The Myth Of The “Moderate” Republican Presidential Candidate

Mike Huckabee CPACToday in Alabama, same-sex couples are flocking to courthouses across the state to get marriage licenses after the Supreme Court refused to issue a stay on a previous ruling which allowed marriages to proceed on February 9th. Despite the protests and outrage from religious conservatives including Alabama Supreme Court Chief Justice Roy Moore, same-sex couples across Alabama are making history in the heart of the Bible Belt.

While the gay marriage part of the culture wars is all but over pending the Supreme Court’s ruling which is expected this summer, the conservative attack on gay rights isn’t going away anytime soon. Presumed candidates like Mike Huckabee, Bobby Jindal and Rick Santorum haven’t softened their tone on same-sex marriage at all. They’ve actually doubled down on the bigotry and prejudice hoping to appeal to the ever-graying wing of the party that still fondly remembers when there was prayer in schools and days before integration.

Speaker John Boehner has stated that for all intents and purposes, the Republican battle against gay marriage in Congress is over. However, John Boehner has completely and willfully ignored the culture wars that Republicans have used to rally support from religious conservatives for their candidates for decades. In many conservative states, Republican lawmakers have also blocked the expansion of Medicaid for political purposes. Here in Louisiana, Republicans are allowing a very busy and important Baton Rouge emergency room to close due to a lack of funding.

In Baton Rouge, the Mid City ER, which recorded 45,000 patient visits last year, started facing a crisis in 2013, when it inherited the case load from a nearby ER that closed. According to the Baton Rouge Advocate, Mid City’s losses were projected to hit $25 million to $30 million this year. The Jindal administration stepped in with a promised infusion of $18 million, but that turned out to be a stopgap aimed at staving off an ER closure threatened last summer. Now the ER is set to close within 60 days.

Jindal, who still evidently harbors fantasies of running for president, deserves blame for the situation. As other GOP governors have seen the light on Medicaid expansion–10 have reached agreements with the federal government recently–Jindal has become ever more obstinate. (Source)

Bobby Jindal and other Republicans have been in and out of Iowa courting religious conservatives, hoping to win the caucus in this state on the usual early primary message before trying to swing back to the middle in the general election.

Some Republican hopefuls are trying not to repeat the same mistakes of 2012 by avoiding taking controversial stands in the primaries which will be ad campaign fodder in the 2016 presidential election for Democrats, and moderates in the state are trying to play more of a role in the selection process to help them along.

Less than a year before Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses, it appears that every Republican contender is making a serious play to win the state, setting up what is likely to be one of the most active, competitive campaigns here in recent memory.

Political observers in Iowa say that the field is wide open and that numerous candidates have a legitimate shot to win or do well enough to come out with momentum. That is partly because moderates in the Iowa Republican Party, led by Gov. Terry Branstad, have reasserted themselves into the caucus process after watching social conservatives dominate in 2008 and 2012.

The GOP hopefuls, who at the moment number around two dozen, are already battling one another for supporters and potential staff members amid regular visits to the state. (Source)

Make no mistake, Republicans know that catering too hard to the fringe and making costly remarks about the 47% or trying to define “legitimate rape” hurts the party at a national level, even though it often helps at a state or district level. Like in 2014, the RNC will try to stifle the voices of candidates who run the risk of alienating minorities and moderates.

In 2016, many Republicans will attempt to paint themselves as “moderates” and “friends of the middle class.” They’ll attempt to pretend that they were neutral or even on the side of marriage equality. Some will even attempt to take credit for the successes of Obamacare despite having done everything possible to repeal it and block Medicaid expansion. Don’t let them get away with it.


Facebook comments