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Friday, May 01, 2009

The looming Civil War in The Republican Party

I was talking with a friend the other day who is a high-level figure in the Republican Party here in California. I discussed with him my theory that there is a Civil War brewing inside the Party. Two election cycles of defeats have made the party meetings and discussions very rancorous. Moderates and Conservatives have been wrestling for control of the party, and in the end, only one side can win.

"It's too late" he said, "the war is already here."

He went on to explain in great detail about some of the battles that have been fought in the party on multiple levels. There are battles at the local, state and national levels right now, and almost all of them are occurring at the same time. He explained the situation in the Republican Party of Los Angeles County, where there was a sudden coup last year involving a chaotic meeting where voters removed longtime head Linda Boyd from power. I didn't know Linda Boyd personally, but she and her husband had been important figures in the party for a number of years. However, other individuals in the party felt she was being destructive because she and her husband Doug opted to support Democrat James Hahn for Mayor in 2005 instead of Republican Walter Moore. It appears to be true that Doug Boyd was actually paid $30,000 to support James Hahn.

If these accusations are true, then I fully approve of their ouster. It makes no sense to have party leaders who do not support members of their own party. I have heard that there was some complaining and poor behavior by Walter Moore over this issue of non-support of his candidacy in 2005 . Even though I disagree with Walter on many issues, this is one where he would have received my full support. As a party, the Republicans have to support their own. On this issue, there is no room for compromise. Walter may have been a moderate, but you don't throw him under the bus for a liberal Democrat just because the Democrat wrote you a big check.

This is what is happening to Republicans at every level right now. We are suffering in elections because the candidates are abdicating their principles. The Boyds are only one example. Look at Arlen Specter. He is a contemptible and desperate man who only cares about holding onto power. He needs to go, and so do many other career politicians just like him. The Civil War that is brewing is happening because we need to get rid of people like Specter. If we don't, we run the risk of becoming a Party that radio show host Mark Levin says "stands for nothing, appeals to nobody, and is only supported because the alternatives are worse."

I am a Conservative. I believe that Conservatives should be in charge of the Party, and that when we regain control, the Party will start winning again. We have to stop letting Moderates into power. They have shown a tendency to abandon core principles and core value systems. For too long, we Conservatives have been told that we are the ones who need to change. That we need to be more flexible and follow the mood of the electorate. No! I reject this thinking. Leaders who operate in this manner are showing that they have no coherent value system. Conservatism is all about freedom and opportunity for the individual. It was the guiding faith of our Founding Fathers. Abandoning our principles and core values is the antithesis of what we are all about. Moderates have shown us that they can do this easily. That is why Moderates lose elections.

The party is so fractured right now, that the media can't even identify who the leader of the Party is right now. New RNC Chairman Michael Steele stepped up to the plate and told everyone that he is now the boss. That is nice, but he is so new that people aren't comfortable with him yet, and he has already had a few slip-ups while speaking publicly for the party. The Mainstream Media decided to label radio show host Rush Limbaugh the new leader of the party. He is a respected and trusted voice among Conservatives, but he is an entertainer and not the party leader. So...who will lead us into the next election cycle? We have many good options.

Sarah Palin and Mike Huckabee are favorites among the Conservatives.

Mitt Romney and Rudy Giuliani are popular with Moderates. Bobby Jindal and Newt Gingrich haven't openly declared their intentions, but they seem to have some support also. Some people have mentioned Eric Cantor or General Petraeus. But it is also possible a new figure will rise to the challenge. Our next leader could be toiling in obscurity right now. The future is always full of surprises.

In 2004 , heavy favorite and lock-certain-nominee Senator Hillary Clinton was making plans for moving back into the White House in 2008. Barack Obama, on the other hand, was only hoping he would be fortunate enough to win his election in Illinois to become a United States Senator.

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Anonymous Anonymous said:

Hey how's the view from the dinosaur exhibit that you currently call home?

May 01, 2009 9:10 PM  

Blogger Michael Higby said:

Phil you're wrong about moderates. The Republicans have to have a big tent to draw the voters they need. That doesn't mean you throw one group or another under the bus what it means is that the party needs to focus on CORE Republican values of limited government, fiscal responsibility and limited government.

Starting a culture war won't gain votes.

There are lots of folks who are moderates but conservative on taxes, government spending, etc. who would have otherwise voted Republican but won't because the brand is icky. They don't want to be associated with hatred.

May 01, 2009 9:41 PM  

Blogger Joe B. said:

As Mailander says, the GOP is now a pup tent. Michael is right, a party of rigid absolutes will only place the GOP in an ever smaller corner.

May 01, 2009 11:00 PM  

Anonymous Luis Alvarado said:

Well, the problem is very simple. As we continue the litmus tests for all Republican we always seem to call a “RINO” some one who may disagree on one of eight other items we agree upon. This creates the rift that is tearing us apart and making Republicans LOOSE at the polls as we continue our circular firing squad.

Now, the Dem's don't care if you agree on only one of the eight issues...heck they don't care if you worship the devil as long as you vote Democrat. Then their guy/gal get's in office and everything sorts itself afterwards as they continue to make fun of us.

So the key is, let’s stop getting stuck on ideology and start thinking about winning…..everything will sort itself out later.

May 01, 2009 11:11 PM  

Blogger Phil Jennerjahn said:

After four years of Obama, voters are going to stampede into the GOP tent.

Taking away freedom has never been politically popular.

May 01, 2009 11:18 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Phil, I'll repost your statement in 4 years just for kicks!

May 01, 2009 11:34 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Phil's photo is taken in front of a chain link fence with a crooked flag. Is this the mental hospital where they keep you?

May 01, 2009 11:40 PM  

Anonymous Fedup Already said:

Obama took 60% of the CA vote in 2008. Biggest Democrat victory in CA history. CA is a one party state. That one party is the Democrat party. Los Angeles County and City are controlled by the Democrat Party.

The only viable opposition party is in the midst of a "Civil War"?
Talk about self destructive behavior!

The only hope is for a "civil war" in the Democrat party like happened in 1968 and 1980. These happened after big democrat victories in 1964 and 1976. With virtual one party control, all the flag-burners and degenerates in the Democrat party came out of the closet trumpeting national treason and worse. This lead to big Republican comebacks in those election years.

The Republicans must keep their powder dry, maintain a semblance of unity and be patient. Just keep quiet, say nothing, and do nothing. The REAL democrat agenda will scare most Americans right back to the Republican Party unless the Republican party looks so bad, a third party becomes the only alternative.

May 02, 2009 12:10 AM  

Blogger Adam said:


There are two types of moderates. Fiscal moderates, who are socially conservative but disagree on taxes and social moderates, who move to the center on abortion, gay marriage etc but oppose taxes.

There is no place for fiscal moderates in the party. That type of thinking violates the core principles of the party. Social moderates will be how the GOP widens their tent in the future.

May 02, 2009 2:01 AM  

Blogger Petra Fried in the City said:

This comment has been removed by the author.

May 02, 2009 6:19 AM  

Blogger Petra Fried in the City said:


I've had it with this party officially messing with my personal rights. When Republicans throw the religious right and pro-lifers out of their official platform, I might start looking at them seriously. Until then, the party can go to hell.

May 02, 2009 6:22 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Phil, when you are going to write the last word about YOURSELF? I can't wait to reach the final chapter. Have you noticed that the city council people laugh almost every time you say the name of your "group"? It is very funny. Look at their faces. You are zooma dogg with a tie and a squeaky high voice.

May 02, 2009 8:22 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Phil has a friend?

May 02, 2009 9:13 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

When you argue that Republicans need to return to "core principles" to win elections, I think you are missing the math:

A party only wins when returning to its ideological base when it loses more voters from its base than it would gain by appealing to moderation.

Nationally (and in California), the GOP enjoys great conservative loyalty, but has lost more and more moderate voters as the party purifies itself ideologically.

Therefore, using actual data (instead of your ideological gut), you theory would appear to be wrong.

Where do you think you are going to get the voters from when nearly 90% of the voters leaving the GOP in states such as PA and CA are moderates?

May 02, 2009 9:50 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I'm with you Petra.

The Republican party can kiss my ass. Reagan was the #1 worst thing that ever happened to us. I'm so sick of hearing all the Republicans on this blog bitch about homeless people when Reagan is responsible for putting them there. I despise that man with a passion.

The Bush administration and his war-mongering, then lying about it killed it for the rest of the moderate Republicans.

But nothing is worse than the religious right, the input they have on that party and the party's warped views on abortion, same sex marriage,etc. which makes them very involved in adding to government, not limiting it.

They add to the layers of bureaucracy while claiming to want less.

They can claim to be against taxes, but they get into office and do the same thing. Our governor is a perfect example of that. And a perfect example of a bad leader.

What is left - guns? I wish they were all eliminated from the face of the earth. We have no need for any of them.

There is nothing that Obama will do that will strengthen the Republican party and to say that is ludicrous.

Quite the opposite, he'll have Republicans voting for him the way some star-struck Dems voted for Arnold and Reagan.

Obama is taking away your freedom? You make me laugh.

May 02, 2009 10:12 AM  

Anonymous Silence Dogood said:

Dear Naive Phil:

It isn't 1964 anymore.

The battle to be president, governor, or mayor is always a race for the middle. It is rare the extremists get this far. Ronald Reagan did because he was an exciting personailty, and voters love people who they can feel good about. You say that Rush Limbaugh can't be the party leader because he's an entertainer? What was Arnold? Or Reagan before he became governor?

Republicans are already the minority party by numbers. For the conservatives in the party to shut out the moderates only reduces their numbers even more. It's going backwards.

Phil, you need a plan through which conservative values, whatever those are, become appealling to everyone in the GOP and to some number of independents and Democrats.

May 02, 2009 10:23 AM  

Blogger Joseph Mailander said:

After four years of Obama, voters are going to stampede into the GOP tent.

Taking away freedom has never been politically popular.
Phil, can you enumerate the freedoms you're fearful of losing under Obama?

May 02, 2009 11:34 AM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I consider my self a moderate Republican.

I am pro choice, but believe in a marriage only between a man and a woman.

I am for closing the border, but finding a way for the 12 million or so who are here to travel a path to citizenship by paying up taxes, learning English, passing the citizenship test, and staying out of trouble. After five years, give them the rights, but only if they have toed the mark.

Fail to do any of the above, and I am for deportation and no second chances.

I am fiscally conservative, believe in a flat tax of 10 to 20 percent payable by everyone, no exemptions.

Should I be thrown out of the party, Phil?

May 02, 2009 12:16 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Your observation of the current paradigm shift now taking place within the Republican Party will be viewed as one of the first openly vetted assessments of the rededication to Republican Values and Principals.

“Trust God and Clean House” means just that. We must stop blaming Democrats for the failure of Republicans winning elections.

Attending a Republican Candidates Forum in San Sacramento almost a decade ago, I listened very closely as to how our Republican Leaders had out smarted the Democrats in the area of redistricting. We were told how they had outsmarted the Dems and as a result Republicans had set the ground work to insure Republican Majorities in the US Congress.

In the years since, I have listened with interest as to how Republicans will once again win statewide elections by being more inclusive and abandoning any platform which includes social issues.

We were told Republicans must be the party of Fiscal Responsibility and Limited Government and forget the social issues.

Being new at this, I was eager to see just how this course of action would play out.

Theory aside, the proof is in the results. Democrats are a majority in the LA City Council, County Board of Supervisors, State Assembly, State Senate, US Senate, US House of Representatives and now the Presidency.

All this while Republicans backed away from social issues, all this as Republicans in the name of a bigger tent and inclusive party, refused to go on the offense.

Why vote for a Republican who believes like a liberal when you can vote for a Democrat who is even more of a conservative.

Openly Gay Republicans pushing for Gay Marriage lost just a badly as did the Conservatives supporting traditional marriage before them.

Why? Because the majority of Republicans did not vote.

Proposition 8 did not succeed because of Right Wing Republican Christians; it was passed due to Conservative Democrats, Hispanic and African American voters voting for it.

So let the blogging begin and let’s get this house cleaning under way.

Just a point of clarity; the LA County Republican Party did not endorse Walter Moore for two reasons.

First he was not the only Republican in the race.

Second, he did not follow the procedure that every other candidate must follow in order to get an endorsement.

Yes, it is true Doug Boyd was paid to work on James Hahn campaign after the primary.

At that time the race was between Tony Vilar and Jimmy Hahn.

All things considered, I do not fault him for trying to defeat Tony V.

May 02, 2009 12:33 PM  

Blogger Phil Jennerjahn said:

My responses to ...

9:50 & 10:23

Whether the Republicans are currently a minority party is irrelevant. They have been there before. After Nixon resigned only 17% of all people wanted to call themselves Republicans. "Your Party is dead.." blah...blah ...blah. We have heard it before and we have recovered before. The somewhat unpopular George W. Bush just finished up his second term.

Two US Presidents in recent memory have won elections where they won 49(!) of the 50 states. Now being that many of the states are not Red states...just how did they do that?

Answer? They were better candidates who held tight to their principles and convictions.
They were better candidates and voters knew they could be trusted. Voters will swarm to someone who is courageous. They hate panderers and sellouts.

No Democrat could EVER win 49 states. They are the party of socialism, of high taxes, and excuses. Democrats prefer to keep the poor, poor...it creates a victim mentality that they try to take advantage of.

Republicans appeal to the better nature of man. They want every person to have dignity and self respect. Democrats don't. They want people to depend on them for their existence...guaranteeing votes from a scared and defensive populace.

Joseph Mailander

You are kidding right?

Obama is out to steal EVERY freedom and become a tyrannical dictator.

He votes to ban guns, so that you can't defend yourself from his "civilian corps" when they come after you and your property.

He voted for INFANTICIDE!! He steals the right of a child born alive to survive! How can you justify supporting a man like this???!!

He steals the right of free market companies to exist and compete in a fair marketplace. He steals the money of taxpayers to hand it out to losers like AIG and Chrysler.

He steals the freedom of any hard working citizen to succeed when he steals his paycheck to hand it out to fraud and scam artists like ACORN.

Obama is a disaster! A Socialist/Marxist who will destroy this country if left unchecked. Even our allies are afraid of what this man is doing.

to 12:16..
Yes...you should be out of the party. Your stance on Illegal Immigration is an apologists stance, which only leads to more lawbreaking and total defeat. You should go hang out with the Socialists and the liberals if you feel that rewarding someone for breaking our laws is the right way to go.

to 12:33

"Trust God and clean house"

Right on!! Amen to that, brother.

May 02, 2009 5:30 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

Phil, you are a certified nutcase.

May 02, 2009 5:51 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

>bitch about homeless people when
>Reagan is responsible for putting them there.
With help from the democrats that didn't believe that citizens that have not committed crimes shouldn't be locked up.

May 02, 2009 10:14 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:


Your understand of politics is almost childlike.

We don't elect presidents based on which one won the largest number of states. It's bad enough that we use the electoral college. Would you support a change that would crown the winner the person who got the most people to vote for him or her?

May 02, 2009 11:45 PM  

Anonymous ptellstrom said:

Good for You! Stick to your principles! I grew up in the Republican party and was a long time supporter, but I needed people like you to point out that moderates like myself weren't wanted. So...I became an independent...and when in the last election the Republican Party of Los Angeles hosted a big "Town Hall for Prop 8," I thought...who are these people and how have they strayed so far from the party of my youth?

I am now a registered Democrat. And...I am not alone among my (former) Republican friends.

So keep it up! Eventually you will implode the party and reduce it to something that will finally have to say..."So what was being a Republican originally about?"

May 04, 2009 1:07 PM  

Anonymous g said:


May 04, 2009 6:12 PM  

Anonymous Anonymous said:

I'm a life-long registered Dem who has been shocked and dismayed by the actions of the Republicans. I've often wondered how normal people who, in my daily life, I know and like can vote with that party.

So it's really good to come here and read that some people have switched parties because the Republican party is so out of touch.

I admire those who did switched because it's true... the Republicans have become a cartoon. Anyone intelligent has left the party, and now -- it's dying. The party has strayed so far from the Lincoln Republicans that even right wing Republicans are having a hard time with the current party.

A third party is the answer and Libertarian is not it!

May 05, 2009 8:07 PM  

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