Bauer: GOP Will Die If It’s Not Just Like Me

With the Republican National Committee apparently urging more moderation on social issues like gay rights and reproductive rights, the wingnuts are furiously pushing for the GOP to instead become even more like them — never mind that younger voters find what they believe in horrifying. Gary Bauer tells Mike Huckabee that the party will die if it doesn’t get even more anti-gay and anti-choice:

Bauer: I actually think of people who may disagree with us on marriage and life see the Republican Party changing that instead of making the party more attractive they’ll look at that and say, ‘My goodness, if the party was willing to change their mind on something so fundamental I can’t really trust them on anything that they say they believe in.’ I really believe this with all my heart that the Republican Party would literally destroy itself if it switches on those issues and I actually think if it doesn’t start spending more political capital making the case for thsoe issues that may be what really ends up killing the party in the future. I want lower taxes, I want smaller government and I’m glad when Republicans spend time on that, but when they act embarrassed or ashamed to make the case for life or for normal marriage or that children need mothers and fathers, I’m not sure there’s much patience left among their voters for that lack of fight they we so often see among Republican elites.

Huckabee: Republicans historically have not been able to win elections without the evangelicals and devout Catholics. If they go soft on this issue, if they turn and say, ‘it doesn’t really matter,’ do you see evangelicals and a lot of devout Catholics walking away?

Bauer: For the first time in my life — I’ve always recommended not walking away — but I’m not getting a large volume of emails and faxes and so forth, letters from people saying, ‘Gary I’m not going to continue playing this game, I’ve done what I was supposed to do, I voted for all these candidates who said they were on my side, but I never hear anybody make the case for my values once they get into high office.’ This is a huge problem for the party and I think for the first time in my adult life I think we are facing the possibility of a possible fissure here which would hurt Republicans and probably hurt us all. You’ve got to see some progress and I don’t think our people are seeing it right now.

Huckabee: Yeah, I don’t either.

Yeah, the main problem with the Republican party is clearly that it just isn’t anti-gay and anti-choice enough.

22 comments on this post.
  1. tynk:

    or for normal marriage

    Hmm… how about, Fuck off asshole!

    yea, I think that will do.

    The US political party system is in the process of imploding. Not just the republicans, the entire party system. I would find it interesting to see a three party system form out of this in a few years.

    Social Liberals/Safety net – Democrats
    Social Liberals/Limited Government – Republicans
    Social Conservatives – Theocrats

  2. Jordan Genso:

    You’ve got to see some progress and I don’t think our people are seeing it right now.

    -Gary Bauer(emphasis mine)

    Rather strange, since his complaint is that we are seeing progress in society regarding marriage equality.

  3. a miasma of incandescent plasma:

    You’ve got to see some progress and …</blockquote?

    Progressively regressive.

  4. Ben P:

    The US political party system is in the process of imploding. Not just the republicans, the entire party system. I would find it interesting to see a three party system form out of this in a few years.

    Social Liberals/Safety net – Democrats
    Social Liberals/Limited Government – Republicans
    Social Conservatives – Theocrats

    The problem with this well documented by political science studies on first past the post elections.

    If the US had a proportional representation/parliamentary system I think we’d have 4-6 viable parties with probably a host of smaller ones. I could see parties breaking down as:

    1. A center right, pro-free market, pro-immigration, strong foreign policy, big business party.
    2. A far right religious party (religious fundamentalists)
    3. A far right anti-government party (this would probably only gain votes in the west, texas oklahoma, etc).
    4. A center right, pro-religion but also pro-safety net (i.e. huckabee types and blue dog democrats).
    5. A center left, pro-free trade, pro-big business, but for a strong safety net party. (Clinton type democrats).
    6. A center-left to left green/democratic socialist type party. (Bases of support in new England and California).

    But FPTP elections force the parties to coalesce into two major groups to obtain political support. Any third party theocratic candidate would invariably be marginalized. The mainstream republicans would have to adjust their own beliefs to try to capture something close to a plurality.

  5. tynk:

    @4

    So the simplified version would be, for a political party to be a viable option in our “heavily funded” society, the bases for all parties must be generally equal or a larger party will absorb the smaller ones?

    I third party will not happen unless a split draws fairly equally from both existing major parties, so a 4 party system would be more likely than a three as it would be easier to split both major parties.

    Not sure if I am following this correctly, I am still a very novice political hobbyist.

  6. fifthdentist:

    It’s like they’re asking Jeffrey Dahmer to treat a corpse. At least I hope.
    The Republican Party either needs to go the way of the Whigs or dump the fundamentalist Christianists. Like removing a bandage, it’s easier just to rip it (and the hair) off in one yank rather than do it slowly. Eventually the ‘Pubs will reach a point where the nutjobs are more of a liability than a benefit. In the meantime, their brand is suffering damage from which it may never recover.
    Can’t remember where, but was reading this week about a study that said that young voters who backed Nixon and those who voted for McGovern have basically kept the same political allegiance ever since. And that those who voted when they were young continued to vote much more regularly throughout their lives than those who did not. The article also suggested that the young voters Obama has brought in could very well be a huge advantage for Democrats for years to come.

  7. Ben P:

    So the simplified version would be, for a political party to be a viable option in our “heavily funded” society, the bases for all parties must be generally equal or a larger party will absorb the smaller ones?

    Generally equal is pretty close.

    The root of the problem is a relatively simple game theory example.

    You have 3 candidates in an election, A, B and C. The candidate who gets the most votes wins regardless of what percentage of votes they have.

    I like candidate C the most, but polling suggests candidate C has little chance of getting more votes than either A or B, but either A or B could win. If I have a significant preference between A and B, do I “throw away” my vote for C, or do I vote for the preferable of A or B?

    Political studies tend to show that people will do this in relatively large numbers. Vote for the candidate that they believe has a chance of winning over one they like better.

    Where you have larger number of relatively equal candidates (see e.g. the republican primaries) you can have equilibrium for a while, but then too, you get a strong sense of people trying to break the deadlock either through a coalition or the “front runner of the week” type thing that happened.

  8. Zinc Avenger (Sarcasm Tags 3.0 Compliant):

    @a miasma of incandescent plasma, #3:

    Progressively regressive.

    When you’re backward, regression looks like progress.

  9. brucegee1962:

    I always like the “children need a mother and a father” talking point.

    We should encourage this, and then tell them that, if they really mean it, they should make outlawing divorce a central plank in the Republican platform, since divorce must clearly be doing far more damage to children than gay marriage. That will just win them all kinds of support from the American people, right?

  10. freemage:

    fifthdentist: Given the human tendency to back-support our decisions, that makes a lot of sense. Whatever party you supported in your youth becomes ‘your’ party. So even if the party shifts its stance in one direction or the other, you’re more likely to declare the new direction to be a result of ‘invaders’ or of RINO/DINOs.

  11. slc1:

    Re Ben P @ #7

    Unfortunately, all too many people voted for candidate C (Ralph Nader) in 2000 in Florida and New Hampshire, saddling us with Dubya, Roberts, and Alito.

  12. frankb:

    I’m not sure there’s much patience left among their voters for that lack of fight they we so often see among Republican elites.</blockquote?

    Oh, this rube is almost there. He is almost ready to realize he has been suckered into voting for tax cuts for the elite. The elite don't care about small government (see Big War Machine) and social issues. They just want all the money.

  13. azportsider:

    Actually, I think the tealibangelicals are finally getting it. The GOPers have always treated them the way Lucy does Charlie Brown. Sure, the gop powers that be are going to look like they’re fighting those culture war issues, to keep the tealibangelicals in line, you know, but they have no intention of actually resolving any of them because they’re such valuable wedge issues.

  14. Phillip IV:

    they’ll look at that and say, ‘My goodness, if the party was willing to change their mind on something so fundamental I can’t really trust them on anything that they say they believe in.

    Sorry, Gary, but I don’t think that the people who consider opposition to gay marriage as something “so fundamental” are really your problem. Your problem are the people who correctly see it as a pointless, bizarre sideshow that undermines the whole future of the party for no real purpose.

  15. baal:

    If they go soft on this issue [gay marriage],

    So Huckabee wants them to be hard on gay marriage?

  16. John Pieret:

    the Republican Party would literally destroy itself if it switches on those issues and I actually think if it doesn’t start spending more political capital making the case for thsoe issues that may be what really ends up killing the party

    Talk about damned if you do …

  17. raven:

    Bauer is a xian Dominionist who wants to overthrow the US government and set up a xian dictatorship with biblical law. In other words, a kook.

    But he does represent the thinking of the christofascists.

    It’s becoming clear that US xianity is dying. They’ve been losing members for years by the millions. It’s become so obvious even the xians have noticed it.

    They are making plans to reverse this. It is to double down on the craziness. Both the SBC and Catholic church are trying to go back to the past.

    It’s a great plan. For atheists. Doing more of what is destroying your religion isn’t going to work.

  18. Nemo:

    He’s got a point…

    Abandon wingnuts -> Wingnuts stay home -> Republicans lose

    But then again:

    Embrace wingnuts -> Get outvoted -> Republicans lose

    Winner: America.

  19. Michael Heath:

    Gary Bauer states:

    I really believe this with all my heart . . .

    It’s my observation that what follows is reactionary tripe which the advocate unconsciously realizes he can’t defend; because it’s not true. But they want to you believe it’s true, even if they don’t believe it’s true.

  20. typecaster:

    There’s something basically very wrong with the argument these guys are making, just based on what they said. To quote Bauer:

    …but I’m not getting a large volume of emails and faxes and so forth, letters from people saying, ‘Gary I’m not going to continue playing this game, I’ve done what I was supposed to do, I voted for all these candidates who said they were on my side, but I never hear anybody make the case for my values once they get into high office.’

    So, he’s admitting that his base is not sending in much mail supporting his position, and therefore the GOP has a “huge problem” with people who support what Bauer is saying.
    .
    These people are very, very confusing. Or very, very bad at double negatives.

  21. dingojack:

    baal (#15) – nice to see I’m not the only one who (occasionally) lets loose their inner twelve-year old!
    :D Dingo

  22. pamsmigh:

    This whole exchange makes me deliriously happy!

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