Over at the Corner, Ramesh has a funny blurb on David Boaz, a hard core libertarian, attacking the Social Right and the Big Government conservatives for McCain's loss. Its called "Don't blame my faction!" Similiarly, David Frum has a piece on how the Republican Party must tone down social conservatism to attract tony Connecticut types and the college educated wonderkins who flocked to Obama.
I'm waiting for Pat Buchanan to write a piece on how being Pro-Israel is a big liability now that the most dovish nominee in decades has won promising to pull out of Iraq, play kissy face with Iran and has many ties to anti-Semites and anti-Israelis. To top it all off Republicans don't get much of the Jewish vote!
Far be it from me to pull back from recriminations and sticking the shiv to the elements of the Party one doesn't like but I think this is all overblown.
The Republican Party can keep most of its current views on social issues and everything else and still beat Obama and the Democrats. What killed the Republicans was the economic downturn coupled with an inability to show competence on the economy and other areas. Do I agree President Bush is the worst President ever? Of course not. Do I believe he ran an incompetant administration? No.
However, two things occurred that he did not resist. First, when bad management or corruption reared its head he did not weed it out. He gave George Tenet a Presidential Medal. He stayed silent on Republican corruption in Congress. He vetoed nothing. He found no spending ill-conceived. He did not fire Bremer (another Medal) or Brown, or McClellan, or, before the election Rumsfeld (who I liked).
If you are going to be tagged as the Party of Business you have to act like a business and fire the non-performers. Second, is the need for economic growth that is felt by the middle class. Bush got reelected because we came out of a recession and downturn and stock bubble through his policies. McCain lost because many things were left undone. Why were Freddie and Fannie allowed to fester? Because some elements of the Republican Party did not want to confront the Democrats on Home Loans to the indigent. If a high profile fight on the GSE's had been waged in 2006 it would have been clear who the villains were this year whatever the result of that fight. That did not happen.
Now we are entering a recession. No aspect of Obamanomics aids growth. Higher regulation, taxes on capital, taxes on employment (social security), restraints on trade, high energy costs of the Green agenda, and more unionization all retard growth. The high spending of the Bush years expanded under Obama, coupled with anti-growth policies is going to lead to at least 9% unemployment and the start of inflation by the end of 2009 and definetely by 2010.
The GOP better become the party of clear answers on growth and clearly explain how it helps the middle class if it wants to capitalize on this. Further, like I just did in the preceding paragraph it needs to make a "called shot." If I am right about the nature of the world, and Obama does what he says he will we will have stagflation. Say it now. Say it proud. Tout the alternatives.
As John McCain found to his sorrow on the surge "I told you so" does no good after you have solved the problem. It does a world of good when you Cassandra like were not heeded and people are suffering therefrom.
Pro-Growth, Anti-Corruption is what the GOP needs.
For those who wonder, I am a full spectrum conservative so do not really have a faction. I believe in the traditional Reganism of strong foreign policy based on American freedom of action, free trade, low taxes, and traditional values. If I have adversaries within the Republican coalition it is Thurston Howell III old money types, Big Subsidy receiving business and the anti-traditional values libertarians (pro-drug, pro-abortion, pro-brothels). But on most things I will take all of them rather than what the Democrats promote.
The Republican Party lost. It needs to examine how to expand its prescence in primary and secondary education which are now simply Leftist propoganda mills. It needs to find out how to change the media environment or deal with it more effectively. It can never again allow itself to go to a gun fight with a knife because of campaing financing laws. But its principles can win if competently defended and promoted.