Monday, November 12, 2012

Necessary Changes To The Republican Party

Back in 2009, I did a series called Rebuilding the Republican Party in which I explained what the GOP needed to do to survive. They didn’t listen. And exit polling shows the GOP suffering from the exact same problems this time. Romney lost because of singles, youths, and minorities. This needs to change or forget ever winning again. It’s time to return to our ideological roots and promote the individual and individual freedom.

Let’s start by highlighting the problem. There is a belief in conservative circles that the country is much more conservative than liberal and we just need to win over conservative independents. This belief comes from polling which shows the country as 38% Democrats, 32% Republicans and 29% Independents, with independents leaning right. But “independents” turns out to be a meaningless category. Indeed, Romney won independents yet lost the election. What really matters are “moderates.”

In that regard, we find 35% conservatives, 25% liberals and 41% moderates. BUT, 60% of the “moderates” broke for Obama, meaning they are liberals. When you break this down, you find that 50% of Americans are conservatives and 50% are liberals. In other words, we're a 50/50 country. So forget the idea of tapping into a pool of hidden conservatives. If we want to move the needle, we need to look at the groups we lost overwhelmingly and we need to figure out ways to win back their more centrist members. Here's how...

The Gender (read: “Single”) Gap: Women account for 53% of the electorate and Obama carried them by 11%. Romney carried men by 7%. But that doesn’t tell us what’s really going on. The real key is single people.

Romney won married men by 20% and married women by 6%. These two groups made up 29% and 31% of the electorate (60% in total). So how did he lose? He got blown away among singles. Indeed, Romney lost single men by 20% and single women by 40%! These two groups made up only 18% and 23% of the electorate, but the huge gaps made up the difference.

If the Republicans ever want to win again, they need to win more single people, particularly single women. To do that, we need to understand the problem. So realize this. First, Reagan won both groups (he won men by 28% and women by 10%). So there is nothing inherently “wrong” with singles being Republicans. Nor was there something wrong with Romney. McCain didn't face a “war on women” attack or smears about his father being a bigamist, and he did 3% worse with women than Romney. What this means is that the party has a structural problem which developed after Reagan.

When you look at polls or talk to these people, what you will hear is outrage/terror about the Republican Party’s various stances on social issues. This is particularly true with single women who are turned off by the party’s attacks on gays, its obsession with abortion and contraception, and its rhetorical attacks about “family values” which imply that only married people with kids and church-goers are moral.

The Solution: If the GOP wants to win singles, particularly single women, it needs to stop hating gays, it needs to stop conflating going to church or being married with being a good American, and it needs to stop obsessing over abortion. I recommend removing abortion from the platform or stepping it back to “safe, rare, restricted, and no government funding.” Leave the rest for churches to push, not government policy. And shoot the first person to talk about restricting other forms of contraception. . . Rick Santorum. I recommend making gay marriage a question of individual conscience (so as not to interfere with religious freedom) while putting support for civil unions and anti-discrimination laws in the platform. I recommend removing talk of the party believing in God and instead shifting to talking about protecting everyone's right to believe... in any religion or no religion. And I recommend eliminating all talk of constitutional amendments on any social issues -- that's pointless and whacky. Also stop signing those stupid fringy pledges! They're a trap.

The Youth Vote: Romney won old people, but got crushed with the young. 19-29 year olds favored Obama by 26%. Even 30-44 year olds favored Obama by 10%. Together, they made up 46% of the electorate. The next 38% of the electorate were tied. Then Romney won oldsters by 12%. So there is a youth problem which the seniors don’t make up for.

The youth problem can be attributed to several things. On the one hand, the youth vote is the direct result of GOP stodginess and intolerance on issues like gays and abortion, and its lack of visible minorities. But more importantly, another huge turnoff is the GOP’s rhetorical attacks on college education and seeming unwillingness to help young people leave college without crushing levels of debt, i.e. without making them slaves to banks. The GOP’s attacks on internet freedom don’t help either. Nor does the GOP’s image as the party of Big Business. Indeed, many of these young people drifted to Ron Paul and then Gary Johnson and finally back to Obama because the GOP seemed to offer no hope that it cared about people rather than corporations.

The Solution: It’s time to understand that these are issues of economic freedom. I recommend the GOP come up with a genuine plan to (1) help every American go to college while (2) reducing the cost of college so young people aren’t enslaved for the first 20 years of their economic lives. Don't forget, government caused this problem. I recommend supporting total internet freedom and fighting censorship in any form. That means dropping the heinous idea of regulating the internet to promote morality (i.e. “protecting children”) or doing the bidding of corporate America through anti-piracy laws. I also recommend that conservatives stop defending big companies. Talk about people, not companies. Fight cronyism in any form. Talk about the American dream!! Our party should be focused on helping average people strive to make their lives better, to build a business, buy a house, send their kids to college... not protecting the balance sheets of multinational corporations. All of these are conservative values, so why aren't we doing them already?

The Minority Gap: The minority gap is beyond critical. Obama won Hispanics by 44%, Asians by 45%, blacks by 88% and Muslims by 70%. Muslims and Asians only make up 2% and 3% of the public, but blacks make up 13% of the electorate and Hispanics make up 11% of the electorate, and growing. There are several glaring problems here.
● Asians are generally industrious, business-minded and education-minded, which should make them natural GOP allies, especially as liberal affirmative action is hurting Asian students in California. How did we lose them by 45%? Because the party comes across as hostile to non-whites. Moreover, the party has offered nothing in the way of education and its focus on “business” has been on oil companies, not small businesses.

The Solution: Court these voters. Also, we need to rediscover the American dream. We need to protect the little guy and not worry about the big guy. Warren Buffett and Wall Street can take care of themselves, and they don't like us anyway.

● For a party that claims to cherish religious freedom, Muslims should be natural allies. But they aren’t. Why not? Because of open bigotry by conservatives, be it accusing all Muslims of being terrorists, to careless talk about bombing the Middle East, to paranoid freak-outs about the appointment of a single Muslim judge to a meaningless municipal judgeship.

The Solution: It’s time to start mentioning Islam along with other religions when talking about religious freedom, and it’s time to stop pushing symbolic ideas like banning sharia law (which can’t be put in place under our constitution in any event).

● Blacks and Hispanics should be much closer to 50/50, but they aren’t. Again, the problem is the appearance of bigotry. Conservatives treat blacks and Hispanics like unpleasant neighbors who need to be humored every four years. They do not treat them like part of the family. They use hyperbolic speech, they are afraid to speak the truth and they talk down to these people as if they are children. They even make bizarre racial-tinged attacks on things like rap music and “ghetto culture.” When they conduct outreach, it’s a token appointment of the whitest black/Hispanic guy in the room to a meaningless position, or it’s an attempt to go along with some Democratic plan to buy loyalty.

On Hispanics, conservatives have created a serious problem with talk of deportation. Polls show that 60% of Hispanics know someone who is here illegally. That makes deportation a personal danger to them. Making this self-inflicted wound worse, talk of deportation is just gratuitous because it won’t happen. Moreover, conservatives talk in racist terms about Hispanics. They imply that all Hispanics are here illegally. They imply that all Hispanics are criminals. And they imply that all Hispanics are the same.

The Solution: Fixing the Hispanic problem will require a radical change in thinking. We need to realize that deportation isn’t going to happen, so learn to accept the idea that these illegals are here to stay. The GOP needs to go on a “listening tour” in the Hispanic community (so they get credit for acting) and then propose an amnesty – don’t wait for Obama. AND conservatives need to shut the hell up about it. The more they whine, the less credit conservatives will get for having changed. Until we do this, we are just delaying the inevitable and we’re making the wound bigger.

The GOP also needs to conduct real outreach. Every Congressman should hire Spanish-speaking staffers whose job would be to do what they do for everyone else, i.e. meet with Hispanic constituents every day of the year and help them get benefits, get permits, and get through the immigration system. They need to actively court Hispanic business owners and hook them up with their other donors. They need to encourage their friends in the banking industry to make loans to these people. They need to court mothers with children by telling them about the educational reforms they want. Start winning them over, one vote at a time, day after day in a thousand districts across the country.

They need to do the same with blacks. Even a 5-10% shift would be seismic.

Finally, they need to appoint a LOT of Hispanic, black, young and female Republicans to prominent positions. Right now there are basically none. I also think the next Republican presidential ticket must include a dark-skinned Hispanic and a youngish woman. This will help with minorities, with single women and with the young.

The GOP can turn this around, but they need to take decisive action. I'm not saying to become libertarians. Their obsession with drugs, conspiracies and their inability to recognize a proper role for government make them too far gone. But we need to offer people something better than the message of: (1) we fear minorities, (2) we want to control single women, (3) we only like married Christians, (4) we hate college kids, and (5) the American dream is to be a slave of corporate America.

Conservatism needs a reboot. It’s time to talk about personal economic freedom, the freedom to build the American dream on a level playing field. It’s time to fully include minorities in that dream. And it’s time to stop undercutting that message by acting like the morality police. It’s time to give people a reason to support us, not fear us.


USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

"If the Republicans ever want to win again, they need to win more single people, particularly single women."

So...we have to pick up single women? Well, if we hafta we hafta. We all know the sacrifices we must make.

Explaining it to my wife is gonna be pretty tricky though.
Actually, the explaining is easy, it's getting her to realize this is the only way to save the GOP.
I dunno. She's selfish that way.

Excellent post, Andrew!
I agree with most everything you said. I think a lot of conservatives have tried to reach out more, but it's the GOPtards who always make headlines.

I guess one good thing about this last election is that some of our idiot candidates imploded and are no longer representing us.

The other good thing about this election is that what goes wrong from this poiny forward will all fall on Obama and his minions.
IF the GOP keeps blitzing the media and pointing it out.

Even if a republican is being interviewed about something else, keep pointing out what and how Obama and the democrats are hurting Americans and destroying our opportunities, innovations, wealth creation, jobs, small businesses, etc..

We need to say it LOUD and often.
Democrats use this tactic all the time and bit's past time we do the same, but we have the truth on our side so we should always be outspoken as to why food prices are rising or how Obamacare is making health care more expensive and damaging medical innovations by grinding them to a halt.

IOW's we can't just count on our representatives to do this (and we should encourage them to do so, often) but we must do it too.

Be more outspoken like Andrew Breitbart was, and pick up (more) single women. :^)

BTW, it looks like Hinderaker over at Powerline agrees with you on the abortion and gay marriage thing.

Except he didn't say anything about picking up single ladies. I guess that goes without sayin' so he left that to you, Andrew.? :^)

And he didn't mention immigration.
IMO the GOP has gotten better in some ways, concerning immigration, but we really need to do much more in that regard.

I propose we pick up more single latino ladies.
Of course, I'm sure Andrew already implied that, but I just wanna go on record with it.

We're here for you ladies. Hey, are we going Dutch?

What? I'm not made of money you know. Sheesh!

Mr_Severus_Snape said...

IMO, Romney couldn't have ran a better campaign. He was the best candidate we had since Reagan. We were all very certain that he would win, but we were dead wrong! We had too much faith on the American people to make the right decision. The problem is stupid voters! There are actually people who think Romney would actually ban tampons! TAMPONS! We really need voter ID laws in all states to minimize these fools. It would really fix a good amount of issues.

I agree with you on the GOP changing its strategy on social issues. Remain conservative but don't scare away voters in doing so.

Being a minority raised in the inner city, I can tell you first hand, there is little to no outreach from the GOP. The blatant propaganda from the public schools don't help either. Instead of only pursuing the suburbs, they should also try the cities. If they did, over time, the minority vote should be more balanced.

On the under 30 vote. People in this age group will always vote more liberal. I'm just in the minority (I guess I don't have an heart, lol). Time is the best cure for this.

Anthony said...

Great post. I have a lot of thoughts on these subjects but my first contribution will be a fascinating article in The New Yorker which talks about a lot of the same things, including an interesting platform change the Republican Party made in Texas this year.
Early this year, Martinez de Vara and his allies from the Texas Federation of Hispanic Republicans decided that they would rewrite the state Party platform on immigration. “There was a minority in the Party that was vocal and basically hijacking that issue,” he said. “And so we took it to the convention.” The Republican Party of Texas’s convention includes some nine thousand delegates. They met in early June, in Fort Worth. Martinez de Vara pushed new language through a subcommittee on immigration that he chaired and then through a full committee. Munisteri, the Party chairman, made sure that the issue received a thorough hearing, a move that angered a significant faction of his party. The debate came down to a contentious floor fight in which the new language was challenged four times. Martinez de Vara rose at one point and delivered the soliloquy that he gave me about how building a wall and confiscating property was big government. “When I said that on the floor of the Republican Party of Texas convention,” he said, “with nine thousand of the most diehard conservatives, people who paid two or three thousand dollars to go to Fort Worth and participate, I got seventy-five per cent of the vote. Because they all know it’s true!”

The platform no longer refers to “illegal aliens” and no longer has any language that could be construed as calling for Arizona-style laws. Instead, it proposes a “common ground” to find market-based solutions and “the application of effective, practical and reasonable measures to secure our borders.” Rather than expelling eleven million immigrants, it says, “Mass deportation of these individuals would neither be equitable nor practical.” Most significant, Martinez de Vara won adoption of language calling for a temporary-worker program. At around the time that Mitt Romney was winning the primary by attacking his opponents for being too soft on immigration, the largest state Republican Party in America was ridding its platform of its most restrictionist immigration language and calling for a program to allow unauthorized immigrants to stay in the U.S. legally and work.

Read more:

Mr_Severus_Snape said...

Conservatives also need to have more presence in Public Education to combat the propaganda. If we don't, the leftists win, which is very evident now.

Kit said...

" I recommend removing abortion from the platform or stepping it back to “safe, rare, restricted, and no government funding.”

I highly doubt this will happen. In the minds of many this it is the equivalent of slavery.

2nd, as Snape above pointed out. There were voters, especially young single women, who thought that Romney was going to take away your contraception, your tampons, and all your feminine hygiene products and put your "lady parts" under the regulation of the state*. Why? Because Romney and the GOP believed others, especially people against birth control, shouldn't be forced to pay for contraception. Not a big claim.

*Which, ironically, is now more likely to happen, suckers.

Tennessee Jed said...

I neither agree or disagree with the conclusions drawn here, Andrew. There is a lot of food for thought, and I'd like to digest it before commenting in detail. We lost by a very slim amount in a few key states, and it appears the Democrats were light years ahead in their ability to get out the vote. They had much better technology. They had tons of time to go negative, and did so effectively in the battleground states. What I am still trying to understand is this: Who voted for John McCain in 2008 that stayed home in 2012? The polls seemed to reflect that the election was about economics, but apparently a lot of folks in rural Ohio didn't see enough difference or felt like a Romney presidency would help stockholders rather than workers.

That said, I agree we need to get some of these emerging demographic groups feeling less afraid of the G.O.P. How does one teach them what is really a longer term threat to their well being?

Anthony said...


Well, the Supreme Court looks like they will strike down Section 5 of the Voting Rights Act so state Republicans will soon have a freer hand to try to tinker with voting laws, but I don't think such tinkering is a good idea.

Efforts like voter ID laws, reducing early voting days and of course 'True the Vote' have been painted (mostly by Democrats, but with a lot of help from Republicans) as a Republican conspiracy to keep the 'wrong types' of people from voting.

That creates a perception of hostility and makes them (and probably people on the sidelines) even less likely to support the Republican party and might have played a role in the fact that turnout (proportionately) for the targetted groups was either up or held steady.


“I guess I really actually feel we shouldn’t contort the voting process to accommodate the urban — read African-American — voter-turnout machine,” said Doug Preisse, chairman of the county Republican Party and elections board member who voted against weekend hours, in an email to The Dispatch. “Let’s be fair and reasonable.”

Individualist said...


The problem with Us immigration policy is that it is US centrist. Outreach to hispanic voters and abandoning control over immigration and simply grating amnesty will not work for the country. It might get you votes in the hispanic community but let's face facts. The bigger problem would be to address the welfare entitlements which many of the poorer mexican nationals are receiving in California and other places.

So do we cave on a reasonable goal that welfare should not be a permanent state. Even if we dide there is one prlblem. How many Mexicans are there and how many can actually come to the US and in the end is that best for Mexico.

Mexico is a disasster. It is run by drug cartels and this is new. I know there was talk of the loose control the Mexican government has had in the past but the corruption has never been this bad. It used to be the Mexican Nationals would come to the US and work for less than minimam wage illegally but more than they could earn in Mexico. Now they just come to California to pick up welfare checks. Somehow I think the lack of emphasis on productivity has dad the cultural effect on Mexico to put it wherre it is now.

Repeated granting of amnesty to Mexican Nationals as a stop gap to deal with the immigration problem is just going to make matters worse.

The poor and starving in Mexico are Mexico's problems. Mexico is not addressing them and it is making Mexico a less powerful trading neighbor economically. This is hurtuing out economy as well. The corruption of the drug cartels are being emigrated to America now as well. The security on the border is not needed to stop the poor immigrant mexican dirt farmer, it is to stop the rich murdering cartel gangster because now Mexico does not have the ability to police itself.

Emigration of Mexican Nationals is an issue for both our countries. It is an issue that affects both of us and America's mishandling of it has harmed both countries. We do need border countrol. We do need security. We do need immigration laws that will be followed. what we lack is a treaty and understanding with the Mexican government as to what that should be.

Making Green Cards available to any law abiding Mexican citizen to be able to come into this country to work and get the same chance to make an American's salary and the same chance to join American unions and vice versa is one way to handle this issue. It requires enforcement by the Mexican and well as US governments.

Any amnesty policies we engage in may give us votes but will do nothing to solve the problem. I really don't care about the votes. I care about the problem.

Tennessee Jed said...

Even though it is well summarized here, I believe it is a worthwhile exercise to go back to the archives and read Andrew's 2009 series on re-building the Republican Party. There is a lot of good ideas there.

tryanmax said...

I would add one thing to courting Hispanics: The one--and I daresay only--thing that unites all Hispanics is the Spanish language. Regrettably, there is open hostility in conservative ranks against the Spanish language and bilingualism. This is utterly ridiculous. Conservatives need to stop getting all cheery about "English Only" signs in restaurant windows. Certain radio hosts need to stop speaking of bilingualism as a "curse." And certainly there needs to be less resistance to second language programs in elementary schools. High school language studies are practically pointless without an earlier base. Guess what? Pressing "1" for English isn't the end of the ever-loving world! There are no hidden messages on the Spanish-language forms. Canada may have any number of problems, but bilingualism isn't the cause! And you don't even need to speak Spanish to enjoy Sábado Gigante. Solo para los hombres, anyone?

Joel Farnham said...

I think it is more a mechanical problem than "convince them we are the good/cool guys" problem.

The GOTV is far more important. The Democrats went after the early voters. Then on election day, they went after the second tier. Our guys waited until voting day to find our first tier of voters, with a flawed program. The four states that mattered the most have early voting.

The precinct captains should never be ideologues. They are the ones who coordinate the GOTV. Ideologues won't do that if they hate the nominee. Also, find out if the precinct captains aren't wolves in sheep's clothing. Andrew, your precinct neighbor captain should have at least contacted you once during the four year period of Obama Rule. Did he? Did he ask you to help him drive people to the polls? Or did he quit being precinct captain when Romney was nominated? He could have quit and no one took up the slack. He could have moved and no one took up the slack.

Ground game is far more important than most of us realized. We are assuming that once some person agrees with us, they will go out and vote. That is utter nonsense. Most of the country agrees that abortion is horrible and should be strictly curbed yet they voted for a guy who wants to kill aborted babies that survived the attempt.

I have yet to see a politician come to my house. I have seen the census people, but no politician nor precinct captain. Why not?

T-Rav said...

Hm. I'm a bit skeptical of this. Some of the suggestions I can agree with, such as GOP politicians doing more outreach with Hispanic voters. And it wouldn't be the end of the world if we stopped freaking out about bilingualism in border areas (though I do think it's a bad idea in the long run).

However, it seems to me that a lot of this is built on the assumption that these groups are, in some ways at least, innately conservative. After Tuesday, I'm no longer convinced that's the case. Maybe youths, women, blacks, Hispanics, etc. do, for the most part, actually support the things Obama stands for. Plus, in terms of how such moves would be perceived, I think it would be a losing battle. We'd either be painted as "realizing the need to abandon conservatism" or just pandering by putting forward female or minority figures.

A lot needs to be done, but I'm not certain this is it. Or at least, it needs to happen in conjunction with a lot of other moves.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, LOL! Bravo! Good luck with your wife!

On the rest of you comment...

I think the problem is bigger than a couple of idiots because the problem is that people look at the party and they see a party that is dominated by people who agree with the idiots on 99.9% of the issues. Look at the platform committee. Look at how much they obsessed about abortion. They may not have said what Todd Akin said, but they agreed with all of his views and shared his obsession. So if I'm a single woman, I don't bother trying to split hairs between Akin and people who agree with him on 99.9% of the issues, I just assume they are all like that and I vote Democratic to keep those people out of power.

Also, I think it's going to be a lot harder to avoid responsibility than people think. Look at the 2008-2009, when the Dems had a supermajority. But by the time of the election, they were blaming Republicans for stopping them and huge chunks of the public were buying it. That's why I think we rhetorically cooperate now and then let them have the stupidest, most damaging part of his agenda now, and then shut him down on all non-economic issues.

Thanks for the link. I think you're going to hear this a lot. Ann Coulter said it too. LINK.

AndrewPrice said...


I think the key is what you said on these issues: Remain conservative but don't scare away voters in doing so. That's why we need to step the platform back to things that are reasonable. Stop talking about constitutional amendments. Step abortion back to the majority opinion of limited and unfunded. Turn gay marriage into a question of religious freedom, dodge the issue otherwise, and show support for gays in other ways.

I know the outreach is horrible. Republicans really do believe this is something you do every four years for a couple days. And I genuinely think there is an anxiety in the party about minorities that needs to stop. Every chance we get, some conservative whines about "they don't speak English", "they listen to rap music," and "they're all criminals and terrorists." This needs to stop. You can't win people that you treat with suspicion.

On the young, we'll never win a majority of any of these groups, but that's not the point. The point is to win back 10-15% of these groups. And to do that, we need to (1) stop attacking them and (2) start offering them real solutions.

I'm going to talk more tomorrow about how to do outreach, but today's issue really is a wake up call to people to stop attacking these groups and their friends.

Kit said...

Some thoughts:

On Abortion: As a pro-lifer I don't see it going away in the short-term but that does not mean the GOP should take it out of the platform. Keep it there, recognize Roe v. Wade (for now) but call on limits to it such as no federal (taxpayer) funding for abortion.
Long-term: The Pro-life movement should get working on making it a major movement.

I think the near future the GOP must emphasize libertarianism and the freedom the market grants.

Colleges: Hit on WHY tuition is so high.

Kit said...

On Amnesty

I would want these requirements
-No criminal record (or at least felonies)
-Read and write in English (or at least a basic vocal command)
-Some work requirements.

Now why do I think the Dems would fight each and every one of these? :)
(Especially the first 2)


AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, Thanks! I think these issues are inevitable and the sooner we get to them the better.

And the article you quote presents something that I have known to be true since the late 1990s, and here's the money quote: "There was a minority in the Party that was vocal and basically hijacking that issue."

Right now, the Republican Party is controlled by a small cadre of people who are essentially Christian fundamentalist absolutists and subconscious racists. They HATE gays, HATE unmarried women, HATE anyone who isn't a fundamentalist Christians, HATE Hispanics and they see blacks as the enemy -- even though they think they aren't racist. And they have been driving the party because they control things like the platform committee and other party levers of power. These are the people who take a 1% position like opposition to abortion in the case of rape and turn it into a platform position that supposedly speaks for 80 million people. These are the people who think that pushing creationism on schools or English only in California is a worthwhile goal for a political party. These are the people who don't care that the party has ceased to exist in places like California because of their positions because they are on a mission to save America from Americans.

I have to tell you, I have met thousands of conservatives in my time dabbling in politics and outside of the glossy-eyed few, most conservatives are much more nuanced on these issues (or even flat out moderate). Yet, the party stays in the extreme, intolerant end on these issues because that small cadre drives the bus and this is what they want.

These changes are coming and we can either make the changes now and voluntarily and stop the bleeding and work to get the credit, or we can bleed to death and watch them happen anyway. I know what the cadre wants, but I don't think the rank and file agree.

Here's your link: LINK

AndrewPrice said...

Snape, I would argue that we need to encourage conservative to go into education and Hollywood. For generations, conservatives have been telling their kids, "these things don't matter, go get a real job" and the result is that everything in education and the culture is now dominated by liberals and that hurts us every single day with millions and millions of people.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, I don't think it will happen without a revolt inside the party. The problem is that the group who control the platform don't understand how they come across and they don't really care. They are on a theological mission and they live in a bubble where everyone agrees with them that as the house burns down around them, the only thing that matters is that the guy across the street not be gay and the girl next door not be allowed to have an abortion.

On the contraception issue, there is something you are forgetting. Romney's issue was that the government shouldn't pay for it, but a lot of other "conservatives" were whining about restricting contraception generally. That's the problem. Rick Santorum sent very obvious signals that in his ideal world, contraception, not just abortion, would be banned. When half the party supports someone like that in the primary, and doesn't disavow him, it's very easy for single women to see that at a goal of the party.

AndrewPrice said...

Jed, We do need to work on getting out the vote and I'll talk about that tomorrow, but I think it's a mistake to dismiss the issue above as something we can get around by just getting more people to turn out..... the demographics are against us.

Each year, there are more minority voters. That means that each year, this gap will grow bigger and bigger. Moreover, the fact that people in their 30-40s voted for Obama tells me that the old idea that the young become conservatives once they get married and get jobs isn't true. A lot of them aren't getting married (in fact, single people are now the majority in the country for the first time ever) and clearly people in their working primes felt that Obama was better.

That tells me that this is a demographic time bomb that we need to address. We can't just try to out-hussle it with a better get out the vote operation.

By making the changes I mention, we can shift the needle significantly with these groups and save ourselves before it is too late and we are seen as a grumpy old white-guys' protest party.

MOREOVER, we can do this without losing anything. Seriously. Consider this: (1) The illegals are here to stay, no matter what. So what do we gain from demanding deportation that won't happen? (2) We will NEVER ban abortion, nor will we stop gay marriage in the long term. What do we lose by stepping back on these issues?

Right now, we are scaring the hell out of these groups and we're doing it based on positions that are entirely futile. How much sense does that make?

To me, this is obvious. We are losing voters so that we can take positions that are nothing more than a pipe dream for a tiny minority of voters and have a 0.0% of becoming law, yet we maintain these positions despite all the harm they do. Why?

AndrewPrice said...

Anthony, I think voter ID laws make sense, but I don't think they matter. I have yet to see any evidence of widespread voter fraud anywhere in the country. This some anecdotal evidence of some fraud, but the fact that this is all that's been uncovered is proof to me that there is no significant fraud.

Even things like Florida's attempt to purge illegals only uncovered something like 300 illegals out of the millions who registered.

I think worrying about fraud is a red herring that distracts us from the real issue, which is that the party is losing people.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, That's irrelevant. They are here. They will not be leaving and we will not be deporting them. So all we are doing by maintaining this rhetorical stance is making ourselves the bad guys -- no matter what spin we try to put on it.

Our position needs to be (1) get control over the borders, (2) stop further illegal immigration (which we argue interferes with legal immigration and hurts those already here) and (3) amnesty for those already here.

That is the only possible position other than "nothing changes and the Democrats get the demographic help they need to keep winning."

Think about this. Why do we want to advocate something with a 0% chance of happening and which hurts us significantly with a key democratic? That makes no sense. Yet, that is what we are doing.

AndrewPrice said...

Thanks Jed, I wish the GOP had listened in 2009 because even small changes then could have made a significant difference this time.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Indy, I concur.
Reagan ran on reforming and reducing the welfare state, smaller govt., and of course he had a sensible foreign policy and advocated a strong defense.

We need to get back to those issues.
This is about what we are focusing on and highlighting.
Instead of focusing on stuff we can't do anything about (in the short term) we should highlight the position of the democrats.

On abortion, focus on what democrats are for: partial birth abortions, eugenics, even infanticide, including federal funding for those deplorable practices (and federally subsidized contraceptives) and work to stop that.

I know not all democrats believe that but the ones in power do. Use it against them. Force them to retreat from the fringes of their platform but don't go any further than that.

As Andrew has pointed out, reporters will quit asking rape questions of republican candidates if they bring the democrat platform up everytime and quit taking the bait the MSM likes to put out.

Focus on the democrat weaknesses rather than ours and realize we won't get everything we want.
We can't win the war if we can't win the battles.

We must be the party of individual liberty and demonstrate how washington bureaucrats threaten and erode our liberties and take away our opportunities.

We must be the party of a hand up, not handouts.
Republicans need to teach folks how to fish and point out that democrats only wanna give free fish, paid for by productive Americans...until they run out.

In short, we need to get serious because the left will not stop. Ever. They are like the Terminator in that respect.

Time to take down Skynet. Because the result of democrat policies will lead to the same results and it ain't pretty.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I totally agree. I see that as a subtle form of racism and all the attempts to dress it up as "good for immigrants" won't work when you have so many conservatives throwing it out there like they are saying "dirty Mexicans" and like it's somehow an affront to let other people use another language.

There is no reason at all for conservatives to be opposed to this. How does it hurt that someone else is able to get a form in another language?

It's time realize how things like that come across.

K said...

Andrew: The Dems dropped gun control from their platform after Gore lost to Bush on the subject. That's the magnitude of the change the Republicans need to make, rather than moving to even more "Democrat lite" changes.

Abortion: Agree with you. Gun control for Republicans. When your opponent runs his entire campaign on this and wins, plus it costs you two senate seats, it's time to drop it from the platform.

They HATE gays, HATE unmarried women, HATE anyone who isn't a fundamentalist Christians, HATE Hispanics and they see blacks as the enemy.

You apparently have an unsightly resonance on this subject. All I'll say is that if the Republicans adopted the same they'd lose by a much larger percentage than they did this time and even fewer voters would turn up. It's quite possible they could be picked up by the Dems who manage to keep Muslims, Jews, NOW and gays in the same tent.

AndrewPrice said...

Joel, I'm talking about getting out the vote tomorrow, because that is important. But we can't get-out-the-vote our way out of this. The demographics are just too significant. Each year, the size of the minority vote grows. And if these gaps continue, then no amount of getting out the voter will make a difference.

You are totally right about the ideologues. My precinct captain was a Christian fundamentalist who supported Santorum. And once Romney became the nominee, my precinct captain vanished. They took down their signs and we never heard from them again. No calls, no visits, no signs, no fliers, no attempt to do anything. They probably didn't even vote is my guess.

The party needs to become more professional and it needs quality control at the lowest levels. It also needs to become more year-round.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, These things can be sold as conservatism actually be refocusing the party as the Party of Individual Freedom.

In terms of these groups being more conservative, they have proven to be in the past. Bush got close to 40% of Hispanics in his first run. Why would 15% of Hispanics mistakenly vote Republican and then suddenly realize they are actually Democrats? These gaps aren't natural. They are the result of bad policies and offensive rhetoric. What's more, it is offensive rhetoric on pointless issues. Our side is pushing things that simply will never happen. Why push something futile when it's obviously hurting us?

I think the party needs to make these changes and they need to do it as part of a rebranding campaign. Companies do it all the time and it works. You do a listening tour. You announce that you're going back to your roots as the party of individual freedom. And you tell everyone that you've changed. It does work.

Anonymous said...

Andrew -

I naturally agree with your remarks about conservatives encouraging their kids to pursue the arts, Hollywood, journalism, etc.

And while I've only seen a handful of comments to this effect (and NOT on this site), it would be nice for more conservatives in general to take these fields seriously. "Movies? That's kid stuff - people playing dress-up in their backyard!" F--- you, making movies is a tough business! :-)

Re: abortion - I realize this may be a non-starter for some folks but so is the idea of banning it in all cases. I think the old "safe, legal, and rare" line might work for now, not to mention combating the stereotype that religious people only care about human beings when they're in the womb but afterwards, it's every man for himself!

Re: gay marriage - I'm not gay so I'm perfectly happy with civil unions though I imagine many gay people would consider that a cop-out or an unfair compromise. Truthfully, I think no-fault divorce is a bigger problem that needs to be dealt with.

Re: immigration - I'm not qualified to speak on this matter but I do support voter ID laws. It just seems to be one of those common sense things - you're voting for the leader of the free world, the least you can do is prove who you are!

Re: the economy - I think it would be wise to discuss subjects like rising college tuition and where the blame might lie.

Re: contraception, I think this image says it all. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, Hitting on why tuition is so high won't work. People want solutions not just explanations for why they are suffering. The Republicans need to use the power of government to fix a problem the government caused by cutting tuition. Make it a condition of receiving federal funding. Then turn a large chunk of the loans into grants for kids who get good grades.

On abortion, the problem is one of absolutes. What you suggest is reason, but will bring howls from the people in charge of the issue. To them, it's all or nothing and your solution will be attacked as total surrender.

AndrewPrice said...

Kit, The Democrats would of course fight on those issues, but that doesn't mean their attacks will help.

I don't think it would hurt Republicans at all to condition amnesty on (1) deport illegals with criminal records, (2) required English courses, (3) ___ year ban on welfare, and (4) border control.

Every other country on earth requires that.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, That won't work. The problem is that our side is just as extremist on abortion only in the other direction and we can't hide that by trying to point out that the other guy is just as bad. We need to back away from the extreme and then it will work to point out how extreme the other side is.

Nor will it work to try to focus on other issues. Romney focused on economics and even let out constant hints that he would not toe the party line on social issues, and yet, he went down in flames with the same groups because the party itself in unacceptable to these voters because of the positions it takes.

Think of it this way. If we put a plank in the platform that said, "we want to kill poor people," we can try to focus on other things all we want and our nominee can say "I don't believe that," but as long as it's there as the supposed majority position of the party, it will be a problem.

People aren't as stupid as people like to believe and it's very reasonable to believe that the GOP means all the extreme things that are in its platform and which its members say.

tryanmax said...

On rebranding: Going back to roots is the way to do it for the GOP. The popularity of Lincoln is at an all-time high, as is that of Reagan. Just look at how the Democrats (facetiously) cite both men at every turn! This really should be simple for the GOP if it weren't for the party zealots.

On abortion: This seems to be a real sticker for a lot of even moderate conservatives who still want to see it go. I know it is for me. But the key word here is "obliquity" (not a made up word). Simply put, the issue cannot be attacked head-on. Focus on taking the tax money away. The message to religious conservatives is this will wash their hands, don't worry about washing anyone else's. (Same message for contraception.)

The message for everyone else is to untangle the Democrat lie that federal funding and legality are one and the same. Craft a sound-bite answer that hammers home the idea that X will always be legal, you just have to pay for it yourself. When the question arises about low-income blah, blah, blah, that's when you redirect to your economic policy that will put more money in everyone's pockets.

AndrewPrice said...

K, I am speaking from experience. I have met these people. I've met them at the precinct level. I've met them at the state level. I've met them at the national level. I see them on the platform committee. I see their influence on all aspects of the party. Todd Akin is not an outlier, he is exactly what you will find in the higher echelons of the party.

And let me put it this way. I totally agree with what you say about this: "When your opponent runs his entire campaign on this and wins, plus it costs you two senate seats, it's time to drop it from the platform."

BUT... the people I am talking about, who control the party and demand pledges on things like gays and 100% bans on abortion and English only, etc.... they won't agree with you. To the contrary, they will call you "immoral" for suggesting it. They will claim that there is a silent majority who support them and if only the party would "truly" get behind them on this abortion issue, a mass of Americans would rise up and the GOP would sweep the government now and forever.

And if there isn't, they don't care. They will tell you that they would rather go down fighting for what is right than win with what is wrong.

I am not making this up.

T-Rav said...

Scott, gay marriage is a big deal to me but I also agree with your point on no-fault divorce. Heterosexuals have got to get their own house in order before talking with conviction about the "sanctity of marriage."

T-Rav said...

Andrew, things change in eight years. The country has clearly shifted to the left overall; it hardly surprises me that Hispanics would as well, especially after Obama's shenanigans with the DREAM Act and other legislation.

AndrewPrice said...

K, Let me also add that these people will not find a home on the left because the left doesn't want them. The left has adopted feminism, spiritualism, and atheism and there is simply no room for religious fundamentalists under their tent.

The greater danger is that they stay home. But that doesn't matter if we can shift back some of these groups.

If Romney won 40% of Hispanics and single women instead of 25%, then the religious fundamentalists simply wouldn't have mattered even if they had moved left.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Andrew, I thought I had implied that but it doesn't hurt to be more clear.

I concur. You know, we talk about the need to educate people, however, sadly, there are a lot of republicans/conservatives/libertarians that need to be educated.

We've talked about this before, but it bears repeating.
We have far too many conservatives that don't even know what first principles are or self evident truths our Founders talked about, or WHY liberty is so important.

What we have is a lot of one or two issue voters who can't think critically and are easily controlled by those who tell them what they wanna hear.

tryanmax said...

T-Rav, actually, according to the NY Times, the country shifted to the right. LINK It just wasn't a far-enough shift. But, I think Andrew has put his finger on those things that prevented the shift from being greater.

I'm very interested to read what Andrew has to write about GOTV, as I observe there to have been a concerted--if not organized--Sit Out The Vote (SOTV) campaign of sorts on the right, the likes of which I have never before seen or even heard of.

USS Ben USN (Ret) said...

Oh, and speaking of critical thinking, a good example of non-critical thinking are those that are saying we would've won if we had ran a more pure conservative than Romney.

BS! That is pure fantasy and that kind of thinking shows a closed mind to logic, reason and the actual results of this last election (ie reality).

Bloggers who are going with this fallacy shouldn't be taken seriously. Apparently they are still living in the 90's.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, Conservatives have been their own worst enemies on the culture because they dismiss the importance of it. I still remember Clinton saying that everything is political and Republicans stupidly scoffing at this. Everything is political and if you choose not to fight, then you lose. We choose not to fight in too many ways.

On abortion, what you say is reasonable, but this issue isn't being discussed by reasonable people and that's the problem. This is a question of theology to the people who push it and they don't believe you can only believe in God a little bit.

Gay marriage isn't actually the issue in my opinion. It's the rhetoric surrounding it. I think the party should not support gay marriage, I think it should be a matter of individual conscience and religious freedom. BUT the party needs to stop it's rhetorical attack on gays because it's all part of the same big picture which says that anyone who isn't a married heterosexual Christian is not moral and will somehow destroy the country. That is what is turning people off.

On college costs and economics, of course, you explain what caused the problems. That is essential. BUT you need to offer solutions. And think about the issue of college. Decades of government tinkering have made it so that young people leave college with $100,000+ in debt which they need to pay off. That makes them debt slaves and limits them tremendously. Telling them "yeah, that sucks, but that's the government for you" isn't a solution they want to hear. We need to offer real solutions.

The contraception thing is interesting to me because there was a quote last weekend where some "Tea Party" leader was complaining that the public stupidly bought the idea that Mourdock wanted to ban contraception and abortion despite this being "a made up attack." Except, it's not a made up attack. The platform says it wants to ban abortion in all cases, as do many candidates. Each of the presidential candidates pledged to do as well. Then add the fact that a great many people, like Rick Santorum, made it clear that they want to ban contraception as well as abortion.

So calling this a made up attack is delusional. What she was basically saying was that the public was wrong for believing the things our side claimed to want. Blaming people for taking things you advocate literally shows an intense level of blindness or dishonesty.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I think a "Great Rebranding" makes a ton of sense. Corporate America has shown how to do it an we can do it. BUT we need to make changes if we're going to do it. I really recommend promoting ourselves as the defenders of individual freedom and personal responsibility. I think that a message could be crafted around that which keeps the conservative coalition intact while bringing back sizable groups of minorities, the young and women. It also give the public a positive reason to vote for us, which is something they don't have now unless they are angry.

I agree with you on abortion, but again, I don't think the people in charge will give up. In their mind, you are advocating surrender. What you are advocating is a pro-choice position. And they will not accept that.

And again, let me make this point. On this issue and others, we are pushing things that just will never happen. They are things that make us look intolerant. Just dropping those would be helpful, yet the people in charge cling to these things. Hence: deport all them Mexicans, stop they Arabs from imposing Sharia law, amend the constitution to stop them gays from marrying, and amend the constitution to stop every abortion.

We do similarly stupid things in other areas too, but they aren't as unpopular. For example, the Norquist tax pledge which stops needed reforms. The NRA's absolutist positions. Blind support for anything corporations want. Blind opposition to all environmental laws, and constant talk of eliminating the EPA. Talk of shutting down the Department of Education.

These are all pipe dreams that make us look like extremists who want to turn the country into a hellish, polluted, murderous, uneducated nightmare.

We need to stop tilting at windmills and start getting smarter about our politics and our rhetoric.

Jen said...

This might be a little OT, but wanted to mention it because of a "product" that kept coming up during the debates:


Maybe another one to add to the BS Boycott???

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, To me, the bigger problem on the gay marriage issue is not the opposition, it's the rhetoric. It's this idea that too many on the right promote that only certain people are decent Americans.

Less than 3% of the population is gay, so their votes hardly sway elections. But this issue becomes much bigger because it makes us come across as intolerant and bigoted. And that is because we wrap all of this into the cloak of only certain people are good, moral Americans and the rest don't count. That is the message that comes across time and again whenever a Bachman or a Santorum rails against the homosexual menace or against Muslims or Mormons. It comes across when religious conservatives try to define liberals as dirty atheists, and when they debate who is really a Christian and who doesn't get to be. It comes across every time they talk about the United States being founded as a Christian nation and when they exclude the contributions of everyone who wasn't. It came across when the Republican candidates lied about the meaning of their attempt to add a gay marriage ban to the Constitution (a ban imposed by Washington is not states rights and federalism). It comes across from the utter lack of gay Republican leaders and the constant use of gay smears against gay Democrats. It came across when religious conservatives threatened to boycott CPAC just because a gay group was added as a sponsor.

Add in all the anti-Hispanic stuff from the immigration debate, the English-only attacks, and the dismissing of all immigrants as criminals and Mexicans. Add in the attacks on black culture and blacks as criminals or welfare cases. Add in the constant attack on all Muslims as terrorists.

This is all part of the same picture. And conservatives may not want to hear that, but the image they present through their own rhetoric is that only white, married Christians are good Americans.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I don't think the country has shifted left. My proof is simple. Both Romney and Obama sold themselves as far right on everything except the issue of abortion. If this country had moved left, Obama certainly would have embraced that. Instead, he ran on tax cuts for all except the "very rich", and he even justified those tax increases as necessary to achieve another conservative goal -- cutting the deficit. He didn't propose massive no programs or massive government hiring or even new spending except for some minor things people always like -- roads and bridges. Even his talk about the bailout was couched in terms of saving the companies and them turning them loose again in the private sector.

There were no new environmental policies. He didn't make (open) promises to identity groups on race or gender or sexual orientation. He didn't actually promise an amnesty, he just attacked Romney as racist. Both proposed a muscular foreign policy and a strong military.

The only issue where they ran left was on abortion.

Nor have we seen a shift in the number of people identifying themselves as liberals. Not to mention that 2010 was a massive conservative wave. So clearly, the country did not move left.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, That's a huge problem that was really exposed in the election. A lot of conservatives proved that they simply could not spot conservatism or distinguish it from crony-socialism.

I think that part of rebranding the party would involve making the ideals simpler to understand so that people could rattle them off -- like limit them to 10 "common sense conservative" beliefs which everyone could understand.

Anonymous said...

I'm the last person qualified to talk about race... but it seems to be a double-edge sword. On one hand, you need to be able to cater to certain groups lest you lose them forever... on the other hand, race doesn't (or shouldn't matter) and we're all Americans.

It's one of those bizarre paradoxes - it's there but we shouldn't talk about it because, by talking about it, we're implying there's a problem. But there is a problem so we need to talk about it!

I could've phrased this much more eloquently. :-)

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I don't think you're going to find an open sit-out-the-vote campaign, but I'll tell you what I saw.

1. Tepid endorsements and refusals to campaign for Romney by Santorum, Bachmann, Perry, and Newt.

2. Silence from religious right leaders, until the day of the election when several said, "Gee, he didn't court us enough."

3. Newt sent out that e-mail the weekend before the election telling his donors that Romney would lose and they should not waste their money... save it for 2016. I doubt this was the first or only such communication.

4. Talk radio spent two years telling their listeners that anybody would be better than Romney and attacking everything he did. Even when they finally had to jump on the bandwagon, they continued to attack everything he did (often before he did it).

You don't need an organized campaign when you have this.

There is no reason Romney should have gotten fewer votes that McCain, not after 4 years of anti-conservative Obama... except that the people above did their best to suppress conservative turn out.

In any event, however, turnout is not the issue. Demographic trends are on the cusp of overtaking turnout. If we want to win in the future, we need to change.

AndrewPrice said...

Ben, Those people are simply wrong. First, Romney ran on a solidly conservative platform across the board, yet those same people failed to recognize it and instead pimped for a guy who believes Government is the answer... Rick S.

Secondly, they don't understand the demographic issue. We have maximized conservatives. Maybe we didn't get 2%, but that's about it. The problem is that we lost 70% of everybody else.

Think of this like a car with four flat tires. What they are suggesting is like trying to make the car run better by ignoring the tires and trying to tune the engine better.

AndrewPrice said...

Scott, This is a moment where the practical trumps the principled. Right now, certain racial groups retain a separate identity and we are doing very poorly with them. That means we need to recognize the problem and address it. Hopefully, in the future, they will integrate like others who came before them and they will abandon that identity. And we should be working toward that. But until that happens, we do need to recognize the existence of this issue.

But the thing is, we don't need to cater to it either. We just need to stop turning them off. That's the big problem right now. You can't win somebody over when you call them crooks or pretend they are all here illegally and then you threaten to deport their cousins. That pretty much makes everything else a nonstarter.

If we can get over that hurdle, then you do the outreach stuff. That recognizes that they are still ethnically separate, but the goal is to bring them into the family by treating them just like you would anyone else... only with the realization that you need to target them a little differently.

So there's really no huge paradox here. The goal is to bring them into the family and make that ethnic identity mean less to them.

AndrewPrice said...

P.S. Scott, The Democrats play it the other way. They do outreach by offering ethnic-specific benefits and by telling them that they need to huddle in their ethnicity because Republicans hate them and want to deport them all.

We are playing into that.

tryanmax said...

I guess the big question, then, is how do we drive out the minority that's controlling the party?

Individualist said...


Maybe we have a different dfinition of Amnesty. when i hear Amnesty I assume that people are given citizenship without even havingn to pass the citizensship classes just because they sneaked into the country.

Evidently you seem to think that unless they are granted amnesty they must be departed.

I did not advocate departation. I advocated immigration laws that can be abided by. You do not have to depart someone to have this.

I am specifically discussing immigration from MExico because this is the real issue. As far as I am concerned any legitimate Mexican Citizen without a criminal record can be granted a Work Visa (Green Card) whatever we want to call it, to allow them to work and live in this country. They remain a Mexican citizen. If they need healthcare then this is Mexico's problem and the Mexican government needs to reimburse us for the expense.

This does not mean they cannot become citizens. They can apply for citizenship along with everyone else and if they can show they are employed we could waive the sponsorship requirements. However they will earn their citizenship legally.

Anyone crossing the border in the middle of the night can be shot becasue the only people that would need to are drug smugglers ande Al Queada. Any legitimate Mexican would simply drive across the border checkpoint.

How do we get Mexico to agree to this. We have to have a treaty. one that guarantees work in both countries is available to each of our citizens just as Nafta agrees that selling of goods is. One that states that Mexico is repsonsible for its poor and how much they owe us for Nationals we take care of and how much we would owe them for American citizens living in their borders.

Other wise you are going to grant amnesty just as Reagon did, get maybe 5% more of their vote for four years and then those borders you want to control. The Dems will call you a Racist and say no to that. We need a long term solution and one that addresses the other problem no one speaks about.

The fact that migrant workers are not even paid minimum wage. That crap stops the minute any Mexican National can sue without fear of departation any grower that does so under EEOC requirements.

StanH said...

As a libertarian/conservative/ Republican, I could make you blush with the things I would change. However, in my wild eyed exuberance, I am also a realist.

The Tea Party scared the living daylights out of establishment Washington, both sides of the aisle, this is as it should be. Romney was foolish not to grab hold of this energy quite early, and embrace it. The problem, Romney is part of the machine, and he didn’t believe in smaller government. My candidate was Herman Cain, a proud Tea Party member, but as we know he was eviscerated by the MSM, can’t have a successful black man running against the empty suit. Many wanted Ron Paul, aka the Paulistas. I love their zeal, but these cats are hard core, better to let the country collapse, then vote for the lesser of two evils, as they say. Then Rick Santorum, he had the hard core religious right, some of his ideas, quite frankly were looney. But with his demise, the evangelical vote was partially shelved, we can’t have a Mormon get in the highest office…God forbid. Between these three men, “millions” of votes were lost at their demise.

Also. There was no attempt by the Romney team at reconciliation with the Tea Party…this was stupid! As a libertarian/conservative/Republican who votes Republican since Reagan, and have attended Tea Party events, the racist meme, couldn’t be more wrong. It was a narrative wholly created by the politicians and their lapdogs in the MSM, it should have been refuted, vehemently.

Also, it is incredibly tough to unseat an incumbent president, only been done twice in a hundred years (Carter, he had a primary challenge Ted Kennedy, GHW Bush, he had Perot), with this kind of strained electorate it’s amazing he only lost by less than two million votes.

Start running ads now. Link up with the Tea Party, and other freedom loving Americans of every color, creed, or sex. Understand our enemy, ‘60s radicals, who don’t give a damn about rules, this is imperative. Dispense with the dumb $hit, for instance, abortion, you don’t have to like it, I don’t, I love my children, but, “Roe v Wade” is the law, as grotesque as it is. When the question is brought up in debates, very simple answer, “abortion is the law of the land, you want to change it, beat it in court, have it struck down. In this forum, it’s a dumb question…next!” Leftist moderator, but how do you feel about abortion? “personally! …I think it’s disgusting, I love my children and grandchildren. In New York City for instance in 2010 more black babies were aborted than were brought to term, you may call it choice, I call it infanticide, but, it’s the law, you want it, have at it.”

Reagan signed a general amnesty in ’86 for three million illegal’s he received 45% of the Hispanic vote, George HW Bush received 37%, it didn’t work. But refer back to I’m a realist. We must fight on the ground, where we stand.

I could go on.

Individualist said...

Deport not depart

rlaWTX said...

I'm not sure who mentioned the Powerline article, but it's a pretty good take on this. And has some practical answers about how to sell the ideas...

rlaWTX said...

some excellent points, StanH!

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's a really good question and I don't have an answer. They spent the 1990s working their way in and they control all the top parts of the machinery (and of most state parties).

Right now, I am seeing a LOT of writers and elected types talking about these very changes I'm addressing. But they don't have the power to change things.

It's possible to get someone like the guy in Texas (see Anthony's article) who simply opens the door and lets a broader group of people vote, who then overwhelm the insiders. But I don't know if that's possible on the national level.

I think this will need to come from the top down, but since that would require a president who gets to remake the party, and we don't have one, I think we're stuck.

It might come up from the state level. Texas apparently is getting smarter. California might too, I saw some pushing on that this weekend. Florida could help. BUT nobody in the south will push for change. Arizona won't, they're going the other way. The Colorado GOP and Kansas GOPs are basically a white church groups and they aren't going to wise up.

Sadly, the solution is obvious... getting there seems to be impossible. I guess our best hope is that someone like Ann Coulter and Sean Hannity can wake people up?

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, I'm glad you clarified because it struck as strange because I know you've always been opposed to deportation.

I definitely think there must be conditions on citizenship, such as language classes, payment of taxes and having a clean record. Plus, we need a better guest worker program so they don't all need to become citizens.

The problem as I see it is this. There are 12 million illegals in this country. They will never be deported. But the conservative stance on illegal immigration has been: "send them all back to Mexico!" That will never happen. And taking that position (1) prevents us from talking about what really needs to be done, (2) keeps this state of inaction which prevents us from closing the doors to stop another 12 million from coming in the future, and (3) turns off all Hispanic voters.

We need to get over it. We need to realize they live here now and that won't change and we need to create this "path to citizenship" that recognizes it, puts conditions on it, and makes the issue vanish. Then we can focus on stopping the next twelve million.

The longer we wait to do that, the more we are turning them into solid Democratic voters, the more we will let into the country by failing to address border issues, and the more anger problems we avoid addressing.

That's the issue.

And to be clear, I'm not saying "open the borders" by any means. What I am saying is stop fighting a battle we cannot win... a battle which is killing us politically... and get smarter about the problem for the future. And in the process, repair the political damage we have done to ourselves.

Also, it won't be 5%, it will be closer to 15-20% because that is what we used to get until we started whining about deportation. And that is enough to wipe the Democrats out.

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, You make some good points. THIS election was lost because conservatives didn't turn out. There is no reason Romney should have gotten fewer votes than McCain. But this election also was lost because we lost all these other groups by such a wide margin, and future elections will be lost on that basis alone.

Take Hispanics. You point out that Reagan's amnesty didn't work, yet Reagan got 45% of the Hispanic vote and Bush Sr. got 37%. Bush Jr. got 40%. Notice a pattern? Now realize that McCain got 21%. Romney got 25%. Where did the missing 15-20% go? They vanished because Republicans started pushing deportation and other measures aimed at Hispanics. And keep in mind, we don't need to win Hispanics to win, we just need to neutralize this 44% gap.

The same is true on other issues.

On abortion, I agree, and that seems to be a general consensus. But the powers that be in the party have so far been unwilling to even consider a tiny drift away from forced fealty to 100% bans.

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Selling the ideas is easy to everyone except the people in charge.

Right now it looks like a lot of Republicans and conservative pundits have reached the same realization that we need to make these changes. The problem is that until the party apparatniks decide to change, you will keep seeing the same garbage year after year. Rick Santorum will run in 2016 and he will foam at the mouth again, and will again get support from a large chunk of our party. The 2016 platform will again talk about abortion as the greatest danger this country faces and will wedge it into a dozen issues where it had no place. The Democrats will talk about the war on women, again, and we will, again, help them out by calling young women "sluts" and by taking about the morality of contraception. There be two more Akins in 2014 and two more in 2016. And each of our candidates for 2016 will pledge to stop the gay menace and the abortion menace through whatever changes to the Constitution are needed to ensure that Washington can control all of our sex lives to Rick Santorum's satisfaction.

I'm honestly not sure how to change that.

DUQ said...

This just in, Robert Jeffress, who is part of the Family Research Council which is part of what Andrew is rightly complaining about has assured us that Obama is NOT Satan... he's only paving the way for Satan:

"I want you to hear me tonight, I am not saying that President Obama is the Antichrist, I am not saying that at all. One reason I know he's not the Antichrist is the Antichrist is going to have much higher poll numbers when he comes."

"President Obama is not the Antichrist. But what I am saying is this: the course he is choosing to lead our nation is paving the way for the future reign of the Antichrist."

You might remember Jeffress calling Mormonism a cult at October's Family Research Council's "Values Voters Summit."

With friends like these...

AndrewPrice said...

DUQ, Yeah. What can I say? At least we don't mention Satan in the platform. I guess that's something?

T-Rav said...

Andrew, then I take it you've changed your mind from Wednesday's statement that "the leeches have won"?

T-Rav said...

tryanmax, I guess then it becomes a question of whether you think that we lost the election because of a GOTV failure at the last minute or because the campaign message itself was rejected by voters. Personally, I think there's evidence either way, but I'm leaning toward the latter.

Also--and I guess this has to be repeated--the national exit polls showed that the proportion of evangelical Christians/regular churchgoers in general who voted for Romney increased over '08. If there was an "SOTV" effort, it worked less well this time than it did when McCain (whom I don't remember evangelicals having any particular beef with) was the nominee.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, No. The leeches have won. But that doesn't mean we can't win the war. My point Tuesday was to stop protecting them from their bad decisions. They vote stupid, we do the dirty work of keeping things from falling apart, and they feel smug things work out find and all of our predictions of doom don't come true. We need to stop protecting. If they want to raise taxes on the people who provide jobs, let them. If they want to bankrupt the government, let them. Let them experience the full effect of what they voted for when they have no jobs and their benefits come as an IOU.

That is the only way they will wake up and stop voting for Democrats.

At the same time, I'm saying think about the future here. Make the party palatable again by giving up the futile things we advocate that only upset people. Don't give up on our other positions, just abandon the ones we can't get that anger people. Change the rhetoric.

Then we'll see what happens in 2016 and 2020 after Obama has run the country into the ground and when we are an acceptable alternative to all but his hard core supporters.

Individualist said...


I agree with youm to a point. The point I deter is that I have no problem with these people staying in the countryn legally but not granted citizenship until they meet the same requirements as others trying to get into this country legally from non hispanic countries.

I know a Canadian trying to get citizenship who is enraged every time amnesty is suggested.

Furthermore I think the One Percent of Mexico love the fact that potential revolutionaries are streaming from Mexico to America to go on Welfare. This is why I suggest a treaty. One that is fair but one we force on the country. One that we know will be good for the economy of Mexico as well.

If we can acheive this then we can entertain expanding this to other countries in South and Central America just as we are trying to do with Free Trade Agreements.

In the end Globalization will make this a good strategy for America. One of the things the EU did that was good is remove trade barriers between their countries. They removed another barrier that the business academics neglect. Barriers to Labor. The ability of any EU citizern to get a job in the EU.

In order for NAFTA and other free trade treaties to really give us the benefit they are meant to similar LAbor barriers must be mollified. Ironically especially on the non US side. Businesses there selling to the US have to adopt better labor standards in order to raise the overall status of workers there.

In the end I am for this because I see it as increasing the overall Pie. And as an american I like Pie especially Apple.

tryanmax said...

Andrew, too bad. I was honestly looking for insight and not posing a rhetorical. You see, for as reliably red as Nebraska is, I think the state epitomizes the problem that the GOP faces. Although I believe our statewide elected officials are solidly conservative in the correct sense (I'll withhold that assessment from Fischer until more evidence amasses) I have serious doubts that our rural districts are voting Republican for the right reasons. Our urban district is teetering at best. I'd say the fiscal conservative faction pushed it over, but the majority of Republicans here are simply anti-Democrat.

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I don't buy the idea that Romney's message was the problem. Obama's presence alone on the other side should have produced greater turnout on our side than McCain got.

On evangelicals, let me say this again... "evangelicals" are not the problem. It's the fringe group at the end who are the problem.

On the turnout, I think the problem was conservatives across the board and I blame a combination of factors with talk radio in the lead, followed by evangelical leaders, the other candidates, and the other candidates.

AndrewPrice said...

Indi, I don't believe in open borders, but I definitely am in favor of a large guest worker program. It makes a lot of sense to attract cheap labor who pay taxes and then intend to go home again rather than staying on social security.

I think fixing Mexico is definitely an issue we need to address, but I think it's too much to combine this with the immigration issue. That adds too many new variables. I would say stick with a focus first on those in the country and then adjust it later to work with the Mexicans.

tryanmax said...

T-Rav, I think the GOP lost in a perfect storm of idiocy. Every pundit has a different answer for what happened because, frankly, all of it happened. The only people that are really wrong are the ones saying that 0bama has a mandate, now.

And even though I am very intrigued by the SOTV* that happened this election, I still agree with Andrew that poor GOTV isn't the problem: Dems poll attendance was down from '08 as well.

[*FYI, the acronym isn't meant to say that there was an open SOTV campaign. It's just meant as an umbrella to the factors that Andrew listed.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, I wish I had an answer, I really do. But this is one of those moments where the game is rigged. So unless these people wake up and realize that they are hurting their cause -- which they won't -- then nothing will change. We can try to replace them, but since they vote for who replaces them, we won't win.

So I guess we speak out mind and we wait to see what happens? And in the meantime, we call out people like the radio talkers who do the bidding of these people even as they claim to be outsiders.

In terms of being anti-democrat, that is sadly all too true these days. Part of that is because it's gotten too easy for Republicans to succeed by just being anti-democrat. And thus, we don't give people anything to believe in, just things to hate. The Democrats are actually the same way. So our politics have become a poisonous stalemate.

What it will take to change that is a celebrity candidate. Someone with a ton of goodwill who also has an attractive positive platform and can standup to the people who want no change. Sadly, I see no one like that on the horizon. I had hope for Herman Cain, but he didn't pan out.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, That's the thing. People blaming this on Romney's campaign or a GOTV failure or election fraud or the hurricane or whatever have all missed the point. This election could have been won if all of that had gone right, but the next can't. And the one after that can't.

I hoped Romney would win this, get into office and start fixing these problems. But he didn't. So now we need to fix them without him or we are doomed.

Blaming things like voter fraud or Romney only keep us from addressing what really needs to be fixed.

tryanmax said...

T-Rav, if anything neutered Romney's campaign message, it was all the various Republican factions that had a pout when their candidate didn't win the primaries. Because the party's own withheld support from the nominee, it became part of the already-crafted meme that Romney couldn't connect to average voters.

And as a final result, the following cyclical reasoning took over: Romney is out-of-touch, therefore anything he says is out-of-touch which only proves how out-of-touch he is. Thus, he could talk til he was blue about simplifying the tax system--something that polls amazingly well--and all people heard was "tax breaks for the rich."

tryanmax said...

Andrew, that's a much more succinct way of saying it. Thank you.

StanH said...

“In 1984, two years before amnesty, Ronald Reagan got 37% of the Hispanic vote. Two years later, 1986, signs into law amnesty, granting status, citizenship, to three million illegals. Two years after that, George H. W. Bush, the veep, runs for president as a Republican and got 30% of the Hispanic vote. “

To clarify the numbers.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, No problem. Glad to be of service. :)

AndrewPrice said...

Stan, We're never going to win 51%, not as long as they remain predominantly poor and cling to their Hispanic ethnicity. But the fact is that we've never done as poorly as we have in the last two election since we started talking about walls and deportation. If Romney had won even 5% more Hispanics (a 10% swing), he would have won Florida with ease, likely Colorado, Virginia and possibly New Mexico. I don't know how that would have affected other close states.

Also, keep in mind, these issues are not 100% targeted. In other words, stopping our attacks on gays, for example, doesn't just help us with gays, it helps us with people who have gay friends and people who just don't like the bigotry. It's the same thing with Hispanics. Dropping our "angry" positions on that could help us with other groups as well -- women, the young, other minorities, white moderates.

There are many parts to this, but the payout of changing these things should be significant.

T-Rav said...

tryanmax, that "out-of-touch" rhetoric was a problem and it's partly what I'm getting at. I read somewhere recently that the big problem with getting Iowa to vote GOP was that a lot of the people there have a populist mentality, to the extent that they get offended if they see a neighbor with considerably more wealth than they do. I have no firsthand evidence of that, but that's what I've read.

I think in a way, this egalitarian, class-warfare thought has filtered through much of the population in general, to the point where Romney was dismissed by people as "he's a rich guy, you can't trust him." So maybe it's not that there was a shift to the left, it's that voters have bought into that kind of rhetoric, hook, line and sinker. (Trying very hard not to say "voters are stupid" here.)

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, I'll say it. Voters ARE stupid. But that can be accounted for. And of the best ways to handle it is to promise them things they want and then give them things they need. That's how the Democrats do it generally, what they say and what they do are two different things.

The problem is that while the Democrats talk conservative and rational and then vote radical, the Republicans talk radical and lose, so they never get to vote.

And that needs to change.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, I know you're not blaming evangelicals in general. Part of what I'm responding to is an overall rush of comments I've seen the past few days from people saying the GOP needs to "divorce" religious conservatives altogether (clever choice of words) and adopt a socially liberal platform.

The best choice pragmatically? Maybe. But it's hardly fair to a group of people who are every bit as sincere in their beliefs as the libertarian wing, for example, is in theirs, and who have probably turned out in greater numbers over and over again for the GOP than that side has.

Also, while I agree there is a difference between mainstream and fringe evangelicals, that's really only on about 10-20 percent of issues, and rather shallow ones at that (see the "Is Obama paving the way for the Antichrist?" thing above). On abortion, gay marriage, etc., there's broad agreement. And this group overall has a right to have its thoughts heard, be the future what it will. They've given too much to the party to be simply ignored, which is what I hear a lot of people saying should happen.

rlaWTX said...

T-Rav, hate to break it to ya, but voters ARE stupid. Actually, I have an entire concept that I built just to avoid saying that very thing... ya see, there was this weird quirk that we didn't know about where TOTUS automatically got an 8-yr term (above comment about ousting incumbents seems to support this position), so the election last week didn't really happen and 52% of the voting public aren't actually brain-sucking, self-destructive idiots...
Getting this idea from the River Denial into Reality has been as difficult as the idea of aging backward on one's birthday (where instead of turning 40 a hypothetical Texan would have turned 38 on Halloween)...
So, I have concluded that the voters are actually stupid.

T-Rav said...

Andrew, very true. And I do appreciate the need to play the "long game," as it were. My only concern is whether we're trying to tone down certain elements for the time being, or rejecting them altogether. If it's the former, I can go along with that (in fact, I do think it would be useful at this time). If it's the latter, not so much.

T-Rav said...

rla, I know the voters are stupid. What can I say? I was trying to be diplomatic. :-)

No, but really, they're brain-dead idiots.

rlaWTX said...

T-Rav, I saw your 2nd post after hitting submit -

I agree about your perspective on the so-cons: "And this group overall has a right to have its thoughts heard, be the future what it will. They've given too much to the party to be simply ignored, which is what I hear a lot of people saying should happen. "

tryanmax said...

T-Rav, having a closer proximity to Iowa, I'll go ahead and confirm that they ascribe to a distinctly rural form of populism heavily influenced by some Scandinavian social norms that must be inborn. :-/ Nebraska, too, has had its dabblings in populism (William Jennings Bryan). To the extent that both seem to take political cues from Wisconsin...well, I'll let you draw your own conclusions.

tryanmax said...

P.S. I do know where Missouri is, but I doubt you hear/see as much ad buy trying to reach Iowa audiences as I do.

BevfromNYC said...

Ya' know, have you ever stopped to consider maybe it's all of us who are the brain dead idiots?

AndrewPrice said...

T-Rav, Yes, their views matter, but that doesn't mean we should be catering to their fantasies... and that's what we are doing now.

It is a fantasy to believe that somehow demanding that every Republican candidate agree to push a constitutional amendment to ban abortion in all cases will EVER result in anything approaching such a ban. So why are we pushing that if it hurts us with the voters?

Religious conservatives need to realize that they need to drop the obsessiveness on this issue. The party can be pro-life without demanding the absolute positions they want, and it's not socially liberal to step back and seek only to get what is achievable. If religious conservatives want more, then they need to win over the public first... which they haven't done.

I'm also not advocating gay marriage. What I'm saying is that the party need to drop its rhetoric. How is it socially liberal to stay that conservatives need to stop defending their opposition to all things gay by saying "the Bible says its immoral"?

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Congrats on your 38th birthday! ;)

AndrewPrice said...

rlaWTX, Having a right to be heard is not the same as "must get 100% of what they want."

And that's the problem here.

AndrewPrice said...

tryanmax, Put simply, that whole swath of the country are socialist in mentality because that's their heritage.

AndrewPrice said...

Bev, I wonder sometimes.

T-Rav said...

tryanmax, I'm starting to think there's a lot about Scandinavians that's inborn.

rla, Happy Birthday!

T-Rav said...

Andrew, their words ("socially liberal"), not mine.

For the record, I was referring to comments elsewhere. I just realized I didn't make that clear.

AndrewPrice said...

Ah. I really am not talking about going socially liberal. I'm just talking about stepping it back a bit and especially the rhetoric.

Anonymous said...

Andrew, I agree about abortion. Again, I am not someone who believes in open, unrestricted abortions, but it gets pretty disgusting how obssessive and simply knee-jerk some people get about abortion. It's something I already hear enough of from other sources, so that by the time a great deal of politicians try to get preachy about it, there's nothing great about it. In fact, it sounds worse when a politician says it by this point specifically because my religious leaders have already said it. Frankly, it's great when a politician has enough sense in his head to just accept that YOU DON'T HAVE TO BE KNEE JERK and PREACHY about something that has already been elaborated on extensively enough.

I am a religious individual, but frankly, the redundancy is really annoying on the abortion issue.

As far as marriage goes, well my feeling has been the social benefits point, if I want to sign my living will to someone, so bet it, if I want to designate someone people (as is usually the case) to have my possessions, then so be it. All I care about is that Churches have their own marriages, and the state simply defend what is defended by legal writ in terms of property and material possessions, because the defense of personal property and written will and testament is a genuine right.

However, Andrew, the only part I have issue with is trying to put up the message to really pay no attention to the forums, or at least try and discredit a lot of the messages from the online forums, simply because plenty of them seem off the wall with all the radical messages you discussed (i.e. stereotyping Muslims as all terrorists, attacking illegal immigrants, moderate candidates, etc.) It's just an effort that seems tough for myself, and perhaps anyone else to bother doing. But it's something that somehow needs to happen. I am not suggesting total control of the internet, but organizing some sort of fact-check and satire, definitely. Frankly, they all really irritate me to no end with the irrationality that the dish out, which is sometimes worse than plenty of the stuff that I hear from the left.

AndrewPrice said...

obiwan, Sorry, somehow I missed your comment. I agree with you, especially about the online forums. I think it would help if blogs got better at patrolling their own forums and deleting comments that aren't civil. But I don't expect people to waste their time trying to fight in forums. The real problem is that prominent Republicans/conservatives push these same point. They say it on the radio, they say it in interviews, they pass symbolic bills to revel in it. That is what really matters because that makes it sounds like an official position.

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