On Monday, Alex Isenstadt of Politico offered some unsolicited advice to Republicans. Like so many elected Democrats in Congress these days, Mr. Isenstadt expressed concern for the long term political prospects of the Republican party.
Not surprisingly, Mr. Isenstadt’s advice to Republicans can be summed up in three words: stop being conservative.
Mr. Isenstadt attempted to persuade Republicans that the only way to achieve long term political success is by abandoning conservative principles. These are the sort of talking points we might expect to come from the director of communications of the Democratic National Committee, not a purportedly objective reporter, even at the notoriously left leaning Politico.
According to Isenstadt, “No one disputes Republicans used the once-a-decade redistricting process to lock in their House majority — almost certainly through 2014 and possibly until the next round of line-drawing in 2020. But the party could pay a steep price for that dominance.”
Isenstadt goes on to say, “Some top GOP strategists and candidates warn that the ruby red districts the party drew itself into are pushing House Republicans further to the right — narrowing the party’s appeal at a time when some GOP leaders say its future rests on the opposite happening.”
These are the same establishment Republicans who argued that passing the Gang of 8 bill would cause Hispanic voters to move from the Democratic party to the Republican party. Monday’s poll released by Latino Decisions, which shows Gang of 8 co-sponsor Marco Rubio fairs as poorly with Hispanics in 2013 after the Senate passed the Gang of 8 bill as Mitt Romney did in 2012, belies that canard.
Isenstadt accurately notes, “Of the 234 House Republicans, just four now represent districts that favor Democrats, according to data compiled by The Cook Political Report.” This suggests that 230 of these seats would be difficult for a Democrat to win. Since either party needs 218 seats to have a majority in the 435 member House of Representatives, these reliably Republican districts should give the Republican party reason to be confident in its electoral future, right?
Not according to Isenstadt.
Because most Republican members of the House represent districts that are predominantly Republican, they have little to fear from a Democrat challenger in the general election, but have much to fear from a more conservative challenger in the Republican primary, Isenstadt argues. As a result, they are forced to take positions that are “too conservative,” thereby preventing them from embracing more liberal policies.
Isenstadt cites Matt Schlapp, a former political director in the George W. Bush White House, who said, “You want to be sensitive to the district, but you also need to be cognizant of how your party is going to be successful over time.”
Then there’s this gem, in which Isenstadt reveals the purpose of his article: “While top party hands from Haley Barbour to Jeb Bush to Karl Rove have urged the party to embrace immigration reform, many House conservatives just aren’t buying it. Some are even warning Boehner that his speakership will be on the line if he brings a measure to the floor that lacks support of a majority of Republicans — the speaker has promised not to. “
Finally, Isenstadt offers the obligatory citation of the RNC “autopsy report” that most conservatives considered “DOA.” Isenstadt notes that the report “said the GOP is viewed as ‘scary,’ ‘narrow-minded’ and the party of ‘stuffy old men.’ It urged the party to take steps to be seen as more tolerant of gays and advised Republicans to take up the mantle of immigration reform.”
Mr. Isenstadt’s article is merely the first of many similar articles that will appear in the liberal media over the next three years in which they will attempt to persuade Republicans to nominate a non-conservative for President in 2016. There’s only one reason they want Republicans to do this. They know that only a conservative Republican candidate can win in 2016, and they want to guarantee a Democrat in the White House in 2016, 2020, and beyond.