Saturday, November 8

Republican Reform

DeMint on future of conservatives:

Republicans have a history of moving right after defeats, embracing Ronald Reagan after Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford had failed, and Newt Gingrich after George H. W. Bush had. Each time the party thrived as conservative independents and Democrats joined it. Many conservatives think that the party will succeed again just as soon as it ditches the big-spending, soft-on-immigration George W. Bush. But Republicans succeeded on those previous occasions because they addressed the concerns of the day for the vast middle class; moving right alone was insufficient.

As it will be in today’s very different political landscape. Based on the exit polls from 2004 and Tuesday, Republicans have lost more ground among self-described moderates than among conservatives. Even if Senator McCain had won the same percentage of conservatives that President Bush did in 2004, he would not have won. Moving right will work only if moderates are given a reason to move right too.