Powell: GOP 'polarization' backfired in election - Page 3 - Mercedes-Benz Forum

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post #21 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-15-2008, 11:58 AM
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I think you're both wrong. I'll add my two cents, then I can be wrong too. McCain is not a conservative, he is center/right, Obama is not a liberal, he is center/left. But I don't believe Powell's endorsement has anything to do with political parties or the candidates' positions on the political spectrum. Rather, I believe he endorsed the candidate he believed was more capable of dealing with the giant heaping turd of stench the Bush administration heaped upon our planet over the past eight years. Had McCain not engaged in beating war drums and divisive Rovian-style campaigning toward the final stretch, he may have earned Powell's endorsement. But ultimately, Obama came off as the candidate more likely to placate an outraged electorate, not to mention the rest of world.

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #22 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-15-2008, 11:59 AM
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The rift in the Republican Party, between the real Conservatives and the NeoConservatives is dramatic and has never been more acute nor caustic. The majority of folks in the US have broken the party down into two distinct sub groups, 1) The Republicans who are fiscal conservatives, nationalists, small government, tolerant, Constitutionalists and follow the Goldwater/Buckley/Buchanan doctrine of political thought and 2) The NeoConservatives who are social conservatives, fiscally liberal, big government, nation building, intolerant and follow the Bush/Kristol/Limbaugh school of political though.

A simple litmus test to determine "which side you are on":
  • do you support the actions and treatment of prisoners at Gitmo?
  • do you support wiretaps of American citizens without court order?
  • do you support taxcuts while deficit spending?

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post #23 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-15-2008, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by GermanStar View Post
I think you're both wrong. I'll add my two cents, then I can be wrong too. McCain is not a conservative, he is center/right, Obama is not a liberal, he is center/left. But I don't believe Powell's endorsement has anything to do with political parties or the candidates' positions on the political spectrum. Rather, I believe he endorsed the candidate he believed was more capable of dealing with the giant heaping turd of stench the Bush administration heaped upon our planet over the past eight years. Had McCain not engaged in beating war drums and divisive Rovian-style campaigning toward the final stretch, he may have earned Powell's endorsement. But ultimately, Obama came off as the candidate more likely to placate an outraged electorate, not to mention the rest of world.
That makes very good sense.

Obviously McCain is not a conservative, nor is Obama "ultra-leftwing". Powell is a very smart guy. Picking the best plan for the job has always been his forte. [It is why his Iraq/UN deal stands out as an anomaly, not SOP]

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post #24 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-15-2008, 12:03 PM
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Originally Posted by mcbear View Post
The rift in the Republican Party, between the real Conservatives and the NeoConservatives is dramatic and has never been more acute nor caustic. The majority of folks in the US have broken the party down into two distinct sub groups, 1) The Republicans who are fiscal conservatives, nationalists, small government, tolerant, Constitutionalists and follow the Goldwater/Buckley/Buchanan doctrine of political thought and 2) The NeoConservatives who are social conservatives, fiscally liberal, big government, nation building, intolerant and follow the Bush/Kristol/Limbaugh school of political though.

A simple litmus test to determine "which side you are on":
  • do you support the actions and treatment of prisoners at Gitmo?
  • do you support wiretaps of American citizens without court order?
  • do you support taxcuts while deficit spending?
There is s third faction, one which I believe you are lumping with the neocons, and that is the religious right. This is the dominant faction of the GOP, and while allied with the neocons, they are a distinct group that will exert control over the party long after the neocons are dead and buried.

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #25 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-15-2008, 12:18 PM
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Originally Posted by GermanStar View Post
There is s third faction, one which I believe you are lumping with the neocons, and that is the religious right. This is the dominant faction of the GOP, and while allied with the neocons, they are a distinct group that will exert control over the party long after the neocons are dead and buried.
Considering the NeoCon movement is so closely tied with social conservatism and he religious right, I believe they are one and the same. I can see, however if the jingoistic nation building element of the NeoCons fade, that religious right will still be around but they will be weaker without the NeoCons to accelerate their agenda.

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post #26 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-15-2008, 12:27 PM
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I think they're very different, although the neocons have been leading the RR around by the nose the past few years. Ultimately, this was an alliance of convenience, but not one which was ever going to last. For example, neocons aren't social conservatives, they're imperialists, and the RR is socially conservative to the exclusion of nearly everything else. Their alliance and support of each others agendas is/was a tactic of an intellectually astute neocon group to overwhelm and dispose of true conservatives, which was pretty damned successful. Now the neocons are fading, the RR has exclusive control of the GOP, and conservatives are left with the daunting task of reclaiming their party.

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #27 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-15-2008, 12:35 PM
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I think all three factions have lost.

Rove showed the neo-cons that they could use the religious kooks to do the grunt work. Being one who occassionally trolls in the waters of right-wing forums, causing me to constantly be in search of new IPs due my frequent banning, I can tell you that the kooks and the neo-cons are not happy with each other right now, in fact the neo-cons want to jettison the abortion issue especially, and the redneck-yahoo issue of immigrant bashing, which is essentially driven by those kind Jesus-loving folks, is also causing a huge rift.

Ultimately, the neo-cons are the pragmatist branch, they would throw God, guns and gays under the bus if they thought they could form a new winning coalition in the process, and a coalition of conservative women, conservative Hispanics and conservative gays looks like the only possible future for the GOP for anyone with half a brain, while the r-kook 25% brain capacity set are the idealists, screaming for idealogical purity as the only way. I love those guys, they are the death of the GOP. Conservative women are lost to them as long as these guys kook out on abortion, conservative Hispanics are lost to them as long as the GOP is run by nuts calling for an SS ethnic cleansing style solution, and the gays are lost as long as the r-kooks are around. What is left is a regional religious party. The death-knell will be in the 2010 elections, when the last of the nut cases make a last stand, and lose the Senate and finally give the Democrats the ability to make constitutional amendments.

But it is getting hard to tell who is who. The talk show fascists seem to be caught in the middle, which I find rather enjoyable. They are trying to mouth neo-con crap while working their redneck audiences. It's fun to listen to the splinters fly when they call in now, the new target is each other.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address

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post #28 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-15-2008, 12:39 PM
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That's pretty much how I see it too. They've been playing in the same sandbox for a while, but they really don't have much in common -- besides a common enemy.

"If spending money you don't have is the height of stupidity, borrowing money to give it away is the height of insanity." -- anon
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post #29 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-15-2008, 12:41 PM
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I think they're very different, although the neocons have been leading the RR around by the nose the past few years. Ultimately, this was an alliance of convenience, but not one which was ever going to last. For example, neocons aren't social conservatives, they're imperialists, and the RR is socially conservative to the exclusion of nearly everything else. Their alliance and support of each others agendas is/was a tactic of an intellectually astute neocon group to overwhelm and dispose of true conservatives, which was pretty damned successful. Now the neocons are fading, the RR has exclusive control of the GOP, and conservatives are left with the daunting task of reclaiming their party.
I was talking the other day to the minister of the local big box church [one of only five in Kentucky]. I got the impression that they are starting to look more at their membership and finances as opposed to their political strengths for at least their short-mid term goals. There have been three big box churches that have either canceled building or stopped in the middle due to loss of funding and drop in membership.

Membership in churches like the Southern Baptist are dropping like rocks.

With a "claimed" membership of 15.7Million members in 2000 and 16.2M in 2007, the real number appears to be closer to 6Million folks that actually show up at their churches.

The Next Big Southern Baptist Debate: Purging the Membership Rolls | Liveblog | Christianity Today

To test this, I called the four Baptist churches that I have been a member of since I was 10. Apparently I am still a member of all four of them. And I have not been to a single service since a wedding in 1997 where I gave away the bride. My parents, both dead are members of three different churches. So, for the three of us, we count for 10 memberships.

THAT is what is starting to occur with the Religious Right. Along with the Shrinking28, folks are beginning to become more circumspect and STFU in their attempts to push THEIR social agendas on others. Plus, I don't think they really enjoy the pushback that has started in the past five years.

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post #30 of 35 (permalink) Old 12-15-2008, 12:50 PM
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About fifteen years ago Bishop Shelby Spong, an Episcopal bishop who called fundamentalist protestantism "post-Darwinian nonsense", predicted exactly that - that the fundies in the 90s would see a huge increase for a decade, but as science and ethics eroded their intellectual pretendings, they would see an eventual fall off the cliff. He felt that by posturing in the political arena, while this might work for the older voters, it merely exposed their non-sensical beliefs to the mass audience of the young, who would reject it as they came of age. The demographics that are working against them are starting to accelerate.

Recall that earlier generations faced down fascism and communism not just with missiles and tanks, but with sturdy alliances and enduring convictions. They understood that our power alone cannot protect us, nor does it entitle us to do as we please. Instead, they knew that our power grows through its prudent use; our security emanates from the justness of our cause, the force of our example, the tempering qualities of humility and restraint.

-President Barack Obama, 1st Inaugural address
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