Published: Sunday, April 24 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT
Mr. Webb best described who will own the soul of the Utah Republican Party:"...the task is pretty simple. Mainstream Republicans need to turn
out in large numbers at precinct caucuses at 7 p.m., Tuesday, March 27, 2012,
and mainstream Republicans will be back in charge. Put it on your
calendar."Reword his statement to cover all parties and states
and we identify who owns the political soul of America. Show up or forfeit your
future to extremists. Never again complain about "the lesser
of two evils" on the ballot. Neglect your neighborhood party organizing
event and you choose one of those evils by default. Too many Utahns wear their
"unaffiliated" party status as if it were a badge of honor. Actually
it is a confession of willful neglect.
Don't get me wrong. I think I'm a moderate like most Utahns. It's just better
to study both parties, compare with your priorities, and choose "the lesser
of two evils" earlier rather than later. Then we won't be pinching our
noses so tightly when we are in the voting booth.
The battle in the Republican party today reminds me of the Democrats in the
sixties and seventies, where mainstream Democrats were being challenged by the
"New Left" for control of the party. The New Left became too
influential, the party became too extreme, and a big chunk of long-time
Democratic voters deserted the party.The Republicans could learn
How hard was it to figure out that a party is controlled by those who donate
money and by those that participate (i.e., show up)?
Who owns the Republican party (and the Democrats for that matter)?The one who brings the most Cold-Hard-Cash to the table, that's who.
Two often voting becomes an exercise in holding your nose while you mark the
ballot because both candidates stink.It shouldn't be that way.As a registered republican, is my allegiance to the party or am I duty
bound to find, promote, and vote for a candidate who has the backbone and the
ability to represent my principles and the principles of my family?Political parties are necessary evils. We are not Republican-Americans, nor
are we Democrat-Americans. We are Americans. The same goes for Utah. We are
not Republican-Utahns nor are we Democrat-Utahns.Integrity keeps us
from voting for someone whose party platform violates our conscience. That same
integrity should propel us to vote for people who understand the role they will
fill as our representatives. They should understand the limits that we, the
people of Utah, have placed on them. They should fully understand their
authorized duties. Within that context there is room for discussion and debate.
Outside of that context, its just mindless babbling.Lay down the
party flag-waving. It was a bad idea when it began. It's still a bad idea.
We can start by getting rid of everyone who voted for (either time), or signed,
HB477. We also need to take back the Republican party from the far right
wingnuts, and make its candidates more in line with the more moderate Utah
citizens' frame of mind.
Mr. Webb's (and commenters) defense of the Utah caucus system is dishonorable.
It isn't a coincidence that this system results in such a low participation
rate, despite being designed to be open. Many segments can't just put that date
on their calendar. Some people work those hours. Single parents often can't
get away. And even when political newcomers go to extreme lengths to make
arrangements and attend, their voices are many times silenced by the momentum of
those already in power. Utah's extremism won't change until the caucus system
Mike:: Your right about holding your nose and choosing the least smelly
candidate. But this is a republican state. Full of idealogical short sighted
voters who put people like Mike Waddoups, Karl Wimmer, and Cris Buttars in
office again and again. Never considering a candidate if he is democrat. Things
need to change, or we will just get the same ol same ol, every election cycle.
Who owns? The Party or the people? The people of America have always trumped
the Party. Our governments, local, state and federal, are owned BY the people,
FOR the people and OF the people. The Party will always yield to people,
because Party power is derived from people. If you hate what the Party is
doing, then the people have no one to blame but themselves. People ARE the
Party. Slinging slurs like "party wingnuts" isn't very enlightening
or useful in the discussion. Get involved and reshape the Party into an image
more to your liking. Put the next caucus meeting in March 2012 into your
calendar. Show up. Participate. Choose candidates who reflect your values.
Nobody owns the Party but YOU.
We've been here before folks. In 1948 Truman joked that "Out of the great
progress of this country, out of our great advances in achieving a better life
for all, out of our rise to world leadership, the Republican leaders have
learned nothing. Confronted by the great record of this county, and the
tremendous promise of its future, all they do is croak, 'socialism.'"A return to realism at that time was led by Maine Republican Senator
Margaret Chase Smith, who feared was harming not just it's electoral prospects
but the country. That summer she would issued her "Declaration of
Conscience" "I don't want to see a Republican ride to political
victory on the Four Horsemen of Calumny- Fear, Ignorance, Bigotry, and
Smear."She went on to say, "I don't believe the American
people will uphold any political party that puts political exploitation above
The headline presupposes that the Republican party has a soul. And the opening
sentence presupposes that it has a heart. Both are debatable in a party where
the Eagle Forum has become to be seen as "not conservative enough".
No one on these pages, including the 2 authors of the post, have put anything
forward to detail what is or isn't mainstream and why what you consider
mainstream is better than what you don't consider mainstream.It's
not about labels of political points of view but the details of the principles
of those points of view.I chuckle when I read on these pages every
day how bad the "extreme right wing", "ultra reich wing",
"wingnuts", "AM raido", "Rush, Beck and Hannity"
are. What you never ever do is detail why their political positions are wrong
and why yours are right. In fact, it's a rarity if one doing the denigrating of
the Repubs ever puts forth their own plan of action and why it should be
considered and is better.I don't know what "mainstream"
means and neither do any of you. What you take it for is when someone agrees
with your point of view and the rest are extreme. No one gives pause that their
own points might be extreme and not mainstream.Every comment is
stating that conservative views are bad but no one says why. Up for it?
Oh my goodness! Is it the Republican Party that has destroyed this country or is
it self-serving politicians egged on by a self-serving public whose mantra is
"Gimme! Gimme! Gimme!"?Posters have singled out elected
officials and smeared them with paint from the brush of their own bigotry. It's
no wonder that people see the "system" as being corrupt when they,
themselves, are corrupt.The Republican caucus system is the best
thing that has happened to the REPUBLICAN PARTY in Utah politics. No longer can
an incumbent spend himself back into office. No longer can he count on sleepy
sheep following along as he 'shepherds' them to his fold. Those interested
enough to stop whatever they were doing for an evening have the chance to boldly
tell candidates that they're fed up with empty promises. We're all
conservatives on certain issues and liberals on others. Even the most liberal,
judging from what they post, are very conservative when it comes to allowing
some non-liberal to speak in their opposition. Even the most conservative has a
liberal attitude about 'defense' spending.Bickering is not unique to
I'll tell you and all future candidates what us moderate Republicans are looking
for.Someone that supports public education. Not charter schools,
not vouchers, not demeaning the teachers of our children.If that
candidate comes along, he or she will win in a landslide.Right now
the ultra right thinks they have to blast public ed and the teachers. This is
where they are losing the battle with the public and if they aren't careful will
lose their power.Us parents see public ed as a GOOD thing not the
evil that is portrayed by the far right.It really is that simple.
I do not consider Mr Webb a mainstream conservative. Those who move to the left
try to convince everybody else that they are still in the right. A Democrat
thirty years ago would be in the mainstream Republican view today. The right
wing has not changed, others have moved left.
re: RanchHand | 8:23 a.m. April 24, 2011I don't disagree. However,
isn't interesting that the State Capitol, Utah GOP HQ, & the church office
bldg are all within a mile of each other on State Street in downtown SLC.
To all the self proclaimed moderate Republicans: Please explain how the folks
you elected the past 30 years have run up $14 trillion in debt and you still
support them? Cause those of us that have been trying to get across the
message that we are spending far too much still wonder what you're thinking.
Moderates support big government. Period.
The GOP in owned by the radical right, plain and simple. Reagan wouldn't be
welcome in today's GOP. That's what's happened, and you all seem so oblivious
to that fact.
I find it humorous that Mr. Webb attempts such a back-handed compliment of the
Tea Party. "Mainstream" and "Far-Right" are not necessarily
mutually exclusive. One is a measure of popularity, the other a location on an
ideological spectrum. To presume that a far-right ideology can not be mainstream
reveals the tin ear that too many Republicans have given to their constituents,
and which gave birth to the TEA Party movement.Also, given Mr.
Webb's close assiciations with certain past governors (with reputations as being
on the liberal-mderate side), I would challenge his assertion of being
mainstream or conservative. Republican, yes, but really in name only.
DeseretNews.com encourages a civil dialogue among its readers. We welcome your thoughtful comments.— About comments