Saturday, October 24, 2009

The Real Issue Facing Republicans?

The real issue before the Virginia GOP is not in reality whether or not Bob McDonnell will win the election in ten days. Its a safe bet that he will. Its the divide within the Party that exists today in large part due to various insiders whom have sought to alienate portions of the traditional conservative base that are more fiscal conservative or libertarian in nature. It began early in 2008 with the nomination of Sen. John McCain, but reached its pinnacle moment with the removal of Jeff Frederick. Sure, Jeff said some pretty crazy stuff, but in the end it was insiders who sought to take the Party in an extreme rightward direction away from the majority of those Virginians whom have supported it over the years. The manner in which Fredericks removal was handled illustrates the insidership of the State GOP.

Why is this a problem?

In 2006/07 social issues were elevated to the top of the platform as a means of getting the base out to the polls. It was a strategic move, but it also put the social platform in the cross hairs of the generational divide. I learned very quickly that those absolutely against recognizing homosexual marriage came from two very different groups; one being the baby boomers + and the other the African American community. I can only speak from experience so I will simply say that the former has created a major obstacle for the State GOP going forward. The younger generation of voters have an entirely different perspective on such issues as homosexuality, race relations, equal rights and equal opportunity. Younger people are more open, tolerant and embrace inclusion over exclusion. Younger people value the right of privacy and reject anyone, let alone the government, to dictate choices or limit opportunity. These younger voters IMHO were manipulated by the false promise of change brought about by the marketers behind Obama's campaign.

I have spoken to literally hundreds of younger voters and they all have the same thing to say. Where they are becoming disillusioned with Obama and his administration, both Democrats and Republicans alike, they do not see a platform in the GOP right now that offers them a voice or an agenda to get behind. The biggest issue one would think with young folks would be healthcare if you believe the mainstream media, but in reality its future issues like spending, the environment and job opportunity/security. They know there will be no social security for them. They question the longetivity of such things as 401ks and retirement plans given the moves by Washington to dip into such areas and make changes to such laws impacting saving that are on the horizon. They have the vision to see a bleak economy over the next half decade and yet at the very point in time where they could be brought into the greater Republican community they are being turned away.

Why? Because certain Republican extremists have determined that the country and Virginia must concentrate on a social conservative platform and not a fiscal conservative one. They will use the spending issue as a sword of course, but the real agenda driving these social conservatives is control. Control of your life and control of mine. They believe they know what is best and if you disagree, even if you are a Republican, you are taken to the wood shed. Case in point, Jeff Frederick.

Local bloggers like Tom White over at Virginia Right is an example of the divide that is being created. Mr. White has sought to drive every moderate and fiscal conservative from the State GOP and refers to any Republican who does not put the social conservative platform above all else as a "liberal" conservative. Virginia Right recently made the claim that Henrico County is more conservative, or in his words a stronger shad of red, than even Chesterfield County. His posts illustrate a rejection of the notion that Virginia is an independent/moderate State. Some refer to this as being a "purple" voting State. To some, being "purple" is exactly what is needed in that it allows voters to take a look at candidates independently and make determinations accordingly based on the individual not the Party. Tom White rejects this. According to Virginia Right if you supported John McCain last Fall you are a "liberal-Republican". He fails to account in all his "analysis" why it is his own Henrico has such a poor showing as of late regarding conservative candidates. He downplays his vote of course as simply a vote for Palin and not for McCain or a vote against Obama not one for McCain.

White calls Henrico County home. Henrico supported Kaine over Kilgore, Obama over McCain, Warner over Gilmore and by less than a percent supported Allen over Webb. Compared to Chesterfield County, thats a pretty strong anti-conservative record that Virginia Right chooses to ignore when he blasts fellow Republicans in Chesterfield for not being conservative enough. Afterall, Chesterfield delivered support to Kilgore, McCain and Allen. Virginia Right's frustration is solely directed at "moderates". White refers to these voters as "liberal Republicans" not moderates. These voters are the biggest problem in White's eyes. He sees these voters as traitors to the cause. The problem is Virginia Right does not seem to grasp just what the real "cause" is.

The future of the GOP and the roadmap for succes is not through divisive attacks or trying to figure out which group is "more conservative" or anything like that, but by creating a vision for the Party that is rooted in core principles based on fiscal conservatism. The future or death of the formal GOP will be dertermined not by the aging population of the baby boomer generation now with the greater demographic, but by the younger generations to come as well as the growing Hispanic population throughout the country. True conservatism applied to such issues as immigration very well may bring that future into the fold, but people like Tom White will have none of that. White sees the GOP has more of a club. His posts at Virginia Right demonstrate his intent on discriminating against certain Republicans. Your welcome as long as you do what your told and follow the line of the social conservatives.

You would think that a candidate like Jim Gilmore would have provided an opportunity for Virginia to demonstrate just how "conservative" the Commonwealth really is and yet Mark Warner brought in more Republican support than any other statewide candidate since Chuck Robb. Virginia Right provides no analysis for this other than accusing all those Republicans who supported Warner as dead weight in the State GOP. Again, traitors to the cause.

After a series of hard fought battles for statewide office, the State GOP must continue to examine its platform. These battles will always be close in Virginia because of the extreme influence of independents and moderates. Tom White would alienate these voters. Banish them from the State GOP and leave the Party with about 26% of the electorate. The GOP needs to push past such advocates.

Bob McDonnell right now is winning the middle ground over Creigh Deeds. Bob is running the kind of campaign that needs to be run to win in Virginia. Bob has avoided the divisive side of politics that often follows many social conservatives. Bob understands the the Virginia voter and those attending the State GOP convention are very very different. The latter are very conservative and lean more towards the far right of the Party whereas the average Virginian comes down somewhere in the middle. This is why Virginia has a long track record of split ticket voting. It is not uncommon for us in Virginia to elect a Democrat as Governor and than support a Republican in the White House and this year vice versa.

Fact is not all Republicans are social conservatives and not all Democrats in Virginia are "liberals". There is a swell of voters in the middle, but instead of attempting to deliver a majority of them to the polls in support of the GOP, people like Tom White seek to alienate them. He seeks to ridicule and offer platitudes of prejudice against even self-professed Republicans claiming they are not "conservative enough".

He states that support for Sen. McCain is whats wrong with the Republican Party and that McCain is merely a liberal like the Snowe, Spector and others. I guess he also would throw in Lindsey Graham as well, but in reality maybe Tom White does not have to look any further than his own backyard. Eric Cantor (R-7) seems to fall off his radar and yet Cantor voted for much of what is wrong with Washington right now. How about all those bailouts? Gee, Cantor in the House, heavy weights like McCain, Graham and Snowe in the Senate all in a position of leadership and power and they are all "liberal Republicans" according to Tom White?Wow. Where all all those social conservatives. Oh thats right, most of them were defeated in the House and Senate races since 2006.

The difference between the fiscal conservative and social conservative is attitude. Fiscal conservatives are more than willing to work with all conservatives to bring about a reduction of taxes, spending, regulation and the size and scope of goverment without question in order to provide solutions for America's future. It is apparent through Tom White that we see that social conservatives have no esire to work with anyone who does not seek to elevate its issues to the front of the platform and cares very little for expanding ideas and growing the ranks through open dialogue and a genuine love for the country and ALL its people.

If people like Tom White are not careful their wish will eventually come true. The problem is there is not much you can do in politics with less than 30% of the vote. Not much at all folks. An unwillingness to compromise and expand the Party very well may be the GOP' undoing here in Virginia. Fortunately, Bob McDonnell does not subscibe to such radical viewpoints as Virginia Right or at the very least Bob has not in the execution of his duties acted in like fashion and could possibly go a long way to rebuilding the State GOP that was crushed last Fall throughout the Commonwealth.

The State GOP has real issues facing its future, but this divisive battle being waged by such people as Tom White against the rank and file should not be one of them. Evidently the heat is getting a bit hot for him over at Virginia Right these days. I hear that he has actually invoked moderation over at Virginia Right. Moderation? Yeap. Just another way to silence critics folks and control the dialogue. Who can blame him? He and the Henrico GOP have their hands full these days over there fighting back (or even denying) the voting trends.


Anonymous said...

The truth is the base is fractured. It is fractured from the top down. Look up in New York right now where you have infighting over Republican candidates by both interal powers and those on the national level. Even Sarah Palin has decided to stick her nose in the matter. She is simply making the situation worse which in the end only benefits the opposition and herself. Simply put its a minefield that she should be smart enough to avoid if she ever wants to be considered credible in the long term.

There is one aspect that needs to be addressed and thats the willingness for many conservatives to go along with these bailouts, taxes and even the healthcare bills in one fashion or another. On paper some of these leaders appear less and less conservative every month. The awakening from the town halls is that we are indeed a center right country, but not a center far right one. The point regarding the generational shift is spot on and my children are better for it. I believe in the Reagan tradition and its brand of conservatism but feel the further we move into the future it will be forgotten.

The other side as well as many social conservatives within the Party have marginalized that tradition. The last couple of conventions in Virginia have been very painful. The Party has lost some of its old swagger and focus and has seemingly been content on settling old scores.

Lucks Lane said...

The 26 percent base of the GOP is very old and decreasing in numbers every election cycle.

Most of the Dem's growth has not been from their brilliance but rather than GOP shortcomings. Preach family values and then unleash a flood of infidelity.

The likes of Limbaugh and Beck scare the moderates who would normally favor center right canidates.

Given a little more time, the Dems will fracture and the GOP will inherit power. It will be mistaken as brilliance but will just be a reaction to Dem failings.

This Country needs more Americans and less Republicans and Democrats. Their are way too many self proclaimed patriots who never served in the military and put their political party above America.

JoeinBonAir said...

It is not America as an Republic that must change, but the attitudes of the people within the very democracy they say they love.

The short-term futurte of the GOP is good, but the long term is bleak. Things like "grassroots" are merely punchlines to the old guard and they will never seek to truly open up the process. Alter is correct to say that the system is one of control. Each group positions for control in order to impose its values upon the other groups. The means in which they undertake this strategy were seen in the ousting of Delegate Frederick. Frederick sought to exapnd the base and bring in minorities as well as the "facebook" generation and was shut down for his efforts.

Many social conservative Republicans are very respectful of the entire Party. It just so happens that the most vocal or the ones getting most of the press are the most hostile. I would submit that Mr. White is one of those.

We must move past the politics of blame. There is far to much of it to go around. I believe the only way to change the dynamic on the ground is to be respectful and listen to all sides and viewpoints. If you read Mr. White's own profile on his blog he makes it very clear he has no interest in engaging in dialogue or debate.

Much of the blame regarding the trajectory of the State GOP can be leveled at that very attitude. The GOP has slowing seen its numbers decline in terms of those willing to admit they are in fact "Republican". Its a crisis of branding.

Rush and Beck are merely mechanisms to drive debate and focus. They do not reflect any real sense of directed policy. Thats not their role. These gentleman are not elected officals or policy makers but are entertainers. There is a reason why they were once called "shock-jocks".

Anonymous said...

If Moran or TMac had won the Democrat nomination the McDonnell, Bolling, Couch team would be up by at least 15% or more.
The fact that Deeds is trailing by around six points proves the State is largely conservative. Sure there will be a backlash to Obama by some, but if you read between the lines of Virginia Right's comments it implies that Republicans did not bother to show up for McCain and simply stayed home. I doubt that happened much.
Deeds has long been respected as a conservative in Virginia. In fact, many out in western Virginia that vote Republican often support him as well. Pro-gun Democrats tend to do well out there. Even Roanoke's paper endorsed him over Bob. Hardly a "liberal" rag like the Post or Times.
Virginia is a conservative leaning electorate but a fickle one. One should be very wary of limiting access or demanding a form of allegiance in Virginia. We just do not operate that way.

Tom White said...

As usual, Alter, you have completely misstated pretty much every thing in this post. I told you I live in Hanover, which is a far deeper shade of Red than Chesterfield. Not Henrico. My blog clearly states this and you have been told in comments.

Second, I call people that support Progressive Democrat Tom Shields over Dr. O'Bannon a liberal. And that is not in dispute.

The Republican Party wins when we offer voters a true alternative to liberal Democrats. Not when we offer Democrat Lite or watered down Republican as is your mindset.

Tell me again which Liberal Republicans that believe in LGBT marriage, abortion on demand and more government control of everything that have won state or national office. These are Shields' positions which you support over O'Bannon.

You demonize anything connected with the medical profession as evil, and believe that the medical care providers are synonymous with the Insurance industry.

You believe the garbage that Obama is spewing that the Health Insurance is "gouging" even though their margin is only 2.2%.

I honestly do not see one bit of difference between you and Nancy Pelosi. I was shocked and amused to hear you say you were a Republican in comments on my blog.

The country is drifting back to the right and that positions Conservative Republicans to make major gains, as long as we stay true to our Conservative roots, from which you have drifted - if you were ever Conservative at all.

William S. said...

So you can't support Shields and be a conservative Democrat Mr. White? Your posts regarding the social issues of sexuality and marriage smack of bigotry and if thats what the meaning of conservative is to Dr. O'bannon than you can have him.

On most issues the two in the race are the same. If you had bothered to show up to more than just one debate and pass judgement that would be obvious to you. You have taken one sentence used by Shields and tarnished the whole body of his campaign. Thats not conservative. Thats divisive.

Mr. White you constantly have defended the Henrico GOP throughout this campaign. Are they not on your facebook page? It was not until after Alter of Freedom called you out for your ridiculous assertion that if you voted for McCain than you are a liberal thread. Sir, not only are you misinformed, but both ignorant and arrogant. It may not be your view that diminishes the Party, but simply your divisive positions against others within the Party.
Those that supported Dr. O'bannon for the last few cycles deserved alot more than we have gotten.

Alter has made it very clear regarding the bills he has sponsored. You have offered up nothing more than platitudes.
I am thankful it is not 2008. I have no doubt in my miond that Alter of Freedom is accurate in that if this race was last year that Shields would be the victor. Turnout in the City portion would have been much higher than it will be in two weeks this time around.
Nonetheless, I have read all the posts and it was not until August when the Shields campaign was surging that you went negative Mr. White.

The Qimoda (sp) issue had been out there for months before you beagn making slanderous assualts against Tom's faith and his work with Bobby Scott.

If you took the time to actually listen to others and not merely hear what they say you will find that both these candidates are conservatives.

Mr. White you know absolutely nothing about Alter of Freedom nor his efforts in Chesterfield and before the BOCS regarding zonings, schools and quality of life. There is nothing liberal about him. You would know that but your a newbie to blogging evidently since April. Alter has been been a valuable resource for over four years.

Alter, maybe you should send Mr. White that autographed picture of you and his beloved Sarah Palin from the rally up in Fairfax last year!!!! I can't stop laughing how someone who claims to know so much has you pegged so wrong.

It proves the point that arrogance and pride cometh before the fall. You won't lower yourself, but we will defend you.

No word back from you and Jody Wilcox on 2011 yet? Maybe Mr. White should get an invite to a rally for you guys when you run for office in Chesterfield next cycle? Boy would that be a walk-up call for him. I don't know too many liberals supporting gun rights, property rights, anti-dillon rules, property tax credits for teachers, police fire/ems, anti-imminent domain, business tax credits and the list goes on and on.

And to think, all those rallies for Bush, John Warner, George Allen, John McCain/Sarah Palin, Frank Wolf, Fimian, and Virgil Goode and this guy thinks you are a liberal??????No idea who he thinks a socialist is; Steve Forbes? Laughing so hard, Mr. White makes me...well you know.
Take care all.

Tom White said...

I simply expose Shields for what he is. He is attempting to hide his ultra liberal beliefs. So are you now a Democrat, Williams?

I was at two debates and two Town Hall's held by Shields. Ask Tom or Tony Coppola next time you pick up yard signs for them. Do a search on my blog. Again, you're simply wrong.

The Henrico GOP requested access to my Facebook Blog page and I grant everyone access no matter who they are. Everything I post to my blog goes there and some prefer to access the posts via Facebook. I also support GOP Committees all over the state and candidates from Eastern Shore to Richmond. I live in Hanover and own a business in Tidewater.

Did you see the mailer from Shields claiming O'Bannon wants to "extinguish your life"? Nice guy. Do you believe this garbage? A Doctor wants to kill us?

You said "It was not until after Alter of Freedom called you out" and try to say I somehow am to blame for responding after being "called out"? You are confused.

If you have supported Dr. O'Bannon the last few cycles and now attack him and extol the virtues of a progressive over the Dr., why do you think you deserve better? Your attacks on him will not get applause from me because you claim you are a Republican or have knocked a few doors.

One year ago, the entire Republican party was in disarray and totally downbeat and wondering if we would ever win again. We had a Republican president that moved far to the left, a Congress that followed him to the left and we ran a lefty candidate for President. It was the drift to the left that you supported that brought the party to the brink of destruction.

Conservative Republicans like myself have jumped in to pull the party back towards the right. And we are now poised to sweep the top state offices and add to a majority in the House. And I am now hopeful that we can hold Cuccinelli's Senate seat

And Williams, just because you have a hard time understanding, Shields Support = Liberal. That's all it takes.

I really don't care who or what you have supported or done in the past. When you find yourself supporting a liberal over a conservative, it is time to face the facts. You have drifted too far to the left.

You know I'm right on this.

Anonymous said...

"Your posts regarding the social issues of sexuality and marriage smack of bigotry and if thats what the meaning of conservative is to Dr. O'bannon than you can have him."

You sir seem to imply that race and so called sexuality are akin. A false dichotomy.

There is nothing conservative about the content of your blog. You have no conservative values other than the perpetuation of your relativistic idea of what ever appeals to those who have yet to develop a logical or sound concept of the issues you cite. Your idea of the Republican Party is to so closely emulate the Democratic Party that you could easily rustle sheep in an election and get to hold the banana for a change. Problem is that's not conservatism and it has proven a failed strategy.

By trying to appeal to everyone and logically by appealing to no one, those of you who hold the mush you mistake for principle have lost the House, the Senate and the Presidency.

You have failed to maintain the legacy of Reagan, deliver on the Contract with America, secure the borders, reduce any vestige of government or cut spending in any way as promiseed. In fact the only service you provide for anybody is that of "useful idiot" for those who happen to be further left that those who hold your views in the New Progressive Party that once was the Democratic Party.

It is you who is the bigot. You want conservative votes and you have no problem with candidates who refer to Certain Constitutional Amendments in their literature or certain conservative issues- as long as they really don't mean after they get elected and they sit at the back of the bus so you can preach at us and claim the driver's seat.

Well I got new for you, 40% of the public consider themselves conservative, and that will rise, and we are coming for you and your cream of wheat conservatism. I'll vote to put the Dem in power if it will weaken you. I'll vote for the independent if it will weaken you- because your name is Failure and we have had enough of you.

Your fired.


Jody L. Wilcox said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Jody L. Wilcox said...

JoeinBonair and Alter state the crux of the issue but not the whole picture. If it is the old guard that is controlling the agenda making us younger patrons of the GOP feeling marginalized. We are doing it to ourselves it is up to us to make the change and move into positions to make that change and to bring the GOP back to prominence. With that being said, to tie the lack of movement from younger Republican’s into positions to effect change within the RPV to the ousting of Frederick is ill advised. Frederick had many problems with style, performance and practices that were far beyond the “old” guard not wanting the status quo changed. RPV needs a dynamic leader that will do what Frederick tried to do but with more honesty and less personal grandstanding that he actually did…what we need is a heads down workhorse not a celebrity leader looking to pad his resume for his run for Governor. We need to stop following leaders and start making leaders here in Virginia to make sure we are voting for people we believe in and not the best of the worse on the ballot. Being a social conservative personally I understand that we need a broader base to win elections even as I (as other social conservatives) try to pull the party more to my liking (as moderates, and socially liberal Republicans are doing) when discussing GOP platforms. We need to hold our convictions close but always be able to look to the bigger picture in this current political climate…there is not one correct GOP but the need for consolidation, reconciliation and a push to oust the socialist agenda being currently thrusted upon us. The grassroots and “Facebook” group is as diverse as the old guard but are willing to put together a comprehensive platform that will win more than take their ball home when they fail to get their way….this is what needs to be set forth as the GOP tries to gain it luster back..

Tom White said...

I agree with most of what Jody said. The frustration on the conservative side of the party with the ones that would make the party Democrat lite are the reason we have been losing seats and the White House.

The NY 23 race is an interesting dynamic to watch. We have a liberal Republican running against a more Liberal Democrat, and a third candidate that is very Conservative. The Conservative just took the lead and looks to have the momentum going into the election. If her were the Republican Candidate instead of the Liberal Dee Dee, this would be a landslide.

John has it right. The diluted brand promoted by the liberal Republicans on this blog are the road map to continued failure.

KelleyinCC said...

I am not sure if you are responding to Jay, Tom or Alter for that matter, but just because someone choses to "expose" the truth in a candidate does not a liberal make them.
John O'Bannon has major credibility issues even within his own Party in Richmond. All you have to do is evaluate his bills objectively. The GOP has controlled the House for years now and most of Delegate O'Bannon's bills have failed. They did not fail because of Democrats, but because of their merits.
At no time as Mr. White done anything to promote O'bannon. Instead, he simply has taken to bashing a respectable resident of our community who has sought to run for office. Whether or not he is a different stripe politically or not, Mr. White went over the top with his accussations of Acorn, child porn, gay marriage, transexual marriage etc. he has not once diagnosed a single issue in this race except to bait the the radical base of the GOP in Henrico.
It is evident after this long cycle that Mr. White should stay in Hanover and leave the district in Henrico alone. I am not surprised however, each time a canvass for O'bannon has been done here its been by people WHO DO NOT LIVE IN THE 73rd!!!! White would cry foul if the Democrats did this.
I have spoken with Jay and John and nhiether EVER endorsed Shields. Niether are Liberals and in fact a very strong conservatives. They are fiscal conservatives who believe in small, limited government. So much so, in order to address the budget shortfalls for schools both men volunteer in CC schools and contribute not only their time but also money to the needs of the local schools. I doubt Tom White and his cronnies have done anything other than oil the machines of the Hanover GOP.
Its one thing to attack someone based in fact but the manner in which you have attacked both Jay and John and even Shields is part of the reason why many citizens here in CC could care less about regionalism. We have no desire to have far right nutjobs dictate to us that we are not conservative enough. We do not need to launch bigoted and racists smears against people to grow our rank and file and in fact we have established a great relationship with such groups as the NAACP chapter in CC working with Republicans. We have created, through great effort, a broader coalition that delivers support to Republican tinme and time again.
John- Mr. White believes that only strong social conservatives who want to concentrate on abortion and gay marriage and lock up illegal immigrants are the only strong Republican candidates. This notion is exactly why such moderate Democrats have been so successful winning Republican voters over, even in CC.Radicals like Mr. White played right into the hands of people like Warner and Kaine.
Mr. White asks us to support all Republicans on faith and not on merit. White, though not living in the 73rd, has not asked the most important question in this campaign for any voter. HAS JOHN O'BANNON AS MY DELEGATE EARNED MY VOTE?

Other than the assertion that O'bannon sits on various committees in the House, Mr. White has failed to make even a remote case why voters should support O'bannon in nine days. Instead, he has concentrated on attacking fellow Republicans. Notice I say Republicans because accroding to Mr. White if you do not subscribe to his notion of conservatism than you are not Republican evidently.

I find it interesting that people deny the trends. Jay and John support positions with voting data all the time on their blogs. Jody Wilcox does the same at The Contemporary Conservative. Could it be that these men are the next generation of true conservatives and that Mr. White is subscribes to a old order?
Lee Ware and M. Loupassi will win in CC and the three of you have supported both men as well as John Watkins last time around. I have no idea what Mr. White thinks he knows but the more I read from him the more I understand that if thats the direction he seeks to take the GOP its time he and people like him have a true come to Jesus.

Anonymous said...

Mr. Tom White:

We tried it your way with candidates like Kilgore, Gilmore and Huckabee and they all lost in Virginia. All of them.

Warner and Kaine played it right and stayed away from engaging and inflamming the social issues because in the end they do not matter to the greater Virginia population. They are niche issues that do not amount to much even with most Republicans.

Ask any Republican under 40 where they rank and social issues are not even in the top 5. In fact, the environment even comes in before abortion and gay marriage. Those issues are solely a means to garner turnout from the base.

To drive younger voters from the Party because they see the world a bit differently is a mistake. A big one.

Jonathan Scott (Midlothian) said...

Jody of course you are more eloquent than me as usual. I think the greater point is you post regarding your description as a "contemporary conservative" that you used to coin you blog. I think it is very timely to this debate.

Many of us certainly value the role of all perspectives and input from every facet of the Party and than there are those that are hyper-partisan. In evaluating the posts,I find Tom White to be harmful to the movement you inspire Jody. Its not his values, but the fact that he can't get past any of them in order to effectively reach compromise and thus leads to what we witnessed throughout the last ten years; a failure in governance.

We can realistically see this right now on the other side of the aisle where it is bluedogs taking the fight to liberals within the Democrat Party. It is not Republicans. They have no dog or votes in the hunt. Democrats could do it on their own if they had the will, but today sit with many Democrats in opposition from red-leaning districts. I am sure it may be about survival, but nonetheless does not Tom White and others who support his assertions have alot in common with bluedogs on the healthcare issue? Are they not aligned in opposition?

This is where governance and leadership comes in. When you can't leverage what you have in common and simply concentrate of what divides people than nothing changes. In fact when you focus solely on division that very division grows wider.

So when we see this debate over the right path of conservatism it is apparent that both sides are right and both are wrong. The projected numbers of the future are stacked against the old order if they concentrate on issues that polarizing.

It is very easy to cast blame but the fact of the matter is there is a void of leadership in the Party exactly because it fails to address the concerns being raised here. No one is confident in the winning path. There has been equally enough defeat from both approaches. Jim Gilmore and Kilgore were horrible candidates to put up against popular opposition. It would have been much smarter to nominate moderate candidates in those instances to take the fight to the middle and win moderates and independent conservatives. The Democrats will always win the nutjobs and greenheads from NOVA folks. Thats just the reality of the demo.

Bob McDonnell has effectively navigated this paradigm. Only when his thesis which raised some serious social conservative underpinnings with voters did we see his numbers begin to take a hit. He has rcovered because his message has been more effeective than Deeds on various issues and he has out debated him as well. The endorsements have come from the usual suspects, but the Roanoke endorsement is a bit troubling.

Anonymous said...

Tom White and Virginia Right-

if you take a moment and review the post over at The Contemporary Conservative regarding a few of the real fine conservative leaders this year running for office you will not find John O'Bannon in the list.

Loupassi, Ware, Nixon, Simpson and Cox, which I assume is your areas Delegate though you champion O'Bannon for some reason made the list compiled by Jody Wilcox.

Where John O'bannon? Probably delivering a nice fat check to the insurance companies thats where.

Anonymous said...

To all those who would subscribe to the view of Virginia Right's Tom White I ask you to listen to the very words of Newt Gingrich.

Newt has warned that you cannot create a majority by purging people from the Party but obly by attracting people. Newt did this with Reagan. Reagan would reject the viewpoint and position of Virginia Right regarding the direction of the Party.

Tom White is asking we implement a litmus test in the Party. As Newt states this is a recipe for disaster for the future.

I can't help but wonder if Tom White will now write a post at Virginia Right calling Newt Gingrich a liberal Republican as he has so many Republicans here in Richmond.

Tom White said...

Wow. Thanks to all the people that think they have me figured out. But you are all wrong.

My views were solidified during the Reagan years. I have not and will not compromise my values just because some Johnny come lately's think I should conform to their views.

The Alter of Freedom obviously is intended to sacrifice freedom and liberty for the idiotic notion that in order to compromise with Democrats we must become more like them. I am a Christian and to the best of my knowledge, the teachings of the bible have not changed. I do not demand that people live by my morals, but I will not bend to yours. Ever.

Little by little the moral fiber of our society has been torn down, beginning at the earliest ages in schools. It started with the gay and lesbian "movement". Then they add bisexual, transgendered, and now Nambla is getting into the act. And you people think that anyone with a moral compass that sees this as detrimental to our society is somehow a bigot. I would say it is you who are the bigots. When Society ceases to strive for morality, we degenerate into nothing.

I have stated many times that I really don't care what goes on behind closed doors. You criticize me and accuse me of forcing my morality on you, and at the same time demand I accept your "new" morality. I am not demanding you believe like I do, and you should have the same courtesy with me.

People like you are more worried about being accepted by the Liberals and bringing them into the party than you are about those in your party. You do not understand the concept of right and wrong. To you, these are gray areas to be used as bargaining chips to achieve "compromise".

To a liberal, compromise or bipartisanship means you bend to their way of thinking. That is not what the Republican Party is all about. It is your desire to take the party to where Clinton was in the 90's. And, to be honest, you have had a great deal of success of late. And as a result we have lost the Presidency, both houses, the Governors office and the Va Senate and we have 2 Democrats in the US Senate.

When we were truly Conservative, not the watered down version you support, but true Conservatism, Virginia was a solid Red state. Look what you have done now.

The growth in the party this year has come from the right. Many of us have reawakened because the Republicans have lost their way and are no longer able to win. As a result, we were nearly destroyed by people like you.

So, get used to it. The adults have returned and I promise you there are more pissed off baby boomers intent on setting the Republican Party back on it's wheels and moving the party back to the place we can win than there are liberal Republicans.

We start in Virginia and move to DC next year. WE WILL TAKE THIS COUNTRY BACK! You can either help or get the hell out of the way, or you will be moved out of the way like your boy Frederick.


Tom White said...

Look at the faces of those of us that are rising up against the liberalization of America. Many of us sat and watched far too long as the America we inherited, the greatest country in the history of the world, was destroyed.

Our complacency has let down the "greatest generation", in most cases, our parents and grandparents. They handed us an amazing country, a true set of values and the highest standard of living ever. And we have allowed Democrats to take this away, slowly at first, but the incredible acceleration of the destruction of late has awakened the part of us we learned from the greatest generation.

You have NO idea where your complete lack of moral guidance will take this country. My generation is to blame for your lack of discipline and understanding of what made America the greatest country on earth. Specifically our complacency. We had forgotten the lessons of our fathers and failed to pass them on.

We are in the process of fixing this.

We tried to pass the keys of the Virginia GOP to a generation that is simply not prepared to keep this country great.

So we took the keys back. We are back in charge, like it or not. We failed to pass on the fire our parents had for this country. This is the only way to keep America great.

Watch and learn. We WILL take the country back starting in Virginia. This will be our gift to you.

It will be up to you to hold it and not allow the torch to go out again.

And as far as which candidates I back and how I do so and where I live, that is totally my call.

But make no mistake. The days of the liberalization of the Republican Party have ended. We have made a right turn and we would all appreciate your help and assistance in fixing this mess, it would make things easier, but we are quite capable and prepared to go it alone.

But purging liberal Republicans from office will happen. McCain, Snowe and others are history. Untrustworthy.

And we expect you to dump the Emo Republican act and grow up between now and the time we can try again to hand over the keys to the party.

Like my parents used to say, it's for your own good.

But I hope you understand that we simply can't hand over the country in the condition it is in and the direction you are headed.

Course correction ahead.

Jody L. Wilcox said...

I'll put my conservative credentials and my conviction to hold them true against anyone’s but we also need to start wining the minds AND hearts of the total voter population before we can begin to turn the tide...that usually starts with the pocketbook and moves on from there. I think the real argument being stated here is that there isn't one Republican or conservative (since 40% identify themselves as such per a recent Gallup poll.) Almost every Republican under 45 was shaped in some way by Reagan Tom (as you state you were) since the 80’s is when we grew up and developed our worldview but even Reagan was a man of multiple facets and ideas, even while maintaining his conservative pedigree (which we shouldn’t forget was a conversion from a more blue dog mindset) he reached out to those hurting from the disastrous Carter years to offer hope for all Americans to begin to rebuild their lives through self reliance and governments ability to re-establish the American dream for all its citizens…this is what made him a man so many voted for in droves. Conservatives didn’t vote Reagan into office, the American people did. It is a misnomer to label Alter (and those like him) a liberal, independent or even traitor if he doesn’t support a specific candidate of a specific party… a person that he is suppose to vote for simply because that is the way it is and it is loyal to an ideal that may not be present in today’s party(maybe it is since it is not for me to decide but each of us)… I stated earlier if we give people strong candidates that address today’s more pressing issues of the day like paying the mortgage, real health insurance reforms, jobs and taking care of our loved ones….we can discuss the platform for the tough social issues after the victory party has ended and our work repairing the damage done by extreme liberalism has begun. We Republican’s (and conservatives) don’t like others to paint us into a box; we should avoid doing it to ourselves.

Anonymous said...

"Freedom" in the country by definition Tom is about inclusion and not your brand of exclusion.

You are the one who claims to have other people "figured out". I was a Reagan Democrat as well who left the Party and joined the Republicans who for the better part of twenty five years stayed focus on an agenda that mattered. After the COA, the Party gained control and spent like drucken sailors at Subic Bay- you were in the Navy so you you know thats alot of drinking. The moved away from the true brand of conservatism that resonated and enter the path of focusing on social issues.
Do not confuse a rejecting Obama's vison as an endorsement of your brand of conservatism. We will see in the next Primary going into 2012jusat where the majority of Republicans stand. I venture to say it will not be standing with Palin or Huckabee in the end. It will be another voice, a more centrists voice or even a moderate one like a Romney, a Gingrich, or even a Barbour that may take the reins. Why? Appeal. Palin appeals to a base of voters in the GOP that will not push her over the top nor will a focus of social issues by you and others increase those ranks. The best path to victory is through small transparent government, tax reform, and sticking with the Constitution not demonizing people.

KelleyinCC said...

So those of us who have loved ones who are homosexual who embrace them and love them unconditionally have "lost our moral guidance"?

Sir, with all do respect you have no idea what it means to be a Virginian. I thank you for your service to our great nation, but did you even have a clue as to what it was you were actually defending Mr. White?

Read up on your Virginia history or simply visit Hollywood Cemetary in Richmond and learn where our ancestors guided us as Virginians. Many of us who can trace our heritage all the way back to the Virginia Colony understand full well why it was they came here and I have to say that your narrow mindedness and rationale of morality was a very big part of why they embarked on the journey. They sought to escape not only real persecution but also one of thought and belief. You condemn fellow Republicans who would love and respect the rights of individuals to decide for themselves the path in which they seek to take. How than can you claim to be a true Reagan disciple or how than can you tolerate Dick Cheney for his acceptance of his very own daughter Tom?

You are misguided and your bigotry masked as rightousness could very well limit the promise before the Republican Party today.

Tom White said...

Jody and Anon, we agree on a lot more than that on which we differ.

Kelley, you totally misunderstand my statements. I will personally never embrace a GLBT lifestyle as acceptable or mainstream. My views are set and I refuse to lower my standards to appease you or anyone else.

Having said that, I really don't think it is my business what others do, as long as it is consensual between adults. I WILL NOT try to impose my views on anyone or seek legislation to do so.

I also have friends and family that are gay or lesbian. They bring their significant other to my home and are welcomed. The understanding is, I will not tell them how to live their life and they will not try to force me to change my beliefs. I am not a bigot because I refuse to compromise my morality. I do not hate or discriminate. But I do draw the line when someone tells me I must conform to their ideals. And people like Kelley that think I must give up my beliefs to accommodate their way of thinking are the actual bigots. You hate me because of something I believe.

Reasonable people can disagree, but I can tell you one thing. Anyone that would support Tom Shields over Dr. O'Bannon is NOT a Republican. If Shields were the moderate Democrat he was pretending to be I may b a bit more understanding. But this is a far left radical progressive liberal who has had the Democratic Party dump over $100,000 in 2 months mailing out lies. Ask yourself. Would the DPVA put $100 grand in a moderate?

Alter and Williams first came on my blog and defended Shields and attacked O'Bannon. I truly believed these were two progressives because of their rabid support for an ultra liberal.

I believe that no true Republican could support a candidate that is politically identical to Pelosi, and that is Tom Shields. That is the reason I say that these guys are closet liberals. RINO's.

Anonymous said...

Bunk. Bunk. Bunk.

Tom Periello is a Pelosi clone but Tom Shields certainly is not. The notion is baseless. If one review the debates and topics discussed there is hardly any relatedness on substance or policy. Virginia Right has entered down a dangerous path with such strokes.

Would anyone say that Creigh Deeds is a Pelosi clone. He has been respected as a conservative Democrat for a long time and Shields is hardly left of Deeds on issues.

Really Mr. White? Really. Your obviously not a legitimate analyst but merely a staunch partisan with an axe to grind against anyone who defers from you.

JonathanScott(Midlothian) said...

Mr. Tom White obviously ignores the history of the Republican Party Kelley.

For example, in 1976 the Republican Party wanted no part of Reagan. Late in 1979 it was still unclear that the Party would accept his ideas. If you recall he was from out in California and there was a suspicion of him that existed with the insiders. back then they called them "party bosses". Remember, going into the Primary it was George Bush who was seen as the eventual nominee. He had the strong conservative arm of the Party and Reagan was speaking to the moderates and brining along with him conservatives from the Democrat Party. Reagan in the 70's was not a social conservative nor did he launch his campaign accrodingly. Reagan in the end brought people together from across all lines and that is what we should be celebrating as Republicans by continuing the course.

Evidently,these facts are lost on Mr. White. Accordingly even Rush Limbaugh today spoke to the requirement of Primaries. had there not been a Primary back then, Bush would have running in 1980 and not Reagan. I say lets have at it and let the chips fall where they may. We need more voices in the Party not less. We need all demographics represented and not merely a single one. We need to make inroads into the Northeast as best we can. We need to exploit those high tax paying States with a different course. People are voting in the Northeast not at the ballot box but with their feet. They are relocating in droves to the Southeast. This in large part has what has made Virginia, North Carolina so competitive in elections in the last ten years.

The issue regarding the social issues is not one regarding belief or morality but one of policy. Many, unlike Mr. White, want to legislate morality or take their beliefs and make them the sole law of the land. This is not the course to take. I do not seek to change anyones core beliefs, but it is when people determine to bring those into the rhelm of policy to the detrement of others that I break with them.

There is a difference between being Republican and being conservative.

Tom White said...

J. Scott said:
"There is a difference between being Republican and being conservative."

And therein lies your problem. You want to attract mealy-mouthed Republicans that are nothing but liberals that water down the party. This is the reason the Republican Party has become the minority. When there is no clear message or distinction, why would anyone vote for a Republican?

You assume that the party platform of both parties has remained static. It has NOT. As the Democrats began drifting to the left and rapidly becoming a coalition of single issue, single interest groups, many left the party and became Republicans.
At the time, MANY Democrats switched parties. The common saying was they didn't leave the party, the party left them.

In the 1980 elections, the message of conservatism and personal responsibility spread like wild fire. Reagan rode into Washington and we captured the Senate for the first time since 1953.

Over the next 12 years, we drifted away from the Conservative message, lost the Senate and the White House.

Then in 1995, the Contract with America jerked the party to the right and we eventually took the House, Senate and White House.

And then we drifted left. Again. We have lost both chambers, the White House, and Virginia.

And you want to continue the leftward drift. You have no idea what you are doing.

Tom White said...

And Anonymous, who I assume is actually J. Williams due to your inability your understand the difference between your and you're, again, you are clueless.

But I have come to realize you are simply unable to comprehend much in the world of politics, so it becomes pretty much a waste of time to respond to you, but I will try again.

Yes, Tom Periello is a Pelosi clone and does not try to hide it. Tom Shields is also a Pelosi clone, and tries very hard to hide it. He has you fooled. Look at the VPAP in kind donations for Shields and tell me who you think is running him. He is a liar and your lack of comprehension has failed to allow you to see this. Perhaps you need to look at his mailers. This is where the lies are most evident. I have little hope you will be able to understand this, though.

And Deeds IS a conservative Democrat. He is nothing like Pelosi. But he suffers from the same malady that you want to inflict on the Republicans. In his effort to be a "centrist" and try to draw in the independents, he lost his base. And just like liberal Republican McCain he not only lost his base, he also fails to attract the "new" people to the party because he is McDonnell lite.

This dynamic works against either party. Moran would have made things much closer as he is more liberal than Deeds and less so than Terry Mac.

If you were a Democrat, Deeds would be your guy. Another loser.

Tom White said...

Just a note to all of you that think the party needs to be more liberal and "inclusive". In your zeal to move the party left hoping to be more "mainstream", you alienate the most motivated people in the party. The true Conservatives. Without these people you cannot win. On the surface, it seems to be logical to give up some principals and beliefs in exchange for bringing a few more into the party. These are weak Republicans and they easily drift away.

The hard core Conservatives are strong Republicans, for the most part. Far stronger than the ones you desire. The Republican Party lost a number of these because of the left drift with McCain and the left leanings of other elected officials.

If the Democrats fail to appease their hard core base - the Progressives - they lose. Deeds is watching this happen.

If the Republicans fail to appease their base - the Conservatives - they lose. McCain found this out.

There is a huge movement away from the Republican Party because of your less than conservative ideals. We are on the brink of the death of the Republican Party, despite the present upswing. If the Conservatives leave the party for a third party, in short order, 75% to 80% of the present Republican Party will follow. We will not have a two party system, as Republicans will not win another race.

I am one who is working to prevent that from happening. I believe that in the interval between the marginalization and eventual destruction of the Republican Party and the rise of a Conservative party the Democrats will be unchecked and grab so much power a second party may be impossible, and hard core Socialism will grip this country for decades to come.

Anonymous said...

Being "inclusive" has NOTHING to do with being liberal of moderate conservative. It mean not exlcuding people based on your personal beolief system regarding fringe issues. And YES abortion is afringe issue and it has been marginalized. How? The majority of people under 40 do not feel that abortion should be a political issue at all and believe people should have the right (women in particular) not have someone else let alone men dictate to them what they can and cannot do. Gay marriage is no different. Those under 40 do not see it as even an issue. I likening it to civil rights. In the beginning the first generation in the South had strong opposition to voting rights and civil rights for people of color and now today America is a totally different place and for the better.

Tom White you version of "inclusion" is about simply having everyone in the GOP think and believe like you do without a fight on the issues to develop a unified platform. You like other radical far right extremists in the GOP simply want to dictate to others.

JonathanScott(Midlothian) said...

Tom White is the probelm and people like him who seek to narrowly define Republicanism along the lines of their idea of conservatism.

This topic has been covered rather effectively by the likes of Will, Hannity, and Limbaugh lately.Even Hannity called himself a "conservative" and last night stated he is not a "Republican" but a conservative. Glenn Beck has also defined himself in the same manner.

So how do people like Tom White see this people? Honestly, the leverage them and use them but in reality have no acceptance towards them.

White has bastardized the true meaning of both conservatism and Republicanism to meet his own ends. See him for what he really is. If by chance the far right social conservatives wish to break from the Party and become Palinites in the coming years and that is their right to do so, than in the end they will be embarking on the lonely journey to political wasteland. Numbers do not lie. Conservatism in America is growing, but not the brand of conservatism that Tom White endorses.

It will not be the center or the moderates in the end that will be the ones having to compromise down the road but the far right. Just as the far left will not compromise they will be torn apart by the conservative wing of the Democrat Party.

Again, Tom White forgets himself regarding Virginia politics. Moderate and conservative Democrats have more in common with Republicans (moderates/fiscal conservatives that is) than the liberals of NOVA. There have always been a significant number in Deeds district that supported him in Richmond while voting Republican in national elections. Tom White fails to see the disconnect in his logic with reality.

Rural Virginia is conservative and yet while supporting people like Huckabee in the Primary, often send Democrats to the Assembly and to the Governors Mansion. Is it the brand of conservatism that Tom White finds fault with in rural Virginia? Are they not "conservartive enough" in his book?

JonathanScott(Midlothian) said...

The biggest aspect of all this that Tom White is missing is where will all those conservatives,especially Virginians, go upon the rejection of OBama's brand of socialism.

Will they stay in the Democrat Party? Doubtful. The middle of the Party which could best be described last year as the Clinton voters in the Primary will reject Obama's agenda in the end. The bluedogs are already fighting the battle right now. Should we as Republicans reject them as Tom White-like conservatives rejected Reagan in the 70's initially and even Mitt Romney last year. Afterall, who on the GOP side was more Reagan like if not Mitt? The far right embraced Huckabee. Why? Because Huckabee played to their core political identity; social policy. yet these voters ignored the fact that Mike Huckabee as Governor governed more "liberal" than any other candidate including Romney on the GOP debate stage. Who in late 2007 was the "most conservative" up for the nomination for the GOP? Gilmore or Tancredo thats who. I think we all know what happened to them.

Tom White is quick to call people RINO's but maybe he simply is just a VINO (Virginian In Name Only).

Tom White said...

Jonathan, you have a very myopic view of things. I have been in this party a lot longer than you have, I am sure. The party has drifted left. I have not budged. Nor will I.

There is not one single liberal Republican that has one Statewide or National. Period. Nor will they.

My philosophy is based in tried and true historic fact. You are running on a half baked theory that has already been proven false. The moderated did not flock to McCain.

If you are successful, you will destroy the party. Hannity and Beck USED to say they were Republicans. As the party drifts left, the Conservatives leave. These are the people we need in order to win.

Watch NY 23. A liberal Republican, a more Conservative Democrat and a true Conservative. In a liberal area. And the Conservative is polling ahead.

You are simply wrong and history is on my side on this.

Anonymous said...

New York 23 is a conservative leaning area. It includes the Adirondacks. Hardly a bastion of liberal philosophy. BTW the Republican there was elected and certainly did not lead as a conservative however so it is no surprise that the third party entry is a conservative. Mind you the conservative candidate did not have the opportunity of a true Primary so that certainly hurts the Party. Had there been a formal firehouse or primary the two Republicans could have battled it out. Instead this is a special election that did not have a primary before hand.

Mr. White is mistaken on one very important point. Based on his stated philosophy and view on the Party today; Ronald Reagan was a liberal Republican elected to national office. Ask yourself if Reagan were with us today what would his vision of conservatism look like. I sugggest we start there and move forward.

John (BonAir) said...

NY23 is not a "liberal area". The previous representative was a conservative that was tapped to be the Secretary of the Army I believe. Obama's advisors knew what they were doing and knew that this would happen and their plan was to take this seat from the Republicans in the House.

Obama won NY23 by 5 points and yet it traditonally elects Republicans. The same could be said for the 7th Congressional in Virginia (R-Cantor) which supported Obama. There is no simple answer to these developments other than the fact that voters are looking at individuals over Party in greater numbers.

Anonymous said...

Not sure where Virginia Right is getting information from but the Shields people seem to think they will do better than any other challenger in that district. One has to remember that John O'Bannon has been unopposed a few times in his nine year tenure.

Virginia Right often touts how the Dems are throwing money into the 73rd but rarely seems very interested in the fact that the O'bannon coffers drawf every other local race combined for the Assembly.

You do not just throw money into a race that you feel you will win handily. Obviously there has been some concern there by the establishment and the Henrico GOP. The Republicans are banking heavily on an O'bannon victory and they are freeing up the cash to ensure it. Thats politics.

Virginia Right may be right this cycle in the 73rd but the demographic in the district appears to be shifting. I have no doubt that we are still "conservative" but we are seeing the influence of younger families buying homes in the district. Families of course mean children and Shields one campaign point on education is very effective. Shields speaks to solutions on this issue whereas O'bannon and Virginia Right merely talk about money being approved or supported by the O'bannon to be thrown at problems. The message of Shields on education is about looking at the returns on investment and evaluating better ways at accomplishing the objectives set forth by the DOE. Its a grassroots and community involved-PTA approach to education that can be transformational to the community, especially one with City schools within its limits.

Why should the 73rd have a delegate that appears only concerned about the Henrico portion of the district? Or better yet, why should the 73rd have a Delegate only concerned about his wifes magisterial district within the 73rd? Still too many questions left unanswered in this race and that benefits the incumbant.

Tom Shields let John O'Bannon off the hook in this race and that is disappointing given how promising he is as a favorable candidates. I have not met one person in the 73rd that did not take to him. Whether or not that translates to votes next week we will have to wait and see.

Anonymous said...

One big huge opportunity in Virginia to this question will come in four years when you can bet that Ken Cuccinelli and Bill Bolling will both be eyeing the Exec. Mansion.

Ken represents the hard line, far right conservatives and Bill has greater appeal with average, middle ground conservatives in the Republican Party.

I think we will find than just how big a role the independents play and I would ay that given the recent polls that show them coming back home to the GOP one has to wonder just where they will sit once they take that seat at the table.

As it stands today, I think they will align themselves more with the moderates than the far the right.

Jonathan Scott said...

Interesting segment this morning on Fox with Chris Wallace concerning how the Bob McDonnell campign has been running a social conservative-less campaign across Virginia in order to strike the 7 pt advantage Obama provided Democrats last year. He has run a masterful campaign without making the mistakes and blunders Kilgore did by focusing on social issues. McDonnell has stuck to his jobs, economy, taxes and transportation focus and has won the center. He very well may disprove the theory that one must win NOVA in order to win statewide office. Deeds has failed to motivate or inspire those in the region that helped carry Obama to victory in Virginia.