Suicide of the Hoover Republicans

Suicide of the Hoover Republicans

By Maggie Gallagher - July 21, 2011

A powerful new public movement by GOP elites to eject social issues from the Republican portfolio on the grounds they hurt the party's political prospects is now flexing its muscles.

Call them Hoover Republicans.

I call them this after watching Margaret Hoover, great-granddaughter of President Herbert Hoover and a sometime Giuliani fundraiser, who is married to Rudy Giuliani's sometime speechwriter, suddenly attack Bill O'Reilly for, of all things, pointing out that traditional Republicans are opposed to abortion and gay marriage.

The exchange went something like this:

O'Reilly: "The traditional core of the Republican Party opposes you on almost every social issue."

Hoover (shaking her finger in O'Reilly's face): "People like you who try to divide our party on social issues, that's not the way forward for the Republican Party. We need to be united."

This is a bizarre charge because few things unify Republican voters more than social issues. For example, a Public Policy poll released on May 4, 2011, found that just 12 percent of Republicans support gay marriage. A June 6, 2011, Gallup poll meanwhile found that 68 percent of Republicans consider themselves "pro-life" while just 27 percent are "pro-choice."

By contrast, a higher number (33 percent) of Republicans in the latest Quinnipiac University poll say they support raising the debt ceiling; 51 percent of Republicans disapprove of how Republicans are handling the debt ceiling talks; a whopping 43 percent of Republicans when asked to choose between a debt ceiling deal that only cuts spending and one that also has a tax increase on the wealthy and corporations, opted for tax increases on the wealthy.

But do not look for Hoover Republicans to accuse libertarians of "dividing the party" by insisting on no compromises on economic issues. I do not raise these issues because I want Congress to raise taxes to get a debt ceiling deal, but to expose the absurdity of the grandiose political claim by Hoover Republicans that social issues are divisive.

Margaret Hoover's attack came just a few days after her erstwhile boss, Rudy Giuliani, went on CNN's "State of the Union" and urged Republicans to "move on" from the marriage issue:

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Copyright 2011, Creators Syndicate Inc.

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