While we await the decision in New Hampshire….let us talk a bit about conservatism…….since I believe that this election is a bit of a mandate on the policies and beliefs of the movement……
First, let me apologize to my conservative friends……but the GOP needs to spend a lot of time evaluating their stances….Why? They will lose the 2012 election and have to go back a find a new direction…let us be honest…..your choices of candidates for 2012 are nothing short of a joke….sorry but you know I am spot on here…..you have a flip in Mitt he will NOT get past the election and to have a guy with more money than half the population and then we move on to a historian that is nothing but a revisionist that would not know the truth if it bit him in the ass…..a governor that is a bully that has NO idea how to govern on the national level….and then there is a Libertarian….need I say more?
I appreciate the differences in the two prevailing ideologies but in recent years the GOP has stopped being a real party just a stop by for the extremists in society……there are real conservatives in the party but they either cow tow to the extremists or they go home….there are NO conserv statesmen left (Dems are NO better)……
Maybe the idea of change should begin with the party and the people that are running for office……after the defeat in 2012 there should be a meeting of the RNC and new guidelines…..and a couple that have been put forth by Conor Freidersdorf in the Atlantic……
1) Stop obsessing over inconsequential slights, real or perceived. In the current primary season, a lot of conservatives deemed Jon Huntsman unacceptable, or not worthy of consideration, because he sent out a Tweet gently mocking climate-change and evolution deniers. Whether or not you object to his attempt to curry favor with the media, it is undeniable that he governed Utah for 8 years as a conservative, favors the Paul Ryan budget, and is generally more reliable and more conservative than Newt Gingrich and Mitt Romney, both of whom have outperformed him.
2) Realize that aggressive rhetoric isn’t a proxy for how successfully a politician can push conservative reforms. Sarah Palin and Michele Bachmann can zing liberals as harshly as anyone. Their penchant for doing so on Fox News is a major reason both of them were at one time considered viable 2012 contenders. But neither were ever electable, and even if either improbably won a general election, they’d lack the necessary skills to actually advance a conservative agenda in office. In contrast, Tim Pawlenty, the former Minnesota governor, had substantial executive experience and a demonstrated ability to advance conservative reforms by cooperating with and fighting legislators from the other party. Despite his record, he was deemed unreliable — partly because, on a debate stage, he shief away from insulting Mitt Romney in the same way he’d done elsewhere.
3) Understand that movement conservatism operates in a media bubble.That means that the politicians who Republicans think they know all about from Fox News and talk radio haven’t in fact been scrutinized and vetted — something right-leaning media outlets are hesitant to do their homework unless given the cover of a political campaign, when other conservatives are attacking. Were conservative media outlets more willing to acknowledge the flaws of their own outside of campaign season, the set of candidates deemed to be viable standard bearers would change.
4) Accept that governing always means compromise. This is relevant because a successful multi-term governor is always going to appear less pure than a businessman seeking public office for the first time or someone who needs only to win a Congressional seat in a safe district. Like the former governor, the businessman and the congresswoman will compromise to advance their overall agenda if elected to the presidency — the only difference is that we don’t yet know how they will compromise. A failure to realize as much is causing conservatives to feel unduly negative about electable candidates with executive experience, and unduly optimistic about empty vessels whose purity is mostly due to the fact that they haven’t accomplished anything or run anything or been around very long.
5) Recognize the right’s new foreign-policy radicalism. As George W. Bush proved in 2000, running on the need for a humble foreign policy that doesn’t squander American resources abroad can be effective for Republicans, as can critiquing Democratic presidents for abusing their power or expressing wariness about the military-industrial complex. Even though President Obama has embraced much of the post-9/11 Bush-era approach to fighting terrorism, the Republican field is determined to run to his right and to portray him as an appeaser who is uncomfortable asserting American power — a hopeless criticism given that his reply will be that he’s killed Osama bin Laden and much of Al Qaeda’s leadership.
Granted these may not be the sole answer but at least it would show conservatives that the Party is serious about winning elections with quality candidates……without young voters or Hispanics or African-Americans the party will be marginalized and ineffective….and for God’s sake work on a REAL message and stop with the one liners….it makes you look superficial!