Politics Magazine

OMG! I Agree With Newt Gingrich!

Posted on the 21 February 2013 by Jobsanger
OMG!  I Agree With Newt Gingrich! (This caricature of Newt Gingrich is by DonkeyHotey.)
The Republicans were aghast at the outcome of the last election, and there is an increasing debate in their party about what they need to do to reverse the trend that seems to be developing (that they are becoming a permanent minority party). Some have said that they just need to tame their over-the-top rhetoric -- that making the rhetoric softer and nicer will show America how right they are and bring people flocking to their party. This is a silly idea of its face, since it assumes that the voters can't see past their silly talking.
A second group believes they just need better candidates. One of the major proponents of this group is Karl Rove, who recently started a political PAC dedicated to fighting the more ridiculous GOP primary candidates (like Akin, Mourdock, O'Donnell, and Angle). Surprisingly, one of the bigger nuts in the Republican Party, Newt Gingrich, has said this idea is also ridiculous. Here is some of what Gingrich had to say at the conservative site Human Events:
While Rove would like to argue his “national nomination machine” will protect Republicans from candidates like those who failed in Missouri and Indiana, that isn’t the bigger story. Republicans lost winnable senate races in Montana, North Dakota, Ohio, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Virginia, and Florida. So in seven of the nine losing races, the Rove model has no candidate-based explanation for failure.  Our problems are deeper and more complex than candidates. Handing millions to Washington based consultants to destroy the candidates they dislike and nominate the candidates they do like is an invitation to cronyism, favoritism and corruption.
It bothers me to agree with Gingrich about anything, because he has been so wrong about so many things in the past. But he is right on this issue. The problems the Republicans face go much deeper than the candidates they are running (or the rhetoric they are using). The real problem is that the GOP candidates are supporting policies that have failed, are mean-spirited and hard-hearted, and just downright scare most American.
If the Republicans want to return to power, they need to change more than their rhetoric and their candidates. They need to moderate their policies to be more in line with what the majority of Americans believe, and develop policies that appeal to a broader cross-section of the diverse American population. The idea of winning elections by appealing only to older white males is gone, and with the decreasing percentage of whites in the total population, will never come back.
American voters do swing from slightly left to slightly right and back from time to time, but the truth is that the United States is a middle of the road country that values moderation and abhors extremism. As long as the Republican Party represents the policies of the extreme right, they will stay in trouble with the voters.

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