November 7, 2012
GOP Winners and Losers
The time for soul-searching, second-guessing and recriminations among Republicans has begun. In taking stock of the party for the future, picking winners and losers helps understand what to toss overboard and what to build upon. Despite the election results, The Refugee refuses to put Gov. Romney in the loser category; he proved himself to be a man of honor, integrity and unimpeachable character. "Loser" and "Romney" should never be used in the same sentence.
Paul Ryan - Rep. Ryan proved himself to be articulate, a good campaigner and a champion of responsible government. He proved that he is presidential material and a standard-bearer for the party.
Marco Rubio - Sen. Rubio gave a block-buster speech at the convention, banked a lot of IOUs with tireless campaigning and proved that he can build a bridge between the GOP and the Hispanic community. He, too, is presidential material.
Susana Martinez - Gov. Martinez entered the national stage with grace, power and brilliance. While perhaps not yet a recognized national player, she could be awesome as #2 on a ticket with either Rubio or Ryan.
Entitlement Reform - Given that a major new entitlement has now been enshrined, this winner would seem counter-intuitive. Nevertheless, entitlement reform no longer seems to be the third rail of politics. Romney/Ryan introduced it as an adult conversation, which will likely give it a seat at any budget negotiations table. Whether or not it will be served is questionable, but at least it's got a menu.
House GOP members - Although the Left likes to say that the House must now compromise, GOP members were re-elected just as surely as the president. Their power is enhanced as the only counterweight to Eurosocialism.
Chris Christie (GOAT - NJ) - After one of the worst keynote convention speeches in memory, self-serving campaigning and the undeserved bear-hug of Obama post-Sandy, the Christie national brand is permanently damaged among Republicans. He refused to step up when his party and his country needed him most. He had best not expect us to step up if he decides that he needs us in 2016.
Social conservatives - Social-issues conservatives have proved that they cannot win anything larger than a House seat. The national attitude toward gay rights, abortion and immigration have changed permanently. As The Refugee's father used to say, "You can't legislate morality." Social-issues conservatives must come to the realization that social change comes through persuasion, not legislation. The fact is, if people became convinced that abortion is wrong, it wouldn't matter what the Supreme Court said; abortion would halt. By all means, preach, advertise and prosthyletize - but get personal religious values out of the party platform.
GOP SuperPACs - GOP SuperPACs had an enormous amount of material to pound Obama with. Not only did they fail to do so, they failed to defend Romney from the relentless attacks from Democrat SuperPACs. They squandered hundreds of millions of dollars in ill-conceived and totally ineffective messaging.
Readers will note that The Refugee did not put the Tea Party into either category. The Tea Party fundamentally stands for fiscal conservatism and must continue to do so. The Refugee is convinced that fiscal conservatism can still be a big political winner, but no longer overrides social issues for the majority of voters. Social conservatives have sailed under the Tea Party flag, but we must begin to separate the two.2012 Election Posted by Boulder Refugee at November 7, 2012 8:20 PM