I am sure many of you can and will relate to what I am about to write. After the election, I was in a bad mood. I still wonder why we were not able to get out our vote and carry the day on November 6. I am finding it amusing to watch the professional pundits as they toss around ideas about how and where the Republican Party needs to change. Bill Kristol seems to believe we have to concede the ground on taxes and allow them to be raised on millionaires.
The main theme of change seems to be centered around Hispanics. The going opinion seems to be that the Republicans lost because they need to change their position on immigration. Marco Rubio was in Iowa over the weekend and rumors are already surfacing that he will run for President in 2016. While that may be true and can be supported or opposed in good time, I think it’s a little early to be casting that net. If you look around, you’ll not have far to go before you see supporters of Sarah Palin declaring she should be the candidate we put forward to defeat the liberals in four years. Again, that can be supported or opposed at a later date, but it is still early for that kind of speculation.
To be sure, there are things about the Republican Party that needs to change, assuming the party continues to be relevant in our political system. A lot of the change that needs to happen has to do with how we frame the narrative. We need to explain our positions better and we certainly do not need to run candidates who are going to run off at the mouth and destroy our chances of winning seats we should win. At the same time, we should consider changes of our position on immigration and other issues of importance and concern. But to change the entire focus of our party, changing it to go specifically after the Hispanic vote? Is that a smart thing to do?
For that matter, is it smart for us to go after any particular group, promising them the world, just to get their vote? If we start doing that, whether it be the Hispanics, women, young people, etc., at what point do we start robbing points from one group to give to another? How far do we go to appease one group of voters, without alienating another group? Do we not need all of them in our corner? I just believe it is a little ridiculous for the Republican Party to start tweaking its positions and its core beliefs, if they have any, just to be able to appeal to specific groups of voters.
Why not try a different kind of change? I know it isn’t likely to happen, but why not remove John Boehner from his leadership position and elect someone who will actually stand their ground, even when they are trying to find compromise. And yes, I believe we can find a compromise that is workable for everyone, if the liberals are willing. I’m just not sure Boehner is the one to find that compromise. Other changes would include allowing the more conservative members of the Republican Party to hold positions of leadership in Congress. The Tea Party won big in 2010 and they were promptly cut off at the pass by Boehner and company, for one simple reason. The current GOP leadership are more concerned with retaining their power and that requires them to maintain the status quo. Allowing strong conservatives into leadership positions doesn’t work for them.
You’ll have to forgive me for the rambling of this post. It seems my thoughts are scattered in the wind. If you glean anything from what I have written, let it be this. The Republican Party does need to change, but I am not convinced the changes we see on the horizon are the changes that need to be made. We can start shifting our positions on this or that issue, but at what point does the Republican Party become just a slightly more conservative version of the Democratic Party. At what point will the GOP become completely useless as a political party?
Yes, the Republican Party needs to change, but not so much that it is completely unrecognizable to conservatives.