Work Within the Republican Party?
At the national level, the Republican Party was sitting pretty. Now that they have lost control of Congress and George W. Bush is incredibly unpopular, it's a good time for the Republican Party to explore new ideas.
Not only is Bush hated by the Left, the small-government factions within the RP have been betrayed. Government has grown more under Bush than under his predecessors. It's Nixon all over again.
Interestingly, the loudest call for the RP to return to a small government theme is coming from a candidate who also has appeal to the Left: Ron Paul. His anti-war and anti-PATRIOT-act message is resonating with many on the Left, and many are crossing over to support Paul in the primary. This could be a golden opportunity to build an Upper-Left coalition within the Republican Party.
New, January 10, 2008: This was my strategy. It was difficult, however, as I did not feel comfortable as a Republican. Then, the ugly racist newsletters surfaced and my enthusiasm for Ron Paul's campaign plummeted. I don't think Ron Paul wrote the offending passages, and I do think he has much to offer to African-Americans though pardons of non-violent drug offenders. But it's obvious that he had[has?] some racist friends, whom he let use his good name, and is unwilling (to date) to expose them. Bleah! I'm done!
Time for me to leave the Republican Party and take a break from politics. When my batteries recharge I think I will move on to the new party option.