(Page 2 of 3)
That realignment is by now complete — the GOP could hardly dominate the region more thoroughly. But as the South has become central to Republican Party strategy, its particular flavor of social conservatism, moral certitude, and activist government has infused the national party’s character. This is slowly alienating the other major bloc in the Republican coalition: small-government conservatives, especially those who value individual liberty most highly.br> Sager proceeds to segment the percentages of the population of several interior West states into three relevant voting subgroups: evangelicals (which Sager rightly asserts is a predominantly Republican cohort), Hispanic/Latino (which he chalks up as a majority Democrat cohort), and California expats (which he — wrongly, to my way of thinking — likens to a “bucket of blue paint” spilling over the West).
While fissures run between these two groups in every state, there is also a larger geography to the modern Republican Party’s dilemma. In balancing the religious Right against the libertarian Right, the GOP balances the South against the West. (The Midwest is something of a muddle in between.) Bush-style big-government conservatism has tilted the party’s regional balance and put the West in play.
Differences between the West and the South begin with religion….
Irrespective of whether or not Californian expats bring liberal values inland with them as Sager insists, or they are fleeing those liberal values, as I would contend, did you catch the dynamic of Sager’s trichotomy? Two liberal Democrat subgroups and one conservative Republican subgroup are the major players in the swing states in question. Where are Sager’s libertarians? In his Atlantic piece Sager does not — and cannot — enumerate them because libertarians are an unorganized, thinly populated, and dispersed lot, making them politically useless. The choice in the interior West swing states, according to Sager’s analysis, is not between “the religious Right and the libertarian Right” but between the religious Right and liberal Democrats.
The argument then becomes: But the Religious Right’s fixation on “guns, God, and gays” so puts off regular voters that it endangers the already-thin Republican majority (even if this were true, however, it would not follow that libertarian-inspired budget cuts would win these voters back). Sager sites the GOP’s poor 2004 down-ticket performance in Colorado to make this very point. It is a remarkably inapt example. To begin with, Colorado Republicans nominated the more moderate businessman Pete Coors over Religious Right Congressman Bob Schaffer for U.S. Senate and still lost the U.S. Senate race. And Republicans lost control of the state legislature not because of a proposed gay marriage ban, as Sager argues, but because the state faced a crippling budget crisis brought about by the libertarian-inspired Taxpayer Bill of Rights. Gov. Bill Owens would have to beg voters a year later to grant him special dispensation to increase government spending and raise their taxes (they did!). This is not a record the libertarian Right should be proud of.p>Sager further argues: br> /p>
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?
H/T to National Review Online