Are Social Cons Still Relevant in the GOP?

On day two of the 2012 Republican National Convention, Senator Rick Santorum gave one of the keynote speeches.

Reason TV was on the scene, interviewing Republican delegates about social conservatism and whether it still has a place in the heart of the Grand Old Party.

"The people that want to relegate the social issues into the back room and out of sight, they're a very, very tiny minority," says Kendal Unruh, former director of the Colorado Christian Coalition.

But the majority of the participants interviewed felt that economic concerns far outweigh social issues like abortion, gay marriage and immigration.

"If it were going to be about social conservatism, Rick Santorum would be our candidate," says Camille McWhirter, founder of Conventions Prayer Coverage, which offers round the clock prayer service to RNC attendees.

About 2:40 minutes.

Produced by Zach Weissmueller and Tracy Oppenheimer.

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  • Fist of Etiquette||

    I'm sure that first lady meant that she can't support any "legal" marriage when she wants government out of our lives. NO contradiction.

  • ||

    Cognitive dissonance? What's that?

  • Mensan||

    You can't have cognitive dissonance without cognition.

  • ant1sthenes||

    Libertarians and tea partiers aren't. If so cons aren't, who the hell is left?

  • ||

    Old people with lots of time on their hands who just want their kids to call.

  • Joe R.||

    Defense hawks.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Easy. State-loving socialists who hate individuals and love war. Wait, is that the Democrats? I have such troubling telling them apart.

  • BarryD||

    Ignoring principle altogether, that just seems like really bad politics, doesn't it?

    I mean, what candidate as "anti-charismatic" as I believe Matt Welch puts it, as Ron Paul, gets such a strong grass-roots following? Such a large group of people so committed, who make hand-painted signs and show up everywhere?

    And what movement has brought out numbers, again, of volunteers, like the Tea Party?

    Throwing these two groups under the bus, to embrace a group that hasn't been anything beyond "fringe" since the 1980s, seems monumentally STUPID. (And it's dubious the SoCons were nearly as much of a force even in the '80s as they claimed.)

  • ||

    And it's dubious the SoCons were nearly as much of a force even in the '80s as they claimed.

    I think their crowning achievement is the is the defense of marriage act...which is pretty much ignored by the states.

    What does that the Defense of Marriage act even do?

    I think their power is derived as a filter to keep out candidates that don't speak nice to the issues...SoCons don't seem to care if the candidates don't get anything done in regards to their issues.

    really only thing they do is play gatekeeper into the Republican party.

  • Shmurphy||

    It appears that they are all that's left within the GOP.

  • BarryD||

    If the RNC has its way, yeah.

    It's hard to imagine the RNC being as stupid as what we've been seeing. They've dug up about the only reason that a majority of Americans would vote for Obama again, and made it the most visible part of their platform.

    This should have been the easiest election since 1980, for the GOP. IIRC they tried to shove Reagan out, too, back then.

  • arhooley||

    I don't know if the RNC is making That Issue the most visible part of their platform; probably the MSM is.

  • SugarFree||

    Yes, or they wouldn't pander to their anti-liberty cockshit as much as they do. So-cons are the base of the GOP--a semi-cynically exploited base to be sure, but the tail wags the dog far to often for it not the be the case.

  • Marshall Gill||

    anti-liberty cockshit

    Channel it. Focus it. You do not need hate-boner meds, the depravity has been inside you the whole time.


  • Mr. FIFY||

    + infinite internets for "cockshit".

  • Paleo-ConAvenger||

    The LP needs to really reach out to the Tea Party and fiscal conservatives if we stand a chance of forming a vibrant 3rd party next time around. Vote GOP for House and Senate if they are McCain types while we create a coalition party of conservatives and libertarians.

    Ive been a young republican for years, but yesterday was a real eye opener. The Talk Radio conservatives are pissed and have vowed they would form a "T.E.A Party" after this election. The opportunity is there for the taking. We could create a great coalition party if we would tone down a tad on social stuff.

  • The Hammer||

    If "we" would tone down a tad on the social stuff?

  • ||

    There will be no coalition with statists. Fuck them.

  • arhooley||

    Then take them over. Vote in anti-statists at the local level (like Carl DeMaio as San Diego mayor) and keep elevating them to state and eventually national levels.

  • Andrew S.||

    The old drop the social stuff and form a coalition with the GOP canard. That calls for a drink, doesn't it?

  • Pro Libertate||

    I'd be okay with this: Tell them they can urge free individuals to live whatever lifestyle they choose, but they can't use government to force them to do that, except in certain very limited ways (e.g., laws against murder). And free markets.

    If they can accept that, then groovy. Otherwise, piss off.

  • Andrew S.||

    And given that there's a better chance of me winning the Powerball after being struck by lightning on a blue moon than that happening...

  • Pro Libertate||

    Right. But let's get it out in the open--the difference of opinion can't be carved into social versus economic issues. It's state versus anti-state. Either you want freedom--and its consequences, not all of which are good--or you don't.

    Who is with us?

  • T||

    Apparently no one. Which means if we get a couple of kegs, we can all get really drunk since no one else will show up.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Well, we should be used to that by now.

  • Andrew S.||

    If nobody else is showing up, can we at least get some good beer? Or bourbon?

  • T||

    And thus begins the endless spiral into madness that would be this bunch of beer drinkers trying to decide on a keg. We'll do more ballots than an LP convention, easy.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Bourbon it is. Single barrel?

  • Fellate D. State||

    Victory Gin!

  • EDG reppin' LBC||

    Fuck that shit! We're drinking Jim Beam, college boy!

  • Pi Guy||

    More beer for us.

  • BakedPenguin||

    Ron Paul is a social conservative. He just respects the constitution enough not to want to force his views on others. If the so-cons were more like him, no problem

  • Pro Libertate||

    Exactly. Heck, I personally have some of those same traditional, conservative values. But I don't want to impose them on others. I think Paul generally feels the same way.

  • BarryD||

    To some people, I may seem to live a conservative lifestyle, and to others, I may seem "liberal". Ironically, it might be "liberals" who see me as more liberal than themselves in some areas.

    The point is, I DON'T WANT TO TELL YOU WHAT TO DO.

    Now by that standard, I am not sure that Democrats are, on the whole, any less "SoCon" than Republicans. Each party picks different issues. But a party that tepidly sort of kind of supports gay marriage as long as they don't have to DO anything about it, while wanting to tell me what foods I am allowed to buy, and take away reasonable means of self-defense to protect me from myself, is hardly any more "liberal" in the classical sense, than a party that wants marriage laws to stay the same, ban Internet gambling, and restrict porn -- while both of them are gung ho to throw people in prison for smoking weed.

  • ||

    Vote GOP for House and Senate if they are McCain types

    What the fuck is this?

  • Paleo-ConAvenger||


  • Raston Bot||

    but then we risk alienating people who want to control other peoples' lives. and that's like 95% of the electorate.

  • Pro Libertate||

    Freedom has consequences. But non-freedom is much, much worse, and it means fewer goodies.

  • BarryD||

    Every day I pray that it's only 95%.

  • Paleo-ConAvenger||

    My apologies about the typo

    Vote for GOP House and Senate candidates if they AREN'T McCain types

  • KalkiDas||

    I'm game. Tired of looking the other way when it comes to the neocons and theocons. I'm really done with the republicans. I will vote for them at a local level, and even congress (Charlie Bass is a RINO blah) to split the government and make Obama as much of a lame duck as possible. However, really, really done with them.

  • Chris Mallory||

    The So Cons were never anything but useful dupes to the establishment. The party would mouth a few platitudes then ignore every thing they said once they were voted in.

  • ||

    If you feel like barfing check out Obama's IAmA.

  • ||

  • sticks||

    Doesn't work. Copy/paste any nuggets?

  • ||

    Link works for me and no, I've given up already.

  • The Gobbler||

    [–]Drunken_Economist[M] 1762 points 58 minutes ago*
    The moderators and admins have confirmed this thread; this is actually President Obama.
    Edit: and he's confirmed via twitter
    [–]TheAtomicPlayboy 1120 points 56 minutes ago
    Welcome to Reddit, Mr. President.
    [–]DirectCharge 844 points 48 minutes ago
    [–]mimicthefrench 25 points 39 minutes ago
    Not really, let's be real here.
    Although it's funny to imagine President Obama sitting in the oval office giggling and looking at photos of cats.

    I would like to meet mimicthefrench

  • ||

    Notice how he skips two drug war questions when he is answering almost every question.

  • Andrew S.||

    I'm stunned. He's answering softball and fawning questions and ignoring real issues and anything that dares to be critical. I never would've expected that!

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    Like Fox News springs on GOP candidates.

  • The Gobbler||

    fap, fap, fap, fap, fap, fap, fap, fap, fap, fap, fap, fap, fap, fap, fap...

  • ||

    Even more stunning the /r/politics crowd are fellating him and circlejerking each other.

  • Lord Humungus||

    der - da president, der.

  • Fist of Etiquette||

    Reddit pot smokers, tally-ho!

  • ||

    He's long gone.

  • ||

    This is the most nauseating bit.

    [–]karlfranks 343 points 1 hour ago
    Who's your favourite Basketball player?
    [–]PresidentObamaObama[S] 1090 points 1 hour ago
    Jordan - I'm a Bulls guy.
    [–]ivanvzm 469 points 1 hour ago*
    damn right you are
    edit: ...sir.
  • ||

    I do appreciate the people correcting his his staffer's grammar.

  • Raston Bot||

    So no PM links?

  • The Gobbler||

    That semi-starvation diet that was supposed to make you live longer — based on monkey experiments?
    After 25 years, the results are in: The starved monkeys didn't live any longer than the unstarved monkeys. Cancer, heart disease — again, no difference. So if you've been straining toward semi-immortality by counting grains of brown rice or whatever... have a sandwich and a good cry.

  • T||

    Well, I presume you've been gobbling along anyway. Way to stick with your principles!

    I always figured that was bullshit simply because of thermo. The mechanism doesn't run well if you deprive it of fuel.

  • Rich||

    So no PM links?

    Are PM Links still relevant in the H&R party?

  • Palin's Buttplug||

    This is why 98% of Republicans hate libertarians. 98% of the GOP are SoCon.

    Jim DickMint says you must be a SoCon first and to be a FinCon.

  • Pro Libertate||

    You say the most absurd things.

  • Palin's Buttplug||

  • Pro Libertate||

    I meant the first sentence. 98% of Republicans are social conservatives? For either party, I'd question just about any statement that broad, other than maybe "98% are Homo sapiens sapiens." Maybe.

  • BarryD||

    If the RNC has its way, though, it will be true real soon.

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's not that they want all social conservatives. Rather, they want all of the libertarians rounded up and sent to France.

  • ||

    Maybe the free staters should have chosen France.

  • cavalier973||

    France has 65 million people; it would be almost as hard taking over the country there as it would be taking over the GOP.

    In my opinion, the Falkland Islands present a much better opportunity to set up a libertarian/anarcho-austrian land. Population: 3,100

  • ||

    What about Canada? It's closer.

  • KalkiDas||

    Tony's Shrikeplug,

    What are you even doing here? I mean, why bother? What is your purpose in life? Why don't you go to the puffington host and circle jerk others about how much you love Obama, how he made you a compulsory, guaranteed customer of the evil insurance companies or how he made it possible to indefinitely detain you, or using drones to kill american citizens, or sell guns to drug gangs in Mexico, etc.

    Better yet, go over to the Blaze or some other idiot site where you can match their wits, argue with your political cousins, the progressive neocons.

  • ||

    If there are no PM links, then I'll post my choice bit of Salon idiocy here. “Lawless” and the GOP’s fever dream of the past

    Best bit:

    In the real Franklin County and many other places like it, the New Deal brought electrification, indoor plumbing and a hand up out of poverty for the region’s post-bootlegging population – and for ironic and tormented reasons, the descendants of that redeemed generation now vote for candidates who would eagerly take all that stuff back if they could.
  • BarryD||

    How does Tracy keep smiling? She and Zach deserve Purple Hearts for taking all that shrapnel in their ears, while fighting on.

  • Mensan||

    I have been a small l libertarian for some time. I've usually been registered as No Party Affiliation, but have regularly registered as a R or a D to vote in Florida's closed primaries. Because the GOP has made it very clear that they are vehemently opposed to liberty over the last two days of the RNC, I today officially became a big L Libertarian. I don't know if anybody tracks which party people switch to, so just in case, I wanted to go directly from Republican to Libertarian without stopping at NPA in between.

  • The Bearded Hobbit||

    My new email sig: "As long as the Republicans hold Social Conservatism over Fiscal Conservatism then they are indistinguishable from the Democrats; authoritarians who can't do arithmetic."

    ... Hobbit

  • Sanjuro Tsubaki||

    Dumb question. The real question is, how can libertarians explain their politics in terms that aren't threatening, much less openly hostile, to social conservatives?

  • Pro Libertate||

    It's either some uncomfortable freedoms or food lines.

  • cavalier973||

    Tell them that they are a bunch of morons for believing in the invisible sky daddy, and that they hate women and minorities, and are neo-nazis to boot.

    That's what convinced me.

  • Brian from Texas||

    I think SoCons and the Christian Right will continue to be a 'loud voice' in the internal politics of the GOP. I don't believe they will ever again dominate the GOP like they have in the past but that particulay wing of the party will remain for quite a few more years. Despite the treatment the Ron Paul delegates received at the Convention I believe the Libertarian and Constitutional Conservative factions will grow.

  • Skip||

    The Prayer Room at the DNC is just a cardboard cutout of Obama.

  • Francisco||

    But the majority of the participants interviewed felt that economic concerns far outweigh social issues like abortion, gay marriage and immigration.

  • kodyonthekeys||

    Watching that lady pull brain-muscles, attempting to justify her contradictory beliefs, was incredible. It felt like a Daily Show interview, but without the humor used to quell the disconcerting reality that my vote counts just as much as her vote. Way to hold her feet to the fire. Wonderful job.

  • Pi Guy||

    I have been a small l libertarian for some time. I've usually been registered as No Party Affiliation, but have regularly registered as a R or a D to vote in Florida's closed primaries...

    Same here only in MD. But the future Mrs. Pi's all in on Big "L" Libertarian and I'm thinking that, after this election, I'm going Big "L" as well.

    BTW: voting GJ in Nov.

  • Anomalous||

    Wow. Carrie's mom lives!

  • MattLewis||

    The interviews did not support the suggested conclusion. In an election where votes will largely be cast because of fiscal/economic issues, as a matter of election strategy those are the most important issues. That is what I hear these folks saying. I don't believe for one second that if the social conservative support was withdrawn from the GOP candidate he would lose.

    You also should have let the lady finish her point about government intrusion and no homosexual marriage. There are two conservative ways to answer: (1) No federal court should intervene as this is an exclusively state issue and (2) how can there by government intrusion where the question is whether a certain government benefit is extended or not to a group? You are already in the sphere of government action. Finally, the true conservative's response is this: Some things government must protect, otherwise there is anarchy. Those primarily are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness, but implicit in those is the protection of the traditional family which alone is the foundation for a healthy society.

  • Ardelle||

    where the banking system looked like it could fail, and was intended to arrest the freefall. Even if you believe global warming is a crisis, Solyndra wouldn't really do shit to impact it.

  • Homple||

    "Are Social Cons Still Relevant in the GOP?"

    In the sense that they didn't pitch a vanity fit and stomp out of the convention and will work hard for the election of the Republican ticket, yes they are relevant.

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