I found an interesting assessment of the 1970's Republican party in Alexander Lamis' 1984 book "Two Party South" that rings true today:
"A number of the Alabama GOP have pointed to the party's preoccupation with ideological questions as a major drawback. For example, (Atlanta Journal editor Ray) Jenkins said in 1974 that the Republicans 'just don't understand politics for one thing. [They] are given to these profoundly boring ideological disputes, and petty disputes at that. Republican politics is characterized by petty personal hatreds of one another, These even override ideological differences, and there are few
"The GOP Chairman Harris, in an interview four years after Jenkins's assessment, said:
'There is no doubt the Republican Party has been plagued... with ideological purity... It is a death syndrome, and we have to get over it before we can win.
We are viewed as cold, calculating people who don't give a damn about anybody... Let them starve in the streets. Balance that budget. And that is not true.'
"(Republican) Congressman (Jack) Edwards also lamented this GOP preoccupation with conservative ideological purity:
'Too often Republicans make it uncomfortable for the moderate - to - liberal Republicans, and they don't feel comfortable and they quit running or they change parties. So, while we tend to keep a greater purity, if you will, than the Democrats do, we also remain the minority because we can't seem to assimilate people of different views as well as the Democrats do.' "
Now, about forty years later, since the Democratic Party appears to be approaching critical mass of progressive-socialist tolerance of ideological heresy, there may be an opportunity to build on across
the board public disenchantment with the past seven years.
That is, if conservatives knock off the fratricide and the Republican elite spend a little time looking out for Main Street rather than using their constituency for votes like a pimp sells women. As long as I can remember, with the exception of Reagan, Republicans have managed time after time after time to throw gift wrapped victories back to the Democratic Party.
* Two Party South, Alexander Lamis, page 84 paperback
-- Political Pistachio Conservative News and Commentary
Editor's Note: It has been conservatism, or in Bush's case a claim to conservatism, that won elections. However, in Reagan's case it was conservatism coupled with an appeal to "Americans", rather than "republicans." Personally, I have no problem with moderates and liberal republicans running away from the party. In my opinion, they poison us. The Democrats are on the verge of progressive-socialist critical mass because of their "tolerance" of non-American ideas. -- Douglas V. Gibbs