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June 12, 2009

GOP Strategist: We're Doomed

Mike Murphy writes the latest chapter in the GOP book of lamentations.

Despairing Republican friends have been asking me what I think we should do to rebuild the GOP and begin our certain and inevitable comeback. My answer disappoints them: "Build an ark."

I say this because I've made a career out of counting votes, and the numbers tell a clear story; the demographics of America are changing in a way that is deadly for the Republican Party as it exists today. A GOP ice age is on the way.

Demographic change is irritating to politicos, since it works on elections much as rigged dice do on a Las Vegas craps table: it is a game changer. For years, Republicans won elections because the country was chock-full of white middle-class voters who mostly pulled the GOP lever on Election Day. Today, however, that formula is no longer enough.

First off? Build an ark for an ice age? Way to mix your metaphors there, Mike.

The article is not just a jeremiad, however. Murphy has a prescription for the GOP's ills. You'll never guess what it is.

No, really.

Young voters need to see a GOP that is more socially libertarian, particularly toward gay rights. With changing demographics come changing attitudes, and aping the grim town elders from Footloose is not the path back to a Republican White House. The pro-life movement can still be a central part of the GOP — it has support among all ages (and a slim majority of Latino voters) — but the overall GOP view on abortion must aggressively embrace the big tent.
In his zeal to stretch the tent, Murphy dismisses the idea that standing firm on fiscal issues will do any long-term good. Of course, that assumes that if Obama's policies really do some long-term damage to the economy, the issue on most voters' minds will be gay rights. Or abortion.

Obama is already losing support on his handling of the economy, and even the NY Times is growing weary of his 'blame Bush' excuses.

Murphy ignores the fact that when strong arguments are made on behalf of conservative ideas, the population responds - Dick Cheney proved that and Obama's now losing the battle over whether to close Guantanamo. Neither George W. Bush nor John McCain communicated their vision or their ideas to the American people well. Murphy's assumption seems to be that Latinos (the main focus of his article) will not respond to conservative ideas, so let's not try. Liberalize and retreat from one's convictions in the face of demography is not a strategy. Why not instead communicate our ideas in a way that reaches the new population?

Here's something else Murphy ignores. Last year, we ran a moderate who refused to engage his opponent. He lost, badly. Murphy says we shouldn't be stuck in a "swoon of nostalgia" for Ronald Reagan, but his alternative is a McCain-like candidate?

With guys like this setting strategy, it's no wonder we're losing. (h/t: Hot Air)


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posted by Slublog at 02:05 PM

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