Once again, those “moderates” of the Republican Party inner circle are exhibiting a determination to obliterate any lingering shred of credibility left in the GOP. Appearing in the shadow of a stellar CPAC 2013 gathering this past weekend, Republican National Committee Chairman Reince Priebus outlined the results of an introspective analysis of the party’s lapses during the November 2012 elections. Predictably, the advice from the self-anointed “experts” is to move the party further left in order to persuade its opponents of a general willingness among the party hierarchy to abandon principle in a futile quest for votes.
The venue from which Priebus issued his statement, the National Press Club, reflects the Beltway Insider environment that has wrought nothing but a string of political disasters for Republicans in recent decades. Yet among those who believe that Washington has all the answers, and that the American Heartland is made up of unsophisticated rubes, the reality on Main Street is of little consequence. “Experts,” the very same experts who gave us Bob Dole, John McCain, and Mitt Romney as the “most electable” candidates, now assert that the core principles which have defined the Republican Party are the root cause for its current unpopularity in the public eye. Thus, the marginalization of those principles is the best course for the party as it seeks to resurrect its image in the public eye. Go figure.
Even the make up of the five member panel, which ostensibly analyzed Republicans’ faltering performance at the ballot box, is tainted by the same old power brokers and their tired and ineffectual approach to politics. Ari Fleischer was formerly a press secretary under George W. Bush. Sally Bradshaw was a Chief of Staff to former Florida Governor Jeb Bush. Henry Barbour is a nephew of former Mississippi Governor Haley Barbour. Does anyone see a pattern here?
In short, the consensus of the panel, after an extensive “listening tour,” is that the Republican Party needs to pander to the special interests who have been thoroughly co-opted over the years by the Democrats, absurdly hoping that a watered down Republican version of the Democrat political agenda might appeal to such individuals. Chief among the proposed changes in GOP identity is a renewed push for amnesty for the roughly twelve million illegal aliens now in America, in yet another vain endeavor to court Hispanics.
All polling on this issue indicates that the primary motivation for Hispanics to vote Democrat is that party’s socialistic programs. This fact is apparently lost on Priebus and his panel of luminaries. In their world, increased pandering to minorities, on terms dictated by the left, will cause such people to abandon the burgeoning government programs instituted by the Democrats and flock to abridged versions offered by the Republicans. One has to wonder on what basis Priebus and his kind might believe that Republicans can miraculously make up for the instant four to five million vote deficit that would ensue the moment those illegals become citizens.
In a similar manner, the version of the Republican Party envisioned by Priebus and his team would abandon its former conservatism of Ronald Reagan (a move he believes to be in the best interests of the party), and refocus on an agenda that will ostensibly prove to “Hispanic, Black, Asian, and gay Americans” that “we care about them too.” He even shamelessly descended to the level of playing on class envy and attacking the private sector, offering his own version of Obama’s political pablum, decrying “corporate malfeasance and corporate welfare.”
Is it really beyond the comprehension of Priebus and his fellow political lemmings that if the Republican Party seeks advice from traditional Democrat constituencies, the guaranteed result is that it will be directed to remake itself in the image of the Democrats? Do these GOP insiders actually expect that following such a course will suddenly inspire advocates of the nanny state to rally to them, and that Heartland America will not become thoroughly disenfranchised in the process? More significantly, by their waffling and capitulating on issues that define the irreconcilable differences between the political right and left, Reince Priebus and his “experts” expose their readiness to subordinate the long term interests of the nation to their political ambitions.
The last two presidential elections yielded irrefutable proof that Republican candidacies based on “moderation” and “bipartisanship” will not only fail to inspire liberals to cross over to the GOP, they will sufficiently disenfranchise the conservative base to the point that voter turnout is suppressed. Nevertheless, despite the consistently devastating results of this approach, the Priebus “doctrine” contends that the real problem in the party is an excess of conservatism, and that only by continuing down the path of “moderation” that has netted so many failures, can the Republican Party restore itself.
Had Priebus really wanted to ascertain the needed course correction for his party, he should have spent less time with the “ruling class” at the National Press Club, and instead given a listen to some of the unassailable wisdom from CPAC. There, he would have heard how real conservatism can energize voters with something higher, and not merely cheaper, than that offered by the Democrats. He could have relearned the inspiring legacy of successes, both in political races and in elected office, from those who are unafraid to stand firmly on principle while facing the inevitable derision from liberal politicians and their media parakeets.
The Republican Party will never succeed in its dubious quest for leadership by pandering and following. And all attempts to follow such a course will only engender cynicism and distrust from the voters. Even the extremely remote possibility of an uptick in support from special interest constituencies is sure to be more than offset by a decline in enthusiasm from the party’s traditional base. A party that professes to stand for anything is quickly recognized as standing for nothing.
Nevertheless, the net outcome of these circumstances does not constitute an unwinnable dilemma for Republicans. If common sense, and more importantly, a devotion to the ideals of this great nation, can be courageously and unabashedly reestablished as the guiding principles of the Republican Party, aspiring candidates on the right can point to the promise of America as a promise for all people. Once the pernicious “nanny state” is reined in, the opportunities that can uplift the life of one industrious citizen are available to every citizen.
It is this message, confidently delivered and steadfastly upheld, that can overcome any leftist effort to convince people that their plight is one of mere subsistence and subjugation.
Copyright ©2013 Christopher G. Adamo