Monday, July 2, 2012

The Republican Party exodus continues

A couple of weeks ago I posted excerpts from an article written by Republican Party officer Michael Stafford about leaving the party. And now the Obama campaign has released this video about Ohio firefighter Jim Heath.

For sane Republicans who are actually paying attention, I have a hunch this is happening more often than we think. As the Republicans continue to pander to their extremist base, it is inevitable.

Of course the news media and many of the blogs don't pay attention to these stories. They are the quiet changes that are happening that don't get the airtime of someone threatening armed insurrection over the Supreme Court ruling on health care reform.

But it is the building of a coalition with folks like Michael and Jim that will allow us to get this country moving again on the many challenges that face us.

What these people are doing takes both thought (something that can seem in short supply these days) and courage. It means changing your mind about things you've always believed. That's no small task.

But its exactly what President Obama's goal has been for a long time now.
Our goal should be to stick to our guns on those core values that make this country great, show a spirit of flexibility and sustained attention that can achieve those goals, and try to create the sort of serious, adult, consensus around our problems that can admit Democrats, Republicans and Independents of good will.


  1. My sister, a lifelong Republican but who voted for President Obama in 2008 and will again this year, is one of these quiet exits from the party.

    1. I think there was a first wave of defectors who did so as a result of the Bush/Cheney years. The ones I know fit into that category. What the Republicans have done since then simply reinforced their decision.

    2. My sister, brother-in-law, an uncle and aunt were all Republicans who voted for Nixon twice and they voted for President Obama and have stuck with him all the way. Still big supporters and no question they will vote for him again. They are disgusted with the Tea Party.

  2. Yes, I'm sure there's a ton of people like this firefighter. Not enough to offset cyclical blips like 2010 (not to minimize any other lessons from that election, but the broader trend in political demographics is toward Democratic constituencies), but very importantly there. As I've said before, this is the kind of thing Obama admires about Reagan's politics. You probably predicted I'd say that, but it's still true.

    I think about these broad changes and am optimistic. At the same time, it's starting to sink in how huge Roberts' vote for ACA was. Invalidating the whole law, which I guess is what really would have happened, would have been the kind of short term blow that had real negative long term implications. Citizens United is already one of those too many.

    Another bellwether, I think: I was having a conversation with my mom about the real anti-democratic stuff happening on the right. Koch-ism, Scalia nonsense, disenfranchisement, union-busting. We on the left and left of center tend to see this as the right growing in strength. Actually, these types of things are actually signs of desperation, not strength, though none the less serious for it.

  3. That's why I said last year that PBO is not Carter-he's REAGAN. He wants to build coalitions, not stomp around frothing at the mouth. That gets nothing done. I also think there's a lot of Republicans like this guy-sane, moderate and voting for the President. :)

  4. Republicans in Indiana have formed a group for Democrat Joe Donnelly who is running for Senator Lugar's old seat. I had to gulp when I saw how conservative Donnelly is. Then my immediate thought was that he's similar enough to Lugar who was liked by moderate Republicans and he's a conservative Blue Dog like Indiana's Blue Dog senator Evan Bayh. Murdoch is the far right fringe of the Tea Party and Donnelly is the perfect person to get Republicans as well as Democrats to vote for him. He's the type of conservative they are familiar with.

    Donnelly's a representative now and even though he voted for the Holder contempt charge I am absolutely going to vote for Donnelly. He's the reality that I have to deal with and I am committed to getting President Obama and Democrats elected. I can work with Donnelly. Mourdoch? Not a chance. I know he could care less what I want.

    Indiana used to be a blue state with two very liberal senators back in the 70's -- Birch Bayh and Vance Hartke. Hartke came out against the Vietnam war and still won his seat -- a narrow victory but he won. I see this as an opportunity for Republicans to think about what they want and have a blue choice.

  5. I campaigned for (and voted for) Goldwater, Nixon, Reagan. But after 8 years of Bush-Cheney, the unnecessary Iraq2 War, the rise of Tea Party influence, overt efforts against women's rights / minorities / immigrants, and the GOP placing extreme partisanship over country, I could not in good conscience remain Republican. I'm working as hard as I can for Obama (who seems to be the only adult in the room on most any issue) and have registered as a Democrat.