From Daniel Greenfield, who writes eloquently about the two, yes, two Republican parties
There are two Republican parties. One is fairly liberal, it is hostile to the left but it also believes in stealing their thunder by adopting moderate versions of their policies
This Republican Party is strongly pro-business, but it believes that to succeed in a global economy the government must provide subsidies to businesses and individuals. It believes that immigration reform is needed, though its chosen candidates know to avoid using the word amnesty. It believes that national health care is inevitable and that the only way to avoid a government solution is through the individual mandate.
Fascinating read, the divide in our party is real, and, if it is pushed too far, well, that would lock the Democrats in as a perpetual majority party. So, there has to be some fence mending I suppose. But, I also believe firmly that many Conservatives agree with both of these GOP’s in some areas. I see faults in both, although, the Establishment Wing, if you want to label it, is certainly not as appealing to me as what I call the Conservative Wing, which Greenfield touches on as well
Then there’s the other Republican Party. This party is deeply worried about the future of the country, and not just as a place to do business. It is socially conservative, strong on national defense because it believes that we do face real threats and enemies, it is opposed to amnesty and very skeptical of Federal power.
This party is more new than it is old, it’s a party that evolved in response to the transformation of the Democratic Party at the hands of the left. It is the base from which the Republican Party draws much of its support, particularly away from the Northeast, and it is struggling to force the party to match its deeds to its words.
It does not believe that most of the national debates are a tempest in a teacup that can be settled amicably behind closed doors. It is uninterested in bipartisan great compromisers, it seeks fighters who will stand up for its agenda. It is not interested in the progressive voyage to the national future that has been taken up by both parties, what it would like is independence from their reign of policy terror. It would like to roll back the progressive policymaking of both parties.
It is concerned for its ability to earn a living, for the values of its children and the basic freedoms that it can see being lost every day. It remembers a time when people had more freedom and less rules hanging over their heads. The tide of paperwork, the omnipresent regulatory state infuriate it and lead it to vote for people who claim to want Washington off their backs. But next year there are even more regulations and paperwork to deal with.
My main disagreement, perhaps my only real disagreement with this wing is on social issues. Yes, I am pro-life, I believe there is no greater violation of basic human rights than abortion on demand. Gay marriage? I think that is a state by state decision, although I recognize that certain Gay activists will never be sated until they force every state to have laws they deem worthy. I am very much a “leave people the Hell alone” kind of Conservative. The less government the better frankly. Too many Social Conservatives hate big, intrusive government, until something on TV offends them, then, they want a big government entity, the FCC to rescue them from their offense. Sorry, but that is not “Conservative”, not in my view. Nor am I a fan of rewarding certain behaviors with tax breaks, as some Social Conservatives are. That is my main issue with Rick Santorum. One of my steadfast rules is that taxes have one legitimate purpose, to raise revenues. When the government at any level starts using taxes to reward, or punish the purchase certain products, or certain behaviors, our liberties are diminished.
That “other” GOP? The Establishment Wing? My main issue with them is their lack of ideological balls if you will. They are the party of Diminished Expectations. Take this election for example. Mitt Romney might well be the nominee, and, if that happens, well, as many issues as I have with Mitt, I still find him far preferable to Obama. But, there is a huge difference in supporting a less-than Conservative candidate as an option to a Marxist like Obama, and settling for that less-than-Conservative candidate right out of the gate. The Establishment Wing fears losing so much that they try NOT to lose, and that is a losing strategy. Even if that strategy pays off in an electoral victory, you have still lost by not sticking to principles. Or, perhaps I should say you have lost by not BELIEVING in your principles. Political cowardice is no more appealing than any other act of cowardice is it?
Those are my thoughts on the Great GOP Divide, what be yours?