Blueprint for Republican Reform: The Silent Majority

The GOP’s leading candidate for the White House has staked out a position that ties autism to vaccines. None of the candidates have firmly supported action in response to climate change and almost all of them express doubt that it’s real. All of the leading candidates have taken a hardline stance on illegal immigration and even expressed skepticism on legal immigration. Republican Presidential candidates are tripping over each other to grab the most extreme conceivable positions against abortion, gun control, and culture war compromises. Unsurprisingly, not a single one them has a credible path to the White House.

Previous posts have laid out a potential roadmap toward a saner, more politically relevant Republican future. Some might view that roadmap with skepticism in light of the party’s apparent mood. Perhaps the party could modernize its positions on a host of issues to attract new voters, but what are we supposed to do about the current Republican base? How can you hope to win new voters in new geographies and demographics while today’s Republicans are screaming their insistence on an ever more insane political agenda?

Here’s a little known fact that might surprise a lot of people, especially people who have been working in Republican politics for the past decade or so. Republicans are not crazy. In fact, Republican voters are no more bizarre or outrageous than their peers on the Democratic side. This crop of candidates is not just out of touch with public opinion in the country, they are out of touch with public opinion among Republican voters.

How we came to this strange state of affairs is a subject explored in detail by The Politics of Crazy. The book also offers some explanation of the forces that led to Republicans being more influenced by our crazy extremists than the Democrats, at least for now. In summary, the wildest extremes of the conservative movement have been driving the Republican Party because they have enjoyed better organization, stronger personal involvement, and higher levels of motivation. The good news is that they are wildly unpopular, even inside the GOP. Checking the rise of the far right in the GOP will be like kicking down a rusty door. Someone just needs to decide to do it.

Laying the groundwork to support a modernization of the GOP through institutional steps like creating new think tanks and donor networks will be critical. Those steps are described in previous posts. With that infrastructure in place there’s really nothing to stand in the way of reality-based Republicans in their campaigns for sane policy. The wildly extreme Republican policy templates we hear discussed in public are surprisingly unpopular even among Republican voters. When it comes to a more rational, nationally relevant Republican Party, the old adage holds true: Build it, and they will come.

Polls indicate that most Republican voters favor every single one of the following political positions vehemently opposed by nearly all of our leading candidates:

Avoiding a government shutdown over funding for Planned Parenthood

– Background checks for private gun sales

– A federal database to track all gun sales

– A ban on assault rifles.

– The details of Obama’s Executive Order on Immigration (so long as Obama’s name isn’t attached to the plan)

– Federal subsidies for solar power

That’s not all. Remember Obama’s terrible, job-killing, unilateral actions to fight climate change? Those proposals are supported by 52% of Republicans – in South Carolina! In the same survey, almost 60% of South Carolina Republicans favor limits on carbon pollution. Most Republicans would be less likely to support a candidate who claims that climate change is a hoax.

A majority of Republicans under 45 and almost two thirds of Republicans under 30 support a right to same-sex marriage. Only a quarter of Republicans support the universal abortion bans proposed by our Presidential candidates.

Half of Republicans support a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants. Less than a third of Republicans support the deportation plans being proposed by our leading candidates. Needless to say, an overwhelming majority of Republican voters disagree with our leading candidates and support mandatory vaccinations.

In order to appease the extreme far right, Republicans have endorsed an entire public platform that ranges from mildly unpopular, to patently insane. Very few of the most public elements of the Republican agenda enjoy majority support even among Republicans.

Inside the rightwing media bubble support for these positions is appears to be universal. That is a product of the better organization and funding enjoyed by the party’s extremes. But this is a manufactured unanimity, stage-managed via carefully limited access to media outlets. Provide credible channels for the rest of the Republican voting base to express their sincere opinions and the hollowness of that agenda will become readily apparent.

What happens to the Republican Party if the hardest of its hardline conservative base threatens to split away? There is no greater gift we could ask for. An independent, national Tea Party would rescue the GOP. We live in a two-party system. The Republican far-right is a wildly unpopular fringe that cannot even begin to compete politically anywhere outside the Deep South and few empty western states. An independent Tea Party, or some other fractured branch of far-right weirdoes would be a road to nowhere. Their departure would free Republicans to pursue sane, humane, market-oriented solutions to policy questions that could be remarkably popular all over the country.

There is no rationale for letting an unpopular political bloc set the policy agenda for the entire Republican Party. It’s time for someone to take an aggressive, unapologetic stand for a 21st century Republican platform.

Republicans have no candidates who represent the party’s sane majority because no one with enough courage has assembled the organizational base it would demand. That political space lays open, waiting to be developed into a successful movement. Build it, and they will come.

Chris Ladd is a Texan living in the Chicago area. He has been involved in grassroots Republican politics for most of his life. He was a Republican precinct committeeman in suburban Chicago until he resigned from the party and his position after the 2016 Republican Convention. He can be reached at gopliferchicago at gmail dot com.

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111 comments on “Blueprint for Republican Reform: The Silent Majority
  1. “…but what are we supposed to do about the current Republican base?”

    For starters, try nominating an actual conservative. If you want the GOP base to actively support the party’s nominee, then we’re going to have to better than Mitt Romney or John McCain. I haven’t sent the GOP any money in years, and it was all I could do to drag myself to the polls to vote for those yahoos. Plenty of conservatives didn’t even bother with that.

    “How can you hope to win new voters in new geographies and demographics while today’s Republicans are screaming their insistence on an ever more insane political agenda?”

    Chris, if you think that Constitutional conservatism and support for traditional Judeo-Christian morality is insane, you should probably vote Democrat. If you think support for radical gun control is anything other than insane, you should probably vote Democrat. If you think forcing every American to fund abortion through their tax dollars is anything other than insane (not to mention grossly immoral), you should probably vote Democrat. If you want to hobble the economy and hammer middle class quality of life based on dubious claims of anthropogenic global warming, you should probably vote Democrat. If you want to make energy more expensive for every American, you should probably vote Democrat. If you want to flood the country with people possessing grossly limited job skills and education, who don’t speak the language, and will disproportionately burden our social safety net, you should probably vote Democrat.

    Bottom line, Chris, is that there’s already a party that supports every single policy position you’ve outlined. It’s called… the Democrat party. There’s really no need for you to try to change Republicans into Democrats.

    Get over it, Chris. Take the plunge. Vote Democrat. You’ll be happier. 😉

    • flypusher says:

      “For starters, try nominating an actual conservative. If you want the GOP base to actively support the party’s nominee, then we’re going to have to better than Mitt Romney or John McCain. I haven’t sent the GOP any money in years, and it was all I could do to drag myself to the polls to vote for those yahoos. Plenty of conservatives didn’t even bother with that.”

      Who is this mystery conservative, and exactly which blue/purple states does s/he flip to grab that magic # of 270?

    • texan5142 says:

      “Chris, if you think that Constitutional conservatism and support for traditional Judeo-Christian morality is insane, you should probably vote Democrat.”

      This is a secular country, keep your religion to yourself, if fact the forefathers took great pain to make the constitution a secular document, they knew that religion would poison the well.

      “If you think support for radical gun control is anything other than insane, you should probably vote Democrat. ”

      If you think that radical gun freedom is anything other than insane, you should probably vote Democrat.

      “If you think forcing every American to fund abortion through their tax dollars is anything other than insane (not to mention grossly immoral), you should probably vote Democrat. ”

      There are no tax payer funded abortions… lie. If you think forcing every American to fund needless war and corporate welfare through their tax dollars is anything other than insane (not to mention grossly immoral), you should probably vote Democrat.

      I could go on, but what is the point, no gray area with people like you. All of the problems are the Democrats and Obama, we get it. So it is the Democrats that have hobbled everything, not the do nothing GOP congress.

      Can I have some of what you are smoking….never mind, what ever you are smoking seems to make one angry and irrational politically.

      • 1mime says:

        TX, This one’s for you.

        Pope Francis: “It is not necessary to believe in God to be a good person. In a way, the traditional notion of God is outdated. One can be spiritual but not religious. It is not necessary to go to church, to give money – for many, nature can be a church. Some of the best people in history did not believe in God, while some of the worst deeds were done in his name.”

    • Griffin says:

      “There’s really no need for you to try to change Republicans into Democrats.”

      Ironic considering that many current Republicans and Republican policies are influenced by people who switched from Democratic Party (that’s how the party is spelled btw) to the Republican Party.

    • 1mime says:

      Tracy, How exactly are all American taxpayers subsidizing abortion? Do you know that none of the funds received by PP from the federal government for family planning and testing, can be spent for abortions? Are you familiar with the Hyde Amendment? Did you know that no taxpayer dollars are able to be spent for abortions through medicaid with very narrow exceptions as approved by Congress? Congress who is elected to make these legal decisions whether we like them or not?

      Here’s how the Hyde Amendment works:

      ” In addition to poor women on Medicaid, those denied access to federally funded abortion include Native Americans, federal employees and their dependents, Peace Corps volunteers, low-income residents of Washington, DC, federal prisoners, military personnel and their dependents, and disabled women who rely on Medicare.

      New health initiatives are likewise being burdened by the legacy of the Hyde Amendment. The Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP), a program providing expanded health insurance for children aged 19 or younger, includes a ban on the use of federal funds for abortions unless the pregnancy endangers the teenager’s life or results from rape or incest. (At present, the federal Medicaid program mandates abortion funding in cases of rape or incest, as well as when a pregnant woman’s life is endangered by a physical disorder, illness, or injury.)”

    • vikinghou says:

      “If you want to hobble the economy and hammer middle class quality of life based on dubious claims of anthropogenic global warming, you should probably vote Democrat.”

      For years I’ve talked with R&D folks in the major oil companies and they know full well that anthropogenic CO2 is a problem. At least Shell has taken the high road and is proposing some reasonable solutions. I expect the rest of the industry will continue to follow suit.

      Shell CEO Ben van Beurden: “I believe that global companies like Shell have a responsibility to society to speak up. To inject pragmatism into a discussion which is too often shaped by misinformation and conjecture.”

    • Turtles Run says:

      “For starters, try nominating an actual conservative”

      Correct me if I am wrong here. But don’t Republicans vote for their choice of candidate in the primary elections? Or does the GOP just nominate a candidate without Republican voter input? If Republicans do vote for the nominee then why do the majority of them select someone other than a “conservative” candidate, if they thought they could win then they would elect one as the nominee for their party. But they don’t.

      So if a “consevative” is not going to be able to win the nomination how in the bloody blue hell are they supposed to win the general election with an electorate that is much less conservative.

      ‘splain dat one for me.

    • Crogged says:

      Reading this was like reliving the scene below-substitute a trumpet playing “I wish was in Dixie” and read Tthors post outloud

    • flypusher says:

      “Chris, if you think that Constitutional conservatism and support for traditional Judeo-Christian morality is insane, …..”

      Which “traditional Judeo-Christian morality” are we taking about here? The one of “love your neighbor” and “do unto others..”, or the one of “gays are abominations” and “how dare those Mooslims think they are actual Americans with Constitutional rights and stuff”?

    • johngalt says:

      Tracy, in case you didn’t actually read Chris’s post, the problem with your position is that the majority of self-proclaimed Republicans do not want what you say you want. Solid majorities are looking for centrist compromises that I would bet most of the people who post here would be fine with. Your rugged he-man conservatism is not nominating “real conservatives” precisely because GOP voters don’t want them. It is not because “the establishment” knocks them off or because true conservatives don’t vote. It’s because most of this country, including most of the right, has moved on from the 19th century.

  2. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    GOP Minority Outreach 101: Today’s Topic: Stop saying stupid stuff.

    When you are asked how the GOP will attract more Black voters, this should not be your statement:
    “Our message is one of hope and aspiration. It isn’t one of division and get in line and we’ll take care of you with free stuff. Our message is one that is uplifting — that says you can achieve earned success.”

    OK, Jeb!, now let us think about this.

    Most Black folks aren’t in line for anything and aren’t receiving “free stuff”, so you probably didn’t exactly connect with them with that statement. Some of these Black folks might even be a touch concerned that your brain immediately jumped to “giving free stuff” when talking about Black folks.

    It probably also is worth noting that lots of non-Black folks are in line for free stuff, but I suspect that would not have been included in your answer on how to attract votes from more White folks.

    Also, we might want to think about how we talk about “achieving earned success”.

    As members of the lucky sperm club who happened to have really rich parents, a parent that was, you know, President of the US, and maybe access to schools and opportunities that our own personal skills might not have opened up, we might want to find a good definition of “achieve earned success” cause I’m going to go on a limb and suggest that George W might not have been a millionaire and, you know, President of the US, if his dad worked at the Best Buy in Sharpstown.

    • flypusher says:

      Just another coat of lipstick on the pig that is the “Democrat plantation “. Last time I Googled the welfare stats, IIRC, at least 85% of Black people were NOT on any kind of public assistance. So it seems that targeting 85% rather than 15% would be the smarter strategy.

      • 1mime says:

        Subliminal bigotry, Fly. You’d think that Jeb’s handlers would have better researched the stats supporting the statement that he was clearly using to pander. Get real.

    • Turtles Run says:

      Jeb can’t even blow the Who knew George W. was the smart brother.

      • vikinghou says:

        On that subject…

        I still can’t believe Jeb! proposed Margaret Thatcher for the $10 bill. I didn’t see that part of the debate. Was he really serious proposing a foreigner for such an honor?

      • 1mime says:

        Now, now, Viking! Jeb’s only trying to “broaden” his base (pardon the pun)…with English women who have become American citizens?

      • flypusher says:

        “English women who have become American citizens?”

        I know a few people in the demographic. They are not fans of Maggie.

        Methinks that there is no shortage of noteworthy American candidate. But make it the $20, please.

      • 1mime says:

        I have read that Mrs. Thatcher was not especially well liked.

  3. Rob Ambrose says:

    So Boehners out. Retiring in a month.

    That’s got to be somewhat unprecedented no? He always struck me as a sane and reasonable man who wanted what’s best for America, even if he and I disagree on the majority of positions.

    Be really interesting to see what he says when he leaves, and also to see who replaces him.

    I don’t think he has much love for the lunatic fringe that’s taken over the GOP. Who knows? Perhaps if he becomes very outspoken about the current state of the GOP, that could be a pretty powerful catalyst for the change that many of us thinks needs to happen for the GOP to survive.

    It would be pretty influential if the speaker of the house quits mid term because he doesn’t believe in the party anymore.

    • vikinghou says:

      In any case, the selection of the new Speaker will be quite a spectacle. Perfect timing to demonstrate the GOP’s true colors in full relief before the election.

    • 1mime says:

      Yes, it will be interesting AND important to see how the GOP plays this. Per Wiki, an absolute majority must be won to decide the speaker selection. I wonder if Lifer has any ideas how this will play out, and, as important, the significance of Boehner’s resignation.

    • 1mime says:

      As expected, the hard right Republican “Freedom Caucus” is claiming Boehner’s resignation as “their” win…..

      Lifer – How does this event play into your theory on the dissolution of the Republican Party?
      Is it the “Trump” oddball factor, or do you think this was expected? Also, what does this mean in terms of ascendancy of the hard line conservatives in the House, and, for that matter, McConnell’s security in the Senate?

      • flypusher says:

        “As expected, the hard right Republican “Freedom Caucus” is claiming Boehner’s resignation as “their” win…..”

        Math is definitely not their strong suit. Bring on the popcorn!!!

    • Let me guess. Was the cry baby crying again? Bet he was.

      Rhetorical question: If there’s no crying in baseball, why the heck does Boehner spend so much time bawlin’?

      Don’t let the door hit you on the fanny on your way out, Mr. ex-Speaker. Not to worry, I understand that the role of the late, spineless Mr. Loopner (God rest his soul!) is open on SNL. It was always just a matter of time, Mr. Loopner, er, Mr. ex-Speaker.

  4. 1mime says:

    For those who are interested, the Pope’s address to Congress is being televised live at 9am today. I am viewing it on CNN but other networks will probably carry it as well, though I am uncertain if it will be televised in its entirety.

    • texan5142 says:

      I am watching, I also watched the Pope,s mass yesterday evening. Do not no why but as an atheist I am enthralled with this Pope.

      • Tuttabella says:

        Instead of seeing him as the Vicar of Christ, for you he is just a really cool guy? 🙂

        I don’t believe in the existence of atheists! 🙂

      • johngalt says:

        You are enthralled by this Pope because you have never seen anything like him before: a religious leader who actually seems to understand the fundamental meaning of the central texts and tenets of his religion, and he acts in a manner consistent with those tenets. (To be fair, perhaps the Dalai Lama fits this description, too.)

      • texan5142 says:

        Agreed johngalt.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Having spent lots of years on my knees in a Catholic church, I’ve always had an interest in the various popes, and this one is a “cool guy” in terms of his relative standing with the others.

        However, he is still the pope, and he still has some very bad ideas that objectively hurt people.

        – No artificial contraception – although he said that Catholics do not need to multiply like rabbits

        – Abortion is a grave sin that “most women do not comprehend”. I would argue that “most women” understand abortion a billion times better than a pope. On the positive side, at least for next year, he has granted Priests the ability to forgive the sin of abortion, if the women are really, really sorry about it

        – homosexuality – while less intolerant about welcoming gays as brothers, the very next day prattled on about how children should be raised by heterosexual couples – better a catholic orphanage than a loving gay couple adopting

        So, I like this pope, but he is still a pope governed by some not-so-pleasant bronze age beliefs.

        I get that he is not going to unilaterally change church doctrine overnight, and maybe people should be thankful for the babysteps, but to be so far out of touch with the majority of followers is just sad.

      • 1mime says:

        I agree with all you said Homer, but at least this Pope is openly, actively advocating for concerns of the poor – even if he fails to include one of the most important – contraception – more than any other. Put that tool into the hands of women everywhere and abortion becomes what it should be: safe, rare while legal.

        I was especially interested in his call to end capital punishment with a huge caveat: rehabilitate those who are incarcerated and integrate them purposefully and gainfully back into society. It was unclear how he views incarceration rates in the US which are obscene and a clear problem. (I had to stop watching for last 10 min. of address but taped it for later viewing, so if he spoke on incarceration, I didn’t hear it.)

        Another statement he made on treating others as we would like to be treated, i.e., the “Golden Rule) that struck home with me was this: (paraphrasing best as I recall). “…How you judge others will become the yardstick of time for how you will be judged. A not so subtle reference to hypocrisy and the hereafter.

      • 1mime says:

        I mentioned in an earlier post that Pope Francis had talked about his views on capital punishment and then he segued into a conversation about rehabilitation and mainstreaming of those who have been incarcerated.

        Here’s a Politico article that develops this theme more fully. It appears that Pope Francis includes tours of prisons in his visits to countries – including the United States. Interesting man.

      • Turtles Run says:

        As a Mormon I am also entralled by the Pope. He is a religious man that seems to genuinely understand the teachings of Christ and the Bible and does his upmost to follow those teachings. He also is willing to understand that science plays a role in the lives of people and that it does not conflict with religious beliefs. And he seems like a really cool guy.

      • 1mime says:

        You and I agree in our views of the Pope, but not all do.

        It is significant that the Pope embodies the contradiction that Lifer finds missing: Leading on policies. He is not waiting for the flock to tell him what is right or wrong, he is using his intelligence, faith, and position to establish principles to guide us in our actions.

        Frankly, this is what leadership is all about – taking risks, standing on principle, inspiring others and letting whatever happens – happen. I understand the point about re-election difficulties if one leads on policies/principles, but I think that has become not only an excuse to not lead but a self-fulfilling prophecy – thus, there are no leaders who dare contradict or espouse a new direction. They are “doing what their constituents demand”. Well, what about if constituents are wrong, and you know it deep in your gut? I think it can be done and the goal should be to stand for things not worry about re-election. It’s amazing how “freeing” it is to do what one believes is right and not care if they are returned to office. We need more of that in our politics and in our nation. And, guess what, we wouldn’t have to worry about term limits!

      • RightonRush says:

        Same here Tex, I’m damn near a pagan, but I like this Pope Francis fellow. I’d have a beer with him anytime.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Mime…I’m going to quibble a bit.

        This pope is not leading his followers on most of these issues.

        85% of Catholics believe artificial contraception is not morally wrong.
        By their late 20s, over 90% of never-married Catholics have had sex.
        The barn door is open and the barn has almost burned down regarding the acceptance of homosexuals.

        Being slightly more tolerant of those things is not leading.

        Reminding folks to care and have compassion for the poor is a great thing, but it is not like he’s bucking an opposition that advocates stoning the poor.

        His position on climate change is nice, but well in line with that a majority of Catholics already believe.

        I view this as less “leading” and more of “not burying your head in the sand and fighting the inevitable”.

      • 1mime says:

        Fair distinctions, Homer. Still, for the Pope to openly invite those Catholics back into the Church who have divorced, had abortions, and are gay is a quantum leap for the Papacy as an institution. It may reflect tolerance more than leadership in the broader sense, but relatively speaking, this is new and radically different for the Roman Catholic Church. He is opening doors that have been firmly closed for centuries. On the subject of contraception, my fervent hope is that this is the next step and I think this Pope has the courage and vision to brace this issue as well.

        I think he was very clear in his remarks about ministering to the poor, capital punishment, immigration and climate change. Granted, the Pope was more direct and forceful in his remarks at the White House on Wednesday on these subjects, but he didn’t duck them in the Chambers of Congress where he knew his were controversial positions. The fact that a Pope has issued an encyclical on climate change is huge. Again, Pope Francis didn’t just comment on these concerns, he put them in writing and he spent a full quarter of his initial remarks (at the WH) on this subject.

        His views and record on ministering to the poor are clear. He provided a clear admonition to Congress as to their responsibility through fair policy, laws and understanding. His focus on immigrants followed the same track – look at these people as human beings, remember your own roots….treat them as you would want to be treated. How much more clear could he have been as to his intent and beliefs in an arena where there is so much open hostility on the issue? He made strong eye contact with Congress when he addressed this subject.

        Pope Francis leads by example. He is using the bullypulpit of the Papacy to talk openly about problems that impact a segment of our population that doesn’t have many defenders. To me, that is the essence of leadership. He is showing the way and urging those in positions of authority to make changes that will improve lives. That is leadership, IMHO.

      • flypusher says:

        Like Homer, I was raised Catholic, so I’ll always have an interest in the institution and its leaders, even though I elected to leave. At the risk of redundancy, I think this Pope is a big improvement. I respect people who practice what they preach, and he looks like he wants to do some major reforms. Also not as many as I would like to see, and there’s a big monkey wrench in the works on opposing birth control while also opposing abortion and human damage to the planet, but for now I’ll take what I can get.

      • flypusher says:

        “(To be fair, perhaps the Dalai Lama fits this description, too.)”

        Got to hear the Dalai Lama speak @ Rice a number of years ago. Total respect for that guy and the Buhddists have the right idea on reconciling science and scripture.

      • Bobo Amerigo says:

        I was raised a Catholic, too, and schooled by the Sisters of Notre Dame.

        While I was floored (in a good way) by his “who am I to judge” statement, we shouldn’t trust these guys. Judge is what they do.

        They exploit women on a regular basis, through policy and practice.

        That he sees no connection between birth control and abortion remains mysterious.

        And if indeed he thinks birth control is the same thing as abortion, he needs his chemistry degree retracted.

      • johngalt says:

        Homer, I hear what you’re saying, but I think you expect more than is possible in a short period of time. Remember, this is two millennia-old organization that didn’t fully approve of conducting its worship services in the vernacular until after men had orbited the earth. I have no idea what Francis’s real thoughts on birth control or homosexuality are, but leading what is perhaps the most conservative (in the “traditional” sense of the word) organization in the world, if he seeks to make changes, he needs the support of progressives and traditionalists, and that takes time. Disavowing all these traditional teachings at once would not have been feasible (if, indeed, that is his intention, which is certainly debatable).

        And keep in mind that the American congregation is perhaps the most liberal in the world and accounts for only ~7% of Catholics worldwide.

      • Crogged says:

        Bokonon says, “Live by the harmless untruths that make you brave and kind and healthy and happy.”

    • tuttabellamia says:

      Texan, from reading your past posts, I’ve gotten the impression that you are opposed to religion because of the hypocrisy and hateful behavior that it engenders in some people, and how it’s often used as an excuse for people to force their views on others.

      But are you truly an atheist? Is it possible that this Pope, with his kinder and more consistent behavior, might make you change your mind about the existence of God?

      Just curious. I don’t mean to challenge your personal beliefs.

      • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

        I don’t see how one semi-cool Pope will change that.

      • johngalt says:

        Like Texan, I have long been put off by the utter hypocrisy of organized religion; having been partly educated in a Catholic school, I saw it early and first hand. This was not the basis for my atheism though, which evolved from an earlier agnosticism as studied science increasingly deeply. Pope Francis, by living by the Christian ideals that are honored far more in the breach than in the observance, is inspirational in his ability to remain humble and modest despite his immense power, but (speaking only for myself) this will not override decades of consideration of my beliefs.

      • texan5142 says:

        He dose not change my mind about the existence of God. I admire the courage of his convictions and yes I think he is a cool guy.

      • texan5142 says:

        Plus I liked his juice cup he was using at mass. I stop going to church when they did not want me bringing my own mug to communion, that little cup was not cutting it.

      • 1mime says:

        Ha! And, that leetle bitty piece of toast? No Way! A man could starve!!

  5. Doug says:

    “Those proposals are supported by 52% of Republicans – in South Carolina!”

    And 51% believe renewables will have no effect or lower their utility bills. So apparently their support is based on ignorance. While there is broad support for the idea of reducing that evil CO2, it is extremely shallow.

    • 1mime says:

      At last, here is a bill that offers a detailed blueprint for energy management into the future. Instead of dissing it out of hand, why not support it as a template for meaningful discussion on managing our energy needs? It offers tangible, specific recommendations to build upon or tear down, but don’t kill the messenger here! It’s high time that someone in Congress offer substantive work on an issue that has been highly divisive. If all one does is criticize, where will we be in the future? There is no defense of a position of “doing nothing” about our country and the world’s energy needs today and in future years. Wise people understand that you don’t simply manage problems, you prevent them if possible. Isn’t that the right side of the energy issue to take?

      I applaud the obvious thought and effort that went into the creation of this energy bill. The authors carefully articulated a wide-ranging bill that is forward thinking. It doesn’t trash fossil fuels, it complements them. More important, it is forward thinking.

      GO, Dems! Set the bar high! Let’s elevate the discussion in Washington on a range of issues that are important for America’s future.

      • Doug says:

        There is so much ignorance and misinformation around this issue. Especially troubling is the notion that green energy will “create jobs” while reducing costs. It’s impossible. Who pays for all those new jobs that produce the same output we got with fewer jobs?

        “There is no defense of a position of “doing nothing” about our country and the world’s energy needs today and in future years.”

        So if the government doesn’t do it, it can’t get done? That’s insane. Did the government drive the fracking revolution that has delivered abundant, cheap, clean natural gas?

      • 1mime says:

        …”the notion that green energy will “create jobs” while reducing costs. It’s impossible. Who pays for all those new jobs that produce the same output we got with fewer jobs?”

        It’s called “R&D”, and the cost will initially be borne by those in development and later passed on. Isn’t that the way a capitalistic economy works? As for output – Shouldn’t the goal be higher output with less effort? Cost reduction will occur over time as supply and demand kicks in – just like it has for our flat screen televisions. Who among us is paying more for our televisions now as opposed to our first ones, and the quality of our viewing is far superior. In the process, our environment will be much improved.

        From satellites to I-Phones, to gamma knife surgery, to drones – all of these are from man’s genius built upon the work of many before them – including the US Government. Does the fact that government may have contributed denigrate the outcome? Of course not. Government is not in competition with the private sector, it is the framework that supports the private sector. It is entirely appropriate that the two work together where appropriate and possible to achieve objectives that benefit all. I am not threatened by this combination of forces in the least.

        The absolute best thing about America is our creative ability. Fossil fuel will be around for decades to come but it can and should be accompanied by ongoing research and development of alternative sources. Have no fear, Doug, with the cheap price of oil and gas today, the race to find and bring to market alternative sources is many years off. That more than anything else, worries me as I think we need aggressive research for many reasons, not the least of which is climate change.

      • Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

        Ah Doug, bless your heart, and I’m sure you poured the sidewalks you walked on to the public school you built with your own hands.

        In the last 30 years, the federal government contributed more than $100 million in research to develop fracking, and billions more in tax breaks.

        In 1975, the Department of Energy began funding research into fracking and horizontal drilling.

        Our friend George Mitchell gets credit as something of the father of fracking, but it took him years and dozens of attempts to even break even with it, and shockingly, even Mitchell got support from the gov’t.

        Natural gas and petroleum accounted for almost $2.8 billion in federal energy subsidies in the 2010.

        Congress passed a huge tax break in 1980 specifically to encourage unconventional natural gas drilling. The Department of Energy invested about $137 million in gas research over three decades, and that the federal tax credit for drillers amounted to $10 billion between 1980 and 2002.

        The work wasn’t all industry or all government, but both.

        If we want to go a bit farther bark, Energy Department researchers processed drilling data on supercomputers at a federal lab and technology created to track sounds of Russian submarines during the Cold War was repurposed to help the industry use sound to get a 3-D picture of shale deposits and track exactly where a drill bit was.

        Any of that sound oddly similar to what is going on with renewable energy, costs and complexities of developing technology, and markets for it.

        President Barack Obama’s comment, “If you’ve got a business — you didn’t build that” is true of fracking – infrastructure, education and other public spending that indirectly helps businesses.

      • 1mime says:

        So well said, Homer.

    • Griffin says:

      Doug why do you love CO2 so much? It’s the one thing that seems to truly excite you. Did a Windmill try to kill you? Did someone in a hybrid cut you off in traffic one too many times? Did global warming promise to settle down with you after it finished its job of burning the planet? What the hell is it Doug?

  6. Bobo Amerigo says:

    Chris says:

    “You don’t need to outspend them. You don’t even need to get a fraction of the money they are spending. It costs far less money to develop and promote policies which are popular with the public than it does to promote policies that run up against the public interest on almost every front.”

    As a D, I’ve been concerned that the Ds are relying more on being NOT crazy Republicans than putting forth good ideas, which could come ’round to bite them in the near future.

    So I was pleased to come across this vox article on energy policy by Senate Democrats.

    The writer is downright enthusiastic about the ideas put forth.

    The new Senate Democratic energy bill is a wonk’s dream

    • EJ says:

      That bill has a lot of good stuff in it. It falls short of what everyone is coming to acknowledge that we need – a carbon market – but it covers some excellent territory.

      Let’s see what it looks like if and when it passes.

      • 1mime says:

        I agree. No carbon pricing. There was a wealth of other energy ideas with sufficient detail to
        engage just about everyone – if they are interested in constructive dialogue. With the House controlled by Republicans, and with their fixation on protecting fossil fuel at the expense of all else, the bill may not even be heard in committee. But, I like that there are those who are investing the effort to be substantive and forward thinking….of either party. That is what members of Congress should be doing.

        BTW – Boehner just announced he was resigning as Speaker of the House and leaving Congress in October. This will be interesting to watch unfold.

  7. Pseudoperson Randomian says:

    Nope, nope, nope.
    Having the tea party leave the GOP, while leaving everyone, including Democrats with a warm fuzzy feeling, would be disastrous for the GOP in the short term. A lot of donors would go, a significant section of votors would go, and I have no idea what FOX, Glenn Beck, breitbart et al. would do, but they might go along with the tea party. The remaining GOP would struggle to gain a foothold with new voters who are intensely suspicious of the GOP. The existing narrative has been so strong and consistent that overcoming it on the national stage will take time.

    Also, why do you think ALL of the current candidates are willing to say crazy things. Why do you think the vast majority of the Republican Congress are? IMO, it’s because if they don’t, they’ll face a massive instant backlash from the Republican media, face huge donor and establishment pressure and lose a significant chunk of voters – especially in the primaries where they’ll get pushed out

    It would be better for such a Republican candidate to run third party on the national stage.

    The only place a counter narrative is viable is on the local stage. Less scrutiny, less donor pressure, and fewer policies to worry about.

  8. This post is worth reading

    Dr Brin – is always worth reading but this black is white post is very apposite

    • 1mime says:

      It was well written. Thanks, Duncan.

      Here’s something that impacts candidate security (gerrymandering) and how Canada turned the tables on the process when it got out of hand.

    • goplifer says:

      It’s an interesting post. The part about immigration is dead-on. Have to point out though that he’s pretty deeply wrong about regulation. There are a lot of examples. In fact, it’s probably the only part of Reagan’s great promise to reduce the size of government that he actually delivered on.

      More pointedly, it was the Bush II Administration’s fascination with deregulation of financial markets that nearly broke capitalism. It started with Phil Gramm’s CFMA that he slipped into an appropriations bill in the dissolute final month of Clinton’s term ( Then subsequent, far more radical pull-backs in 2002 and 2003.

      For a few years under Bush and leading into the start of the Obama Administration there was literally no government agency with the authority to regulate certain types of derivatives contracts. That fetish for deregulation helps explain why a supposedly regulated insurance company like AIG could rack up several times it’s total net worth in commodities derivatives without committing any crimes or raising any alarm.

      Anyway, I digress. Apart from that detail, really interesting article.

      • duncancairncross says:

        Hi Chris
        about de-regulation
        Dr Brin’s take is that the Republicans do NOT deregulate – with one glaring exception – the finance industry
        There they deregulate like crazy!

      • duncancairncross says:

        Dr Brin’s = Contrary Brin is one blog that I always read,

        I’ve no idea why it says “” , Brin is a yank – does that link work for you guys?

      • 1mime says:

        “yank” – assume it’s slang for “yankee”? Not sure in NZ how that plays, however.

    • moslerfan says:

      Here’s what drives me crazy about deficit policy: the Democrats truly do not seem to understand the effects of deficits* so they work hard on balancing the budget, sometimes disastrously. Republicans, who paint Democrats as fiscally irresponsible, actually use deficits fairly effectively to stimulate the economy and to achieve their policy objectives. See for example Clinton’s surplus which led to a recession in 2000, and was effectively ended by Bush II’s tax rebates which restored the deficit, or Reagan’s deficits which built up the military.

      *Deficits have consequences. For the macroeconomy, the effects are primarily for employment and inflation. If the deficit is too high, inflation will occur. If it’s too low, unemployment and possible recession will occur.

      The “debt” implied by a deficit will not burden our children, for the following reason: all “money” implies a debt or obligation on the part of the issuer (US gov, in this case). It used to be an obligation to exchange currency for gold. Now it’s simply an obligation on the part of the gov to accept dollars for payment of tax liabilities. A deficit simply means that we (and eventually our children) have more tax credits. Whether the gov decides to “call in” those credits in the future depends only on whether they are more concerned with inflation or unemployment. “Paying off the debt” is irrelevant.

      • johngalt says:

        Clinton’s surplus in no way led to the recession in 2000. That’s a preposterous statement. The recession was brought upon by a market crash following years of speculation in the stock market, mostly on dot-com companies. In those early days of the internet, companies were going public with no revenue, no proven market, no business plan, and no hope, but were being bought up anyway in a collective fever dream of get-rich-quick nonsense. When this crashed, a lot of people lost a good deal of money.

        Debt is not bad, per se. Indeed, some level of U.S. government debt is nearly essential in our economy. But, at some level of debt, those who purchase it will begin to doubt whether the bonds they spent real money on will be paid off. If they doubt this, then they will demand higher returns which, in turn, will eat up an increasing percentage of the federal budget. We are obviously not at this point yet, but to think, like you and Paul Krugman apparently do, that it is impossible to get there is economic nonsense.

      • Crogged says:

        So many people here speak for Mr. Krugman and always get it fucking wrong.

        B3: Keynesians always favor deficit spending, under all conditions. See [4]: The case for fiscal stimulus is quite restrictive, requiring both a depressed economy and severe limits to monetary policy. That just happens to be the world we’ve been living in lately.

        I have no illusions that saying this obvious stuff will stop the usual suspects from engaging in the usual bogosity. But maybe this will help others respond when they do.

      • johngalt says:

        Well, forgive my hyperbole, but Krugman has been one of the most persistent voices arguing that debt doesn’t matter (or that it doesn’t matter much). I believe that there are several things that our government could do to help the economy without spending any more in total than it does now, chief amongst them being a medium-to-long term spending blueprint and tax reform.

      • 1mime says:

        Aw, come on, JG! You know they’d have to change those cost centers, and that’s where it gets reel personal (-:

        I have always liked Krugman.

      • Crogged says:

        We need the “other side” to make a coherent argument as to why these terrible amounts of debt matter. OMG-we going to go broke, ignores the printing press. OMG the Chinese own us, ignores (a) they don’t really-most of the indebtedness in the form of bonds is held domestically and (b) you have to cut off your own nose to spite your face in selling off the bonds-they would devalue their remaining assets. If it’s held domestically-a debt is someone else’s credit.

        All studies purporting to make high debt equal bad economy just note a correlation-it’s just as possible that a poorly functioning economy results in high debt loads.

        All this and I’m still completely with you-we can have simpler more certain taxing structures and there isn’t really a need to blow up gazillions of dollars-but we have a tiny Navy compared to 1885, 1919 and 1945 and our enemies lurk everywhere…….

      • 1mime says:

        It seems to always boil down to el pent a gon.

      • moslerfan says:

        jg, there were undoubtedly other factors affecting timing and magnitude of this particular dip in the business cycle, including the collapse of the dotcom bubble which coincided with the onset of recession in March 2000. But the big money in the stock market didn’t go south until 9/11/01. What is certain is that the $559B of taxpayer’s checks written to the Treasury to cover Clinton’s surplus from 98 to early 01 cut into the private sector’s willingness to spend. And since total spending = total income, chances of recession being precipitated increase. Incidentally, the last time the gov ran a significant surplus was the late 1920s.

      • duncancairncross says:

        The problem with your analysis is simple
        If it were true that “Republicans increased growth by running bigger deficits”
        Then Republican administrations would show higher growth than Democratic administrations
        This is not the case!

        This article says that it is not because of economic policy! – but they had to do a lot of ducking and weaving to come to that conclusion

        If there conclusion “Dems are luckier” is true then that is a good reason to vote for the Dems!

        Basically all of the data says that growth is higher under the Dems
        Which is not surprising as the Dems tend to redistribute downwards and the Reps redistribute upwards

        Money going downwards has high velocity – it gets spent and circulates fast
        Money going upwards get sent abroad to tax havens

      • moslerfan says:

        Also, I’ll let Prof K defend his own views on whether the deficit matters, but I thought I made my position pretty clear when I wrote “deficits have consequences.”

      • moslerfan says:

        Good point Duncan! I believe your emphasis on distribution is underappreciated. The best fiscal stimuli I can recollect were Bush II’s tax rebate and the holiday on Medicare and SS payroll taxes, both very broad-based and progressive.

      • 1mime says:

        Hmm, guess I’ll have to respectfully disagree with you on the tax rebate. The tax rebate averaged a little over $200/family, as I recall. Now, that might have been significant for the poor – IF – they paid income taxes; however, they usually don’t. What if this surplus had been applied to the budget deficit? Keep in mind, I am not one who thinks balanced budgets are desirable, but I felt at the time that this tax rebate was a horrible decision. Of course, this was followed by two tax cuts, so, who cared?

        If I am incorrect I know one of the economists in the house will demonstrate how wrong I am in my thinking.

      • johngalt says:

        “What is certain is that the $559B of taxpayer’s checks written to the Treasury to cover Clinton’s surplus from 98 to early 01 cut into the private sector’s willingness to spend.” – moslerfan

        Still nonsense. The taxpayers forked over a half a trillion dollars because they were raking in the cash in the stock market. I remember moving to a new workplace in 1998 and half the people in this research lab – graduate students, research fellows, staff – were day trading. And this was not an economics department, it was biomedical research personnel with no background in investing. When grad students and Chinese post-docs are rapidly turning over tech stocks, that is the best sign that the apocalypse is near. And so it was. The reduction in spending came, not from taxes on specious gains, but from the sharp loss of income that came from having bought high and sold low.

      • moslerfan says:

        But they weren’t raking in the cash. If I sell you a share of stock for $1, the total amount of money that you and I hold doesn’t change, $1 goes just goes from your pocket to mine. Except that if I bought the share for less than $1, I owe cap gains tax. So the total amount of money you and I hold decreases by the taxed amount. This principle extends to all private sector transactions – they never change the amount of dollars held by the private sector. Only Federal spending and Federal taxes change the amount of dollars held by the private sector.

        Bottom line, Federal tax revenues outpaced Federal spending between 98 and 2001, and private sector held 559B fewer dollars in 2001 than they did in 98.

        BTW, when asset prices fall, the situation doesn’t quickly reverse itself because tax credits for cap losses can’t be recouped immediately, they have to be used to offset future cap gains taxes if and when.

      • moslerfan says:

        Short version: the government was raking in the cash, and the private sector was forking it over.

  9. Sir Magpie De Crow says:

    I saw something the other day that dang near drove me out of my mind. It involved Ben Carson… please stay with me.

    He said he is opposed to a Muslim president in the White House because their faith/belief in sharia law conflicts with the U.S. Constitution. But when confronted with the story of Kim Davis and her “divinely” inspired defiance of the Supreme Court decision in regards to legal same sex marriage her opposition (to doing her job) was ok.

    Here is his justification: “She’s not running for president. Anybody who is running for the president of the United States must embrace our Constitution. And they must place it above their personal beliefs.”

    So according to his logic you only have to obey the constitution and Supreme Court decisions on the constitutionality of laws if you are running for President. But if you are not it is ok to be a George Wallace 2.0, but only if you are Christian… and if god is commanding you to carry out his will.

    Like keeping the “queers” from getting married.

    But if you are a law abiding citizen who happens to be muslim, according to Carson, you should have no expectation you will be evaluated fairly on your professional merits or moral character if you seek higher office if you still believe in the basic framework of your Islamic faith.


    Is Ben Carson advocated a Judeo-Chrisian form of anarchistic government. Basically Somalia, with shades of “The Handmaid’s Tale”. Is Ben Carson’s position that if (Christian) god tells you its alright to do something then you can do it?

    What if Ben Carson said this… “If anyone is a Christian but still believes in the church doctrine of the Catholic Church you should never be president of the United States.” Would that seem an acceptable position to Republicans?

    Or how about this hypothetical statement. “If you have any trace of African blood, even though legally you can run for president, you should never become President of the United States because of that unfortunate racial history.” How well would people react to that kind of position today if a high profile Republican said that?

    Does any of this seem right to anyone? Does any of what Ben Carson said follows a clear discernible logic or train of thought? I am no legal scholar or expert on Constitutional law (that would be someone like President Obama) but I believe there is no legal precedent for what he is advocating.

    I have never heard of these supposedly legitimate justifications for what Kim Davis has done or the idea that a Muslim should never be president of the United States. But I sadly think like Donald Trump, Ben Carson’s “principled position” will only benefit him in the polls.

    I know GOPlifer thinks a silent majority of people in the party are dismayed by such statements/candidates but I think that silence has persisted for far too long… maybe past the point of no return.

    • 1mime says:

      Just read in the Houston Chronicle that Ms. Davis may have to make another appearance before the judge. Seems she’s “altering” marriage licenses….There wasn’t much detail, but suffice it to say, That woman needs to find another job, but at $80K a year, she’ll likely try to hang on to the one she’s got.

      Meanwhile, “Davis has modified wording on the licenses to remove any mention of her name or office. A license now states that it was issued pursuant to a federal court order rather than the county clerk, and a space normally signed by the deputy clerk is now initialed by a “notary public.” The only problem with that is that the state provides the wording on the certificates so two couples who married with “altered” marriage licenses are petitioning the court for a license that is consistent with state law.

      I have not found a judgment in the plaintiff’s petition to the court. Stay tuned.

    • Sir Magpie De Crow says:

      There is almost an amusing irony to the bigotry and xenophobic animus being directed to certain demographic groups of late by the current champions of the right.

      Muslims use to be for Republicans. African-Americans and Asians have had certain conservative cultural traditions that would hypothetically make many of them empathetic to the Republican Party. The same could be said for Latinos/Mexican-americans and immigrants. The current configuration of the GOP has alienated them all to a significant degree.

      And for what… to hold on to a ultimately smaller and graying demographic that dominates almost exclusively the American South?

      That alienation even extends to many in the business sector, especially in recent months over the ironic “religious freedom” movement. How else to explain a recent precipitous drop in bio-tech stocks when Hillary Rodham Clinton sent out one tweet in response to the actions of big pharma-sociopath Martin Shkreli?

      Many in the business/Wall Street sector may loath her but apparently they think she is more likely to be elected president than anyone in the ranks of the GOP.

      Trump and his nativist fan base may desire a great wall to keep out the swarthy brown hordes from coming across the border, but I think the alienated groups I just outlined may form an equally formidable wall for the GOP… blocking their path to the White House in 2016.

      In my opinion Ben Carson, Trump, Cruz and Huckabee should really think about the consequences of their accidental Father Coughlin impersonations.

  10. Houston-stay-at-Homer says:

    “Checking the rise of the far right in the GOP will be like kicking down a rusty door. ”

    Sure, it may be easy, but you are still going to get tetanus.

  11. Tom says:

    I think it’s an underrated point that the GOP’s extremism on bread-and-butter issues is perhaps an even bigger liability than extremism on social issues.

    While everybody focuses on Donald Trump’s hardline stance on immigration, on the rare instances he talks about economic issues he actually comes off as more rational than most Republican candidates. His rejection of current GOP orthodoxy on bread-and-butter issues seems like it may be part of what’s fueling his rise. You don’t have to be a pinko liberal to support a progressive income tax or, at the very least, a taxation system that actually pays the government’s bills, but that’s become verboten in the modern GOP and is honestly an even bigger issue than the Planned Parenthood dead-enders in the party.

  12. csarneson says:

    Chris if your stats were correct then Huntsman would have been the nominee and possibly the POTUS. I don’t buy it.

    • goplifer says:

      Or McCain would have been the nominee in ’00, right? That’s not how this works.

      Simple fact of the matter is that any of the last four Republican nominees could have fit this template pretty well, but all of them felt that they had to ‘tone it down’ in order to retain the base.

      This is a mistake, but we can’t fix that mistake without building a supporting infrastructure.

      • 1mime says:

        No. Not McCain. Huntsman, yes. But, neither had the blessings of the Republican leadership so we’ll never know, will we?

        If you are correct in your statistics and your analysis, why isn’t the “sane center” leadership of the Republican Party offering the public alternative rational policies? If anyone should know what has to be done to avoid a collapse of the party, they should. If this far right fringe of the Republican Party is indeed small, as you say, why continue to appease them? Is it because of the billionaires who are shaping policy by buying candidates, or is it something else?

        In contrast, by doing nothing, the Democratic Party is looking like the grown up in the house.

      • csarneson says:

        Huntsman was such a great candidate and got good exposure. Still the rank and file didn’t support him even though he was so totally opposite from every other candidate. Trump gets a groundswell without this infrastructure in place. I still don’t buy it Chris.

  13. Griffin says:

    The extreme social agenda is going to die out real soon but in my experience a lot of young “Republicans”, most of whom self-identify as libertarian but vote Republican anyways, support an even more absurd economic agenda. These kids come from wealthier families, are very interested in politics and as they get older are increasingly likely to make donations and be involved in grassroots politics, and they fully bought into (and were heavily influenced by) the Ron Paul craze of the 2000’s.

    They are going to be the next crazy fringe the GOP is going to have to keep in check or you may have candidates that are advocating for the Gold standard, a flat taxe, doing away with the welfare state, and for total deregulation/privitization. They don’t care about social issues but their economic agenda could be a real risk in fifteen or so years if they don’t change their minds soon.

    • antimule says:

      This is a very good point. What do you think, Chris?

    • goplifer says:

      Nobody is being offered any sane, credible alternatives, so yes, folks are coming up with some strange crap. Offer them a vision for something reality based and reasonable that would promote a pro-market agenda, and I believe it wouldn’t be that hard to cut through all the gold-bug garbage and the rest of the stupid ideas.

      • Griffin says:

        I hope you’re right and the GOP starts making forceful arguments for reasonable market solutions by 2024. Otherwise I think some of these younger Republicans/Libertarians are going to be too far gone to be brought back to reality (like the current far-right on social issues), and then they’ll start influencing politics from the grassroots.

  14. Martin says:

    “…like creating new think tanks and donor networks will be critical”

    So, you think we can replace the Koch brothers, Sheldon Adelson, Roger Ailes, and the rest of the crazy club with other billionaires willing to outspend them? Who would fund a new Heritage Foundation not led by Jim DeMint? And why would these new donors suddenly do the ‘right thing’? This sounds as crazy as crazy politics itself. How about we start un-doing Citizens United? There is a reason the Democrats succeed with grass-roots donors. It keeps public opinion and political platform aligned.

    • goplifer says:

      You don’t need to outspend them. You don’t even need to get a fraction of the money they are spending. It costs far less money to develop and promote policies which are popular with the public than it does to promote policies that run up against the public interest on almost every front.

      • 1mime says:

        If Republicans hew to more moderate positions as stated in your post, why don’t they step up? Or, speak up? Where’s the courage? When will it happen? Why isn’t it happening now?

        It is difficult to accept the existence of a “sane” Republican core in sufficient numbers to effect rational policy change – which is needed to center its agenda. If ever there was a time when it was needed, it is now. Frankly, I share Blogimus’ pessimism. Since President Obama assumed the Presidency, there has been constant turmoil. He is responsible for some of the problems, but can hardly be blamed for seven years of unabated dysfunction. The Republicans told Americans they could govern better than the Democrats. Well? The time is now.

      • Pseudoperson Randomian says:

        Exactly! Which is the reason Bernie Sanders is doing well right now.

        Not to say his policies are right, mind you. I’d prefer somewhat different solutions but the bottom line is that his policies will directly affect majorities in a popular way.

        That is not to say that he’s right and that’s what voters want. It simply says voters want policy that helps them. Now, it is perfectly possible to create a forward looking, efficient policies while satisfying the first condition – which is precisely why I like this blog.

  15. Frustrated in Texas says:

    Do the numbers you quote represent the positions of frequent primary voters or just general self-identified “Republicans”? I find it hard to believe that frequent primary voters in the states that typically drive the presidential contest (or pretty much anywhere else) are in line with the platform you outline (climate change, gun control, gay marriage, immigration). At least for another 15+ years.

  16. blogimus says:

    I would like it very much if the party came to its senses, but the truth is, I think it may be too late.

  17. […] Existing Voters – Republican voters do not actually support the extreme positions being taken by our candidates. More rational, considered positions on key issues would gain far more voter support than our current platform, if we would only offer the public that alternative. […]

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