A good discussion on today’s Meet The Press…

Here’s the thing…Scarborough and Gillespie can think that conservative values still appeal to most Americans, but they need to remember what type of conservative values were fed to us over the past couple decades. Not necessarily the most positive, future forward thinking.

Also, does anybody really think that the Republican party can go green for real? Especially when there are so many in the GOP who don’t even believe that global warming exists?

And concerning social issues…Scarborough can hope that they’ll be off the table in the future, but the modern GOP wouldn’t exist without the evangelical vote. So you can try to wish those issues away all you want, but it’s unlikely that the GOP can abandon that stuff any time soon.

Still, the biggest threat to the GOP in the long run are the demographic shifts that are happening, and NONE of them favor Republicans in the coming years, so their policies have to change to address those realities.

More as it develops…

  • TerenceC

    I saw it actually – I thought it was a real fluff piece – those guy’s represent something from 15 years ago, I didn’t hear one original thought. There has got be some better people than that in the Republican party – otherwise they really are in trouble.

  • ExiledIndependent

    Actually, those conservative values disappeared in the early days of the Clinton administration. Bush II was a Republican in name only, certainly not interested in a federal government that was as small as possible, certainly not interested in a strong long-term defense, and most certainly not fiscally responsible. So anyone who confuses the previous two Bush terms as “conservative” is simply parroting a left-wing driven meme, not looking at the actual behavior of the so-called “conservative” in office.

  • RD

    Social issues are not the biggest problem for the Republicans right now. Republicans are going to struggle until they can properly address the economic concerns of middle class Americans. You might say that the GOP is a victim of its own economic policies. Before the Reagan era, tens of millions of Americans had secure, good paying jobs with benefits in the private sector. Maintaining a strong public safety net was the last thing on their minds of your typical middle-income suburbanite. Now thanks to many years of trickle down economic policies, there is a whole new constituency for government activism within the now insecure middle class which has greatly benefited the Democratic Party.

    Social issues are now the main draw that Republicans have with voters making less than 150K per year but it is unwise for either party to define themselves by such divisive matters. Playing down the social issues has helped the Democrats to become far more competitive even in center-right states. Furthermore, Democrats have more moderates now than the Republicans. The party with the biggest tent usually wins.

  • I just want to point out that:

    (1) To “believe that global warming exists” is not a prerequisite to “go green.” Making things “greener” has to do with husbanding resources from forests to oil deposits, reducing national exposure to foreign control over the flow of essential resources, reducing people’s exposure to a host of indisputable pollutants from cow manure to heavy metals that remain a threat, and limiting the still-rising costs of waste disposal; and

    (2) Many Republicans — and many GOP voters — do “believe that global warming exists, although many also do not necessarily think it is as urgent a problem as some Democrats do or that solutions proposed by Democrats are the only possible solutions.

    (3) A good deal of the opposition to aggressive limitations on US carbon emissions stems from the very legitimate concern that unless China, India and other developing nations equally constrain their carbon output, the US economy will suffer substantially.

    It does no one any good — certainly not us centrists — to dismiss or belittle concerns of this nature.

  • Solomon Kleinsmith

    A few thoughts:

    Scarborough is right that many independents go for leadership over issues, unless the candidates are particularly more conservative or liberal than the mainstream.

    Gillespie is TOTALLY off base in saying only 7 to 20 percent are going Independent. Most polls show it closer to 40 percent. What he’s referring to are polls that only count people who wont answer the question as to whether they lean one way or the other, which is just plain garbage.

    Gillespie is right though that they might be able to get away with finding the middle ground of agreeing with one perception of social issues, without imposing their views in law. I’m not sure its possible, but if they managed to get a large amount of social conservatives to be okay with something like taking government out of marriage… taking a more Libertarian tact, then that might help them. I think we all know it’s an eventual inevitability before power gets to the heads of powerful Dems and if the Reps have gotten despirate enough from losing over and over to moderate, and the Dems go too far and put us 20 trillion plus dollars in debt, we could see a neo-Gingrich Revolution 2.0 in a few cycles.

  • It is hard to imagine the Republicans coming up with any policy changes that would be both appealing to the public and the corporate interests. The only hint of a solution is in the campaign of Ron Paul, but his non interventionist foreign policy, fed hatred, and disowning of social programs make his broad based appeal a long shot at best.

    I actually think there is probably a better chance of another party forming to the left of the Democrats than for the Republicans to reinvent themselves. Obama has been slow to change the guard in the banking industry, and Congress has shown that it is unwilling to give us a single payer healthcare system (even though that is what they have themselves).

    The public is warming to European style socialism, and at the same time doubting that huge banks, big pharma, the defense industries and insurance companies are compatible with any chance of social justice. It will interesting to see where this goes.

  • kranky kritter

    Does anybody really think that the Republican party can go green for real? Especially when there are so many in the GOP who don’t even believe that global warming exists?

    Yes. Without a doubt. And here’s why. What follows is an astonishingly obvious point that liberals are loath to stomach. Conservation is fundamentally a conservative value. It’s why they have the same verbal root. That conservatives have not rushed on board the carbon trading bandwagon is not evidence that they do not value mothership Earth. Instead, it simply means they distrust the folks screaming the loudest about the level of the threat. And if you had been listening to liberals from the various drain-circlers clubs of the last 30 or 40 years. Should the threat show itself as incontrovertible and the human agency linkagebe clearly made, folks will get on board.

    Another thing that’s hard for progressives to stomach is that the current public opinion trend is an increase in skepticism towards the notion that what climate change we have seen is actually caused by humans. Inconveniently for those most eager to make draconian changes to our energy use practices, global temperature has flattened out. That makes the warming hypothesis suspect. And if this is just a random lull and the trend really is enduring, the notion of agency is still unproven in many folks minds.

    As the many costs of big changes to human practices become more obvious, and folks see how high these various costs are, both financially and behaviorally, many folks WILL line up behind advocates who say that adapting to such changes is as important as trying to stem them.

    IMO, anyone who denies that last point better bone up on their study of human nature.