Renewing the Republican Party

The Republican Party needs to freshen up.  The re-election of President Obama in November 2012 came as a shock to many, perhaps most, possibly just about all Republicans.

What went wrong is the subject of a column by Scott Johnson at PowerLine:

Looking back at the election, it’s worth asking how we got here – because just about everything we thought we knew about politics and presidential elections proved to be false. Or at least just about everything I thought I knew.

First, that a reelection campaign is a referendum on the incumbent president – that was the fundamental thesis of the Romney campaign. Wrong! I bought it. The Romney campaign staked itself on the proposition that it needed to present Governor Romney as a plausible alternative to a failed incumbent. As a result they shied away from a comprehensive critique of the Obama presidency and from ideas generally. 

Second, that a bad economy dooms an incumbent president. Wrong! The Romney campaign seemed to think that the bad economy and high unemployment by themselves made the case for Romney. …

Third, that Americans reject government dependency and laugh off the promise of government support from cradle to grave. Just look at the Obama campaign’s promise of life everlasting in its famous interactive feature The Life of Julia. They told the American public to “See how President Obama’s policies help one woman over her lifetime” and how Mitt Romney would change her story. It was It’s A Wonderful Life redone for the welfare state. …

So … how can Republicans learn from [the Democrats'] success? I want briefly to mention four factors.

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