Great radio segment addresses the question, “What is a country club Republican?”

The Chairman of the El Paso County GOP Eli Bremer appearted on Grassroots Radio Colorado Tuesday to disucss various issues roiling El Paso Republicans.

For those of you who’ve been following the story of the El Paso GOP, nothing has changed much there, but El Paso GOP Secretary Sarah Anderson is hoping that an upcoming mediation session among her, Bremer, State GOP Chair Ryan Call, and others will resolve the issues.

A chunk of Tuesday’s segment with Bremer was dedicated to discussing the definition of a “country club Republican.”

Here’s a partial transcript below. You may think as a progressive, I’m just trotting this out with amusement. Yes, there’s some of that, but having voted for Ralph Nader in 2000, I understand why people fight the party establishment, and no one would dispute that Democrats have their own “limousine liberals.” So I think you’ll find this discussion thought provoking no matter where you sit on the political spectrum. And it made for a great radio segment.

The day after this discussion occurred, on the same radio show, Anderson said Bremer himself was a country club Republican.

Bremer: We had a caller [on another radio show] who mentioned country club Republican. And this has been something that, to a certain extent, I’ve scratched my head over for a while and questioned what is it that people are attacking. So there was part of that, but I kind of wanted to get to the root of, who are we attacking as a country club Republican, and so I raised the question, somewhat in jest, would Dagny Taggart, in some people’s minds, be considered a country club Republican.

Now I actually went on to Wikipedia afterwards and looked this up, because it was the best definition, or the only definition I could find, and it said, a country club Republican is an expression emplyed, usually pejoratively, to describe certain members of the United States Republican Party. Some of the characteristics attributed to a country club Republicans are a higher than average income or wealth, a lack of sympathy with the lower income citizens, and liberal views on abortion, gay rights, and other social issues. They are also said to put less emphasis and value on religion and have attended more prestigious colleges than most other Repbublican Party members.

And so I was trying to open up the debate of, what does this actually mean? Are we turning on ourselves in a way we shouldn’t be. And who is it that we are opposed to with these folks? More to open up a debate than anything else.

Jason Worley, Grassroots Radio host (KLZ 560-AM): Then, let me ask you. Is that what you think is a country club Republican, Wikipedia’s definition, because I have my own.

Bremer: This is what I wanted to bring out in the discussion is, what does it actually mean? Because, by that definition, which is the one most people would look to first. When you Google something, that’s what you do in this day and age. By that definition, Dagny Taggart would be a country club Republican. But I don’t think that’s how a log of people are using it. But I do think there is so much confusion out there that we in the conservative and Liberty movements could potentially  run the risk of running into class warfare as opposed to saying, you know what we want, whether you are a high earner, a medium earner, or a low earner, we want government to get the heck off our backs and get out of our way.

Worley: …If you honestly just think the government to get out of our way, I’m kind of surprised at some of the people who come out of El Paso County. But let me just say, a country club Republican is someone who votes Democrat most of the time because they’ve made their money. They are all for the kind of corporate welfare or government schemes…You know what, they don’t care if they have to pay slightly higher taxes. Thatt’s not a big deal to them. What they care about is they have their position, and pretty much to hell with everybody else.

Bremer: Well, I think that’s a valid critique. I don’t think it’s the most common colloquial definition that the average person would know. Because the average person would go Google it, and see what’s out there. And, again, I’d agree with you on that. Republicans who are out there pushing for bigger government are bad Republicans. I’m totally with you on that. But one of the concerns I have, is are we looking at people like the Dagny Taggarts and saying if you are out there and you run a big business, and you’re successful, and you’re putting hundreds of thousands of people to work, you must be somehow bad. I don’t agree with that. I think the people who are out there leading industry and providing goods and services. They are good people. So long as they are in agreement with us that want less governmentr and they want the freedom to do what they want with their business.

Worley: That I would agree with…but when you talk about big-government Republicans, it seems to me that we’ve got some of those coming out of El Paso County in the form of Rep. Amy Stephens putting SB 200 down our throat. …

Bremer: The less confusing term would then be big-government Republicans, as opposed to country club Republicans. Because what my concern is, is that it’s fair game, and one of the best things that’s come out of the Liberty Movement and Tea Party, is to hold Republicans’ feet to the fire and say, you all should be for smaller and more efficient government. But what I’ve seen ocassionally, and what I don’t want to see this converted into, is class warfare, saying if you’re a country-club Republican, you have a lot of money, you drive a nice car, you live in a nice house, somehow you’re a bad person because of this.

Worley: Eli, I can guarantee you that nobody in the Liberty movement or Tea Party is making that argument…. We have a problem with Romneys of the world…

Bremer: If you guys got Internet, I just pulled it up on my Blackberry, Google country club Repbublican and one of the first hits you are going to get is an accusation that Rand Paul is a country club Republican, which, again, the term is not being used in the same way, and you can see the damage that can be done by a term being misunderstood. Look no further than Congressman Lamborn and I think he would tell you how destructive that can be at times. My point was to bring up the discussion of what we stand for. And I think we stand for less government. We stand for people going out and being entrepreneurs, creating jobs, creating goods and services that don’t exist and doing it without the help of the government. And if you Google country club Republican, which I think most people would do, that’s the definition you’re going to find of a country club Republican. So i think it’s important maybe to change the lingo or to make sure people get it because the average person who hears it thinks if you belong to a country club, or if you’re a fiscal conservative, and that’s your point for being in the Republican Party, you’re somehow a bad Republican.

Worley: And let me be very clear why the term country club Republican has been used by the Liberty Movement. It is because the old school Republicans who don’t want new players in the field, like the anarchists, out there…You have a Representative, Larry Liston. I stood within 10 feet of Larry Liston and heard him put down as losers who shouldn’t take part in the Party, and I am paraphrasing. Now that’s a Republican? That’s a Republican at an Independence Institute event? Seriously Eli…I’m getting worked up here because this is a straw man..

Bremer: I would agree with you. I think the whole idea of a country club Republican is a bit of a straw man. And that’s my concern. I am totally with you, big government Republicans are bad folks to have out there.

Worley: Then why are we going after people who attack big-government Republicanism within the El Paso Country Republican Party?

Bremer: We’re not. The short answer is, we’re not. The long answer is, I view, and many others view, that the party’s job, and  that I as the head of the Party, and that the party establishment, should not be out there as an unaccountable arbiter of ideology. You know, dictatorships seem like a great idea when you first set them up. If you set up Mother Theresa as a dictator, 30 years later you’re going to come back and people are getting their heads cut off. …

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