Monday, November 28, 2005

Main Street Republicans?

In the past I have referred to myself here on this blog as a "Main Street Republican." I had read that appellation elsewhere, and to me it meant that I came not from the country club set or any other elite group, but from that plucky group in U.S. society that went to church, played by the rules, and stood for solid conservative American values.

Main Street Republicans, to me, are the folks that wore overalls to work, or who worked in small businesses, or as blue- or white-collar workers; who voted for Eisenhower, Nixon, Goldwater, Nixon again, Ford, Reagan, Bush, Dole and Bush. Regular Republicans, you might call them-- thoughtful, hard-working patriotic people who believed in personal responsibility, distrusted big government and big institutions generally, thought taxes and government should be small and national security maintained. These folks became natural Reagan Republicans when the Gipper ran in 1980.

Now, to my horror, I find that the name "Main Street Republicans" has been appropriated by an entirely different group of Republicans calling themselves the Republican Main Street Partnership. The group's stated goal is "to further a centrist, pragmatic Republican agenda-- one that could accommodate bipartisan legislative results. . . . and "craft a moderate Republican agenda with a fiscally conservative background." Tellingly, the group says it was formed as a way to offer a counter-weight to the Contract with America in 1994. You can read about the Mains Street Republicans here. I should have known about this group; I guess I need to get out more.

The sole purpose of this post is to make it clear that I say I am a Main Street Republican, that means I am trying to be one of the folk I describe above, not those of the Republican Main Street Partnership. That group certainly has the right to press its agenda, but I don't think that agenda is the stuff of a winning long-term strategy. Most of all, I don't want to be a counter-weight to the Contract with America-- I want the Contract to continue!

So if any of you were confused by my prior statements, don't be. Main Street Republicans are not moderates and are not a faction of the party-- they're the party's vital core.


Blogger Mark said...

I hate to say it, but you sound like a Conservative to me. As always, I appreciate your insights and think you are expressing what very many Republicans feel.  

Posted by Mark

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 7:02:00 AM  
Anonymous BlueBuffoon said...

While I can understand your concern over the possible confusion, it would appear that the term "Main Street Republican" remains a viable characterization of the Republican values you have used it to represent.

The "Republican Main Street Partnership" (of which I had never heard before either) appears to be an attempt to avoid, while actually embracing, some notion of "main stream"-ism--the kind of "centrist" position that gets a stamp of acceptability, if not outright approval, from places like the editorial pages of the Washington Post , the New York Times, and similar scions of the MSM. Interestingly, the Washington state affiliate of the RMSP in fact calls itself "Mainstream Republicans of Washington."

While RINOs is probably too pejorative a term for these Republicans--as they do actually claim to stand for fiscal conservative principles--a group whose only Board representatives from the U.S. are Olympia Snowe and Susan Collins is going to be hard pressed to claim even the center of the Republican Party. 

Posted by BlueBuffoon

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 7:46:00 AM  
Blogger Bonjo said...

How about Mainstream  Republicans? I haven't researched the term, so I don't know if it has any negative (i.e., Senator Warner/Snowe) connotations.

Happy (belated) Thanksgiving, by the way. Hope you enjoyed the time with your family.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005 11:49:00 AM  
Anonymous Erica said...

Some backgrounders you might not know (I'm a geek and read a lot but also people watch a lot).  :D

At the moment the Republican Main Street Coalition seems to have aquired some Business Republicans . I did notice that a lot of the liberal republicans have gotten slaughtered over the last few election cycles, like Lincoln Chafee and people who are fiscally conservative seem to be very unwanted too, in short anyone who might provide a different point of view. I am pretty sure representatives with core republican values are unwanted these days, it seems republicans with strong views have been attacked in the primaries (most in 2002).  Republicans from upper middle class areas were the quickest to lose their seats (in 2006) and the GOP policies are not even helping groups with nominally high incomes keep up with inflation as most investment programs are at this point undermining all salary earners including nominally wealthy people who choose to invest in their childrens education, as even the best public schools are now being undermined by no child left behind and private school are very expensive, so upper middle class people can barely afford it. (Inflation in american currency is going wild around the world whether or not we notice it).

Looking on their webpage I saw our representative from Virginia, Tom Davis, on the cover. He was on the Fairfax County Board of Supervisors in the 1980's-90's which is known to be one of the few local boards with access to corporate money as it was a town designed primarily by developers who had a virtual monopoly on housing as more people wanted to live here then there were houses; even old houses sold really fast, really high and sometimes without any inspection (which some houseowners were able to put in the contracts). I think it should be noted that northern virginia is a corporate area with a significantly higher median household income then anywhere else in the country including orange county california and the suburbs outside of Manhattan; people still find the costs are chipping into their quality of life. (Not to mention the traffic- as they really didn't make any effort to build roads for the new houses put in during the last 30 years). The people here tend to be more moderate but not all of the leaders are. This is a source of the globalization and anarchy movements in America. (We were stealing jobs from India). For the most part people who choose to live here today are almost all Independants so figuring out our political priorities without living here is next to impossible and moderates and radicals are pretty much intermixed- this era of local radicalism dates from the 1970's/80's.

I don't think that it would have been possible for the business republicans to come out as winners without examination by other republican theorists but think that they were too busy defending their seats to launch much of a counter complaint. Whatever your view on congress consider that it is an important governing body which for the most part has been ignored. 

Posted by Erica

Saturday, November 25, 2006 12:02:00 PM  

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