Liberal Republicans?

They are tough to find, but at one time, Liberal Republicans had a strong hold in the Northeastern States. What happened? CNN‘s Alan Silverleib has an interesting take on this… read it.

Here is an excerpt of the article:

In short, notes CNN Polling Director Keating Holland, there has been a slow but steady Northern backlash to the GOP’s four-decade-old “Southern strategy.” Race and religion brought Southern whites into the Republican Party but also began pushing out a lot of affluent Northern suburbanites. Those socially moderate voters formed the core of the Rockefeller Republican constituency.

Major political realignments don’t happen overnight, however. A lot of disaffected Dixiecrats continued voting Democratic in state and local elections for a long time, even after being wooed by Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan.

Old habits die hard, and Southern Democratic parties slowed their decline by continuing to nominate candidates more in step with voters in their states.

The same story, only in reverse, held true in the Northeast. Thirty years ago, after Nixon but before the Reagan Revolution, the 11 Northeastern states stretching from Maryland to Maine still sent 37 Republicans to the House of Representatives and another 10 to the Senate. Today, those same states have 18 Republican representatives in the House and three in the Senate.

The numbers are more stark in New England and New York. New England no longer has a single GOP representative in the House. The 29-member New York House delegation has only three Republicans.

Republicans have driven their own litmus test on social issues to an extreme that is separating them from a majority of voters nationally. No longer are the social issues connecting with voters beyond certain districts. Economic woes and health care are major concerns on the minds of voters and the Republican idea well has dried up. It is hard to rally people around an anti-abortion or anti-gay marriage strategy when people are more concerned about losing their jobs and their standard of living.

The electorate can be fickle. When the economic crisis is over, will social issues once again be galvanizing? It’s hard to tell. However, until then, gay marriage has momentum and now has been made legal in five states. Will the triumphant return of Republicans be predicated on fighting that trend or will they focus on the core economic challenges that the country needs ideas and leadership on? Time will tell. – Glenn

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2 responses to “Liberal Republicans?

  1. So how do we take back the Republican Party??

    I think I am not a minority… I am what I call a Grateful Dead Republican!

    Pro strong national defense
    Fiscal Conservative
    Against wealth re-distribution
    For Green Energy
    Pro Abortion Rights
    Pro Gay Marraige
    Pro Gun Control (If you think its OK for anyone other than a police officer or a soldier to carry an automatic weapon – you are just freakin crazy)
    I grew up in the Northeast
    I voted for Perot

    When I think of the Republicans I admire, its the same list that the guys from Fox think should be kicked out of the party.

    One of Reagans biggest strengths was that he knew that he only had to promote conservative social values, he did not have to force them on people through government action.

    I think that the center of the country would way more relate to the Republican party if it were not for the crazies, Limbaugh, Beck, and Coulter.

    The challenge is – do we need a new republican party – or do we need a 3rd party!

  2. I was with you until the gun control part. The right to bear arms is a fundimental right which helps guarantee that if government gets crazy the citizens will have the ability to fight back. With that said, it is a little scary to think of some of my neighbors with automatic weapons and hand grenades. I think this is a grey area issue which has been crafted to be black and white. The one thing I am sure of is that I don’t think the government should have a list of everyone who posesses a weapon.
    More importantly, I think it is time for the creation of a new political party. The republican party should be renamed the religious right party. The new party should be the Independence Party. We can start with the following platform:
    Pro strong national defense
    Fiscal Conservative
    Against wealth re-distribution
    For Green Energy
    Pro Abortion Rights
    Pro Gay Marraige
    Anti large government
    Pro free market economy
    This may be the first time in recent history when it is feasible to create a new party. There is huge frustration with both mainstream republicans and democrats. The resources available in the center between the parties are incredible in terms of sheer numbers. The key is to keep the platform simple and not become a sidelined party such as the green party or Nader’s Raiders due to the limited appeal to a fraction of the voting population by creating a platform that is narrowly focused and not inclusive.

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