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PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:43 pm 
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June 2 issue of American Conservative Magazine on VA-8 Republican primary, as scanned by

'If you drive God out of the world then you create a howling wilderness' --Peter Hitchens

PostPosted: Tue Jun 03, 2008 1:54 pm 
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A portion of the article (the first 3 paragraphs):

ON MAY 14, the GOP lost yet another seat in Congress, this one, to the alarm of Republicans nationwide, in the once solid South. Mississippi’s First Congressional District went the way of Louisiana’s Sixth and Illinois’s 14th, all of them supposedly safe GOP seats. Following this latest debacle, retiring Virginia Congressman Tom Davis announced in a memo to his colleagues, “The Republican brand is in the trash can … if we were a dog food, they would take us off the shelf.” The old product no longer sells even to the loyalist consumers. Republicans’ survival now depends on marketing themselves as something other than the party of Bush.

Two Republican presidential contenders developed distinctive brands of their own during the primary season. Mike Huckabee ran as an explicitly Christian conservative and compassionate populist, developing a more authentic take on George W. Bush’s campaign persona of 2000. Ron Paul, meanwhile, hearkened back to Robert Taft and Barry Goldwater and campaigned as an even more thoroughgoing anti-interventionist and libertarian than either of those old conservative heroes. Neither Huckabee nor Paul could keep John McCain from securing the nomination. But the future of the party may rest with the legacy of one of these defeated candidates.

A test of the Huckabee and Paul legacies— against one another and against an entrenched liberal Democrat—is fast approaching in Virginia’s Eighth Congressional District. Its June 10 Republican primary pits Amit Singh, an Arlington defense contractor and first-time candidate endorsed by Ron Paul, against Mark Ellmore, described by the Arlington Connection as a “religious evangelical Christian” who “ran on the promise of putting compassion back in ‘compassionate conservatism’” in his first bid for the nomination in 2006. The winner faces an uphill struggle in November against incumbent Democrat James Moran, who has held the seat since 1991.


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