Author Topic: House GOP splinters on some issues  (Read 1090 times)

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Lanya

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House GOP splinters on some issues
« on: January 14, 2007, 01:48:03 AM »
House GOP Shows Its Fractiousness In the Minority

By Jonathan Weisman
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, January 14, 2007; Page A01

House Republican leaders, who confidently predicted they would drive a wedge through the new Democratic majority, have found their own party splintering, with Republican lawmakers siding with Democrats in droves on the House's opening legislative blitz.

Freed from the pressures of being the majority and from the heavy hand of former leaders including retired representative Tom DeLay (R-Tex.), many back-bench Republicans are showing themselves to be more moderate than their conservative leadership and increasingly mindful of shifting voter sentiment. The closest vote last week -- Friday's push to require the federal government to negotiate lower drug prices for Medicare -- pulled 24 Republicans. The Democrats' homeland security bill attracted 68 Republicans, the minimum wage increase 82.
[.........]
The Democrats "deserve the same credit that we got in 1995," when Republicans took control, said Rep. Ray LaHood (R-Ill.). "They've picked up on the really big issues of the day, the ones they won the election on, and the ones that really resonate in Republican districts."
[................]
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2007/01/13/AR2007011301189.html?nav=rss_politics
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Plane

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Re: House GOP splinters on some issues
« Reply #1 on: January 14, 2007, 01:53:31 AM »
The GOP has never been a monolinth .
It is not dangerous to fail to toe the line (not like the Democrats).

fatman

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Re: House GOP splinters on some issues
« Reply #2 on: January 14, 2007, 02:09:15 AM »
I'm glad to see that some of the Republican moderates are able to show their faces.  It's too bad that some of them weren't re-elected (guys like Chaffee), as I've always liked diversity within the parties themselves.  Are the Dems going to do the same thing that the previous Congresses did, and muzzle their more moderate and centrist Congressmen?

Let us hope not.  Perhaps if the Republicans hadn't muzzled the moderates so much, they might have kept control of the Congress, and Jeffords may not have defected.

Then again, it's all speculation.

Plane

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Re: House GOP splinters on some issues
« Reply #3 on: January 14, 2007, 02:40:31 AM »
I'm glad to see that some of the Republican moderates are able to show their faces.  It's too bad that some of them weren't re-elected (guys like Chaffee), as I've always liked diversity within the parties themselves.  Are the Dems going to do the same thing that the previous Congresses did, and muzzle their more moderate and centrist Congressmen?

Let us hope not.  Perhaps if the Republicans hadn't muzzled the moderates so much, they might have kept control of the Congress, and Jeffords may not have defected.

Then again, it's all speculation.


I dispute that Moderates were muzzled "much".

What in articular are you thinking of as an example of muzzleing?

fatman

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Re: House GOP splinters on some issues
« Reply #4 on: January 14, 2007, 12:38:47 PM »
A quick Google search turned up the following:


Castle takes on GOP leaders

Conservatives trying to intimidate moderates in House, he says

By ERIN KELLY
Washington Bureau reporter
01/27/2003

Delaware Rep. Mike Castle is challenging Republican House leaders to stop what he sees as an intimidation campaign aimed at silencing GOP moderates.

Castle will gather with fellow centrists Tuesday to plan strategy for a meeting - within the next week or so - to confront House Speaker Dennis Hastert, R-Ill., and new House Majority Leader Tom DeLay, R-Texas. Castle is leading the charge as president of the Republican Main Street Partnership, a group of about 60 moderate House members, senators and governors.

Castle said he is particularly outraged that a political action committee run by DeLay contributed $50,000 to the Club for Growth, a conservative group that has tried to oust moderate Republican incumbents, including Rep. Wayne Gilchrest, R-Md. The group helped finance Ann D. Tamlyn to run against Gilchrest in the Republican primary last fall. Gilchrest won both the primary and the general election.

DeLay's contribution was given shortly before the general election to be used against Democrats and was not used against any incumbent Republican, DeLay spokesman Jonathan Grella said. But moderates say their leaders should not be giving money to any group that tries to oust GOP House members.

At stake is more than just the political clout of Castle and other moderates. The power struggle also is key to what direction the Republican-led Congress will take on such key issues as the economy, the environment, tax cuts and abortion. In general, moderates tend to be pro-environment, for abortion rights and favor increasing education funding and reducing the deficit rather than giving more tax cuts.

"Occasionally, you have to rise up and make your voice heard," Castle said. "I'm not a rubber stamp for leadership, and I don't want anybody else to be. If we're cowed by this and we start changing our votes to please leadership, then the intimidation has worked and we won't be casting the right votes for our districts."

House Republican leaders say publicly they have no intention of alienating moderates, whose defection on key votes could derail the leadership's agenda in a closely divided House. But, privately, many say moderates shouldn't expect to get ahead if they act like renegades.

"I think the moderates know that Denny Hastert will listen to their concerns, to try to make the Republicans one team," said John Feehrey, Hastert's spokesman. "He can't go over completely to either the moderate or conservative side. He has to listen to both."

Castle also is angered by GOP leaders' recent decision to pass over moderates next in line for powerful committee chairmanships that steer environmental policy and lead efforts to improve government.

Moderates say they were slighted when pro-environment Rep. Jim Saxton, R-N.J., was passed over in favor of conservative rancher and Rep. Richard Pombo, R-Calif., as chairman of the House Resources Committee. Pombo is an outspoken critic of environmental regulations and does not support many of the wetlands protection laws that affect Delaware and Maryland.

Also, Rep. Chris Shays, R-Conn., who led successful efforts last year to pass a sweeping campaign finance reform bill, was punished for championing that cause, Castle said. Shays, whose reform efforts were opposed by GOP leaders, was denied chairmanship of the House Government Reform Committee.

Castle said moderates want to ensure that GOP leaders don't indirectly help fund future challenges by the Club for Growth.

Club leaders most likely will target moderate Republican Sen. Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and moderate Rep. Sherwood Boehlert of New York in the 2004 state primaries, said David Keating, the group's executive director. Castle is not on the list because Delaware is considered too liberal to elect a conservative Republican to replace him, Keating said.

"I have no illusion that leadership is going to throw up their hands and come around completely to our point of view," Castle said. "We understand that the majority of House Republicans are conservative. But I think they'll get the idea that having any connection with the Club for Growth is not a good idea. And, hopefully, we can stop some draconian bill from coming to the floor by making it clear we'll vote against it.

"Ultimately, votes are what they understand."

Reach Erin Kelly at (202) 906-8120 or ekelly@gns.gannett.com

http://peacecorpsonline.org/messages/messages/2629/1011571.html



Breaking the "11th Commandment": Sometime during the Reagan years, it was said that Republicans should never speak ill of other Republicans. On the surface this seems a good attempt at civility, but these days I wonder if it is really a way of silencing dissent. If you look at groups like the Council for Growth and their attacks on moderate Republicans ( remember their slur, "Franco-Republicans?") you can see this rule is not being honored by the far right. Reading this Salon story about the brewing fight in the Democratic Pary makes me think that dissent is not always bad. Back in the 1950s the GOP always had strong debates between conservatives such as Robert Taft and moderates and liberals such as Dwight Eisenhower. These days moderates are considered traitors to the GOP and are driven out. Any moderate that is pro-choice or pragmatic is considered not a "real" Republican and targeted during the primaries. We have become a party of yes men. It would be nice if there were some debate in the party, but there is none. And the moderates that remain are too scared to stand for what they believe in. Debate, not obedience, is an important part of democracy.

http://moderaterepublican.blogspot.com/2003_07_01_archive.html


Perhaps I misspoke when I said "muzzled so much".  I would add though, that in the Republican party the liberal-moderate end of it isn't as powerful as it was thirty years ago, and one should wonder just why that is. 

Plane

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Re: House GOP splinters on some issues
« Reply #5 on: January 14, 2007, 01:52:07 PM »
I think that the basic meaning of the word "Liberal " has changed .

  There is a struggle between change for changes sake , and stodgy preservation of the status quo in both partys , but the Left seems to have been more successfull in the Democrat party and the Right more in the Republican.


This being so ,  still think that a Liberal Republican is better off than a Conservative Democrat , as evidence I point to Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger who is not getting the shunning treatment that former Governor and Senator Zell Miller is.

I think that in spite of the struggling Republicans have a more tolerant attitude twards dissent than Democrats.

fatman

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Re: House GOP splinters on some issues
« Reply #6 on: January 14, 2007, 03:40:19 PM »
Point taken Plane.  In the case of Schwarzenegger, I believe you are correct.  However, Schwarzenegger as Gov of Texas probably wouldn't be as effective or popular.  My personal belief is that most of it depends on the demographic.

I think that in spite of the struggling Republicans have a more tolerant attitude twards dissent than Democrats.

I'm not sure if you're right on this, but I don't have any evidence to dispute it.  For the record, I've tended towards the moderate or liberal republican on a lot of issues, a tolerant and liberal social philosophy with fiscal, small government style conservativism.  Unfortunately, the Republican party is just as prone to a tax and spend philosophy as the Democrats, though the priorities are different.  The Democratic takeover is symptomatic (obviously in my opinion) not only of the nation's dissatisfaction with Iraq, but also with the public's dim view of Bush and the Congress continual overspending.  Just my $.02
« Last Edit: January 14, 2007, 03:44:19 PM by fatman »

sirs

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Re: House GOP splinters on some issues
« Reply #7 on: January 14, 2007, 03:46:53 PM »
I think that in spite of the struggling Republicans have a more tolerant attitude twards dissent than Democrats....Unfortunately, the Republican party is just as prone to a tax and spend philosophy as the Democrats, though the priorities are different.  The Democratic takeover is symptomatic (obviously in my opinion) not only of the nation's dissatisfaction with Iraq, but also with the public's dim view of Bush and the Congress continual overspending.  Just my $.02

And a fine pair of pennies it is      ;)
"The worst form of inequality is to try to make unequal things equal." -- Aristotle

Plane

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Re: House GOP splinters on some issues
« Reply #8 on: January 14, 2007, 03:52:55 PM »
Point taken Plane.  In the case of Schwarzenegger, I believe you are correct.  However, Schwarzenegger as Gov of Texas probably wouldn't be as effective or popular.  My personal belief is that most of it depends on the demographic.

That has to be taken in to consideration , but when you consider it think of Zell Miller , who was and is popular n Georgia , no less than Arnold is in California.
He left the reservation , plantation, circle of political correctness , and was shunned and vilified.

Lieberman is popular enough in his home territory to get elected even during a period of shunning.

I just get the impression that Republicans are more open minded than Democrats , this is a point on which m opinion may be wrong , but someone would have to how me in particularwhy it is ill founded.

Quote
I think that in spite of the struggling Republicans have a more tolerant attitude twards dissent than Democrats.

I'm not sure if you're right on this, but I don't have any evidence to dispute it.  For the record, I've tended towards the moderate or liberal republican on a lot of issues, a tolerant and liberal social philosophy with fiscal, small government style conservatism.  Unfortunately, the Republican party is just as prone to a tax and spend philosophy as the Democrats, though the priorities are different.  The Democratic takeover is symptomatic (obviously in my opinion) not only of the nation's dissatisfaction with Iraq, but also with the publics dim view of Bush and the Congress continual overspending.  Just my $.02

I am also disappointed with the abandonment of the small government ethic , I consider this a strong argument in favor of returning to the"Contract with America" and living up to the contract that got them in , not the culture that they adopted as soon as they were in.
« Last Edit: January 14, 2007, 03:56:34 PM by Plane »

fatman

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Re: House GOP splinters on some issues
« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2007, 04:04:28 PM »
I am aso dissapointed with the abandonment of the small government ethic , I consider this a strong argumnt in favor of returning to the"Contract with America" and liveing up to the contract that got them in , not the culture that they adopted as soon as they were in.

I think that this is the reason why some are so pessimistic about the incoming Congress.  Personally, I'm holding judgement but already the cracks are beginning to show, such as the Democrats backing out of their promise to include Republicans in the legislative efforts in the first "100 hours".  This is a blunder I believe, as any obstructionism would be a legitimate tool for Dems to use.  By dumping this idea, they are basically taking on the sole liability (for bad policies) and all the credit (for the good).  I wonder if this will be a wake-up call for the Republicans to go back to their roots, not necessarily the Christian fundamentalist ones, but the ones that advocated smaller government and restricted spending.  It will be interesting to see just how the Republicans and Democrats react to the new power change.  Differing viewpoints within the parties are a good thing in my opinion, in that it can help reduce priortorial myopia and demonstrate how a principle that is opposing in the first view, may become aligned with some thought. (sorry about the different ideas jumping around, trying to watch the Bears and Seahawks.  Although I live in WA [70 mi N of Seattle], I've always been a devoted Bears fan since the days of Ditka.  Talk about torn  :-\ )

And a fine pair of pennies it is      

Thanks for the compliment sirs.