The most vocal talking heads of the Grand Old Party are Dick Cheney, Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh????
That can’t be a very good way to grow the Republican base to a size that can take on the Democrats, and could be disastrous for the Republicans for many elections to come. A silent Colin Powell and an Eric Cantor who seems afraid to use the word “Republican” might be more statesmanlike choices around which to circle the wagons, but they are either unwilling or unable to take those leadership reins away from the attack dogs.
Maybe Cheney, Limbaugh and Beck are actually liberal-leaning strategists who realize that an adversarial right-wing Republican line that eschews moderates will only expand the Democratic Party’s grip on government. Maybe that’s the strategy. It’s certainly one that I can at least rationalize; because when you’re the minority, ostracizing your own and potential party members does not seem to be a reasonable approach to winning more friends.
We are now living the results of almost 8 years of single party dominance. It stands to reason that 8 more years of a single dominant party will not lead to the rational compromises required to strike the balance that defines good governance. A single dominant party is also likely to hand even more power to the unelected party bosses; witness, with rare exception, Erie County and the city of Buffalo’s election choices.
Yesterday I participated in a webinar sponsored by the Buffalo Niagara Partnership, in which Trent Lott was the guest speaker. The webinar was supposed to be on the effects of the new stimulus package but it only superficially covered that topic, wandered into several others and generally did not stray very much out of the wading pool. Former Senator Lott mentioned the Republican Party’s poor election showing and stated that the Party needed to have a clear voice on the issues of interest to the American people.
So I got to ask Trent Lott a very simple question: What, in his opinion, is the clear voice that the Republican Party needs to vocalize? He sidestepped the question entirely, choosing to answer with “The GOP needs to think about the words they choose”.
When virtually every American is decrying the economy, jobs and health care (note: abortion and immigration aren”t even on the radar), it is clear that the Republican Party needs to put together a platform and a single voice that elevates those very issues, and needs to do so in a manner that is critical but constructive rather than adversarial to those in control.