If You Don't Invite Gays to Your Tea Party, Who'll Bring the Finger Sandwiches?

In response to my Christine O'Donnell post last week, I was sent this article from the Wall Street Journal.  It's a short and interesting read, and basically argues that youthful indiscretions have historically not barred the wrongdoers from political office.  From Washington to Kennedy, everyone makes mistakes (French and Indian war? Washington's bad!) and the American people have traditionally been willing to forgive and elect.  Sure, O'Donnell made some embarrassing statements as a teenager, but should a social faux pas two decades ago really prevent her from holding office as an adult?

"My Bad!" - Washington.
No, I don't think so. And I don't think that the "witch" clip, though great fodder for an SNL sketch, is the reason O'Donnell won't be elected.  If anything, dabbling in witchcraft is the most liberal item on her resume.  She won't be elected because Delaware is a moderate state that won't vote for an extreme Right-winger.  Is O'Donnell a bad choice for the Republican party? Maybe not.  Is she a nearly impossible choice for Delaware?  Probably.  As one pundit put it, Republicans lost a Senate seat the day O'Donnell was nominated. 

But the bigger point that I was hinting at, and the point I wanted to clarify, is this: I strongly believe that extremists on the Right aren't doing Republicans any favors vote-wise.  By catering to social conservatives, the Republican party is alienating younger, more libertarian voters and attaching themselves to outdated, ultimately unpopular viewpoints.  Our generation will see Don't Ask, Don't Tell repealed, will see gay marriage legalized and constitutionally sanctioned, will see marijuana decriminalized, and will not mount any legitimate, successful challenges to Roe v. Wade or Casey v. Planned Parenthood.  So why is the G.O.P. digging in their heels and clinging to losing battles?  The overwhelming tide of change is in the direction of social progress, and social conservatives are wading into the water wearing cement shoes. 
If these dudes don't love Project Runway, I don't know who does.
Republicans fundamentally support small government.  So how did we get involved all this social law-making in the first place?  Economics are the whole reason Republicans have a chance to reclaim Congress in the midterm elections; why not stick to those issues and stick together?  Privatize health care, extend the Bush tax cuts, abolish the estate tax, make legal immigration easier than illegal immigration.  Hell, I think Republicans could even garner meaningful support for the Fair Tax if they were just willing to divorce that issue from hating gays and beating Bibles.

This is where the Tea Party should come in: as a single-issue lobbying group determined to realign the Republican party back to its low tax, small government core.  It should abandon the faith-base for the fiscal-base.  In my humble opinion, Republicans need to get back to the issue on everyone's mind in a recession: money.
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SPN Headines
AUTHOR
October 18, 2010 at 2:26 PM delete

Obama's remark on gays causes outrage. SHOCKING story at:

http://spnheadlines.blogspot.com/2010/01/furor-erupts-over-obama-remark-on-gays_27.html

Peace! :-)

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Justin
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October 20, 2010 at 12:37 PM delete

More specifically, so as not to appear to disagree with all that has been said, social values can lead to fiscal conservatism.

I am not suggesting that being pro-life can or will lead to fiscal conservatism. However, stressing family values and learning financial responsibility from parents could have a pervasive effect on America that causes more people to become fiscal conservatives. (I am assuming parents are financially responsible) For instance, receiving a strict allowance will teach budgeting and wise decision-making, something that is lacking in Washington D.C. If Tommy wants a toy truck and a certain jacket he must do his chores and save up to buy both and not ask for his parents for an advancement or for them to extend him a line of credit.

Additionally, being pro-life has some effect on fiscal conservatism in that it is one less activity the government will pay for. It's a weak argument, I know, but some may find it worth stating. Bring on the critics.

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Alison Lee
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October 26, 2010 at 7:57 PM delete

And here I was really thinking I was going to get comments about the Project Runway joke.

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Anonymous
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October 29, 2010 at 5:14 PM delete

Someone asked me this week if I thought Christine O'Donnell had a chance of being elected. My response was that Delaware had elected Joe Biden for 30 years, so rational analysis was not possible.

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