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Thursday, November 17, 2005

GOP Hypocrisy Births Third-Party in 2008

In 2008, Republicans will be vulnerable to the attacks of fiscal and social hypocrisy while Democrats will be tied to the champions of secular progressivists. The Presidential election in 2008 will be the year of the third-party candidate.

Gone are the days of fiscal conservatism. Congressional Republican have rejected conservative economics in favor of pork and soaring deficits. They failed to make permanent the Bush tax cuts, inflation is up, and they can’t muster enough votes to cut the growth in spending from 7.3% to 7.0%. Fiscal conservatism in the Republican Party is beginning to look like a fairy tale: a long, long time ago in a land far, far away. One begins to wonder if the term “fiscal conservatism” was not so much a principled position as much as it was a stand against the Democrat-controlled purse strings for the 40 years prior to the Reagan administration.

Meanwhile, legislative leaders in the GOP are waning on issues close to the heart of social conservatives such as the marriage amendment; they are slow in rejecting embryonic stem-cell research and hate-crimes legislation. Republican leader and Virginia Representative Tom Davis manifested to social conservatives a lack of integrity by suggesting a negative political consequence to the moral issue of abortion. Regardless of his intent, to publicly consider the political consequences of morally right decisions is translated by social conservatives: “fake and unprincipled." Political calculations were at the heart of President Bush’s stealth nomination of Harriet Meirs; social conservatives responded and it cost him dearly.

On the other hand, Democrats have pigeon-holed their agenda through the incremental placation of their wacky, far-left base over the past 5 years and, losing all touch with reality, now look like phony ideologues to the average American. It would take a revolution in the Democrat party occurring through the replacement of Dean, Durbin, Reid, Kennedy, Bayh, and Biden, for this to occur. While Hillary will have stiff competition, she will probably win the Democratic nomination; but, assuming this, not even she will be able to separate herself from, or her need for the support of, Hollywood, the ACLU, George Soros, and Michael Moore.

If Republicans lose in 2008 to Clinton, it’s not going to be because of Clinton’s moderate positions; it will be because they have alienated either fiscal or social conservatives. The primary question (pun completely intended) for Republicans to consider is which nominee eliminates the foothold of a third-party candidate? Consider the following:

Guliani, McCain, and Rice, the poll leaders for the Republican primaries, including Pataki and Romney, alienate social conservatives by waffling on abortion, homosexuality, and/or stem-cell research. Turn the disappointment with Harriet Meirs into apathy and multiply it by twenty and you begin to understand the social conservative response to these individuals. While they may have good leadership skills, they leave room for a third-party presidential candidate like Alan Keyes or Roy Moore to capture a few thousand social conservative votes in each state.

The diarrhea of the budget is a direct result of Republican legislators’ lack of fiscal leadership. Majority Leader Bill Frist, who has rejected social conservatives by supporting embryonic stem cell research and fiscal conservatives by the lack of leadership in the Senate, has no chance of gaining credibility. And while George Allen (barely), Tom Tancredo (most likely) and Sam Brownback (definitely) have the support of social conservatives, they along with McCain (another strike) are part of the problem in the Senate. Their nominations leave room for a libertarian candidate, or someone like Ross Perot, to claim the votes of fiscal conservatives in 2008.

While a third-party candidate may never win, the Republicans currently leading in the primary polls alienate some portion of the conservative base. To alienate fiscal or social conservatives, on top of the hypocrisy these groups are already enduring, allows room for a third-party candidate to capture their devotion. Given the current political environment, a third-party candidate may even appear above the fray and capture more votes. If such a candidate emerges it will be the fault of Republican leadership; and, Hillary Clinton will be the next President.

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