Sunday, June 26, 2005


This is from our local paper in Eugene. I think it's good enough to copy and post verbatim. I can certainly relate to how he feels only from the other side. I'm a Democrat, but that membership is on pretty thin ice right now.


The Party’s Over for Betrayed Republican

By James Chaney

As of today, after 25 years, I am no longer a Republican

I take this step with deep regret, and a deep sense of betrayal.

I still believe in the vast power of markets to inspire ideas, motivate solutions and eliminate waste. I still believe in international vigilance and a strong defense, because this world will always be home to people who will avidly seek to take or destroy what we have guilt as a nation. I still believe in the protection of individuals and business from the influence and expense of an over-involved government. I still believe in the hand-in-hand concepts of separation of church and state and absolute freedom to worship, in the rights of the states to govern themselves without undo federal interference, and in the host of other things that defined me as a Republican.

My problem is this: I believe in principles and ideals which my party has systematically discarded in the last 10 years.

My Republican Party was the party of Abraham Lincoln, Teddy Roosevelt, Dwight Eisenhower, Barry Goldwater, and George H. W. Bush. It was a party of honesty and accountability. It was a party of tolerance, and practicality and honor. It was a party that faced facts and dealt with reality, and that crafted common- sense solutions to problems based on the facts as they were, not as we wished them to be, or even worse, as we make them up. It was a party that told the truth, even when the truth came hard. And now, it is none of those things.

Fifty years from now, the Republican Party of this era will be judged by how we provided for the nation’s future on three core issues: how we led the world on the environment, how we minded the business of running our country in such a way that we didn’t go bankrupt, and whether we gracefully accepted our place on the world’s stage as its only superpower. Sadly we have built the foundation for dismal failure on all three counts. And we’ve done it in such a way that we shouldn’t be surprised if neither the American people nor the world trusts us again.

My party has repeatedly ignored, discarded and even invented science to suit its needs, most spectacularly as to global warming. We have an opportunity and the responsibility to lead the world on this issue, but instead we’ve chosen greed, shortsightedness and deliberate ignorance.

We have mortgaged the country’s fiscal future in a way that no Democratic congress or administration ever did, and to justify the tax cuts that have brought us here, we’ve simoly changed the rules. I matured as a Republican believing that uncontrolled deficit spending is harmful and irresponsible; I still do. But the party has yet to explain to me why it’s a good thing now, other than to say “…because we say so.”

Our greatest failure, though, has been in our role as superpower. This world needs justice, democracy and compassion and as the keystone of those things, it needs one thing above all else: truth.

Republican decisions made in 2002 and 2003 have killed almost 2,000 of the most capable patriots our country has to offer—volunteers, every one. Support for those decisions was gathered through what appeared at the time to be sping and marketing, but which now turns out to have deliberate planning and falsehood. The Blair government’s internal documentation only confirms what has been suspected for years: Americans are dying every day for Republican lies first crafted in 2002, expanded and embellished upon in 2003, and which continue to this day. The calculated deception is now burned into the legacy of the party, every bit as much as Reagan’s triumph in the cold War, or Nixon’s disgrace over Watergate.

I could go on and on – about how we have compromise dour international integrity by sanctioning torture, about how we are systematically dismantling the civil liberties that it took us two centuries to define and preserce and about how we have substituted bullying, brinksmanship and “staying on message” for real political discourse – but those three issues are enough.

We’re poisoning our planet through gluttony and ignorance.

We’re teetering on the brink of self-inflicted in solvency.

We’re selfishly and needlessly sacrificing the best of a generation.

And we’re lying about it.

While is has compiled this record of failure and  deception, the party which I’m leaving today has spent its time enery and political capital trying to save Terri Schiavo, battling the threat of single-sex unions, fighting medical marijuana and physician-assisted suicide, manufacturing political crises over presidential nominees, and selling privatized Social Security to an America that isn’t buying. We fiddle while Rome burns.

Enough is enough I quit.

(James Caney is a Eugene attorney who has been in private practice for more than 20 years, and who has been a registered Republica since 1980.)

I think it's an excellent piece of work.


sistercdr said...

Kudos to Mr. Chaney.  I used to think of myself as an Independent voter because I believe in free markets, a strong but appropriate level of defense, fiscal responsibility, a strong separation between church and state, and strong local and state governments as opposed to a stronger federal government.  Social issues put me firmly on the liberal side of the political line though.  What I admired about the traditional GOP has been slowly killed off from Reagan onward, and though the Republican votes I've cast have been few and far inbetween, I've come to regret each one more.  Not for the individual I supported, but for the alliances they would have to make.

ibspiccoli4life said...

Something like a third of all voters in California consider themselves independent. The two party system needs to be put to rest. Progressives on the Left are taken for granted and used by the Democrats while Conservatives on the Right are taken for granted and used by the Republicans. I know there are funcionalists who believe that if we just got more involved and got the right people into positions of power that things would change. I tend to believe that the only way things are going to change in Washington is if we band together Left and Right and forge third, fourth, fifth parties that can compete with the dominate two party system.


lisaram1955 said...

I read this very editorial this morning.  I was so impressed with it, I read it aloud to the assembled company (my family.)  I was thinking of posting it in my journal. But you've already done that.  Two great minds...  Lisa  :-]

chasingmoksha said...

I just want to say to him, -----well DUH! what took you so long?  I wonder why he left Ronald Reagan out of his party.  Perhaps the Truth did not go well with that Iran Weapons thingie.   I will be glad when they all start to wake up.

hope5555 said...

Let us hope that more Republicans follow suit.  Their positions no longer have any internal logic.