The 2012 election was a crushing blow to conservatives and Republicans across the board. Although they held onto the House, they still had losses there, and totally failed to take the Senate, and had a fairly disastrous presidential election. Yet there appears to be some hope on the horizon, because already the GOP soul-searching has begun, and already I am seeing some encouraging signs.
So I do have to ask: Did you idiots just wake up and crawl out from under a rock in Oklahoma, or what?
We’ve been saying here for months at United Liberty—and for me personally, elsewhere before then—that if the GOP didn’t tone down the social conservatism and stop with the anti-gay messages and the anti-science messages (Paul Broun, anyone?) and for once in their lives genuinely embrace limited government, they were going to lose a generation. It took a shellacking in the polls this year to shake Republicans out their idiotic stupor.
Look at this tweet:
We need economic solutions, but also need to confront the social rhetoric that has undermined our party. AFA/FRC, I’m looking at you.
— Luke Londo (@llondo) November 7, 2012
Rep. Steve LaTourette, a Republican from Ohio, had some strong language for his party on Thursday, saying that he wants Republicans “out of people’s bedrooms.”
After Republicans lost the presidential race and failed to retake the Senate, LaTourette said the GOP must reign in its extreme right wing and reach out to growing minority groups in order to stay competitive in future elections.
“We have the right message on finances, we have to get out of people’s lives, get out of people’s bedrooms, and we have to be a national party,” LaTourette said on CNN’s Starting Point. “Or else we’re going to lose.”
Ken Gardner, who has a fairly large Twitter account at around 20,000 followers and frequently has the “pulse” of the conservative Twitterati, wrote this on his Facebook page (public, so I’m assuming he wants this to be shared far and wide.):
More random thoughts about the election and where we go from here:
1. We must continue to oppose bad policy while offering conservative, free market, individual liberty solutions and a better vision. Obama has no mandate. We don’t have to act as if he does.
2. We need to recruit better Senate candidates. Stronger candidates might have made a difference for Mitt in FLA, VA, ND, OH, even WI. The one silver lining: we did elect Ted Cruz and Jeff Flake.
3. The GOP must become competitive again in big blue states like CA, NY, NJ, PA, MA, MI, and so on. This will be a long, hard process that will take years, maybe even decades. The only reliable big red state we have is TX. We can’t win if we virtually have to run the table on every swing state to get to 270.
4. As conservatives, we need to be discussing and debating ideas, not who is or isn’t “the establishment” or a “true” conservative.
5. As conservatives and GOPers, we need to be doing MUCH better with Hispanic voters. If we don’t, Darwinian selection will take over and we will become extinct. We have lost CA and NM, CO and NV are slipping away, FLA may be slipping away, AZ will soon be slipping away, and even TX might someday start slipping away (although not anytime soon). More on this below.
6. Obama ran the smallest, most negative, dishonest, undignified, disgraceful POTUS campaign in my lifetime (and barely got away with it). Obama also got away with lying for weeks about what happened in Benghazi — just long enough (with a complicit media) to get him to election day. He deserves nothing from us except fierce opposition. He never engaged us in the battle of ideas, but did little more than offer free condoms for votes. He has said or implied that we are stupid, racist, greedy, selfish, misogynistic, evil. He sees voting as revenge against us. We owe him NOTHING.
7. This one is going to upset the most of you, but I have to say it: the GOP needs to cut a grand bargain on the immigration issue and do it fast. Dems are using it to HAMMER GOPers and win Hispanic votes. We aren’t going to deport 12 million people back to Mexico. That’s a pipe dream. Even talking about it is political suicide for the GOP. Meanwhile, millions of Hispanics fear and distrust the GOP because of this issue — many of who would be far less Democratic but for this issue. I don’t care what you call it, we need to get the millions of people who are here illegal on a path to legal residence or citizenship or whatever you want to call it. We need to stop being the nail to the Dems’ hammer on this issue. If we don’t, see Paragraph 5 above.
8. Likewise, this one may upset some of you: the GOP needs to stop relying on the evangelical vote. It has been a declining force in American politics since 2004. It failed to come through for McCain or Romney in key battleground states such as FLA, OH, VA, even NC. America is becoming a more secular country and the GOP must incorporate that fact into its politics, especially at the national level.
9. The GOP needs to return to the ORIGINAL principles of the 2009 tea party movement, before it was hijacked by social conservatives and other movement conservatives: limited government at all levels, personal and fiscal responsibility, returning the federal government to its original constitutionally limited powers and responsibilities, free market principles. More Atlas Shrugged than the Bible.
Parts in bold were my emphasis.
Believe it or not, we’ve been saying these things. We’ve been pushing ideas that will appeal to moderate liberals as well as many conservatives (though perhaps not the real radical ones.)
But instead, what did we get over the past four years? A lot of conservatives sneering at pot-smoking libertarians and saying our votes were worthless and that we were entirely wrongheaded, then when it came to crunch time practically begging for our votes while spitting on the ground before us at the same time.
And now, they’ve lost. Big time. So now they’re playing the “we should’ve listened to the libertarians” game. At least this isn’t November 2016, with the GOP having lost another presidential election to big government Democrats.
Seriously, though, just how dense were they the past four years? Did they completely ignore demographics, how whites were slowly declining and immigrants were now becoming the fastest growing group and were here to stay? How the nonreligious were going from a tiny minority to roughly 20% of the population? How nobody gave two cents about gay marriage anymore and how the old pro-life viewpoint was no longer a guarantee of success?
It’s nice to see them get their act together, and this year, not in 2017. But come on, guys: this shit was staring you in the face from the get-go. You should have had this way back when. That you didn’t makes you kind of a joke.