A Way Forward for Republicans

Article excerpt

Byline: Andrew Romano

Right now congressional Republicans seem to have only one guiding principle: everything Obama does is wrong, even if it's something they believe in (case in point: Medicare cuts). But reactionary obstructionism isn't a political vision. It's a myopic PR tactic. To avoid being marginalized in coming years, the GOP should quit flip-flopping on core beliefs and framing the future as a choice between dogmatic purity and opportunistic moderation. Instead, the party needs to recognize that the moment is right for Reality-Based Republicanism: an agenda that addresses real problems (the economy) rather than fake ones (Obama's "socialism") by promoting concrete, conservative policy proposals. As GOP strategist Patrick Ruffini puts it, "Republicans can be E detailed and confident in putting forward solutions relevant to the middle class, while also being more conservative than we have been in recent years."

Reality-Based Republicans can capitalize on several trends. As the midterms approach, the national debate will center on job creation and deficit reduction--serious dilemmas requiring serious fixes. Luckily, they're also key fiscal-conservative issues. Independent, middle-class swing voters aren't particularly ideological, so in a time of crisis, they'll be less concerned with "death panels" than with who can best ease their financial burdens, restrain government spending, and spur small-business growth. There's simply no need to wage culture war or purge the impure. …