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Ed Hudgins

GOP Helps North Carolina, Georgia Democrats Win

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GOP Helps North Carolina, Georgia Democrats Win
By Edward Hudgins

March 18, 2014 -- Leading candidates for the 2014 North Carolina and Georgia Republican nominations for Senate are throwing the election to Democrats.

Planned pandering

Let’s begin in North Carolina where Senator Kay Hagan, a Democrat, is very vulnerable. Greg Brannon is the frontrunner for the GOP primary to challenge her. Speaking about Planned Parenthood, Brannon alleged that “They said we already know abortion is fine, why stop in the womb? Why not three months after? Why should we end the responsibility at that point? It could happen in America. Florida's trying to do it right now and so is Georgia.”
This is not true. One Planned Parenthood lobbyist in Florida, as slow-witted as some Republicans, was asked what a Planned Parenthood physician should do in case an abortion actually results in a live birth. Instead of giving the obvious answer to this no-brainer, she said she’d have to check on the Planned Parenthood position. Planned Parenthood in Florida then stated unambiguously that physicians should “provide appropriate care to both the woman and the infant.”
It’s one thing to oppose government funding of Planned Parenthood and abortions—and much else. It’s another thing to sound like a dogmatic ideologue who will make up anything to smear an opponent in order to pander to potential voters.

Georgian with no mind

Mosey down the Atlantic coast to Georgia and you’ll find Senator Saxby Chambliss, a Republican, retiring and creating an open seat that you’d expect the GOP to easily hold. But the Democrat frontrunner for that seat is Michelle Nunn, the daughter of popular former Senator Sam Nunn. And in the top three of the crowded Republican primary field is U.S. Congressman Paul Broun.
In a video addressing a church audience, Broun asserts that “God’s word is true. I’ve come to understand that. All that stuff I was taught about evolution, embryology, big bang theory—all that is lies straight from the pit of hell. It’s lies to try to keep me and all the folks who are taught that from understanding that they need a savior.” He went on to assert that the Earth is only about 9,000 years old.
Unbelievably, this ignoramus serves on the House Committee on Science, Space, and Technology.

Double damage

Extreme social conservatives like these two do double damage to the GOP.
First, they tend to lose elections. Both Todd Aikin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana lost Senate races in 2012 in part based on their inane remarks about abortion. And in Virginia, not only did Ken Cuccinelli’s socially-conservative views contribute to his loss in the governor’s race in 2013, E.W. Jackson, the GOP candidate for lieutenant governor, looked foolish as well for his assertion (in a book) to the effect that biological evolution is disproven because chimpanzees can’t talk.
Such blinkered, dogmatic, and irrational Republicans scare away not only independent voters but also the emerging class of socially-liberal entrepreneurs that might turn to a pro-free market party if not for such embarrassing candidates.
Second, such extreme social conservatives empower the “let’s just make the welfare state work better” establishment Republicans like Karl Rove who rightly want to see fewer of Brannon and Broun types running under the GOP banner. Compared to such conservatives, even the RINOs can sound reasonable.
The Republicans need to get their priorities straight and focus on the need to roll back the scope of government. They would do well to keep their views on theology to themselves. They’re not running for pope. Only a modernist GOP will be able to succeed in the twenty-first century.

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Hudgins is director of advocacy and a senior scholar at The Atlas Society.
For further information:

*Edward Hudgins, editor, The Republican Party’s Civil War: Will Freedom Win? February 2014.
*Edward Hudgins, “GOP Should Invite Social Conservative Extremists to Leave.” April 5, 2013.
*Edward Hudgins, “Republicans Help Virginia Evolve to Democrats.” June 12, 2013.

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Ed,

An interesting variation on this just occurred here in Illinois.

Illinois Republicans Nominate Candidate Who Blames Gay Rights For Autism And Tornadoes

Craziest person in Illinois wins Republican primary

(I normally give publication info like name, author, etc., but not for those rags. Backlinks are more than enough. :) )

The local wisdom is that Jan Schakowsky, who will be the Democratic opponent and is the embodiment of dirty Chicago-style politics and a hardline progressive to boot, sent her supporters out en masse to vote in the Republican primary. Crossover voting in primaries is permitted in Illinois and the idea was to ensure that the religious fundamentalist, not the libertarian-leaning conservative, will face her in the election.

Illinois is a state where the Republicans lean left and progressive, so it is not too plausible Susanne Atanus would have won this thing if Republicans only had voted in the primary. She got 52.4 percent of the vote, defeating David Earl Williams III, a fairly young guy who had worked on Ron Paul's campaign in 2012. Atanus is such a caricature--such a perfect image of who the left constantly demonizes as backwards--that state party officials had asked her to withdraw before the voting.

Now it looks like Atenus will become a darling of the left-wing media, which will try to turn her into a symbol of all conservatives and libertarians. I expect to see her on Letterman, MSNBC, and so on once things start heating up, enticed by promises that these media outlets will be fair, but blasted out to Kingdom come as anti-right propaganda.

A whole lotta sniggering coming...

Michael

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