Does the GOP need a new direction?

We’re talking about whether the GOP needs a new direction.

We were inspired by a column from Matt K. Lewis. Here’s part of his argument:

The GOP is running on fumes. Like a copy of a copy of a tape, conservatives have been living off the legacy of Ronald Reagan for decades.

The cold war was the glue that united the conservative movement. Each leg of the stool – social conservatives, fiscal conservatives and national security conservatives – had their own reasons for uniting to defeat the Communists. Reagan benefitted from this unity, as well as from his own ability to inspire, and knew how to play it.

But George W Bush managed to put the final nail in the coffin of the decades-long “Reagan era”, and so it’s time to start anew. Bush invented a new Republican brand, but then ensured it couldn’t be used again.

Do you think the GOP needs a re-boot? We’d especially love to hear from Republicans.

–Stephanie Curtis, social media host

  • Jo Dougherty

    How can you say that the President (any President) is responsible for the lack of partisan communication when the minority leader of the senate says that the party goal is to defeat the President in the next election. It’s way off base to hold the President responsible for the behavior of either party as a whole.

  • Jeff

    The GOP needs to get off there biblical soap box, accept women’s rights and the basics of science. I’m so tired of hearing Congressman talk about science being from the gapes of hell and how the Earth was built by God. It’s fine to believe that, but it’s not okay to put that into our legislation and laws. Our founding fathers are turning over in their graves. I would be willing to support Conservative movements (tax and business policies) if they would leave the science and bibles to scientists and pastors. Congress should focus on making laws that protect our nation, environment and promote production and economy. Both parties can find common found there. Leave the philosophical stuff to the people to figure out.

  • Ray

    I think the statement comparing football to politics is very enlightening to the state of the Republican party. The analogy would work if the Republicans were competing to do the exact opposite of the Democratic party. This isn’t a competition. Elections may be competitions, but legislating is a team sport where everybody is pushing towards the same goal. I get the competetiveness in an election year, but when there is obstructionism for years and years on end it becomes a systematic problem of the party.

  • Stephanie Curtis, The Daily Circuit

    Matt K. Lewis thinks space exploration could be important to summon American greatness. In this age of American austerity, we need some romanticism.

  • Gary

    compromise?…common ground?…

    Two words…Grover Norquist

  • C. David Kearsley

    The biggest “big idea” guiding the Republican Party is the “Southern Strategy”, developed in the wake of the defeat of Barry Goldwater (by Kevin Phillips, Pat Buchanan et al), and specifically designed with the intent of polarizing the American electorate by race, with White, working-class voters as the target constituency. That “big idea” worked for a while, and was clearly instrumental in the election of Ronald Reagan. But ultimately, the Southern Strategy did not prevent Conservatives worst nightmare, the election of an African-American president. So now, having spent the last 40 years alienating African-Americans, Hispanic-Americans and White “centrist” middle-class Americans, the Republican Party’s newest “big idea” (actually a very old idea) is voter suppression. And for their efforts on this front, the GOP is being serially slapped down in the federal courts.

  • C. David Kearsley

    @Stephanie Curtis: Clearly Matt Lewis is mostly clueless with regard to the origins of the American space program. Romanticism was at best a tertiary consideration, after Cold War national security imperatives, and the development of American technological systems and infrastructure more generally. As to the efficacy of trying to operate a robust (especially human) spaceflight program during a period of austerity, Mr. Lewis should check the marginal U.S. income tax rates during the period 1961-1975 (from Mercury Freedom 7 thru Apollo-Soyuz), or even 1981-2004 (the active, pre-sunset period of the Space Shuttle program). A brief sit-down with Neil deGrasse Tyson would go a long way in curing Matt Lewis’ ignorance in this area.

  • Phil Carlson

    Matt Lewis’s comments are similar to many analysts, and right on. Nationally, the GOP was hijacked by the “Southern strategy” and continues to this day with Mitt Romney – a moderate – needing to bend over backwards not to offend the fanatic right wing to get nominated. Now he’s trying to walk back much of what he said. In Minnesota we’ve seen many elder statesmen of the GOP come out against the Tea Party-Christian fundamentalist wing. I’m not sure they (the whole GOP) can easily put that jinni back in the bottle. They summoned it and now they have to deal with the unintended consequences.