Monday, February 23, 2009

Republicans being relegated to "regional" status

There is a big tug of war going on in the Republican camp. The Democrats are known to always fight, that is what we do, but we welcome the argument that is why we are diverse under our big tent, but the Republicans are different. This is a party that has been pretty much lock step with leadership, but not now. The breaking of many independent thinking Republican governors from struggling states have made many come out in the open and buck the party line. It is all about that stimulus money.

The Republican Party took a heavy hit the past two election cycles from the Midwest, Northeast and West. The erosion was due much to the ideology that just is not working or the public is not listening right now. Many people are tired of the labeling of liberal or conservative. They want Washington to work and work for them. The rebuffing of President Obama trying to reach across the line has a perception to the public. Whether many Americans agree with Obama or not, they are viewing the Republican Party pretty harsh now and unwilling to work or even give President Obama a chance to fix some of the massive problems left on his desk by George W. Bush.

I don't like all the aspects of the stimulus bill, I don't like the idea of bailing out banks since these managers were the ones who made the atrocious decisions in putting them in the predicament they are in, I don't like spending 10B plus in Iraq and building that nation up when we have deteriorated infrastructure all over this country (Katrina, bridge in Minneapolis), I don't like the idea of some aspects of the housing plan when many pay their mortgages and are responsible and may not get any help from the plan, I don't like any of it. I want to cut spending and if we spend do it smartly, but I know that tax cuts alone is not going to save this country. It won't.

It is easy to just sit back and let the market correct itself, the ideology of many conservatives, but when you have bank after bank fail, Wall Street run amuck, home prices all over this country continue to plummet, 600K job losses a week, the idea of doing nothing does not sit well with the average American who has lost almost all their money in their 401Ks and don't know how they will send their child to college and their home price not worth the spit on the ground.

The Republicans can duke it out, but again it is looked on as a regional, southern party. Their continuing to not come to the middle will continue to be their detriment. The question is this though, are those constituents in these southern states going to sit by and take the heat and hit from the decisions that their governors will make by not taking some of the stimulus money? Especially to extend unemployment for constituents in their states? That is a wait and see issue.

The Republican governors’ divide reflects their party’s erosion to a mostly regional party that is based in the conservative South, after heavy election losses in the Northeast, Midwest and West. And with the party leaderless after losing control of both the White House and Congress in the past two election cycles, the split is colored by early maneuvering for conservatives’ support among potential aspirants for the party’s 2012 presidential nomination.

Several governors, nearly all of them Southerners known to have national ambitions, have been withering in their criticism of Mr. Obama’s stimulus plan, which received only 3 of 219 Republicans’ votes in Congress. The harshest critics include Mr. Sanford and Govs. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, Haley Barbour of Mississippi, the national chairman of the party in the 1990s, Rick Perry of Texas, and Sarah Palin of Alaska, the party’s 2008 vice-presidential nominee.

After initially saying they might reject any federal aid, several conservative governors said in interviews over the weekend that they were likely to reject only the money for expanded unemployment compensation because of federal strings that could require them to provide relief to part-time workers who lose jobs as well as to full-time workers. Many other states already provide such aid.

“Now is the time, and it’s a great opportunity for Republican governors and other leaders to offer conservative-based solutions to the problems,” Mr. Jindal said on “Meet the Press” on NBC. He announced on Friday that he would reject the $100 million for unemployment compensation in the estimated $4 billion for Louisiana.

Posted @ Daily Kos

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