It’s amazing just how little the Republican hierarchy has learned from the last presidential election. RNC Chairman Reince Priebus and a group of project co-chairs completed what they called the “most comprehensive post-election review” ever. The “election autopsy” made it crystal clear exactly why the Republicans lost and it had very little to do with their findings.
The group determined that they needed to reach out to minorities, gays and women. That’s code for pandering. They determined that the party would back “comprehensive immigration reform.” That’s code for amnesty. In other words, Reince Priebus and the people he’s surrounded himself with are convinced that in order to win presidential elections you have to become Democrat Light.
Priebus and the other RINOs who now seem to be controlling the party are utterly clueless as to what happened to them in the last two presidential cycles. First of all, it cannot be ignored that 2008 was an anomaly as far as elections go. The Democrats nominated a charismatic man who was in position to become the first black president of the United States. This catharsis was long overdue in many people’s minds and substance was the least of their worries. They wanted to purge the country of the sins of racism and Obama’s message of hope and change seemed the logical way to do that.
The Republicans fielded an honorable but weak candidate who had no chance of stopping history. Not to mention that the economy was disintegrating before our eyes and the incumbent party almost always gets blamed whether it’s justified or not.
The defeat in 2008 was understandable and predictable but 2012 was another matter altogether. Despite what the polls were showing, many people – me included – thought there was no way we would re-elect a disaster of a president. We underestimated the vacuousness of the American electorate but the Republicans are to blame for not giving the people a clear choice. The proper rebuttal to the policies of the prior four years should have been someone who understood and could articulate basic conservative principles.
The lesson learned should have been that you don’t try to beat the Democrats at their own game. But that’s exactly what Reince Priebus and his minions at the RNC intend to do. They plan to “assume the room” at every campaign stop, tailoring their message to whomever they happen to be addressing. This is exactly what the Democrats do. It leads to victory, you may argue. Indeed it does but it also lends itself to lousy leadership. When you’ve promised everything to everybody you spend your entire time – and the taxpayers’ money – trying to fulfill those promises.
The blueprint for another Republican presidential victory was laid out recently during the Rand Paul senate filibuster. Senator Paul articulated for 13 hours what was wrong with America and, more importantly, what was right. He redirected our attention to the founding fathers and their vision of what makes a great nation. At the core is liberty. One cannot enjoy liberty and a smothering nanny state simultaneously. To paraphrase Ben Franklin, those who trade liberty for security deserve neither. This country was built on rugged individualism, not collectivism. What made this country great were the entrepreneurs and risk-takers and dreamers. We still celebrate the greatness of achievement and America still offers achievement’s best hope.
That’s the message the Republicans should be advancing and if gays, minorities and anyone else answers that call then they should be welcomed but you don’t change the message to pander to the masses.
The Republicans’ instructions for elections seem to be lose, Reince, repeat.