In the alternate universe where it was Mitt Romney who won the White House, and Barack Obama who lost, these would now be Democrat days of doubt. The party's more ideological denizens would be swapping blame with its moderates about mistakes made, wrong messages sent, and a candidate who failed to connect. There would be reprisals, second guessing, envy of those political geniuses over at the GOP – who at least know how to win an election – and a great internal debate over ways to make sure what happened never happens again.
But we're in this universe. And so, next Wednesday, under the auspices of Intelligence Squared U.S., I'll be moderating a debate on this motion: “The GOP Must Seize The Center Or Die."
On the side arguing FOR the motion, New York Times Columnist David Brooks teams up with former Congressman Mickey Edwards, a founder of modern GOP conservatism. Arguing AGAINST: Ralph Reed, who's worked on more than a few Republican wins, and Laura Ingraham, the radio host.
As for tone, Republicans like to abide by what they call the Eleventh Commandment: no member of the party shall speak ill of another in public. That's fine. We always like to keep it civil. But that sets no limits on a debate that's tough, intense, smart, and informative. Join us.
In the meantime, meet the debaters:
A Second GOP
by David Brooks
The New York Times
“In [their] reinvention process, Republicans seem to have spent no time talking to people who didn’t already vote for them.” Read More
Video: How Conservatives Have Lost Their Way
with Mickey Edwards
Moyers & Company
“You can stand up for your principles... But then at the end, you have to compromise.” Watch
Video: Disbelief and Despair in the Republican Party
with Laura Ingraham
The O'Reilly Factor
“Some establishment Republicans say [Romney’s loss] requires the party to be less conservative, more moderate... I find this depressing.” Watch
Round Up The Usual Social Conservative Suspects
by Ralph Reed
The Wall Street Journal
“Despite the stinging defeat and a post-electoral narrative that suggests otherwise, Republicans need not abandon their principles.” Read More
John Donvan, Moderator
Intelligence Squared U.S. Debates