The Republicans really need to listen to people like John Cole and Andrew Sullivan, two life long conservatives who ended up leaving the party. Sure these are mostly big names in the cyber world, but there are also names like George Will and Christopher Buckley out there now that should be listened to.
Cole gives some good advice for the GOP that they should listen to:
What the GOP needs to do is cool their heels. The frenetic nonsense of the last few years has gotten them nowhere, and talking about principles is pointless when you have none. The party of limited government talks a good game, but owns the $500 billion dollar deficit this year and $5 trillion in debt from the past two administrations. You don’t get to pretend you are the party of limited government when your crowning achievement of the last eight years is the Schiavo legislation. I suspect the only principles they honestly have left are the ones they know are so repellent to the public at large that they refuse to voice them. Every now and then they act on them, and the public swats them on the nose. See Frost, Graeme.
If they were smart, they would regroup, and decide what they stand for and present it to the American people. Instead, I suspect we will get several more months of infighting over tactics and appearances, and more purges of those who wish to engage in a debate over the party’s direction. It isn’t just that many of the folks leading the purge disagree with George Will and Peggy Noonan and Daniel Larison and Sullivan and Ron Paul about the direction of the future GOP- they want them destroyed for suggesting there needs to be a debate. That is how dead the party is, and Henke is right. They need some time in the wilderness, to figure out who they are and what they believe in and why and how it will be better for the country.