Roger Stone, the youngest staffer on Richard Nixon’s 1972 re-election campaign and a guy who sports a Nixon tattoo on his back, today announced that he's left the Republican Party. He is now registered as a Libertarian. Stone’s last official act as a Republican was to vote for Ron Paul in the Florida primary.
Stone gave the reasons for abandoning the GOP in his must-read blog, The Stone Zone. Here are some highlights. :
The party of Eisenhower, Nixon and Reagan would not recognize today Grand Old Party. The party went from a Main Street party under Reagan to a Wall Street Party under the Bushes.
“Bush 41 broke his "no new taxes" pledge and President George W. Bush's new entitlement programs and reckless spending made us the party of big spending and big government,” wrote Stone.
The political operative is upset that social conservative wing of the party “demands Litmus tests on issues like abortion and gay marriage equality from those who share their conservative economic and foreign policy views making a cohesive coalition of social and economic conservatives ultimately impossible.”
On the presidential race: A party that “can only produce Mitt Romney who was an independent during the Reagan-Bush years (and only converted to conservatism after serving one term as governor never intending to run for re-election while always planning to run for president), Newt Gingrich, a thrice married ego-maniac with delusions of grandeur and Rick Santorum, a religious fanatic, who would tell other people how to live, as presidential candidates proves the GOP may be going the way as the Whigs.”
According to Stone, the difference between Democrats and Republicans is rhetorical: “Under the Democrats you're going to hell. Under the Republicans, you are still going to hell but you are going more slowly,”
Stone’s departure should be a wake-up call for the GOP.