28 October 2008

The GOP: Moderates and Social Conservatives Battle it Out

Quite a story in today's L A Times. Regardless of whether Senator McCain wins the White House, the Social Conservatives are bent on controlling the party and even "vowing to limit John McCain's influence, even if he wins the presidency." On the other hand,
Some moderates argue that the party's top priority must be to broaden its outreach, a caution laid down by retired Gen. Colin L. Powell on national television this month when he broke from the party and endorsed Obama. Surveys show McCain beating Obama among white men but losing with almost every other demographic group. (L A Times)
Common sense suggests the moderates are on the right track, and that the party needs a tent big enough to hold white men as well as other demographic groups. But it seems the Social Conservatives, with their focus on abortion, gay rights, immigration, etc., are convinced that approach--"going moderate"--resulted GOP's Congressional upheaval in 2006 (Times). This seems odd, as one might consider other items--such as Jack Abramoff and the response to Hurricane Katrina--as more significant factors in voters' decisions. Seriously--people didn't like the moderate Republicans, so they opted for the Democrats? Something wonky there.

Reason's Ryan Sager on “The Rove Realignment: Have Libertarians Been Driven Out of the GOP?

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