Bad Advice 101: GOP Needs to Become Mediocre to Be Excellent

There’s been a lot of buzz lately about how the Republican Party can identify better with Americans and begin to win elections again, as they historically have.   One article describes some of the common grievances against the GOP:

The Republican Party has won more than 60 per cent of the presidential races since Abe Lincoln’s day. But lately, it has been on a losing streak, having come up short in the popular vote in five of the past six White House elections.

So what gives? Party chairman Reince Priebus and a group of party elders think they have some answers, which they put into an extraordinarily candid assessment released Monday.

They argue that too many Republican candidates come off as scary, narrow-minded and out of touch, and they advocate a number of course corrections.

The article continues:

Without some significant changes, the GOP will find it very difficult to win presidential races. That won’t be good for the party. And it won’t be good for the nation, which benefits from having two strong, credible and competitive parties, one of which advocates smaller government.

After giving some anecdotal evidence about how moving to the center helped politicians win elections, the article lowers the boom:

Several groups within the GOP have set themselves up as power brokers, gate keepers and loyalty enforcers. Sporting names like the Club for Growth, Americans for Tax Reform, Heritage Action, FreedomWorks and Tea Party Patriots, they make candidates look less like public servants and more like political hostages of extremist groups.

Well, it’s true that many politicians are “political hostages of extremist groups,” but those lawmakers are not working to advance the conservative policies that will save America.  On the contrary, they are beholden K Street lobbyists and big-government special interest groups – including big labor, environmentalists, and green energy companies.

Heritage Action’s CEO Michael Needham and COO Tim Chapman call this the Washington Establishment’s Big Problem:

The Bigs – Big Wall Street, Big Government, Big Labor, and Big Business – are all protected classes in the American political system. The tax code, regulatory regime, and campaign finance laws are all written by those powerful enough to hire an army of lobbyists to descend on Washington. Labor unions pushed their way ahead of bond holders when the Establishment bailed out Chrysler. Solyndra got venture funding from the middle class taxpayer after spending $1.9 million lobbying the Establishment.

This corrupt nexus is at the heart of the dissatisfaction across the country towards Washington.

Conservatives fought against things like the Export-Import Bank because it was the epitome of corporate welfare.  The GOP must stop being reflexively defensive of big business.  Conservatives are opposed to any form of corporate welfare, and so are most Americans.  This is good politics, but it’s also good policy.

We believe in free people and free markets, and we champion the truth that these things — not big government, socialist style control of people’s lives and of industries — lead to prosperity.

By the way, the left is surely not immune from being wooed by big money.  Remember the Export-Import Bank?  When he was campaigning for the presidency, Barack Obama called it a “fund for corporate welfare.”  Then, he turned around and begged for its expansion as president.   Big-government spawns and empowers big special interests.

Similarly, on Obamacare, the leftist billionaires were pushing for socialized medicine:

If you believe the White House, there are 30 million Americans who support a government health care takeover. But if you look at the funding behind the Obamacare campaign, it’s the same few leftist billionaires, union bosses and partisan community organizers pushing the socialized medicine agenda.

Drawing increasingly closer to the center will simply be a win for the political Left and we’ll get more terrible laws like Obamacare.   Dan Holler illustrated this point using President Obama’s attempt to woo Republicans into a bad debt limit deal, which would be yet another mistake:

For Obama, a deal is heads he wins, tails Republicans lose. Not only will his poll numbers increase, but it also has the potential to weaken his political adversaries. Any Republican who votes for a grand bargain littered with tax increases is likely to encounter significant primary opposition. At the very least, that Republican will have to use resources to repel a challenge from the right and will limp into a general election fight against a well-funded Democrat.

The last thing that conservatives or Republicans should want to do is move farther to the left.  President Obama’s liberal policies have failed the American people.  Conservatives are principled people and mediocrity is not attractive to us.  We simply have to paint a picture for our fellow Americans of the attractiveness and goodness of conservative principles and policies.

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