Thursday, April 30, 2009

Identity crisis

The Republicans are having an identity crisis--there are two major factions within the party, and a divorce seems to be in the offering. Arlen Spector has left because of the infighting, and because differences of thought were not being welcomed under the Republican tent. (The Democrat's tent, on the other hand, is so full of difference that its hard for them to come together sometimes).
It was very evident in the Bush/Cheney administration (it actually, I believe, began with Mr. Reagan's wooing of the Religious Right) Bush was a religious conservative Republican, one who thought that the role of the federal government was protecting people from threats from outside our borders and those threats to our traditional way of life included legislating morality. He, for instance, wanted to amend the constitution to define marriage. Mr. Cheney believed that the role of government was protecting people from threats from outside, but on issues of citizens health and welfare (aka as police powers), such as defining who may marry, those were decisions that each state should make. The McCain/Palin ticket was a marriage of convenience once more between these two factions in the Republican party. With the failure of the McCain/Palin campaign, the Republicans do not have a strong vision/leader to hold the moderates, the conservatives and very religious Republicans together.

Moderate Republicans--Olympia Snowe the day before yesterday, and Christine Todd Whitman in today's NYTimes are beseeching the Republican party to re-evaluate the split that is now a chasm, it may be too late. The Republican party of Lincoln, of Goldwater, of Rockefeller may be history.

Snowe's column:
Whitman's column:

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