Republicans have a big problem. Nope, it’s not figuring out how to rebuild their party after consecutive defeats in national elections (that’s easy). Nor is it finding new leaders in Congress (also easy) or latching onto fresh ideas that might improve the Republican brand (easiest of all). The problem is simpler–but also more difficult–than those. It’s the tricky business of dealing with President Barack Obama.
For starters, Republicans should recognize their position in relation to Obama. For the time being anyway, he’s a colossus astride the continent, the most commanding political presence since Ronald Reagan arrived in Washington. He’s the star. Republicans are extras. If they attract attention, it’s likely to be because they’ve done something the media consider outrageous or dumb.
The Republican party needs to start being the party of ideas again, and fast. Otherwise they’re simply going to be the party of “no!” and that’s not appealing to anybody.
But if they can all get on board, ride this “unity” wave and work with a President Obama to enact a few of their own policies, they can find their way back into the White House. That means playing nice, staying positive and not trying to destroy Obama like they did Clinton. That’s the only way they’ll start appealing to the college educated white voters and Hispanics again.
Much easier said than done.
One more key graph…
One more thing is essential, according to Ryan. “We’ve got to be happy warriors,” he says. “We’ve got to stop being the angry white guy party.” Otherwise, Republicans will play right into Obama’s hands.
Republicans attempted to consolidate power by being the angry white guy party and it worked reasonably well for them over the past 30 years, but it looks as if that strategy is as dead as disco at this point. Still, one need only look at who the leading conservative voice is to see what the Republican’s brand has become. Do they really think they’ll be able to tear themselves away from that?
This could get ugly.