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January 25, 2015

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Sun Editorial:

Primary fit to a Tea

The far right will have a major say as the GOP picks a presidential nominee

Republicans will have difficulty fielding a presidential nominee in the next year, and it’s not just because it will take a score card to keep all of the candidates straight. The issue for Republicans will be whether they field a candidate with a pure conservative record or one who can get elected.

This week, Mitt Romney, a former governor of Massachusetts, officially entered the race — after unofficially running for the past two years. Romney is viewed as the favorite, but he will have trouble during a primary campaign because of his time as governor and his support for a state health care plan that is similar to what Republicans scornfully call “Obamacare.”

There are any number of politicians who have either announced a run or are considering a bid for the Republican nomination, from former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to former Godfather’s Pizza CEO Herman Cain.

But so far, the Republican Party’s base isn’t terribly excited about any of its prospects, according to recent polls. As a result, the Republicans who identify with the Tea Party are trying to bring one of their own into the race.

South Carolina Sen. Jim DeMint, a harsh Obama critic and Tea Party supporter, recently said he was considering a run after several requests. Minnesota Rep. Michele Bachmann, the founder of the House Tea Party Caucus, has been actively considering a run and is planning to be at a debate in New Hampshire later this month. Then there’s Sarah Palin, the former GOP vice presidential nominee turned Fox News commentator. Although Palin has been coy about a run, she recently launched a campaign-style bus tour to visit some of the country’s historic sights and talk with voters.

Although it’s early, Bachmann and Palin are putting some buzz into Republican circles. Consider Romney’s official announcement this week. He declared that Democratic President Barack Obama had “failed America.” As strong as that may have been, it hardly made a ripple.

Meanwhile, Palin’s tour, complete with a stop to see Donald Trump in New York, generated excitement among the conservative faithful. His visit with Trump was notable because of the Tea Party support he garnered earlier this year as he toyed with a presidential campaign. He made headlines when he raised a stink over Obama’s birth certificate, winning the plaudits of the Tea Party and the so-called “birthers” who don’t believe the president was born in the United States.

Trump dropped out of the race after the president released yet another official copy of his birth certificate, but don’t expect that to silence the carnival barkers in the Republican Party. The Tea Party will likely play a key role this election year, and candidates will want to win its support.

That will swing the debate to the far right. As with Romney, it will be difficult for many candidates to meet a strict conservative litmus test because of issues they supported or positions they took while they were in an elective office doing their jobs.

For that matter, if the far right drives the debate in the GOP primaries, it could end up alienating moderate Republicans and independents — key swing voters. It sounds like a winning strategy ... for the Democrats.

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  1. I think what indepedent and/or moderate Republicans are paying attention to the lineup of Republican Party contenders is the fact all of them seem to have only rhetoric, but no substance.

    They choose to attack President Obama, calling him a failure. This is all fine and well during a political campaign, especially at the start of it, but from all indications shown so far, this is going to be constant. They will resort to name calling, mud slinging and desperately looking for something to attack him with, even if they have to make it up. They choose to avoid talking about problems facing America right now.

    In a recent ultra-right debate hosted by Fox News, the candidates there were asked questions and their answers were all complaints about President Obama. They were all united in their vocal opposition.

    I have a strong feeling this will be the Republican strategy all the way up to elections. They only choose to attack. But they don't make any differentiation between one Republican candidate setting themselves apart from the other. In the end, nobody will know a damn thing about any of them in order to make a learned, educated choice. It's all a snow job that will ultimately result in a totally whacked out inferior candidate. (NOTE: That is what happened here in Nevada with Sharron Angle running against Senator Reid; which ran on a platform of "hate Senator Reid, hate him, HATE HIM!" Look what it got them. She not only got trounced, but all the while was laughed at by not only Nevada, but national media also.)

    THESE policies by the Republicans where they pay lip service to Christian Conservatives/Tea Party types is going to destroy the Republican Party. You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure this out. The very idea of Republicanism is now dead. They have been taken over and shoved kicking and screaming so far over to the right it even leaves the die hard Republicans all scratching their heads in befuddlement trying to figure out what happened where it got so far out of hand with knuckleheads like Gingrich, Trump, Palin and Bachman all of a sudden on the center stage.

    They offer nothing but continuation of more loyal Bush followers; something the American people DEFINITELY don't want a part of anymore. The last Presidential election still is a testament the American people STILL DO NOT want to go back to those destructive policies which went on for eight awful mismanaged years.

    I'm fine where I'm at. I'm stickin' with President Obama and his administration. Keep the loonies out of there.

    Even if I wanted to change, I can't. Not with the rabble of Republicans out there now. They range from ho hum useless all the way to lunatic asylum material.

  2. The time is ripe for a new party that believes in fiscal responsibility (as opposed to fiscal conservatism) while recognizing that government has the responsibility to provide an infrastructure for society combined with individual responsibility that results in true social justice. This is a party that would present ideas that moderates of both parties could support.

    Good ideas for addressing some of our problems already exist on both sides of the aisle and should be adopted if solid. Other problems need new ideas that neither of the existing major parties have come up with yet. A new party that looks for practical, not ideological solutions is what we need today.

    That party is the Modern Whigs.

  3. If you think that is the only ticket that Obama could win against then he is worse off that I thought.