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PostAdvice for Republicans: *WSJ* (Richard Hancock, USA, 11/14/12 2:00 am)
Bret Stevens of the November 12 Wall Street Journal says that the Republicans were lucky that they didn't win. "The GOP dodged ownership of the second great recession which will inevitably hit when the Federal Reserve can no longer float the economy in pools of free money. When that happens, Barack Obama won't have George W. Bush to kick around."
He advises the Republicans to change their attitude on the following:
1. Opposition to gays (people should be free to live however they want as long as they don't bother others).
2. Abortion (he cites President Clinton in his statement that he wanted abortion to be "safe, legal and rare." The Republicans need a truce on social issues).
3. Immigration ("What's so awful about Spanish. It's a fine European language with a great literary tradition. Bilingualism is an intellectual virtue, not a deviant sexual practice. If the argument is that these immigrants 'steal jobs,' then that's an argument by someone who either doesn't understand the free market or aspires for his children to become busboys and chambermaids.")
4. At least 5 bad candidates caused the GOP not to win the Senate. (Can we, as the GOP base, demand an IQ exam from our congressional and presidential candidates?)
Stevens concludes: "So get a grip Republicans: our republican experiment in self-government didn't die last week. But a useful message has been sent to the party that spent too much of the past four years listening intently to itself. Change the channel for a little while."
Richard Hancock says: I hope the members of the Tea Party will read this piece.
JE comments: If the GOP hierarchy changes its tune on social issues (gays, abortion and immigration being the Big Three), the 2012 election will have been one of those paradigm shifting events in US politics, rather like the South becoming Republican in the 1960s, and the birth of the Reagan Democrats in 1980. But where would the fundamentalist hardliners then turn? One can't rule out a third party coming into existence, along the lines of the present Tea Party. It might do very well in some states.Put more succinctly, are the libertarian and the social conservative/"theocratic" brands of Republicanism due for a split? Perhaps not: if history is our guide, 2014 will prove beneficial for the GOP even if it changes nothing.