Can the Republican Party survive without its libertarian/fiscal conservative wing?

As we near Election Day it looks more and more likely that the Republican Party is going to suffer several staggering defeat across the country.  Is part of the reason for this the crack-up of the conservative coalition that has carried the Republican Party since Barry Goldwater?

Have libertarians been pushed out of the party by Bible-thumping-nanny-state-loons like Mike Huckabee?

Could eight years of fiscal insanity have something to do with libertarians & fiscal conservatives abandoning the party of Goldwater & Reagan?

What about Karl Rove and his famed Republican Realignment that was to last a generation?

Back in 2000, Texas Gov. George W. Bush’s political savior, Karl Rove, was performing nothing short of an electoral resurrection, running around South Carolina calling Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) an unpatriotic, illegitimate-black-baby-fathering Manchurian Candidate.

Who could have guessed that eight years later, the senator from Arizona would be dedicating the remainder of his political life to finishing Karl Rove’s good works on Earth?

And yet, as McCain runs around the country this fall, calling Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.) an unpatriotic, socialistic terrorist-paller-around-with, it seems he’s taken it upon himself to complete what should be called the Rove Realignment.

No, not the once-envisioned “rolling realignment,” under which the Republican Party would add to its base of white Evangelical Protestants, bringing in Hispanics, culturally conservative African Americans, and economically vulnerable whites-those who supported Medicare Part D and opposed gay marriage in equal measure-to create a “permanent” Republican majority that would last at least a generation.

McCain’s working on the other realignment: The one where eight years of fiscal recklessness and cultural warfare alienates swing voters and withers the Republican Party until the very base of the conservative movement cracks in half-splitting a coalition that has endured since the Barry Goldwater campaign of 1964.

Can the GOP, at a national level, win without the libertarians they once cherished?

Ryan H. Sager, of reason magazine, asks these questions in his piece: The Rove Realignment – Have libertarians been driven out of the GOP?

There is no doubt that at the national level the party has shown a disdain for its fledgling libertarian wing. The marginalization of libertarian cult-hero, Congressman Ron Paul, at the 2008 Republican National Convention was a great example of that. Some state parties, like Massachusetts, have been more welcoming of their libertarian wing.

Does the Republican Party need to rebuild and rethink its struggling coalition?

Does the Republican Party even need libertarians anymore?

All major indicators say yes.

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