Here is a fairly comprehensive list of complaints against the current GOP from Bill Quick at Daily Pundit, via Dan Drezner and Glenn Reynolds (saw it at InstaPundit first but did not decide to blog on it until now.) Quick saves his harshest attack until the end,
There are many others, but these will do for starters. The Republicans are no longer the party of small, limited government, fiscal sanity, states and individual rights, and the Constitution. In their own way, they have become as bloated, hypocritical, invasive, and spendthrift as much of the worst the Democrats have to offer.
Now, I might suggest that in many ways, those he is talking about are the ones you find on Capital Hill and not the man or woman on the street that consider themself a Republican. But one does have to worry given the recent explosion of the "theocrat" notion (and tenor of speech) of many that came out against the Florida State courts and for more federal and executive intervention in the Schiavo case. In fact, Glenn Reynolds has some wise words for those that went that route,
...here's some advice, very similar to advice I gave to the antiwar movement: If you don't want to be confused with a movement led by theocrats, don't let actual theocrats be seen as your spokesmen. It may be impossible to shut Randall Terry up -- though if I were Karl Rove, I would have tried really hard -- but he needs to be loudly and regularly denounced as a nut. Otherwise you're in the same boat as lefties who don't want to be identified with Ward Churchill, but happily use him when they want to draw a crowd.
Really the same theory that many of us pro-war individuals have been saying for years now regarding Islam - more moderate Muslims need to stand up and be counted to show the world that on it's face, Islam is not about be-headings and suicide bombings. But for those uninformed, one set can quickly be consumed by the other if clear parameters are not set up. Check out the links in Glenn's post as well.
So, the GOP has developed an image problem, once again. And to counter that, those of us that find ourselves voting for the party, and believe in the big tent mentality, need to stand up and be counted. Of all of the points Quick made about the current GOP, only one directly influenced the War in Iraq and two others, perhaps three, might deleteriously effect the more general war against Islamic terrorists. The others were complaining about a direction the GOP has been going in for years.
GOP Congressman and Senators don't seem any more inclined to reduce the size of the Federal government anymore than their Democrat counterparts. Sure, they talk about it. But when the time comes for action, they can't help it to try and add that one last little pork item in some omnibus bill. They hem and haw about how Democrats have sidelined the judicial nominee process but are not willing to make the real effort it would take to end filibusters as they have historically been ended, though neither party really is, and this might be part of the problem.
I think what it really comes down to is a certain comfort (and power) that comes with gaining a seat in government that makes it almost impossible to actually act on principle anymore, not if that principle will risk not getting re-elected. Recall that our founders felt that service in the government was just that, a service and not a privilege. It should not be seen as something for a lifetime vocation a la Strom Thurmond, Jesse Helms and Robert Byrd. But all too often, it is. It accounts for much of the pandering both parties do for their base.
However, in the end, I am willing to put up with some of it as long as my basic requirements for a public official are met and as far as the war against terrorism, I feel that it is going as well as could be expected given the sure set backs that any sane man would have assumed would occur. But as I wrote recently in another post regarding libertarians and social conservatives,
I will be interested in following this as it plays out, but in the end I stand by my big tent theory...but only if it yields a smaller and more manageable government, more freedoms and liberty for the citizens of the country and a strong foreign policy. The minute I cannot trust a party to keep those major ideals, the minute I look around for another.
And I still feel that way. So, strong foreign policy yields one "yes" check for the current GOP. Smaller and more manageable government seems a "no" at this juncture. And the freedoms and liberty thing? Well, though I don't have the problem that others do with The Patriot Act, reasonable minds can certainly disagree about how that effects civil liberties. And if social conservatives, or more accurately religious rightists continue to try and legislate social behavior than I'd say that's two out of three against the GOP.
Doesn't mean I'm moving to the Dems, as the final tally has yet to be added up for the above (nor would I anyway as they are certainly no better in any of the departments.) But it does mean that Quick may be on to something I also considered before the election. Perhaps it is time for a centrist party advocating what a large section of moderate conservatives believe in (and a good many moderate liberals as well) - fiscal conservatism with a more libertarian social belief. But then, third parties don't work very well in this country. Though to play devil's advocate - neither of today's current parties have been around since the beginning. Parties come and go - it's the beliefs that remain. If neither of the current parties hold the beliefs of the majority of citizens anymore, we will all jump both ships and find the one that actually floats. Only time will tell if such happens, but it may not be far off. That is all.