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April 29th, 2009
05:00 PM ET

Republican Party on brink of irrelevance?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Senator Arlen Specter's defection to the Democratic Party is just the latest bad news for the Republican Party. Politico suggests the GOP's meltdown is the worst of any party's in decades and has left the Republican party on the brink of irrelevance with few obvious paths back to power.

Sen. Arlen Specter announced yesterday that he would switch from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party.

Specter's abandonment comes in the same month as a traditionally Republican leaning district in upstate New York tipped for the Democrats. This means in the nine Northeastern states - there are only 15 GOP House members out of 83 seats - and only three Republican senators out of 18.

On a national level, the GOP is near record levels for unpopularity. Only about one person in four identifies himself as a Republican; and a new CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll shows only 39 percent of those surveyed have a favorable view of the Republican party. Even a lot of Republicans no longer like the party much.

Some Republicans say conservatives have left the GOP with an exclusionary message. Senator Olympia Snowe says, "you certainly haven't heard warm encouraging words of how they view moderates. Either you are with us or against us."

Meanwhile Specter's switch to the Democrats is less than genuine. As recently as March 17, the Pennsylvania senator insisted he would never switch parties. But once the polls indicated he would lose his bid for re-election, he jumped on the Democrats' bandwagon like a bird on a worm. This is called hypocrisy.

Here’s my question to you: Is the Republican Party on the brink of irrelevance?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

CJ from Atlanta writes:
They passed the brink a long time ago. The Republican Party might as well build an isolated compound in the middle of Texas, wall themselves in, and try to impress each other with who can be the most conservative prude. That's their vision for America. Put them to pasture and let them have at it.

Maggie writes:
Given the fact most sensible conservatives have abandoned the Republican Party and the party itself is striving for purity in its ideology, only a miracle will save it from extinction. The GOP has now established its standard answer to solving any and all problems is just stating NO – except, of course, for the use of torture which they do support.

Missy from Phoenix writes:
Jack, Didn't we say the same thing about the Democrats eight years ago? Yes, the GOP isn't too popular right now, but that's OK. It's not their time in the limelight. Let the Democrats have their time in the sun and hopefully the GOP will use this time to refine its message and find new energy.

Sarge from Indianapolis writes:
The budget was passed today 233-193, without a single Republican vote. Very soon, the Democrats look to have a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. So, who cares how the GOP votes anymore? If that isn't irrelevant, what is?

Dave from Utah writes:
The two-party system is in place and will remain that way. The GOP will stay relevant but will change. I think the party will get back to its fiscal roots and small government.

John from Oxford, Mississippi writes:
Jack, The Republican Party is plenty relevant, as long as you're a 60-year-old Southern white male who hates government, taxes, and gay marriage.

Harold from Anchorage, Alaska writes:
Will the last person leaving the Republican Party please turn off the lights?


Filed under: Republican Party
soundoff (316 Responses)
  1. Thomas Wier Portland, OR

    Jack,

    The Republican party has been circling the drain for decades – it has relied upon traditional voting blocs in order to remain in power that have never represented the majority of the country. Now that younger voters are turning out in record numbers, and are not tied down to blind ideology that masks hypocrisy and arrogance, you will see a dramatic shift to Democratic power in the U.S. There's just no room in this nation for such a backwards-thinking group as the GOP...at least not if AMERICA wishes to remain relevent!

    April 29, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  2. Jackie in Dallas

    CNN, yet another place where my comments have disappeared.

    Brink of irrelevance, Jack? Over the cliff of irrelevance, rather! The few Republicans who have tried to say that they need to change and update are being run out of the party on a rail. If they could lose the attitude that only they know best, that only their way will get us to our destination, and only they have the right to make decisions and decide what is right or wrong, they might actually regain some of the ground they've lost.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  3. Maggie from Virginia

    Jack,

    The GOP is already irrelevant in my view. I admit, Specter's switch wasn't genuine; he's been a Republican for the past 30 plus years. We need to give him some time to work on that flaw.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  4. John-Sturgis, S.D.

    In their present form, the republicans are becoming irrelevant. Steele won't admit it on camera, but Americans aren't looking for the "core values of the party" as it has been sold by republicans. If that were what Americans are looking for, republicans wouldn't be in the position they are in today.
    A lack of honesty, an over abundance of hypocrisy is what Americans see. The republicans have Limbaugh, Hannity, and Palin, the Democrats have Barak Obama.......
    Stop shoving the evangelical Christian ideologies down our throats, and start creating programs in education that develops math, and science phenoms, because humans and Dino's didn't exist in the same epoch.
    If republicans aren't careful, they won't smell themselves turned bad, until it's to late.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  5. Cecil Furr

    The Republican Party is not longer a national party. With only 20% of voters self identifying as republican, they are about to become history. Sad, because we need a loyal opposition. What we have now is a couter-productive 'just say no' obstructive angry buch of radicals that are acting like spoiled children. Good riddance. Hope a new party can step up and lead the opposition. How on earth can we take serious a party led by likes of Palin, Rush, Hanity etc.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  6. Time Will Tell

    Specter changed parties for one reason only.........personal survival and nothing else.

    As for the Republicans, all they have do is be patient for the results of all this insane spending to do the inevitable.............massive inflation.

    Or, for the public to really begin to ask themselves if they want the federal government to own/control the automotive, financial and healthcare industries...................I don't think so.

    Obama spends like a family that is broke and living on credit cards; sooner or later, the bills come due.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  7. Betty, San Diego, Ca.

    What is a Republican Party?

    April 29, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  8. Humberto Gomez

    Well, I don't think it will last. American people are not trustworthy to stick with you. As soon as ODrama's ponsi skeem starts to realize itself, people will go running to the other side. I bet you he will be a 1 time president.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  9. Gail (NY, NY)

    No. Sad as it may be, they'll be back.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  10. Stan in Boston

    It's not conservative or moderate idealology that is turning off the voters. It is putting politics above everything. The Republicans have made it plain that regaining power is more important to them than anything else, including the welfare of the country. So they hope that Obama will fail and they will then be there to say, "I told you so." If, God forbid, Obama's policies do fail, I only hope that we don't have short memories about how obstructionist the Republicans have been; otherwise, in hindsight, we will see that they really weren't irrelevant.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:35 pm |
  11. Steve D. in Montgomery, Alabama

    Dear Jack,

    The GOP has been working their Southern strategy for forty years now. While the rhetoric and code language has been altered slightly over the years, the basic playbook of Nixon and Saint Ronald has not changed since the disco era. Like the music and fashion of that era, the Republican message has become dated and really annoying. We will soon need a strong opposition party to make sure the Dems don't get too carried away, but until the Republicans are willing to evolve (something they don't believe in), they're just going to be a tacky sideshow.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  12. bob wright

    The Republican Party has now become the party of the mentally challenge, they have long passed the brink of irrelevance. I ask my fellow Americans who happen to be Republicans to take a step back and look at what the Republican Party has become, is this the party you really want to see lead this nation. I use to vote Republican every election, until one day I took a step back and asked myself just what have they done for me. I'm not rich, I don't have a big business and I'm not wealthy enough to give my money away to these snake oil preachers telling you God will save you just send me your money. Wake up it's time things get done in Washington and stop being the Party of No.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:36 pm |
  13. Presley Jones

    The REAL Republican message of small government, fiscal responsibility, a strong military, and states rights are very attractive beliefs. The problem is that the current Republican party and its representatives are more concerned about who is sleeping with whom in the bedroom and have lost their core issues to the Democrats. Who in their right minds could say that the Republicans are fiscal conservatives, proponents of a small government, believes in a strong military, and believes in states rights after the last disastrous eight years?

    Jack, let me end there and not even begin to talk about the messengers of the Republican party who just seem to be mindless, out of touch, mean spirited and hypocritical.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  14. Linda in Arizona

    On the BRINK? What "brink"? They are irrelevant, and have been for years. Personally, I hate every one of them. I hope they never recover. They all had a choice when they were deciding which party to embrace, and the differences in philosophies couldn't be more defined. Republicans are selfish, self-interested, greedy, warlike, and regressive. They deserve to become the "party that nearly ruined the country in the 20th and 21st centuries, but failed, and now are defunct".

    April 29, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  15. Kevin McKenzie

    No, the Republicans aren't irrelevant, but they need to go back to their roots. They need to look at Senator Robert A. Taft and Barry Goldwater as their role models, and look to somebody that can shake up the party and attract new voters. My suggestion would be Congressman Ron Paul.

    Canton, Ohio

    April 29, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  16. Phyllis

    They brought it on themselves. Our Nation is changing and growing.

    Because of this fresh approach to moving our Nation into the future, the old ideas and "old money guy's" are being left behind. They just don't get "it" anymore, their stance is alway's negative. People are tired of negative thinking. It was the GOP that got us in this mess to start with and now that they are not in the "Power Seat" we realize, we don't need them anymore. I personally see this going one of two ways-
    All the old guy's retire and bring in new forward thinking GOP representatives or just disband the GOP. We have the right to an Independent ticket, which still gives us two tickets to choose from.

    Look at it this way! Banker's were fired for doing a bad job. Why shouldn't this group be fired?

    They should all go fishing!

    April 29, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  17. Rick

    Ummmm. Yes! I predict in 50 years when our children are writing laws, the letters GOP will be banned from appearing together anywhere in the U.S. Some of us will have to answer to our grandchildren's questions of why anyone was a member of a party who used fear mongering and race-baiting to win elections. A member of the party that defended torture. The Party of the criminals Bush and Cheney. The party who sacrificed our liberty to gain a little security. And Democrats will have to answer why we didn't stop them. Why we didn't even try.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  18. Nick

    NO. I'm Obama supporter from Atlanta who's working in Houston, TX for the next 2 months... every talk radio show between Georgia and Texas is filled with hate for Obama and the Democrats. I believe there is growing cyncism amount rural and religious Americans that will definitely swing the pendelum back toward the right in the next elections. I seriously fear this will lead to Obama being just a one-term president or at least lead to a resurgent Republican party.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  19. Sangien

    Yes

    They have been reduced to a group of wingnuts on a self destructive
    rampage. They turn on anyone who dares to challenge them on any issue and refuse to consider anything other than a tax cut is a soluotion. After the other moderates in the party escape or are purged they will die a sad and painful death. They will have an open and frank internal discussion or they will fade with the Whig party into history.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  20. Diane Ghil

    I am a registered independent but (embarrasingly ) voted republican. As of 2006 I vote strictly democrat and will become a registered democrat.
    The republicans are an embarrasment. Their conservative base has captured the party and until the republicans can go mid stream they will never be relevant again.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  21. Matt from Atlanta

    Spector voted GOP party line 70% of the time, and yet conservative talk radio has savaged him over the last decade for being "liberal". It would be fitting if their names were clearly listed on the headstone to Reagan's big tent. "Collapse of this tent brought to you by Rush, Hannity, and O'Reily"

    April 29, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  22. Donald in CA

    Yes, because times have changed and they cant change with the times. The either you are with us or against us attitude will not fly
    in a changing country.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  23. Maurice

    While I am thrilled with the current status of the Democratic party and a thoughtful, well informed President Obama, I do believe in having a Republican Party with strong ideas to prevent Democrats from Absolute Power, as absolute power corrupts absolutely. I am a lifelong democrat, but also feel that we need to have some opposition. We need diversity to survive, and having more than one party with power gives us more strength and diversity.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  24. cindy

    Jack, I am 61 years old and have been a republican forever, I switched a few months ago to Independant. If people like Rush, Palin, Hannity, and O'Rielly stand for what a Republican is then they are already irrelevant in my book. God help us!!!!

    April 29, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  25. Jude in California

    Jack,

    The rats are leaving the sinking ship!!!!! I can only hope Captain Rush, 1st and 2nd mates Hannity and Beck stay on board and like good stewards remain on the ship when it goes down.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  26. EIS

    It has become obvious that the Republican Party wants to become the bully pulpit of the right wing religious extremists. This is the once inclusive party of Lincoln, the antitrust party of Roosevelt, the fiscal restraint party of Rockefeller. Now it is borrow, spend and preach. In addition, if they don't get their way, they are also the throw mud and call names party. I think it is time for them to go back into their caves and listen to the garbage that comes from the mouths of morons like Limbaugh, Coulter and Hannity. Oh, they can also stop accepting the Social Security and Medicare that their families depend upon and save the government a couple of billion dollars.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  27. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    Jack I am sorry but the party of "I Know" has become the party of "NO"

    This is sad for the Country because a strong Republican Party was and is essential in keeping the Democrats in check. But that will not happen now.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  28. Mike Vaughn

    IF all the GOP can do is say NO with NO Plan, yes they are irrelovent but here is a Question Jack I wish you'd ask, Big Mouth Rush Said McCain can leave the Party since he is not a True Republican, he said that after the one Repub defected , My question is What Makes a Real Republican???? SO Far the last 8 years the only thing that made a Republican was Pushing Fear, Out of Touch, and Keeping Secrets from the Public and Being only about themselves........So here is my Question to you Jack...........What Makes a True Republican??????

    April 29, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  29. larry butcher

    i think the gop had better listen to what olympia snow said yesterday or they will fade fast! but i can't say i'm not a little happy about it. b/c if all the minority does is object to everything, you never get anything done. aka the last 8 yrs.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  30. Edna

    from District Heights, Md.
    The Republican Party has fallen over the brink. No one even listens to them now. They are so full of hate and divisiveness that it is disgusting. No wonder no one wants to be associated with them. Do they really think that most of us are as illiterate as the people who followed McCain and Palin during the campaign? We do read and research and so we know all about reconciliation, and fillibusters and all of those other things that they used against the Democrats and now are afraid are going to be used against them. If they would actually come up with some genuine ideas instead of just being against President Obama just "because", then the American people might begin to listen to them. Wake up and smell the roses!!!!

    April 29, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  31. John

    Yes Jack, they have become irrelevant, and this is sad for a democracy that needs a loyal opposition for it to remain a healthy democracy. I would like to see an entirely new party emerge with a fiscally conservative and socially moderate platform, leaving the Republicans to continue representing the otter fringes of our society they seem to attract.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  32. Charles

    It's an unrealistic thought, Jack. Part of me believes that if things keep getting worse, the Republican Party will split into two separate parties. One party consisting of people like Ron Paul, and the other party consisting of people like Rush Limbaugh.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:41 pm |
  33. Jeff Crocket

    Specter is, and always has been, a weak kneed Republican. This makes no difference to most Republicans, and it makes little difference in Senate voting either!

    Life long Republican
    Jeff Crocket in New Britain, CT

    April 29, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  34. Paul In Dallas, TX

    I hope so!

    After 8 years of tweedle-dee and tweedle-dumb I was really loosing faith in where this country was headed. Finally, a majority of the country has wakened and now we can start to rebuild a brighter future for ALL Americans.

    This country CAN accomplish anything when we put our minds to it and work together for a common cause. The future will be all right as long as we all stick together.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:42 pm |
  35. Omaha B

    I believe the party is ALREADY irrelevant. They became irrelevant once George Bush was elected to his second term and the disastarous policies that followed are now coming to fruition..can we say the coffin is fully nailed?

    April 29, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  36. Celeste

    The Republican party has to do three things to survive. 1) Stop being so mean spirited with the name calling and attacking 2) Attract other people to the club besides southern white people 3) Come up with ideas that will help everyone in America, not just the rich and corporations.

    Of course, all those things go against what it means to be a Republican.

    Guess they won't make it.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:43 pm |
  37. Todd / Northeast

    they're past the brink. they are irrelevant. I'm a 30 year old who lives/works in NYC. I don't know anyone my age who would consider themselves a Republican/Conservative. And I have a diverse group of friends. we definitely don't all think the same or believe in the same principles. However none of us identify with the Republican party. The GOP has lost a whole generation by fighting yesterday's battles instead of thinking of ways to solve our current problems. Do you really think anyone under the age of 35 thinks gays shouldn't be allowed to get married; that we shouldn't be doing stem cell research; that global warming isn't a problem; that our healthcare system isn't inherently unfair and broken; that Obama's agenda is socialism? Get real. The GOPs arguments are so outdated and close minded that my generation simply laugh when we see Palin and Steele and Jindal speak. Do you think any of us watch Fox News? The propaganda/politics the GOP peddle just have no relevance to the younger generations and we've stopped listening. Obama has our ears b/c he's got new ideas and is trying to fix stuff.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  38. Craig

    Yes Jack, and they are the architect of their own demise. The soul of the party is held captive in the death grip of strident, intolerant and authoritarian evangelical fundamentalists whose dogmatic world view has served to marginalize the party. There has been a paradigm shift in the country's demographics, especially among our youth who view Republicans as a party of angry middle-aged southern white people that would rather secede than cooperate for the common good. They see intolerance, bigotry and uncompromising partisanship that denigrates Hispanics, gays and women who seek to govern their body and health needs. Jack, President Bush, Cheney, Limbaugh and the rest of their cabal have killed the Republican party and President Lincoln is turning in his grave.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:44 pm |
  39. ken

    I belive that the Republican Party is not only on the verge of being completely irrelevant, but also extinction.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  40. Robert Thomson Southfield, MI

    They always were on the brink of irrelevance but in last several years they've been working their butts off to achieve it. Filibusters, obstruction, block progress fearmongering, WMD, torture, secret renditions, mushroom clouds, yellow cake and now they listen to Rush and spread fear rumors about socialism. Keep it up – you're digging your grave deeper and deeper with every shovel full of your manure.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  41. frank

    The GOP for years wanted to break the hold the Dem's had on the South back in the 60-70's. They got there by electing Reagan in 1980 and the south has been theirs ever since, but the mistake was you cant give up on other parts of the country to get a solid southern block. They are now paying for that strategie. living in Colorado(once as red as you can get) they lost here and in other western states as well. Irrevelence maybe but a regional party for sure. When you pit one segment against each other for years to hold on to power, you are eventually going to run out of groups to fight against.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:45 pm |
  42. Scott

    50% + 1 is the magic number. If the Republicans ever want to win an election north of the Mason-Dixon line again, it would serve them right to pay attention to the math. This needs to translate into policies which can be supported by 50%+1, and not just cater to the hot-button extremist issues revolving around evangelical beliefs. We are a nation founded on freedom from religious persecution, and that includes persecution from our own people.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  43. Tony S

    The Republican establishment is bankrupt with nothing to cling to but their 3 G's to hold onto their base. Now that Regan's "Voodo Economics" has been dispelled, they are floundering and completely lost.

    Tony S in PV, NY

    April 29, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  44. Azar Latif

    Being 21 years of age I am happy to see that the truth has come out and people are no longer sticking behind parties who don't provide any type political goods. Its about time the Republicans pay for the damage they have caused this nation Jack. We are so used to the old type of politics but this is a new age and era and people will not stand behind a party that doesn't stand for the very values that they were founded on.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:46 pm |
  45. Sue in GA

    A reliable Democrat for all my life, I do feel they are on the brink, yet I am not happy about it. Every great democracy needs more than one opinion, more than a unitary voice. The Republicans demand lockstep ideas and dont seem to want to entertain anyone who does not subscribe to the Guns,God and Gays recuitment tool. Ideologues on each side do no one any favors. Ours is a living, breathing democracy that requires a bevy of ideas and ideals to function in a healthy way. The sooner they realize that social issues of the 80's is not a way back, the sooner they will find their way out of the woods.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  46. AndyZ Lynn, MA

    Yep, fer sure! They have created a small, very small hard core following that is based upon self-aggrandizedment and hatred of all others. For decades they stood for fiscal responsibility. GFeorge W. and that fast spending NeoCons put that to rest. I have looked, researched web sites and can not find anything the Republican party is for; uless you count that they are for themselves. The current Republican Party is the party of NO! Pity. Now, if I can only convince the Democrats to send Pelosi to the minor league, a.k.a. the California State Legislature, maybe we will make progress with our government.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  47. Rob2 Pensacola

    Yes! They have definintely become the party of "no." The American people are tired of the negativity that is coming from the GOP. It is time to get behind the new President and to give his vision our full support. Republican needs to stop being obstructionist and become advocates for success and prosperity. Together we stand, divide we will fall.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  48. Omar

    The GOP is on the brink of extinction. They are on the wrong side of almost every issue. And clearly continue to ignore the fastest growing group of Americans – Hispanics. The Bush Administration gave lip service to the religious conservatives that were so important to the GOP base and were exposed as hypocrites by not properly equipping our troops while at the same time anointing themselves as their greatest supporters. How can we forget how parents had to send body armor to their kids? Then again, what more could we have expected from two draft dodgers (Bush & Cheney).

    Omar

    Miramar, Florida

    April 29, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  49. Mike In Greensboro

    On the brink? They have been running screaming toward that end since they decidesd to rubberstamp everything GWB wanted to do. To be so out of touch that they thought that they would maintain the majority with the albatross that Bush still is shows that the voices of the American people dont register with them. But in their defense Rove told them that they were golden, and he's never wrong.

    They are going to have to change the mascot from an Elephant to the Wooly Mammoth, they're about to be just as extinct.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  50. Margaret from Mobile, AL

    If the Republicans won't try harder to come up with real ideas to present to Obama they will continue the "no" se dive into obscurity.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:47 pm |
  51. TJ

    Aloha Jack! Yes, the Republican Party is on the brink of irrelevance. They have themselves to thank for it. Who wants to be part of a party with a very weak leader (Steele), secessionist Perry, Sarah Palin and Rush? All the rest of us have to do is sit on the side and watch them implode. The Democratic Party could not have planned this better even if they had tried. The GOP needs to ditch the religious fanatics and have a message better aligned with contemporary America and not just be the party of rich white men.

    TJ
    Honolulu, Hawaii

    April 29, 2009 at 4:48 pm |
  52. Todd

    What do you expect cafferty? Washington politics is about one thing and one thing only. Power. Its to bad they have to sell their values for it.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  53. P.Calves

    The United States of America is a country whose government is based on a strong two party system, in which two strong, thoughtful parties work for the common good of the citizenry. Sad to say that what exists now is a large undisciplined Democratic party that has found itself in-charge and seems stunned by it all, and a Republican party that approaches the gravitas of the local town crazy standing on a soapbox in the park spouting incomprehensible non-sense. You feel sorry for both of them, and more than a bit concerned about either one running the show by themselves.
    As an independent who voted for Obama, I can say that I hope that his policies lead us out of the morass that we are in... but I certainly pray that we can find an opposition party that will be the alternative voice to the Democrats... unchecked power leads to abuses as we have seen over the last 8 years.
    I just don't think that the Republicans, as they seem to be at this time, are that party.
    P.Calves
    West Islip, New York

    April 29, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  54. Jim Hale

    The move away from the no way party to a new way party is the only direction a person with a passion to solve problems could end his his life's work. He may not do what is expected of a politican but when he doesn't its usually because of strong belief in making things better. Road blocks are a way to divert , slow down or stop something, so you can have another try at doing something. Specter may help slow down or divert the "mind set" that simply refuses to engage in developing any legislation and enjoys watching and creating opurtunities for failure to win.
    The Senate needs more independent thinkers like Arlen. Not because he has changed his party, but because he follows his own beliefs and isn't afraid to act upon them.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  55. Jim G in NorCal

    No, Jack. The Republican Party still serves a very useful function. Without them Jon Stewart's and Stephen Colbert's shows wouldn't be nearly as funny.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  56. AK

    Jack,
    The answer is obviously YES! The really question is do the GOP themselves realize this fact? That answer is, unfortunately NO!

    April 29, 2009 at 4:50 pm |
  57. Ray Rito Trenton, MI

    Just another example of a politician who betrays the folks that elected him to represent their positions. NOT HIS.
    .
    If he can't represent the Republicans who voted him in, then he should resign the Senate seat that was given to him ,by the Republican electorate.

    Politicians seem to forget that they where elected to represent the folks who put them in office and not change in mid-stream because their personal politics change.

    I say THROW ALL THE RASCALS OUT and start with folks who represent those who put them in office.

    Spector is a disgrace.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:51 pm |
  58. Ellis Copeland

    The Rethuglicon Party has dragged America through the dirt. It has treated people like idiots. As the original Rethuglicon Abraham Lincoln said, "you can fool all the people..." They finally ran out of rope, now they're dangling– deservedly so.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  59. Terrance Lewis

    No, the Republican Party is not on the brink of irrelevance. However it is time for them to redefine themselves which may put apart of their coalition on the endangered species list. If they rally around the fiscal conservatives and stop catering to the social conservatives they actually have a compelling story to tell. Of course it goes without saying that some work needs to be done on the flexibility issue. No one can be 100% wrong all of the time. The President must have done something right during his first 100 days.

    I suggest the Republican Party start the return to prominence by not only pointing out what the President has done wrong but acknowledging some of the things he has done right. Helps with the credibility.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  60. Melissa

    Yes, yes it is. And they're doing it to themselves with their own bad behavior. Its like watching 90210.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  61. Adrian

    I saw the Spike Lee documentary ‘When the levees broke’. It was the sadist thing I’ve ever seen in my life. I was born in central Alabama in 1973 and I only remember stories of the past terror and horror. They showed John McCain eating birthday cake with President Bush while thousands of Americans lay dead in the streets. The same John McCain that voted against the King Holiday. Why would 95% of Black Americans vote for Obama? Blacks in the south were enslaved until 1937, Republicans don’t understand that it takes more than one generation to overcome that kind of oppression. Especially, when the oppression has never stopped. Remember, these are the same people that wrote the Jim Crow Laws. The Republican Party has become a gang of confederate flag waiving loons that wish for the good old days. News flash, the good old days weren’t so good for some of us. Hopefully we will be able to identify these people, isolate and exclude them from our society until they are all gone.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:52 pm |
  62. Hubert Bertrand Oberlin La.

    The (rep) politicians have been doing things their way so long,it will take them awhile to wake up.You know politicians, you have to throw a shoe at them to get their attention,

    April 29, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  63. Shadysider

    As you pointed out, the GOP has become an exclusionary party. Go to any Republican or conservative blog and it seems like any ideas outside of the Limbaugh value system are denounced. They have decided to be on the regulation (wrong) side of social issues, but espoused financial deregulation which helped to destabilize the economy. My entire family switched to Democrat in order to vote for Obama in the primary. We were also going to switch back to Republican to vote for Specter in the 2010 primary. It matters less to me that he made the politically expedient move than that his opinion is closer to my own. In my opinion, moderate pragmatism is what the majority of Americans are looking for in their politicians.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  64. Elizabeth

    If you are not a white, evangelical Christian, neo-conservative, right to life, card carrying member of the NRA, who is against same sex marriage, against immigration reform, against educational reform and just about every kind of reform you can think of, well you just are not welcome in the GOP.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:53 pm |
  65. Pete

    I used to consider myself a true independent. Fiscally conservative and socially liberal I would weigh the pros and cons of the candidates and vote for the person I felt who most closely reflected my values irrespective of party affiliation. Since Bush/Cheney/Rove I now consider myself a committed Democrat. In the last election I voted straight along party lines. I'll never cast another vote for another Republican no matter what the person claims they represent. There is not such thing as 'integrity' amongst the Republicans. Republicans have forever lost my trust.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  66. Chicago Mike

    On the brink !?

    Too late for that....they have been irrelevant since 2001.
    It was not recognizing their irrelevance had morphed into criminal incompetence.
    How else could they have done so much damage to the United States in such a short period of time?

    April 29, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  67. J Watson

    It really is up to the party. They can keep their heads in the sand and stay the course with what's worked for them in the past, and thus, become a thing of the past in doing so, or, they can let go of some of the ultra-conservative ideology that is moving moderates away in droves. Letting go might be hard, but the alternative isn't pretty for the GOP.

    -Arroyo Grande, CA

    April 29, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  68. Schalaine Ellisor

    Yes, and I couldn't be happier. The Republican party is so out of touch with the American people. This is not a time for small government. It is a time for an effective government that has the average American people's interests at heart. We know Republicans only know tax cuts and fiscal responsibility. Our country is going to hell in a handbasket and we need to invest in education, health care, and energy. I truly think once we get back on track we can then worry about deficits. By the way, how the hell were we supposed to pay for 2 wars with massive tax cuts? All Repubilicans (the party of no) can take a flying leap!!!!

    April 29, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  69. Tommy Thomas in Abilene Tx.

    The current Republican Party is definitely becoming irrelevant.Nevertheless, a democracy calls for intelligent discourse and different viewpoints.. I hope a viable party emerges from the GOP's ashes.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  70. Jack

    The Republican Party needs to return to its core beliefs: limited government and being fiscally conservative. As a Republican, I feel like the Religious Right has hijacked my party and used it to shove their conservative beliefs onto America. I fully respect their rights to have these beliefs and opinions, but I don't believe these opinions have any place in the Republican Party. The sharp right turn of the Republican Party on many social issues in recent years has irritated and disgusted many voters, including myself. In order to make a return to power, the Republican Party needs to greatly reduce the influence of the religiously conservative, and stop trying to legislate morals to the population. The TRUE Republican Party has some great ideas to offer America, and it would be a shame to see them wasted by letting our party continue drifting towards the Religious Right.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  71. John Kelly

    All sane people should abandan a sinking ship. I'm wondering what the Maine girls are still doing in there.

    John, Atlanta GA

    April 29, 2009 at 4:55 pm |
  72. Jason T.

    As a 22 year old it is hard to see the Republican Party making any sort of a comeback if it continues to push farther to the right and remain a party that promotes such dated agenda. In the November election people my age voted overwhelmingly for Obama and the Democrats not because we are "uniformed" college students as some suggest, rather we see the world in a much different light than does the Republican Party. Either the Republicans come to terms with the 21st century, or they will most definitely become irrelevant as my generation continues to come to age.

    Jason
    Albany, NY

    April 29, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  73. Parrish Oglesby

    If the republican party continue in the direction of excluding everyone except white male southern christians the answer to your question will be a big fat YES.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  74. vern livingston- anaheim,ca

    republican party is heading towards irrelevance and pehhaps oblivion as a major political party as they are losing peole all the time.they are not the party they once were and have been taken over by right wing christian zelots,they should get back to what they once were when they were a good opposite to the democratic party.this would be bad for the u.s, as we need a strong 2 party system

    April 29, 2009 at 4:56 pm |
  75. tommy young

    The Republican Party is going down the tubes because they didn't adhere to their principles. They spent like drunken sailors and started war mongering all over the world. The party can be for a strong national defense without looking for wars to fight all over the world. The party also needs to stick to the fiscal conservative message and leave the moral issues to the states.

    Paris, Tennessee

    April 29, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  76. Chris from Buffalo, NY

    No, the republicans are not on the brink of irrelevance because the democrats cannot allow that to happen. They need the republicans there to blame things on. If, in two years, our economy hasn't recovered, or we're attacked by our enemies again, or our auto companies aren't thriving once again, what will the democrats say? Will they try to blame this on their "irrelevant" friends in the house and senate? With the luxury of being the only relevent party in Washington comes the burden of being the only responsible party in Washington, for better or worse. I don't think the democrats want to take that risk.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:57 pm |
  77. GuyInIowa

    I don't now Jack. The first responsibility is for our elected officials to represent the people. I read over 200,000 registered democrats switched during our last election.

    Are 200,000 people all hippocrits or are they really finding the GOP has gotten too extreme and negative with it's view.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  78. Allan - San Jose

    The GOP is past the brink at the moment. When your major party spokespersons are as ill-informed, un-engaged and inarticulate as Mitch McConnell and Eric Cantor, and the media that carries your message and handles your PR is the lunatic bin at FOX, you're no more credible than aliens impregnating stars at the checkout stand "news" rack.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:58 pm |
  79. bill, british colubia

    Hey Jack ; Living north of the border, we've seen one major, long-standing political party( ironically known as the "Progressive Conservitives") wiped off the map and several provincial political parties as well (of mixed persuasion). There's some republicans who've noticed the change in wind direction, but the rest have refused to take their heads out of the sand to stick them out the window.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  80. Jason, Koloa, HI

    On the brink? They've already fallen off the cliff and a little puff of dust can be seen at the bottom of the ravine. Beep Beep, coyote.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  81. Jenny from Nanuet, New York

    The Republican party is a joke. The only thing it's good for is a punchline.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  82. JACK KEMP

    The GOP has become a SMALL PATHETIC GROUP of useless evil clowns, huddled in a small pup tent , hoping AMERICA FAILS, crying whining, obstructing and plotting a course into oblivion.. ITs TIME for them to JOIN THE DINOSAURS and disappear..

    April 29, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  83. Dave Smith, Oklahoma

    Nah, they still hold enough senate seats that they can count on conservative democrats to vote with them on most bills that come up that we voted for Obama to sign.

    If they lose a few more senators and a goodly number of Reps in 2010, i would say they are quite bad off, but you have to agree, that with the horribly shabby campaign full of disingenuous BS that McCainPalin ran last year, and the constant stream of propaganda they are sending out over the past 6 months, if they havent lost their core in the south, corn belt, and mountain west by now, they'll never vote with the dems.

    April 29, 2009 at 4:59 pm |
  84. GuyInIowa

    Correction ***

    I don't now Jack. The first responsibility is for our elected officials to represent the people. I read over 200,000 registered republicans switched to democrat during our last election.

    Are the 200,000 people all hippocrits or are they really finding the GOP has gotten too extreme and negative with it's view.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  85. Linda from San Antonio

    Jack,
    I have no problem with an opposition party. I believe it's healthy to have differences of opinion and approaches within our government. Unfortunately, this is NOT what the Republicans are offering. I am willing to listen to any and all viable solutions they provide to today's issues. Sadly, all they offer is the same old tired ideas that have been around for years and ultimately got us in the mess we're in now. Until the Republican Party gets over the fact it lost and lost big and gets down to the nuts and bolts of who they are and what they can bring to the table, they will never get my attention....or vote.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:00 pm |
  86. JamesL-Maryland

    LOL, "on the brink"......................YES and they have actually been there for sometime, I wished someone would just push them over the edge already. The GOP is such a RACIST organization that truly I couldn't see them ever as anything good. They seriously need some devine intervention of some sort because they are truly living at the banks of DENIAL (which isn't the river in AFRICA). I pray for them!

    April 29, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  87. Allison Brown

    The GOP couldn't be more clearer of who they really are.... The Grand Old Party. The name & the meaning behind it... Sounds like the Klansman Party to me. They are so played out & so irrelevant, I saw it coming when Sarah Palin kept talking.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  88. sam

    republican party has one good thing going. blindly saying NO to whatever this administration plans or suggests: may that be policy-making or stimulus plan or whatever. younger adults are starting to think for themselves. opinionated older adults telling them what to believe, who to vote for, who to like, who to dislike does not seem to work anymore. young adults and teenagers are very interested to see, hear and evaluate by themselves all things and events before deciding to go along with the many rhetoric republican views and opinions. reason over tradition. science over opinion. justice over pride. human respect and decency over torture and hatred. what a refreshing moment in time.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  89. Chad from Los Angeles, CA

    If they weren't so stubborn in their ways, and so afraid to admit when they are wrong, things would be better for them. Until they realize they backed a degenerate as president the last 8 years, they will keep falling.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  90. S. Bell

    The Republican Party has pushed me out, as well as Senator Specter. Although I am a life long PA registered Republican, I had decided the remain so only to vote for Senator Specter in the primary. As I live in Pat Toomey's old PA 15th district, I can say that I never felt Toomey represented the region at all, completely out of step. So yes, at least for me, the Republican Party has become irrelevant.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:02 pm |
  91. Kasey from Washington

    Jack,

    The Republican Party is irrelevant already because it is no longer the Republican Party but the incredibly conservative party. Everything I read is about crazy right-wingers and their fear of lose "White America". All they care about is keeping immigrants out and making the rich richer. The Republican Party that I used to sometimes admire is dead and gone.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  92. Daniel, Burbank, CA

    With the Republican Party becoming more and more radical and its moderates jumping ship, we could very well witness a party extinction. If that were to happen, it is likely that the Democratic Party would break into two parties, as has happened in the past.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  93. Tim in Texas

    The Republicans have failed to control their far-right-wing element. You know - the most radical members of the NRA (those who think they should be able to drive a tank down Main Street), the Christian fundamentalists (those who think that the few things that they pick out of the Bible should dictate our laws), the 'free market is the solution to everything' folks, and the 'Texas should maybe secede from the Union' people (except when Texas wants money from the Federal government). The Dems have their nut-jobs too, but there's few radically far-left Dems in office. If there were, you'd know them by their Birkenstocks and Hemp clothing. The Republicans are irrelevant and will become more so unless they toss out all the incumbants and replace them with some moderates who the rest of the country can stomach.
    Tim in Texas

    April 29, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  94. JJ

    They're not just on the brink of irrelevance, they ARE irrelevant. Instead of coming forth with constructive ideas to address those areas where they are way out of touch, they just keep determinedly marching in the same incorrect, oblivious direction towards total obsolescence.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  95. Theresa in Atlanta

    The Republicans lost me when they allowed the religious wing-nuts to dominate the platform and dictate policy. I have no intentions of returning unless they dump their flat-earth/scorched-earth agenda.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:03 pm |
  96. Mike O'Brien

    Senator Arlen Specter made the 'right' decision at the right time. I have lost all faith in the Republican Party. Maybe, what Meghan McCain and Jack Cafferty is saying it 'true'.., "Dick Cheney, Karl Rove, Rush Limbaugh and Ann Coulter".., "just go away" and leave us alone to rebuilt the Republican Party. Maybe, Michael Steele should join the increasing crowd and "just go away" and leave us alone. We need new faces and fresh ideas in the Republican Party. I have a hard time understanding why the Republican Party is always looking at the past and not looking at the future. Mike in Montana

    April 29, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  97. Tara Wright - Forest City, NC

    In a word, yes. Arlen Specter's defection is simply a result of eight years of calculated division within the GOP, where the moderate masses are being pushed out by the extremist fringe. And I believe the rank and file republican voter sees this and that is why we're seeing such venom fly in the wake of Arlen Specter's decision to switch sides. It's not so much that they need his vote or really see him as a traitor as much as they see the handwriting on the wall. They see their party collapsing around them and they're scared out of their wits. Whether or not they do something to prevent further deterioration is up to them, but if they don't I don't see the republican party surviving, as we know it, much into the next decade.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  98. Doug - Dallas, TX

    Jack, the electorate has changed and the Republicans have not. Dinosaurs are out and relevance matters! Everyone knows why Specter switched parties, but what does that say about the Republican Party's message to today's voter? The ones who are left becoming more radical, moving further right and trying to use the same old tired message that hasn't worked for years. You only have to look at the response from Steele and Limbaugh to understand why the Republicans are gong backwards.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  99. Jon

    I hope so.

    We've had to live with their media manipulation, false purity, hypocrisy, intolerance, anti-intellectualism, anti-environmentalism, fear mongering, war mongering, and dogmatic adherence to utterly disproven economic theories for far too long.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  100. john in NC

    Jack, last summer you pronounced that the Republican Party was irrelevant. now it is just on the brink? I will wait until the mid-term elections before before I declair the republicans irrelevant.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  101. oh-politician

    You bet Jack.

    Rosedale-Queens, NY

    April 29, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  102. ANDREW

    The republican Part is NOT on the brink of irrelevance. The departure of Mr. Specter will make move for a true conservative republican in 2010. I hope Americans will see the damage that is being done to this Country by this runaway congress before it is to late. I urge you people to wake up and see what is happening to our future. Tax, Tax and more Tax is not good for anyone no matter how you suger coat it.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  103. Luke Randles Knoxville Tennessee

    You see a Rebublican party that in 2008 believes they weren't right-wing enough...a party that is virtually doing everything but making it's members sign a loyalty oath and like the old Soviet empire will probably start purging themselves of the "wishy-washy" moderates.
    Why?... because like their former leader (he whose name shall not be mentioned) ...if your not with them your against them. And all the while they keep claiming they are a "big tent" party but first I would check your admission ticket for the fine print. I mean just think if he were alive today Barry Goldwater wouldn't be allowed in the current GOP that's how far they have shifted to the right.
    In the last 15 years the Repuglicans motto should have been " be afraid...be very afraid " and even that isn't working anymore. The GOP with their media pundits going on crying about how citizens should fear the government at every turn are approaching the level of the iconic man on the corner holding the sign "the End is Near" well at this rate that fate maybe a self-fufilling prophesy for the GOP as a national party.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  104. Common Sense 08

    Yes. They seemed to focus more on their party rather than focusing on the people they were suppose to represent.....almost similar to a cult!!!

    April 29, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  105. Harvey Miller

    Jack,
    The Republican Party is only relative to the right wing wacko talk shows. If it weren't for those shows, most of us would doubt that the Republican Party still exists. With leaders like Rush, Sean, Bill, and the rest of the F-word network, is it any wonder that the party is on the skids toward oblivion?

    April 29, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  106. Texas Veteran

    I left the Republican party about midway through Bush's first term when I realized the religious extremists had hijacked the party and made a beeline to the farthest reaches of the political right.

    While I would like to think that this marks the end of the Republican politics of exlusivity and the "us v. them" mentality, recent comments from the Republican leadership have dashed those hopes. Note: I use the term 'leadership' loosely in this case as there aren't any real GOP leaders right now.

    Kudos to Cafferty for reiterating that this move is little more than a desperate ploy by Sen. Specter to save his job and not a movement based on idealogical differences, as the Senator would have us believe.

    I find it interesting, though not surprising, that Boss Limbaugh and his cronies have been attacking Sen. Specter, claiming him to be a "leftist" and "not a true Republican." Apparently anyone with a moderate, centrist viewpoint is no longer welcome in the GOP.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:06 pm |
  107. Dave Smith, Oklahoma

    Hey Jack, Whats the Last 100 Days summary for the GOP look like?

    April 29, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  108. Mike, from Florida

    I certainly hope not, Jack. I'm a Democrat, but I'm scared to death of a single-party government. The Republicans need to either reinvent themselves or fracture into multiple parties that more effectively show their sides; the true Republicans and the Cheney-Rushians. The Democrats MUST have a check on their ever-increasing power. This is not a time for feeling sorry for yourselves, GOP.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  109. Bob

    Jack of course. If only they would listen to Meghan McCain

    April 29, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  110. Vince, NY's 20th Congressional District

    If the GOP cannot find itself soon, yes, it will become irrelevant indeed but cannot be allowed to become extinct. The nation cannot afford the absence of the loyal opposition. You know the old adage, power corrupts; absolute power corrupts...as in complete Democratic party domination. Not good. But the GOP appears to have no direction, no leadership, no feasible answers to today's pressing problems. Just saying nay is not the appropriate response. And spouting off about one party control and the associate problems that brings in not a response because the public memory is not that bad...they had complete control and blindly followed W with the results being the mess we are in today. Enough said.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  111. Ken Harris

    The GOP is only relevant if you are a person driven by fear who needs someone to tell you who to blame next for your troubles - gays, secular humanists, immigrants, liberals, people with different skin color, elitist college graduates, and on and on. And if you're not afraid enough, the Republicans will fix that, too.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  112. Tom

    The Republican party that relies on fear mongering, the oppression of social liberties, and the religious right is (Thankfully) on the verge of irrelevance. In my 27 years I've yet to see any other Republican party, but I guess it's possible that the non-wacko faction of the party could save fiscal conservatism.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  113. Ron Ouellette

    Jack,
    IRRELEVANT, IRRELEVANT?? You bet Jack, THEY had it their way for
    12 years and look at the mess their greed, arrogance and incompetency brought us. Even Specter can't fool us, neither can some of the Democrats. Its time to CLEAN HOUSE both in the SENATE and the HOUSE and bring in people who will actually SERVE
    the American Public. Most of the Republicans thought they had a
    pathway to being in their positions for the rest of their lives where they
    could say one thing and do another. The sleeping giant of the American people has AWAKENED finally and we should institute TERM LIMITS as well as AGE LIMITS to make sure we get the best that we can get to serve us and the rest of the World.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:08 pm |
  114. Isabelle from Washington State

    It's obvious that Mr. Spector doesn't have the stomach for the republican party any more. Good for him! The Democratic Party is an all inclusive party for the well being of all people. We welcome you with open arms, Mr. Spector. You are now among friends. Take Care.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  115. Ken in NC

    Yes Republicans are on the brink of irrelevance. I tell you how bad it is for them. George Wallace stood on the school steps in front of US Marshals and said, “Segregation today, segregation tomorrow and segregation forever”. Even he changed if for no reason other than the fact that he was a smart politician and saw the light of change coming down the pike. Most Republicans are not even that smart. Maybe Republicans should reread their history to see how inclusive they were of women and Blacks. It supported and put these people into positions within the party back in the days of the party’s youth when Democrats wouldn’t even consider having Black leaders.
    They are in need of a good shaking up from the top down and I think they are getting it but many of them are still refusing to give in.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:09 pm |
  116. Katiec Pekin, IL

    Everyone in America realizes they are becoming irrelevent except for the republicans theirselves. They refuse to conform to what our country wants and needs, obstruct any and all policies that could help our country without offering any constructive input and remain committed to the old ways and days of politics.
    They are self destructing, Jack, and can blame no on but the GOP.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  117. Professor 1

    Conservatism means opposed to change. In such a fast changing world, of course they are irrelevant. Their solutions might have worked a century ago.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  118. Virginia Nielsen in FLORIDA

    With the election of Obama our country showed that they decided to move on... actually, the Rebublican party is acting like in the 50's and 60's; a lot of ideology and no interaction or action, seems like they don't live in the same planet that we do, a lot of challenges and quick changes all over !!!

    April 29, 2009 at 5:10 pm |
  119. Ted, Beaverton,OR

    The only people who haven't figured out just how irrevelant they are is them. At the moment all they have are chest beaters in a weakling competition. Wake up GOP, put your pride and negativity aside and do something for the people you serveand who put you in office, ALL of them, not just the extremist loudmouths. The era of join us or you're against us is dead and buried. The funeral was November 2008.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  120. Tom Dye

    Jack,
    The GOP is certainly on the brink of irrelevance due to their opposition to changing times and attitudes. If The GOP can't see that only a small fraction of the population is very conservative and they are strongly opposed to being more inclusive then they are destined to the same fate as the Luddites.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  121. Tom Dye

    Jack,
    The GOP is certainly on the brink of irrelevance due to their opposition to changing times and attitudes. If The GOP can't see that only a small fraction of the population is very conservative and they are strongly opposed to being more inclusive then they are destined to the same fate as the Luddites.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  122. don (in naples, florida)

    the republicans are at their strongest in times of crisis. although we are in a war on terror, it would take another serious disaster to bolster the republican party– or some big celebrity to run as president. After all it is a popularity contest.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:11 pm |
  123. Tony IL

    Jack,
    As a Democrat, can I say an astounding "Hell no". While the Republicans are a little down, they are by no means out. Either they are going to do something to gain on the Democrats or the Democrats and the Obama Administration will do something that will angry the American taxpayers, like failing with the billions of dollars spent on taxpayer backs on the Recession Stimulus package. This would be enough for the Republicans to use to get Democrats to come to their party.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  124. Nat G

    Hi Jack,

    In case you haven't noticed, the GOP has been irrelevant for some time now. And if it continues to be dominated or hijacked as I believe it will be, by crazy right wingnuts like Limbaugh and Hannity, it will certainly meet the same fate as Dinosaurs did centuries ago: Extinction. As for the Specter fiasco, he's just an opportunist blinded by personal ambition! Shame on the democrats for embracing him as opposed to supporting a strong progressive primary challenger.

    Nat G.
    Vancouver, Canada

    April 29, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  125. Nick - Corvallis, Oregon

    The Brink of Irrelevance? Perhaps. However, I strongly believe that if the GOP can pull itself out of the death-like grip of people like Dick Cheney, Rush Limbaugh, and Ann Coulter and begin to reevaluate what it stands for, and can resist being drug into the far right, the party will be something people can once again be proud of. Listen to your young members; listen to Megan McCain. Let the more progressive members of your party breathe new life into its lungs, and the GOP stands a good chance to make a comeback.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  126. larry

    in my humble opinion. the GOP has been insignificant since the days when Newt Gingrich was speaker. The worst ever, again my opinion, is this idiot they now have as minority party leader. I have nicknamed him BONER, because ever time he opens his mouth, he reminds me of why I could never have anything but contempt for anyone that would stupid enough to follow an idiot such as this chump.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  127. Wes Speer

    Jack,
    GOP Irrelevant? I think not. It will however take an Obama take to keep it from becoming so.
    The party of dogma and pledges and oaths all geared toward self serving and uncompromising policies has yet to understand the sea-change of the 21st century American electorate.
    A brilliant tactician, a Mesiah (with a nod to the evangelicals) with feet firmly planted in matters important to regular voters can stop them from becoming irrelevant. But, I'm not sure they have either the person or the time to find her.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  128. Ron Ouellette

    Jack,
    Its called social promotion, just like this political correctness crap.
    When will American workers actually DO THEIR JOBS?? When I
    was a kid if you did not pass the tests you did go to the next grade,
    its that simple. Our teachers have been overburdened with more
    students, more to teach and have watched as the Administrators
    would up with big money raises and their salaries have gone up
    a pittance, what's wrong with this picture?? Let's bring back the
    old system of either you pass the test or you stay where you are
    even if you are 25 in the 7th grade.
    Ron – Florida

    April 29, 2009 at 5:13 pm |
  129. Julie in Lake Mary, FL

    Jack, I predict that before the next presidential election the Republican party will split. Some going to a religious right party, some to a big-business supporting party...and then the Democrats can really have a party! Spector sent an invite yesterday.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:14 pm |
  130. Ed Banks

    Jack, the GOP ought to be disbanded.
    A party that advicates torture and makes wars to stay in power does not deserve to be a credible party. A party that uses religion to decieve the American public should be history. Ed

    April 29, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  131. Paul

    Jack,
    Republicans just wanted to win too badly. They gave up their principles and teamed up with the hard right. Well, now that far right wing is controlling the party. If I were Olympia snow, or John McCain I would be forming a new "Independent" party and let the Republican party go to the way of the whigs.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  132. Julie in Lake Mary, FL

    Jack, I predict that before the next presidential election the Republican party will split. Some going to a religious right party, some to a big-business supporting party...and then the Democrats can really have a party! Specter sent an invite yesterday.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  133. Eric from Chicago

    The WHAT party? WHO??
    They have no one to blame, but themselves.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  134. Robert Lowe

    At the present time, Republicans are more obstructionist than honorable opponents. Given the magnitude of the Obama victory, and the lack of unity among the GOP, they are indeed irrelevant in any real sense. However, they will, in time find their voice (hopefully one of moderation) and once again provide an alternative view to the majority.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  135. Jerry from Monroe Co. WV

    It's a slow pendulum. Hopefully it will stay left as long as it was right.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  136. Dicky Neely

    Hi Jack,
    The GOP is way past the brink of irrelevance. As long as Michelle Bachmann, Newt Gingrich, Sarah Palin, Mitch McConnell, John Boehner et al, keep spreading their blather the GOP will become less and less influential.
    Dicky Neely
    Corpus Christi, Tx.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:16 pm |
  137. Andrew

    They'd be fine without the social conservatives...but I don't see that happening, so bye!

    April 29, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  138. Nephesh Amarcusa

    What did Sen. Specter mean by “I don’t know what they mean but they say they’re OK losing in primaries as long as we can PURIFY THE PARTY”. Sen. Specter courageous choice to switch parties for Self Preservation should be respected. Especially if he has been working in the midst of some kind of “American/German-Nazi mentality” without being devoured by or succumbing to it. I believe that he does not want his legacy to be one of Civil Division such as the “party of no” has been.
    Republicans their comrades and ditto-heads alike equate transparency, equality and justice with loss of freedom and socialism. That is so un-American and sounds like communism But, We the people will not be put behind an “Iron Curtain”

    April 29, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  139. Brent Dixon

    The Republican party is a hot mess as they say in hood.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  140. Jon Gill,philadelphia

    We can only hope. The path the Republicans have attempted to take us down has not been good for this country.
    Some of these hard-right guys remind you of the Spanish Inquisition.
    This country has always been center stlightly right or left leaning.Trying to take us back to the twelth cnetury isn't going to work. So until these political neanderthals wake up, then yes they are irrelevant.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  141. Lyn Lindstrom

    I hope so. Maybe if the Republican party would act as grown ups and not pompous fools........they might have a chance? But I highly doubt it what with people like Chairman Steele, or Cheney and the equally loveable ( NOT) Limbaugh............I rest my case!

    April 29, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  142. Rosemary

    I wish they were on the brink of irrelevance, because they have become the party of no-tolerance in a country that has a big tent. Some of the Democrats could also go there with them. They appear to want to keep culture wars going in this country, and if we can't have it we will destroy it, instead of real ideas.

    I do not view Sen. Specters cross/over as all that great for the Democrats. To me he represents someone trying to save his bacon, voters be damned. I see him as a Trojan Horse for the Democrats. I will have to see him in action in the next few months, because his past voting record certainly leaves a lot to be desired. The President, the Senate and House Leaders had better be careful in their wholehearted support at the expnse of loyal Democrats who have earned their support.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  143. Lisa Hall

    7 words – Not if you live in the South.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:17 pm |
  144. Michael Krasny

    What GOP party?

    April 29, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  145. Linda Exum

    Yes and Good riddance.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  146. John from marquette, Michigan

    Jack,

    They are unless they endorse more of a liberal (for lack of a better word) social agenda. Americans like the idea of economic freedom the the republicans talk about but we are becoming increasingly liberal in the United States on social issues like abortion, stem cell, war on drugs, minimum wage, etc. Like McCain said, she has many diverse friends, they have to embrace diversity or risk staying the minority for a long time to come. Thanks Jack you do a good job.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  147. stephen

    Been that way since Bush was elected. The Republicans need to fire all the old guys at the top of the party and re-invent itself – or it will go the way of the Green Party or other parties that vanished without a trace.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  148. Bob D of Morristown, NJ

    Jack, The Republican party isn't on the brink of irrelevance; it's been totally irrelevant for a long time. What George Bush did was demonstrate to the electorate once-and-for-all just how irrelevant the party is. At it's core it's a party of, for, and run by the super greedy rich. Since that is a small proportion of Americans, they gained the requisite number of votes by attracting lots of fringe groups whose individual agendas are quite unpopular. These groups include the unfettered firearms for all bunch, the ethnic and religiously intolerant, the religious zealots seeking to impose their own religious constrictions on everyone else, and those who oppose the changes needed to extend civilization's survival into the future given the realities of our presents, and current trends, like an exploding world population.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  149. Jon from Tempe

    As a Democrat I can remember back in 1994 when the Democrats lost both houses and we were being marginalized as irrelevant. We came back. The Republicans will too. This is sort of a natural cycle that political parties go through. As a Democrat of course I wish they wouldn't but I am realistic. I know they will.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  150. Ken Shriver

    Hey, hands off Arlen Spector- He is (was) the only Republican with any sense! The Republican Party ran his moderate policies to the other side of the fence.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  151. Jeff Rosensteel, 18, PA

    well Jack, i think the republican party has alot of reform to do. We have lost the young generation and need to show people we are not the past. I am also not worried about Bennidict Arlen, we didn't want him anyway

    April 29, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  152. ronvan

    You got it right Jack! Republicans have destroyed themselves by not being able to impress anyone. Next parties will be Dems. & Independents. Have not heard a sensible remark from a Rep. in awhile now.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  153. Mike

    Republican Party on the brink of irrelevance? All I can say is- "it's about time!" Remember, from death comes life. Hopefully a TRUE conservative with TRUE and GENUINE values will step forward. Libertarian, maybe?

    April 29, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  154. Sean G.

    Absolutely, Jack! Our parties have had a history of disappearing over the years. It happened to parties like the Whigs, and who is to say it can't happen to the GOP?

    April 29, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  155. Jan from Missouri

    I would say definitely, mostly because they project that they alone have moral values. I left the Republican party in the 80s when it became clear from their rhetoric that they felt a vote for a Republican was a vote for God. My husband and I are now Independents, supporting neither party unless they have the best candidate, and God still likes us. That's good enough for us.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  156. Wunmi

    On the Brink...JAck. I would say they are already there. I see no way for the Republicans to become relevant again in the near future. Except if except if Obama fails at everything,which is impossible.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  157. jim johnsrud

    When acorn stops cheating I will agree that the republican party is irrelevant.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  158. keith,GA

    on the brink jack?how about on the ledge?

    April 29, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  159. Linda in Geneva, FL

    They already tumbled over the brink, went splat, and spread out in a mono-molecular layer of slime.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  160. Sandy

    "Republican" - "Irrelevance" .....Heaven help us; Rush will REALLY be on his soap box now!!!!!

    Sandy, Lake Worth, Florida

    April 29, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  161. Michael

    My God, I HOPE so.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:18 pm |
  162. Nate

    The Republican party has an increasingly fringe population. There is no value in rebuffing the president's agenda when he enjoys enormous popularity. Unless the party is able to bring new ideas and principles to the table, their slide into oblivion will only continue.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  163. eddie

    if the GOP doesn't compromise, it will die off...

    April 29, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  164. Bobby Hamer

    Jack,
    Come on. Specter a hipocrit. What's the news in that? They are all hipocrits. Gingrich impeaching Clinton while cheating on his wife, Liberman jumping from party to party to get re-elected. Political survival is paramount.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  165. David A Whitaker

    Hello Jack, it show how out of touch the republican has become. This has been coming for awhile, it no surprise to most of us. They have wanted to be the prefect party, everyone else is unamerican. They're for life and most of them is for the death penalty.

    Martinsburg,WV

    April 29, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  166. Vince

    No, it's not on the brink. It went over the brink some time ago.

    Vince
    Huntington Beach, California

    April 29, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  167. walt sims jr

    The Republican Party was on the brink for the past eight years. It fell over when Sarah Palin was personified by Tina Fey.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  168. Allen L Wenger

    Yes, they are on the brink of irreleance. It is sad when the only thing that can save your political party, is a national disaster or a complete economic melt down. Hoping the worst for your country in order to save your party, what a predicament. It makes you worst than unpatriotic.

    Mountain Home ID

    April 29, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  169. Ashley Freeman

    Yes.

    Though the only problem with the Republican party falling apart in such a way is that the more people that leave the Republican party or become dissatisfied with it, the more Republican extremists will pop up. More Rush Limbaugh followers, so on and so forth. They'll only become more anti-anything-that-even-looks-Democrat, and more extremist the more people start going to where the grass is greener.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  170. Princewill in Minnesota

    Jack, I believe that if the Republican party doesn't take back their party from the crazed extreme right-wing conservatives, they sure will be heading for irrelevance.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  171. Michael from Cranbrook, Canada

    Jack .... In Canada President Obama enjoys an approval rating of over 80% while Bush was less popular here than he was in the United States. Since Obama's election. the Republicans led by the likes of Dick Cheney who is blabbing as he fears jail, and Rush Limbaugh who attracts the loonies, continue to lose cerdibility.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  172. John

    Jack the Republican party is not irrelevant becasue we still need two parties for our government to better serve the will of the people, but what the Conservative Republicans need to do is stop allowing the dogma of the Religious Neo Con movement to get in the way of their true message.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  173. zosimo(simon)ybay

    irrelevant,who is more traditional between the two parties(republican or democrat

    April 29, 2009 at 5:19 pm |
  174. DAVE S.F.

    yes yes yes...and to use a saying from the christian right..Hallelujah!!!!!!

    April 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  175. Betty O.

    No. I've been a Republican most of my life. I supported Nixon until Watergate happened. Was I disalusioned? Yes. Did I switch parties because of it? No. There are always going to be people who don't want big government and anything that smacks of socialism. Just because one man changed parties so he could be reelected, doesn't mean anything.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  176. Howard Steinberg

    Well Jack,
    Considering that Rush Limbaugh, not a former president, or congressional leader, is viewed as the national spokesperson, what do you think!

    April 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  177. Gary, Canton Ohio

    Jack, as long as the Republicans allow Limbaugh, Beck, Hannity, Malkin, Coulter and their ilk to act as spokespersons for them they will slide further into the abyss. You can’t have people like that spewing far-right venom every day over the public airways and then expect the voters to forget that type of nasty rhetoric come election day. The GOP had better get on the ball and tell those right-wing blowhards to stuff it!

    April 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  178. Reg

    On the brink? ... well only if you mean while looking in the rearview mirror, otherwise they are way past the brink.

    Reg

    Atlanta

    April 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  179. Ed Banks

    I predict that Olymbia Snowe and Susan Collins will soon be booted out of GOP by Rush, Hannity, Cheney, Delay, Palin and other extremist right-wing loonies. GOP is a failed religious party of imcompetence and intolerance and should be disbanded asap. Ed

    April 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  180. Stephen in Texas

    This was to be expect. Even rats know when to leave a sinking ship. As a former Republican I left the party to become independent because of the fringe part of the group that got Bush elected. Now all they party has is that fringe. I with a lot of people don't agree with everything the Demarcates do. But we voted for them because there is a level of respect that is no longer there for the far right anymore. They are holding on to an old world view. And in a world evolving fear and intolerance just aren't marketable anymore.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  181. Scott

    The Republican Party will be irrelevant for as long as it takes the Democrats to screw things up. That is the nature of a two party system. It's not that one is better than the other; it's simply an election of the lesser of two evils.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  182. Elaine

    The Republican party is not on the brink of irrevelance, they are irrevelant.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  183. Tim from Hot Springs, AR

    Is there really a question about it? Of course it is. The Grand Ole Party is quickly becoming the Angry Old Party. I don't know who really controls the party at this point, but it doesn't take a rocket scientist or even an intelligent republican to realize that you don't reinvent or revitalize your party by becoming more right. The neo-conservatives are going to be there...they have no choice. If the republicans really want to become a party of the future, they have to think in future terms and not revert to the ultra-conservative, Contract with America era.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  184. Steve Slocum

    Yes, Jack, and irrelevant since Ronald Regan's election. Their policies, current popularity, and my 201K Retirement Savings are proof.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  185. Howard

    Obama's successful registration drive in Pennsylvania switched most of the moderate registered Republicans to Democrats. Spector is following his base in changing parties. He has no other choice, if he wants to continue in politics.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  186. Debbi Langmuir

    I am a lifelong Pennsylvanian. I am 53 years old and have been phoning Arlen Specter's office for the last few months. He does not allow you to speak to him or even another human. He will only allow his constituents to leave a voice mail! Wow, what representation. I have left numerous messages encouraging Senator Specter to join the Democrats! At least he won't be diverting GOP party funds to his coffers. Good riddance to bad rubbish. Many here in heartland PA feel that the Demos might not endorse him in their primary and he may still have to fight it out. Perhaps he will take his substantial retirement and go home!

    April 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  187. Gary Chandler in Canada

    When Limbaugh said, "take the McCain's with you", it finally dawned on me. Democratic strategists write irrelevant comments for Limbaugh, then pay him handsomely to read them. The only other explanation is that he totally out of touch with reality.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  188. John Hunter

    Jack, the Republican party is plenty relevant.

    As long as you're a sixty-year-old Southern white male who hates government, taxes, and gay marriage.

    - John Hunter
    Oxford, MS

    April 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  189. Jene Moseley

    Are Republicans on the brink of irrelevance? Hell, no. They've been irrelevant for years, ever since George W. Bush took office. Now, they're just on the brink of extinction.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  190. Gary

    I doubt the Republican Party is on the brink of irrelevance, but it has clearly been taken over by the religious evangelists. Arlen Spector's abandoning the Republican Party is really no different than Lieberman's switch to an Independent voter when he didn't win his party primary.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  191. Patricia

    Yes. The Republicans must make a complete U-turn to avoid extinction. They have catered to the far-right extremists and now they are discovering what a minority they are. I experienced the opposite of Ronald Reagan: "I did not leave the Republican Party. It left me."

    April 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  192. John in San Diego

    Under our new President, it is now cool to be smart. That does not bode well for the future of the Republican party.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  193. Mark M

    Republican Party and candidate positions have been irrelevant for quite some time. It's not new. They've been out of touch with American values, families and priorities for several years. It just took an election to drive it home and media reporting to catch up with the public.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  194. Norman Hoffman

    Jack,

    The most relevant thing these far right Republicans like Boehner, Palin, Limbaugh, Hannity and the rest of that ilk, is to move to Texas when that state is ready to secede. I say good-bye and good luck.

    Norman
    Marietta, Ga

    April 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  195. Janice Martin

    The Republican Party is on the verge of exclusivism. I was stunned when someone said that Specter's defection would make the party more pure. Isn't that the same terminology that Hitler used, that is used in the Sudan? Pure? All political parties need to have people who are willing to question. This is like a free speech zone, miles from the debate, useless.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  196. Joseph L Grone

    Jack – As a life long Republican (77yrs old) I can no longer see how the party can be viable. Currently, I could not bring myself to vote for Republican presentations and will be switching my affiliation to Independent.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  197. Paul Pettipas

    I don't believe so. Something similar happened here in Canada back in the 90's when a hated and despised Conservative Party was thrown out of power. What followed was 3 consecutive Liberal governments. However, all love affairs eventually end and the Conservatives eventually made there way back into power...albeit in a minority format. I suspect something similar will happen with you folks.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:20 pm |
  198. David Slaughter from Columbus, Mississippi

    I think that the Republicans are pushing themselves further and further into obscurity with thier "NO" attitude and thier obvious and petty attempts to criticize every little move that the president makes. They have a real chance for redemption here if they will show bipartinship and a concern for the common people instead of wanting to spoil every thing.They act like a bratty kid that , when he sees that he is losing at marbles, slings them all over and runs home. No one likes a sore loser and the republicans have been the perfect example of that in every snotty little way they could show it......GROW UP GUYS or lose it all......

    April 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  199. Dylan Z. Neill

    As an Independent, and Obama supporter, I've watched the GOP implode with amusement. But, I'm worried that we'll descend into a one party system. History proves it never leads to good things.

    -Dylan
    Stillwater, Oklahoma

    April 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  200. Bob Mac Murdo

    Yes, as it currently defines itself. There is no leadership, the platform covers the map and their message does not resonate with most Americans except those who still cling to that far right. As a Republican I will look for someone who can reduce the size of government, bring us back to the tenants of the constitution and work for the general public.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  201. Louis Willard

    Jack,
    The Republican party is the party of
    Whoa,( not so fast! )
    Not No

    April 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  202. Shahab in Saratoga,CA

    At one point not so long ago, The Republican Party produced men and women of character and patriotism who led this nation through good times and bad times with courage and integrity. Today, that conservative movement is a thing of the past, referred to with a sense of nostalgia and longing by all conservatives. Meghan McCain and young people like her are the last hope of the Republican Party and the conservative movement. So, the conservatives should embrace them as their leaders.Otherwise, the Republican Party will indeed become irrelevent.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  203. flying wolf, Manchester NH

    Hi Jack. I certainly hope so. In trying to bring back 19th century robber baron values, with a side order of the Christian Taliban, they've done 8 years of damage to this country. It's time they paid for their criminal stupidity, so the rest of us can move on to the 21st.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  204. John

    We can only hope so. The republicans have pushed out everyone that does not aligned with the extreme "right wing". As soon as the repubilicans get a spokesperson that does not speak the hateful messages of Limbaugh and begins to create a vision on inclusion with fiscal conservative priniciples, the repubicans can then have a chance. If not, perhaps Megan McCain will start a new party.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  205. Manny Whitlock From OKC

    LOL, Hypocrisy? Geeze, that seems to be story everywhere we look. Even I get caught in the midst of my own hypocrisy and have clean that trash out. That's the difference between a brother who grows and one whom don't. The Republican party is in turmoil. Jack, it may never come back. This next election will be the best time in a long time for an Independent. Brink of Irrelevance? Nope, we need them so we can be reminded of where we been and therefore we will know which way we must go. RIght now they are like a detour sign that reminds us to go the other way.

    GOD BLESS YOU JACK and THE CREW AT CNN,

    Manny Whitlock

    April 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  206. Jim

    San Francisco

    The Republicans irrelevance has become irrelevent! Bye Bye!

    April 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  207. CJ

    You become obsolete when you become arrogant, elitist, and divisive…the definition of the Republican Party as it exists today.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  208. John

    Warm wishes from Boulder, Colorado, Jack!

    The Republican Party (RIP) is surely growing more and more irrelevant every day; it is truly an anachronism. It is angry, senile, and confused; I sometimes wish that Americans would take it off of life support!

    All jesting aside, America needs (at least) two strong, viable parties which provide a balance of power. We also need fresh ideas from both sides of the aisle. This is obviously not the case at present...

    Enjoy your show, Jack! And keep up the great work, CNN!

    April 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  209. Katie

    I hope not. Even though I'm a Democrat, we do need a relevant 2nd party, and it would be good to have a relevant 3rd. We need to be able to hash out the issues and come up with the best solutions.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  210. Larry

    Simply put it is unpopular to belong to the Reoublican party right now. As Spector put it, they're undergoing "purification". In the sense where someone like Limbaugh is the ideal. Scary.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  211. Bill

    Jack,

    The GOP is like a whirlwind in the Desert... a lot of hot air with no impact. The 'wanna be' leaders need to shut up and do their jobs.

    I would like for one GOP party to tell the country what they have done in the past six months to earn the high salary we pay them. I suggest that we stop paying the 'thugs'

    I am sick and tired of their rich only, righteous than thou agenda.

    I am planning a "Tea Party" to gid rid of the existing "Republican Dictatorship" wanna be's"

    Bill
    Missouri

    April 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  212. Max (Woodbridge)

    I hope so. The Repubs have gone from ultra right wing to just short of fascism and it's going to continue to push out the moderates and fiscally conservative...

    April 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  213. chinwe, Raleigh, NC

    Jack, Republicans did absolutely nothing for 8 years while George Bush destroyed this country. Finally the rest of us have woken up from slumber and said enough is enough. They got what they deserve.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  214. William D.

    Unless attendance increases in far right fringe churches that specialize in bizarre rituals of speaking in tongues... the GOP is done for. Forget about Reagan. This party needs to come to its senses and get back to common sense Rockefeller Republicanism.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  215. Steve - southern Illinois

    Whatever happens to the Republican Party they can thank George Bush, Rush Limbaugh, and Sean Hannity for it. And so far it doesn't look good.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  216. Michael Caruso

    Jack,The republican party has treated people for years like a red headed step son,now they are seeing the results of their own stupidity and devisiveness.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  217. Mr Dean n Seattle

    irrellivence? they've been irellivent since 2006 but too busy drinking tea to realize just how irevellent the party has become.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  218. Marcus

    The party of no has to go. Good job jack.

    Marcus, birmingham

    April 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  219. Dave (UT)

    The two party system is in place and will remain that way. The GOP will stay relevant but will change. I think the party will get back to its fiscal roots and small government.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  220. TASHA

    I am a Republican and I do not agree with the extreme right or the spendthrift Democrats. I believe in a woman' right to choose and in doing what is best for our Country regardless of what party you profess to belong to. How about no parties and just the American party?

    April 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  221. Mwangi Charles

    It went down under way long time ago when "he" said mission accomplished!

    April 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  222. Ken

    The OBAMA backlash will create an all new and stronger "REPUBLICAN PARTY",

    Time will cure everything,

    Obama is well on his way toward creating the WORST period of our nation's history

    April 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  223. Jeff in MA

    As a life long democrat I can sadly say that the democrats will make the republican party relevant again by screwing something up and forcing the pendulum in the opposite direction, making democrats the party no one wants to join, and so fourth and so on until finally someone takes a stand and create the third party our country so desperately needs.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:21 pm |
  224. Mac from Vacaville

    Parties tend to have high points and low points throughout the decades. The GOP finds itself on a low point, but not one that is unfamiliar to them. When Nixon was found to be involved in Watergate, the GOP also took a critical blow in popularity. Their numbers suffered, but the Republican party bounced back with Reagan. The GOP will rise again just as it has in the past. Just wait and see: the true and loyal members of the GOP will make this party rise from the ashes and take back Congress and the Presidency.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  225. andrew

    Jack,
    The Republican Party will always be relevant to somebody, just not most Americans. They are not the same Republicans that I could disagree with but still respect. Their views are extreme and have the take or leave quality that turns just about everyone I know off, Republican or otherwise.
    Andrew

    April 29, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  226. John

    The GOP seems irrelevant right now. I was a republican until the incredible fiscal irresponsibility of President Bush and the republican congress. When I finally did my research, I found that since Reagan the GOP has pursued borrow and spend policies at the expense of my children. Hearing republicans carp about the budget now is beyond galling. I, and all the true fiscal conservatives I know (vs. supply siders or libertarians) are now independents or democrats (blue dogs, of course). So all republicans have now is the 25% of America who believes that people rode dinosaurs.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  227. Don

    Brink? No brink they fell over the cliff months ago and much like the ecomany they won't know it till they hit rock bottom. Real question is who will replace them?

    April 29, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  228. Brad in Ohio

    I think the party became irrelevant when former Pres. Bush was reelected in 2004. Most decisions made by the party have been nothing short of retarded! Case in point, IRAQ! Let it be known that I personally feel that our last President didn't have more than two brain cells to rub together and that the Vice President (Cheney) was the puppet master of that administration.

    If you want to see where the party is headed today, just pick up the movie "W." and have yourself a laugh at Bush's expense. Everyone else already has!

    April 29, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  229. C H Berry

    How can a party that has borrowed more money from 2000 to 2008 than all Presidents put together since 1776 expect anyone to take them serious. chb lenoir nc

    April 29, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  230. Lee Smith

    I sure hope they are. Republicans are out of touch with middle class working people.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  231. Stephanie

    The Republican party is on the verge of REVOLUTION! Young Republicans are gearing up to reinvent the party. We are fiscally conservative and socially moderate and are ready for a party that actually repesents us. We could probably use a better face for our revolution than Meghan McCain. . . but at least she's giving it a shot.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  232. Jack, Hinsdale, IL

    The Rep Party will probably survive, but the real question might be whether ALL parties should be dissolved. I believe the American people want our leaders to vote and make changes based on their belief of what is best for the country and not just what is best for the party. They vote like robots, they do not think for themselves, but let the party think for them. The system needs to be changed for the better of the country. Vote for the person, not the party. Vote on what they can do, promise to do and their track record. Thks, Jack

    April 29, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  233. casey pawlak

    Bush and company has killed the party. The cowboy approach to world politics has been our undoing. Obama has a huge uphill fight to get our economy and world standing back. We see the Republicans as the cause of our ills. They are now more than mere scapegoats. And deservedly so!

    April 29, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  234. WW in Corpus Christi

    I don't know how irrelevant they are, because the relevant party will still use them in the never ending good cop bad cop game.

    The remnants probably have a lot more time on their hands than they used to though.......

    April 29, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  235. ej

    I was an old conservative Republican, now I'm an old Independent that voted for President Obama and to vote the Republicans in my state out. (Which I lost, because I live in a 'Right to Corruption' state. Republicans have killed Capitalism and the American infrastructure and that's no small feat. Our state is trying desperately to kill off what's left of their public education system. I believe God gave us a choice in all things, I choose not to follow the most corrupt political party in history. By the way, PAC money really is the root of all evil.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  236. Tom H.

    For those who still "believe" the GOP is still relevant. However, its hard to find how any policies where their relevance is having an impact in our daily lives. Perhaps like elephants the GOP should just wander away and die.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  237. LeonP

    As a lifelong Democrat, I sincerely hope that the Republican party is NOT driven to the brink of irrelevance. Our government is based on checks and balances and, as we saw under King George II, power that is unchecked is not good for the USA and the world. Where IS the party of Regan? That party would have a voice now but the fanatical ideologs that control the Republican party today have failed themselves and our nation.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  238. James Johnson

    Yes, the Republican party sold their souls to the devil for votes. Nothing good can be gained from dealing with the devil with their southern race tinged notions of being a real American.

    The chickens have truely come home to roose. Baak BaaK Bakkkkkk!

    April 29, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  239. Brent

    Jack, they are losing relevance. By latching onto social conservatism rather than Reagan-esque small government, the GOP is pushing out moderates. Someone like Ron Paul should have been a smaller government standard-bearer for the GOP, but rather, the right wing tried to push Sarah Palin's social conservatism down the throats of independent voters. After that, Michael Steele promises retribution toward the three republicans who voted for the stimulus, it's no wonder their own members are bolting. By being anti-gay and anti-choice and pandering to religious extermists the GOP is hiding themselves deeper and deeper in the political wilderness as those issues begin losing political relevance as the general public begins to care less and less about opposing gay marriage or abortion or differing religious views.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  240. Joe from Virginia

    Jack,
    The question is not relevance, it is existence.

    I was a Republican, my wife wife was a Republican, my Mother was a Republican, my Brother was a Republican and most of my friends were Republicans – we now aint.

    Please ask the last Republican leaving the Party to shoot out the light.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  241. Harvey T.

    The Republican Party declared and then celebrated its irrelevance when it nominated Gov. Palin for the vice presidency at the convention last summer. No one has taken the GOP seriously since it became clear that Gov. Palin represented the direction in which the party wanted to move. Irrelevant? You bet!

    April 29, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  242. Jarrod19

    I think the republican party crossed that line long ago with "georgie" boi.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  243. Ted

    Jack,

    The republicans will always be relevant as long as their mantra is tax breaks for the wealthy, ignoring the environment (see global warming) and the endless finger pointing/big business/bigger government, they will be the poster children for how to kill a party...which will in tern create endless longevity.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:22 pm |
  244. Lou in Florida

    In a word, yes. The Emperor has no clothes, and Arlen just woke up and noticed.
    Lou
    .

    April 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  245. Mack H. Graves

    It's a pendulum, Jack. It has swung to the left but just like many times in the past 84,857 days of our republic, it will swing back.

    Mack H. Graves

    April 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  246. jason burton

    The Republican Party is not on the verge of being irrelevant. Social conservatism and the religious right in this nation are on the verge of being irrelevant. Considering the election of Obama, the current geo-political landscape, and the emergance of a non-passive younger political generation, the social conservatives and "moral majority" have lost the fight they are so passionate about. Republicans, if they continue to hold to that wing of the party's idealism, will fade from view by association. It's do or die time. All this from a social conservative and right wing Christian......I even see it.

    Jason Burton
    Farmville, VA

    April 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  247. Dayo Bello

    No, Republicans know exactly what they are doing. They are trying every trick possible to win back the White house and win congressionnal races. A typical example, is Senator Specter. he is now a Democrat just to win the Senate seat in his home State. Democrats should be aware of these tricks.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  248. Blair

    Irrelevance is likely too harsh of a diagnosis. Even against a filibuster proof majority the Republicans won't be irrelevant if they stick to their party's values and voice their opposition to policies and legislation being railroaded through. They may not be able to stop it, but when that legislation fails to do what it promised too the Democrat will lose their lock.

    History seem to show that the swing voters of the middle tend to want balance between the two parties. Each time either party gets control they eventually end up listening to their extreme fringe too much and pay for it during a subsequent election.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  249. E.J., Berrien Springs MI

    Hey Jack,

    Republicans will never be irrelevant, if i remember correctly Jesus came to this world and hung out with "publicans" and other questionable characters. If Jesus thought they were relevant enough to hang out with then I guess they have some purpose. LOL

    April 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  250. Peter J

    I am sure you are for a one party system with no counterbalance, but the democrats need the republicans for balance that is why this country is great. Don't forget that Jack!

    Firefighter Pete

    April 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  251. Grant from Denver

    No, I don't think so. Were the Dems irrelevant in the 90s when everybody said they would be the permanent minority? They'll be back once they ditch the bible as their playbook. I miss real Republicans, look what good the party has done for the country. An end to slavery and conservation were both Republican ideals at one point. Like I said, I miss them.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  252. Doc in Chicago, IL

    No, Jack, there've been there for awhile now.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  253. Lee Collins

    Jack, Republician is no longer a political party it is a religion.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  254. Sean

    I truly hope that the Republicans can find their way. Our country has thrived under a system that embraces dissenting opinions and I respect that my fellow citizens will not always agree with my political ideals, but unfortunately it seems as though the GOP has used all of their recent opportunities to criticize rather than be constructive; focusing on the elections in 2010 rather than the problems in 2009. I don't care about your prospects for Senate in 2010, I care about a balanced budget. I don't care to hear that you disagree President Obama's policies, I want you to offer viable options. Seemingly all you have accomplished is to reinforce the idea that you have in fact become the "Party of No." I can't stand all of the GOP whining and complaining about a lack of bipartisanship in Congress and the White House, when it was these same men and women who perfected the "with us or against us" mentality. The GOP needs to stop focusing on telling everyone what is wrong with the Democratic ideology and start telling us what they stand for, their ideals and values, because it's beginning to look like nobody in the GOP knows what those values are anymore.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  255. Eileen

    Jack, the Republicans are not on the brink of irrelevancy, they're already there. I watched the vote yesterday on Sebelius to be Secretary of Health and Human Services, and practically all Republicans (AGAIN) voted no. They are no longer a constructive force in government; they are merely concerned with partisan political tactics. They seem to care more about their party than their nation.

    As for Specter, it would have been far better for him to announce that he wouldn't run again, period. While his defection from the Republican Party was partly out of real differences, it was obviously mainly out of saving his own reelection. Too bad for him. I don't think he'll be able to convince voters in Pennsylvania that he deserves another term.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  256. Chris Orbach

    It's OVER the brink - dragged over the edge by social conservatives and religious, homophobic zealots. Before the 70's, the virtues of republicanism were keeping government out of people's lives - both in the fiscal sense AND the social sense. But now the elephant is trying to stand on a postage stamp - a shrinking platform of litmus tests and reactionism. I mean, the Bush state department was staffed largely with people chosen for their views on abortion rather than their abilities in foreign policy. You've seen how well that worked out. It's not too late. The repubs can save themselves. But not before they let go of the extremists and concentrate more on the way people ARE rather than the way THEY think they should be.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  257. Kurt in SC

    If the Republican party continues to be defined by the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Ann Coulter and Fox Snooze, who engage in little more than misinformation, intolerance, and hate-mongering, then the party will continue to see it's political fortunes dwindle. Couldn't happen to a more deserving group of people.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  258. R.Landschoot

    Really, who cares! Common people don't rate, and media types of all channels give the same baloney.
    Spector changed not for the country, but to maintain his cushy job. Look for the money,Jack, where it is, is where politicians go, whether they ar revelant or not

    Gee, your spiel is the only bright spot on any news channel.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  259. Joseph

    The 19th century "Know Nothing" party feared Irish Catholics as a threat to American culture and values, and tried to prevent them from immigrating into this country. That ignorant political party died out. Today we have something called the Republica party, which demagogically claims that liberals, pro-choicers, feminists, atheists, homosexuals, evolution and immigrants are a threat to American culture and values. Thankfully, this equally ignorant party is now on its way out. Specter did the intelligent thing, even if he is a blatant opportunist.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  260. Thomas Cargo

    Are you kidding jack? Just because Arlen Spector has let poll numbers dictate his choice of political party does not mean that we are in any way concernd !! As a Pennsylvania republican we are going to vote him out in the next election because he has shown us that personal agenda is more important than solving real problems!! Republicans are going to be relevant in the future and we aren't going anywhere!!!

    April 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  261. John C. From Elkton Md.

    Jack, Jack, Jack,
    They already are irrelavent, I use to be a Republican and now I'm an Independent leaning Demacrat, but their extreamest views have flaired over the last decade, They wanted to purify the party, thats fine, with that attitude, Demacats will be in charge untill the change their tune, and be more inclusive, and accepting of others points of view.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  262. Al from Frederick, MD

    Unless the GOP change their basic philosophy and diversify soon the party will be history.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  263. Marla Burger

    On the verge? We're there. I'm a Rrepublican and I don't even like the party. Partisan politics are a thing of the past. Working together is a joke. There isn't another party that the Democrats have to work with. The Republicans that are left have moved so far from the center that they are no longer taken seriously by mainstream Americans. Where's Ronald Reagan when you need him?

    April 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  264. LaMonteG

    It's obvious the Republican Party is unpopular. That we cannot argue. But are they irrelevant? Hardly! They are going through a tough time as a party. It's imperative for them to pull it together, build a compelling strategy that's not focused on finger pointing and negative tactics as we've seen of late coming out of this party. As a democrat, I'm hoping the Republican Party does not become irrelevant!

    April 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  265. Jonny

    The Republican Party " is" irrelevant and has been since about 1980, when they became the party of angry white southern Christians and a select group of super rich people. They've stayed in power by exploiting fringe hot button issues like abortion and gun control. Finally a large portion of the american populous have woken up and realized they've been voting against their economic interest for years. There is nothing more irrelevant than cutting off your nose despite your face. Hopefully this shift to the left will continue. The fate of the world depends on it.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  266. David Bobchin

    The Republican Party is not on the brink of being irrelevant, it was irrelevant after the last election. The party of "NO" offers no alternatives, no solutions and no viable responses to the nation's problems. The party's representatives in Congress are a bunch of hypocrites who helped drive up the nation's deficit.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  267. William in Cincinnati

    Irrelevant is too strong a word... worthless comes to my mind!

    April 29, 2009 at 5:23 pm |
  268. Mark

    It depends entirely on where the Republican party wants to go. GOP losses in the last 2 election cycles have less to do with individual personalities (e.g. Obama vs. McCain) and more to do with the fact that they are running on an empty platform: They keep wanting to fight against gay marriage and abortion, but nobody is listening because nobody cares. GOP, are you listening? Give us a valid alternative, or resign yourselves to the lunatic fringe.

    Mark
    Virginia

    April 29, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  269. Alec Maire

    I'm surprised the GOP is even preparing to run in future elections. They've made mistakes that have cost jobs, money, and they brought the country into a war in Iraq. I think they should be prosecuted, especially George Bush for torturing middle easterns without reason. They should be irrelevant and a scar in american history.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  270. Andy

    Lets see it this comment disappears.

    The republican party isn't going anywhere. The dems and obama running the country is like the owner of the company is on vacation and the employees are trying to run things. Bush Jr. made his mistakes everyone agrees but when the country finally goes bankrupt from obama and the democrats the republicans will be stuck getting things on back track.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  271. Ed Zimmerman

    Republican= self-centered, white and Christian only please. Sound familiar? No wonder people are turning away from them. Heil Rush.

    Ed
    Portage Michigan

    April 29, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  272. Ralph Michael Emerson

    The GOP is not on the brink of irrelevance, It's in, up to it's neck in a quagmire of irrelevance. What? nobody's noticed this before now?
    Newt Gingrich making a comeback, Sarah Palin still flailing about, Cheney still trying to sound credible, and Michael Steele blathering about this betrayal, by Arlen Specter. I say Bravo! to Arlen Specter. If most of the members in the GOP came to their senses, there probably wouldn't be enough Republicans left around to make a quorum, let alone a filibuster.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  273. Ted Lewis of New Jersey

    Jack-R they on the brink of irrelevance? Nah–they're over the edge, moribund, dead, stiff, done, gone, fini.

    On the other hand folks have written off both parties before. Sooooo-we;ll see. Maybe the Rove team of scoundrals will pull them out of it.

    The party that brought us RW Stupid, George W, the contract, Terri Schiavo, Jesus, God, the Bible, School Prayer, Sarah Palin and other assorted disasters may or may not be taking its final breath.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  274. Kimberly Arndts - Albion Michigan

    Rush Limbaugh suggested Specter take John McCain and his daughter with him when he leaves Republican party, and this will help with the "purging", process, leaving the party faithful (people like Rush) to carry the banner of conservatism. It's hard to see how this exclusionary attitude will help Republicans survive as a major national party. So purify away, but Republicans should not be surprised when what's left in the crucible is a dinosaur of a political party.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  275. Uche

    Dear Jack, this question is so 2006. How about 'fully irrelevant' as a more suitable term? The GOP cannot recover. The bus left them a long tiime ago. Any attempt at rebranding will be seen for the insincere and hypocritical political ploy that it is.The only reason they are still in the news each time they throw one of their meaningless tantrums is because they own a large chunk of the media anyways and the media in general have a perpetual addiction to controversy.

    Uche, Nigeria

    April 29, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  276. zenaida

    jack,
    cant blame the guy for wanting to be on the winning team..just look at pres. Obama he is a winner in many cases.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  277. Latif Bernard

    PARTY? More like a funeral

    April 29, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  278. Joe McDonald

    Jack:
    The Republican Party is not on the brink of irrelevancy – rather on the brink of re-asserting themselves as a conservative party. They have lost their direction in the wake of a not so conservative McCain running for president and a loss of leaders such as Reagan and Gingrich. The only hope is that RNC Chair Steele recognizes the issue, energizes the base of the party and finds candidates that are truly representative of the conservative wing. By the way, Bush went way too far left to be considered a true conservative.
    Thanks,
    Joe McDonald
    Portland Oregon

    April 29, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  279. Bud

    Unfortunately, no. It seems that are not the loyal opposition but rather the party of "do anything to make it difficult for Obama." I am looking for a few statesmen who are more interested in what is good for the country vs a sound bite for their party.

    Conyers, GA

    April 29, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  280. Terry in Fayetteville, NC

    The extreme right wingers will keep the party relevant even if they have to blow up a few more government buildings and women's clinics and gay bars just for attention's sake. Kudos to Sentor Specter for waking up long enough to remember that you are known by the company you keep... and finding some nicer company.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  281. Bob rom Coopersburg, Pa.

    No Jack...the Republican party IS irrelevant! I was/am ab born and raised republican who is disgusted with the extremist values that the GOP has adopted. It's a no-brainer, Jack.....the republican party is more interested in selling themselves, and selling out the American people than they are in the future of our country!

    April 29, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  282. frona willis

    I actually just changed after 50 plus years as a democrat to the republican party. I do not like the direction of which the democrats are headed. Too big of government and too much debt for the future generations. I feel taxes will be out of range in a few short years. And health care if they get there way will not be there for people that really need it.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  283. Mike Peinado

    On the brink? The Republican party went over the brink months ago as the far right members of their party remain out of touch while they swim in their self-made kool aid. They make great critics but rarely offer concrete solutions–dinosaurs in pin stripe suits.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  284. Mel - Rancho Mirage, California

    Jack, The Republican party went irrelevant as soon as George W. Bush became president. Even Swine Flue is much more relevant than GOP. It is time high time to establish a centrist party. So why am I still a registered Republican? I guess I am waiting for the Centrist party.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  285. Jim Blevins

    Personally, I gave up on the Republican party with the Reagan candidacy. Steadily they have gone from being a political party to being a religious party. They have gone so far now that only those people who want a "Christian" country can accept the Republicans. Hopefully soon, the Republicans will again welcome people of all "ideologies".

    Jim, Craig, CO

    April 29, 2009 at 5:24 pm |
  286. Ken in NC

    On second thought, Republicans are not about to be irrelevant. They still have Michelle Bachman and Sarah Palin. Ya Think?

    April 29, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  287. tim, Oakland,CA

    Jack,

    Specter has fooled me into thinking he was a reasonable, accountable politician on many occasions. Every time he
    was involved in a Senate hearing during the bad old Bushie
    years, he would say something reasonably aware of reality,
    unlike his Party line. Yet, at the end of each of these moderate
    surprise moments, he would flip flop into the Repug. mindset,
    and reality would be lost again, as we returned to the dark ages
    of Religious Idealogues, and those who would cave to their
    agenda, ie. Arlene Specter. I do like that he has identified the
    problems of the Repugs. for all the World to see. That will be
    helpful as we guide the GOP into the wilderness. That's the best that
    can be said about his switch. It merely torques up the desperation
    of the lost, divided party, and helps assure their prolonged departure
    from the World stage. Soon it will only be CNN and FOX mentioning
    their names.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  288. Dennis, Columbus, Ohio

    On the brink, NO! They went over the edge last year with the pick of Sarah Palin. It showed it's ugly head with what was allowed to take place at their champagne rallies. The far right and hade were on full display and the party leaders loved it and worse saw nothing wrong with the behavior.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  289. Katiec Pekin, IL

    People no longer support a party of no, anger and hate.
    They have become very dangerous with their inciting of religious right, unrest and division of America. They indicate anyone who does not believe as they do are not Christians and unAmerican.
    Have never in my life seen a political party act so irresponsible and radical. They are self destructing, Jack.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  290. Allison Patrick

    George W/Dick Cheney made the Republican party what they are today. The past "leadership" of the party seemed to believe that they could bully the world into carbon copies of America. Either they were terribly naive or just stupid. The current Republican "leadership" seems to have no agenda except to say "No", and hope that President Obama fails. It is a shame that the principles upon which the Republican party was founded have been so thoroughly forgotten. Unless the Republican Party begins to realize that America is part of a world of Nations and that Americans count more than do industries and outrageous bonuses, I'm afraid they are making themselves irrelevant.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  291. Tam

    Yes – if they keep backing themselves into that Right-Wing corner...

    I was registered Republican previously, a self-proclaimed "moderate." Last year, I became more and more embarrassed to admit to anyoneI was GOP (equal to GOB, Good Ole Boys, in the South).

    I retained that registration to make sure my vote for Obama didn't get screwed-up somehow, but made sure I unaffiliated myself this January.

    The highest feeling of freedom I ever had was to disaffiliate myself from the Republican party... Woo-hoo!

    April 29, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  292. Lora Lopas

    Yes, Olympia Snowe (R) Maine is correct! I too, as an elected official, feel that being moderate is an evil word in my community. You seem to have to be in either the far right or far left, but the truth is, there is ONLY the middle for the average citizen! When I am talking to citizens, they want common sense decisions, good, solid planning for our future. Both parties are in danger of going too far. I tell people that some have gone so far right (or left) that they are now behind everyone else. Like the bumper sticker says "Lead, Follow, or get out of the way!" The real leaders are going to be moderate, no matter if you have the R or D after your name.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  293. Bryan

    Jack, They are for me. I voted for Republicans for 40 years, first time voting was for Goldwater. Sorry but the party left me. Voted Democrat for the first time in 2008. However, like Senator Snow I am looking for a moderate party. Believe the time has come for a third party, since both parties have gone to the extremes on left and right.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  294. Mitch Dworkin; Dallas, Texas

    No. That is because IF President Obama's economic and foreign policy policies do not work out as planned or to the satisfaction of most voters who have short memories and who are very impatient, then a lot of people in middle America may vote Republican by default in 2010 and/or 2012 just like how many people voted Democratic by default in 2006 and 2008 mainly because they did not like Bush and his policies. Democrats cannot take anything for granted right now just like how they couldn't do that in 1977 when they controlled both the White House and Congress after Watergate. 2012 could be just like 1980 IF Democrats are not very careful and/or if they over reach.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  295. Bernie Borcz

    The Republican Party has gone from fiscal conservatism to social conservatism. That would be fine except that the Republican leadership decided during the Bush/Cheney administration that they had control of all three houses so it was time to ram it down our throats. Their take was as Americans you had the right to disagree with them, however, if you disagreed with them you were no longer an American. Their forced march back to the Dark Ages is leading to their own demise. If the Republican party were a mental patient they are currently in the denial stage.

    Bernie Borcz
    Sacramento, CA

    April 29, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  296. Michael Carey

    Deservedly so!!!

    By embracing and courting the religious-right culture-warriors, so-called "values voters" and poorly educated "small town" whites the GOP was able to swell it's ranks long enough to keep the Bush administration in power for two terms. Now a new crop of younger voters is influencing the nation, and the views of the GOP hard-right – the only loud voices remaining in the Republican Party – are becoming increasingly (and deservedly) marginalized. The chickens are co,ing home to roost!

    April 29, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  297. jh

    Unfortunately, it is still relevant - it has enough votes to obstruct Obama's reforms and economic stimuli if it can swing enough blue dog Democrats, and we've seen some Republican governors in the south punish their own constituents by rejecting stimulus funds. As an engine of progress and source of solutions it is not only moribund but dangerously contra. - a party of Herbert Hoovers. The HMO that denies you that new operation or medication can kill you. In dangerous times, the Republicans of 2009 are all Martin, Barton and Fish.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:25 pm |
  298. ALLAN

    yes they are after 8 yrs of right wing religous zelots the countrys had enuff time for the moderates to take over ther party or they are done it will be DEMS & INDEPENDENTS a real 2 party system

    April 29, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  299. Art-Hastings, Mi.

    America's on the brink of irrelevance as a result of the Republican Party's ideology. I still remember the National Prayer Breakfast, and Dubya speaking to the assemblage of ministers, rabbis, priests, etc. pre-Afghanistan. They lapped it up. The war drums were pounding! You know what we ought to do with churches? Tax them!

    April 29, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  300. johnchristoper SK.

    I believe the "Brink" sign was flashing red through that merry period known as Bush/Cheney. I'm afraid the Republicans have been in total freefall since the election and their destiny,indeed, is Camp Irrelevence. But don't worry...there's radio at Camp Irrelevence and Rush Limbaugh is just achin' to cheer everybody up.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:26 pm |
  301. Betty

    I hope they are. They are running out of people to hate and they have not new ideas. When the old republicans die off, maybe a new generation can hold some of the values like lower taxes and smaller government without hating the gays, the blacks, the hispanics, etc.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  302. Amanda

    Depends on your location on the relevency of the GOP. Nationally, it appears they are falling faster and faster down the slope of failure. But I'm in the Midwest, and in a state that thinks an elephant can do no wrong, so it's kind of hard to see sometimes.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  303. Tiger

    Jack,

    Yes, the Republican Party is becoming irrelevant!
    Republican = Conservative
    Conservative = Those still trying to live in and hang onto the past
    The voice of the future is with the Democratic party! People in this country still have very clear idea of the backwards direction that the Republican party wants to take them, and they made a clear decision in November to move forward again with the Democratic party.

    I think the news has been missing a key point in this story. Specter was a MODERATE Republican. After this last election, moderate Republican are by far a rare breed in Congress. When you take a good look at who currently makes up your Republican party in our current Congress, who can you really blame anyone for wanting to distance themselves from those right wing extremists??

    April 29, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  304. Darr/ Cleveland

    Yes and yes for total irrelevancy. For decades I have often wondered how a Republican brain operates. I now see the full spectrum of Republican intelligence. They think they are sly by offering Specter up as a newly reformed Democrat. But secretly, by direct order from Rush Limbaugh, the Republican party sent Specter behind the lines of the Democratic front to pretend to be a Democrat while secretly operating as a spy for the Republicans. Since the Republicans have no clue as to how to run their party their entire future rests upon what Specter can discover. Yes, I now see the inner workings of the Republicans and it scares me.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  305. Bob

    Jack,
    Politics aside, Senator Specter’s latest move makes him the current “poster child” for the 28th amendment, TERM LIMITS FOR ALL LEGISLATORS. If the events of the last six months don’t cry out for a Housecleaning (Senate, too) I sure don’t know what ever will!

    Bob
    Lantana, Fl

    April 29, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  306. Sharon, Rockford, IL

    Jack, they probably won't disappear, but they will probably change from the GOP to the POG (party of "God) since everything they seem to support is tied to religion. Once that happens will be be one of the fringe parties that often run people in elections but the votes they get are marginal at best.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  307. Cody NJ

    Yea they'll eventually split into two parties, the Ultra-Conservative Party and the Republican Party.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  308. Bob Bechtel

    He could not get relected because he did not vote the way the people wanted if he is elected we will push for leaving the union. we are sick of same old goverment

    April 29, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  309. Fred

    It's time for one party rule. No need for the GOP. Dems have got it all. I say let them have the country. (What this nation needs is the re-emergency of the Nazi party–then we can finally get something done).

    April 29, 2009 at 5:27 pm |
  310. jack

    Jack,

    When you have party that excludes millions of advanced ideas and people. Your left with a minimal amount of people that seem evil and outdated. So yes! They will soon be gone like there ideas.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  311. Eric

    Irrelevant? Maybe.

    Yet, who will pay for Obama's spending when "irrelevant" Republicans decide to go on a wholesale tax strike?

    Who will feed Democrats when Atlas Shrugs?

    April 29, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  312. Carlos in Jersey City, NJ

    Yes, absolutely! While I'm NO Republican (or a Democrat for that matter–I'm more of a Libertarian Socialist or Anarchist), I don't think the party's inevitable demise is ultimately in the best interest of our country in the long run lest we fall into "one party rule." (The "two party" hegemony is bad enough!) What we really need is a truly multi-party system that affords real proportional representation, especially since the Dems really dropped the ball while W was in office wreaking havoc on our Constitution. Why should we trust them to be so stellar in judgment now that they're in charge? That said, the GOP had better get its act together, FAST, and start offering us a viable vision for the country.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  313. Mark Manz

    The Republican Party is a party that ended a lonnnnng time ago and there are only the old timers left that refuse to admit the party is over.

    freedom,choice and no one cares whom you love is the future.

    pushing your god, telling woman they dont have a choice, and the gay rights haters are still sitting wondering what happened to there parrty?

    Where or where did everyone go? to a bigger more tollerant and hip party thats where.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  314. Scott - St. Charles MO

    It's not irrelevant, it's ridged and unresponsive to the social changes going on in America. We are in a time of inclusion in this country, a time of globalization, obviously 2/3rds of American's can see that and are welcoming it. The other 1/3 are intimidated by it and filled with fear.

    April 29, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  315. JT in Indianapolis

    Jack,
    The Republicans are definitely in a downward spiral. Once they learn, accept & UNDERSTAND that Americans do not want (or need) the 'Republican' view of morals thrust upon them in the legislative process, then and only then will the Republicans be able to swim back upstream. Not everyone in the US shares their old-time religious views that are front & center in the rationale of Republicans – they are so out of touch with middle America!

    April 29, 2009 at 5:28 pm |
  316. Latif Bernard

    PARTY? More like a funeral... R.I.P. Reagan is rolling in his grave.

    Latif Bernard,
    Sulphur, LA

    April 29, 2009 at 5:28 pm |