Whimsical Case for a “Progressive” Third Party to Replace the GOP

Are you up for a little distracting whimsy? A former elected official, Boulder attorney and self-proclaimed “former Republican” (one of the more popular descriptors being bandied about these days) offers this (over) dose of elitist smugness, painful self-indulgence, overwrought rhetoric, and selective historical knowledge:

I was a Republican for 28 years. Like so many others who now vote Democratic, I didn’t leave the party — it left me. Based on the analyses of this month’s election, it also left college graduates, suburbanites and Hispanics in the red-state dust. The sad fact is that a map of the few counties that voted more Republican than they did in 2004 neatly overlays maps showing the nation’s highest rates of obesity, poverty and lack of education — call it the Deliverance Belt — a sad state of affairs for the party of Abraham Lincoln and Teddy Roosevelt.

As much as the Republican Party needs reform, it won’t happen. The far right chorus still bellows “We Shall Not Be Moved,” with solos by the three tenors: Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity and Bill O’Reilly.

Yes, the notoriously out-of-touch Limbaugh, Hannity, and O’Reilly (O’Reilly??) hold Security Council-like veto power over the Republican Party platform. So scrap the Party and move Left? Yeah, that’s the ticket.

A serious argument could be made for the emergence of a third party, an argument I’d be prepared to weigh and respond to with some care and diligence. I don’t deny that the Republican Party is suffering from a serious self-inflicted wound. But for someone to write at length about the theme and never even touch on the problem of the GOP Congress’ sell-out of fiscal conservatism, including its profligate spending and bad earmark habit… well, the column belies its own credibility.

The author proposes a list of names who might be willing to join his quixotic third-party crusade:

Colorado has several political figures who would fit well in a Progressive Party: Scott McInnis, Tom Norton, John Buechner, Don Ament, Bill Kaufman, Hank Brown, Bob Greenlee, Nancy Spence, Norma Anderson, Dottie Wham, Paul Schauer and Pat Hayes — to name just a few. None of this distinguished group can be accused of foaming at the mouth over guns, gays and God while serious problems face our country and the world. They are fiscal conservatives who understand where we need government and where we don’t. They are reasonable people who could attract the support of reasonable voters.

First of all, I wonder how many of these names (mostly former politicians) the author has actually approached with the idea. And of those, how many would consider it a good idea? By what standard should any or all of them be considered “fiscal conservatives”? How many opposed the permanent tax increase of Referendum C, or have at least publicly expressed buyers’ remorse in the three years since? How many of the Republicans – or Democrats, for that matter – are willing or actively looking to abandon their party?

Such a humorous inversion of reality is cause for a healthy chuckle. We now return to the challenging work of rebuilding the GOP on the true principles of liberty and fiscal conservatism.

Comments

  1. says

    “So scrap the Party and move Left? Yeah, that’s the ticket.”

    Besides, you neocons aleddy did it.

    “Such a humorous inversion of reality is cause for a healthy chuckle. We now return to the challenging work of rebuilding the GOP on the true principles of liberty and fiscal conservatism.”

    Oh really? Ye mean fiscal conservatism Reagan style? Or liberty Bush style?

    Seems t’ me, Ben, y’all neocons need t’ aisk yesevves, “How long halt ye between two opinions?”

  2. says

    Reagan style, my friend. But go ahead and keep calling me a “neocon” all the livelong day, if it’s therapeutic for you. Just because I don’t share your sentiments that the South should rise again….

  3. says

    I nominate Snaggle-Tooth Jones for leader of this mythical party. This imaginary neoconfederate would fit in well with a hypothetical third party that imagines Ken Salazar as “moderate.” After all, Ken Salazar received a 9 percent rating from the National Taxpayers Union in 2007.

    To the larger point of the story, one wonders what part of the Republican coalition attracted Jim Martin in the first place. He obviously holds disdain for the social conservatives. His citing of Ken Salazar’s “moderation” proves that fiscal conservatism is not an important issue.

    My theory is that he was a Republican because they controlled the levers of power in the state. This allowed him to be invited to the proper social events, etc. Since the Democrats control the state now, breaking with the Republicans provides a certain cachet with the social set. After all, some politicians prefer to be liked then to have a consistent philosophy.

  4. S. Jones says

    Ben writes,

    “But go ahead and keep calling me a “neocon” all the livelong day, if it’s therapeutic for you. Just because I don’t share your sentiments that the South should rise again….”

    Naw, I dohn’t call ye a neoconservative cuz you aint no neoconfed’rate. I call ye a neoconservative cuz you are one. If it walks like a duck. . . .

    I’ll aisk ye agin wut I thank I asked ye before, which is why bein’ “Reagan style” makes one a conservative, nessarily. Weren’t thar conservatives before Reagan. Before Goldwater even? Why don’t you neocons ever tawk ’bout them?

    And secondly, do ye strive t’ be a “Reagan-style” conservative in-att ye *actually do* wanna downsize gummint (especially th’ fedrul gummint), or, like him, only wanna tawk about it but do th’ very opposite.

    Inkwahrn minds wanna know.

  5. S. Jones says

    The mystical Civil Sense sez,

    “I nominate Snaggle-Tooth Jones for leader of this mythical party. This imaginary neoconfederate would fit in well with a hypothetical third party that imagines Ken Salazar as “moderate.” After all, Ken Salazar received a 9 percent rating from the National Taxpayers Union in 2007.”

    Tryin’ t’ figgur out yir logic here, Mr. Sense. Why wud an imaginary paleocon like yorn truly wanna have anythin’ t’ do with “progressive” party, mythical ‘r otherwise? Don’t you know nothin’ ’bout paleocons?

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