I received some pointed thoughts regarding my last post on “Forgetting What Being A Democrat Is All About“. Essentially, that there was no way a Republican Party that was anti-woman, anti-immigrant, science phobic, and wrong on other social issues would contend for the Presidency in 2016. Not surprisingly Republicans are refusing to become pro-choice, in favor of comprehensive immigration reform, and positive about spending money on anything beyond basic narrow federal services.
How can that party win? Some of it is indeed substantive and some of it is marketing. Essentially the way back for the Republican Party, the way that keeps this Democrat up at night, is to do the opposite of what Democrats say.
The social issues are surprisingly marketing issues. The Republican Party might move over time towards a libertarian view of abortion and it might not. It is not going to embrace NARAL and Planned Parenthood. That is reality.
But what can change without any sacrifice is for Republicans to adopt the following strategy. The only Republicans who will talk about abortion, contraception, and family planning are Republican women. My guess is that will moderate marginally the position of the party. More importantly it is hard to attack a woman as anti-woman.
On immigration follow the same process. The only Republican talking about immigration should be a Hispanic Republican, preferably a woman.
On many of the other social issues a fighting withdrawal appears plausible. Shifting from enshrining hetrosexuality as superior in law, to an argument that links to liberty. The freedom of every American to privately think and to privately worship their own moral code. This concept of liberty links to political thought (IRS scandal), Second Amendment issues, communications (NSA and related monitoring), and provides a consistent underpinning while deflecting the specifics of minority positions.
How do you argue against the right to think, to organize, and to freely communicate?
Then the Republicans need to return to the type of economic argument that Ronald Reagan would advocate. Undoubtedly updated for the passage of thirty years, it is essentially a Keynesian argument masking as supply side economics. A large payroll and income tax cut that benefits the working and middle classes and the wealthy. This should be skewed to the working and middle classes to deflect Democratic class warfare attacks. Simultaneously, a complete tax reform that focuses on eliminating corporate welfare from the farm program, clean energy, traditional energy, banking system, any other subsidy in the tax code regardless of narrow political interests.
On manufacturing, stop talking about making new industries such as clean energy, and focus on the exploding conventional energy market. The energy market is manufacturing and drives even more manufacturing. Manufacturing drives working and middle class jobs. Enable a burst of government private market cooperation on creating the safest pipelines, the cleanest fracking, and the most robust energy market in the world. Then export that leading technology worldwide.
On foreign policy jettison Senator McCain and other hyper-interventionists. Adopt an Eisenhower/George H.W. Bush foreign policy realism cloaked in Tea Party isolationism. Get Rand Paul on stage at the convention with whoever is the nominee.
Without saying much publicly jettison the deficit and debt talk, while taking credit for the improved debt position. Austerity is not going anywhere, but the old Reagan sunny supply optimism would contrast well with Obama temporizing. Really, at this point why would working people vote Democratic? The President is doing nothing to help them, actively hurting employment, and cutting back on subsidies for them.
At this point why not vote for a tax cut that will at least show up in your paycheck?