October 18, 2005


This from NRO. I have never understood why the Republican leadership and campaign apparatus gets involved in fending off primary challenges from conservatives against sitting office-holders, particularly those loyalty to the party platform is less than predictable (the Pat Toomey/Arlen Spector dustup comes to mind). Any thoughts Steve-O, Colossus?

Posted by LMC at October 18, 2005 09:16 AM | TrackBack

Because they're idiots.

Actually, because it's an incumbency protection racket. If it were a liberal challenger to a sitting conservative, they'd back the sitting conservative.

Also, in their blighted worldview, it takes a liberal to win a general election in the northeast. They never consider the Goldwater effect -- broadening the base never occurs to them.

Posted by: The Colossus at October 18, 2005 10:10 AM

It is an incumbency protection racket...

But I don't think it is about "not broadening the base"...rather the opposite. In Ohio, all I ever hear from the GOP is about how they are building the "Big Tent" and how great that is...meanwhile, conservatives keep getting the shaft; the business climate is in the crapper; and you can't walk to the bathroom without stepping on a scandal of some sort...

Posted by: Matt Hurley at October 18, 2005 11:47 AM

Yeah, I live in the Bizarro world of Republican politics in Massachusetts -- even our Republicans would be Democrats if they were from anywhere else. Up is down, day is night, etc. For us, broadening the base means moving to the right.

Weird, huh?

Posted by: The Colossus at October 18, 2005 12:43 PM

Sounds depressingly similar to Oregon politics.

Posted by: Brian B at October 18, 2005 12:55 PM

Rhode Island is the smallist state in the union and it unfortunatly has that dim-wit PATRICK KENNEDY running it the people of RI need better leadership then from another kennedy idiot

Posted by: spurwing plover at October 18, 2005 02:51 PM

The problem came to a head in the late '70's. Moral Majority pointed out how easy it was to gain the levers of power in state parties. In Oregon, this lead to an eventual split in the party, with the new "religious" members controlling the party, and the elected officials depending on outside PACs for funding.

The question I always have is, how do you define "a more conservative" candidate? Quite clearly, it is a bible-thumping characteristic. Quickly, how many bible-thumpers can you think of currently in congress?

If you've got an incumbent with cross pary appeal, it's the more conservative one--the bible-thumper--who tries to throw the monkey wrench into the works by worrying about what issues? A woman's right to choose.

I don't think we'll ever move forward until Roe is overturned and the decision about a woman's right to an abortion is returned to the states. If in states, like Oregon, the continuing determinination of whether or not abortion should be legal makes a candidate suitable to represent the Republican through its primary process will return the party here to its state and condition in the 50's and 60's. Where a small wing of the party will want platform planks, but where nobody pays them much attention.

The Republican party stands for more than anti-abortion. Until Roe is overturned--and I hope it will be--abortion, which will not be banned in Oregon, will continue to be the acid test for "what a conservative means" means. Being a conservative can revert to meaning that some decisions deserve to be left to a man and woman, their physician and minister. Physicians will have the right under Oregon law to refuse performing abortions. But current Oregon law would allow unfettered access to clinics performing abortions.

For a current state of state laws on abortion, see:


The right to privacy means just that. Private decisions should be private.

Posted by: OregonGuy at October 18, 2005 05:20 PM