Memo to the GOP

Subject:  Winning a national election

  1. Get a decent slate of candidates.  Don’t let the clowns out of the clown car.  Presenting candidates like Herman Cain, Michelle Bachmann, and Newt Gingrich as viable is a disgrace and showed you’re not serious about winning.  The candidate you settled on, Mitt Romney, is essentially the 2012 version of Michael Dukakis – nice guy, terrible nominee.  Doesn’t matter how much lip stick or cologne you put on him, it cannot make up for the fact that: A., he’s a terrible candidate who is unable to run an effective campaign and B., you hate him almost as much as you hate Barack Obama – and it shows.
  2. Get a message and stick with it!  I daily hear about how this election is about jobs and the economy, then your minions talk about abortion and rape and religious values and birth control.  These are not issues that we need politicians meddling in.  Your message that we have too much government and too many regulations stifling America rings hollow when you appear to want nothing more than legislate morality.  Stay focused!  Your catering to the evangelical right is killing any and every chance you have.
  3. Get a real plan to reduce the nation’s debt!  Even Paul Ryan’s “draconian budget” adds more debt to the nation – with a forecast to balance the budget in 20 years!  Can we have a serious conversation for once that addresses the fact that you cannot pay down the debt until you have a budget surplus?
  4. The only sane candidates offered in the 2012 primary could not get beyond 3% support from your base.  What does this say about your ability to have cogent policy discussions with your voters?  You need to work harder to make the average Republican less stupid.
  5. You honestly thought you could win this election based on general hatred and disdain for the sitting president.  Based on this hubris, you failed to articulate genuine policy alternatives and plans for the future of the country.  Your own nominee recently acknowledged going in that he’s writing off 47% of the voting electorate.  Even splitting half the undecideds doesn’t get you to the White House.
  6. You need to become more than just a party of angry white men and Michael Steele.  Angry white men are in decline and you need to identify coalitions that will make up for this dwindling supply of voter.
  7. You cannot continue to alienate and shun African Americans, Hispanic Americans, homosexuals (and heterosexuals that support basic civil rights).  This may upset your wonder bread evangelical base, but unless you want to be a footnote in a history book, you need to target your expansion instead of your decline.
  8. It’s time to act like responsible adults.  You need leaders in the party that have the balls, metaphorically speaking, to call out idiocy and ignorance among your constituents instead of doubling down on stupid.  There are still sane Republicans, although in dwindling numbers, that are shaking their heads in private every time Michelle Bachmann or Sarah Palin open their mouths – they need to be more vocal and critical!  Stop being apologists for insanity and start calling it for what it is.  Failure to do so drives away intelligent voters.  Your pandering makes it clear you value popular figures and their supporters more than reality.
  9. Be the leaders for tax reform.  Show that you’re capable of bold governance!  We need to stop kabuki dancing over a percentage point(s) increase or decrease in the marginal tax rate – it’s a meaningless and an ultimately futile endeavor.  If you really want to reform government and make it more accountable to the people, change the tax code to operate government how a business would operate – with a focus on the bottom line.  Remember that the American public is your shareholders!
  10. Stop the incestuous relationship with Fox News!  Break out of the idea that the media calls the shots and dictates the news cycle and dissemination.  As elected officials, you do not represent just a segment of society.  You represent the American people – not just the viewers of a single network.  Stop behaving like it’s us versus them.
  11. Lastly, stop demagoguing your political opponents.  If the Republican platform really is about ideas – stand on the ideas.  When ideas fail, i.e., translating to an election loss, sometimes the ideas must change.  It’s the 21st century – start acting like it.

If you can do all these things, maybe this guy won’t have to carry this sign:

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2 Responses to Memo to the GOP

  1. David Pan says:

    Sean,

    Great post!

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