Tuesday, February 01, 2005


The Moose will be watching carefully how W. addresses two dicey issues for the GOP tomorrow night.

As the Moose has pointed out previously, although the Republicans appear invincible, tensions lie right below the surface. The big spenders vs. the deficit hawks, neo-cons vs. the foreign policy realists, social moderates vs. the religious right and open borders types vs. restrictionists are the primary divisions. Of course, any large coalition party possess tensions within the ranks - the Democrats have their own family disputes.

In many ways, however, the divisions are more significant for the party in power. There is far more pressure for that party to deliver for their constituent groups. Since the initial interpretation of the election had it that "social values" issues were decisive in the outcome, the religious right has been sitting in the catbird seat. However, of late, they have been miffed that the President might be backing away from pushing the gay marriage ban. Look for whether the issue is even mentioned in the State of the Union address and how much attention it will receive. Here is an educated guess - if it is mentioned, the money issues will overshadow the concerns of the social conservatives

The Moose is always looking out for his righteous brethren!

The other issue that the Moose will keep an eye out for is immigration reform. Immigration is to the Republicans what trade is to the Democrats - it splits the party right down the middle. Nothing fires up the talk show right than this issue - they are on the side the restrictionists. In reaching out to the Latino community, the President has taken a more progressive approach on immigration reform, but has failed to move legislation. Will he make it a priority and take on the restrictionist right?

The Moose will be watching whether the President is in touch with his inner compassionate conservative or whether he will cave to the xenophobes.
-- Posted at 8:18 AM | Link to this post | Email this post