Conservatives...what will/should the Republicans do?

Not sure if this question has been asked of the boards small remaining conservative types, but what do you think the Republican’s will do assuming McCain loses in November AND assuming Republican numbers continue to dwindles in the house and senate in the next election cycle? What is the likely Republican response?

And what do you think they SHOULD do after this election cycle, again assuming the Republican’s get spanked both in the Presidential and house/senate races? How should the Republican’s deal with with this and what should they do to attempt to mend their fences and reverse the current trend?


Well, I certainly hope that they will pull their head out of their ass and start talking sensibly again. What ever happened to the good old Republican ideal of individuals being responsible for themselves? That seems to have been replaced with a Big Government mentality that feels it is their role to make decisions about my personal life.

I don’t need the government to make decisions on my behalf about reproductive choices or whom I decide to marry. I think those decisions are best left to the individual. If the GOP would remember that we are a secular nation and get back to small government, they might have a chance of making a comeback.

When I look at the Republican party today, I don’t even recognize it. Hard to believe this was the party of Abe Lincoln.

Why? What was Lincoln’s position on gay marriage and reproductive rights? :slight_smile: But I don’t think there’s much the Republicans can do except for wait for the Democrats to screw up so they can come back.

What, the Abe Lincoln that was a staunch believer in public works to boost the economy? The Abe Lincoln that put together a massive government effort to interfere with the personal lives of millions of Southerners?

Not that he didn’t have good reason to, but you’re confusing exactly what role Lincoln played in American politics - he wasn’t a conservative or a libertarian by any means. And if the Republican Party has changed since the 1960s, perhaps it is because we have different problems today than Lincoln had.

It may need to change again, just as it did in the past, and as the Democratic Party has numberless times (they were once the natural home of Lincoln’s enemies). But let’s not delude ourselves about what that will entail.

What a breathtakingly hilarious euphemism.

But even though you’re just using it ironically, I can’t help but think that it’s still obscuring the facts of the matter. By which I mean: do you really think that starting a civil war to end human slavery is a good barometer of the man’s political leanings? The circumstances were a wee bit exceptional, but you’re talking as if you can use them to judge whether or not he’d support universal health care or cigarette taxes.

Your underlying point may or may not be valid, but either way I think you’re undermining your argument for the sake of a quip.

Well, it’s a good barometer of the leanings of his day. He believed in the preservation of the Union above almost all else. He was anti-slavery, but that was secondary.

But the response was to a statement that “the party of Lincoln” was one of limited government. And I rather doubt that Lincoln even thought in those terms. The assumptions about the role of government was radically different then. The New Deal and the Great Society and Social Security and Medicare changed things, very much.

What was Lincoln’s position on gay marriage? I have no doubt that he would have been horrified at the very thought, but I also don’t think it is a very useful question.

Now that Patriot Act - maybe that’s different. After all, Lincoln suspended habeas corpus…



Okay I retract the Lincoln reference since it was clearly misinterpreted. But I stand by my original statement that the Republican party needs to pull its head out of its ass in order to reverse the current trend.

I’m post here just to say that I am not going to post in this thread. I think conservatives should be able to have this discussion here, without us non-conservatives jumping in to shit all over it.

*Complete separation of church and state, and for real this time.

Gay/Lesbian population has as much right to the goat fck rodeo that is divorce as anyone else.

*Conservatives, meet science. Now, if you see science coming down the hallway, pretend it is the school bully and get the hell out of the way.

*Think about abortion for a second, then imagine it were men who were the ones getting pregnant. Do you really believe that there wouldn’t be drive-thru windows at abortion clinics? Exactly.
And separate from any party:

*Pass a law that makes it illegal for a candidate to state what his religion is, that way all religions (and non religions) actually have a chance at the White House.

This coming from a former conservative (though many years ago). I’d go back to being conservative with those changes.

Maybe a viable third party will arise. That’s what I’d like to see. One that’s not associated with the religious right.

There is that little thing called the First Amendment…

(And before you bring it up, I don’t support campaign finance restrictions, either.)

Vox Imperatoris

The Republicans need to shed the Religious Right by telling them that they can get on board or get left behind. We all know that they’ll vote Republican anyway so there’s no need to pander to them.

They need to get a grip on the social conservatism. Those days are gone. Gay marriage is coming, opposing it is futile. It’s not like they have to embrace it, but they have to accept it. Same with abortion.

If they want to maintain their claim that they are fiscally conservative they actually have to demonstrate that they are rather than just saying it in defiance of the facts.

They have to provide principled opposition without the petulance they’ve demonstrated over the past few years. None of this filibuster nonsense, none of this “nuclear option” crap, and they have to compromise instead of taking their ball and going home when they don’t get their way.

In other words, they have to become the moderate party. They have to come to the middle. It’s a place they haven’t been for a long time.

IANAC but here’s my opinions on the subject:

First, Conservatives have to acknowledge they lost. No excuses. No claims that defeat was a fluke. No looking for someone to blame. They need to listen to the voters who saw the conservative agenda and chose something different.

Second, they have to take a long look at that agenda. They have to break it down into individual pieces and decide what works with the American people and what doesn’t. What parts are core values and what’s just chrome. What parts can be salvaged and what needs to be abandoned. And what parts aren’t working together.

Third, they have to look at themselves. Look at the people who are Conservatives or who are proclaiming themselves to be Conservatives. Look at people who aren’t Conservatives and ask why they aren’t. Decide who they want representing their movement.

Fourth, they should look around at America and see what’s going on. Look at the changes that have occurred and try to figure out what direction we’re heading towards. Look around to see what new ideas should be made into part of the conservative agenda.

Finally, they have to take this reborn movement back to the people. They have to present their new agenda and explain why its ideas are good. They have to present their new representatives and explain why people should listen to and support them.

Right, because the government hasn’t already violated the First Amendment like Jodie Foster on a pinball machine.

Well, it was a slow start, but getting some good comments here. I agree with Airman and Little Nemo…I think the Republican party needs to take a good hard look at itself and try to bring the party up to date and in step with the majority of Americans, instead of playing to a small but vocal base. The party needs to move permanently to the center on social issues, even if it means they initially lose the support of the religious right wing. Fuck em I say…let em go off and form the equivalent of the Green Party on the right that deals strictly with religious and quasi-religious issues. See how much traction they get when they aren’t associated at all with a major party.

The way the Republicans will distinguish themselves from the Democrats, I think, will be on economic issues. They need to go back to their smaller government and fiscal conservative roots, if for no other reason than to give the people a REAL choice. Maybe the people will choose the Democrats way (for a time)…but right now there doesn’t seem to be much difference between the parties on this issue (in what they do as opposed to what they say). Become the party of balanced budgets, fiscal conservatism, and yeah the party that is ‘friendly to business’. There is, IMHO, no shame in this…just like there SHOULD be no shame in being called a ‘liberal’. It’s just a different philosophy, and both have good points and bad. But if the Republicans are going to survive AND thrive they need to give the people a real choice where it matters.

Of course, what I THINK the Republicans will do is focus more intently on the social conservative aspects, because that’s what gets the most play with their current vocal base. I think this is the same mistake the Dems used to make, i.e. listening almost exclusively to the loudest and most active part of their base instead of to the centrists in their own party. I’m not convinced that even today the Dems are REALLY listening in fact…I think the Pubs have just fucked themselves so badly at this point that in the end it really makes no difference. People obviously want a change, no matter what that change is.

Appreciate all the comments so far, even though not many ‘conservatives’ seem to want to participate.


Actually the danger is that the Republicans will go the other way. The only thing McCain has for the social conservatives is that he is pro-life. His campaign didn’t catch fire until he picked a social conservative as his running mate.

If and when he loses, as seems likely, it is possible that GOP will decide that it is social conservatives from now on.

That having been said, I think the influence of the social conservatives on the GOP is rather over-stated. They get a lot of shit on the SDMB and in the MSM, simply because the left particularly despises them and looks down on them. Therefore it is rather natural for folks like Dopers and the like to assume that Republicans lose for the same reasons that they wouldn’t vote for them.

The sole and only reason McCain is losing is the economy. If we were humming along as we were during the majority of Bush’s terms, Cindy McCain would be looking at furniture. But, we’re not, and for some reason the American populace seems to think Obama’s brand of economic populism is going to do more than McCain’s. I doubt it will. Obama’s best chance is that he can’t achieve much, and the economy recovers on its own, and then he can take credit for it. If it does, he is an early favorite for re-election. If not, maybe he can write another book.

I would like a return to limited government - commitment to a balanced budget, extensive spending cuts, and handle issues like gay marriage and abortion by pushing it back to the states where it belongs. Pack the Court with textualists, and the problem pretty much takes care of itself. Liberals are going to still try to push these things thru the courts. The GOP can appeal to the social conservatives in its base by fighting back against that. Thus the SCs get politicians who can fight against having the government impose gay marriage or abortion or whatever on them by fiat, and the GOP can still include pro-abortion or pro-gay marriage types under its big tent.

Will it happen? Don’t know. We need a leader - a Reagan or a Gingrich. McCain is too much like Dole - too used to being in the minority to push back. So he is losing like Dole did too.

You know, I appreciate this - thank you very much.


I don’t want to intrude but is there really any need for the GOP to panic? They are the stronger party. They have more infrastructure and are much more successful in framing the national debate. The reason they are in the toilet now is because of the economy and the war. In four years the war won’t be a huge issue because either it will be over or Obama will have used up any credibility on resolving the thing. The same goes for the economy. Either it will have rebounded or the Republicans can paint it as the Obama Depression. Why should the GOP rethink their basic strategy? If they just stand pat they are likely to return to power soon enough.

Just my 2sense

Well, YMMV, but I think the country is moving away from the current social conservative positions of the Republican party. So…assuming I’m correct in that assessment, the worst thing the Republicans can do is stand pat and serve up the same ole same ole.


I think republicans need to keep their own counsel and stay true to their conservative ideals. We nominated McCain as this great moderate who was respected and trusted by the left. Republicans listened to the left and nominated their choice for our candidate. Now of course all the liberal enthusiasm for McCain is replaced by opprobrium. Big surprise, that.

IANAC, so any comment from me in this thread shouldn’t mean a hill of beans, so I’ll refrain.

I just want to take a moment to give credit where it’s due. xtisme, you get a lot of crap from folks on this board, some well deserved, some definitely not. I have to say, contrary to the inappropriate commentary questioning your intelligence I read from time to time, I find many of your posts and positions to be thought out and reasonable. Post 15 in this thread is a case in point. I could easily point to posts in other threads as well. I may not agree with your positions most of the time, but it’s not because you haven’t adequately made your case. Just thought I’d point out that even some of us Lefty McLeftinsons think you’re a pretty smart guy.

I now return you to your regularly scheduled thread.