Republicans in Trouble?

I’ve been kidding myself that Republicans aren’t really in trouble — that the takeover by the wingnuts was simply a local phenomenon.

Apparently, it isn’t. Kleinheider at VolunteerVoters links to a post at the Johnson County (Kansas) Sun, where the author writes of why, for the first time in decades, the paper will not faithfully endorse Republican candidates as it has done for 50 years. He begins,

The Republican Party has changed, and it has changed monumentally.

You almost cannot be a victorious traditional Republican candidate with mainstream values in Johnson County or in Kansas anymore, because these candidates never get on the ballot in the general election. They lose in low turnout primaries, where the far right shows up to vote in disproportionate numbers.

To win a Republican primary, the candidate must move to the right.

Then, he articulates what “to the right” means — gay bashing, immigrant bashing, restrictions on stem-cell research that would save lives… the list is long. Moderation brings common ground that all of us can live with, but “moderate” is an epithet to these folks.

Most republicans like myself have not changed, but our party has been taken over by people so driven to extreme social conservatism that they’re willing to disregard the core principles of the Republican Philosophy. Not just here, but possibly everywhere.

We’re in trouble.

10 Responses to “Republicans in Trouble?”

  1. on 12 Oct 2006 at 1:16 am YoungBadFrog

    …Then, he atriculates what “to the right” means — gay bashing, immigrant bashing, restrictions on stem-cell research that would save lives… the list is long. Moderation brings common ground that all of us can live with, but “moderate” is an epithet to these folks…

    Well…

    Gay bashing… Giving “gays” a public benefit (marriage or its equivalent) that was intented to help support family integrity and child rearing is very debatable.

    Immigrant bashing: I actually know something about farming. The use of immigrant labor saves at most ½ cent on a 10 cent head of lettuce (which is sold in stores for about $1.50). The benefits of importing illegal unskilled laborers with unknown diseases (drug-resistant tuberculosis, malaria, leprosy, plague, polio, dengue, and Chagas disease), and unknown criminal backgrounds that place a strain on our infrastructure, at the expense of highly trained carefully selected legal immigrants, are just not apparent to me. Further in the southwest there is a real danger of Quebec style separatism (the Reconquista movement). The net effect is depressing the wages of the lowest paid in the US economy. This leaves aside the fact that illegal immigrants are by definition criminals. I’m just not convinced that the benefit of illegal immigration is close to outweighing the problems. Tighten the border and throw them back. We don’t need to finance Mexico’s crony capitalism. Corruption and socialism/poor political choices are the source of Mexico’s problems. If Mexico cleaned up its act, all these immigrants wouldn’t come here. We won’t even touch on the problems of bilingual education and the silliness of spending money to educate children in the wrong language.

    Restrictions on stem-cell research. Don’t have a dog in this race but I haven’t seen any proof that infant stem cells have any advantages over the allowed infant/adult stem cell lines. This appears to be more of a back door way to promote abortion and reducing protections for the unborn than removing a block to life saving therapies.

    Dragging gays behind your car and bashing Hispanics shouldn’t be tolerated. Letting people die from curable disease is bad. However that isn’t the policy that the right is promoting.

    Oh, it is “articulates” not atriculates.

  2. on 12 Oct 2006 at 6:59 am daco

    Thanks for the clarification YBF.

  3. on 12 Oct 2006 at 10:57 am Joel

    “Giving “gays” a public benefit (marriage or its equivalent) that was intented [sic] to help support family integrity and child rearing is very debatable.”

    Gay families bring the same benefits to society as straight families. Gay families raise children, too. There is no rational basis for the state to treat gay couples any differently than straight couples.

    “Further in the southwest there is a real danger of Quebec style separatism (the Reconquista movement).”

    This is silly, paranoid fantasy.

    “The net effect is depressing the wages of the lowest paid in the US economy.”

    And lowering the costs of goods and services. Which is why illegal immigration won’t go away. Nobody wants to pay higher prices for food, restaurant service, hotels, etc in order to insure citizens and legal immigrants get higher wages.

    “This leaves aside the fact that illegal immigrants are by definition criminals.”

    A victimless crime.

    “I’m just not convinced that the benefit of illegal immigration is close to outweighing the problems.”

    Well, American business is.

    “I haven’t seen any proof that infant stem cells have any advantages over the allowed infant/adult stem cell lines. This appears to be more of a back door way to promote abortion and reducing protections for the unborn than removing a block to life saving therapies.”

    1. Infant stem cells are identical to adult stem cells. The distinction is between embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells. Embryos are not the same as infants.

    2. There is never any proof for a new therapy until it is tested. There is immense promise for embryonic stem cells. Research is necessary in order to test that promise.

    3. Nobody I know of who supports stem cell research is interested in promoting abortions. Including me. I support choice; I don’t “promote abortions.”

    Oh, it is “intended” not intented.

    Heh.

  4. on 12 Oct 2006 at 10:07 pm Dixie

    Well said Joel. If I may add one thing more:’
    “Restrictions on stem-cell research. Don’t have a dog in this race but…’ What, no family members with diabetes? Parkinsons? Alzheimers? We all have a dog in this fight. It is obvious to me that the veil of compassion once worn by these wingers has been replaced with anti-moderate, intolerant, carpetbaggin my-way-or-the-highway power hungry psuedo-republicans.

  5. on 14 Oct 2006 at 10:00 pm YoungBadFrog

    1. “Gay families bring the same benefits to society as straight families…”

    The percentage of gays in the population is 4% in urban areas and 2% in rural areas.
    .. http://www.familyresearchinst.org/FRI_AIM_Talk.html. This makes sense since mouse studies indicate homosexuality is related to population density. A review of DC bars/clubs indicates that there are 26 clubs out of 669 that are gay. That is 3.8%. If we are going to redefine marriage for a very small percentage of the population it is hypocritical to limit it to just “gay” one on one relationships. Just allow any group of two or more to get married. Larger groups would actually be better since there would be family continuity if only one member of the marriage left. Harems (either multiple males or multiple females) would be fine). If you are onboard with making marriage a multiperson contract for the support of children I am with you. Otherwise go away and quit bothering me.

    I believe that effort would be better spent supporting existing marriage where there are children involved and reducing the number of female headed households:
    http://hsx.sagepub.com/cgi/reprint/10/4/253.pdf
    http://www.divorcereform.org/crime.html
    This would significantly reduce violence and delinquency.

    2. “A victimless crime.”
    Well it isn’t victimless – we are the victims. You didn’t address the criminal/terrorist issue of illegal immigration.
    http://www.city-journal.org/html/14_1_the_illegal_alien.html
    http://www.americanpatrol.com/REFERENCE/isacrime.html
    http://www.centerforsecuritypolicy.org/Mexicos_Immigration_Law.pdf
    I am fine with using Mexican law as the standard. If you believe that an American illegal immigrant in Mexico would get education in his own language or public benefits you are sadly mistaken. That person would be treated like a felon. Unless you have enough money to bribe the local officials it is very difficult to be in Mexico illegally.

    “And lowering the costs of goods and services. Which is why illegal immigration won’t go away.” This is a good point. We should punish the people who rent to or employ the illegal immigrants. Making support of illegal immigrants with housing and employment a costly mistake would not penalize the poor hapless illegal immigrants but would make the problem go away since there would be not a benefit to being in this country illegally. And again there is a lot of debate on whether the immigrants are a net benefit or a net minus. Most studies don’t include the additional public support needed by Americans who are displaced, or their lowered standard of living so there isn’t a clear answer.

    Since you believe it is to our benefit to have illegal immigrants you should support denying public benefits to illegal immigrants – that would make it more “profitable” to have them here.

    “This is silly, paranoid fantasy.” You haven’t been following the news in France and Europe have you? They imported workers for menial jobs and are reaping the result. You can’t have a large unassimilated group in your population without having problems.

    3. “There is immense promise for embryonic stem cells.” I view anything beyond an egg as an infant, but we will use your terms. After some research, the problem is not that EMBRYONIC stem cell lines are not available but that the government isn’t serious about supporting them. There should have been 60 EMBRYONIC stem cell lines available for government supported research – of the 60 potential lines, there are apparently only 22 EMBRYONIC stem cell lines that are cultured and those are cultured on mouse cells – which is a drawback for research. This is one of those “the critics are right but only because the proponents of the ban didn’t follow through” situations. As long as the government isn’t serious about supporting use of existing EMBRYONIC stem cell lines there is some fodder for opponents of the ban. I thought that the government would do a better job of supporting the existing lines and hadn’t seen any convincing argument that more lines were needed. If we had the sixty lines that we should have your argument wouldn’t have a lot of teeth.

    “Nobody I know of who supports stem cell research is interested in promoting abortions.” Hmm. Nobody ever believes in the law of unintended consequences when something appears to be in their benefit. The question isn’t “are you interested in promoting abortions” the question is “are the policies you advocate going to promote abortions”.

  6. on 15 Oct 2006 at 9:15 am Joel

    “Otherwise go away and quit bothering me.”

    When did this become your blog? Why don’t you go away?

    “The percentage of gays in the population is 4% in urban areas and 2% in rural areas. . . .”

    The number of gay couples is irrelevant. If there were only one gay couple in the entire US, there would still be no rational basis for the state to treat that gay couple any differently than straight couples.
    Your point about reducing violence and delinquency is irrelevant to equal legal treatment for gays and straights.

    “Well it isn’t victimless – we are the victims.”

    Uh, no. The mere fact that someone is in the country illegally doesn’t victimize anyone.

    “You didn’t address the criminal/terrorist issue of illegal immigration.”

    I didn’t address the criminal/terrorist issue of illegal immigration because crimes against persons or property, as well as terrorism, are illegal independent of immigration. Most of the crimes against persons and property in this country, as well as most of the terrorism on American soil, has been committed by US citizens. I believe we shoul enforce laws against criminals and terrorists regardless of how they get into the country.

    “If you believe that an American illegal immigrant in Mexico would get education in his own language or public benefits you are sadly mistaken. That person would be treated like a felon. Unless you have enough money to bribe the local officials it is very difficult to be in Mexico illegally.”

    What on earth does that have to do with American immigration law?

    “Since you believe it is to our benefit to have illegal immigrants you should support denying public benefits to illegal immigrants – that would make it more “profitable” to have them here.”

    Another non sequitur.

    “You haven’t been following the news in France and Europe have you?”

    (1) France is in Europe, silly; (2) it is also a silly, paranoid fantasy to say that Europe is fighting a Reconquista movement. I agree that Europe is having problems with unassimilated resident aliens, but that has nothing to do with the Reconquista movement.

    “I thought that the government would do a better job of supporting the existing lines and hadn’t seen any convincing argument that more lines were needed.”

    Well, maybe you need to read more:

    “About 70 existing human embryonic stem cell lines are said to exist worldwide. . . . While these lines may be useful for some research, they do not carry disease-specific mutations that are of interest to many researchers. By creating human pluripotent stem cell lines that contain the genetic information that predisposes an individual to develop a specific disease, scientists can study the multi-step progression of that disease in many different tissue types. Scientists from around the world, as well as at Stanford, have identified this line of research as a critical part of developing therapies for diseases including cancer, neurodegenerative disorders, diabetes and others.”

    http://mednews.stanford.edu/stemcellQA.html

    “The question isn’t “are you interested in promoting abortions” the question is “are the policies you advocate going to promote abortions”.”

    And the burden of proof is on you to support your assertion that embryonic stem cell research is ” . . . a back door way to promote abortion.”

  7. on 15 Oct 2006 at 10:07 pm YoungBadFrog

    “Otherwise go away and quit bothering me.”

    Joel, my apologies for that statement. I should had said, “Unless you are going to extend legal recognition to all interested parties it makes no sense to alter the status quo.” Your words, “The number of gay couples is irrelevant” simply fuels my argument that it should be extended to encompass all potential child rearing configurations or remain as is. There is no argument that can be made for “gay” marriage that can’t be used to justify including a common practice in Utah, which has a biblical basis. There is no reason to pick homosexuality as the only option for an expansion of the definition of marriage.

    “I didn’t address the criminal/terrorist issue of illegal immigration because crimes…”. Huh? If you go down to the border you will find a lot of anger about illegal aliens vandalizing property as they enter this country. Illegal aliens degrade the quality of life by overburdening the infrastructure, increasing crime, and increasing the population of urban areas with all the problems that entails.
    http://www.fairus.org/site/PageServer?pagename=iic_immigrationissuecenters6ce3
    http://www.immigrationshumancost.org/text/crimevictims.html
    http://www.vdare.com/misc/walsh_interview.htm
    http://www.ncjrs.gov/criminal_justice2000/vol_2/02h2.pdf
    http://www.claremont.org/projects/local_gov/Newsletter/crimeimmigration.html

    You didn’t address the disease issue (leprosy, etc. used to be almost extinct in this country) either. That is a problem directly related to illegal immigration.

    But, all of this aside: illegal immigration is illegal, a violation of US sovereignty and must be stopped. If you want more foreign workers in this country – change the law to create a new visa program that allows workers to enter this country more easily but subjects them to health and background checks, exempts them from minimum wage laws but still requires them to pay social security and other taxes, requires at least pidgin level English and provides information and immigration kiosks at the Mexican border. Immigrants would be in the same position but with legal status.

    If you’re serious – change the law.

    If you are unwilling to subject immigrants to health and background checks and perhaps some minimum English requirement (enough so they can order a sandwich and count) we will have to agree to disagree.

    As to stem cell research – “By creating human pluripotent stem cell lines that contain the genetic information that predisposes an individual to develop a specific disease “ – the ground seems to be changing here. If you want stem cells that are predisposed to a specific disease wouldn’t you use adult stem cells from individuals known to have the disease? Many diseases like Alzheimer’s disease (to my knowledge) that occur later in life aren’t understood well enough for accurate predictions of the onset of the illness.

    However, if you have any research to point me to, do so. I would appreciate it. Lets declare a “draw” on this issue until I clarify some questions I have (the mouse tissue thing bothers me).

  8. on 16 Oct 2006 at 6:45 am Joel

    “There is no argument that can be made for “gay” marriage that can’t be used to justify including a common practice in Utah, which has a biblical basis.”

    The bible has no place in determining state interests (see the establishment clause, US Constitution). When it comes down to it, I’m opposed to state recognition for marriage of any sort: gay, straight, plural, etc. I can support state recognition of special rights for civil unions (child custody, visitation rights, property inheritance, insurance, etc). If the state recognizes a social benefit to civil unions between two people, however, it should not discriminate between same-sex and different-sex couples.

    “If you go down to the border you will find a lot of anger about illegal aliens vandalizing property as they enter this country.”

    I don’t believe there is a compelling state interest in preventing anger. I oppose vandalization of property. I believe it is against the law to vandalize property, regardless of citizenship status. Let’s enforce these laws. There is no necessary relationship between illegal aliens and vandalism. BTW, there is no “the border” for illegal immigration. Illegals come into the US across the Canadian border, in Florida, in California.

    “Illegal aliens degrade the quality of life by overburdening the infrastructure, increasing crime, and increasing the population of urban areas with all the problems that entails.”

    There are plenty of American citizens that degrade the quality of life by overburdening the infrastructure, increasing crime, and increasing the population of urban areas. There are plenty of illegal aliens who enhance the quality of life by doing difficult jobs that most Americans don’t want (e.g., firefighting). I’m opposed to all crime, not just illegal alien crime.

    ” You didn’t address the disease issue (leprosy, etc. used to be almost extinct in this country) either. That is a problem directly related to illegal immigration.”

    Leprosy is increasing because of immigration, not only illegal immigration. It is certainly a problem.

    “But, all of this aside: illegal immigration is illegal . . . ”

    This is a trivial tautology. Nobody is saying the illegal immigration is legal. I said that illegal immigration is a victimless crime. You haven’t posted anything that contradicts my point.

    ” If you’re serious – change the law.”

    I agree. Illegal immigration wouldn’t be illegal if it were legalized. Let’s change the law.

    “If you want stem cells that are predisposed to a specific disease wouldn’t you use adult stem cells from individuals known to have the disease?”

    Because adult stem cells don’t display the pluripotency of embryonic stem cells.

    “Many diseases like Alzheimer’s disease (to my knowledge) that occur later in life aren’t understood well enough for accurate predictions of the onset of the illness.”

    And that’s an argument against research?

    “However, if you have any research to point me to, do so.”

    Try Google.


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