Republican Party, Remake Thyself (You, Too, Barbour) | Jackson Free Press | Jackson, MS

Republican Party, Remake Thyself (You, Too, Barbour)

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Gov. Haley Barbour will give his annual State of the State address tonight.

Politico's headline today, GOP In Dire Straits, says it all. Don't miss Haley Barbour's take at the end, telling Obama how to be, er, non-partisan:

Thumped convincingly in consecutive election cycles, the Republican Party now finds itself in its worst straits since the rise of the conservative coalition — a minority party without the White House, fewer seats in the House and Senate, only 21 governors and full control of just 14 state legislatures. Most ominous for Republicans, the GOP is increasingly becoming less grand than old — and outdated. As reflected in Tuesday's results and exit polls, it's a party that is overwhelmingly white, rural and aged in a country that is rapidly becoming racially mixed, suburban and dominated by a post-Baby Boomer generation with no memory of Vietnam or the familiar culture wars of the past.

Beyond demography, the party is now, thanks to the outgoing president and some members of Congress, perceived by many voters as either incompetent, corrupt or just not standing for much. Even on fiscal issues — for decades central to the GOP's appeal — Republicans now lag. [...]

And Republicans are wasting no time in critiquing some of President-elect Barack Obama's first moves.

"With the selection of Rahm Emanuel [as White House chief of staff], I think Sen. Obama is sending a strong signal of partisanship," said Mississippi Gov. Haley Barbour. Emanuel has been offered the job, according to Democratic sources, but has yet to accept it. "He's a hardball player if there ever was one. That doesn't say much to me about this 'post-partisan' presidency."

Previous Comments

ID
140362
Comment

This is later in the piece: But while recapturing the advantage on issues is important, Republicans are frank about the urgent need to also become a party that looks like the nation America is quickly becoming. Obama won over Hispanics — the country’s largest minority group and a target of ardent outreach by President Bush — by sizable margins, gains some in the party attribute to the perception fueled during the immigration debate that Republicans were hostile to Latinos. Obama also trounced McCain among younger voters, who represent a powerful voting bloc for decades to come. “I would suggest that conservatives need to do the math of the new demographics of the United States,” said Jeb Bush. “We can’t be anti-Hispanic, anti-young person, anti-many things and be surprised when we don’t win elections.” “We’re not relevant to people of my generation,” admitted Rep. Paul Ryan, a 38-year-old Wisconsin conservative seen as a rising star on the right. Ryan said the party had become ossified, emblematic of a despised status quo. “No more old bulls, no more old boys network, no more just bringing home the bacon to get reelected,” he said. [...] Pawlenty, the son of a truck driver who worked his way through college, is also passionate about the need to put a new face on the party. “Demographically, culturally, technologically and economically, the country is changing,” he noted, while the GOP is “stuck in a 30-year-old feel in tone and image.” “We need a more forward-leaning, newer, younger, more diverse party. That does not mean that our values and principles get thrown overboard. “But you can’t be a majority governing party getting almost no support from African-Americans, modest support from Hispanics, with a major gap with women, and decreasing support from modest-income Americans.” The party, Pawlenty concluded, “needs to be freshened up.” Of course, Sarah Palin was chosen to appeal to the old (white) Republican Party. She did surely, but that party is shrinking into irrelevance, and will continue to, even in the South. It's time for a makeover. But will the racist coots allows them to? That's the question of the next decade.

Author
DonnaLadd
Date
2008-11-06T09:40:19-06:00
ID
140372
Comment

I really hope the Republicans have learned a huge and valuable lesson: that they can no longer use fear, hate and division as a way to win elections. This presidential campaign brought out the worst in the Republicans. They told us that only rural America is the real America (Sarah Palin); that liberals hate God and working people (defeated North Carolina congressman Robin Hayes); that those who don't believe like they do should be witch-hunted (Minnesota congresswoman Michele Bachmann). When I saw how diverse the people in Grant Park were the other night, as well at other Obama rallies during the campaign, I saw the real America. While it's not to say that McCain supporters aren't real Americans, what I saw at his and at Palin's rallies are definitely not representative of the melting pot that this country is. It shouldn't matter if you're from a big city, a suburb, a small town or a rural area, we're all Americans. Hopefully, the Republican strategy of hate, fear and division is in its last throws. It'll take a little while longer to get rid of, but change is coming, even for the Republicans.

Author
golden eagle
Date
2008-11-06T12:29:50-06:00
ID
140389
Comment

Finally, I like the repugs. Don't change anything.

Author
Walt
Date
2008-11-06T18:23:32-06:00
ID
140390
Comment

If I were the repug's leadership, I'd make Palin the face of the party and allow her to freely travel the country and speak freely about who the republicans are and what they believe in. McCain tried to muzzle her and that was a mistake. Similarly, McCain should have let her give her concession speech too. It doesn't matter that no vice president did it before. Surely, the concession speech would have been a smashing hit just as all her speeches were after the convention. She can never be all she's capable of with shackles holding her back.

Author
Walt
Date
2008-11-06T18:42:51-06:00
ID
140437
Comment

The real issue is that the Republicans must face the reality that this country is for all the people and not for a select group. Obama was elected by the people all race where include and no one was exclude. Barbour as with other Republicans should have learn that it takes all of us, all races, genders, nationalities and religious beliefs to work together to make this country great. Obama was not elected because of the political party he belongs too, nor was he elected because of the color of his skin. He was elected for his leadership and his visions for America. Regardless of the political party you may be a member of the facts are simple we must stop the hate, get rid of the ego's, respect each other and all of us must put our faith in GOD and we will then truly be a country for all the people.

Author
Hot Sauce
Date
2008-11-07T16:11:28-06:00
ID
140446
Comment

The Republicans are about to birth a viable third party. George Will, David Brooks, Christopher Buckley, Colin Powell, Ron Reagan, and a host of other high-minded (elite) conservatives have finally signaled a move from partisan, Christian evangelical pandering. In unequivocal terms they denounced the Palin pick and what it stood for. Alternatively, conservative radio talk show hosts such as Rush Limbaugh, Laura Ingram, and Sean Hannity have made Sarah Palin the line in the sand. To them Palin and Bobby Jindal are the "rising stars" of the Republican party. To listen to the conservatives on the front lines with the people...you certainly get the impression that they think they weren't "conservative" enough. Rush, Laura and Sean are lamenting that his "questionable" associations were not questioned enough. Rush actually asserts that conservatives didn't lose the election because they weren't represented. From the looks of things, i agree that what Rush considers a conservative was not represented. After the primaries it was pretty obvious that a Rush conservative wouldn't win. McCain's only chance to win was appealing to Independents and he failed because he clung to the conservative base. i think that in 2012 we will see a viable third party competing in the Presidential debates. i think this will lead to 3 terms of Democratic rule (provided Obama performs as i believe he will). At that point i predict there will be more than 3 parties represented in the debates and our Congress and Senate will look a lot more diverse with a variety of platforms.

Author
daniel johnson
Date
2008-11-07T19:13:49-06:00
ID
140455
Comment

I second the motion they should stay the same and send Sarah on a nationwide speaking tour. She should be freed up to talk about foreign policy, geography, philosophy, the supreme court, her economic theories and general maverick stuff. You betcha. If she destroys the party, the Libertarians can fill their spot. The Huffpost reported that 64% of Republicans polled recently want her in 2012. http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2008/11/07/poll-64-percent-of-republ_n_142284.html They should get what they want.

Author
FreeClif
Date
2008-11-07T21:33:28-06:00

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