GOP once stood for “Grand Old Party”. Now it stands for “Generally Out-Performed”. We’ve been discussing the GOP “autopsy” dissecting the causes for the Republican Party’s losses of the 2012 election.
Perceptions are dangerous when you consider there are many radians available to take a stand on when looking at specific issues. The Republican Party has developed a stance of being diametrically opposed to anything the Democrat Party supports. It’s not a sincere effort to debate anything but is more a knee-jerk reaction to combat ideas because they think they must. The Republicans allow the Democrats to steer the conversation and develop the narrative. The Democrats decide the tone of the discourse. They make NO effort to be polite unless it’s a ruse to accomplish goals. They wouldn’t recognize sincerity if it bit them. Republicans are sincere but too polite to fight effectively.
Democrats say: “We believe in the programs of XY and Z.” Republicans answer with: “XY and Z are morally reprehensible and therefore we reject them without qualification!” On the side the Republicans don’t ask: “just what is “XY and Z” and why do we oppose them other than the Democrats support them?” They stand on a faux sense of moral indignation then repeat the narrative more an aria delivered to the choir than a discussion to change the opposition’s position.
The Republican Party has no need for enemies. It has enough trouble contending with itself. Republicans describe themselves, through such “sell-outs” as John Boehner and Mitch McConnell, as conservative; orholding traditional attitudes and values and cautious about change or innovation.
Boehner and McConnell are advertised as traditional but in practice capitulate and are morally flexible.
The problem comes in when we test the actual conservatism of the corps to see if it’s our principles they defend or if it’s a matter of defending what they see as politically advantageous. It’s pretty apparent modern Republican advocacy is self-serving and self-destructive. It lacks the power of conviction. The Republican leadership spends more time trying to exercise the mechanics of the process than standing true to the tenets of the cause.
The Sunshine Patriot comes to mind. Unfortunately, the term morphs into the Sunset Conservative because of the party’s inability to be conservative. It really is Progressive with more traditional shading to its skin tone. Nobody on the Conservative Right understands Progressivism rejects and repels strict adherence to principle. That rejection of principle alienates its conservative base.
Conservative Christians are seeking a status in the party representing a segment of society demanding adherence to biblical principle. Placing the party over the Bible becomes a problem. This challenges the party in its efforts to achieve relevance. It feels it must compromise to find “balance” between it and its political adversaries.
The Republican Party has done a poor job of choosing its battles and it’s been spectacularly predictable as to whom it will choose to carry their banners into the elections most important to win: the richer and more photogenic the better. Appearance takes precedence over substance. There are many issues could be addressed and arguments could be won if Republicans would move from trying to legislate some people’s morals to concentrating on issues affecting everybody. You can become more hardline AFTER you win.
In practice you have a greater impact when you show yourself as a good example of what a person should be, rather than trying to hammer compliance into the head of a recalcitrant fool already made up his mind in opposition. The resultant legislative logjam is obvious in Washington D.C.
The Republican Party needs definition. Does it want to beat the Democrats in 2016 or does it want to continue as an also-ran? Do they want to strategically produce triumph or do they want to be a sharper edged Democratic Party doing nothing for America?
But the obvious is being ignored. Autopsies are conducted on the dead. There’s no resurrection after the procedure. You must find somebody new and willing to take the surviving old guard and arm them with new weapons capable of out-gunning the opposition.
It’s time the GOP was replaced by the “CCC”; Caring, Consistence Conservative Party.
Thanks for listening.