Thursday, November 8, 2012

Republicans Need a Serious Policy Review

The GOP's election defeat of 2012 lends credence to the belief that Republicans desperately need to change their strategy. The party can no longer win by appealing only to older white males. Republicans did not win the Presidency and they lost ground in the Senate, however they did retain the House. If they want to be the party of the majority they will need to adopt more rational fact based policy positions, this includes the science of climate change.

Republicans are at odds the majority of the American voting public. There is popular support to raise taxes on the wealthly, and maintain spending on social programs. However, the GOP has painted itself into a corner as the Republican House was elected on a no-tax-hike pledge, and includes a larger contingent of small-government advocates than before.

As the fiscal cliff looms, Republicans have already shown that they are not afraid of playing chicken with the American economy to get their way. Americans have seen the face of Republican obstructionism and more of the same does not constitue a viable path to the White House.

You can’t blame the Republican loss on a lack of resources. Republicans clearly had the money and organization capable of winning in 2012. Mitt Romney’s loss along with the loss of several key U.S. Senate races is a clear sign that Republicans need to change.

Even the Conservative mouthpiece known as the Daily Caller concedes that the Republican agenda is to blame for their loss in 2012.

"[I]t is the job of politicians and parties and movements to persuade Americans to buy into their vision. And they clearly aren’t buying what Republicans are selling. It’s time for the GOP to do some serious soul searching."

How can Republicans become a majority party capable of attracting new voters and earning back the White House? To start with they need to enter the modern era and embrace a science based policy platform. This means they will need to broaden their appeal beyond old white men. They may want to start by reforming their antiquated agenda so that women can feel more comfortable with the party. With 71 percent of Hispanics voting for Obama in 2012, the GOP will need to find a way to reach out to this large and growing constituency.

The gender gap clearly hurt Mitt Romney according to exit polls. Obama enjoyed a ten point spread with women, CNN national exit polls showed that 54 percent of women cast their votes for President Obama on November 6, compared to 44 percent for Romney. Romney has a ten point spread with men 53 percent to 45 percent for Obama. With more women voting than men this served the President well in both 2008 and 2012 (women represent 53 percent of the electorate, compared to men’s 47 percent).

Some bizarre statements about rape by Republican Senate candidates Todd Akin in Missouri and Richard Mourdock in Indiana, did not help women's perception of the Republican party.

There is evidence to suggest that both women and hispanics are concerned about climate change. Women are more likely to suffer from climate change they are also more likely to want to do something about it. Surveys indicate that 77 percent of Latinos acknowledge the existence of climate change.

Global warming is destined to grow as a political issue. There is a strong body of evidence supporting the existence of anthropogenic warming. It is only a matter of time before the overwhelming majority of Americans see the scientific veracity of climate change. Extreme weather events have served as tangible reminders that are helping an increasing number of Americans to accept climate change.

The Republican war on climate science has got to end. The Republicans cannot continue to thwart the President's environmental agenda. Americans will not accept the GOPs incestuous relationship with the fossil fuel industry and other corporate interests beholden to the old energy economy.

Its not a pretty sight, but the GOP must take a long, hard look in the mirror.

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