I have at various times been registered as a Democrat, a Republican (that was in 2000, when I worked for McCain in order to try to stop Bush from getting the nomination) and an independent. The downside is that I get spammed by interest groups from every part of the political spectrum. The upside is I get to hear how the various groups really think, when they think they are among friends.
I recently took a call from a guy in Washington asking me to support "keeping our majority in Congress". More below....
He was a sniveling, shifty little person, as became evident when I listed all the reasons I felt the Republican party had lost me--gay rights, women's rights, immigration, climate change, science education, gun control.... At each mention of one of these issues, he squirmed and ducked and then would come back in his whiny tone with some talking point about "stopping Obama from trampling the Constitution", or other similar drivel. He never bothered to address my concerns about the actual issues.
Finally, I asked, given my positions on all those issues, what exactly was the Republican party offering me?
"We are committed to lowering your taxes and keeping them low," was the answer.
"Really? That's it?"
"Isn't that enough?"
"No. I care about those other issues."
"Do you like paying taxes?"
"No, but it's the cost of living in a civil society. I sometimes wish my taxes were better spent, but that's why we have elections."
"Well, we will spend your money more responsibly."
"Maybe, but I'm not so sure. We just established that I disagree with you about pretty much everything. I'll consider getting on board if you change your positions on science education and reproductive rights, for starters. How about it?"
"Well, how about making a donation of $1000, and you can come to our thank-you event for our "Leadership Circle", and you can raise your concerns there."
"Really! Will any of the House leadership be there? Will they actually let me talk with them? One on one?"
For those who weren't sure, I think this conversation re-established that the Republicans are a one-issue party. When they talk to someone they think might be sympathetic, they are more open about it. All the rest is noise and smoke.