Comments about ‘Frank Pignanelli & LaVarr Webb: Who owns the soul of the Utah Republican Party?’

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Published: Sunday, April 24 2011 12:00 a.m. MDT

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John C. C.
Payson, UT

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.

John C. C.
Payson, UT

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.

Roland Kayser
Cottonwood Heights, UT

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 from history.

Vernal, UT

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)?

Huntsville, UT

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.

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

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.

Somewhere in Utah, UT

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.

Salt Lake City, UT

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 does.

South Jordan, UT

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.

Kamas, UT

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.

Rich C
West Jordan, UT

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 national interest."

The Dude Abides
Salt Lake City, UT

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".

Uncle Charles
Where freedom and liberty reign, utah

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?

Mike Richards
South Jordan, Utah

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 either party.

Lifelong Republican
Orem, UT

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.

Salt Lake City, UT

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.

Hank Pym

re: RanchHand | 8:23 a.m. April 24, 2011

I 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.

Still Blue after all these years
Kaysville, UT

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.

Springville, UT

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.

Sandy, UT

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.

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