A day after Fox News Sunday aired an interview in which former Senate Republican Leader and Republican National Chairman Bob Dole suggested neither he nor Ronald Reagan could make it in today’s GOP, one of his former colleagues endorsed his comments. Former Senator Olympia Snowe (R-ME) told MSNBC Monday that Republicans “have to rethink their approach as a political party.”
On The Daily Rundown, host Kristen Welker played a clip of Dole’s comment that the Republican Party “ought to put a sign on the national committee doors that says ‘closed for repairs’ until New Year’s Day next year — and spend that time going over ideas and positive agendas,” and asked Snowe’s reaction:
SNOWE: Well, I certainly do agree with the former Majority Leader Bob Dole with whom I worked with when I first entered the Senate and who was a consensus builder and understood what was essential and what was important for the Republican Party and what was important for America. And that unfortunately has been lost today, on Capitol Hill. And yes, Republicans do bear responsible as do the Democrats. You have to work together. And obviously, the Republican Party is undergoing some significant and serious changes and they’re going to have to rethink their approach as a political party, and how they’re going to regroup and become a governing majority party that appeals to a broader group of Americans than they do today.
“Consensus building” in the modern era has generally meant the same thing as “bipartisan”: the GOP caves into all or most of the Democrats demands on an issue. It has been especially popular in the Senate, where being liked is far more important than achieving anything substantial in one’s career. It’s a mutual rear-end kissing society that gives almost no thought to the good of the country. That’s precisely why Ted Cruz annoys the old guard so much-he doesn’t care at all how well he is liked there.
The only new strategy the GOP needs is to actively recruit more like Ted Cruz and ignore the Olympia Snowes of the world.