Thursday, November 15, 2012

Where You're At

Republican Gov. Bobby Jindal of Louisiana, surrogate for the Romney campaign, fiercely shot back at Mitt Romney’s claim Wednesday that President Barack Obama outmatched the 2012 Republican presidential nominee by offering "gifts" to African-Americans, Hispanics and young voters.

"I absolutely reject that notion. ... I don't think that represents where we are as a party and where we're going as a party. ... That has got to be one of the most fundamental takeaways from this election."

Actually, Bobby, if there's any takeaway to be had, this view of the 47% is PRECISELY where you are today as a party.

That's why you lost.

I know there's a lot of navel gazing going on but isn't that a given? Isn't that your jumping-off point, not what remains to be discerned?

As for where you're heading, you're right, but what it implies for your party is disastrous. It's spectacular irony that party of global warming deniers, and whose electorate deeply rejects the mechanics of evolution, faces certain destruction by being unwilling and unable to adopt systemic changes because you fear those corrections will kill your party just as assuredly.

The problem your party faces comes from a built-in inerrancy doctrine, all truths obtained by way of God or Reagan and not necessarily in that order. It's truth and, as such, it's set in stone and not open for interpretation or debate. It's the opposite of "big tent" which, until now, has been your bedrock. You have employed a single, comforting, cogent message to great effect for decades while Democrats, seeking to be a voice for many different views, have largely been unable to offer a coherent counter message.

Now this bedrock, this unyielding lump of divinely-inspired conservative principle, stands to be your undoing. What substantive platform modifications can you make that will not cause your base to exodus? Immigration reform? Reproductive rights? Progressive taxation?

If you replace a Mercedes Benz, part-by-part, with a Jeep, at what point does it become a Jeep?

If you replace the GOP policy with Democratic policy, at what point does the GOP become the Democratic party?

Evangelical leader Gary Bauer argues that the election loss was due to a party too focused on appealing to moderate voters.

"I think it's due, at least in part, to folks in our party that seem intent on attacking the fact that we're the conservative party in the United States. ... There's no yearning by the American people for a second pro-abortion party. I mean, we've already got one of those."

The Republican party has two options; do what they've been doing and enjoying the same results, or internecine civil war.

Bobby, I can give you two guesses as two which path the GOP leadership takes but you're only going to need one.


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