Republicans heavy-hitters across the party’s currently tiny political spectrum are going to go into retreat to do an autopsy on this election and their branding. Do they really have to think all that hard about what went wrong?
The meeting in Shenandoah Valley is the first of scores of inquests into the election defeats to be held over the coming months, some in public and others in the privacy of homes or committee rooms in Congress.
The immediate battle between right-wing and moderate Republicans is over who should become the public face of the party, heading the Republican National Committee. The 168-member RNC will elect its new chairman after Barack Obama’s presidential inauguration on January 20. They gather on January 21 for a three-day discussion.
I don’t hold high hopes for this meeting, given where it was held and the goal at the outset:
Yesterday’s meeting was held at the home of Brent Bozell, head of the Media Research Centre. About 20 people were invited including key grassroots organisers, top fundraisers and the heads of influential conservative groups such as Grover Norquist, of Americans for Tax Reform.
Their aim is to ensure that as the party seeks to rebrand itself, it does not divert too far from its traditional values.
This is a party that seriously needs new ideas. All these folks need to do is play videos of various McCain/Palin rallies held around the country and take a look at who was attending them (and how they behaved). Bible-beaters, people who vote against their own interests, and bigots. Sadly that’s their base, and it doesn’t look like the America of the future; their world is shrinking.
You know they have no clue about what to do when this happens:
In a sign of how far the party has fallen, the Republicans set up a hotline and website yesterday appealing for suggestions from the public on how to rebuild.
Here you go…
One reader went over and saw what some of the suggestions are. Whether the GOP will listen is another matter. A Blender surfed over into the “Share your ideas” section, and to their surprise, some of them are getting it, based on the ideas receiving the most votes — toss out the American Taliban.
1) Be inclusive. 90 votes
Realize that the biggest problem with the Republican party is that it is no longer about personal freedom, but about trying to dictate one perfect way of life. I want less government. The Republican party turned into stricter government. This is not good.
2) get out of the business of defining social morality. 76 votes
Keep the religious right in a position of power and you will continue to lose people like me; pure moderates who are fed up and disgusted with the Republican party — whom I used to identify and vote with. I will never support a Republican candidate who pledges to keep marriage from gays or overturn Roe v. Wade. The government has no vested interest in defining social norms, and as long as the dogma continues to trend towards Talibanesque doctrine, I won’t come back to the party.
3) Small “c” conservatives. 60 votes
The party must return to its roots of small government and personal freedom. The current platform of exclusion and moralism is unacceptable and will result in the destruction of the party.
The republican party should be full of fiscal conservatives of multiple religions, races, and sexual orientations, but the party excludes a majority of these people based on fake religious superiority.
In short, remove religious dogma from the party and many people my age will return. If you don’t, we may be gone forever. Many voters 18-30 went to Obama in a landslide because of the religious right.
4) stop allowing religious bigotry in the party 49 votes
The religious bigotry that some evangelicals displayed against Mormons in this election was disgusting and embarrassing for the Republican party. It needs to stop. Why allow one loud-mouthed, ignorant group to alienate such hardworking, dedicated conservatives as the Mormons?
(My comment here: While I don’t agree withe the statement that what the Mormons did was good, I do agree with getting religious biotry out.)
11) break the association with anti-intellectualism 47 votes
From the time I became politically aware, one of the strongest associations I made was that of the active evangelical community around me and the republican party. Many of these people believe that the universe is a few thousand years old, Noah’s flood explains all of geology, there will be a Rapture soon, and Bush was guided by divine will. Idiots, in other words.
The republican party has been in bed with this crowd for my entire life. There is a distinct anti-intellectual bent that projects the message “we’re poorly educated, and proud of it – vote for us!” It brings with it small-mindedness, pettyness, and ridicule.
I am very receptive to economic ideas about small government, but I just cannot bring myself to cast a vote for a party with the associations I just described – and I didn’t three days ago.
Now how far do you think the country club Republicans will get with the idea of dumping the Dominionists?