According to every newspaper and pundit, the Republican Party is in shambles. However, there are some organizations whose e-mails and websites seem be getting ever more professional-looking, and whose membership list and donation-filled coffers seem to be growing.
1) Republican Liberty Caucus (RLC, for which I'm on the California Board of
2) Republican Majority for Choice (RMC)
3) Log Cabin Republicans
4) Republican Leadership Council
5) Republicans for Environmental Protection (REP)
Some of the members of the REP are anti-gay marriage. Some supporters of the Log Cabin Republicans are pro-life. Some RMCers don't believe in environmental restrictions. However, the common denominator of all these groups is that they represent the moderate constituencies of the party. Most pundits (except Rush Limbaugh, who writes that the Republicans lost because they weren't Right-Wing enough), believe that these types of people will be the ones needed to shape and re-introduce a new, attractive, GOP.
Right now, the Republican Party needs groups like us even more than we need them. Yet, while I don't speak for other members of the Moderate Five, I sense that we haven't stayed simply due to an imagined increased influence within the party. We stick around because, after our being deemed as "RINOs" during the years of plenty, our party is now in deep, deep, trouble, and we are finally able to prove our allegiance. It would be very easy for us to get on the Dem bandwagon, but we simply don't believe in what they stand for, in comparison to what we Republicans are supposed to stand for. We all anchor our views in the traditional conservative framework of small government, constitutional rights, and personal responsibility. In other words, I cower when I learn about the oxymoronically titled "Fairness Doctrine." I am appalled by the very suggestion that workers might be stripped of their right to cast a secret ballot in elections concerning union participation. I could likely never pull the lever (well, punch those funny tabs in our retro CA booths) for a Democrat.
The Log Cabins, REP, and Republican Leadership Council all officially endorsed McCain. The RMC held out for Giuliani for a while, while the RLC largely pinned their hopes on Ron Paul. (Neither of the latter two groups have since explicitly endorsed any presidential candidate). All of the above groups are willing to officially endorse only Republican candidates (unless there is no Republican running in a particular election). When half the staff of the National Review, most (all?) of the conservatives at The Atlantic, and the rest (Peggy Noonan and Christopher Hitchens, for G-d's sake!) seem to have all abandoned ship, there is clearly still a lot of love coming from the Mod 5. To the right-wing members of our party: We may not be the pretty blond prom queen, but we still show up to the after-party, when you've been ditched by everyone else.
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