Wednesday, May 27, 2009

A Recipe for Perpetual Failure

The conservative vs. moderate split threatening to rupture the Republican Party played out across the airwaves Sunday, with Colin Powell and Tom Ridge denouncing shrill and judgmental voices they say are steering the GOP too far right. Karl Rove challenged Powell lay out his vision and "back it up" by helping elect Republicans.

At stake is the GOP's status as a major party, Powell and Ridge suggested.

Yes, let's "stay the course" in the middle of the road, or perhaps swing left, because it has worked so well for the GOP. Here's what ignoring the party base (those dreaded right-wingers) did for the Republican Party:

1. Lost the 2008 presidential election.

2. Lost both houses of Congress in 2006 and 2008.

3. Created a trend of declining polling numbers for Bush before he left office.

4. Won two presidential elections by narrow margins, in which the Republican candidate faced weak opponents.

5. Ushered in some of the worst fiscal irresponsibility and creeping government power in U.S. history.

6. Ensured that our national borders remained insecure, and that criminal aliens went unpunished.

What a winning combination. By the way, a man who voted for Obama for no other discernible reason than his skin color is the last person to whom Republicans should be listening for advice on keeping the Party relevant. As for Ridge, the man's spineless; he's more concerned about not rocking the boat than anything else.

"If we don't reach out more, the party is going to be sitting on a very, very narrow base. You can only do two things with a base. You can sit on it and watch the world go by, or you can build on the base," Powell said.

Powell seems unaware that the people who outrage him so are the party base. This is not leadership. This is cluelessness. And as long as Republicans in high positions keep ignoring or belittling their base, they can expect to continue losing elections even as they slip further and further into insignificance.

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