Is the RNC’s Autopsy Bold or Bland?
March 18, 2013 - 10:49 am
Depending on which take you read, you can come out thinking that the RNC’s new report on the state of the GOP is either going big to wrestle with the party’s problems or that it’s copping out and offering lots of same-old same-old.
For the bold case, read PJ Media alum Jennifer Rubin.
For the meh case, DrewM at Ace of Spades.
The report is here should you want to read it for yourself.
Put me closer to the meh camp. The “bold” ideas are coming from the same wing of the party that nominated Mitt Romney, who ran anything but a bold campaign. Before that, they nominated John McCain. Had they had their druthers, they would’ve nominated George H. W. Bush over Ronald Reagan. Their track record isn’t great.
The “bold” ideas they proffer include passing comprehensive immigration reform, and Rubin deploys language like this to characterize those who oppose this boldness.
Don’t be surprised, however, to see a backlash from those appealing to anti-immigration exclusionists.
That’s quite a line to use against fellow Republicans who prefer security and the rule of law over repeating the mistakes of the past. In my own case, I’m married to a legal immigrant. But I’m an “anti-immigration exclusionist” because I believe that the current push for what amounts to an amnesty is a bad idea, which will not help secure the border, hurts Americans workers by depressing wages, and will end up hurting sound policy over the medium and long term, until we come back around to another amnesty in a couple of decades.
I humbly submit that Rubin is part of the problem, not the solution. It’s not a coincidence that one of those who put the report together is a Jeb Bush ally. Another is a long-time lobbyist. On immigration they’re pushing for the same things they’ve always pushed for, year in and year out.
We are not a policy committee, but among the steps Republicans take in the Hispanic community and beyond, we must embrace and champion comprehensive immigration reform. If we do not, our Party’s appeal will continue to shrink to its core constituencies only. We also believe that comprehensive immigration reform is consistent with Republican economic policies that promote job growth and opportunity for all.
We’re not a policy committee, but if you don’t accept this policy we’ve literally been pushing for years and the federal government has no record of dealing with effectively, and on which the Democrats have built a record of racist demagoguery that we have no interest in countering, then you’re an exclusionist.
And they’re worried about turning off non-Republican voters…
Question: If the Republicans give in on this, where do voters who support the rule of law go?
Another of their “bold” ideas is to soften up on same-sex marriage, citing the preferences of younger voters.
But same younger voters may also abandon our strategic relationship with Israel. That’s which way they’re leaning. Why are we told to listen to the young on one issue but not the other?
Another of its bold ideas is to speak more to the culture in apolitical venues. That’s a good idea, but hardly bold and hardly original to the RNC’s insider group. Conservatives should get into events like SXSW and should appear more in venues that we’ve been mocking Obama for appearing in. This has worked for Obama and is obviously something more Republicans should be willing to do. Marco Rubio is already leading the way on this, and more should follow.
Another of its bold ideas is to go populist on corporate America.
We have to blow the whistle at corporate malfeasance and attack corporate welfare. We should speak out when a company liquidates itself and its executives receive bonuses but rank-and-file workers are left unemployed. We should speak out when CEOs receive tens of millions of dollars in retirement packages but middle-class workers have not had a meaningful raise in years.
These people sound like liberals talking. I’m not saying that they are liberals, but they do sound like them.