Oh the insouciance of youth. A group of young-ish Republicans have launched a PAC that claims to be more tolerant on social issues (aka it ignores them), and instead focused on fiscal, energy and defense issues.
This new PAC, Concord 51, is intended to woo young voters by supporting young candidates who aren’t as crazy as the right-wingers running the GOP.
Yeah, but sadly there’s a problem. A few actually.
1. If you elect a Republican to the House or Senate, you help create a GOP majority in that body, and thus hurt the very social issues you claim to care about.
The GOP stinks on social issues, the Democrats are pretty great (with some hiccups along the way). If you help elect a GOP majority in the House or Senate you are helping to harm gay rights, women’s issues, immigration and more. Even if the individual “moderates” don’t vote the party line of hate, the majority of the party will. So the GOP will continue to fight DOMA in court (it’s the GOP House that’s responsible for that one), they’ll continue to try to undercut health care reform, and they’ll continue to treat women as binders.
2. Even if your candidates aren’t as nutty as the Tea Party/religious right that currently runs the GOP, once moderate Republicans get into office they go all gooey and start voting for the crazy stuff, lock-step along with their GOP brethren.
When is the last time a moderate Republican stood up and took a stand on anything? All one has to do is look at the history of GOP Senators Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins in the US Senate. They are hardly as aggressively moderate as Tea Party and religious right Republicans are aggressively evil.
Moderate Rs are squishy wimps who have no backbone, nor any zeal to ever truly get anything done, and they rarely buck their party leaders. Sure, Snowe and Collins were the only Republicans, along with Specter, who voted for the stimulus — after gutting it to ensure that our economy would ge lame for years. Thanks, Senators!
3. Even moderate Republicans vote for immoderate leaders. This is a variant on point 1 above. Even if you elect so-called moderate Republicans, they’ll still vote for the crazy leaders once they get to the House or Senate. So they’ll still do what they always do, putting the Mitch McConnells and John Boehners of the world in charge of the party’s agenda, guaranteeing that the very social issues they don’t want the party to focus on, get focused on.
4. And what’s with this notion that focusing on fiscal responsibility, energy advancement and a strong defense will somehow make the party less crazy?
The GOP’s warped sense of fiscal responsibility is the reason the stimulus wasn’t big enough, and it’s the reason we’re on some mad train rushing towards massive cuts in Social Security and Medicare and Medicaid.
And their love of drunken sailor spending on defense, and war, is another big reason the deficit is as bad as it is. (Not to mention, I’m not so sure young Republicans are terribly keen about being drafted to fight a war in Iran.)
As for energy, seriously? The GOP energy plan is to simply drill baby, drill. There’s no thought given to making an honest investment in alternative energies because Republicans don’t believe in them. And the GOP “energy” plan is based on disbelief in global warming.
5. And finally, avoiding social issues isn’t enough. Moderate and independent and young voters don’t want to vote for a party that ignores gays, women, Latinos and blacks. They want to vote for a party that embraces those groups, and their issues. A party that actually tries to help those communities.
In a way, this “new” Republican group is no different than the gay Republican groups the gay community has been plagued with for years. Far too often, they claim to be “working on the inside for change,” when they’re, at best, ignoring our issues, and at worst, giving the GOP cover for actually thwarting our issues.
The best way to woo back young voters and women and gays and Latinos and blacks is to change the party leadership, and change the primary process which pretty much guarantees a neanderthal as your presidential candidate.
The leadership, and mainstream, of the Republican party believes that the only “true” Republicans is a far-right conservative nut. It won’t matter how many groups like Concord 51 are launched until the party figures out a way to get beyond its own ideological roadblock. Ronald Reagan is dead. The Soviet Union is gone. And the 1980s are over. The Republican party needs to join the 21st century first, then we’ll talk.