The GOP Must Do These 6 Things

The GOP needs to rejuvenate itself.  What it needs most of all is to come down to earth and get pragmatic about what it really stands for, who it really wants to represent. After all, that’s all a political party is — a bunch of people who either want to get elected or support those who do  — because they stand for a common set of beliefs, values and principles.

republicanwinFor a party loaded with smart people the GOP did, and does, some very dumb things.  Forget about Romney’s campaign.  Consider the primary circus, because that’s what it was — a bunch of clowns running around trying to please some part of the audience by doing (or saying) marginally outrageous things (often about each other), and they all know they must face Barack Obama in the fall.  How stupid is that?  Pretty stupid.

Who leads the party anyway?  Is there any master strategist?  Is anyone in charge?  Can anyone with useful ideas even get through to these jokers without donating a million dollars to some super PAC?  Absolutely not!  No chance.

John Boehner is a good guy, but he’s got his hands full.  Mitch McConnell has more than he can handle in the Harry Reid dominated Senate.  Reince Preibus — are you kidding me? Even people who know who he is can’t spell his name, and don’t expect him to put on a Superman suit and a cape.  The problem is that the party out of power is, in effect, leaderless, and that’s a very bad place to be.

I don’t know how the GOP, the old one or the new one, is going to solve this mess, but here’s a short list of things it needs to do, to know, and to take into consideration:

1. The GOP lacks strong national leadership and unity:  The RNC is not getting it done — and it’s anemic. Without a sitting president, there is no unified policy leadership — just a bunch of infighting over fragmented interests. Find a new leader (or two), preferably a couple who agree on the key issues and collaborate. Don’t spend all their time and money tearing each other, and the party, down. Here’s a promising short list:  Marco Rubio, Chris Christie, Bobby Jindal, Paul Ryan plus one of the sharp female GOP governors (Susana Martinez or Nikki Haley, perhaps).

2. There is no central/coordinated strategy for the party: Without strong central leadership there is no overall, coordinated, “party strategy” and that is a huge problem.  The party needs to fix this and its leadership. I would suggest creating a totally new body to do this (a better idea).  Put some political veteran with a “down home touch” like Haley Barbour in charge of it.

3. Don’t dismiss demographic destiny:  Learn to build upon it.  America has always been a nation of assimilated minorities.  They are just different ones now, but they too want a healthy, prosperous and sound country. They have worked very hard to be here, especially the more recent immigrants.  Get involved with them, be sympathetic to their issues and what matters to them, and do it genuinely — not superficially.  Remember, government was created to work for the people, not vice versa (well, at least until Obama came to town).

4. We need adults in charge, but be modest about it: Most people dislike anyone with a “holier than thou” attitude. The Tea Party and religious right need to tone it down — but not abandon their core beliefs. They also don’t need to wear them on their sleeves, or beat people over the head with them.

5. Exclusionary politics loses.  Inclusionary politics wins.  Look in the mirror!  The GOP has to quit being the party of old, rich, white men. Romney may have been caught saying the 47 percent line, but too many Republicans thought it whether they said it or not.  And, the GOP is NOT (or should not be) the party of the one percent rich fat cats.  The Democrats have just as many or more of those fat cats, but they are smart enough to hide them and commiserate with the poor people. There are a lot of poor people in our country these days — enough to reelect a proven incompetent president.

6. The primary candidates need to be fewer and better, with tightly controlled messages and smarter, coordinated campaigns. The number of debates was crazy, but a cagey move by the pro-Obama mainstream media to create plenty of negative ad sound bites to use against Romney.  The GOP needs to learn to say “no” — “no” to so many debates.

The primaries also depleted campaign funds, and then the GOP and Romney had to wait three months for federal election funding.  Dumb!  That’s when Obama obliterated Romney — last summer.

There are, I’m sure, many more issues to discuss. Let’s start with these: leadership; organization; and, fewer, better candidates with a strategy and a coordinated message that goes out to all Americans. Engage the rich and poor, of every race, gender and persuasion. Do this, and the GOP will be a long way to its rejuvenation.

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