Monday, November 19, 2012
The 'Don'ts' of how to win presidential elections for Republicans
Here's what Republicans need to stop doing to win presidential elections:
1. Sen. Lindsay Graham (R-SC) is wrong about many things, but he is right about this: The GOP does not have enough "angry white men" to win presidential elections. In order for the Republican Party to win the White House, it must attract new voters who are non-white, i.e., African-Americans, Hispanics, and Asian-Americans. Changing demographics is a fact of life in America, and Republicans' "fact-denial" and "science-denial" are retro. Telling Hispanics who are here without benefit of "papers" that they must "self-deport" is not helpful. Saying that 47 percent of the American people are shiftless and lazy and just looking for a handout is not helpful. Forty percent of white voters voted for Obama, folks. Think forward.
2. Pick a winner. The Republican presidential primary is a well-known joke. Contestants run so far to the right to win the party faithful that they wind up looking like Attila the Hun in business suits. Late-night comedians are the only beneficiaries of this process. Republicans, independent voters, and know-nothings suffer in silence. Find someone with street cred and compassion for the little guy, and you might pick a winner. Might.
3. Stop bringing up settled issues. Abortion rights and contraception for women and equal pay for equal work are issues that were settled 38 or more years ago. Some Republicans who carry fundamental religious beliefs into the public square are driving the party into the sewer, insisting that life begins at conception. Now part of the Republican Party platform, this fundamentally flawed principle will keep the party's presidential candidate out of the White House forever. The political lesson, my Republican friends, is this: Pick fights with women and you lose.
4. Stop the "no tax increase" mantra. Sure, the American people are taxed enough, but the tax rates are lower now than they were 20 years ago. No one wants their taxes to increase, but with deficits so huge that the nation can't even afford the interest payments, we better be looking for revenue sources. If Republicans can't recognize this, there's no trip to the White House for them. Tax cuts for the wealthy don't give voters with middle class incomes a warm, fuzzy feeling. But they do brand a party as favoring the rich.
5. Quit giving the Pentagon and Wall Street free passes. The defense budget is so bloated that you couldn't even draw something fat enough to represent it in a cartoon. The Cold War was over 23 years ago, but the Republicans are in "fact-denial", with Mitt Romney famously calling Russia our "enemy". Do we need more nuclear submarines and aircraft carriers and B-2 bombers and next-generation fighter aircraft (that cost $40 million a copy) and nuclear missiles to fight the Cold War when we're fighting Taliban with AK-47s dug in to a hillside? Republicans have to acknowledge that 911 and the invasion of Iraq happened on their watch. Talk about failures of intelligence. Those fiascos -- the former costing almost 3,000 American dead and the latter costing 5,000 American dead and more than 20,000 wounded -- make the attack on the U.S. consulate in Benghazi, Libya, look like a baby's playpen. Wall Street will find lots of ways to screw the customers without Republicans' help. I don't know when that became the way to do business in America but it's a fact of life today. No White House for you.
Will Republicans stop doing any of this? Of course not.