Secretive conservative meeting set for next week

October 30, 2008

DALLAS – A leading social conservative, who asked not to be named, has confirmed reports in Politico and The New York Times that major players in the movement plan to meet in Virginia next week after Tuesday’s presidential election between Democrat Barack Obama and Republican John McCain.

Their mission will be  to chart the next course for their movement and the Republican Party.

If McCain and his running mate Sarah Palin – the rising star with this set — pull off an upset win, they will be in a jubilant mood. But the meeting seems more premised on the scenario of a McCain loss, which most opinion polls suggest at this point.

“There is a consensus that the Republican Party is in trouble,” said the source, who plans to attend the meeting.

“I think there will be a number of meetings after next Tuesday among social conservatives,” the source said, adding they would be aimed at reigniting the movement and keeping its agenda high in Republican circles.

Religious and social conservatives are a key base of support for the Republican Party who enthusiastically backed President George W. Bush but they have been frustrated in this election cycle.

During the primary elections, they could not rally behind any one candidate. When McCain finally clinched the Republican nomination, many were aghast because of his departure from social conservative orthodoxy on many issues such as stem cell research, immigration and campaign finance reform.

They have been galvanized by Palin, who has brought God and guns firmly onto the ticket. The financial crisis has riveted voter attention on economic woes — although for a core set of activists, evangelicals and conservative Catholics, issues like opposition to abortion rights and gay marriage remain paramount.

The meeting in Virginia next week also seems to be aimed at re-energizing the grassroots of the social conservative movement ahead of the 2010 congressional elections and the 2012 White House race.

Click here for more Reuters 2008 campaign coverage 

22 comments

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I expect the Republican party to lose this election because the party has lost its soul. I don’t know how it derailed in such a big way, but it did. Even as I hold my nose in voting for McCain this time around, I am seriously considering my 3rd party options for 2012 — whether or not it means I will be “throwing my vote away.” Enough is enough. Even if our national candidates can’t seem to get their principles straight, at least I can. No more “lessor of two evils” for me.

Posted by cbuck | Report as abusive

There is a fascist undertone to this endeavor. The Dark Ages meet the Cultural Revolution. A putsch of power-hungry egomaniacs plotting a revolution around their charismatic figurehead. The Republican Party, the party of Lincoln, is dead.

Posted by Republican Purge | Report as abusive

The GOP got into trouble after in started winning under Gingrich. The GOP has become a party concerned more about winning elections at any cost by taking support from extremist fringe groups, and the lack of morals has contributed to the corruption. The GOP is no longer worthy as a minority party to keep the Democrats honest, since the GOP has become too divisive, political, and incompetent. The GOP needs to rebuild by promoting intelligent competent moderate candidates, instead of the incompetent Bible-thumping divisive candidates like Palin.

Posted by Rodney Lamprey | Report as abusive

The Republicans need to realize that the majority of Americans want religion out of their politics. Shaping the laws by the judges they select, instilling religious views in public education and the like is partially why our country was founded. Separation of church and state…the conservatives have this cloak & dagger secrecy that is not trustworthy and above all, un American. This nation is not merely a “Christian” nation and to purport that notion across the board is disgusting.
Again, separation of church & state. Enough!Pro life yet pro death penalty, pro guns, pro life yet no stem cell support (no, not the adult stem cells) pro life yet the worst record of environmental policies, pro life yet the worst record on child health care….who are they really for? God would be appalled.

Posted by heather | Report as abusive

If the Republicans return to moderate and conservative ideals and regurgitate a third party that is solely for the religious right who seem to crave political influence–then they’re on the right track. I personally believe that religion and politics do not mix. Morality is not religion. And the religious right does not appear to recognize anyone else’s religion that is not a Christian. I was to understand that the United States of America was founded on religious freedom! A third party for religious Dobsonites would be a good indicator of what percentage of the population really believe Christianity and politics should tie up. But let the Republicans return to their previous ideologies of less government, fewer taxes, and hoorah to the rich!

Posted by Lisa Bryant | Report as abusive

To all my Republican friends who are disheartened by their party’s choice of candidate: Welcome to my 2004. And 2000, and 1986, and…

Posted by Pat McGroin | Report as abusive

To Pat McGroin,

You meant 1988, not 1986, right?

I so agree with Lisa Bryant. The only thing one must remember, though, that is the Christian right doesn’t just dislike anyone whose religion isn’t Christian, it’s anyone whose religion isn’t THEIR brand of Christian. Remember, Obama IS Christian, but these bozos want him tarred and feathered (I’m being facetious, they really want him in a worse condition than that).

I tell you, if they amended the constitution to allow foreign born, naturalized US citizens to be elected president, I’d vote for Arnold Schwarzenegger any day.

Posted by Mitch | Report as abusive

How can Republicans misunderstand God so much? God and Guns! God created life, Republicans are against abortions, because all life is sacred. How then can they endorse guns in the same breath? Do you really think he who created life would want his followers to use a man made object whos sole purpose on this planet is to end life? To end what God created out of love? No wonder the Republicans or lost, they don’t even understand what their own God wants and expects of them. Do you really think Jesus would ever touch a Gun?

Posted by C.D.Walker | Report as abusive

Of course the GOP needs to regroup; their once mighty coalition peaked with Reagan. Bush reengineered it; but even with social conservatives, the wealthy and the neocon tribes, he still only managed 52% in 2004 (and lost the popular vote in 2000). But after 8 years of mismanagement, social conservatives (a very vocal 10% of the voters) feel estranged, neocons proven inept with the failure of the ‘projection of power’ theory, and the wealthy (5% of voters) unable to effect any vote by themselves. In essence, the coalition has failed at all levels; the simple fear message that has worked for so long (Dems = social degeneration, weak military, high taxes, big government) didn’t work being delivered by ‘the maverick’ McCain, with little track record of supporting any of those positions steadfastly. Previous smear tactics have failed. Remember the ‘code orange’ alerts every week before the 2004 election, and none since? No ‘swift boat’ attacks (McCain found them deplorable and spoke out against them in 2004); and recognizing Rev Wright would refute the current ‘Obama is a muslim’ misnomer. Lastly, they have one huge problem for 2012…who to run? They have to start grooming someone now to try and save the grand coalition in addition to rebuilding their grasroots efforts.

Posted by Mike | Report as abusive

The Republican party has truly lost its way over the last 8 years. They have spent outrageous amounts of money we did not have. President Bush never used his veto pen during the first 7 years in office. The republicans made the dem’s look frugal when it came to spending.

When the republicans worked against a true republican, Romney, and decided to have McAmnesty as their nominee I Knew it was the end of the republican party for this election and maybe for years to come. McAmnesty, Huckabee and the republican main players worked against Romney in the Carolina’s so now the will reap what they have sown, a huge loss in the elections nationwide.

I hope Romney is already planning for the 2012 Presidential bid. As for Sarah Palin, I would like to see her go back to Alsaska and leave us alone down here in the lower 48.

McAmensty should not run for re-elction to the senate in 2010. He should retire. He is a discrace to the republican party.

All this from a Republican that would never ever vote for any republican that would grant even one illegal amnesty. So guess what McAmnesty, you did not get my vote. You deserve to loose and you will to a really slimy slick liar that does not have America’s best interest in mind.

Posted by Steve | Report as abusive

I used to vote for Republicans when there were truly about limited government, balanced budgets, moderately conservative on social issues and restrained involvement over seas. I don’t know who they are now. I voted for Bob Barr because I couldn’t vote for either McCain or Obama. If enough people in this nation begin to vote their convictions, we could have a viable third party soon to give us real options out of the Democrat/Republican box. The power is truly with the people but we must vote based on conviction instead of choosing the lesser of two evils.

Posted by Tim | Report as abusive

I’ve been quietly predicting a GOP schism since 1994. Their Big Tent is now far too big; like a cell with too large a surface area, the GOP can’t sustain the fractious volume and is starting to collapse on itself. Perhaps not by 2012, but at least within the next 10-15 years, there will be a Moderate Party (closest to Lincoln/Eisenhower/Goldwater) and a Social Conservative Party (closest to the Falwells and Zell Millers and Robertsons). The fringe will now be galvanized, legitimized, and will perpetuate in-fighting in the current GOP, and will, with any luck, keep the Democratic party base solidified, more attractive, and in power.

Posted by td | Report as abusive

This election process has really been enlightening! The scriptures talk about “things done in the dark will come to light” The Evangelicals uphold the Republican party as if they are the standard bearers. I’m a pastor and have voted Republican in the last three elections. No more…It is time to model God’s love instead of talking so much about how you’re better than someone else. Every evangelical that’s reading this, I want you to search your conscience and really ask yourself if you believe: God is about speaking and stirring up hatred between people. You can vote however you like, but please stop the hypocrisy of this notion that because you’re a Christian you have to vote for this ticket! Jesus came to set the captives free and that we would no longer hate each other. When I look at the crowds at the McCain and Palin rallies, this doesn’t look reflective of the people that we have in this country, so ask yourself: Was this the mission Jesus walked the Earth for? I’m only speaking to the “Christians” who are using religion as the basis for their vote. Don’t give Christianity a bad name by having these two “hate’ moungers as your religous representatives. Sinners are watching and you are setting a BAD example!!

Posted by Linda | Report as abusive

ONE SIMPLE FACT, IF OBAMA IS ELECTED THE DEMOCRATIC PARTY IS LOST AS WE ONCE KNEW IT, LIKE WISE YOU CAN SAY ANYTHING YOU WANT ABOUT JOHN MC CAIN AND SARAH PALIN,BUT IF YOU GOOD REPUBLICANS WOULD HAVE CONTROLLED YOUR OWN PARTY MEMBERS IN CONGRESS WE WOULD NOT BE IN THE DELIMA WE ARE TODAY. THE GAYS, THE CORRUPTION AND ALL THE OTHER STUFF.

ALL OF YOU GOOD PARTY FAITHFULS ONLY HAVE YOURSELVE TO THANK FOR WHAT HAD HAPPENED.

Posted by CLEAN HOUSE | Report as abusive

The Republican Party is not dead as one poster ignorantly stated. I am in my early 40s, but I know people said the Republican Party was dead after Watergate. Didn’t happen, did it? Our elected officials, including President Bush (like his father) forgot why they were elected in the first place. Strict fiscal policy/ control spending, sticking to conservative small government values and making the country friendly for those who wish to succeed on their own without the government getting in the way. If McCain loses, yes, regrouping is necessary. If McCain wins, regrouping is still needed. For those of you who think the RNC is dead, it would do you good to go back and read up on the 1980 election. I predict 2012 will be another 1980. After the Obamessiah causes interest rates and inflation back into double digits and the homeland suffers several terrorist attacks without any reaction from Obama, people will be asking “why is this idiot president?”. The same question was asked and answered in 1980.

Posted by California conservative | Report as abusive

When you write “social and religious conservatives” you mean theocrats. We should start calling these people what they really are so that we can better understand what are the long term implications of what they propose for the United States.

A concerned American

The republicans aren’t losing because they weren’t moderate enough but because they strayed from their conservative principals. When we get back to the fundamental conservative ideaology, we will again be the party of Ragon.

Posted by bshep | Report as abusive

The old never like giving over power to the young. The Current republican leadership (even Sarah Palin) is the old way and their time has passed. They don’t seem to be ‘going gracefully…’ though and will do a lot of damage until such time as a new young conservative crowd takes over. Maybe then they will be respected again

Posted by Damien | Report as abusive

“republican purge” get a clue! if you’re going to accuse someone of facism understand it’s definition first. Facism is defined as Nationalism, including economic redistribution. As for the conservative wing of the party gathering after the election – so what? Democrats did it for 8 years after losing to “W” – I suppose that was some sort of friendly social gathering whereas when conservatives do it, there’s some sinister plot to overthrow the republic. Next I suppose you’ll claim that GW actually engineered the destruction of the twin towers to start a war – oh, I’m sorry I forgot that’s already been claimed.
Good Grief! Get over yourselves! Whichever party wins has an enormous job ahead, a crippled nation, wars on two fronts, a terrorist threat that contrary to the opinion of either party, is not going to EVER go away!
try showing a little “americanism” for a change and work to make this nation better – not divided.

Posted by rogerb | Report as abusive

WOW,
So many people afraid of christianity out there…score one for the real Marxists & Facists. Even if you are agnostic, the PRINCIPLES of christianity are a good and decent way to live. The left has no principles, and the right lost theirs when Reagan signed an amnesty bill and didn’t close the borders.
So with a crumby economy, how does the left justify free citizenship for 20 million illegals? Oh, I know, it’s to solidify their hold on third world status they crave to stay in power.

Posted by will hunter | Report as abusive

RON PAUL IN 2012!

Posted by Anthony | Report as abusive

If someone wants to get engaged with the conservative movement, how do you do that? I don’t think joining the Republican party is a good plan at this point.

Posted by Diane Lewis | Report as abusive