In recent weeks, several prominent Republicans have jumped ship to endorse Barack Obama for president. I would imagine that these endorsements were partially inspired by frustration after 8 years of an inept Bush presidency that has tarnished the reputation of the United States all over the world.
For others, such as Colin Powell, John McCain's choice of the unqualifed, inexperienced, and erratic Sarah Palin as the VP running mate, which was characteristic of a McCain campaign that has been highly erratic all around. It was the last straw for traditional conservatives and moderate Republicans sick of neocons and the Religious Right controlling their beloved Republican Party.
Younger adults probably do not realize that the Republican Party was not always so far to the right. Until 1980, when Ronald Reagan welcomed the support of the newly-influential Religious Right, traditional conservatives and moderates controlled the direction of the Republican party. Unfortunately, the Religious Right would only gain more influence with each successive election until it had nearly gutted the Republican Party into what we see today, The rise of neoconservatism followed a similar timeline to that of the Religious Right.
Before 1980, the Republican Party was moderate on many issues, being both pro-choice and for the Equal Rights Amendment. We also have to remember that it was Richard Nixon who established the Environmental Protection Agency. Even in the 1980 primary season, many traditional Republicans, such as George Bush, Sr, continued to hold the moderate positions that the Republican party had supported. I remember that once Bush, Sr was chosen as Reagan's VP pick, he quickly flip-flopped on his pro-choice position in order to get in line with the new order.
But, thankfully, it seems as if many Republicans have said enough is enough and want their old party back. I can only wish them luck and I look forward to the return of a sane, moderate Republican Party.
Below is a partial list of Republicans who have endorsed Barack Obama for president
Jim Leach, Former Congressman from Iowa Lincoln Chafee, Former United States Senator from Rhode Island William Weld, Former Governor of Massachusetts Arne Carlson, Former Governor of Minnesota Wayne Gilchrest, Congressman from Maryland Charles Mathias, Former United States Senator and Congressman from Maryland Larry Pressler, Former Senator from South Dakota Richard Riordan, Former Mayor of Los Angeles Lowell Weicker, Former Governor and Senator from Connecticut Claudine Schneider, Former Congressman from Rhode Island Harris Fawell, Former Congressman from Illinois Jim Whitaker, Fairbanks, Alaska Mayor William Milliken, Former Governor of Michigan Phil Arthurhultz, Former Michigan State Senate Majority Leader Linwood Holton, Former Governor of Virginia Jeffrey Hart, National Review Senior Editor Andrew Bacevich, Professor of International Relations at Boston University David Friedman, Economist and son of Milton and Rose Friedman Christopher Buckley, Son of National Review founder William F. Buckley & former NR columnist Andrew Sullivan, Columnist for the Atlantic Monthly Wick Alison, Former publisher of the National Review Michael Smerconish, Columnist for the Philadelphia Enquirer CC Goldwater, Granddaughter of Barry Goldwater Colin Powell, Secretary of State under Bush 43 Ken Duberstein, White House Chief of Staff under Reagan Douglas Kmiec, Head of the Office of Legal Counsel under Reagan & Bush 41 Charles Fried, Solicitor General of the United States under Reagan Jackson M. Andrews, Former Counsel to the U.S. Senate, & 1986 Republican Senatorial Nominee for Kentucky Susan Eisenhower, Granddaughter of President Eisenhower & President of the Eisenhower Group Francis Fukuyama, Advisor to President Reagan Rita Hauser, Former White House intelligence advisor under George W. Bush Larry Hunter, Former President Reagan Policy Advisor Scott McClellan, Former Press Secretary to President George W. Bush Bill Ruckelshaus, Served in the Nixon and Reagan administrations Ken Adelman, Served in the Ford administration Lilibet Hagel, Wife of Republican Senator Chuck Hagel Bruce Rabb, Served in the Nixon administration George C. Lodge, Assistant Secretary of Labor under President Eisenhower William B. Ewald, Jr., Special Assistant under President Eisenhower Robert R. Bowie, Assistant Secretary for Policy Planning, Department of state 1953-1957 Jarold Kieffer, Assistant Secretary, Health, Education & Welfare, 1959-61 Roswell B. Perkins, Assistant Secretary, Health, Education & Welfare, 1954-56 Timothy Ashby, Served in the Reagan and Bush 41 administrations Richard S. Seline, Finance Director, Republican Party of Texas David Caprara, Faith-Based Initiatives Director, Federal Volunteer Service Agency under Bush 43 John Perry Barlow, Former Dick Cheney Campaign Manager
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