There is something comical in the effrontery of liberal pundits offering conservative politicians’ electoral advice. I’m sure these are the same sort of people who would have cautioned the GOP against nominating Ronald Reagan in 1980 and promoting the Contract with America fourteen years later.
Now, we’ve got Jacob Weisberg telling us to dump Cheney and emulate David Cameron. Funny that the same guy who contended that racism was the only reason Obama could lose would presume to offer Repubicans advise. And to suggest that the GOP should seek advise from David Cameron, the head of Britain’s Tories, who have only benefited from the collapse of Gordon Brown’s Labour by dint of being the leading opposition party. In recent elections in Britain, they have hardly gained any ground over previous showings:
Yet, while the Labour Party is shriveling before our eyes, David Cameron’s Tories are not obviously the beneficiaries. In the English council elections the Conservatives got a lower percentage of the vote than last time round, and, insofar as there was a (one percent) swing to the Tories in the European elections, in the end their vote was only a handful of points higher than the combined tally of the two beyond-the-pale parties. . . . If Gordon Brown’s rotting zombie of a ministry can’t drive voters into the embrace of David Cameron, what can? The Conservatives should have been the beneficiary of both the broader two-party electoral cycle and the more immediate internecine warfare in Brown’s cabinet. But they weren’t.
I have no clue why it is Weisberg presumes he is in any position to offer advise to Republicans. To be sure, he raises some good points about the party becoming more Internet savvy, but we’d be better served by others who understand the power of ideas and the political process better than he.
Moving to the center won’t do the GOP much good if we offer policies from the mushy middle of only slightly higher government spending. We’d be better served by following Michael Barone’s advise and moving away from the center:
So I think Republicans today should be less interested in moving toward the center and more interested in running against the center. Here I mean a different “center” — not a midpoint on an opinion spectrum, but rather the centralized government institutions being created and strengthened every day. This is a center that is taking over functions fulfilled in a decentralized way by private individuals, firms and markets.
Republicans can’t win unless we stand for something. We lost ground our majority in 2006 because our representatives failed to hold firm to conservative fiscal principles and domestic policies. For some reason, liberal pundits seem to believe Republican win by moving to the center. It’s almost as if their political education ended in the era the the incumbent Democratic President is trying to emulate, you know, when Jimmy Carter was elected.