November 14, 2012

For the GOP, 'Winning' Isn't Everything

Yesterday in The Hill's pundits blog, Armstrong Williams offered what was headlined as 'forward-thinking advice for the GOP'. He suggested that, for the Republicans to be relevant,
They need to carefully build a coalition between themselves, independents, blacks and single and suburban women, and make inroads regarding the Latinos. This can happen by the Republican leadership abandoning trying to legislate religion and instead creating an immigration policy that makes sense.
Williams' point is similar to that expressed by the rest of the pundit class: that failing to expand the GOP beyond the core angry white male demographic will doom the Rs to losing to the tax-and-spend Democrats forever, and the only way to expand the base is to come up with some kind of immigration plan that gives Latinos - the fastest growing demographic - a warm fuzzy feeling so they'll start voting Red.
Compare that attitude and goal  - winning, a la Charlie Sheen - with this approach taken by some folks in my neck of the woods, conservative Rs who put forth a very different path to victory.  Instead of looking for ways to help the R's take back the White House, Kevin and Kristin Curtis from Central New York have a much better approach. I had intended to include excerpts from their letter, published Tuesday in The Post-Standard here in Syracuse, but instead am including the entire thing, with a little added.

Dear President Obama, Sen. Harry Reid and Rep. John Boehner:
My wife and I are moderate Republicans. Our hope is that Republicans and Democrats will now do their best to find common ground. As moderate Republicans, we have crossed party lines to support Democrats when some Republicans are too extreme.
We could be defined as socially liberal and fiscally conservative. We believe that gay marriage is a civil rights issue and support those rights. We support strong families as foundational to the health of the country. Single parenthood is the driving force of most poverty in the United States. We share a deep faith, but we believe in the separation of church and state. We believe that the private sector should grow at a higher annual percentage rate than the government sector.
We believe in a strong, efficient military. We are spending too much and have too many bases, globally. Jobs in health care are just as important as jobs in the military and defense industries. Work to get our allies on board to address potential regional conflicts. Lead others to liberty.
We have supported Planned Parenthood for three decades. Every global problem, from reducing pollution to feeding the hungry, would be more manageable with effective family planning. By telling over 54 million American women who have terminated pregnancies since 1973 their doctors, and anyone who helped them, that they are criminals, extreme Republicans drive them away from the party. Can we all agree that better availability of effective contraception will decrease the need for abortion and work together on accomplishing that?
Strengthen Social Security. Neither of us have pensions. We are counting on this program. Broaden health care access while finding ways to lower costs. We pay for our own health care. It is expensive. Identify and address government program abuses wherever they are found. Stop the cheating. Reform overly generous public pension programs. We support education, but it needs to be more efficient at all levels. Subsidizing tuition and student loans has helped more students attend college, but also generated salary, staff and benefits bloat in academia. Simplify the tax code and make sure that folks at the top are paying the same percentage tax rates as folks in the middle.
We are counting on you to work together to move America ahead.
We are counting on you to work together. Not, we are counting on you to cobble together some weird coalition of voting blocs that can be pandered to, that the world can be promised and then not delivered to, so that we can win the next election.

We should be listening to Mr. & Mrs. Curtis, not to Armstrong Williams.

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