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Thursday, July 01, 2004

Choosing sides

Andrew Sullivan (yes, I think he's pretty frikin' brilliant, so you're gonna read a lot on him) talks today on his site about the upcoming GOP "civil war" between fiscal conservative/social moderates who don't like the theological/free-spending bent their party is taking, and the hard right Delay wing that thinks if you're a moderate, you're not a Republican.


I happen to agree with Sullivan that a day of reckoning is approaching. The GOP has tried the "big tent" approach and it isn't working. Why? Because the far-right has no interest in it working.


I have considered myself a Republican since the 3rd grade, when Reagan was elected. I am pro-military, pro-gun rights, anti-tax, and pro-small government. I think a moment of silence in school is okay and the Pledge should be left alone. I have a firm belief in God and am married with one child.


I am also pro-gay rights and pro-choice. I think amending the Constitution to deny a group of people a basic civil right is disgusting.I think cutting taxes and raising spending is insane. I find Michael Powell and the FCC offensive in their drive to limit free speech. And while I am a Christian, I thought the 10 Commandments monument was rightfully removed from the courthouse in Alabama, and I don't have the audacity to think that there is only one way in which to worship.


In the new, theocratic GOP, the second list trumps the first list and therefore renders me an undesirable. Or, as Delay and his boys call it, a "RiNO" (Republican in Name Only).


Which is funny, because I always thought that Republicans were for small government, individual responsibility, fiscal sanity and a wide degree of personal freedom. Apparently I was mistaken.


I am all for cutting taxes, but you have to cut spending to go with it. You can't just say "We'll grow out of it." Really? Well, tell me when the Red Sox will win the World Series while you're at it since you are prediciting the future. That is no way to run a government. The government has an obligation to be responsible with OUR money. Running huge deficits is not being responsible.


Not that the Democrats should be touting their fiscal plans. I have yet to see a Democratic budget where spending didn't increase in long-term permanent programs. But that is for another time.


So the moderate Republicans like myself find ourselves placed at arms length from the increasingly hard-right, religious GOP leadership. And the day will come when it all blows up, the probable result being the moderates leaving the party, just like I have done.


The only scenario I see stopping this: Kerry winning the Presidency. This would have the following results:


This leaves me with the wholly unappetizing prospect of voting for Kerry in November. I'd rather cast it for the Libertarian candidate, but I live in a swing state. And every vote does count.


God help me, but I think that's what I'm going to do.

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