That’s the description being painted of the Republicans, by a high ranking House Republican:
Rep. Eric Cantor of Virginia, poised to ascend to House Republicans’ No. 2 leader this week, said the Republican Party in Washington is no longer “relevant” to voters and must stop simply espousing principles. Instead, it must craft real solutions to health care and the economy.
“Where we have really fallen down is, we have lacked the ability to be relevant to people’s lives. Let’s set aside the last eight years, and our falling down in living up to expectations of what we said we were going to do,” Mr. Cantor told The Washington Times in his district office outside of Richmond. “It’s the relevancy question.”
That has been the problem for quiet sometime. I think back to the Terri Schiavo debacle. It was a perfect example of Republican grandstanding. For years the GOP promised their followers all these changes in regard to “right to life”, but never delivered. They then saw this woman who they could use as a pillar of their bases wishes and to try and sell their party as the party that cares for the religious rights beliefs. But in years of control, including control of all parts of our government, the Republicans still couldn’t deliver on their promises. Not only that, they never really tried.
So looking ahead, what is the Republican Party to do? Are they going to shed their long time platform of appeasement to the religious right? If they want to become more significant, then they need to. Abortion alone has been an albatross for the GOP. A majority of this country believes in a woman’s right to choose, and when you throw in issues of mortality for the mother, that margin increases even more. But the Republicans have once again ignored the American people, and instead listened to the few loud voices of the religious right; the Dobsons and Perkins out there.
Their claims of “fiscal conservatism” have even fallen flat. Our deficit has increased at record levels under Republican control, and our economy is on the brink. Still they had a presidential candidate out there echoing the hallowed promises of George W. Bush.
Then the Republicans decided to go down the road of school yard politics – calling their opponents name. “He’s a Socialist” was a common meme to describe Barack Obama. Their proof was that he wanted universal health care and to dump money back into the nation – something a majority of this country wants. We don’t want bridges falling down anymore, or a nation to sick to produce. A healthy workforce that can drive safely to work is key to a strong economy.
But instead of listening to people like Cantor, the Republicans are sitting their in self denial. They continue to try and say this country is “right leaning” – that we all still believe in their ideals. Wrong. If the Republicans want to become relevant in the future they need to change their views on government, instead of trying to change an entire nation.