Today we continue with our week long look at rebuilding our Republican Party. For the first time since the election we have seen other blogs talk what our party should stand for as we move forward. Unfortunately, my friends In Fly Over County use a red herring to support their belief that our Party shouldn’t be strongly pro-life and pre-family.
The Fly Over Boys use Christopher Reeds failed US senate campaign as proof that we can no longer run candidates who are firmly pro-life and pro-family. That type of argument doesn’t help us have a healthy debate about the future direction of our Party. A better case study for the Fly Over Boys might be the campaigns of Dan Rasmussen, Jamie Van Fossen, and Tami Weincek, three state house incumbents that lost their re-election campaigns.
Now none of the three state house candidates listed above were rejected because of their stances on the social issues. However, Weincek went out of her way to moderate her position by supporting the minimum wage increase and special rights for gay, lesbian, and transgendered individuals. The question that begs asking is what good did it do for her to reach across the aisle on two issues that our Republican base firmly objects to?
On the other hand Kent Sorenson knocked off an incumbent Democrat in the house with zero help from the party and a firm commitment to the social issues. Walt Rogers who ran for the Iowa Senate might have done the same, as of today he is down only 14 votes and has requested a recount.
Now using the logic of those who want to moderate our positions on the social issues candidates like Walt Rogers and Kent Sorenson should never have won in state in which Obama easily won. In Black Hawk County Obama won with 60% of the vote, yet Rodgers was more than competitive despite McCain losing the county by more than 14,000 votes.
Now I also think the side that wants to moderate our positions is also engaged in a misinformation strategy when it comes to the social conservatives. I have not seen one person in this state who thinks we should only run campaigns on the social issues. That couldn’t be farther from the truth, instead the Social Conservatives don’t believe we should walk away from those positions because a few people and candidates in our Party don’t like to defend them.
On another note I feel that I also must point out one last thing. When Doug Gross was on Iowa Press, he mentioned that he is looking for a Bob Ray type of chair for the Republican Party. Now I think Governor Ray is a great man and his life story is fascinating. But we also need to realize that people like Governor Ray, and Dave Roederer who actively pushed for Project Destiny in the Des Moines Metro last year.
So we let me get this straight, we have a group of people who want to muzzle the Social Conservatives, so we can focus on the “kitchen table issues” but these people are also the ones who brought us Project Destiny, a plan to give tax breaks to Principal Financial Group and a tax increase to individuals.
Until our party is undoubtedly fiscally AND socially conservative we will not win elections. People like Walt Rogers and Kent Sorenson have figured it out.