Wednesday, January 10, 2007

Soul of the Republicans?

Brendan Miniter is the second right-of-center columnist to pick up on the problem within the GOP -- tension between the Christian Right and the Libertarian Right. This is potentially a battle for the control of the GOP, which Ryan Sager first noted before the 2006 midterm elections. The Monk tends more towards the Libertarian Right, but unlike other free-marketers I cannot vote Democrat for national office because I know even a moderate will have to pay tribute to the Far Left. The best example of this came when pro-business Dallas mayor Ron Kirk ran for Senate against John Cornyn and sounded like a left-winger.

Miniter's column is a warning for the GOP -- as Dick Morris noted earlier this week, there is no true cultural conservative within the GOP ranks who can win a Presidential campaign. The two front-runners in 2008 are both culturally liberal or neutral (Giuliani, McCain); the most prominent cultural conservative is a Mormon. Without rallying the Christian Conservative base, Republicans cannot win the Presidency in a close election. But rallying the base may turnoff the Libertarian Right that wants lower taxes, less government spending and less noticeable religiousity.

Not quite a Gordian knot. But a definite problem for the GOP if it has any hope of beating the ultraliberals Obama and Clinton next year.

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