Friday, July 25, 2008

Hoffmann illustrates the need for change.

Ex Chairman Ray Hoffmann yesterday once again reminded Iowa Republicans of the real source of the current revolution amongst Iowa Republicans.

Hoffmann has spent his entire political career presenting himself as a pro-life social conservative. Hoffmann’s remarks during the five years of my personal experience serving with Hoffmann on the State Central Committee indicated that he strongly opposed homosexual marriage rights. Yet Hoffmann
now publicly attacks the newly elected RNC members as overly emphasizing just those issues.

The Iowa Republican Platform has been both pro-life and opposed to homosexual marriage rights since at least 2002. Could any intellectually honest observer argue that the GOP statewide and legislative races or record featured an emphasis on either the promotion of a pro-life agenda or the protection of the traditional family? We failed to get the Defense of Marriage Amendment on the ballot when we had 30 Senators. We didn’t even address the “Choose Life” license plate bill-the most benign pro-life measure imaginable.

The Iowa Republican was ultimately left with a perplexing choice: were leaders like Hoffmann sincerely socially conservative and merely ineffective; or, were they ambivalent or hostile to the social agenda of our Platform and cynically exploiting the aspirations of the thousands, and millions nationally who voted for them?

We utterly failed to explain the importance, value and meaning of our socially conservative platform to the larger voting public. What little advocacy we did on social issues typically substituted the repetition of tired old tag lines for argument, forgetting that the most important word in persuasion is “why”. The failure of so much of leadership to barnstorm for DOMA is particularly amazing: the numbers were great for us here and it lifted Republican turnout in almost every other key state where DOMA appeared on the 2004 ballot.

Similarly, no intellectually honest political critic could confuse the Republican efforts at the state-wide races and the collapse of our legislative effort with political success. So the actual facts certainly don’t support the conclusion that a “new” emphasis will produce electoral failure. We’ve already had electoral failure.

Could it be that the most reliable Republican voting constituency, social conservatives, eventually became as disenchanted with our feeble efforts to promote their agenda as did fiscal conservatives who rebelled at what became a fiscal agenda of earmarks and corporate welfare? Increasing apathy in both groups from the failure to deliver merged with increasing hostility among independents from the failure to persuade and produced disaster.

The question before us now is not what happened, that is well chronicled and well felt by Iowa Republicans, but what road will we follow in the future? Since we know where the absence of a clear and well argued message takes us perhaps generating a message will work.

Why do Hoffmann and others assume that such a message would ignore traditional Republican small government and lower tax arguments? Of course it won’t, we need those voters back as well. There is a greater likelihood now that a Republican conservative message that encompasses all aspects of our professed agenda will emerge with Steve Scheffler and Kim Lehman at the RNC than there was without them. So how does fighting for the Republican agenda divide Republicans?

So what is the source of division that Hoffman now proclaims?


RF said...

My 2 cents worth on the SoCon issue, looking at it as a D observer. My guess is that were the R party to sharpen its stances and approach on abortion and gay marriage, it will only weaken you. My read on the developments of the last few years is that the intolerant and noncompromising elements are dominating the public discourse on these two issues on the conservative side of the argument. When the R party lines itself with those forces, it turns most reasonable people off. Take abortion. The loud obnoxious protestors who put gross pics on my windshield are the pro-life folks. They are the ones calling their opposition babykillers, etc. Right or wrong their stand, the pro-choice folks are using much more rational and reasonable approaches and arguments. There is just not the same kind of venom. And I believe it is the venom and stench of intolerance that turns so many people off. I see a similar dynamic in the gay rights & marriage debate.

When it comes to the actual issues, my view is that in the long term, a reasonable and non-militant pro-life view will prevail. As long as people keep having kids and ultrasound pics keep getting better, the tide is turning against the purist pro-choice stance. (For the record, I am pro-choice myself.) With gay rights, I’m convinced the conservative movement is fighting a hopeless battle against historical trends and forces. All you need to do is talk to today’s youth to figure that one out. Most of them just don’t give a damn about who sleeps with whom, and they’ll probably view a home with two daddies a better option than the one-parent home many of them were raised in.

Major Ken said...

I beg to differ because former Rep (D) Frank Chiodo once told me one of his biggest problems with the Democratic Party was their Pro-Abortion stance. He said if the Republicans had been serious about ending Abortion he would seriously consider switching parties but Republicans took over the Senate and the House in 1994 and failed to push the issue.

Jim Leach was a left leaning Republican turning off many Republicans but when a liberal Democrat challenged him, he was defeated anyway. The answer is to stand for the issues that matter and speak the truth rather than switching positions on a daily basis like Obama just to garner a new voting bloc.

Hoffman was either ineffective or incompetent and is a primary reason why the Republican Party of Iowa is in this dismal status. We need Sporer to take over if we want to move forward.

Anonymous said...

Didn't see the clip yet - but has anyone asked them if they would support a gay Republican running for office?
rf is right - the hard core anti-gay rhetoric will only drive the GOP further into the minority. Most young people aren't interested in all the furor over gay marriage. Less government intrusion into our lives is what the GOP should stand for - both in the pocketbook and the bedroom.

Anonymous said...

How is arguing against abortion or being against gay marriage going to lower gas prices? How is it going to help the middle class? How is it going to shrink the size and scope of government? How is it going to "fix" Medicare and Socialist Security?

Just asking.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:09

Good question.

Sure it would be nice to have those issues be pushed hard by our leaders right now..but lets be honest here Ted and others..

When people are paying 4.00 a gallon in gas..when their property taxes are shooting through the roof..and they're seeing less and less money in their wallet cuz more and more of it is going to the government...people aren't putting social issues as a priority.

All one has to do is look at issue polls..abortion/gay marriage is near the bottom of the list of issues that people are putting as their number one concern...

Yet all we hear is how those have to be the "core" issues our candidates run on....and if they dont support running strictly around those issues only...then they're not "pure" enough to be in the Party.

See the forest for the trees folks..If we want to WIN..and be able to take on social issues..we had better be able to offer solutions on the basic, kitchen table issues first...

If people dont' have $$ in the pockets, jobs to work, or a good economy to invest in...all the rest of our issues become a moot point.

The Real Sporer said...

Anon 10:58-you present a false dichotomy.

There is no reason we cannot advance a social agenda that protects life and family and an energy agenda that protects the pocket book of those lives and families.

I said 8 years ago we needed to push energy hard. Anyone reading this blog knows that I think energy is issue no. 1 and we need to argue the "do everything" position as aggressively as decorum allows.

These issues do not compete on either a net beneficial or mutually exclusivity level.

Its the proverbial walk and chew gum issue all over again. Can we do both simultaneously? TRS answers si`.

Major Ken said...

I noticed those saying the Republican Party should be liberal posted anonymously.

Just an observation.

Anonymous said...

Right is right and wrong is wrong. Should the Republican party be the party of life? Of course, because it's the right thing to do.

Should the Republican party be the party of traditional marriage? Of course, because it's the right thing to do.

Should the Republican party also be the party fighting for more engergy production while Democrats do their best to prevent it? Of course, because it's the right thing to do.

This list can go on and on. I'm not going to take the time but anyone reading this gets the idea.

The Democrat party is the party that wants to kill the babies and yet will fight to protect murderers and terrorists. Go figure. Then they call pro-life Republicans extreme.

I call wanting to suck the brains out of full term babies in the process of being born as extreme. Shame on ALL that believe this act of murder is nothing more than a choice.

Anonymous said...

Obama even voted to kill babies who were unfortunate enough to survive their abortion. Obama is an extremist.

RF said...

The last two posts nicely prove my point.

These people surely have the right to have their opinion and I actually symphatize with their underlying beliefs. But from the political perspective, if this is the company the R party wants to keep and wants to strengthen ties with, good luck with winning elections. Like we all know, most people are in the reasonable middle. Somewhere in that area where pro-choice all the sudden turns to pro-life.

Speaking of that border, where do we draw the line between pro-choice and pro-life? What is someone who is ok with reasonable restrictions on abortion, but does not want to ban it all together?

vlad the impaler said...

While I agree that the prolife plank needs to be kept (I'm about as pro-life as you get) that is not my only issue and if it is the Republicans only issue, you will get your asses handed to you again.

Unfortunately, when the Professional Christians, who do not understand thing one about basic economics, are running the show, the social issues will be front and center. Abortion means nothing to someone who can't feed their family.


Anonymous said...

If abortion isn't an issue to those of you who are sooo upset that it's an issue to others, why do you care? You said you don't care and it isn't an issue for you.

Great! then vote for the republican because of all the other reasons to vote republican - constitutionalist judges, better energy policy - drill here - drill now - secure border, national security, lower taxes, etc.

Why do you throw such tempter tantrums over an issue about which you claim not to care?

it's not mutually exclusive.

Being prolife is more than just abortion - which, by the way is not an extremist position in the polls.

Most people believe that killing life is terrible.

Except liberal democrats who will fight to the death over your right to kill that little inconvenience rather than care about $4.00 gas.

Anonymous said...

Ronald Reagan - a true great human being of epic proportion - made us a party that is pro-life in 1980. It was fundamental to his politics.

Joy Corning is not going to change the party to pro-kill. It isn't going to happen - ever.

So, she really has only two choices - be a republican for all the other reasons she claims are "real" issues, or - become a democrat where her number one issue her also their number one issue.

What is her problem? What is the problem with rest of you? You aren't going to change that plank. You aren't going to move it down in rank.

We are prolife and all our policies stem from that. Such as energy and conservation.

Conservation originates from conservative. We are taught to be good stewards of the land - that's conservation. Teddy Roosevelt was the original conservationist. That view is at home in the republican party because it stems from a general prolife philosophy.

Anonymous said...

If "prolife" is the only issue that "professional christians" care about, then why have they been less than enthused with McCain?

He's prolife. He's got the prolife record.

Gee, what was that again?

Oh yea - he didn't support the bush tax cuts - a fi-con issue?

He gave us McCain Feingold - a freedom of speech issue?

He was against a secure border - a national security issue?

The point I'm trying to make is that prolife people are prolife across the spectrum - beyond just abortion. It is fundamental to all of our politics. It mirrors the beginning of the declaration of independence - We are prolife - liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

It it was just a simple single issue - of abortion - SoCons would LOVE LOVE LOVE McCain.

As it is, they are more behind him than the fi-cons. They see the other choice as horrific. Fi-cons are willing to let Obama win. The fi-cons are too busy whining about something they are never going to change and sitting on their asses complaining.

Anonymous said...

I just had a chance to view the tape of Lehman and Sheffler. That was a good show. I had to watch it twice though.

I couldn't find the horns coming out of their heads, I didn't see any fire coming from their mouths and steam flowing out their ears.

They were well spoken and successfully debunked all this conspiracy crap about people getting kicked out of the party.

Hats off to them both. I thought Kim stood out in particular. She is very professional in her appearance and articulate in expressing herself in a confident and assertive manner.

Mrs. Congresswoman perhaps?

What an upgrade over Phyllis Kelly. Her restuarant reports have been supplanted by informative political reports on statewide TV.

Message message message

vlad the impaler said...

The SoCons hate McCain because he allegedly favors embryonic stem cell research. That, and he called guys like Robertson and Dobson "agents of intolerance" and refused to kiss their ass. The unctious religios have not forgiven him for that.

Indeed, if right to life were the only issue, McCain would win hands down as his pro life credentials are impeccable. His problem is that his only accomplishments are McCain/Fengold, Amnesty, the Gang of Fourteen, joining the global warming cult, cap-and-trade, and a history of collaborating with the DemocRATS. Every time the guy touts his "accomplishments" it reminds people why they hate him.

The problem the pro freedom people like myself have with McCain are the ones previously laid out by both you and me. Not only did McCain vote against the Bush tax cuts but he used Marxist class warfare rhetoric in doing so. His political associates include a terrorist sympathizer (Grover Norquist), the worst CEO in the history of Silicon Valley (Carly Fiorino) and a former member of Vicente Fox's cabinet in Mexico who advocates amnesty for illegals (Juan Hernandez).

Is McCain really the best the Republicans could do?

Anonymous said...

The worst Republican looks good compared to B. Hussein Obama. This guy wants to kill full term babies that survived abortion. The Democrat position is indefensible. How can they actually argue that is acceptable (and even desirable) to kill babies and at the same time fight to the death to protect murderers and terrorists.

They care more about terrorists than the safety and welfare of their own country.

I don't want B. HUSSEIN Obama in charge of my security. Come to think about it, I don't want any Democrat in the WH.

bgunzy said...

Why advance social conservative principles in the Republican Party? Because all of the fiscal conservativism doesn't amount to a hill of beans unless you bring back the nuclear family (one male husband, one female wife, children) and support/encourage it. Only by supporting the family do you start to make the welfare state unnecesary, thereby lowering the burdens to the government.

If families took care of their own (or had the better ability to do so), we wouldn't need so much of the national budget going to social services, and therefore taxes.

It all starts with the family.

Anonymous said...

That is exactly how the two sides meet bgunzy!! Well said.

Anonymous said...

I wonder if bgunzy thinks it's those pesky gays who are creating all the troubles for our families?

Anyways, the more I follow internal R party discussions, the more I think Lincoln Chafee was right on the money:

"Old Southern Democrats took over my party."

RF said...

Sorry, the anon Lincoln Chafee post above was mine.

vlad the impaler said...

Okay bgunzy:

Fiscal issues, taxes, spending, government intrusion are the main reasons that both parents have to work outside the home in order make ends meet. Who is raising the kids?

If you want to restore the family, you have to start by rebulding the fiscal and material resource base of the family. Get the government out of our lives and out of our wallets and you will be amazed how much things will improve.

Anonymous said...

At least Republicans still have a conscience. Democrats have none. They believe it's desirable to kill, covet, steal, and lie to accomplish their desired goals of power.

They are phonies and do not care one twit about those they are trying to fool into voting for them because they pretend they "care". Liars. They only care about power.

RF said...

Sounds like the solution to Bgunzy and Vlad’s dilemma is living wages. All the talk about minimal government intrusion and taking care of your family is pretty meaningless for folks who are making $8 per hour.

Anonymous said...

Several things...

Ted: I think you're wrong on this one. The 'socons' have been gaining more influence in the party because they want to push their issues more than the 'moderates' have been. You can't push both because the public doesn't have the attention span to fully articulate both. So, this year, the best course to victory is through fiscal issues. During the 90's gas was cheap, the economy was booming, and voters could afford to worry more about social issues. It's sad the vast majority of the electorate has developed ADD, but that's the reality of the present.

With all this talk about the conserve root of conservative, why have we ceded all environmental issues to the D's?

I've been seeing this 'the root of all things GOP is in the sanctity of human life' talking point more and more - and frankly it scares me. I wonder how many Old Testament biblical references will be posted on here when I point out the blatant hypocrisy when you cross the life plank with the plank supporting the death penalty.

Anonymous said...

Watching the national news regarding the Tenn. SoCo shoot worshiping church members brings to mind the SoCo blogs on this sight.
Remember Lincoln was a moderate. Are Scheffler, Lehman, and Sporer and other SoCo's secretly hiding the confederate flag in their back pockets? But Charlotte, Frankly I don't give a damm!

Anonymous said...

Let's just cut to the heart of it.

Compromise has become a dirty word.

I'm a pro-life, 1 man-1 woman, fiscally conservative Republican. But that's me, and even when you add up everyone who thinks like me, you don't get to 51%.

And for Ted's sake, whatever happened to pluralism?

vlad the impaler said...

I wonder how many Old Testament biblical references will be posted on here when I point out the blatant hypocrisy when you cross the life plank with the plank supporting the death penalty.

None. Abortion and the death penalty are about guilt and innocence.

Major Ken said...

Forget Old Testament, start with the New Testament and consider none of the Apostles, or even Jesus, claimed the state lacked that right even though they faced execution.

The Bible is largely silent on this issue except for a few references such as ancient law, which seem to support the death penalty.

God overthrows unjust governments but His patience is very long so it sometimes takes much longer than our lifespan to see such change. In the case of Hitler's Germany and Expanist Japan, it happened quickly. In the case of the Soviet Union, it took decades. Ultimately, good prevails over evil and God overturns what displeases Him.

Jesus commanded us to love thy neighbor just as much as we love ourselves and to love God with our entire heart. Again, this is from New Testament but does the death penalty conflict with this commandment? Maybe, and that is why I am fan of life in prison vs. the death penalty but the case is not strong enough to make me lose any sleep thinking about it. The number of criminals executed in this country probably number under 100 per year. How many innocent unborn children are murdered every year?

The Old Testament specifically addresses satanic idols and detestable practices such as burning newborns in fires. God, speaking through his prophets, forbade this practice and listed it as a reason to overthrow a people. Clearly, this practice has satanic roots and hardens the believing heart. Look at Jesse Jackson and note his change in views once he stopped caring about the unborn.

Major Ken said...

Take a look at what the Democrats are doing to Senator Coburn for delvering babies for free.

Coburn has come under new pressure from the Ethics panel for delivering babies at the Muskogee Regional Medical Center, which changed from a public to a private institution in April last year….

In May, Coburn received a strongly worded “final determination” memo threatening him with a Senate censure if he did not stop delivering babies for free….

Democrats are the party of abortion and only by understanding that fact can certain actions be explained.