General Question

avalmez's avatar

Are we seeing the last days of the Republican Party?

Asked by avalmez (1606 points ) April 28th, 2009

This past weekend news shows were ripe with comments and pundits proclaiming the Rebublican Party of the US is dead or certainly dying. Today, Sen. Spector of PA announced he’s leaving the Replublican Party for the Democratic Party.

Are we witnessing the beginning of the end of the Republican Party? And if you believe the answer is “yes”, should the Democratic Party be the only significant policitical party remaining in America?

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83 Answers

asmonet's avatar

I doubt it’s gonna happen overnight. Or really very soon, something with that many members takes a really long time to die off.

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t think so. Eventually we Dems will do something that pisses off enough people, they’ll start switching over. Or we won’t solve problems fast enough, and people will give up on us and go for the Reps’ ideas. It’s just part of the cycle. The balance has shifted way to the left. The Reps will soon figure out how to cover more of the middle, and things will even out.

KalWest's avatar

what daloon said ;)

MrKnowItAll's avatar

One can only hope

flameboi's avatar

nope, is like the end of the world, we all know is coming, but we don’t know for sure :s

tabbycat's avatar

No, I don’t think so. They’ve gone so far to the right that they are going to have to reinvent themselves and move to the center if they are going to continue to win elections. And I frankly think they have good survival instincts and will do so.

The same thing happened to the Democratic party when they moved too far to the left. They made some changes and are much more competitive than they once were.

The fact is that most Americans are centrists—or at least the far rightists and the far leftists cancel each other out. In order for Republicans or Democrats to win on a national level, they have to lean toward the middle. Since the first rule for either party is to survive, I believe they will ultimately do that.

jonsblond's avatar

@tabbycat I completely agree with you. Well said. lurve!

LKidKyle1985's avatar

I think everyone is taking the status quo for granted. I think there is a good posibility that the republican party will become the minority if they continue on their trend. Or prehaps a 3rd party will be created. Its hard to say but I would think its naive to take the republican party for granted. All I can say is the republicans in this country certainly have not redeemed theirselves since the previous republican administration was in office, and more and more bad things come out about the bush administration every week.

skfinkel's avatar

The republican party will have to respond to the fallout from their extreme positions. I believe they will have to change, and it would be good for the country to have a smart and thoughtful opposition, but what we have had these last years has been more hurtful than helpful to our democracy.

Judi's avatar

Politics is a pendulum. We are headed in a leftward swing, when it goes to far, society will pull us back to the right.

cwilbur's avatar

There are two things that the Republican Party could do now. One option is for them to clean house in a big way, and return to their pre-Religious Right principles: fiscal conservativism, small government, and civil liberties. This would attract a large number of voters, basically centrists, who aren’t happy with the Democrats’ fiscal policies but who don’t like the Religious Right either.

The other option is to die.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

There will always be a few of us left kicking.

Adina1968's avatar

One can only hope… :-)

ubersiren's avatar

Hopefully someone will realize soon that dems and reps are equally idiotic. :P

breedmitch's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater: And we will be kicking back.

jonsblond's avatar

@ubersiren I wish I could give you 10000 lurve for that answer! :)

Why do we need to kick each other? Wouldn’t it be nice if both sides could work together? Maybe something would get done instead of putting each other down.

breedmitch's avatar

@jonsblond: I’m in no mood to work together. There’s never any talk of bi-partisan co-operation when the right is in power. Well now they lost and as of today might have lost filibuster ability in the Senate. So I say it’s time to sit the fuck down, shut up and let us get on with fixing the clusterfuck of a country they got us in.
Of course I’m talking about the elected republicans. Joe Sixpack can spout whatever opinions he likes here or anywhere else.

Blondesjon's avatar

@breedmitch…It’s eerie. If I close my eyes and listen to what you just said I feel like I’m listening to Carl Rove. Different sides indeed.

avalmez's avatar

@breedmitch exactly what do you propose to fix? elaborate please on the clusterfuck.

avalmez's avatar

and compare your opinion to the theory of checks and balances on which the constitution is founded

avalmez's avatar

btw, bull 73 cetls 66…oh yeah!

jonsblond's avatar

@breedmitch Where are those hands that you were willing to extend when you were in the minority?

avalmez's avatar

btw, bulls 81 celts 71

breedmitch's avatar

A pointless war based on deceit, anti-regulatory business practices, zero energy policy, abstinence education, the religious right’s fear mongering to deny marriage rights to all, torture policy that degrades us in the eyes of the world community, zero initiative to provide basic healthcare for all, a “head in the sand” attitude toward global climate change, a generalized interpretation of the 2nd amendment which values gun ownership over the safety of its citizens, dick cheney eats babies, subsidized agro-business which contributes to poor nutrition (cornsyrup is quite possibly the most non-natural food known to man), a deflation of the value of appearing educated (Sarah Palin, anyone?), Shall I go on?

@jon: Those hands we extended then were slapped down. It’s time for republicans to take a back seat for a while. That’s what losing means.

@avalmez: Our system (not theory) of checks and balances has nothing to do with the political parties. It is designed to balance the power between the branches of government. The parties are not mentioned in the constitution.

jonsblond's avatar

I’m for neither side. It’s hatred like this that gets nothing done.

breedmitch's avatar

@jonsblond: I don’t hate anyone. I am, however vehement about my opionions of the last administration. I like you.

wundayatta's avatar

I sometimes get annoyed with people who believe that placing themselves in the middle is a balanced view of things. Good policy is based on science, not on being halfway between the extremes. Anyone who can’t see that the Dems pay attention to science, while the Reps are purely ideological, just isn’t paying attention.

jonsblond's avatar

@breedmitch :)

@daloon It’s funny. My entire adult life I have sided with the democrats. I would blow Bill Clinton if I wasn’t married.

When Hillary lost to Obama and I saw how the media treated her, I recognized the hypocrisy from both sides. The election opened my mind. I was then able to realize that we are all in this together.

I get annoyed by people who feel that their way is the right way and they have a “take it or leave it” attitude. The other side is “bad and wrong”. Why not listen to the other side with an open mind and try to work together?

breedmitch's avatar

@jonsblond: I’d lurve it if we could work together, but the other side believes I am entitled to less rights than others and, well I sort of shut down right there.

jonsblond's avatar

@breedmitch I wish for too much! :)

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@jonsblond Very utopian .. but it seems to me that people will always find a way to disagree.. and if no one picks a side then we would just numbly and happily follow along with whoever is the loudest wouldn’t we? I dunno..at some point there is a line of division between compromise and “riding the fence”.

jonsblond's avatar

I don’t ride the fence. I pick the candidate that I believe in. Democrat or Republican.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@jonsblond I guess I meant my response to be read in a more philosophical way. xD

jonsblond's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater I feel like the minority at times and get a bit defensive. I lurve you. :)

wundayatta's avatar

The question is where the middle is. I think the middle is between progressive communitarianism and social democracy. I listen to both sides. The conservative right is far too far away to be relevant or to have enough ideas that work for me to make it worth listening to all their crap. The Republicans are extremely off the charts in my mind.

I don’t know. Does anyone feel they need to listen to extremists? Do you believe in listening to the Taliban or the Jihadists, @jonsblond? I sure hope so, or else it seems to me that you don’t really mean it when you find yourself in the middle, and are willing to listen to everybody.

I think you find the middle to be in a very different place than I do. However, I think we are both just as reasonable. Being in the middle doesn’t require listening to everybody. I doubt if many people believe in listening to extremists. In fact, I do, but that is more so I can learn what I need to do in order to counteract the bad things they do. I suspect you feel more charitably about people who I consider to be extremists than I ever could.

Do you see what I mean about where we place the middle? It is not an objective thing. By placing yourself in a middle between Dems and Reps, you are staking out your own territory, but it is not necessarily a middle that anyone else sees.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

Lol. Right wing extremists. There’s a new one.

breedmitch's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater: What do you think religious zealots who target abortion doctors or harass women who try and have legal abortions are? They are right wing extremist nut jobs.

jonsblond's avatar

@daloon Before I can reply to this I’m going to need some examples of what you consider “Republican Extremism” to be. Seems to me it’s pretty extreme to judge and label a person based on their political leanings.

or should i just cover my face with a veil and shut up?

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@breedmitch Everything about that screams extremist.. but not conservative.

wundayatta's avatar

@jonsblond. Opposition to abortion. Faith based initiatives. Belief in elimination of social programs. NO child left untested. War is the best form of diplomacy. Welfare for the energy companies. Isolationism for the US. Refusal to talk to anyone if they don’t speak English. Refusal to eliminate mandated subsidies for the health insurance industry, and refusal to support all Americans being in a single risk pool (the most cost-effective way of providing universal coverage). Being anti-science. Using religion to make policy. Belief in nothing but punishment for crimes. Refusal to even consider rehabilitation.

My God. Is there anything they do that isn’t extremist? I mean, I could go on and on, but hopefully, you get the drift.

And again:

Seems to me it’s pretty extreme to judge and label a person based on their political leanings.

So I take it you don’t judge or label the Taliban? The Russians? The Chinese communists? The Hamas?

Please tell me you don’t judge anyone based on politics. I find that very difficult to believe. I mean, how do you get along in the world, thinking you need to listen to everyone? How do you have time to eat?

breedmitch's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater: So the abortion doctor killers are voting what, Green Party?

avalmez's avatar

@daloon well, uh, i just ate a late dinner as i read your response and guess what? your left is as to my right. your social programs are as to my let them have cake and eat it too. your war as the BEST form of diplomacy is as my just reach out and touch them, they won’t crash planes into buildings and kill innocents. your welfare for energy companies is like preaching clean coal energy to me. I do judge the Taliban, Communists, and Hamas. And i fully recognize that they judge me and you.

Garebo's avatar

Yes, thank god -sodom and gomorah have finally returned.

avalmez's avatar

@Garebo a great term i recently learned is, meh

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@breedmitch What I’m saying is that once you break the boundaries and bring yourself into extremist territory…you should no longer be classified equal and comparable to others who share your “party” just by virtue of your label. Here is a fine example of what I’m talking about.

breedmitch's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater: I’m a little confused about the intent of your link. Are you saying that Carrol is a leftist extremist? Are you saying you agree with his second paragraph and the Bush administration has lost touch with the meaning of conservativism and is therefore extreme?

I have to say, I read that entire article and can find no “extremist territory” within.
What exactly is your point?

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@breedmitch In the words of Poo: “Oh bother”.

breedmitch's avatar

@NaturalMineralWater- In the words of his creator:
“When you are a Bear of Very Little Brain, and you Think of Things, you find sometimes that a Thing which seemed very Thingish inside you is quite different when it gets out into the open and has other people looking at it.”
:)

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

I am thinking back to 1976, when the Republicans took a beating even worse than they did in 2008. A mere 4 years later, they came back with a vengeance behind Reagan. I would never underestimate them.

A lot is going to depend on the next 12 to 15 months. If Obama remains popular and the U.S. economy – the global economy, really, shows improvement; if we really wind down in Iraq; if Afghanistan doesn’t turn into Vietnam (as it did for the Soviets), then I’d say the Republicans are going to stay right where they are now. They may pick up a governor’s mansion or two, or a few seats in Congress, but they’ll remain ineffectual.

They will not lie down and die. They will just bide their time, like they did during the FDR years. I hope they will reinvent themselves somehow. Neconservatism is dead, dead, dead, but they just won’t bury the body. To overextend the metaphor, the corpse is starting to stink, and the public isn’t showing much sympathy.

If things get considerably worse economically, if we have foreign policy fiascos like Iran in 1979, then Obama and the Democrats could suffer the same fate they did in 1980. However, I think it’s fair to say right now that the fate of the Republican party is not in their own hands, and there is no charismatic figure like Reagan to lead them out of the wilderness.

They’re in bad shape. But they are far from going away.

NaturalMineralWater's avatar

@breedmitch I know you are but what am I?

jonsblond's avatar

@daloon For the record, when I stated that I like to listen to both sides with an open mind, I was speaking about politics in the United States. Taliban in the U.S.? You are the one being a bit extreme here. As I stated above, I get annoyed with people that are arrogant about their views and feel as if it’s the only way and are not willing to listen. I respect your views and I’m not going to tell you to shit down and shut up because you are wrong. You remind me a lot of Sean Hannity. Both sides have arrogant a**holes. Mosts people fall in between. That’s not riding the fence, it’s having an open mind with respect for others.

wundayatta's avatar

@jonsblond: I don’t think you understand my point, yet. @avalmez gets it. In any case, I have no other way to explain it. I agree with the principle that one should listen to people on either side. I don’t listen to extremists. I think you believe the same thing, but your middle is very far away from mine. For me, Republicans are extremists that it is only worth listening to because there are so many elected.

critter1982's avatar

Arlen Specter has always been a moderate with conservative views on crime, national security, and Second Amendment rights, and liberal views on abortion, immigration, and the environment. I’m from PA and his views always tended to lean more towards the left anyways. In general I believe the same as Daloon. Politicians are incapable of making everyone happy. Soon enough the Dems will piss of those unaffiliated voters and Repubs will come back.

avalmez's avatar

@daloon hey, what exactly do you mean by, “yet @avalmez gets it”? huh?

jonsblond's avatar

@daloon Do you really need to make me feel small by stating that someone else “gets it” but I don’t? I get it. I just don’t like to label all Republicans as “extremists”. It’s like saying all blondes are dumb.

wundayatta's avatar

@jonsblond: I’m sorry about that comparison. I didn’t mean it that way. I was just frustrated that I couldn’t communicate this idea to you.

Do you talk to extremists? Do you think it an obligation to listen to their points of view?

To you, Republicans aren’t extremists. It feels to me like you’re saying that you’re the only person in the world who gets to say where the center is; that your view is right, because you are in the center. Do you believe it reasonable for me to feel like Republicans are extremists, and, as such, I don’t need to listen to them?

jonsblond's avatar

@daloon I never said my view is right. I just don’t believe in labeling all Republicans as extremists. Can you not see that I may feel the same about you? It feels to me like you’re saying that anyone that considers themselves to be in the “middle” does not have a balanced view. That the Democrats are right and the Republicans are wrong. There is good and bad on both sides. That’s all that I’m trying to point out here.

wundayatta's avatar

@jonsblond: Could you please answer this question. Is there any side, anywhere in the world, that you think there is no good in? Or, do you think there is some value to be found in anybody’s or any group’s ideas?

jonsblond's avatar

@daloon There is value to be found everywhere and in everything. When you stop listening is when you start missing opportunities to learn.

wundayatta's avatar

@jonsblond: I wish you luck listening to the Taliban (as a hypothetical example).

wundayatta's avatar

@jonsblond: Oh yeah? Well double “meh” to you! ;-)

critter1982's avatar

President O seems to be keen on the idea of listening to some extremists. Triple Meh!!

benjaminlevi's avatar

I doubt it would happen, but it would make me so happy if the green party took the republican party’s place. Them and the democrats could be the major political forces in the country, the republicans would get an insignificant percentage of the votes and people would laugh at their candidates for even trying

tiffyandthewall's avatar

you can take the person out of the republican, but you can’t take the republican out of the person.

perhaps it will go by a different name, but i really don’t think a group that large is going to just fall. this would require a HUGE group to change the majority of their views. until we are all on the same page – and that would be the democratic party, if we assume it would be on the opposite extreme – it’s not going to happen.

Blondesjon's avatar

Abraham Lincoln was a republican.Teddy Roosevelt was a republican. These are two men that I think did a decent job when they held the country’s reins.

Don’t get me wrong. There are plenty of douche bags out there that call themselves republican.There are also plenty of douche bag democrats, independents, green party candidates, and libertarians.

You are to busy hating a label you’ve been trained to hate, instead of looking at the person and what they stand for as an individual.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

@Blondesjon, Teddy Roosevelt was a Republican until the 1912 elections, when he lost the Republican nomination to William Howard Taft despite winning almost all of the primaries. Party rules of the day (and of today, to be technical; i.e. “Superdelegates” can still control the nomination process) did not require that most convention delegates be chosen by the primary process.

Roosevelt ran as a third party candidate in that year, splitting the Republican vote, and putting Woodrow Wilson in the White House on a plurality.

That schism in the Republican party was largely permanent. Roosevelt took the progressives with him when he split from the party, leaving the conservatives to inherit it. Their core philosophy has changed very little since 1912, although they’re so in bed with religious and social conservatives now that they can’t get back to their roots any more. If anything will be their undoing, that’s it.

However, there has been a disturbing trend in American attitudes very recently. Pew Research just released a study showing that support for two Republican hot-button issues – gun rights and restrictions on abortion – has grown sharply in the past year:

http://people-press.org/report/513/public-takes-conservative-turn-on-gun-control-abortion

As usual, pissed-off white men are the driving force behind the shift – the same group that got behind Newtwit Gingrich in 1992. My fear is that the Republican party will come back with a somewhat new image, but with the same ruinous ideology that drove this country into the ground during the years in which they owned both the White House and Congress.

cwilbur's avatar

@Blondesjon: but the Republican party has changed drastically in the last 35 years, let alone the last 100, largely due to the influence of the religious right. I doubt Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt would recognize the modern Republican party, not to mention Calvin Coolidge. Nixon probably would, but only because he lived through the ascendance of the religious right.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

@cwilbur , Nixon did not simply recognize the rise of the religious right; in a way he facilitated it. Although he was, like Goldwater, a secular conservative, he was much more of an opportunist, and made a significant effort to court social conservatives, particularly in the Deep South. When he opened the door to them, the fundamentalists came in with them. It’s not called the Bible Belt for nothing. Reagan simply consummated the marriage.

The small-government Federalists of Coolidge’s time are still there, of course, along with laissez-faire capitalists and a lot of people who just don’t like to pay taxes. What they have in common with the newcomers is a backward-looking yen for simpler times. That’s about all they really have in common, which is why the coalition is failing.

Blondesjon's avatar

@IchtheosaurusRex…And that changes the core message of my statement how?

@cwilbur…Let’s see if it makes a difference from the other side. Andrew Jackson, Lyndon Johnson, and Jimmy Carter were all presidents the Democrats would rather not site. Again, my friend, individuals should be judged individually. Redundant but true.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

@Blondesjon , we are actually rather proud of LBJ. Carter had his flaws, but he merely inherited the mess that was handed to him and was unable to rise above it.

The Democratic party, on the other hand, was very different in the years before the Civil War. You can hardly compare them to the party of today. Just like the Republicans of the late 1800s should not be compared to the ones of today.

Incidentally, I think you mean “cite.” “Site” is a noun.

Blondesjon's avatar

@IchtheosaurusRex…The spell check is much appreciated. You still haven’t answered my question. How does any of this change core message of my statement?

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

@Blondesjon , I’m still trying to figure out what the message is. I won’t disagree with Lincoln and T. Roosevelt being great presidents. The point I was trying to make is that the Republican party of today bears little resemblance to the party Lincoln and Roosevelt represented. For that matter, it doesn’t look much like the party of Dwight Eisenhower, a president I remember and admire. So why invoke them at all? What are you trying to say?

It seems that you’re trying to say “don’t hate people just because they’re Republican,” but I’m not sure who you’re addressing. It seems non sequitur this discussion.

How many people are you here, anyway?

cwilbur's avatar

@Blondesjon: if someone identifies himself with the modern-day Republicans, he is inviting us to judge him not only as an individual but also by his affiliations with that group.

And given the character of the modern-day Republicans, that alone makes his judgment suspect.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

@cwilbur , maybe that’s why the Republican rank and file are leaving in droves.

cwilbur's avatar

For many years, the Republicans have billed themselves as the party of small government and fiscal responsibility, and there are a lot of people who think that is a good thing. Except that under the recent Republican presidency, the size of government was increased substantially and fiscal responsibility went out the window. People who called themselves Republican because of their support for small government and fiscal responsibility are not happy calling themselves Republican now that being Republican has come to stand for preemptive retaliation, human rights violations, borrow-and-spend crony capitalism, and dominionist Christianity.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

@cwilbur , it’s easy to see where that started. Can you spot Reagan and Bush 43?

http://www.brillig.com/debt_clock/inflation.gif

Ironically, Reagan billed himself as a small-government conservative.

avalmez's avatar

my own opinion is that 4–8 years from now, same discussion, roles reversed. the republican party has a great history and tradition as does the democratic party and to some extent we need both, as competitors and challengers to the throne.

and imho, @Blondesjon ‘s message is simple and clear – you can’t stereotype folks based on their political affiliations (or much of anything else, for that matter). i mean, trash talk is fine and hopefully humorous, but talk nonetheless.

democrats should enjoy the spotlight and breeze from the summit – and take care that much of what’s being said of republicans today won’t b said of democrats until at least eight years from now.

in any case, the pendulum will swing – and none of you should assume in what direction i write of relative to me.

Blondesjon's avatar

@avalmez…Exactly! The democratic party needs to quit worrying about how they can rub it in and stick it to the republican party. I would prefer to see them get on with all the change they have been spouting off about.

For the record I believe that BOTH parties suck. They are politicians and could not care less about any of us, unless caring would further their agendas in some way.

I was fed up with eight years of complete bullshit under Bush II. During those eight years I heard nothing from the Democratic party except how different things would be if they finally became a majority. They have and I see no difference between them or republicans.

A douche bag is a douche bag is a douche bag is a…

NOTE: Before you all bitch that the democrats were handed this mess, I would like to point out that Clinton inherited a huge mess from both Reagan and Bush I. He managed not only to move the country forward and balance the budget, but he did it with a republican controlled congress.

IchtheosaurusRex's avatar

@Blondesjon , if you check out the graph in my last post, that little shelf in the middle of the mountainside, the one with a little dip in it, was Bill’s watch. Once Dubya got in, that same Republican controlled congress started spending like a bunch of drunken sailors.

Obama says he wants to cut the deficit in half over the next few years. It will be interesting to see if he can pull it off.

Loried2008's avatar

sometimes I wish we had neither party so I can stop hearing the bi*chin!!!

jonsblond's avatar

@Loried2008 I’m with you! :)

Loried2008's avatar

thank you! :)

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