of the weak republicans, independents and blue dog democrats fooled by Obamas PR hype machine.


Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 6, 2009 at 5:16 pm

Gary,

She played basketball in high school. Big whoop. Has anyone ever tried to make such a deal about playing a sport in high school?

So, let's see, she couldn't stick with one college--what did it take her? Five?

Alaska was already on the map--even if you hadn't noticed it.

And, hey, my grandma could field-dress a deer and can venison. Sooo?

She was part-time mayor of a small town and quit her one statewide office slightly halfway through her only term without being able to give a coherent statement as to why. She showed a basic contempt for her supporters when she did that.

Yep, she's a quitter. When the going gets tough, Palin goes home. It's weird enough that it may even get in the way of her future as a right-wing media nutjob. Even Ann Coulter reliably turns out her whacko rants.




Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 6, 2009 at 5:30 pm


The compelling Voice of the GOP at this time is Mitt Romney, he cleaned up the Olympics, built Bain Capital and made payroll and profit, he led a diverse, difficult state as governor.

The anti Mormon attacks on him are despicable, he has a proven ability to lead a major company and a major state, his Goldwater stance will prevail after our current brief socialist madness.


Posted by Gary
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 6, 2009 at 5:56 pm

OP,

Was your grandma, or grandpa a point guard? I, personally, could never handle that position...way too difficult, and I was not smart enough, even though I am of superior intelligence.

OK, so grandma could do venison (acutally, so could I... the trick is to keep the flies away, and don't forget the salt and pepper and spice secret formula!...after the field dressing, of course). But was your grandma or grandpa governor? If so, of what state?

The "couldn't stick with one college" thing is reflective of the leftist elitism that permeates the opposition to Palin (a poor woman in a rurual state). Last I heard, various big time high tech entrepreneurs never even graduated from college...but they give lots of money to the Dems!

Alaska was on the map, but not in the public consiousness. Palin put it there, big time...and in the right way, namely as a partial, and significant, solution to our energy problems. Bill Clinton never did that. Nor Joe Biden. Nor Barack Obama. Sarah Palin did that.

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by PalinAgnostic
a resident of Crescent Park
on Jul 6, 2009 at 7:14 pm

I know two women whose visceral hatred of Palin rivals that of mine toward Bill Clinton.

For both of these women, the thing that pushed them over the top and allows them to feel justified in their comtempt is her catwalk video.

Anyway, I agree with those who think this will hurt her career as a politician.

I think it is interesting to consider her resignation without considering her career. Was it good for the state? For the country? For her nuclear and extended family? For her colleagues and the political goals she is aligned with?

If you think so, then she made a good decision. Maybe the right decision. But people who make the right decisions in government while leaving their own career out of the equation do not dignify the title of "politician" and rarely are successful as such. They are more properly referred to by some other term such as "dilitante" or "statesman."

BTW, the way I see it there are way more point guards than there are editors of the Harvard Review, and "background is the far left" is not a criticism. "Driving our economy to ruin and striving to destroy America's personal responsibility meme" is a criticism.


Posted by Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 7, 2009 at 9:26 am

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Paul
a resident of Downtown North
on Jul 7, 2009 at 11:35 am

It just occurred to me: Palin's bugout could be the Republican party's salvation as a constructive political entity, and it might restore political dialog in America. Suppose a new far right party forms around Palin and takes the Repub's toxic assets with it. Maybe then reasonable voices like McCloskey and Specter would rejoin and reinvigorate it.


Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 7, 2009 at 1:34 pm

Gary,

Palin's never been so poor that she could't have stuck it out. Plenty of other people have made it through college without money. Not like she had a hard major, either.

Looks like she's quitting in a fit of pique. If Palin can't have things her way, she won't play. In this case, she can't deal with a legislature that's had enough of her. Wow, like that's never happened to a governor before.


Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 7, 2009 at 2:10 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Palin is planning to be the chief spokeswoman for the " Culture of Life Movement"
A very worthy cause and, no longer in elective office, she will tell it like it is and not mince her words.
Reagan was in the political wilderness in the 70s, Churchill was in the 30s and Thatcher was in the early 70s.

An aging population increases its purchases of securities and decreases its purchases of goods as it saves for retirement. Americans have saved nothing for the past ten years, and the capital gains that they considered savings-substitutes have vanished.

That creates a deflationary shock that a few trillion dollars’ worth of stimulus cannot begin to mitigate.
America will soon have the worst of both worlds:
currency devaluation AND price deflation, as in the 1930s.


Posted by OhlonePar
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jul 7, 2009 at 2:29 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by democrat
a resident of Stanford
on Jul 7, 2009 at 2:35 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 7, 2009 at 3:08 pm

[Portion removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]

Romneys voice will be be heard clear and loud in the next weeks and months.
Palin was clear today, she resigned to put a stop the waste of millions of Alaskans tax dollars on frivolous law suits against her, as well as preserving her own families wealth.
By resigning now her second in command will be positioned to destroy the democratic challenger in the next election.
She is now free to be the spokeswoman for the Culture of Life.
Taken together, a very smart move on her part.


Posted by The Real Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 7, 2009 at 3:25 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 7, 2009 at 3:46 pm

What Palin said last year about Iran and Israel was precisely what Obama and Biden said today:

Diplomacy is the optimal way of dealing with the Iranian nuclear threat, but if it fails, Israel has a right to defend itself.
In a way, the inconsistency of some of Palin's critics is reassuring.

Palin will be a strong voice for the Culture of Life


Posted by The Real Sharon
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 7, 2009 at 4:28 pm

[Post removed by Palo Alto Online staff.]


Posted by Paul Losch
a resident of Palo Alto
on Jul 7, 2009 at 6:06 pm

Paul Losch is a registered user.

There was a thread during last year's campaign about Sarah Palin being a "bottle rocket," something that gets a great deal of attention for a sparkling moment, but then fizzles out. This seems to be coming true about her.

That is not the same as the GOP needing a voice.

I am fascinated that so many comments on this thread are in defense of her, perfectly fine, but not really on point.

I actually do think that Mitt Romney has the pontential to provide a thoughtful, nuanced and principaled pathway for the GOP, from what I know about him. He has a genuine track record in and out of government that is to be admired by any objective obsever.

And he got dished because he is Mormon. What BS.

And it points out how much the GOP is struggling. Forget Palin, she is already a has been. My intent in opening this blog was and still is to find out what people think the "voice," meaning the message, of the GOP needs to be for it to be a strong second party. A follow on to that is who could be the persons at the top who will provide that voice.

Still not hearing much about either of those on this thread. Just the same old same old.


Posted by Walter_E_Wallis
a resident of Midtown
on Jul 9, 2009 at 10:21 am

Walter_E_Wallis is a registered user.

Palin still is the strongest advocate of affordable plentiful energy for the people. All the rest either actively opposes or tacitly accepts the idea that Joe 6-pack cannot be trusted to use that energy "responsibly". Dr. Petr Beckman and Dr Edward Teller would have been avid Palinists, as am I.
Before the GOP needs a voice, they need a message.


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