Dave Redick and GOP principles
- John Nichols of the Capital Times wrote a really nice article about Dave Redick today:John Nichols: GOP loses out by snubbing RedickBy John Nichols, June 15, 2006There was never any question that David Redick was the most interesting Republican seeking statewide office this year. The U.S. Senate candidate was a genuine, "old right" conservative in the tradition of Robert Taft and Barry Goldwater.A fierce critic of big government, Redick outdid his fellow Republicans when it came to condemning tax hikes and federal spending. But he did not stop there. He also criticized the excesses of big government that most Republicans fail to challenge: military adventures abroad, particularly the war in Iraq, and the assaults on basic freedoms at home, such as the Patriot Act and the Bush administration's warrantless wiretapping program. And he rejected the religious right dominance of the GOP, arguing that a party that claimed to be for individual freedom ought not be policing the bedrooms of Americans in order to enforce its false morality.It was not necessary to agree with Redick on every issue to recognize that he was a refreshing Republican who offered a genuine alternative to the tendency of too many GOP stalwarts to march in lock step to the drumbeat of the Bush administration, even when the march leads the country over a cliff and into the abyss.There was something attractive about the prospect of fall debates among Republican Redick, Green Party candidate Rae Vogeler and Democratic U.S. Sen. Herb Kohl. Instead of the petty personality squabbles and recitations of partisan talking points that are sure to dominate the gubernatorial debates, it seemed as if the Senate candidates would offer Wisconsin something that is all too rare in politics: a clash of ideas and principles involving a real conservative (Redick), a real progressive (Vogeler) and a real centrist (Kohl).Unfortunately, the Republican Party was not interested in putting up an honest and consistent conservative as its candidate against Kohl. Party leaders offered no welcome to Redick. Indeed, they signaled that they wanted nothing to do with his across-the-board criticisms of government excess.Redick took the hint. Last week, he quit the GOP and joined the Libertarians, who have invited him to run for the Senate on their ballot line.Says Redick: "The Republican Party nationwide is 'off course' compared to its traditional values, and Republican leaders at the state and county level seem to like it that way or, at least, (they) will settle to be submissive and abused 'loyalists' to D.C. The far-right religious groups, corrupt congressmen and warmonger 'neocons' have taken over in D.C., and it seems no one is willing or able to push them back. (The GOP) is now the war, big-spending and homeland spy party. My campaign efforts to gain support for reform have been fruitless, but revealed the depth of trouble the Republicans are in. While they engage in self-serving denial to hide problems, the cliff of the November 7 election is fast approaching. Pollsters predict many losses."Hence I have left the Republicans to their well-earned fate and joined the Libertarian 'party of principle.' It embraces my philosophy of limited government, fiscal conservatism and peace, along with social liberalism consistent with the Bill of Rights."More power to Dave Redick for standing on principle rather than bending to the dictates of Republican partisanship. If he secures the Libertarian nomination, as seems likely, he'll still be able to contribute ideas and energy to the fall debates.As for the Republicans, they have shown by their actions that their party is no longer the "big tent" of the Ronald Reagan and George Herbert Walker Bush days. More and more, the party of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt and Dwight Eisenhower is starting to look like a narrow-minded cult of personality that loves its current president more than it does the conservative principles it purports to cherish or the country it purports to lead.John Nichols is associate editor of The Capital Times. E-mail: jnichols@...
Published: June 15, 2006-- end --
... Aaron Biterman
Americans for Limited Government