Former Iowa Congressman Jim Leach addressed the Democratic National Convention on Monday to explain why he cannot support the candidacy of John McCain. He and other Republicans are supporting Barack Obama this fall. Republicans for Obama is a website that explains why many Republicans feel left out of their once Grand Old Party. Congressman Leach addressed this point in his speech:
The party that once emphasized individual rights has gravitated in recent years toward regulating values. The party of military responsibility has taken us to war with a country that did not attack us. The party that formerly led the world in arms control has moved to undercut treaties crucial to the defense of the earth. The party that prides itself on conservation has abdicated its responsibilities in the face of global warming. And the party historically anchored in fiscal restraint has nearly doubled the national debt, squandering our precious resources in an undisciplined and unprecedented effort to finance a war with tax cuts.
Indeed it has as fellow blogger UptheFlag and I have often pointed out. The GOP of the 50's 60's and 70's made a sharp and unauthorized right-turn and headed out of bounds, taking millions of unsuspecting Republicans with them on a harrowing ride. Many Republicans didn't even know that their party was kidnapped by a small junta of neoconservatives with an agenda of their own. Some still don't know.
Surely many long-time Republicans are mad as hell at Mr. Leach and other for being 'turncoats' yet they really don't investigate the reasons for this move. Winning is all they are concerned about. At the 2004 RNC convention Democrat Zell Miller delivered an angry and abrasive indictment of the Democratic Party. He was at the far right end of the Democratic Party and clearly belonged in the right-wing of the Republican Party due to his aggressive and intolerant views. In his first congressional races, Miller was a segregationist and held segregationist viewpoints. This compares in no way with the speech of Jim Leach. Mr. Leach is attempting to rescue his party from the ideologues who have risen to majority.
Both the neocons and Fundamentalist Christians now dominate the GOP; each has their own agenda and plans for America. Leach and other in the GOP note how insular and divisive these policies are for the nation and can no longer remain silent. Christian fundamentalists are clearly identified in Leach's words, "The party that once emphasized individual rights has gravitated in recent years toward regulating values." In fact, the 'values voter' is identified as a regular Republican Party member. The question, of course, is: who's values? That is the deal-breaker for the Republicans for Obama.
I often pose this question on the blog: "But do they know?" Do the old-time Republicans know that their has been hijacked by these two groups? Do they know their agenda? I don't know the answer. Republicans for Obama claim to have 2000 members which is a drop in the bucket. How do they expect to influence their party and purge it? Lots of unanswered questions.