"A great party needs give. It must be expansive and summoning. It needs to say, 'Join me.'"
Tired of people like Newt,Rush, and Dick being the face of their party, the repubs held a little retreat in Northern Virginia this past weekend. It was billed as the first in a series of town hall meetings-sound familiar?-to reconnect the GOP with real A-merry-cans.
The retreat was called by one of the new faces of the party, the telegenic Eric Cantor.
They are calling the initiative The National Council For White America and.....OK that's bullshit, I kid. It's actually called The National Council For A New America, ("New America". Get it?)and it's supposed to get the party's "fortunes back on track". Good luck with that Eric. After eight years of the frat boy you are not only going to have to get back on the tracks, you are going to have to build the tracks as well.
I am sorry but in case they haven't noticed, the "New America" that they are looking for looks nothing like the old America. Barack and the dems figured it out, but they were slow to the party. They were too busy playing up the old political strategy of Lee Atwater and Karl Rove. While they were watching FOX NEWS and pushing hate the rest of the country passed them by.
It's ironic that on the weekend that the grand old party lost one of their best men-- a man who begged them to expand their tent-- they decided to try a different strategy to connect to the A-merry-can voter. Too bad for them that the men leading the charge (maybe with the exception of Jeb Bush) couldn't connect to the typical A-merry-can voter if you locked them alone together in a room filled with table games. But this is what happens when political parties are in the dumps. We get the likes of Sarah Palin, Mitt Romney, and yes, even Eric Cantor, emerging as leaders.
"Certainly our party has taken its licks the last few cycles, but that's why we're here,' said House Minority Whip Eric Cantor. 'The reality is the prescriptions coming out of Washington right now are not reflective of the mainstream of this country."'
Ah, Eric, did you see the results from this past election? I would say that they (the folks in Washington) have that prescription down pretty pat, wouldn't you? See Eric, one of the first things that you are going to have to learn to do if you want to be the leader of a party is to be able to read the signs. Don't delude yourself into thinking that a bunch of town hall meetings, some tea parties, and well paid right wing talking heads are going to do it for you. You need a new message, and some new messengers to deliver it.
Anyway, let me see if I can help you with starting down the right path, because I am a such a nice guy. Here goes:
Recruit some grass roots black folks into your tent. I don't mean the self hating black folks we see commenting on FOX News and who take your money to promote themselves. I mean real community activists (I know you hate that word, but get used to it) who are doing real work in their communities and who are respected by their neighbors. And while we are talking about black folks: would it kill you to talk about issues that effect us just once? Instead of defense, tax cuts, and the right to bear arms 24/7; how about talking about education, crime, and affordable housing every now and then?
Stop making social issues the focus of your party. In case you haven't noticed most A-merry-cans don't give a damn who marries who. And while a majority of us might be for protecting the life of the innocent (and for the guilty as well) we really do believe that a woman has the right to do whatever she wants to do with her own body. So guess what? You can actually be pro choice and pro life as an individual.
Lose Sarah Palin. To steal a popular phrase: "Just do it".
Listen to folks like Peggy Noonan, and some of the moderate East Coast snobs in your party. It's nice to be able to count on the Bubba vote, but you have got to expand. We all know that Arlen Specter switched parties for political survival, but you all made it too easy for him to do that. If I make a peace sign with my fingers I have the total number of republican Senators in the Northeast, now if that doesn't scare you all I don't know what will.
Give us your plan, any plan. We know that Obama is a Socialist Muslim- traitor, who is going to make Cuba the 51st state, but what do you have to offer?
Stop knocking government. In case you haven't noticed times are hard and people are depending more and more on the government. Most A-merry-cans believe that we got into this mess because the private sector got too greedy and pissed over all of us. They want more government (which by the way represents us) to fix the problem, not less.
And finally, bring back J.C Watts (yeah I heard the whispers too) and lose MC Mike. A black face leading your party is nice in the age of Obama, but it can't look like you are just doing it to be like the other guy. Watts was there before Obama, and unlike MC Mike he knows when to shut up. Besides, we know that you all don't like MC Mike , so why don't you end the charade now before it gets any worse?
Eric, I will send you my bill. But please don't write me a check.