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View Diary: One Wing to Rule Them All: How Conservatives Betrayed the Republican Party (104 comments)

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  •  The Republicans I don't understand (5+ / 0-)

    My job often involves meeting with local "Main Street" Republicans for business reasons, not political reasons.  

    But I know who they are and what they do politically...the type of folks who are provide vital behind the scenes support for significant local politicians. They organize fund-raisers, help to make connections with people who "need" connections, etc.  They never evangelize and, to a person, are very nice people whose company I enjoy.

    And if it didn't jeopardize my work, I wish I could ask them, "Why are you a Republican?"  Although we don't talk about these things, I'm confident they are social moderates.  Yes, they want fewer taxes and fees but they know that you have to have revenues too, and have supported revenues.  Yet they provide support for for long-time Republicans who swing right because they don't want to get primaried,. They support newer Main Street Republicans who say all the right tea party things but don't really mean it (cuz they are not consistent on those topics.)

    I know they sometimes kinda of shake their heads at mistakes their party make.  Some even admit (very quietly) that they voted for Obama because McCain picked Palin. Others silently nod their heads in agreement. But they otherwise think McCain was a qualified candidate for all the speaking-points reasons.  (There does seem to be a group-speak mentality overall--rarely any new or original insight.)

    Unfortunately, they also rationalize by subscribing to the narrative that the Democrat Party just want to raise taxes and take us to a socialist state.  

    In effect, I view these important but non-office-holding  Republicans as the Main Street equivalent of Log Cabin Republicans--in denial of what their party has become and unable--or unwilling--to do any real that might actually influence the GOP.  

    I think the bottom line for these local Republicans and the only way I can figure them out is that it's all about them staying in their comfort zone.  
    They can and do work with prominent Democrats in business.  But like family blood, party blood is always thicker than reason when it comes time to support a politician.

    They grew up in Republican families, they are relatively affluent and are heavily influenced by other affluent people.  Though they support charitable and community causes, it's usually just support at the resume-building board level.  (It's the Democrats who are more prone to do day-to-day support, not Republicans.  Attend a parade with the politicians at the front, and the Democrats are the ones who get the loudest cheers and call-outs from the crowds.)

    At this point you may wonder how I know so much if I  don't talk about politics. I don't, but their politics often comes up in casual conversation. And I listen but never rebut.  I think they assume I'm Republican, and they've even invited me to Republican fund-raisers which I've attended out of curiosity.  I've never misrepresented my affiliations...it's just that no one asks. Again, I think this is part of the comfort-zone/ group speak situation.

    Until Main Street Republicans change--and I don't know what it will take--the GOP will never go back to its roots.

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