Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Fiscal or Social?

One of the refrains that leftist newscasters (but I repeat myself) oft repeat is that the Republican Party is in trouble because it embraces its radical right wing kook fringe. The premise is that if the GOP would just get rid of social conservatives and focus only on maintaining fiscal conservatives, the GOP would win elections again.

Given that this advice comes from leftists, conservatives already ought to reject it (since when does the opposition really care about helping their enemy win elections?). However, since there is a libertarian wing that is fiscally conservative while socially liberal, they echo these claims too.

That’s why examining the recent initiatives in California and Maine are so important. In California, the courts ruled that gay marriage should be allowed because there was nothing in the state constitution to deny it. So social conservatives passed a constitutional amendment to outlaw it. Even though Obama carried the state by a wide margin, gay marriage failed.

Ditto in Maine, where the only distinction is that the legislature passed the law instead of the courts ruling it. Still, it was not put to a popular vote, and once it was…gay marriage was defeated. In fact, in every state (31 total) where gay marriage has been put to a vote, it has been defeated.

And more importantly, in the California election, the initiative came at the same time as the presidential election. Which means there were a lot of people casting a vote for Obama and Proposition 8 at the same time. In Maine, homosexual activists were quite vocal in trying to keep the law the legislature had passed, yet they failed too.

Because of libertarians, we know that one can be fiscally conservative and socially liberal. But voting evidence indicates there are also a sizeable number who are fiscally liberal while remaining socially conservative. This is why California and Maine could vote for a liberal president and still vote against gay marriage.

If the GOP wants to win elections, they have to stop nominating “moderate” candidates and return to their socially conservative base. The public consistently votes for socially conservative initiatives even in liberal states. This means liberals must rely on the courts to impose their agenda, because they lack popular support.

Why anyone would consider socially conservative voters to be a weak-point in their party can only be explained by willful blindness.


  1. Peter Piker Puck Player,

    You and me are two peas in a pod. Personally, if the GOP wants to dump social conservatives, that's fine with me. Or if social conservatives want to dump the GOP, that's fine with me too.

    Many times I vote GOP only because they're the only ones with a voting chance to stem and stymie the liberal-leftist agenda of the Democrats. Eg., McCain. He's a RINO and I can't stand RINO's. In many respects, I think they're worse than the overt Leftists.

    And if the GOP leadership keeps putting forth RINO's, then the GOP deserves to lose. And this social conservative will just brace for the worst.

  2. And, in fact, the GOP ran a "moderate" Republican for Prez in the last election cycle. We all remember how that strategy played out.

  3. "Fiscal or Social?"


    As in social conservative. Besides, most social conservatives are also fiscal conservatives. So you get both anyways when you prioritize social conservativism.

    Heck, most social conservatives are also security conservatives. So with a social conservative as being first and foremost as a priority within the GOP, they'd also get a fiscal and security conservative as well.

    The GOP, as Dennis Prager says, is the Stupid Party and I'm a member of the Stupid Party.

  4. Peter, Steve,

    What do you think of this interview with Carly Fiorina who will try to win the GOP nomination to run against Senator Barbara Boxer?


  5. TUAD,

    I'm still at work so haven't had a chance to look over that interview. However, to this point, I've been following Chuck DeVore and like what I see there. Plus, he just picked up an endorsement from DeMint.

    Ultimately, since I won't be voting for anyone in CA, my opinion is just my opinion. But I'll look at the Fiorina interview when I get a chance. :-)

  6. "If the GOP wants to win elections, they have to stop nominating “moderate” candidates and return to their socially conservative base."

    Peter Piker Picks Principled Politicians,

    Check out the comments on Newt Gingrich's blog for him initially endorsing RINO Scozzafava.

  7. Peter makes a lot of good points. I would add the following.

    Not only is there a large segment of the American public that's conservative, but many of the more moderate voters seem to be persuadable. They don't know much about the issues, and they can be moved in either direction without much effort. That's why we frequently see people just before an election (in polling, in focus groups, etc.) who find it difficult to choose who to vote for or to offer much of a justification for the direction in which they're leaning, even when the candidates who are running are radically different from each other.

    I think the election results are moderately encouraging. Virginia's results seem the most significant to me. New Jersey's significance is lessened by the weakness of the Democratic candidate and the closeness of the race. And I doubt that resistance to homosexual marriage, such as in Maine, will be so widespread much longer. People born in the early twentieth century, such as the 1920s, are still voting today. That won't last much longer. I suspect that support for homosexual marriage will significantly increase in the near future.

  8. Please take a look at this post titled "Not one more cent to the Republican Party."

    It details the history of GOP leadership backing and funding RINOs.

  9. But that is only a winning strategy if you don't care about fiscal/economic issues to begin with. What good is it to say that the GOP is winning elections if they're electing socialists like Mike Huckabee. Hard to take solace in the fact that he's a "social conservative".

  10. "Fiscal or Social?"

    Don't forget Security.

    As in security conservative. Is there going to be a Triablogue post on the Fort Hood massacre by an Army Muslim psychiatrist?