Does The GOP Even Want To Win In 2008?

Although there are a number of things I don’t agree with in his latest column, Tony Blankley is certainly spot on when he says that, “The GOP Needs a Survival Instinct.”

Ever since George Bush was reelected in 2004, he has come across as being completely uninterested in pleasing his base or the American people — which, of course, explains why his approval rating has been mired in the thirties.

The Senate hasn’t been much better. At a time when the base was already dispirited and demoralized, how in the world could they be dumb enough to start a full on political war with their biggest supporters?

Unfortunately, even with the race to find a nominee in 2008, there isn’t much evidence that the GOP is wising up.

For example…

* At a time when the Democrats are telling everyone who’ll listen that the GOP hates Hispanics, only John McCain was willing to show up at the Univision Spanish language debate. The message that was sent was, The GOP doesn’t care about getting a larger share of the Hispanic vote.

* After RNC Chairman Ken Mehlman spent two years working to increase the GOP’s share of the black vote, there were some signs we were making some progress on that front. In fact, black voters were one of the few demographic groups whose support for the GOP increased from 2004 to 2006. Yet, the top GOP contenders blew off the minority run All-American Debate.

* Now we’ve got 20% of House Republicans voting ‘present’ on “a resolution recognizing the commencement of Ramadan.” Nobody was asking them to declare Islam the one true religion or give Muslims any special privileges, it was just the sort of sugary sweet, almost meaningless resolution that Congress makes every other day of the year. But still, we had 41 Republicans who couldn’t bring themselves to wish Muslims a happy Ramadan.

So, after a horrible year in 2004, the GOP is sending a message to potential black, Hispanic, and Muslim voters that the GOP isn’t all that interested in acquiring their votes.

How much sense does that make — especially when no principles had to be compromised and no great sacrifices had to be made? 90% of life is just showing up and in this case, had the candidates simply shown up at those debates and said the same things they always said, it would have made a difference. As far as commending Ramadan goes, there was no real good to vote “present” instead of supporting the resolution. So, why alienate Muslims, who have at past times, been strongly behind the GOP?

As Ronald Reagan once said, “A political party cannot be all things to all people. It must represent certain fundamental beliefs which must not be compromised to political expediency, or simply to swell its numbers.”

However, you can, “represent certain fundamental beliefs,” and still reach out to people who may not be voting for you right now. You can still make little gestures that show people your heart is in the right place, even if they don’t agree with you on every issue.

The Republican Party is falling short on that score at the moment and we need to turn that around.

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