Joe Gandelman, 1/8/2013 [Archive]

The Republican Race for Non- Compassionate Conservatism

The Republican Race for Non-Compassionate Conservatism

Independent's Eye by Joe Gandelman

Will the Republican Party's 2012 national rout have an impact? Will it become more a moderate (excuse the "dirty" word) conservative party that tries to inch back to George W. Bush's stated goal of a more "compassionate conservatism" that would appeal to growing, Democratic-inclined demographics? As Tony Soprano said: "Fuhgeddaboudit!"

Amid signs of looming Republican political civil war between purity-demanding conservative activists and a political establishment that seeks to enlarge the party's current perceived "MEMBERS ONLY" tent, there seems to be a race among Republicans to prove who has the least empathy and who will be tougher, no matter what the consequences (to groups that don't vote overwhelming Republican).

Ronald Reagan's smiling "Shining City On the Hill" has been replaced by a scowling "You Give Us What We Want or We'll Level that Hill."

Sen. Lindsay Graham blasts President Barack Obama's nomination of former Republican Sen. Chuck Hagel as an "in your face nomination," but the reality is this:to millions of Americans, today's Republican Party has become the 24/7 "in-your-face" political party.

Many American independents, centrists, moderates and 20th century style conservatives are now in a state of near political grief. They sadly watch as a party that offered substantive alternatives to govern is morphing into a political party seemingly in a state of perpetual filibuster, seeking ways to provoke political brinksmanship, looking for ways to confront — while appearing to kowtow to its most ideologically intolerant rightward faction and polarizing conservative talk show hosts.

A government shutdown? Give us what we want, or it's about time we had another one (forget abut the chaos it'd mean to not just the government but government services, funding and to millions of Americans). Default on the debt limit? Slash spending the way we want or those bills won't be paid — and it won't be as bad as you "libruls" think and might event help the country (forget about the wide variety of experts, including conservative economists, who predict it'd be catastrophic to the American and world economies).

The problem for the GOP is that its courage-challenged politicians won't stand up to the Tea Party, so the soggy tea bag is waving the elephant. According to Rasmussen, only 8 percent of voters now say they are members of the Tea Party, down from a high of 24 percent in April 2010. The Tea Party now has a limp 30 percent favorable rating and an unhealthy 45 percent unfavorable rating.

Some traditional conservatives are increasingly alarmed by the nihilistic tone of their party and they're speaking out. For instance, conservative blogger Doug Mataconis writes that his party now offers two choices: "Either the nation moves in the direction that those who advocate it want it to, or it burns. There's no room for compromise, no room for debate other than on the terms already set. This is not the philosophy of a party that wants to govern, and it's not the philosophy of a party that is going to last for an extended period of time in its present form. It is, in the end, a philosophy of anarchism in which one really doesn't care what happens."

Hint to the GOP: If politics ain't bean ball, the debt ceiling ain't the fiscal cliff. It's the fiscal Grand Canyon. The debt ceiling is where craven political gamesmanship and blatant partisan power-plays can shove the United States and the world into a major financial setback.

If that happens, then in future national elections all of Rush Limbaugh's listeners and all of the Tea Party's activists won't be able put the tea-guzzling Elephant Dumpty back together again.

-----

Copyright 2013 Joe Gandelman, distributed exclusively by Cagle Cartoons newspaper syndicate.

Joe Gandelman is a veteran journalist who wrote for newspapers overseas and in the United States. He has appeared on cable news show political panels and is Editor-in-Chief of The Moderate Voice, an Internet hub for independents, centrists and moderates. CNN's John Avlon named him as one of the top 25 Centrists Columnists and Commentators. He can be reached at jgandelman@themoderatevoice.com and can be booked to speak at your event at www.mavenproductions.com.

This column has been edited by the author. Representations of fact and opinions are solely those of the author.



Download Joe Gandelman's color photo - Download Joe Gandelman's black and white mug shot photo
Why not run a cartoon with the column? We recommend the cartoons below as a good compliment to Joe Gandelman's topic.
Click on the thumbnail images to preview and download the cartoons.

Related Cartoons

 Lib  Debt Ceiling Pogo Stick
By: Daryl Cagle
Slate.com
January 8, 2013

 Lib  Hate Hate Hagel
By: Daryl Cagle
Slate.com
January 6, 2013

 Lib  Debt Ceiling Pogo Stick COLOR
By: Daryl Cagle
Slate.com
January 8, 2013

 Lib  Debt Ceiling Threat COLOR
By: Steve Sack

January 5, 2013

 Lib  Debt Ceiling Threat
By: Steve Sack

January 5, 2013

Elephant in the Room
By: Rick McKee

January 4, 2013

GOP Elephant in the Room COLOR
By: Rick McKee

January 4, 2013

Fools on the Hill BW
By: John Cole

January 6, 2013

 Lib  GOP at Crossroad
By: John Darkow

January 8, 2013

Fools on the Hill COLOR
By: John Cole

January 6, 2013

We do not accept and will not review unsolicited submissions from cartoonists.
Sales & Information: (805) 969-2829 sales@cagle.com
Billing Information: (805) 969-2829billing@cagle.com
Technical Support: support@cagle.com

FREE cartoons for your website if you're already a paying print subscriber!
Artwork and columns are copyrighted by each creator. All Rights Reserved. Unauthorized reproduction prohibited. [Privacy Policy]