Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Rick vs. Kay a test for the future of the Republican Party...

Wayne Slater of the Dallas Morning News has a story over the weekend about the Rick vs. Kay race being a test for the GOP (link). What direction will the party go? More conservative, or more middle of the road?

Excerpt follows...

AUSTIN – As the GOP struggles nationally to redefine itself, the debate over what it means to be a Republican is playing out in Texas, too, through Kay Bailey Hutchison's challenge to Gov. Rick Perry.

Hutchison says the "core principles" that will help the party grow are not social, but economic: smaller government, lower taxes and free enterprise.

Perry's appeal is to a GOP base that sees social issues such as abortion as a litmus test of party purity.

I am not sure this really captures the entire story. Rick is more conservative than Kay all around, not just on social issues. In fact, I would say Kay is almost as conservative as Rick on social issues if you take out stem cell research and abortion, while Rick is much more conservative on fiscal and economic issues than Kay. Just look at their positions on the bailouts... or the unemployment insurance program expansion... or S-CHIP expansion... or pork barrel spending... Kay is not exactly a fiscal libertarian.

The very conservative blogger Texas Fred agrees (link). Excerpt follows...

Anyone that is a supporter of embryonic stem cell research, abortion rights, amnesty for ILLEGALS and any kind of socialist bailout is NOT a Conservative, and I challenge the Dallas Morning News to show me how they came to that conclusion regarding Kay Bailey Hutchison!

The political pundits are going to offer their spin, I don’t use spin, I use facts. Rick Perry is a good guy, he tries harder than any Governor of Texas that I have kept up with. Perry is a supporter of the TEA Party protests and Texas Sovereignty, states rights for the state of Texas.

Have you heard Kay Bailey Hutchison mention either topic?

Over the past few months, I have come to the conclusion that Rick is definitely more conservative all around, whereas a few months ago I might have agreed with Wayne Slater's take that Rick is the social conservative and Kay is the fiscal conservative. I don't mind Kay's social moderation, although I would prefer a pro life candidate personally. I mind her criticism of Rick on rejecting a part of the stimulus on principle. I mind her status as a earmark apologist. I don't really mind the bailout THAT much, but I do mind that she is on the liberal side of the children's health insurance issue. Those are three big issues that were not in my field of vision a few months ago but are now. I mind those fiscal things far more than her support for abortion rights.

When I think about the future of the GOP, I think that the party needs to stick to conservative principles. The party didn't lose power because it was too conservative or because our tent was too small, it lost power because Republicans started acting like Democrats on steroids when it came to earmarks and spending. When the lines between the parties blur, Democrats will always win, because they will offer more gold plated goodies. That is what they are good at. That is what they invented. Republicans need to stick to what makes voters like us... namely fiscal conservatism and lower taxes.

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Hey now, campaign characters. Be nice. I know a lot of you on both sides, so I don't want any overly foul language, personal attacks on anyone other than the candidates themselves, or other party fouls. I will moderate the heck out of you if you start breaking the bounds of civility.