GOP Prez Wannabes Tack to the Right
I have puzzled over why almost all of the Republican presidential wannabes are avidly-embracing a president who is one of the worst in history and has almost single-handedly marginalized their party, as well as a war that only a small number of voters support.
Even the party’s own pollsters say that it will take a miracle for the GOP to keep the White House, let alone regain control of Congress, in 2008.
It has been noted by pundits far more sage than I am that this situation is a result of the candidates needing to play to the party’s base in a campaign that, after all, has a year left to go. But the last time I looked at the GOP base, it resembled a prune.
Has the GOP simply become so ossified and out of touch that it’s fallen and just can’t get up? Or in terms that the older gents who comprise most of this demographically-challenged field might understand, can’t get it up?
Ron Brownstein, one of the finest political analysts of our time, says that in word and deed the Republican candidates are going for solidarity over outreach and the same old-same old over new ideas:
“After being routed in 2006, many Republican leaders argued that the party lost voters in the middle because it had not been conservative enough, particularly on spending. That’s the view the presidential candidates are now reflecting. [Rudy] Giuliani, even with his recent concessions to party conventions on such issues as taxes and guns, pushed against that consensus by stressing national unity and inclusion in his riveting speech to the social conservatives last weekend. But he is a (qualified) exception in a party that seems committed to betting 2008 on the high-risk proposition that the way to recapture the center is to turn further to the right.”
Is this totally nuts or what?