Chris Douglas

On Voting Republican

Filed By Chris Douglas | October 20, 2006 10:23 AM | comments

Filed in: Marriage Equality, Politics
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I'm hearing it regularly now, a sentiment with which I sympathize, not only from gay Republicans, but from straight Republicans who long since have begun rethinking their affiliation with the Republican Party. . From a die-hard Republican married woman living in Carmel, Christian, ex-Army officer, well educated: "I'm so tired of these people, I'd vote for Hilary!" From a married professional business woman who has worked in Republican administrations: "It's hard for a woman to be Republican these days; I've been independent." From a Republican campaign manager, quietly: "Sometimes I find it hard to identify with what this party does." From a young Republican staffer: "My friends have given up on this Party."

And finally, from many glbt business professionals who were once Republican: "I think the Republican Party just needs to go down to massive, across the board defeat. Only then will the Party learn."

The Problem is, it's not true. The right wing has not learned from such defeats in the past. To the contrary, voting Democrat across the board, as satisfying an emotional urge as it may be, often will send exactly the wrong message. For Indiana to progress, moderate Republicans must receive support and success, especially in instances when their assuming or holding office empowers moderates and progressives.

WHAT CONSERVATIVES WILL ARGUE IN GENERAL REPUBLICAN DEFEAT

If all Republicans suffer defeat this year, the social conservatives will argue that it was the Party straying from its idealogical roots. They will argue that the Party failed nationally to deliver such things as prayer in schools and a national amendment to ban gay marriage. They will argue that Bush through such obscure acts as enforcing his own comprehensive nondiscrimination policy and appointing open gays lost support by betraying conservative ideals. They will argue that it was the Republican Party's tolerance of gay staffers and closeted gays in Washington that produced defeat through the Foley Scandal. (They will allow social conservatives to take no responsibility for Delay's corruption, for a breakdown in fiscal discipline, for disaster in Iraq, and for inept policy on North Korea, all of which related to their political approach to governance.)

And in Indiana they will point to a few aspects of Democratic conservatism, such as Pat Bauer's pledge to put the amendment to the vote, and conservative southern Indiana Democrats supporting the amendment, as evidence that it was a conservative message that acheived victory. (And they will blame programs such as Toll Roads and Daylight savings time, programs which (in the first case) have been embraced by Democratic governors and (in the second case) had been pursued by former Democratic administrations. )

GIVING THE REPUBLICAN PARTY THE MESSAGE OF PROGRESS

If the Republican Party experiences general, across-the-board, defeat, the message will strengthen the social conservative argument, not weaken it. There are several races where the success of a moderate Republican would in no way empower social conservative control. Moderate Republican success in these races, contrasting with what appears to be a looming general defeat of the Republican Party, would send the unambiguous message the glbt community and its allies want the Republican Party to hear.

(This message crossposted to First Republicans Forum.)


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Ok, Chris.. let me jump at this bait. WHO in this election cycle is a MODERATE Republican? Greg "The Flogger" Walker? Maybe Woody Burton? Or on the national level Johnny Ho Hostetler? Or even Steve "I take my army boots everywhere, except Lafayette, but I NEVER go there anyway" Buyer?

Other than Carl Brizzi and a few winks and nods from behind safe closed doors from other Republicans -- we know who they are-- there are damned few Republicans who want gay votes--or believe in things I want.

I am actually fairly fiscally conservative, but a huge supporter of public education. (Comes from buying a house and seeing my assessment go up 10,000 in one year!) I don't see Hoosier Republicans doing enough on that-- but rather, like Sodrel "I have enough money to buy this election and my own brewery" wants to focus on gays and flag burning. Wow, he must have caught that mass gay wedding and flag burning ceremony we held down in Nashville, eh?

I don't want to be snide.. but I am tired of hearing pleasant assurances from behind the curtains of the state party, while candidates are given carte blanche to bash my friends, family, neighbors and ME.

Can you point out some of these moderate Republicans, so we can possibly send the Wing-Nuts the message that THIS type of R wins?

And by the way--- divided government is a GOOD thing-- so vote Democratic for the state and national House.. even if you have to hold your nose to do it.

If you can come up with a Republican that would vote against amending our constitution, would work to strengthen the middle class and that doesn't think that 9.00 an hr is "good money", that wants to find a solution for the mess in Iraq as well as finding a good solution for healthcare (sorry, I've gone the medical savings route and it sucks), let me know, I'd vote for them.

Chris Douglas | October 20, 2006 1:01 PM

I have now posted regarding Carl Brizzi, who meets the criteria in my opinion.

Provided that the Democrats have enough other seats to take Congress, in my opinion Eric Dickerson's election would send a strong message to the Republicans here, especially since Dickerson has voiced opposition to any constitutional amendment, support for comprehensive nondiscrimination legislation (properly worded), and a refusal to acquiesce to the existing House Republican leadership. His could be a powerful presence. (I speak only on glbt issues; voters will have to decide for themselves regarding the charges of 15 years ago.)

It is also important to note that candidate for Indiana House Jon Elrod has stated his opposition to the attempt to amend the Indiana State Constitution. Elrod is the ONLY Republican candidate for the house I am aware of who is a vote against that amendment. Unfortunately for Elrod, issues of House control in this instance are hard to ignore, but Elrod should be treated with the kindness and courtesy due a friend of the community. I hope that he remains ambitious, for his influence would be a healthy one.

Also, candidate for Marion County Clerk Donna Edgar attends meetings of the First Republicans, a group with a strong statement of nondiscrimination, and she attended the Lambda Legal fundraiser.

I will be voting a straight Democratic ticket in Local, State, and National elections and I will be inhaling deeply! My vote will support:
1.EQUALITY of the economy, stupid
2.The Democratic representatives who play NO part in introducing the thieving, disgraceful onslaught of LGBT civil-right-denying legislation! ((Republicans introduce the legislation intended to establish our second-class citizenship, not Democrats!)

Ellen Andersen | October 20, 2006 5:24 PM

Chris, an article in today's New York Times indicates that Republicans are falling all over themselves trying to assign pre-emptive blame for probable losses on November 7th. While social conservatives will certainly blame us, they ALWAYS blame us. Should Lincoln Chafee win in Rhode Island, Republicans will not take it as a sign that moderate Republicans can win. They'll just argue that voters picked the lesser of two (liberal) evils.

Chris Douglas | October 20, 2006 11:31 PM

Ellen, thanks. I am aware of the article.

My point in Indiana is that if a moderate Republican wins while a social conservative goes down to defeat against a liberal, the point will be pretty difficult to obscure. Social conservatives would have a hard time justifying why both Brizzi, Dickerson, AND Orentlicher (for instance) would win their races. They can't say that Densborn failed for being too liberal, for they back her completely as a conservative.

But if only Democratis win, and moderate Republicans lose, the conservatives will argue that it was because the entire party was not true to its conservative faith.

Chris-- I am afraid that a lot of the Republican Party -- both social and fiscal conservatives -- seem to be blind to the facts that don't fit in their Weltanschauung.. and focus only on their own pre-conceived Weltordnung when deciding how to proceed. This pre-emptive pre-election destructive tendency this time is already showing that the socials will definitely blame the NOT conservative enough part... and the fiscals will try to dampen down the socials influence, while realizing that they need those huge churches to turn out to vote.

The new book about Rove & Co behind doors-- I have only heard about it.. not the title-- is the real deal. After 30 years of careful social/fiscal marriage -- this conservative juggernaut might just be about to fall apart.

So.. will the Mods benefit? Or will the socials successfully claim that The Rep Party lost because it was not pure enough?

Chris -- I want and NEED the Moderates to be successful!