Could Reagan Survive in Today's GOP?

Discussion in 'Politics' started by KenH, Dec 15, 2007.

  1. KenH

    KenH
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    Also, worth pondering, if Huckabee does somehow win the GOP presidential nomination next year will that make the Republican Party not just a Big Government Party but a Big Theocratic Government Party? And if so, can it survive?

    Here are some thoughts from a speechwriter of Reagan's, Peggy Noonan:

    "What is happening in Iowa is no longer boring but big, and may prove huge.

    The Republican race looks--at the moment--to be determined primarily by one thing, the question of religious faith. In my lifetime faith has been a significant issue in presidential politics, but not the sole determinative one. Is that changing? If it is, it is not progress.

    Mike Huckabee is in the lead due, it appears, to voter approval of the depth and sincerity of his religious beliefs as lived out in his ministry as an ordained Southern Baptist. He flashes "Christian leader" over his picture in commercials; he asserts his faith is "mainstream"; his surrogates speak of Mormonism as "strange" and "definitely a factor." Mr. Huckabee said this summer that a candidate's faith is "subject to question," "part of the game." ...

    Christian conservatives have been rising, most recently, for 30 years in national politics, since they helped elect Jimmy Carter. They care about the religious faith of their leaders, and their interest is legitimate. Faith is a shaping force. Lincoln got grilled on it. But there is a sense in Iowa now that faith has been heightened as a determining factor in how to vote, that such things as executive ability, professional history, temperament, character, political philosophy and professed stands are secondary, tertiary.

    But they are not, and cannot be. They are central. Things seem to be getting out of kilter, with the emphasis shifting too far.

    The great question: Does it make Mr. Huckabee, does it seal his rise, that he has acted in such a manner? Or does it damage him? Republicans on the ground in Iowa and elsewhere will decide that. And in the deciding they may be deciding more than one man's future. They may be deciding if Republicans are becoming a different kind of party.

    I wonder if our old friend Ronald Reagan could rise in this party, this environment. Not a regular churchgoer, said he experienced God riding his horse at the ranch, divorced, relaxed about the faiths of his friends and aides, or about its absence. He was a believing Christian, but he spent his adulthood in relativist Hollywood, and had a father who belonged to what some saw, and even see, as the Catholic cult. I'm just not sure he'd be pure enough to make it in this party. I'm not sure he'd be considered good enough."

    - rest of column at www.opinionjournal.com/columnists/pnoonan/?id=110010988
     
    #1 KenH, Dec 15, 2007
    Last edited: Dec 15, 2007
  2. Bro. Curtis

    Bro. Curtis
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    I doubt it. We're more worried about other country's troubles than our own. How Paul, Thompson, & Tancredo end up doing will answer this more.
     
  3. swaimj

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    Peggy Noonan said:
    In recent Republican races another candidate has been involved who very much touted his religion. That candidate was Allan Keyes. His campaigns never got any traction at all, though he was appealing to the same voters as Huckabee. Keyes problem was that he was a very grating personality. That is a problem that Huckabee does not have. He is a very pleasing personality. That is why he has the potential to broaden his support, win the nomination, and win the election.

    Peggy Noonan, of all people, should understand this. In the sixties, conservative Republicans had a candidate that they put forward as their champion. His name was Barry Goldwater. While he was a man of principle and character, he was a man of grating statements who alienated people whose support he needed in order to win. Conservative Republicans found a better candidate later in Ronald Reagan. One who held the loyalty of his firm supporters and won the love and respect of his opponents.

    Huckabee, like Reagan, has shown himself to be an excellent candidate who can claim support from people who are not his natural allies. The campaign is not over, but Huckabee shows signs of being a force of nature the likes of which we have not seen since Reagan. I think that Ronald Reagan would probably see some of himself in the rise of Mike Hucakbee. I don't understand why Peggy Noonan cannot see it!
     
  4. Magnetic Poles

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    Men are a product of their times. Today, Reagan wouldn't stand a chance.
     
  5. KenH

    KenH
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    I have seen hardly any support in the polls for Huckabee other than from conservative evangelicals who has a much, much larger impact in GOP primaries and caucuses(mainly in Iowa and the South) than they do in the general election.

    Just look at New Hampshire where isn't much of a conservative evangelical presence. Huckabee is in 4th place at 11% in the latest poll finished on 12/13, 22% behind Romney, and barely ahead of Ron Paul.

    I expect that Tax-Hike Mike will at best duplicate Pat Robertson's good showing in the Iowa Cauci, do poorly in New Hampshire, and then flame out in South Carolina as Robertson did in 1988. The reason will be that if he does well in Iowa the Republican Establishment will be terrified by the prospect of having Tax-Hike Mike as the party's leader in the 2008 general election and they will throw everything at him just like they did at Pat Buchanan when his candidacy started off so well in 1996. And the conservative evangelical vote will be much, much less of a factor in the states with the huge delegate totals such as California, New York, and Pennsylvania where I expect Giuliani to rack up huge delegate wins.
     
  6. swaimj

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    If your scenario holds true, it renders Peggy Noonan's column as pointless drivel because it means that the party will do about what it has done in the past. So, I still disagree with her column.
     

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