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Thomas Friedman to GOP: Start the New Republican Party

In case you missed it, I’m a day late passing along Thomas Friedman’s great column published online Tuesday, headlined “Dump the G.O.P. for a Grand New Party,” in which he calls on any Republicans who care about what the party has stood for in the past, or who care about the minimum level to which either party can afford to stoop in a country locked into a two-party system, to leave the Party of Trump and start a new party that would represent a sane, principled center-right alternative.

Comments (13)

  1. Submitted by Hiram Foster on 06/08/2016 - 02:23 pm.

    The GOP

    Tom Friedman seems to be arguing that the tail, because it’s not satisfied with the current one, should go in search of a new dog. There is a word for people who don’t like the Republican Party. They are called Democrats.

  2. Submitted by Sean Olsen on 06/08/2016 - 02:43 pm.

    The next six months are critical to the future of the Republican Party as we know it.

  3. Submitted by Jim Million on 06/08/2016 - 04:06 pm.

    Friedman’s Choice:

    Split the Republican Party into Trumpists and What–? He conveniently omits the Cruzers, it appears.
    Such advice, if taken, assures Democrat control forever, or at least until they fracture, as well.
    Pretty cynical suggestion, it seems to me.

    Anyone around here know exactly who represents Tom’s Center Right? There were 17 candidates to begin Republican debates, I believe. Who among them was a CRR, and how far did that person get?

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/08/2016 - 08:41 pm.

      What Friedman is asking for

      is a restoration of the East Coast Rockefeller Republicans, who were in fact not too far right of most of today’s Democrats. The Mitt Romney who governed Massachusetts would be a good example (although not the one who ran for President).
      Of course, if the Bernies took over the Democratic party, there might be room in the center for a new Republican Party, but I’m not holding my breath.

      • Submitted by Jim Million on 06/09/2016 - 09:24 am.


        I think I get your point about Sanders being that more Democrats would align to the center, and maybe more Republicans would move there, as well. That is where the country was in the 50s and pretty much 1960. I recall reading that Ike could have run on either ticket–in fact was earnestly courted by both parties. JFK fit that mold pretty well, not RFK so very much. Interesting they seemed to define the American shift of that decade.

        The old centrist definition was basically “fiscally conservative, socially liberal.” Somehow, both parties pushed those center line straddlers out into Independents, at least according to some observers. Marketing consultants hate us…too unpredictable and resistant to response conditioning, apparently. I was trying to think of significant national figures in my voting lifetime who fit that fulcrum position. As you note, Nelson Rockefeller, certainly, maybe not Jay so much…not sure there. I was also thinking of Howard Baker of the late ’70s, when he allowed an early ad hoc campaign to mount without his official endorsement. And, yes, there were far more Democrats in that vain than we see today, it seems. That Party must have driven them out, as the Republican party did its moderates. Some continue to claim Bill Clinton fit that mold, but I don’t remember that. If anything, he did more to avoid definition, than to encourage it, seemed to me. He still does.

        What is it about pollsters and politicians who believe the average American somehow cannot discern subtlety, resulting in severe contrasts forced upon us by the wedge drivers? To me it’s rather amazing that both parties continue to market so well in the remnants of the Roe v. Wade schism….40 years and counting, gee. Anyone have a clear view of where the middle went in terms of both Red and Blue Party control?

        Wonder if Millennials (when fully defined/fledged) will finally and ultimately control the spectrum shift. Don’t really know about that.

  4. Submitted by Tom Christensen on 06/08/2016 - 05:05 pm.

    Those who back or backed Trump will forever be remembered as backing a racist. This is what silly politics has earn the GOP, now they need to live with it. All the stonewalling, political claptrap, racism, etc, etc, has earned the GOP their Trump. I’m sure those GOP members up for election this time around will need to find a new hobby as their political future is very insecure. Backing a racist and then running for office makes for awkward campaigning. I suspect their lips will be moving but only incoherence will be coming out. It’s time to dump the GOP because it will be forever more irrelevant. Pay attention voters.

  5. Submitted by Jim Million on 06/08/2016 - 07:15 pm.

    Weak Friedman Here

    His column on this is not one of serious advice. Simply note his extreme examples of niche nuts.
    Clearly covert hyperbole with a hidden smirk. That’s the tone I note. Come on, Friedman proposes the current “Republican” brand is irreparably damaged, and suggests a new party using that name. So much for marketing knowledge. As a political analyst, he should stick to economics.

  6. Submitted by Tom Anderson on 06/08/2016 - 09:41 pm.

    What does E.J. Dionne think?

    Nothing better than seeing how Democrats think that Republicans could be better (become Democrats). We need to find out what Lori Sturdevant thinks too, although it will probably appear in the Sunday Strib within the next few weeks…

  7. Submitted by Craig Johnson on 06/09/2016 - 08:37 am.

    Friedman is spot on.

    Critics aside, Friedman’s thoughtful commentary shines an important light on the necessity for functional governance to have engaged solutions oriented action by both political parties. No taxes, no new taxes, tax cuts etc are not solutions, never were, and never will be.

    At the same time tax increases, spend all you’ve got approaches that don’t reflect the importance of priority in our spending plans are equally nonfunctional. Keeping a health balance of a robust business environment coupled with a progressive tax policy sustains the equation that those who benefit most from our economic environment both require a supportive business environment and reap the greatest rewards and thus must pay the most.

    While we can’t do everything want, we must everything we want to do well. This means sufficient realistic funding and effective management. Political chicanery with respect to infrastructure and education investments are both fraudulent and short sighted. If the proposition of intelligent spending violates your no tax sentiments, its time to get over yourself.

    • Submitted by Paul Brandon on 06/09/2016 - 09:21 am.

      As Friedman notes

      The problem is that the current iteration of the Republican Party does not believe in functional government. It’s much easier to be the party of NO than to propose realistic alternative solutions to real problems.

      • Submitted by Jim Million on 06/09/2016 - 10:18 am.

        So true!

        How could all these political folk continue to ride the “fix the problems” campaign bus if they ever did fix them? Ok, very cynical here, but true. Non-partisan as anything can get, however.

        Aside: Can anyone explain exactly how Lindsey Graham became so wealthy after a military JAG job? That revelation was a big surprise to me.

  8. Submitted by Jim Million on 06/14/2016 - 09:28 am.

    New Party

    Based on little information regarding the New Something Party meeting in Utah this past weekend, I’m guessing Romney, Ryan and those usual suspects did read Friedman. Ryan has now publicly withdrawn his belated previous Trump endorsement. Whatever these establishment characters are doing, they certainly cannot call themselves “Young Republicans,” new or otherwise.

    As noted elsewhere, I propose “New Utes,” “NUtes,” for short….not to ever be confused with “Newts” of any variety.

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