I stated after the last US election that I felt the Republican party would find itself in very deep shit and would resemble the British Labour party in the late seventies - or the Tory Party under John Major - in which infighting left both parties unable to govern.
I said this because it was becoming increasingly obvious that McCain was heading for an historic defeat and that what was left of the GOP was coalescing around Sarah Palin, a woman who held views which most people would regard as extremist.
But, as the neo-cons - as extremist a group as I have ever seen running the Republican Party - had moved the Republican position so far to the right, a battle would have to take place to decide in which direction the party would move to in future. And the fact that McCain had even had to choose Palin to appease the base, led me to conclude that any fight to bring the party back towards electability would have to be a deep and a bruising one.
The Malkins and Coulters of this world will not give up the power they have accrued without a fight and that fight is now beginning to take place:
Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell did not mince words on the outlook for the GOP during his address to the Republican National Committee's annual meeting on Thursday.McConnell is on the money apart from one vital area. He appears to think that what was rejected was the party's "sales job" which reminds me of Thatcher's defence of the poll tax and her belief that, if the policy was simply sold better, that the public would see that they were wrong to reject it.
The "path forward" for the Republican Party is rocky.
"We're all concerned about the fact that the very wealthy and the very poor, the most and least educated, and a majority of minority voters, seem to have more or less stopped paying attention to us. And we should be concerned that, as a result of all this, the Republican Party seems to be slipping into a position of being more of a regional party than a national one," McConnell told the gathering.
"In politics, there's a name for a regional party: it's called a minority party. And I didn't sign up to be a member of a regional party . . . As Republicans, we know that common-sense conservative principles aren't regional. But I think we have to admit what our sales job has been poor. And in my view, that needs to change."
The Republicans need to do a lot more than sell their policies better, they need to understand that a lot of their policies, especially their social ones, are discriminatory and wrong.
But, as long as they pander to the kind of people who hold Sarah Palin up as their champion of social justice, then they are heading, deservedly, for the political wilderness.
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