Peggy Noonan: Republicans Need To Expand Their Base


From this Saturday's Journal Editorial Report, Peggy Noonan, like a lot of other Republicans, are trying to figure out what the GOP should do to keep from suffering the kind of losses they did during this presidential election. Needless to say, like most of them, she doesn't seem to understand that they're going to need to do more than just change their rhetoric.

Peggy Noonan: "Republican Party Has Much To Think About":

"This was a solid win for the president and I think that the Republican party has much to think about here going into the future," Wall Street Journal columnist Peggy Noonan said on FOX News' "Journal Editorial Report" this weekend.

Noonan, however, says Republicans don't need to rethink their principles such as limited government, but how to present such ideas.

"The way the party goes forward sometimes, it is a way that unnecessarily, I think, occasionally turns people off," Noonan opined. "I also think, a big lesson for the Republican party in this election is to look at America, look at the Republican base -- the famous Republican base -- and see that this is not expanding anymore; this is where it is, maybe it is beginning to detract." [...]

"One of the things I think the party will have to do now is listen to certain voices, such as up here in New York, Heather Higgins of IWF (Independent Women's Forum). She has been some time to party political professionals the answer is not to drill deep into the base; the answer is to expand the base. And that is through going to people, that is through conversation, that is through talking to them about the issues that they case about. It is not operating from 'up here' with big ads that just press people's buttons; it's operating in a way like the Obama campaign did. It's going down on to the ground and talking to people. It's labor intensive, but it's a way of growing. It's a wake of persuading people, which I think Republicans have gotten kind of bad at," she said.

Here's more on that from Laura Clawson at Daily KOS -- Stunned Republicans try to figure out what went wrong and repackage for the future:

After an ugly surprise brought on in large part by staying in their bubble, a big part of how Republicans are going to figure out how to broaden their appeal will be ... talking to their base donors, volunteers, and staffers? Oh, but they'll focus-group some Latinos, even recognizing that Puerto Ricans are different from Cuban Americans are different from Mexican Americans. The bottom line is this, though:

Party officials said the review is aimed at studying their tactics and message, not at changing the philosophical underpinnings of the party.

Yes, the Republican party's appeal will be broadened by figuring out how to fool people into thinking Republicans don't hate brown people, gay people, and women. How to make opposition to abortion even in cases of rape or incest seem like it's loving and respectful of the women forced to be pregnant. How to make Latinos think living in fear and lacking access to basic services is their own idea.

Republicans should totally go with this. Never change, just repackage what's not working a little bit. (Really, please, do this.)

And from David Atkins over at Digby's place, here's more on the Republican bubble they were living in during the last election -- Did they really think only old white men would hear the dogwhistles?.


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