Dan: "Bob -- Don't you think it would have hurt Yes on 1 if the GOP had been active and the other side could have labeled it as a Republican effort?"
I never asked the GOP to be active for YES on 1. I am not saying they should have.
I am not even criticizing the GOP for being passive on social issues.
I am only saying that it is wrong to claim that the Maine GOP leads with social issues or even emphasizes them. And that if the Party becomes less concerned it will be a disaster. Removing the social/moral issues from the platform (which few people ever read and few candidates adhere to) would be a huge mistake.
There is a convention coming up in May. If you moderates want to take those issues out of the platform, go for it. If it happens, we will see what results and then we can return to the discussion. I am guessing it will not result in a Republican majority but a smaller minority. But hey - maybe I am wrong.
How about it people? Want to risk driving away the largest part of the republican party and see if it attracts enough social moderates to make up the difference? If I thought the complainers were the leadership or the majority of the Party, I would be gone and I would not be alone.
I am a Republican. I have worked hard to help build the Republican Party and elect republicans to office. I am getting more than a little tired of this. You want us in the Party but you want us to be quiet unless we agree with you. You want us to quietly support the Party while asking for nothing in return. Sorry but quiet is not in my nature.
And neither is grumpy and that is how I am feeling about now so I am going for a walk.
Vic - let me know if you think I should stay home from the convention.
Again - try to look at the situation from an "average voter" perspective. Not from the position of a political junkie, as we all seem to be, or someone pretty well-informed on the issues, or those who are into the minutiae of GOP vs. AMG vs. "real conservatives," whatever that is.
The "average voter" sees the Maine GOP as aligned with conservative positions on social issues like abortion and gay marriage.
Whether it's accurate or inaccurate to US isn't the issue. I think most of us already know pretty much how we're going to vote, and for whom.
It's the unenrolled, independent voters that we need to woo. Especially in this economy, I believe that is best done from the standpoint of fiscal conservatism.
Unless, of course, we'd like to ignore Vic's worthy warning, and stay in the political minority, ad infinitum.
Naran: The average voter's view of the GOP is mainly impacted by what happens on the national level, where the party is more interested in social issues. But Maine voters have shown an ability to get behind Republicans that distinguish themselves on those issues. Maine voters have also rejected lots of moderate Republicans.
As for being a minority -- one thing that would guarantee that would be driving off social conservatives. The GOP needs both social and fiscal conservatives -- and social and fiscal moderates -- to have a majority.
Bob: I did not have any problem with the social issues in the 2008 platform and have not argued they should be removed. I do think it would be a mistake to put a greater emphasis on those issues as was suggested early in this thread.
Dan - your comments beautifully illustrate why Maine Republicans and conservatives should put aside the social issues for this next year, and work together on getting candidates elected.
Nobody's asking anybody to abandon their principles. Instead, I suggest we merely park them at the door, for the duration, in support of the common cause, which I believe to be righting the badly-listing Ship of State.
Like I wrote previously, we can always polish the furniture AFTER we save the house from foreclosure.
Bob, I said nothing about you staying away from the convention. However, you show a bigoted mind if, because of my stance on social issues, you label me a moderate. That insults those of us who have toiled for the conservative positions since our Youth for Goldwater days and, in any multiple choice survey, will check "conservative" as best defining our views. But it proves my point that the very people who could provide the margin of victory to Republican candidates look at such comments and brand the Republican Party as full of narrow minded religious zealots who cannot respect others' personal, private social standards and stay away.
You see, this is where the debate is: "In support of the common cause" What is the "common cause"? Who/why/when/how did someone decide that after the entire history of the Republican Party, the "common cause" no longer included "social issues"? Would you have advocated "putting aside" slavery? How about the civil rights of the 1960's? Women's suffrage? Would you have left those "at the door"?
Are you going to tell the pro-abortion people to leave their proabortion views at the door? How do you think that will work?
Go for it. It is all yours.
I used moderate and social moderate in the same way you use social conservative. Call me what ever you want. I know your bias and I can live with that. There are social conservatives and social moderates and social liberals are there not? I am willing to learn if you want to teach me how I am wrong about that.
No, you said nothing about staying away from the convention. You just want me to go there and keep quiet about what is important to me. Are you willing to do that? You want me to help the party but not try to influence the platform. You want me to support candidates who disagree with me on the issues I deem most important but you are not willing to do the same.
Find the place I started any of these discussions. Yet you want to blame me.
The GOP needs both social and fiscal conservatives -- and social and fiscal moderates -- to have a majority.
The "average voter" supports the conservative side in both of these positions. Well, when you get out of Kennebunk, they do.
Many socons don't have any personal investment in fiscon ideas like the estate tax, or capital gains rates.
But they would be willing to support the party because they believe that the party represents the values that are important to them.
The Democrats are throwing away their social positions now - because they are losers at the polls. The socons look at the Democrats as being the party of entitlement and moral decadence, and vote against those values. If the democrats are tied to those social positions in the conservative districts they will reassure the base of support that they already have, but also drive away many of the moderates.
Republicans in Maine are terrible at letting the other side define them - define the Democrats for a change. Take the gay-marriage support and other loopy left causes and chain them right to it. See how well they sink or swim then.
social conaervatives or fiscal conservative? It would be actually nice if most of our canidates were at least 1 of these. I know no one will try and say our 2 senators are social conservatives but can anyone really convince me they are fiscal conservatives? Put up a canidate who is truly a fiscal conservative but not so much on social issues I can vote for them. A Jim Longly comes to mind as such a canidate who I strongly supported even though we did not agree on social issues.
If I can't find real meaningful common ground what is the point?
Here is one more consideration.
There are many people who would probably be defined as social conservatives because they believe in traditional marriage and in the right to life. But they also support broad social welfare programs and more open immigration policies. They are quite liberal in what are often termed "social justice" issues. Some of them are religious pacifists.
Many of these people tend to vote republican because the right to life and protecting marriage are among their highest priorities. Hide those issues and what Party is then closest to their views?
Good to hear maybe thats what we need, to split, and finally ahve 3 parties, then the greens would be more likely to split and we'd get 4 parties....
I am not in favor of a new party or of a split in the GOP.
A political party is just that and no more. But the GOP is the best hope we have for repairing the State and the Nation.
1. Solve the social issues, repair the family, and many of the fiscal issues take care of themselves.
2. Most economic issues last an economic cycle or two, a few years at the most, but damage to the social fabric is difficult to repair.
Trying to solve the fiscal issues without dealing with the social issues will give you a very temporary solution.
The above just proves my point on why the party would be better off having a mission statement outlining what Republicans can do for them over the next election cycle and only listing fiscal issues. Is there any Republican that disagrees about the fiscal issues? We already know the answer on the social issues from the comments above. Lets just get behind the things that all of us believe in for a change. Until we do that we will keep losing.
Bob and the others, do the fiscal issues mean nothing to you?
We should stop adopting a platform.
Primary voters decide what the party stands for when they pick candidates in the primary.
What the Maine GOP stands for will be very different, for example, if Peter Mills is the nominee rather than Paul LePage.
It is candidates that matter.
Do you want me to take that suggestion to the rules committee?
Larry wrote: "Is there any Republican that disagrees about the fiscal issues?"
Of course there are. Look at the voting by elected officials. There is a huge difference between our current candidates for Governor.
"Bob and the others, do the fiscal issues mean nothing to you?"
I doubt that you meant that as insulting, but it reads that way. Yes, we care very much about fiscal issues. Why would you think otherwise? I do not believe they are everything. Where do you hear anyone recommending dropping fiscal issues at the door or settingthem aside?
One of the best things about being a Republican is that we view disagreement as a healthy thing.
If I wanted to be a robot or have my views/votes dictated by someone else, I would be a democrat.
Until we do that we will keep losing.
You deserve to lose. You haven't even enough cohesion or backbone to be an effective minority opposition, let alone an effective majority. Why should an electorate settle for that?
I long ago gave up on looking to the government to act fiscally responsible - its a pipe dream. All I really look to the GOP for is to be a brake, a resistance to the fiscal irresponsibility and the "progressive" social machinations of the Democrats in leadership. At the national level the GOP has demonstrated some success at this, but I see very little evidence of it in here in Maine. The bar is actually quite low, yet is still hasn't been met. What conclusion should a self-interested, average voter draw?
Right on, FrancisZ!
What the Republican Party needs are some leaders who can man up with the cajones to act like Margaret Thatcher. :)
We should stop adopting a platform....It is candidates that matter
Well, that would be a little more honest. Come clean with the social conservatives, "You're a nice girl and all, but I was never gonna really marry you..."
Run a few free-floating, um, mavericks, and hope for the best.
Good luck with that, Mr. Billings.
My hero, Barry Goldwater, once said wisely:
"The religious factions that are growing throughout our land are not using their religious clout with wisdom. They are trying to force government leaders into following their position 100 percent. If you disagree with these religious groups on a particular moral issue, they complain, they threaten you with a loss of money or votes or both. I'm frankly sick and tired of the political preachers across this country telling me as a citizen that if I want to be a moral person, I must believe in 'A,' 'B,' 'C,' and 'D.'
"Just who do they think they are? And from where do they presume to claim the right to dictate their moral beliefs to me? And I am even more angry as a legislator who must endure the threats of every religious group who thinks it has some God-granted right to control my vote on every roll call in the Senate. I am warning them today: I will fight them every step of the way if they try to dictate their moral convictions to all Americans in the name of 'conservatism.' "
Of course, Barry started saying that stuff when he was no longer interested in winning elections.
It takes a coalition to win elections in this country. Right of center candidates can't win without social conservatives.
The liberals tell us we should ignore social conservatives because they know if we do, liberals win.
"Bob and the others, do the fiscal issues mean nothing to you?"
The above statement was not meant as an insult. I was trying to show that we had a common cause with the fiscal issues. I also believe that the vast majority of Republicans and Independents also share in our fiscal beliefs and if we lead with this we could win.
Look at New Jersey, a blue state, elects a republican governor, who believes that marriage is exclusively between one man and one woman.
Let us not put social issues aside.
When the 2007 budget was voted on 13 Republican heroes voted against the Baldacci / Tardy budget.
In the 2009 budget 26 heroes voted against the Baldacci / Tardy budget. Our next leaders should come from among those 26.
Robert as said in another thread Christie downplayed those social issues.
WE aren't saying to elect people who don't hold the same views, we are saying don't run on it, focus on the economy. ITS THE ECONOMY STUPID. Thats all people care about, win that issue, and you win.
Hey Vic - How many terms did Goldwater serve as President?
It really frosts my trails when people run for office wit high promises to represent their constituencies, get elected and then not only don't represent their people but don't even show up to cast a vote. It really is frustrating. Things only get done when elected officials show up. It is such a slam against those who elected them to not even be bothered to get up off their rump roast and show up for the meeting. How does it feel from your point of view Jim Cyr? Did you show up at the county meeting and make a non-report from your no show at the platform meeting? In all fairness, maybe you were sick or there were multiple deaths that kept you from the multiple meetings.
Solitary (hmmm.............another anonymous one!). See what I said to the other guys. About missing the meeting.
Your life surely consists of more than this??.........(Yes, there was sickness. But only one death. Thank you for asking).
By they way, how do you know I wouldn't have supported adopting the 2008 platform?
(Didn't Barry Goldwater get a bit............ummmm...........nutty towards the end of his career??)
From what I understand, Jim gained committee membership late in the process, and he wasn't notified about upcoming meetings.
If anybody's unhappy with the current committee members, there's an obvious solution, and it involves asking for membership yourselves.
Naran, I agree. Gaining membership to the committee is important, especially if you have strong feelings about your party’s positions on the issues and its direction. But don’t you think it’s important to make the effort to show up once you’ve gained access or find a likeminded individual to replace you or at least to make sure your name is removed from the roster if you cannot participate and have not participated? As it stands, Cyr’s name remains on the membership list: http://www.mainegop.com/PlatformMission.aspx. Much of what Cyr stands for is good. The only quarrel is: Money. Mouth.
[quote=LarryinAugusta]…because the social conservatives would not sign onto a platform (or any statement) that only listed fiscal issues…[/quote]
You mean conservatives didn’t have the votes to override their liberal counterparts. It’s all about the numbers, isn’t it? It's all about who shows up and who doesn't, isn't it? Money. Mouth.