Vic Atiyeh, Sen. Westlund and other Republican changes.

Tough year for Republicans is only getting more bizarre with Senator Ben Westlund switching parties (although that may be a good thing). Even Senator Smith shook things up this week with his Iraqi floor speech — a speech that I recently learned was not intended to create a much of a stir as it did. . Today former Republican Governor Vic Atiyeh laid out his goals for the Republican Party in an opinion piece in the Oregonian today. Here is Vic Atiyeh’s four points.

1. First, we need to focus on the center of the electorate. The candidate closest to the center wins most elections.
2. Second, ideology is not a substitute for policy. Republicans need policy ideas to go along with our core principals to address the everyday economic and social concerns facing Oregonians. Too often, our candidates rely on the ideological slogans of “smaller government” or “traditional values” to define our answers to complex problems.
3. Third, Republicans must invest more in building a quality team of candidates.
4. Fourth, focus on Washington County. Republicans will never win a statewide office and won’t control the Legislature if we can’t win in Washington County.

Is Atiyeh’s four-point plan the future for Republicans? Has anyone else offered anything else? We report, you decide!

Post to Twitter Post to Facebook Post to LinkedIn Post to Reddit

Posted by at 08:12 | Posted in Measure 37 | 12 Comments |Email This Post Email This Post |Print This Post Print This Post
  • Jerry

    The only way Republicans will ever regain control is if they act like Republicans and quit trying to “get along” with the Dems.

  • Steven Plunk

    Except for item 1 he’s right on the mark.

    Focus on the center? How does that reconcile with #2? From ideology comes policy if you do it right but watering down ideology to appeal the center just exposes your weakness in communicating why your ideology is correct.

    The problem is conservatives haven’t done a good job educating the public about public policy and how things work. Atiyeh’s solution is to dumb down the message by moving to the center. Well the center is where there’s a little something for everyone so nothing works as it should. I believe this is why conservatives are losing ground, moving to the center and failing to educate.

    As for Westlund, what a selfish, egotistic, I better stop while I can keep the description in good taste. This guy is all about himself and what power (or job) he can get. This is what moving the party to the center will get you, wishy washy pols with no principles.

    A firmness of message and policy is what the Republican party needs.

  • iop

    Atiyeh sez not 2 apply simple solutions to complex problems. I think it is Republicans who get too complex when talking to the public and lack clear goals.

  • There are two ways to appeal to the middle:

    1) run on centrist policies, or

    2) run a candidate, from whatever part of the political spectrum, whose personality and charisma are appealing to mainstream people.

    With Ron Saxton, we tried #1. This failed. It usually does.

    In 2002, with Kevin Mannix, we ran a more conservative candidate, but one who was better at relating to real people. He still didn’t win, but at least he made it a tough race. His biggest problem: the left succeeded in demonizing him over abortion, which turned off many moderate women.

    Ronald Reagan, an actual conservative, won because he fell into category #2. He won in landslides. Even though he was ardently pro-life, his charm and personality prevented the left from labeling him as some sort of woman-hating monster. Instead, they focused on his appointments, like Bork.

    Do not confuse centrist policy with centrist appeal. We NEED centrist appeal. But centrist policy is not necessarily the answer.

    When we run a candidate who is charismatic, who can speak well, who can relate to the average Jane and Joe, and who can deflect criticism, we can win – regardless of that candidate’s policy. If we can combine these qualities with a conservative outlook, so much the better.

  • ps, I guess that means I am linking Atiyeh’s 1 with his 3. We need to start recruiting better candidates.

  • John Fairplay

    it’s interesting that republican voters rejected the two most charismatic candidates for governor in the primary. mannix was a proven vote-getter among centrists (remember, he won washington county in 2002), and atkinson is about the most non-threatening evangelical christian in history. while i’m sure the political junkies will learn a lot from this election cycle, voters in general pay no attention to this stuff. recruiting good, articulate, charismatic candidates can win elections for republicans in oregon.

  • richard

    1. First, we need to focus on the center of the electorate. The candidate closest to the center wins most elections.
    FALSE! Ask Everett Curry. First the center is a myth, you are conservative or your not. Every time a conservative try to reach the liberal (aka the center) he or she looses. If a Republican act like a Democrat the Democrat will win.

    2. Second, ideology is not a substitute for policy. Republicans need policy ideas to go along with our core principals to address the everyday economic and social concerns facing Oregonians. Too often, our candidates rely on the ideological slogans of “smaller government” or “traditional values” to define our answers to complex problems.
    TRUE, Republicans need to define what we mean by smaller government and act on principals not slogans

    3. Third, Republicans must invest more in building a quality team of candidates.

    True: buy I would add conservative candidates.

    4. Fourth, focus on Washington County. Republicans will never win a statewide office and won’t control the Legislature if we can’t win in Washington County.
    True: It will be tough due to ballots stuffing by metro via high density growth. I have never seen so many apartment, condo and row houses development with very few single occupancy homes, in my time living in Washington County. It is the apartment and condo developments we need to target.

  • Are you GOPers got to stop being idiots and listen to what Atiyeh is saying or are you going to continue to turn the state bluer and bluer being being idiots and cling ever tighter to failed faux “conservatism” which has been the hallmark of the Lee Atwater/Gingrich (and post Gingrich) era…?

    Are you done with your wedge politics of fear and bigotry against gays, immigrants and the woeful misreading of traditional conservative principles of sound fiscal policy that includes public investment in education, the environment and re-circulating money into the economy via progressive tax and fiscal policy like the very founders of capitalism espoused well over a century ago?

    Or are you going to scream “god, guns and gays” while pretending that we here in Oregon with the lowest tax burden for corporations (50th out of 50) are somehow too taxed and instead continue to rail against making the sound policy moves (like increase the corporate min. and roll the corporate kicker into a rainy-day fund and thereby create stable funding for education, environmental regulation, public safety and infrastructure investment, etc.) and scream like morons about such things and thereby become the new Whig party, destined for a footnote in wikipedia?

    Well?

    (BTW the above is from a former GOPer who long ago [in 1988] left the party with the highjacking of the party by theocon jackasses and kelptocratic Norquist style “defund the government” freaks that have destroyed the GOP)

    • Steven Plunk

      I expect GOPers to be smart and respect democratic institutions by allowing the issue of gay marriage to be decided by the people not the courts or a feckless legislature.

      I expect GOPers to respect a man’s hard work and let him keep what he has worked for rather than give it to a government that routinely wastes it and lacks the fortitude to correct mistakes such as PERS which is slowly bankrupting cities, counties, school districts, and the state itself.

      I expect GOPers to make common sense moves regarding the environment like keeping air and water clean but not imposing overly harsh rules that provide limited return for the economic hardships they create.

      I expect GOPers to support the corporations that employ many of us by creating a business environment that allows competition, attracts new business, allows existing business to grow, and therefore increase the tax revenue to the state.

      The fact of the matter is most Oregonians believe in the principles set forth by conservatives but only hear falsehoods from the left. The facts, the message is not getting out and that is where we are failing.

      The liberal establishment in Oregon has had it’s way for some time. Oregon abandoned it’s timber industry with promises of high tech and tourism only to see jobs go away and timber revenue dependent communities lose millions under Clinton’s Great Northwest Timber Compromise.

      Governments in Oregon failed to bargain effectively and gave away the future through PERS and public employee contracts that we are locked into but can’t afford.

      Even today the present governor has decided that rather than put aside any money for a rainy day he will boost spending by nearly 20% knowing it to be unsustainable.

      Oregon has not had a true chance at conservatism’s cures for what ails us. Oregon’s Republican elected officials have not given those principles a chance.

      With due respect to Mitch Gore, why would someone who has left the party choose to give advice? From what I see it only moves the party toward the Democrat’s positions. Sure it might win elections in the short term but the letter behind one’s name is not as important as what a person represents.

      Let’s quit this nonsense about winning elections and debate the issues, the priciples that we believe in and let the rest sort itself out.

      • je

        Steve,
        Winning elections are what political parties are all about, period.

  • Fstanisel

    Patricia Stewart (84) Portland, Or is asking Vic Atiyeh about her brother’s fate.

  • Pingback: burberry scarf()

Stay Tuned...

Stay up to date with the latest political news and commentary from Oregon Catalyst through daily email updates:

Prefer another subscription option? Subscribe to our RSS Feed, become a fan on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.

Twitter Facebook

No Thanks (close this box)