The Ron Paul Revolution And Republican Renewal

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There may be a disaster coming in the 2008 election in November for the Republican Party. The recent defeat in the special election for Louisiana's Sixth Congressional District where Republican Woody Jenkins lost to Democrat Don Cazayoux is just the latest confirmation of how precarious the situation has become. Consider that Louisiana's sixth Congressional district had been held by a Republican for more than three decades. It is a district that President George W. Bush carried by 19 percentage points in the Presidential election in 2004.

The Republican defeat in Louisiana follows the loss of former Republican Speaker Dennis Hastert's seat in Illinois. That seat had been held by a Republican (except for one term during Watergate) for more than three quarters of a century. That district had favored George W. Bush by 10 percentage points in 2004.

Indeed, numerous public opinion polls tell the sad story for the 2008 prospects of the Republican Party. The current generic ballot for Congress according to a NY Times/CBS poll is 50 to 32 percent in favor of the Democrats. According to a New York Times/CBS Poll, Americans disapprove of Republican President George W. Bush's job performance by a 63 to 28 margin. A recent Gallup poll also had a very similar result. George Bush has now been below a 40% job approval rating since December of 2006. It is the longest period of public disapproval for any president in the history of polling.

The Republican Party's problem is due to a loss of political brand identity. In general, Republicans used to stand for less government, lower taxes, and restrained government spending. However their record of performance while in power during the last eight years has been a total failure in most of these key areas. It is a failure that has now compromised the Republican political brand.

Consider that the size of government under Republican stewardship has exploded. In George Bush's first five years in office, the federal government increased by 616 billion dollars. It amounts to a huge 33 percent jump in the size of the federal government. In fact, the Republican Congress spent more than five times the amount of money spent during Democrat Bill Clinton's second Presidential term. Despite costly congressional earmarks, George Bush failed to veto one bill while the Republican Party controlled Congress. The result was unrestrained pork barrel spending that was added to the price of an already controversial and costly war.

In addition, the American public is aggravated each time they fill up their automobile with gasoline. In 2001, at the start of George W. Bush's first term in office, the price of a barrel of oil was nearly $30. Last week the price exceeded $125 for the first time on record and Goldman Sachs has just forecasted a continued rise in price for the immediate future. The gasoline price at the pump has nearly tripled during the last eight years.

Management issues and planning have also hurt the Republican brand. The war in Iraq has never had a clear military exit strategy while Hurricane Katrina exposed federal disaster management and planning incompetence. Also, the recent economic slowdown has contributed to public opinion polling that shows over 80% of the American public now think that the country is on the wrong economic track. Overall, it could well be a formula for disaster for the Republican Party in the House and Senate in the 2008 election this fall.

Meanwhile, the insurgent 2008 campaign of Republican Ron Paul continues to make news. The little known Republican candidate received over 128,000 votes, or 16 percent, of the recent Republican Pennsylvania state primary vote. In Nevada , enthusiastic Ron Paul supporters captured control of the Republican state convention leading to an abrupt cancellation of the event without electing any delegates.

From the beginning, the Ron Paul campaign has been about a grass roots passion for positions on the issues that use the United States Constitution as a basis for guidance. The passion and enthusiastic support for the insurgent campaign has indeed been impressive. The campaign raised more money than any candidate of either major political party in the fourth quarter of 2007.

In fact more than 130,000 contributors gave to the Ron Paul campaign during the fourth quarter, including more than 107,000 new donors. On December 17, 2007, the Paul campaign raised a record six million dollars in a single day. Also, consider that Ron Paul's book, "The Revolution: A Manifesto", just recently released, is already No. 1 on the's list of hardcover best sellers.

The Republican Party is in trouble because they have lost their political brand and identity. They are a party running for office only for the power that is intrinsic in getting elected. After six years in the Congressional majority, the party has shown no passion for a cause or a strong belief in a guiding political ideology. Even after the Democratic election victory of 2006 changed control of Congress, there has been no real mandate for change among Republican Congressional leadership.

In contrast, the insurgent campaign of Ron Paul is fast becoming a growing political revolution. The campaign's positions on many of the major issues are positions that Republicans used to hold dear. Indeed, it has a platform which can become a basis for renewal for the existing Republican party, a party that is currently void of new ideas, a party that will soon need to pick up the broken pieces in November of this election year.

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James W Smith has 1 articles online

James William Smith has worked in Senior management positions for some of the largest Financial Services firms in the United States for the last twenty five years. He has also provided business consulting support for insurance organizations and start up businesses. He has always been interested in writing and listening to different viewpoints on interesting topics. Visit his website at

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The Ron Paul Revolution And Republican Renewal

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This article was published on 2010/04/04
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