20 November 2008


In all honesty, I'm typically not so drawn to stories about Republican Party battles/ideology, but geez—all this Conservative drama is fascinating.

Ramesh Ponnuru, a senior editor for National Review, has a fresh article in Time, “Rebooting the Right.”

Ponnuru claims that the Republican Party is “not descending into civil war. That would be too tidy. What is unfolding instead is an overlapping series of Republican civil wars, each with its own theme.” Additionally, he asserts that, “[w]hen a party suffers the kind of beating the Republicans have taken in the past two elections, the public has not rejected one of its factions. It has rejected the party as a whole.” Ouch.

Read his fine analysis here.

Utah’s Republican Governor, John Hunstman, seems to agree with Ponnuru. He's told Politico that, well, the party pretty much better get its act together and welcome the 21st century pronto.

“If we’re going to survive as a party, we need to focus on the environment,” Huntsman said. “There’s a fundamental tone deafness with our party when it comes to the environment. ... The last place we can be as a party is be viewed as the anti-science party. That’s not a model for the future.”

[moreover. . .]

He also was critical of the Bush administration’s foreign policy, and advocated for a more multilateral approach. He attributed the Republicans’ recent political struggles to the lack of an “organizing principle” to drive voters to the party — something the Cold War accomplished for decades.

And he argued the war on terror can’t fill that role.

“The war on terror can’t be the organizing principle of the Republican party,” he said. (Politico)

Lord knows they've tried to make the "war on terror" an organizing principle, but people didn't buy into it for very long (in 2004, yes. But 9/11 was still an open wound). The lack of an organizing principle manifested itself solidly in the McCain campaign as it veered from tactic to tactic rather than articulating a considered, coherent "theme," if you will.

At least Rahm Emanuel is playing nice by encouraging the GOP to submit ideas to the Obama administration. Today he met with Mitch McConnell, Eric Cantor, and Mike Pence. Further, according to The Crypt, he has “spoken to almost two dozen Republicans in the last two weeks to tell them that the new administration is serious about bipartisan cooperation” (Politico).

Some good news for GOPers, then.

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