January 12, 2010

Will Angry Voters Merely Want a Change of Party, or Will They Want a Change of Philosophy?

Justin Katz

As today's entry into the Republican wars, I offer a quotation from Carcieri communications adviser and apparent gubernatorial candidate John Robitaille, from Ed Fitzpatrick's Sunday profile thereof:

... he said he opposes closing the GOP primary "because I think this year is going to be a year for us to build the party. Why should we close the door on people who have traditionally voted in Republican primaries and have traditionally voted for Republicans?" Many unaffiliated voters believe in conservative principles, he said, and this year offers a big opportunity to "reaffirm the original brand of what it means to be a Republican" and to recruit people to both vote in the primary and join the GOP.

It seems to me that the way to "reaffirm" the brand and bring in folks who've "traditionally voted in Republican primaries" is to use rightward voter angst as the motivation and a closed primary as the mechanism to finally commit them to registering. Moreover, if Republicans wish to benefit from the backlash against the Democrats' doing what anybody willing to see predicted they would do, it will be critical that the GOP offers a real distinction.

By election day, I suspect the enthusiastic support that Patrick Lynch and Linc Chafee offered to candidate Barack Obama will be a political liability. A Republican candidate should be able to explain why that's only one of the many important distinctions between his beliefs and theirs, and the fact that he emerged from a Republican-only primary would be a sign of that difference.

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I've no explanation as to why smear campaigns work, then again, America has become a group of close Entertainment Tonight fans.

I'd rather had ONE very conservative Republican stand on principles of the party and lose than several 'sort of' Demo-lites.

And I'd rather not have a Republican that needs to be courted. Either they want to run or not but this Hoseanna drunkenness for Laffey has to stop.

We already have one Messiah in power.

Haven't we learned yet?

Posted by: Roland at January 12, 2010 1:56 PM

OK, "build the party" by doing exactly the same thing that has been done for decades, all through which the party has shrunk.

Sounds like another Bob Bennett ilk status quo from the "moderate" faction to me.


I suspect that a lot of GOP'ers will quietly support Caprio, and let the "D's" own the coming fiscal collapse.

Posted by: Ragin' Rhode Islander at January 12, 2010 3:33 PM

Just wonder how many people who wanted to close the GOP primary just three months before advocated crashing the Dem primary to vote for AR's Number 5 conservative in this state.

Posted by: rhody at January 14, 2010 11:31 PM
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