This tale of a Republican who left his party was posted at David Frum’s site the other day.
I am an old Republican. I am religious, yet not a fanatic. I am a free-marketer; yet, I believe in the role of the government as a fair evenhanded referee. I am socially conservative; yet, I believe that my lesbian niece and my gay grandchild should have the full protection of the law and live as free Americans enjoying every aspect of our society with no prejudices and/or restrictions. Nowadays, my political and socio-economic profile would make me a Marxist, not a Republican.
The whole thing is worth a read, in part to contrast this traditional conservative’s view of Democratic policies with what we hear from the current crop of conservatives.
In the 80’s, the term “Reagan Democrat” was thrown around constantly to describe voters who left the Democratic party because of a mixture of ideology and admiration for Reagan. This guy is an “Obama
Democrat Republican”, but we don’t hear a peep about a phenomenon that’s just as real as Reagan Democrats ever were.
oh, and we all notice we’ve got another crazy-loosey martyr candidate going?
He maybe real but is he authentic? What is the truthiness here. Does he live in a small town like REAL Americans do?
You mean an Obama Republican I think.
Obama republicans nothing but Vichy Frenchmen!
Jim, Foolish Literalist
You mean Obama Republican? the only one that comes to mind is Christopher Buckley, but I know there are a lot more who have publicly come out as Obama Republicans. Just yesterday I was reading about some nutbag–pundit or radio jackass– who is now a Tea Bagger but defends himself by saying “I voted for Obama, but….”
Someone was just arrested for making death threats against Nancy Pelosi. The media’s addiction to false equivalency is just giving cover to these animals. When will someone show a little courage?
Amen! I liked that article. I’d feel better debating points with somebody like that fella on the Frum site than the idiot trolls that defend far-right talking points out of pure ignorance.
We can all disagree but when disagreement turns to threats of violence, death, throwing bricks into windows and acting like sore losers when you don’t get your way that is ridiculous.
As an older guy who was a long time republican til I couldn’t take the religousness of the party anymore (and I was never a social con – I was always quite open and tolerant of others) I welcome somebody that articulates that Republicans should go back to the days of Eisenhower (who I have always loved).
Undercover FBI Agent DougJ
I think that a very high proportion of Republicans in New York State actually agree with this guy in the issues. They just haven’t paid enough attention to know that the party has left them yet.
My friend is visiting in Belize. She just posted on a chat we frequent that she is soo going to hell. Seems she told a priest she would rather suck Hitler’s dick than see the rest of the futbol match with him. In her defense, she didn’t know he was a priest at the time.
@Jim, Foolish Literalist:
Thanks, fixed it.
True, but you should add the ‘Failed Media Experiment’ label as well, because it’s all about the framing. The Media Village Idiots decided that ‘Reagan Democrats’ were important; now they’re deciding (have decided) that ‘Obama Republicans’ are not. Which indicates that our failed media are, well, IDIOTS…. for the purposes of the tiny portion of the population who get to own our country, useful idiots.
The party even left me, never said a word.
@Undercover FBI Agent DougJ:
Would be very nice if the newsmedia stood up to this tea party idiot movement. Frum is a blowhard 99% of the time BUT I can debate the guy and not feel like he’s gonna storm off like a little coward if we disagree.
First Coburn shocks the shit out of me and now this. Hmmm….I hope this gets the attention it deserves. IF the right has issues with HCR they could have tried to SERIOUSLY work with the Dems to pass something acceptable (even though the HCR bill has many conservative elements in there!).
Compromise is part of politics and it would be nice if the right would stop whining, tell the racists, Christianists and nativists to STFU and come back to reality.
In the 80’s, the term “Reagan Democrat” was thrown around constantly to describe voters who left the Democratic party because of a mixture of ideology and admiration for Reagan.
And for racism. Never forget that we are talking about someone who kicked off his campaign talking about states’ rights while in Philadelphia, Mississippi.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
@Undercover FBI Agent DougJ:
I have no hopes that it will take root, but I keep hoping someone will start asking Mike Castle if he’s going to be a Filibuster Republican.
For that matter, a good many people in VA seem genuinely surprised to learn that Bob McConnell, BA Liberty U, is a wingnut. Douglas Wilder among them.
This just proves our media has a con bias NOT a liberal one.
AND left us deep in debt but noooooo, nobody ever fairly discusses that issue.
Reagan left us in debt so the Dems couldn’t spend money on social programs. Then Clinton puts us back on track financially (never gets any credit) and then Bush blows it all but it’s somehow all Obama’s fault. According to my conservative leaning indie friend, Bush was bad but Obama = worse somehow?!?!?!?! HE SPENDS TOO MUCH MONEY according to his logic.
See HE spends too much. Yeck. The logic is killing my brain.
Reminds me of this guy.
Haha, good spoof of modern GOP thinking.
Whether the phenomenon is real or not depends upon whether or not these Republicans stick with Obama throughout his tenure and remain aligned with the Democrats after he leaves office. If they don’t, it’ll just mark an internal, temporary division within the Republican Party owing to internal revulsion at the Bush administration. IMHO
Sure we do. We just don’t hear about it from the current crop of Republicans running the talking head and dead tree news.
You only have to go as far as… well… here to hear about it. John Cole is about as Obama Democrat as anyone in this wide world is going to find.
I wish more of this would have come out during the debate. Maybe it was drowned out by all the teabaggers and the Chamber of Commerce creeps. Personally, I don’t know how any small business can afford to give decent health care coverage to its employees.
The Moar You Know
I read nothing but the blatherings of a Stalinist who worships the Muslim Hitler.
Excuse me while I throw this brick through the window of a Congressman I don’t like.
Why yes, Sarah. I do believe that the Tea Party is a growing, steaming movement.
We used to hear about Obama Republicans in the run-up to the election. I suppose it was still sort of muted though. Someone help me out here because I wasn’t alive then…during the ’80 and ’84 campaigns, did the media raise a big stink over “Reagan Democrats,” or did it sort of emerge in the aftermath of everything to explain those elections?
This. Every single goddam “Reagan Democrat” around here can be blamed on racism and nothing else. Fucking Reagan decimated the people around here. He should mocked and vilified on a daily basis, even lo these many years. But he isn’t. He’s the gold standard, as far as the idiots around here are concerned. Obama has done more for them economically than any president of the last 30 years with the ACA, but they will never admit that. Reagan is the man! We don’t make steel around here any more, we have our young people leaving in droves because there is nothing here for them, but Reagan! He made it morning in America because them there welfare queens have taken a hit!
We can’t, it’s impossible. Funny how small business owners (maybe not this fella apparently) believe the nonsense they are told that the GOP cares about them.
They do NOT.
Malron aka eclecticbrotha
As a devoted
Obamaton, Obot,Obamacrat, I welcome him into the party. Kumbaya, my friend, Kumbaya….
Oh, honey! Reagan Democrats were all the rage during the Carter administration, but they didn’t call them that yet. It was set in stone by 1980, though.
Stop spitting on blacks, Jack
And threatening Dems, Jim
Your state’s turned blue, Lou
And so should you
You don’t make more than 200 grand, Dan
And Obama’s not a Socialist man
So stop drinkin’ the tea, Lee
And listen to me
There must be fifty ways to leave the Republican Party
It’s a pretty common story these days. Happened to me. I’m sure it’s happened to a lot of other people who quietly just walked away and started casting ballots for conservative or moderate Democrats and independents.
I’d happily cast a ballot for some Eisenhower and T. Roosevelt Republicans these days.
Hell, I’d probably cast a ballot for their corpses before I’d ever cast one for Palin.
The Moar You Know
@Mark S.: My company spends, on average, 1300 dollars per month per employee just for health coverage. That does not include the overhead of administering it, or dental, or vision.
Thankfully, a significant portion of them remained on Tricare, don’t have kids and/or spouses, and most of them are under 50. Without those three saving graces, we’d be bankrupt.
They can throw me in a secret jail or take me away before i will EVER vote for candidates that push nonsense they way this new breed of GOP (and Palin) / teabagger movement does.
They can all be ignorant together just STFU unless there is rational thought coming out of your mouth, no more lies or distortions of history and stop with the subtle race baiting. I am so over this crap and I hope more Americans stand up to these people and just say NO.
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Yeah, but… this individual traces his split back to the ’90s (Gingrich and The Two Pats); Buckley and a lot of others cite Palin rather than Bush or Cheney. It seems to me that Palin, ‘Baggerism etc is a natural outgrowth of Reagan’s simplistic pandering (including his dog-whistle racism and milimeter deep religiosity) to Bush I’s cheap demagoguery (“card-carrying member of the ACLU!”). The party had a choice in 2000 between McCain (his moderate incarnation) and Bush II. They chose Bush, and Palin, Cheney, Crazy McCain etc are the natural sequence of that choice. I don’t think they can turn the boat around in the next five years.
It’s pretty amazing to see when Frum ends up being the last same conservative.
If he were Brisitsh… would be he Labor party?
Jim, Foolish Literalist
Just flipped on Tweety. He’s using Palin and Bachman as examples of the takeover of the GOP by Teh Crazee. I gotta mute Palin, but she’s mugging and smirking like a bad sitcom actress.
I’m a small business peep, and I went to a tax seminar once put on by my accountants with some of their other clients. And I gotta say, the knee jerk republican stupidity of those people was despiriting.
Them’s folks I’d consider.
Sure would be a lot more interesting political discussion if they still existed.
I’m laughing so hard, I’m crying & I have to blow my nose. Hysterical.
Pigs & Spiders
@Chyron HR: Awesome. You win an internets.
It’s pretty amazing how fast and how far the purity purges on the right have gone in just a couple of years. Frum wasn’t some liberal northeastern GOP holdover from the Nixon administration – he worked for W fer chrissakes. He hasn’t even had enough time to send his clothes out to the dry cleaners to get the stink of serving in the Cheney administration out of them yet.
Before her assimilation into the O-Borg was complete, my Mom did just that: she wrote in TR in 2000 and 2004.
Ed in NJ
Wake me when we hear from a Republican-turned-Democrat that hasn’t recently gotten sick, lost their job, or discovered their close relative was gay. It’s just another manifestation of their selfish “what can the party do for me?” mentality.
Just Some Fuckhead
Very good point.
I think I read once that Obama Republicans were just Reagan Democrats coming back home but I always thought Reagan Democrats were the party bigots that were fearful of the Rise of The Black Man in the Democratic party (embodied by the high profile of Jesse Jackson) and who glommed onto the subtle racist message Reagan was scripted with.
Yes, sadly, they don’t.
I like to imagine that if T. Roosevelt were alive today, he’d be spending most of his days kicking the asses of every Republican spokesman, leader, and pundit he met.
It makes me smile.
I don’t know how you could watch the absolute hysteria in the GOP’s response to Clinton and think it could end any other way.
I enjoyed the piece, and I think he wrote honestly, but he voted for Clinton, twice, and admires him. I assume he followed what happened during that time?
So how to explain not anticipating what was going to happen next?
Republicans went full-bore INSANE in response to Clinton. I knew at the time the next Democrat was in for much, much worse, and that has turned out to be true.
Was Clinton not sort of a head’s up for Republicans who suspected their Party was going off the rails?
They tried to REMOVE a center-Right, moderate, popular President. I don’t know: that wasn’t an indication that they had gone crazy? Because it was to me, I’ll tell you.
Reagan Democrat? Hell, I’m old enough to remember the “Democrats for Nixon” phenomenon — Dems who thought McGovern was too left-wing. The media thought this was amazingly cool, of course.
I posted this column on a college e-mail list. Immediate response from a very young guy who fancies himself as a true conservative-was that this guy cannot be a Republican. He has to be a fake.
That’s where we are now-even when people have genuine decisions of conscience now-no one accepts it.
This is why I dread the possibility of the GOP retaking control of Congress. Not because they’d repeal HCR; they won’t do that, despite their recent bluster to the contrary. No, I’m afraid that with a Republican Congress, the impeachment talk would would be front and center, along with endless hearings on the supposed misdeeds of the Obama administration.
A core building block of the ‘Reagan Revolution’ was the consolidation of Southern conservative ex-Democrats post-Civil Rights era (i.e., racist or opposed to integration) with Western populist conservatives under a party still driven by Eastern corporate establishment money interests, while buttressed by the Talibangelical money masters & grassroots.
Now, the party’s been taken over by its most radical regional contingent, and all loyalty has been demanded to the TeaTard Neo-Confederate Unfettered Capitalism Hawk brigades.
No shit that they should be driving people away — they’re practically trying to shove away any of the old coalition moderate pro-business Republicans of the Northeast and Midwest.
I find it striking that the Fox Party always claims to want a weak gov’t and a strong armed forces – which, historically, leads to a strong gov’t anyway, in the form of a military dictatorship.
I guess that’s what they want, though.
@Ed in NJ:
I was a Republican for 20 years and recently switched back to Democrat after this past presidential election. I became an Obama supporter during the primary.
I have not lost my job (tenure), have health insurance for every job I ever had since 18 years old and found out about
my gay child several years ago.
IOW I have had no expectations from any party for my livelihood ever.
I agree. I had to check out for a period during the Clinton witch hunt(s). I just had this horrible feeling that this was the “new normal”, and I couldn’t listen to media and Republicans and cowardly Democrats anymore. I did a lot of gardening.
I also have this real respect for process, it may be the only thing I really believe in, and I think impeachment as a process was discredited. I resent the hell out of that. It’s ours. It was put in there as a mechanism to guard against a real abuse of power, and they wielded it like a sword, instead of as a shield. I was watching Republicans discredit a process I MIGHT NEED and render it meaningless.
It all seemed so reckless and wasteful to me. Who watched all that and didn’t get some sense of foreboding?
I’m in transition myself. It’s funny what can happen once you start reading things outside your comfort zone.
Fiscally conservative but socially liberal folks like this were a key part of TR’s voting block in the 1912 election when the GOP split in two. They mostly came back to the GOP after that but for a long time the GOP had a liberal wing because of them. This guy is old enough to remember when the term “liberal Republican” actually made sense. The GOP was able to gain on the Dems during the period of the Southern strategy by holding on to voters like this while making gains with other groups, on an issue-by-issue basis, without straining that coalition to the breaking point. It is interesting that the writer quoted by Frum never says anything about foreign policy or the Iraq war. All the issues he talks about directly are domestic.
When Democrats lose, there’s a long self-flagellating process where the party agonizes over every voting segment and tries to figure out how to win them back. Reagan Democrats, Security Moms, Values Voters, Nascar Dads, etc.
When Republicans lose, they just shrug it off and fight even harder to win.
For the last two decades, they’ve been hemorrhaging votes outside the South. As late as 1988, Republicans were able to win California and Vermont.
You don’t see Republicans lamenting this, because it’s still statistically possible for a Republican to win the presidency by locking up the South and squeaking by in Ohio.
Republicans aren’t going to change, and attempt to appeal to a broader group of people until they’re completely locked out of the electoral college.
@steve: Yeah, their first order of business would be to spend a few weeks on Obama’s qualifications to be president and trying to settle the birther nonsense.
Next few weeks would all be about the now non-existent ACORN.
Then there’s that real estate ‘scandal’ that I’m sure demands a lot of investigation even though no evidence exists to point to anything illegal on Obama’s party. That’s just because they haven’t looked hard enough yet.
Jay in Oregon
@Ed in NJ:
She doesn’t have a column (she is a small-town politician, though), but Mom left the Republican Party around the same time that she left the Catholic Church. It got so that she couldn’t deny the hypocrisy of either institution anymore, and she was finally able to bring herself to admit that a lot of her opinions were uninformed and based on what others had told her to think, or to fear. She got tired of being told to be afraid.
Permanent majority, bitchez!
Epic win! :o)
There are going to be a lot more of those confessionals coming out in a few years. Unfortunately, it might take Jon Huntsman or Chuck Hagel quitting the party before the news media sit up and notice. Of course, they’re basically commies already. And they’ve both spent time overseas when they were younger, so it’s not like they can be trusted anyway.
Davis X. Machina
The Party not only left me, but it rolled down the driveway in neutral before turning the ignition out in the street so I wouldn’t hear it leaving me….
@Undercover FBI Agent DougJ: Not just NY, but all of the northeast where Obama has massive approval ratings, even among Republicans. He’s at a net +54 in the northeast (no worse than 77% approve, 23% disapprove). Even among Republicans, the guy is popular.
Just dropped in on this site and reading the comments about wingnuts, teabaggers, cheny, republicans, reagan
man there is sure a lot of anger here
it seems to me that both sides are spewing the party line
Martin, it is important that the media and republicans don’t let the truth get in the way of a good narrative. It should be a sign of the times that Obama, who is annoyingly centrist, is hated by a good 27% of the population. The health care bill – a great deal of it was taken from the Dole bill of 1993. Cap and Trade, FISA, Afghanistan – not that far removed from what would traditionally be considered Republican positions.
But the GOP, in their thirst for power, forgot that rhetoric has repercussions. They have for so long identified themselves by what they are not (gay, foreign, poor) that they, functionally, have no platform left to stand on. When their response to complex and nuanced social problems is the equivalent of an 18 page pop-up book: when the leaders of the party have sold their intellectual heritage for campaign donations: when their response to the challenges of the day is to take their ball and go home – they have effectively ceded their ability to be considered a party capable of governing.
The fellow, Chris Currey, who wrote that article actually claims that the GOP went sociopathic during the 1990’s.
Uh huh. Apparently, he can’t remember the GOP re-writing the history of the Treaty of Yalta. Or aiding/abetting McCarthy. Or absorbing all the southern racists after LBJ passed the Civil Rights act. Or insisting that we *can* win Vietnam. Or praising the murders that happened at Kent State (Reagan himself did so). Or Nixon’s rather blatant corruption. Or pretty much all of the Reagan administration.
The party left me. Right after I got lung and prostate cancer, she up an’ walked out the door, fer a younger man with health insurance and better earning potential. The fucking libs were right – I never shoulda married a Randian.
But I was young and she was Randian … what else could I do?
You’d have done the same.
Just Some Fuckhead
The party left in the rain without closing the door and now I got this cheesy song stuck in my head.
Wasn’t Frum that jerk that got his arse handed to him on live tv by Rachel Maddow? Is he posting the GOP-left-me letter to redeem himself?
Never was a Republican, and have never liked Republicans. Once upon a time when I was young in the 60’s and 70’s Republicans were the local Chamber of Commerce members who were recognizable by their gray suits and short hair, and they yelled at everyone younger and hipper to get off their lawn. They weren’t crazy, however. They were mean though, and to my youngster’s mind, mean people suck, ergo Republicans suck. They always have, and always will.
When I see the angry screaming teabagger images, and hear the threats and ugly language, it reinforces the visceral negativity towards them that normal people feel who don’t live their lives with inchoate rage – i.e., most of us. Contrast that with Obama’s cool smiling unflappability, and the choice will be clear. It’s why he beat McCain, and why he’ll win again.
One should never pass up an opportunity to link to a John Rogers classic, in this case, i miss republicans.
Redeem himself? The man worked for George W. Bush and defended that doofus on the teevee with a straight face. There’s nothing to redeem.
No, Frum just got fired from his think tank and is trying, somehow, to find a new “mavericky” niche. Watch what he says and writes over the next few weeks: I’ll bet he bangs on this “GOP captured by Teabaggers” theme, but you watch — he’s not going to say a damned thing about Iraq. The invasion of which he fully supported, loudly.
I am resigned to this fact BUT I have a hard time buying the polls. Most people dislike Sarah Palin regardless of the b.s. crock that they try and push her as mainstream and popular (not).
I am of the opinion that IF America is so dumb and shortsighted as to put the VERY PEOPLE that created the mess we are in now BACK IN POWER, I hope each and every one suffers.
I will lose any empathy I have for my “neighbors” and “friends” who continually buy into this nonsense hook line and sinker. This “phenomenon” only came about when the black guy won. Weird…problem is my unemployed friends want to believe Obama is making it harder for them to find work which is so wrong.
Spewing what party line? Last I checked none of us spout talking points the way rightie blogs do.
@The Moar You Know:
Fuck. Me. How the hell does the American health care system survive?
Comparisons are odious, but here in Australia I pay about $150 a month for private health insurance, plus 1.5% additional tax on my income as a Medicare levy (and would have to pay an extra 1% if I didn’t have the private health insurance). Our highest tax rate is 45%, but most people pay 30%. My employer doesn’t make any contribution to health insurance.
Some of my standard income tax also goes to health funding, but the total I specifically contribute to health costs through buying insurance and medicare levy comes to about $5000 a year.
And yet, if I get taken to any hospital in Australia with a heart attack and spend weeks in and out of surgery it will not cost me a cent. No bills, no threat of bankruptcy, no spending the rest of my life paying off saving my life.
It staggers me what you poor bastards have to put up with, and just how fucked up your system is.
Amen to that.
Like many, I am an Obama Republican/ Democrat. When I canvassed neighborhoods for him in 2008, I was in a crowd of people who had never voted anything but GOP in their lives.
I keep pointing out how the mainstream GOP in the 1950’s would be perfectly at home in the Obama Administration today.
Truman would be scorned as a Marxist, and probably couldn’t get elected to county supervisor today.
I work in the industry. I am not sure how many BIG employers really care that much about the details of coverage costs versus the bottom line. Its not only offensive, its damned boring analytically and in terms of innovation. Notice I don’t even address health policy and quality…its not even in the frame right now
I am weary of it and am seeking an exit to something different. Wish me luck.
We let greed and profit get in the door early and before we knew it, there were a lot of pigs on the teats since all the other sectors were crowded and/or more tightly regulated.
Make no mistake, the first battle went our way, but there are many odious and intense battles yet to come. You do not get to 17% of GNP by accident and as I say, there are a lot of pigs on the teats of American healthcare.
Right now, we, the advocates for reform, are on the breast of the hill, but not the summit. Maybe we aren’t even that far yet. I hope that we are developing a taste for continued adversity and the ground game, cause just wait until this law has to be placed into the regulations that will enforce it. You aint seen nothing yet… (sadly — though I am totally up for it)
The party left me and now the doctor says I need a shot of penicillin.
@Ed in NJ:
Bullshit. I’m another Republican who left when those sanctimonious fools went ahead and impeached Clinton. There may not be a lot of us, but there are a fair number who despise religious fanatics and simple-minded ideologues, which means that we’re not willing to be a part of the GOP. Of course, with pricks like you in the Democratic Party, that’s not looking a whole lot better. Independent will do for now. Anyway, it looks to me like Obama’s as close to an Eisenhower Republican as I’ve seen in a long time. Why do you think you guys are so often so frustrated by him?
I’m more confident than that. I don’t think people respond to consistently negative messages, and Republicans are consistently negative. 100%. I don’t know how they get out of that box, either.
Democrats in 2006 ran on a series of tangible reforms. Health care reform, and re-regulation, almost across the board. Democrats essentially ran on bigger government. They certainly took advantage of Bush’s unpopularity, but they also had a positive, specific agenda, and Pelosi was quite successful at keeping them focused on the middle class. Republicans don’t have anything like that. They had energy, I guess, but Obama’s taken both nuclear and drilling away.
Paul in KY
The person who wrote that is a Republican I respect & wished still controlled the GOP.
That wouldn’t do it either. Lincoln Chaffee quit the party and it barely made a ripple. The news media would sleep through anyone short of Sarah Palin or Rush Limbaugh quitting the party.
You can wake up now. My 75-year-old father is such an example. He’s voted almost straight Republican up until George W. Bush. He was a Reagan supporter when Reagan ran against Ford. The eight years of W.’s presidency caused, as my father put it, the “scales to fall from my eyes.” He voted for Obama, the first Democrat he’s voted for since JFK.
It wasn’t not any selfish reason, it’s the rank corporatism that got him. (So maybe it was selfish of him, to think that Republicans were definitely in the pocket of the “big guy” and at least the Democrats were trying to help the “little guy.”)
It’s fun talking politics with Dad now. He starts every conversation with, “Can you believe what those sumbitch Republicans are trying to do now?”
Crossing parties because you admire the leadership and crossing parties because they’ve gone batshit crazy are vastly different things.
I’ve been hearing studies lately that Conservatives are more fearful than Liberals. I can’t remember where (darn it!) but that has to be why the Republicans push fear, uncertainty, and doubt (FUD) so much.
I think that we make more progress as a country when we aren’t afraid of what may happen if we do something, just of what will happen if we do nothing.
Why does the Republican Party seem to leave all of it’s Congressmen behind 6 months before each election then swoop back to collect them? Wouldn’t it seem more logical for the GOP to just move to the center 6 months before an election instead?