Towery says it is time for Republicans to give up ghost of Ronald Reagan
by Jon Gillooly
November 08, 2012 12:53 AM | 6949 views | 39 39 comments | 17 17 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Political consultant Matt Towery, left, and Mercer University economics professor Roger Tutterow gave a day-after election report to a Cobb Chamber of Commerce crowd Wednesday.<br>Staff/Laura Moon
Political consultant Matt Towery, left, and Mercer University economics professor Roger Tutterow gave a day-after election report to a Cobb Chamber of Commerce crowd Wednesday.
Staff/Laura Moon
slideshow

CUMBERLAND — Pollster and political consultant Matt Towery told a group of about 125 people at the Cobb Chamber of Commerce’s Chairman’s Club Luncheon on Wednesday that it was time for the Republican Party to leave Ronald Reagan behind.

Political consultant Heath Garrett moderated a discussion between Towery and Mercer University economics professor Roger Tutterow before a group that lunched at the Cobb Galleria.

“The ghost of Ronald Reagan is finally going to have to leave the Republican Party,” Towery said. “We can’t keep clinging to the hope that we’re going to have a Reaganesque morning in America.”

Towery compared it to the Democrats holding on to FDR until it resulted in their nominee being Walter Mondale.

“We’ve got to see on the Republican side a reinvention of the wheel,” Towery said. “It has to be more inclusive of Hispanic Latinos. It has to drop some of the social issues.”

Towery said when he saw Florida exit polls coming from the Cuban American community, long a mainstay of the Republican Party, that had Romney only five or six points ahead, it is a cause for alarm.

“That’s significant trouble because that’s your most loyal Republican base,” Towery said. “If the party doesn’t deal with that, and you can’t do it by saying, ‘seal the borders and throw everybody out,’ because if you say that you’re saying to them, ‘you don’t belong here in the United States of America.’ So I think there’s going to have to be a reinvention of how do you deal with these issues without simply trying to appeal to the red meat of one core part of the Republican Party.”

Towery said a huge mistake Romney made was failing to choose U.S. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla) as his running mate for vice president. Rubio would have made it easier to win Florida, freeing up the money and time spent in Florida to focus on Virginia, Ohio and Colorado.

The panel also took questions from the audience, among them Clark Hungerford of Vinings Bank, who asked about the impact of the tea party movement.

Garrett, who served as U.S. Sen. Johnny Isakson’s former chief of staff, said there are four political issues Republicans need to tackle: the generational gap, the gender gap, the diversity gap, and the fight between the tea party movement and the establishment.

“The new definition by the tea party of the establishment is ‘anybody who’s been elected one day longer than I am,’” he said. “You can’t have that kind of anarchist, ‘throw the bums out even if they’ve only been in office for a couple of weeks’ mentality.”

“If you look back, we should have won the U.S. Senate in 2010, a historic election for Republicans, and we lost it because of the tea party-supported nominees for United States Senate. They did not fit the states where they were running, whether you agree with them and their positions or not. … We were projected to win 54 U.S. Senate seats this year, and a conservative PAC who supported seven upstart tea party nominees for the U.S. Senate got them nominated and lost seven of nine. You just can’t look at that and go ‘OK, that means anybody with the tea party needs to be nominated by the Republican Party at every state in the country’ and expect us to actually win the majority.”

It takes 50 percent plus one in order to govern, Garrett said.

“We now have two data-driven election cycles to show that it’s great to be out there and claim pure principle. But at the end of the day if you’re not winning, so we got to come up with a different formula,” Garrett said.

Towery, who said he agreed with Garrett’s analysis, said he expected to see a war between the establishment and nonestablishment Republicans.

“This is what some of these folks are going to write, they’re going to say ‘we are tired of nominating these people who don’t represent the quote real Republican Party,’” Towery said.

Chamber CEO David Connell asked about the impact of the Benghazi attack and Hurricane Sandy on the election.

Towery said he never understood why Romney soft-pedaled the Benghazi controversy. Perhaps they were afraid that Obama had a piece of intelligence that could make Romney look foolish if he stepped out on the ledge of that issue, Towery said. As for the storm, it froze the momentum that Romney picked up after Obama’s fumbled the first debate. The glowing remarks New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie had for Obama didn’t help Romney either, Towery said.

Tutterow offered up some gloomy news for what the next four years of an Obama presidency will look like.

“Clearly last night was a bad night for the banking industry,” Tutterow said, noting the Dodd–Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act was here to stay.

It didn’t help that Democrat Elizabeth Ann Warren, known for going after financial institutions, unseated Republican Sen. Scott Brown in Massachusetts.

Also here to stay is Obama’s health care law, Tutterow said.

“If there was a chance at rolling back Obamacare, it probably died last night,” he said. “Once it gets further integrated with the economy, it’s going to be harder to take it away.”

And one or two U.S. Supreme Court justices are likely to retire in the next four years, giving Obama the opportunity to replace them with justices who can impact economic and political policies for decades to come.

“Republicans are going to have to have a very honest dialogue with themselves about two issues,” Tutterow said.

One is: Does their base need to change? The other is their economic platform. Campaigning on a platform to reduce taxes may no longer be effective. While Reagan was a master at convincing people that such a program would lift all boats, that message didn’t work this time, Tutterow said.

One of the reasons Romney lost in the blue-collar communities of Ohio and parts of Wisconsin and in the South is that there is a perception that the Republican proposals are not designed to lift all ships, Tutterow said.

Among those at the luncheon was Cobb Board of Education chairman Scott Sweeney.

“The biggest thing that you walk away from in this is that the Republicans have I think a little bit of a setback, and the important thing is to figure out how they’re going to reach a broader audience and garner their support for conservative issues,” Sweeney said.

Also in attendance was state Rep. Ed Setzler (R-Acworth), chairman of the Cobb Legislative Delegation. Setzler said there was some penetrating analysis on display at the luncheon.

“The one thing that wasn’t mentioned that I think was the core deciding factor in the election is Gov. Romney’s inability to communicate ideas in a way that’s understandable with voters,” Setzler said. “The real story of this election is the Republican Party had tail winds, they had a very competent candidate who had a competent message that was broader than perhaps other candidates had been in the past, but his ability to communicate who he was, what he represented to the average voter just wasn’t there.”

 

Comments
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jimnjoy
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December 07, 2012
I thought someone who practiced "situation ethics" was looked on with disdain. The Republican Party seems to be formulating policy after seeing which way the wind is blowing. For-get-about-it. Decide what you believe in and be willing to fight for it. Right now I'm fighting for a sovereign United States of America. They say Hillary Clinton will be running in 2016. God help us.
Bill Evelyn
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December 07, 2012
Towery is a hack and any Republican that would hire him will lose. Here is why Towery is a misfit and miscreant.

“The ghost of Ronald Reagan is finally going to have to leave the Republican Party,” Towery said. “We can’t keep clinging to the hope that we’re going to have a Reaganesque morning in America.”

A Reaganesque morning in America is an American morning where both the Democrats and Republicans stop looting the individual citizens of the states. It is a small government that allows the sovereign people to govern themselves.

“We’ve got to see on the Republican side a reinvention of the wheel,” Towery said. “It has to be more inclusive of Hispanic Latinos. It has to drop some of the social issues.”

The Republican Party must reinvent itself back to the party of liberty and small government. If the Republican Party panders to hispanics, it will become the party of welfare giving out FREE stuff like Democrats already do.

"One of the reasons Romney lost in the blue-collar communities of Ohio and parts of Wisconsin and in the South is that there is a perception that the Republican proposals are not designed to lift all ships, Tutterow said.

Tutterow is wrong. Romney lost Ohio in December of 2008 when George Bush bailed-out the car companies and allowed Chairman Maobama to capture the headlines and bail-out the unions.

Pay no attention to these two men. They are wrong.

Sounding Off
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November 09, 2012
I hear so much crap on raising taxes on the rich. So what...raising taxes on the rich is a drop in the bucket to our national deficit and the rich don't care if you raise their taxes...only you care. I will tell you what is wrong with the Obama picture....person bought a $215,000 house short sale for $130,000. House needs $50-$60 thousand maintenance. Person is unwed with 3 children under 5, receives child support, but baby daddy lives there under cover so his income is not included in government handouts. Baby mama makes a halfway decent income of $41,000 including child support, but qualified by $1,000 for FREE formula, MILK, CEREAL, etc. until children reach AGE 5, all the while running down a neighborhood that used to retail at over $200,000 and now is lucky to get just over $100,000. All three children were "accidents" by the way, even though government funds will pay Baby mama for free birth control. Oh, well, ramp up my taxes to pay for baby number four (actually baby number five--one was miscarried).
anonymous
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November 16, 2012
Here's a scenario in west Cobb: neighborhood once sold at over $500,000. People wouldn't sell due to falling prices, moves to NJ where they apply for their home to become Section 8 territory, a guaranteed check from the feds every month. Three or four families of single moms w/teens moves in (section 8 vouchers are transferable)and surrounding area sees drug deals, sex on the playground, items stolen at pool. House gets vandalized due to scummy "friends" of "renters" with red spray paint in four foot high letters: "FU2" and we must explain to our children why they can't walk by and nothing the HOA can do about it. We saved and worked our entire lives to find this neighborhood and have our dream home, and this is down the street. Thanks Obamaworld. Just thanks.
Maatf
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November 08, 2012
"Campaigning on a platform to reduce taxes may no longer be effective. While Reagan was a master at convincing people that such a program would lift all boats..."

But, you see, it didn't "lift all boats." What we see is a huge income disparity that grew over time with growth in income and wealth increasingly concentrated in the upper 10%. Cutting those taxes all those years did not "lift all boats." We saw well-paying manufacturing jobs increasingly moved overseas while lower paying service jobs replaced them. That is the first problem with the Republican message.

The second is this. I know a lot of Republican women who are increasingly agitated at what Republicans are doing in this state and nationally that affect women's health. The Issa Committe meetings and the Blount Amendment were horrors. It is important to include contraceptives in health insurance, even that of Catholic affiliated organizations, and it is important that abortions remain legal. (No one likes abortion or wants abortion, but the decision is not one that should involve the government.) There is also an upset over lack of support by Republicans for bills that protect women against violence and for promoting equal pay for women.

Women are adding it all up and are seeing decades of progress being taken away. If Republicans don't address that growing gap with women voters, they can't win elections.

Samuel Adams' wife
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November 16, 2012
Quit with the phony war on women. It's insulting. Women are not helped by the Obamaeconomy, they are hurt by it. Women are having to work when their husbands get laid off, women are having to deal with inflating grocery prices, losing their homes, and will soon make do with the horrors of Obamacare and higher taxes on their families.

We don't want to be controlled by the government, and we don't want to pay for other people's entitlements. I don't want my hard working children paying for some other kids' baby. My oldest daughter has three jobs and is finally understanding that when she leaves her apartment for work in the morning, the same neighbors are sitting on their balcony smoking and are there when she gets home and there when she leaves for her second job. "They were Obama voters Mom, I just know it." She was probably right.
Connie Mack Jr
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November 08, 2012
Breaking Republican News.. " The Ghost of former President Hebert Hoover appear at the meeting door and handed a note which was to be given to Matt.that said " Hey Man! How about telling those Pagan Demcrats to lay off me after 100 years and blaming me for the present collapse of America."
SG68
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November 08, 2012
Why is the Chamber pretending to be concerned about the future of the Republican Party?

Based on their recent positions regarding support of Obama Democrats (i.e. Doug Stoner) and supporting and advocating every tax increase or chance to impose new taxes on the Cobb County taxpayers (i.e. SPLOSt/TSPLOST sales tax increases, property tax increases, etc.) they are the epitomy of the disingenuous group known as RINO's.

Timus
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November 08, 2012
Lets be frank. To say Republicans need to reach out to Latinos is only half the problem. The other half is that there are a lot of racist in the Republican party. Not all Republican's are racist but ALL racist are Republicans. The non-racist Republicans need to boot those racist or at least let them know that won't be tolerated by the party. How can any minority joion a party where there are so many people that hate you because of your race? And those that don't hate you have nothing to say about those that do! To quote Dr. King: "In the end it's not the words of your enemies you remember but the silence of your friends!"
@Timus
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November 08, 2012
You left any credibility at the door. You may want to read some of the Dems/Hispanic remarks on immigration. Try this:

EL PLAN DE AZTLAN

El Plan Espiritual de Aztlan

In the spirit of a new people that is conscious not only of its proud historical heritage but also of the brutal "gringo" invasion of our territories, we, the Chicano inhabitants and civilizers of the northern land of Aztlan from whence came our forefathers, reclaiming the land of their birth and consecrating the determination of our people of the sun, declare that the call of our blood is our power, our responsibility, and our inevitable destiny.

We are free and sovereign to determine those tasks which are justly called for by our house, our land, the sweat of our brows, and by our hearts. Aztlan belongs to those who plant the seeds, water the fields, and gather the crops and not to the foreign Europeans. We do not recognize capricious frontiers on the bronze continent

Brotherhood unites us, and love for our brothers makes us a people whose time has come and who struggles against the foreigner gabachowho exploits our riches and destroys our culture. With our heart in our hands and our hands in the soil, we declare the independence of our mestizo nation. We are a bronze people with a bronze culture. Before the world, before all of North America, before all our brothers in the bronze continent, we are a nation, we are a union of free pueblos, we are Aztlan.

Por La Raza todo. Fuera de La Raza nada.

Mad Mom
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November 08, 2012
Wow - Timus. Hate to tell you this but saying ALL racists are Republicans is pretty short sighted. My white daughter went to a high school where she was the minority - the high school was 90% AA and Hispanic. The kids told her that they "wouldn't shop in a grocery store during the day because there were too many white people there." Our family was definitely not embraced by the school population either. I joined the PTA but was never talked to or included when I would show up to help at events - which didn't bother me too much. I wasn't there for me - I was there for my child and her school. So - just know that racism is not a political party. And yes - I am a Republican.
JR in Mableton
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November 08, 2012
The Republicans have done a fabulous job branding themselves as the party for white men. Do the math!! It doesn't win elections. When is everyone going to wake up and realize the Hannity, Boortz, Rush, et al are entertainers?? They are no more qualified than the hot blondes on Fox News or the drunk Dianne Sawyer to discuss to issues.
Old Cobb resident
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November 08, 2012
Matt Towery is smarter than most Georgia voters. Unfortunately a lot of Georgians are not that smart. They just talk about ME and or MITT.
Old Cobb reside
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November 08, 2012


Good old Matt is smarter than you.
Smyrna Guy
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November 08, 2012
Social issues did not doom the Republican Party. What elected Obama was turnout of his followers who were voting more for him than democratic ideas.

It wasn't so much democratic ideals or the Republicans would have lost the House of Reps and would not have increased in the number of republican governors.

Republicans are right in their beliefs. They need to start now communicating their ideals with hispanics and blacks. They also need a strong effort to define their ideals instead of letting the media spin them.

I have never took much of what Towery says to heart. He basically toes the moderate line to keep getting TV air time.
Lib in Cobb
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November 08, 2012
Smyrna: What caused the loss of the GOP was their inability to reach the current American base of voters. The GOP is out of touch with that base and has done very little to reach, African Americans, Latinos, women, the poor, the elderly, the sick, the middle class, the list is endless, in fact they did everything they could to alienate the base. So let's put the blame where the blame is due. Would you really expect the GOP to gain the Latino vote when the GOP is endorsing full and complete deportation? Would you expect the GOP to gain the female vote after the Republican endorsed war on women? The GOP does not understand the base and it will take years of re-branding to get that base back. Ronald Reagan is dead and the texture of America has changed for the good, the GOP has yet to embrace that change, in fact, they are fighting it. The GOP has become woefully inadequate in its representation of the American base.

That's is why your guy lost.
vgregory
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November 08, 2012
Politics is the only area where you turn to the losers to ask them how they lost. If they could figure out what they were doing wrong, they wouldn't have lost. Did Towery actually say to ditch Reagan, the last Repub that was broadly popular and successful? Why didn't he say we should ditch Bush/McCain and Romney type Repubs, who are unpopular. That type candidate is so unpopular that he can't even beat a guy who hates America, hates success and has crippled the greatest economic engine ever known.
Towery B Wrong
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November 08, 2012
Towery is symptomatic of the problem in the Republican Party! One need not move to the far right to stand firmly for some very basic conservative principals!

I don't recall Mitt (who was promoted by the so-called moderates of the party, btw) introducing anything about social issues. He just didn't do a good job of responding to them and re-directing to the issue of greatest importance at the moment, the economy!

Hispanics, btw, are among the MOST conservative people in the nation! They truly value their families and faith. Republicans SHOULD reach out to them on that basis and make as a prime focus making the immigration process easier!

Frankly, Mr Towery's mindset screwed us up in 2008 by giving us Milktoast McCain. The Republican party failed to energize the base about Romney, resulting in an even lower turn out this go round.

Repubs, create a pro-business, pro-employee, pro-legal-immigrant platform standing for creating opportunity for all, then focus on turning out your base! It worked for Reagan because it was genuine. People like Towery just aren't.
4betterpress
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November 08, 2012
It was hard to even get support for Romney when the media was supporting Obama and cover-up everything they could about him and focusing on the negative against Romney.

The fact the the Obama administration let 4 Americans die in Libya (the last 2 were killed 7 hours later)then they lied and covered it up! The media should have NEVER let them get away with it!!!

I just pray we still exist after Obama gets through.

SHAME ON YOU, the MEDIA!!!!
Samuel Adams
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November 16, 2012
I call it the Bagdhad Bobification of the American press.

Maybe Obama hired him as part of the Muslim outreach so important to this White House.
I16
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November 08, 2012
Matt Towery, would like to have another Jimmy Carter.



david uhl
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November 08, 2012
If this election did not wake up the conservative republicans (old school thinking) in Georgia I do not know what will.
VFP42
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November 08, 2012
Towery is right.

The Republican platform grossly contradicts itself, so you can hardly take them seriously.

Only those who get thumped on the head regularly can buy into Republicanism: Smaller Government, except of course for all these "social issues" which require Way Bigger And Intrusive Government.

Also, the Republicans should stop with their "Givers" and "Takers" diatribe. Most everyone is well aware that the federal dollar flow goes FROM Blue TO Red: Blue gives money, Red takes it.

It's time for the Republicans to reinvent themselves. If they keep on keeping on, they won't even be able to win the Old Condeferacy much longer. They will have to change names from the Republican Party to Flyover Party.

Good luck fellas. Michelle absolutely is going to beat you in 2016 unless you dump your religious, well, Christian zealotry, misogyny and white supremacy subtext (which,, yes, all describes you to a Tea, no matter what your Tmedia tells you).
Justasecond
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November 08, 2012
Listen, the reason a lot of federal dollars flow to red states is that many red states have federal installations - usually military - which account for many of those federal dollars. In Georgia alone the feds have to spend money for: Ft. Benning, Ft. Gordon, Ft. Stewart, Dobbins AFB, Robins AFB, the Marine Corps Logistics Base, and Kings Bay. Add to that the CDC in Atlanta, as well as Kennesaw Mt. Battlefied Park, Chickamauga, Ocmulgee Mounds, MLK Historic park, etc. The military assets in Georgia alone are enough to account for so much federal money coming here.
Al in Marietta
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November 08, 2012
Every time the Republicans lose an election the blame gets put on the social issues and the Tea Party. Did everyone forget 2010? Our only problem is the historic characteristic of President Obama and his coattails. Without him next time, after he has driven this country even further into ruin, the Republicans will once again assume power if they elect a CONSERVATIVE candidate. They did not have this with either McCain or Romney. Yes we need to become more inclusive with Hispanics, women, and young adults. I challenge anyone who says the reason we lose Latinos is soley because of the immigration issue. This is just false. And if we are going to give up on the abortion issue or the marriage issue, why bother to vote Republican? Wha will differentiate us from fiscally conservative Democrats. No, these issues are merely scapegoats because the current people in power are not able to sell their version of "Republican Lite".
NoWarOnWomen
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November 08, 2012
If you remove African American women from the stats (because they identified mostly with their race rather than women's issues), Dems and Repubs got the SAME percentage of the womens' vote.

Aim for streamlining immigration, without creating amnesty! The existing process has been made a bureaucratic mess, motivating people to bypass it!

What if a streamlined single page form could be created that required two domestic sponsors (eg - an employer and a creditor such as a utility), background check, etc., and allowed a two-year window for illegals to apply? After two years, you are either accepted in or processed for deportation.
Social Moderate
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November 08, 2012
I am a social moderate, fiscal conservative. I am waiting for a candidate that speaks to my needs. The Republican party has a major image problem. Elitist, racist, sexist, and out of touch are a few adjectives that come to mind. This election proved that you can have virtually all the white vote and still lose. Wealthy Republicans have done a fantastic job convincing poor whites that they have the same tax issues. The fact that the 47% that Romney derided still voted for him in mass speaks volumes of how delusional people are (analyze the poverty levels in red states). Mitt Romney never presented an economic plan or explained how he would eradicate the deficit. He bashed Obamacare, but had the same plan in Mass.

The Republican Party cannot survive as a bastion for disgruntled white men! The Party of "No" has been told no. Let's start working together so that we can make this country great again. A house divided always falls.
Middle-Ground
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November 08, 2012
We must meet in the middle. The "art" of congressional statesmanship has died in DC and without it we will never solve our problems. Republicans and Democrats have forgotten WE are Americans first!!!! This zealot worship of party labels is destroying the "US"A.

to @Social Moderate...Amen!

Timus
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November 08, 2012
Well said!! Unfortunately I don't think the Republican party is going to learn anything from this. And the day they will admit to having racist and sexist among their ranks is that day that I will eat every hat that I own! I couldn't sleep last night and while flipping through channels I stopped on Hannity. He had the nerve to blame Romney's lost on Obama's dirty politics. Obama just out Romenied Romney!! They knew by the way Karl Rove and Romeny destroyed Newt Gingrich in SC that they had to beat Romeny at his own game. Hannity still singing the same silly song that half of American's want a welfare state just because they don't want to be in a party full of racist, sexist white guys who want the world to look like 1952.
Samuel Adams
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November 16, 2012
I'm a social moderate as well, but I would rather align myself with the Party of Reagan and Lincoln than with the Alinsky worshipping, deny God three times, communist loving, entitlement grubbing Democrats.

Romney presented at least as much of his plan as did Obama, who has none. Obama ran on negative advertising, and my question is, we are told people hate that and want unity, yet Obama won on that. Can anyone explain why?

No, Obama won strictly on race, because they cheated in key precincts down to the county level and because they suppressed the military vote. Dems follow the Al Capone-Saul Alinsky model, and the Cobb Chamber is learning to do so as well.
Lib in Cobb
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November 08, 2012
"a little bit of a set back", according to Scott Sweeney. A huge under-statement.

The GOP has had their head in the sand regarding the American voter base for years. The base has changed for the good. The GOP has failed to embrace that change and they want to hold onto the idea that we are a white/Christian nation only. That is why the GOP lost this election and the one before that.

It is going to take years for the GOP to re-brand themselves and if they stopped listenting to these knumbskulls like Rush and O'Rielly and DA King, they would be better off, much better off.

Many in the GOP are political dinosaurs such as Paul Ryan, Newt Gingrich, Todd Akin, Scott Brown, Richard Mourdock, Allen West, Mitt Romney and we all know what happened to the dinosaurs.

To those who prayed for the right man to win the presidential contest, thank you, the right man won.
ImagineNoLiberals
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November 08, 2012
Lib,

Don't you have a job--always on the computer lately with your canned talking points from the National Democrat party.

Sure, spare me those hypocritical crocodile tears--you don't give a d--- about the Republican party! What you want is an milquetoast me-too echo so that you can preen about the new society you imagine that you have created.

Save your breath. We are not giving up--no matter how you engage in bullying or what losers (real losers like Towery--why did he lose his representive seat, pray tell?) say at the Chamber.

And, say Lib--your side won--isn't that enough? What personal failing compels people like you to emerge as chest-pounding snarks? Remember, lib, pride goeth before a fall.
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