Ben Buchwalter


Where to Turn for the GOP?
November 11, 2008, 1:41 am
Filed under: 2008 Election, Republicans | Tags: , ,

Last week, after Barack Obama’s big win, the question on everyone’s mind was, “did the sweeping Democratic blow out amount to a Progressive mandate for America?” Since, the consensus seems to be “yes.” Just like the GOP takeover in 1994 or the Democratic wave of 1976, the minority party now has to reinvent itself. In reality, this isn’t too much of a big deal. The Democrats didnt fully recover from their lack of message until 2006. Even in 2004, the Democrats could not seem to catch a break, which was emphasized by their constantly fumbling candidate John Kerry.

So we shouldn’t expect the Republicans to turn around and immediately have a new message to remake America. That will happen in the aftermath of the upcoming ideological Civil War. In the past few days, a slew of conservative leaders and columnists have been offering advice to their fledgling party.

In the following video produced by TPMtv, David Brooks, maybe my favorite conservative, provides the correct diagnosis for the Republican ailment: they don’t stand for anything that matters today. The party that once decried government spending has now held power during the most fiscally inconservative administration since FDR. And social issues (gay marriage, abortion etc…) seem unimportant as the economy crumbles and our place in the world deteriorates. As Brooks says, “It’s great to worry about Reagan… but those days are over.”

Deroy Murdock (related to Rupert?) seems to have the right idea. The Right needs to get rid of the faction that continues to promote government spending as long as it funds conservative programs. Spending is spending and the government, true conservatives believe, should not interfere too much in American lives. So at the very least, conservatives would benefit from going back to true conservatism.

The other faction of the Repubican Party is already lobbying for a lurch to the right on social issues. Mike Pence (R-IN), soon the third ranking Republican in the House, has said that his party can rebound by embracing an anti-gay, anti-abortion agenda. Honestly, I hope that the GOP will take this path because it will fail as miserably as the fear mongering of the McCain/Palin ticket.

But for now, lets enjoy this progressive mandate. Because before long, the GOP will be back and Democrats will be in the midst of its own identity crisis.

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