Greenberg makes a case for why Romney lost, and presents the GOP solution for the future. Have you heard it said better?
“…The Republican Party ran two moderates, whose liberal credentials were acknowledged by the media, and lost two presidential elections. Neither Senator McCain nor Governor Romney would have been described as extreme until they ran for president. The same fate will meet any Republican candidate, no matter how moderate or centrist.
Running a candidate who signs off on tax hikes, amnesty for illegal aliens, gay marriage and abortion will not win an election against a Democrat who already stands for all those things. Abandoning fiscal and social conservatism will leave the Republican Party with nothing to offer to the public except its moderate willingness to abandon its principles for other principles that poll better.
To understand why a sellout is not the solution, all we have to do is compare how the Democrats and the Republicans approached the 2012 elections.
The Democrats turned to their base, offering special favors to narrow constituencies, from a unilateral DREAM Act to gay marriage to mandatory abortion coverage. These positions were all extreme and some of them were unpopular, but they brought out the affected groups in large numbers.
The Republican Party neglected its base and rushed to the center in pursuit of the voters that it didn’t have. Romney made an effective case for being the one to fix the economy, but only in generalities, while Obama successfully made the case to groups within his base that he was going to take care of their special interests. While Romney won the macro argument, Obama took the micro and in a low turnout election used it to win.
In response, the Republican establishment seeks to run even further to the center, even though it’s a center defined wholly by the ascendancy of the left, which pulls the center to the left every time it asserts new extremist positions. The only outcome of this strategy is to give the left more uncontested victories while encouraging voters who might have come out for the Republican Party to stay home once again.
The Republican Party has two choices. It can chase after the center, with amnesty and tax cuts in hand, or it can move to the right in order to redefine where the center is. The second way is the path that Reagan and Gingrich took. The first way is what cost Republicans a second election against Obama.
The Romney campaign was unable to bring out as large a base that was as deeply committed to its own besieged economic interests.
This is where conservatives are now. We have a great product and lousy marketing. And we have three choices.
A political party has to stand for something besides winning elections. There has to be a reason for people to come out and support it and being non-threatening and unprincipled is not a reason; it is an election strategy thought up by consultants who understand chess better than they understand people.
The Republican Party does not have an image problem; it has a constituency problem. The GOP can either find a constituency and stand by it, or it can cheat on its constituency at every turn by running for the center. The Democrats won by standing by their constituency. Maybe it’s time that the Republican Party considered following their example.
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