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The GOP Must Seize the Center or Die

From the Panel

  • For: David Brooks

  • Republicans Ask Themselves What Went Wrong
    David Brooks and Gail Collins, New York Times, March 20, 2013Brooks and Collins discuss the recent RNC report and the current crop of prospective Republican presidential candidates.
  • A Second GOP
    David Brooks, New York Times, January 28, 2013A second GOP would be filled with people who recoiled at President Obama’s second Inaugural Address because of its excessive faith in centralized power, but who don’t share the absolute antigovernment story of the current GOP.
  • The Republican Glasnost
    David Brooks, New York Times, December 6, 2012The Republican Party has a long way to go before it revives itself as a majority party.
  • The Truly Grand Bargain
    David Brooks, New York Times, December 3, 2012Republicans have to realize that they are going to cave on tax rates. The only question is what they get in return.
  • The Conservative Future
    David Brooks, New York Times, November 19, 2012If you listened to the Republican candidates this year, you heard a conventional set of arguments. But if you go online, you can find a vibrant and increasingly influential center-right conversation.
  • The Conservative Mind
    David Brooks, New York Times, September 24, 2012Conservatism has lost the balance between economic and traditional conservatism.
  • What Republicans Think
    David Brooks, New York Times, June 14, 2012This is the source of Republican extremism: the conviction that the governing model is obsolete. It needs replacing.

  • For: Mickey Edwards

  • How Conservatives Have Lost Their Way
    Mickey Edwards with Bill Moyers, Moyers & Company, December 7, 2012Bill is joined by former Republican Congressman Mickey Edwards, a founding father of modern conservative politics who now fears the movement has abandoned its principles.
  • The Unraveling of Government
    Mickey Edwards, New York Times, September 27, 2012What Washington, Adams, Jefferson and Madison all agreed on was the danger of creating political parties like the ones we have today, permanent factions that are engaged in a constant battle for advantage even if that means skewing election results, keeping candidates off the ballot, denying voters the right to true representation and “fixing” the outcome of legislative deliberations.
  • The Real Crisis Behind the Sequester: Our Government
    Mickey Edwards, The Aspen Idea, March 1, 2013The single most important thing to remember about the “sequester” issue is that it’s not about a sequester at all. It’s about a political system in which things like fiscal cliffs and sequester battles and fights over debt ceiling increases are not inexplicable, but natural outcomes.
  • The Case for Jon Huntsman
    Mickey Edwards, Atlantic, September 9, 2011Primaries cater to the fringes, but for a general election, a candidate must be more than a political cheerleader for a particular ideology.
  • Can Congress Get off the Floor?
    Mickey Edwards, Los Angeles Times, June 3, 2008Whereas Parliament is essentially an extension of the executive, the American system requires members of Congress to come from the states they represent and to serve as a check on the president. It's a simple enough concept but one apparently hard for members of Congress to grasp.


  • FOR

  • How the GOP Got Stuck in the Past
    David Frum, Newsweek, November 11, 2011The finger-pointing misses a bigger truth: Republicans have become estranged from modern America. Why fixating on the old glory days is bogging down the party’s future.
  • The Numbers Prove It: The GOP Is Estranged From America
    Mark Kohut, Washington Post, March 22, 2013Any Republican efforts at reinvention face this dilemma: While staunch conservatives help keep GOP lawmakers in office, they also help keep the party out of the White House. Quite simply, the Republican Party has to appeal to a broader cross section of the electorate to succeed in presidential elections.
  • The Politics of Purity
    Lexington, Economist, February 16, 2013The Republicans have a problem with primaries. Most visibly, the contests have saddled the party with high-profile losers. But they also promote extremism among those who go on to win many races, harming the Republican national brand.
  • A 12-Step Program for the Republican Party
    Tim Alberta and Jim O’Sullivan, National Journal, January 24, 2013The GOP has finally admitted it has a problem winning over voters. Here’s how to get the party back on track.
  • How to Save the Republican Party
    Michael Gerson and Peter Wehner, Commentary, March 1013How deep is the trouble? How much of it is self-inflicted and how much is a function of circumstance? Can the problem be repaired, and if so, by what means?
  • How the GOP Destroyed its Moderates
    Jonathan Chait, New Republic, October 5, 2012‘Radical’ Republicans believe that Obama has created death panels, may have been secretly born overseas, and is plotting a United Nations invasion. The ‘mainstream’ Republicans believe in goldbuggery and a massive plot by climate scientists, and deny the dramatic rise in income inequality in America.
  • A GOP Presidential Candidate Must Seize the Center to Win
    Michael Medved, Daily Beast, December 7, 2011It’s simple math, backed up by the historical record: no conservative can win the White House without moderate votes.

  • The GOP’s Real Problem Is Simple
    Rush Limbaugh, March 18, 2013The Republican Party lost because it's not conservative. It didn't get its base out in the 2012 election.
  • ‘Fiscal’ Conservatism Needs ‘Social’ Conservatism
    Dennis Prager, Townhall, January 22, 2013A conservative conserves all American values, not just economic ones.
  • Huckabee, Santorum Urge GOP Not to Go Soft on Social Issues Like Gay Marriage
    Seth McLaughlin, Washington Times, April 1, 2013The last two Republican winners of Iowa’s first-in-the-nation caucuses say that the GOP will shoot itself in the foot if it softens its stance on social issues such as same-sex marriage— countering calls from others within the GOP ranks who say that is one way for the party to broaden its national appeal.
  • Tea Partiers Say GOP Must Learn From Defeat
    Seth McLaughlin, Washington Times, November 7, 2012Slamming the Republican Party establishment for tapping Mitt Romney as its standard-bearer, the co-founder of the nation’s largest tea party group said Wednesday the lessons learned from the 2012 presidential election will strengthen the grass-roots movement, making it an even more important part of the GOP’s future.
  • Conservative Republicans Fight Back After Romney Loss
    Paul Kane and Rosalind S. Helderman, Washington Post, November 19, 2012Evangelical leaders and conservative activists have a simple message for establishment Republicans about Mitt Romney’s failed presidential bid: We told you so.
  • Social Conservatives Fight Back
    Jonathan Martin, Politico, April 1, 2013Leading cultural conservatives, including the movement’s standard-bearers from the past two presidential campaigns, have had it with Republican elites faulting them for the party’s losses and are finally ready to point a finger back at the establishment.
  • The GOP Can’t Fall for the False ‘Center v. Right’ Debate
    Kristen Soltis Anderson, November 15, 2012The challenge to Republicans and conservatives today is to answer the question: How do our policies make everyone better off? How do we solve the problems we face in the modern era? And how do we tell that message to others?
  • Trouble Brewing in GOP
    David Limbaugh, Townhall, March 19, 2013I refuse to acquiesce to the cowardly notion that conservatives are intolerant or mean-spirited because they oppose discriminant treatment for groups and classes of people, because they support the rule of law, because they oppose a runaway entitlement state and because they adhere to traditional values, including the protection of innocent life.