Opinion

Acknowledging Division Within the GOP

Apparently there will be three separate GOP responses to Obama’s State of the Union address. The official GOP response will be given by Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-WA). Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) will be delivering an official tea party response. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY) will be providing his own response as well.

Does that sound confusing to you? Well, I asked some friends. They don’t work in politics. They are informed, but not addicted to the news cycle. They aren’t registered with a Party. Here is some of what I heard back:

“Well, which one is the real Republican response?”

“So, if I were to vote Republican, which one of those views would I be voting for?”

“I don’t get it. Why do they need three? Can’t they agree on one?”

“Sounds like there are three parties within the party. Or something. Is that right?”

“If they’re all similar, why are there three? And if they’re that different, how are they all ‘Republicans’ fighting for the same thing?”

Confusion. What I got back was confusion. And I’m not surprised. It’s kind of like tossing a bunch of alternatives to Obamacare out there, all of which house different components. People will undoubtedly ask, “Well, which one is the Republican alternative?”

The media opines quite often about division within the GOP. Some complain about that media coverage. The truth is that the division is real. There is a split between big-government Republicans and libertarian-leaning Republicans. There is a policy battle between Republicans who are interested in actual spending cuts and those who want to sell decreases in future spending increases as cuts. You don’t need to be a rocket scientist to see division when it comes to issues like the NSA and foreign policy. It is my guess that future divisions will emerge when it comes to things like marijuana legalization and gay marriage. And I think those divisions will be coming sooner rather than later.

I’m not calling for some manufactured homogeneity of thought within the Republican Party. Heck, I’m not even convinced that having three SOTU responses is a bad thing. If the division within the Party today is real, and it is, then why not have the responses reflect that? It’s honest.

With that being said, don’t be surprised when the public is a little confused. Don’t be surprised when the media comments on the obvious division. Because it’s evident through policy talk, voting records and presentation on nights like Tuesday’s State of the Union.

Reality is reality. So let’s acknowledge it.

Follow Jedediah on Twitter @JedediahBila

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Henry T Massapequa Park, NY
7 years ago

There should always be dissent amongst different factions of any political party. That is how issues are resolved and solutions are achieved. Of course, without breaking with core beliefs within reason and never side stepping our US Constitution the way it was written or amended there should arise a firm compromise that shows definite difference between liberal progressive Democrats and traditional fiscally responsible conservative Republicans, which the GOP’s core beliefs are based on. Then they must be firm against their opposition whether it be another party or President and jointly resolve an issue that is beneficial to all Americans as long it does not strip the God and Constitutional given freedoms.

I only wish the GOP learns better communication skills to convey their actual benefits to the uninformed and uneducated voters. There is were the real problem lies. First off elected GOP, I only wish all elected officials would embrace this idea, representatives needs to address their existence is not for a career but service for all Americans, not just their supporters. However, the voter must also understand and embrace the carrot and the stick principle based on feasibility and economics, which means in order to receive assistance they need to jump through some hoops based on their responsibilities and the sweat of others paying their way.

Politicians should be forced to write their own obituaries’ as the US Military Officers had to do in Vietnam by order of General Westmoreland. This help show that the business a leader is in is not permanent position in life. Once that was done US military leaders were able to perform their duties while facing permanent elimination from their present existence. It served well for their men and women as well as for their mission. There was a reason our Founding Fathers never called elected representatives politicians; they never intended true leadership held a hold of power over the people as a career!

Robert Williams
7 years ago

Confusion (POTUS) is what happens when one votes STRICTLY on party lines. Look at the other candidates and decide which way to vote. Even mix your votes in the General election.

PaulE
7 years ago

Sounds like your advocating simply voting for candidates randomly, even across party lines, and then hoping for the best. Is that really what you’re saying? If so, what kind of beneficial outcome do you think such a voting strategy would achieve? I really want to understand what you’re saying here. Thanks.

James Higgins
7 years ago

Jedediah’s article points out a good thing- the Republicans are alive!
For too long they have been the staid, dignified party standing by and watching as our nation slowly ebbed into the same chasm that swallowed up civilizations like the Greek and Roman civilizations.

It is healthy and good to see these disputes and differences and the party will be stronger for it….IF..they have the sense to end the quarrels after the nominees are in place.

They need to talk to the people and introduce positive ideas- like the AMAC Social Security Guarantee which will help all wage earners!

Jess
7 years ago

John Q Public Vs. John Q Private is the government confusing the masses and is meant to mislead everyone.
Be very careful their is a difference between a civil servant and a Mom and Pop Shop.

BuckeyeJim
7 years ago

This article:
[http://www.shmoop.com/political-parties/founding-fathers-political-parties.html]
explains how our founding fathers disdained the concept of political parties. I think they had it right. However, as this article further explains, it quickly became obvious that political parties would be an essential part of our governing process. Thus, we have the problem discussed here by Ms. Bila.

Joe Priestley
7 years ago

I realized a long time ago that our elected officals do not represent us nor do they care about John Q Public. sadley we elected them but they work for the Party or Corporate America, but neither one can vote only we can. I am all for a third party that will listen to and work for the American Citzen. Ben Carson in 2016 , throw the rest of the Bums out starting in 2014 and finish the job in 2016.

PaulE
7 years ago
Reply to  Joe Priestley

Unfortunately, no third party has won the Presidency in a 100 years. All voting for the a third party candidate does is ensure that the Democrat candidate will win.

PJ
7 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

amen – a vote for a third party is a vote for the Dem. Must get good people to run/win in the primaries and then support whichever Republican wins.

Sara McKeefer
7 years ago

For all I care, they can have a dozen responses to the SOTU! What I DO care about is that we are a united party when the election cycle starts in earnest.

Hopsaregood
7 years ago
Reply to  Sara McKeefer

It will only be united if we toe the official party line of Boehner and McConnell. I cannot do that.

PaulE
7 years ago
Reply to  Hopsaregood

Both Boehner and McConnell can be effectively challenged in a primary just like any other politicians. The same holds true for virtually every other politician in Washington. All it takes is for their constituents, yes the people actually have to give a damn and vote responsibly, to say enough is enough. No one in Congress is “owed” a seat until they choose to either retire or simply drop dead in their position. If their constituents are either too lazy, apathetic or ignorant to realize the both are out of touch with what needs to be accomplished to get this country moving in the right direction again, then we have a much larger problem. If the electorate won’t do their part, then the country is lost.

Susan woo
7 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

Matt Bevins is challenging McConnell, and man you would think Mitch was a ultra conservative like Lindsay Graham, hahahahahahahaha

PaulE
7 years ago
Reply to  Susan woo

Yes Susan, it’s amazing how all RINOs suddenly become conservatives when election time rolls around. You would think their constituents would have caught on by now to this little charade.

PJ
7 years ago
Reply to  Hopsaregood

We can get McConnell out in the primary.

PJ
7 years ago
Reply to  Sara McKeefer

amen – must be united to win!

PaulE
7 years ago

Another honest and straight-forward assessment of where things REALLY stand from Jedediah Bila. The truth is the Republican Party has to fundamentally decide what it really wants to represent before any sort of “unity”, if you want to call it that, can be achieved.

I personally don’t see three distinct factions within the Republican Party, but really only two. There are far more similarities between the TEA Party and Libertarian groups, when it comes to economic and spending issues than there are differences. These two groups could be reasonably expected to “agree to disagree on a few things”, but fundamentally stand united on most major issues.

Then you have the establishment or as Jedediah calls them “big government” Republicans. These folks are realistically more ideologically aligned with the Democrat Party on a lot of issues. They believe in big government, perpetual spending increases, never actually eliminating any federal programs and a general love of top down solutions driven from Washington. Especially on a lot of domestic issues. Where this faction of the GOP differs big time with the Democrats is on defense spending. The Democrats simply want to gut the DoD to free up revenue for spending on a myriad of social welfare programs of dubious worth. In short, repeat the failed socialist experiments of Europe and South America here. The establishment Republicans actually still realize that the world isn’t generally a nice place and that a strong military is needed to keep America safe. So where you see a lot of “crossing the aisle” (capitulation to the Democrat position) by the establishment Republicans is on domestic issues. They talk tough about pushing back against the big government agenda of the Democrats, but usually they cave at the last minute and say “well we tried” or “next time we’ll do better”. However, next time rarely, if ever, comes.

For comparison purposes, the Democrats have already made their decision. They are proudly the party of envy, greed, class warfare, endless lies, unlimited entitlement and consolidation of power at the federal level. Whether their members refer to themselves as Progressives, Socialists or Communists, it really doesn’t matter. They all ultimately stand for exactly the exact same set of principles. The only difference lies in the degree of total confiscation of personal wealth and property and to which audience they are addressing their message on any particular day.

So we’re left with two alternatives within the Republican Party at the primary election level going forward:

1) The TEA Party and Libertarian groups unite and gradually, over time since this degree of change cannot be realistically accomplished in one or two election cycles, force out the establishment Republicans. Thus providing a clear, distinct and unified message of what the GOP stands for to the American people.

or

2) The Establishment Republicans succeed in alienating both the TEA Party and Libertarian groups and driving them from within the GOP. This will result in the GOP returning to the party of essentially Democrat-lite. Where it wouldn’t matter if the GOP wins or loses elections, since both parties will be fundamentally governing the same way.

In the interim, we have to back the true fiscally conservative candidates in every primary held across the country. After the primaries are over however, we have to vote for whichever GOP candidate won in the primaries. Whether we like them or not. The alternative is that the Democrats win more seats in Washington and we race faster towards becoming a full-blown socialist democracy destined for economic collapse.

Chuck
7 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

RE #1 – good luck. I figure one more election cycle, the Coronation of King obama, and the rest is history. The Repubs are fractured beyond repair thanks to the “Democrat-Lite” philosophy of those in love with whatever power and perks they already have as the Number Two in Charge. We who believe in the “America the Beautiful” USA of the era before the socialist infiltration of the education system are doomed. I was at a huge sporting event yesterday and was amazed at the number of people who went on about their business as the National Anthem was played. That lack of respect speaks volumes to me. :-(

Paul L. Bolden
7 years ago
Reply to  PaulE

I could not have stated the facts of a complicated and confusing situation more honest, simple and concisely as PaulE. I completely agree. Amen Paul!

Caveat: Conservatives need to learn to keep social issues out of their campaign. Although I agree that social issues are very important, they have no business being addressed at the Federal Govenment level. I am not saying that candidates should hide their religious and social beliefs, just do not infer that you are going to govern the nation by them. Social issues should be addressed at the State and Local level. Because social issues are so diverse thoughout this country, they end up alienating large groups of voters at the national level. Keep up the good work, Jedediah!

PaulE
7 years ago
Reply to  Paul L. Bolden

Exactly correct. That is why I emphasized fiscal conservatives, as opposed to either just saying conservatives. The focus has to be on economic issues and how our solutions would lead to different and far batter economic outcomes for a far greater range of Americans.. From a Constitutional perspective, social issues are indeed a state or local issue. That was the original intent of the Founders to have each state deal with them in whatever way their local populations deemed appropriate.

Rik
7 years ago

I, personally, am a registered democrat, who never votes for any democrat in any election! Why, because I come from a poor middle class family. My mother told us that the democratic party represents the middle class … well, maybe a long time ago (at least 50 years, maybe). But, in my view, today’s democratic party has been hijacked by the liberal socialists. My 3 brothers and my sister all drink that Kool-Aid, but not me. I remain a democrat because I enjoy receiving calls from the democratic party, asking if I need a ride to the polls … I always decline, but I love telling them that I will surely vote. I especially love the silence I get when they infer that I vote for the democrats when I say that I’m sorry, but I never vote for socialists or attorneys and that seems to be all of their candidates ! They’ve stopped calling me in the past 2 elections.

The problem with the republican party is the big business, Rockerfeller old guard … they have all the money, power and most of the control. They are the reason republicans have lost the last 2 presidential elections. I couldn’t stand wishy washy McCain, especially when they decided to “muzzle” Sarah Palin. And who could get excited with milk toast Romney, the father of Obamacare. I voted for them each, but I knew they would both lose. I do not want to see another middle of the road candidate, like Chris Christie … Or let’s hope we can attract the Latino vote with Marco Rubio. Two guaranteed losers in my opinion. Being conservative, I want a staunch fiscal conservative! If I’m going to lose again, let’s at least lose with a real conservative heading the ticket. And please, no middle of the road, milk toast vice presidential candidate. I’ll have nightmares if that happens … wondering if we get a LBJ instead of a JFK scenario.

We all know Hillary is the next democratic candidate … I feel the only republican who can defeat her is Dr. Ben Carson. Conservative, Christian, extremely well respected, retired surgeon who just happens to be African American !!! Vice presidential candidate could be Ted Cruz or Rand Paul or whomever.

I also would applaud if the Tea Party broke away from the republican party! I feel the big business republicans would have to support it’s candidates or see the socialists expand their power even more. But, then again, big business is feasting at Obama’s table and might think it would continue under Hillary. After all, the rich get richer and the poor get poorer under socialism … and the middle class becomes extinct !!!

Chuck
7 years ago
Reply to  Rik

Big Business always hedges its bets and its contributions and they do great financially regardless of Party in charge. Now there are enough “poor” to elect more socialists than ever – our future’s bottom line. So the big boys are quite content to have a commie govt because the commies in charge love to live well and they can contribute to the lifestyle as long as they are living well. Middle Class? Who needs them anymore – just give them a survival check, subsidized housing, and their TV channels to keep the dissent down. Educate their children sufficiently to fill the govt cubicle jobs, police and military jobs and keep the ball up in the air. Dem or Repub, makes no difference.

Susan woo
7 years ago
Reply to  Rik

Amen! And yes, about 50 or more years ago, my hard working middle class family changed parties from dem. To rep, but unfortunately the rep becoming dem. Light and I am more inclined not to vote for the republicans if McCain, BOEHNER etc…. Back them!!!!!

JLB
7 years ago

If the Republican party does not unite a liberal Democrat will win the White House in 2016. The people need to rally around the GOP candidate in 2016. Period!

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