Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Meghan McCain, Republican?

"I consider myself a progressive Republican. I am liberal on social issues, and I think that the party is at a place where social issues shouldn't define the party...in fairness to me, I am a different generation than the people that are giving me heat...I think there's such a generation gap that the people that don't understand me, I actually take it as compliment, that sort of this new young Republican can come forward and make progress and be successful in the ways that this party has currently failed."

This from Meghan McCain last night on CNN. There's been a lot of talk among Republicans about solidifying the party and getting our act together. I don't have the answer to that one, honestly. But I have to differ with Ms. McCain when she says that the "party is at a place where social issues shouldn't define the party." To a point, this is true, but not completely. I can't separate the social issues from the party.

On the topic of social issues I think there is much to divide Republicans from Democrats. At least, there used to be. Now, it seems that many Republicans are, as Ms. McCain says, Progressive Republicans, whatever that means. I think it means Republicans that think like Democrats. Is it Republicans who believe in fiscal responsibility but are liberal in social issues? Or just a neutral mix of both parties, making one sort of non-denominational party?

I not qualified to say what the Republican party should do to win back Congress in 2010 or the White House in 2012, but I know who will get my vote. That would be a Conservative candidate; one that believes in fiscal responsibility, strong national security, and conservative on social issues. I don't think "conservative" has to be "hard line." Ms. McCain makes the valid point that we all have certain issues in which we find ourselves more flexible or more liberal. But a true Conservative has fewer of those issues than say, a Progressive Republican.

I'm looking for candidates that are more to the conservative end of the spectrum.

Chris Good, writing for The Atlantic, says that "McCain could foster a social liberalism among young conservatives--or a conservatism among young social liberals--and become that model 'new young Republican.'"

Then, aren't they Democrats?

The bottom line for me, though, is that I don't think Meghan McCain charming as she is, is the same kind of Republican that I am.


G. R. said...

The fruit didn't fall far from the tree.
The only reason I voted for her dad wasn't because he espoused my conservative views, I voted for him because he wasn't the person I deemed the extreme liberal.
I guess it was like going to a bar and chosing between Bud and Bud Light.
Comes from the same company, but only has few ingredients.

yukio ngaby said...

I think Republicans need to identify their base and appeal to it first before looking toward the middle. Obama won the election by 9 million votes, a surprising amount coming from frustrated conservatives who were unhappy with Bush and McCain. But far more didn't bother to vote because of a greater than normal antipathy to the candidate. Reagan didn't win by appealing to the middle, but by getting people excited about conservatism. This excitement is what enticed the middle to vote for him.

Appealing to a the middle, which is by its nature fickle, and alienating or marginalizing your base is a strategy that I don't think has ever won a presidential election.

Pat said...

This is true, Yukio; I think that's why so many conservatives were so energized by Palin. And also why so many Democrats reviled her.

Anonymous said...

Another nugget of conservative wisdom.

Conservative A : "Most of the country hated Bush and what was seen as his 'ultra conservative' policies"

Conservative B : "So what do we do about 2010/2012?"

Conservative A : "Get back to our Conservative roots!"