[var rssXML]
The Times-Herald View Today's Print Edition

Matthew Towery

Blogs

Angela McRae

Tea with friends

Deberah Williams

Everyday Finesse

Lorrie Lynch

Who's News

USA Weekend Tween Tribune - News For Tweens
Click Here

Matthew Towery Columnist

Published Saturday, February 16, 2013

In remaking the GOP, don't throw the baby out with the bathwater

For most in the political commentary business, labels come and go.

I’ve read reactions to columns throwing about labels like “RINO” (Republican in Name Only) and “Establishment,” coupled with others using terms like “radical,” “ultraconservative” and “Neanderthal.” Now, as likely most Republicans are all too aware, the media are making a great effort to not only paint the GOP as a hopeless cause, but one in which entities are being formed to launch, or are already under way with, an all out assault on the “tea party” and the most conservative wing of the party.

But it is critical for conservatives and those who vote Republican in most elections to come to understand that there is a little bit of truth and a great deal of wishful thinking in most reports of a purging somehow being staged in some organized fashion against all conservatives. And equally important, it is imperative for movers and shakers within the GOP to understand that self-examination and adjustments are fine for any political organization that took it on the chin in the November elections. But attacks on its base are not part of any solution. To both sides it would be fair to warn, “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.”

First, to conservatives who believe there is a concerted effort to not just polish an image but abandon principle, the answer is that politics, like business, is market-driven, and the system will ultimately stay true to its consumer. Yes, the postmortem shows that the GOP is doing poorly in appealing to women, Hispanics and younger voters. And as a result, the approach to a few policies is going to have to change in order to get enough votes in critical elections to, say ... win. But those changes will come organically and, based on years of experience, I believe pragmatically.

No, you can’t have just cheerleader commentators on television who ignore blatant realities and therefore lose all credibility with their viewers. And nominating candidates who decide to venture into not just conservative policy, but areas where their views are out of sync with all but a small percent of voters is not a way to run a railroad. But remember, just a few years ago it was the Democrats who had this problem. Too many of their nominees for office appeared to be too far to the left and off into policy tangents that most could not comprehend or support.

All of that said, there is legitimate concern when professional campaigners start amassing huge dollars for another of their efforts and basically proclaim that they are doing so to serve as protectors of the GOP. That’s nonsense. They may believe they are protectors, but they mainly enjoy the huge amount of money and influence their efforts yield. And if they really believe that so-called “mainstream Republicans” aren’t on to them, they are just plain wrong.

Yes, there were Republican candidates for the U.S. Senate, among others, who made boneheaded decisions and statements in 2012. But to think that the overall philosophy of the “tea party movement” is based in far-out concepts is to paint a whole lot of conservative voters who the GOP needs with an awfully broad brush.

This has been an age-old problem for Republicans -- eating their young -- and their old, for that matter. The so-called GOP Establishment couldn’t stand Newt Gingrich, until he led them to their first takeover of the U.S. House in decades. Some in the Ronald Reagan crowd thought George H.W. Bush too moderate, while many of George W. Bush’s supporters thought John McCain too much of a maverick and liberal. In other words, every phase the GOP enters will have its view of others, past and present.

None of those individuals shared much in common with the philosophy of President Obama. Now some who want to reinvent the GOP may believe that’s a bad thing. But it is far more likely that the vast majority of Republican leaders and candidates, past and future, share so many fundamentals in common that the few issues that separate them hardly justify a bloody fight, much less huge mega political organizations designed to pay the same old strategists the same old big bucks to produce the same old results.

The best guess is that by the end of the 2014 political cycle, Republicans will have learned that staying devoted to basic principles while embracing positive and uplifting ideas will be the pathway to the White House in 2016. Neither being completely inflexible or even paranoid nor throwing big-dollar-backed bricks at a critically important wing of the GOP will do anything but make good copy for media outlets hungry for an intra-party bloodletting.

........................................

(Matthew Towery heads the polling and political information firm InsiderAdvantage. His column is distributed by Morris News and Creators’ Syndicate.)

Comment On This Story

Times-Herald.com does not necessarily agree with the comments posted below. Responsibility of comments rests solely with the writer. Comments posted in ALL CAPS will be deleted.

Submission of a comment does not guarantee publication. Comments will be posted by a moderator after being scanned for abusive language, relevance, etc. See our Comments FAQ for more details.

Most Popular

  • Viewed
  • Emailed
  • Commented
  1. Times-Herald reporter listed in critical condition
  2. Two-vehicle accident slows One Lane of Bullsboro Drive
  3. Man Shot in Hand in Newnan
  4. Childhood friends share vision on business
  5. 2 Cowetans injured in S. Carolina wreck
  6. Piedmont CEO: Georgians leaving state for care
  7. Holy Week under way in local churches
  8. New produce market coming to Newnan
  9. $81,000 raised for Welcome House
  10. Obituary: Herbert Lee Emory, 61, of Douglasville, Georgia, passed away Saturday, April 12, 2014. He was born April 2, 1953 in Transylvania County, North Carolina, the son of Mrs. Joyce Sanders Emory and the late Mr. John Lee Emory. In 1971, he left his home in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, and moved to Atlanta where he attended the Atlanta School of Broadcasting and National School of Broadcasting. He was a longtime WSB Radio and Channel 2 Action News traffic reporter, and was referred to as “Captain Herb.” He had been with WSB Radio and Channel 2 Action News since 1991. Captain Herb has served as an Atlanta traffic reporter since 1971. He previously was a News/Traffic reporter from 1978 through 1991 with WSNE (Cumming), WDGL (Douglasville), WFOM (Marietta), WACX (Austell), WQXI-AM, 94Q-Star 94, Georgia Network News. Over the years, he spent many hours a week in a helicopter hovering over metro Atlanta’s traffic and was known as a friend to the Atlanta commuters. He had a great love for radio, NASCAR and community involvement. He hosted more charity events than any other WSB personality, including hosting the annual Toys for Tots fundraiser at Fred’s Barbecue House, Lithia Springs. Captain Herb hosted and produced the WSB Speed Shop auto racing, with his wife, Karen, from 1993 until 2011. He has earned at least 15 First Place Awards, including two Green Eyeshades, for news and traffic reports from the Georgia Associated Press Assoc. and other media organizations. He served as President of the Georgia Associated Press Broadcasters Association (GAPBA) in 1990/91 and served on the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame Board of Directors. He was inducted into the Georgia Radio Hall of Fame in 2008 and received the inaugural Excellence in Motorsports Journalism Award in 2012. He had a great love for Douglas County and was always willing to volunteer for community events, particularly those involving children, the military and veterans. He had a great respect for all First Responders across the nation and had a special friendship with members of the Douglas County Sheriff Department. He served on the Friends of Sweetwater Creek State Park Board of Directors, and was a member of the Douglas County Animal Control Advisory Board. Captain Herb most recently emceed the homecoming for Olympic Medalist Elana Meyers and helped escort the "Remembering Our Fallen" exhibit with the American Legion Riders to the Douglas County Courthouse. He will be greatly missed by his family, coworkers, friends, neighbors and the community. In addition to his father, he was preceded in death by his son, Joseph Lee Emory his father-in-law, William Martinell; and uncle, Rev. Joseph Sanders. He is survived by his beloved wife of 24 years, Karen Emory of Douglasville; his mother, Joyce Sanders Emory of North Carolina; aunt, Doris C. Sanders of Florida; cousins, Loriane and John Lambert of Indiana and Debra Jo and Frank Bright of Florida, and J.J. Bright of Florida; mother-in-law, Joan Martinell of Newnan; sisters-in-law and brother-in-law, Lynn Wilson of Alpharetta, Patty and John Baker of Ft. Collins, CO, Robyn Adams of Senoia, and Bill and Sherry Martinell of Eugene, OR; five nephews, Ryan Wilson of Alpharetta, Russell and Kate Baker of Fort Collins, CO, Matthew Baker of Tampa, FL, Bryan Baker of Aspen, CO, and Patrick Baker of Denver, CO; one niece, Tayler Schnoor of Senoia; and adopted aunt, Geneva Gold of Newnan. Captain Herb’s impact was so eloquently stated by his colleague WSB’s Clark Howard: “He died of a heart attack, which is so ironic. This was a man who had more heart than anyone who I’ve ever had the privilege to know.” Anyone who had contact with Captain Herb, either in person or on the radio, will feel the loss of this great man. His family extended beyond his relatives especially to those members of the Douglas County Sheriff’s Department and his WSB Family, who he loved so much. His love of his family, friends and community will live on in the hearts of all those who ever had contact with Captain Herb. The family will receive friends at Jones-Wynn Funeral Home in Douglasville Tuesday, April 15, from 3 until 5 p.m. and from 7 until 9 p.m. Private Family Memorial Services will be conducted. His WSB Family will conduct a Celebration and Memorial for the public at a later date. In lieu of flowers, memorial contributions in memory of Captain Herb Emory may be made to the Douglas County Animal Shelter, 8700 Hospital Drive, Douglasville, GA 30134 – http://www.eventbrite.com/e/donation-in-honor-and-memory-of-captain-herb-emory-registration-9364175501 or A Gift of Love Services, 3870 Longview Drive, Douglasville, GA 30135 –http://www.agiftofloveservices.org . Captain Herb would want everyone to keep a smile on your face and song in your heart. Messages of condolence may be sent to the family at www.jones-wynn.com .
Week In Review »

© 2011 The Newnan Times-Herald Inc., Newnan, Georgia. Any unauthorized use, copying or mirroring is prohibited.