User login

Join The Debate

Cast your vote and join the conversation.

Membership is free.

Get Started

Warning message

The subscription service is currently unavailable. Please try again later.

The GOP Must Seize The Center Or Die

The BriefGet Up To Speed

2012 was a disappointing year for Republicans. The failure to win key swing states in the presidential election and surprising losses in the House and Senate have prompted some reflection. Was their embrace of small government, low taxes, and a strong conservative stance on social issues at odds with shifting American demographics? Or did the GOP embrace the right platform, but the wrong candidates?

  • David Brooks

    6 Items
    • Op-Ed Columnist, New York Times
    Read Bio

    Brooks and Collins discuss the recent RNC report and the current crop of prospective Republican presidential candidates.

    Wednesday, March 20, 2013

    A 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.

    Monday, January 28, 2013

    The Republican Party has a long way to go before it revives itself as a majority party.

    Monday, December 3, 2012

    If 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.

    Monday, November 19, 2012

    Conservatism has lost the balance between economic and traditional conservatism.

    Monday, September 24, 2012

    This is the source of Republican extremism: the conviction that the governing model is obsolete. It needs replacing.

    Thursday, June 14, 2012
  • Mickey Edwards

    4 Items
    • Former US Congressman (R), Oklahoma
    Read Bio

    Bill is joined by former Republican Congressman Mickey Edwards, a founding father of modern conservative politics who now fears the movement has abandoned its principles.

    Friday, December 7, 2012

    What 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.

    Wednesday, December 31, 1969

    The 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.

    Friday, March 1, 2013

    Primaries cater to the fringes, but for a general election, a candidate must be more than a political cheerleader for a particular ideology.

    Friday, September 9, 2011

The 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.

Friday, November 11, 2011
David Frum

Any 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.

Friday, March 22, 2013
Mark Kohut

The 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.

Saturday, February 16, 2013

The GOP has finally admitted it has a problem winning over voters. Here’s how to get the party back on track.

Thursday, January 24, 2013
Tim Alberta and Jim O’Sullivan

How 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?

Monday, March 1, 1013
Michael Gerson and Peter Wehner

‘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.

Friday, October 5, 2012
Jonathan Chait

It’s simple math, backed up by the historical record: no conservative can win the White House without moderate votes.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Michael Medved

The Republican Party lost because it's not conservative. It didn't get its base out in the 2012 election.

Monday, March 18, 2013
Rush Limbaugh

A conservative conserves all American values, not just economic ones.

Tuesday, January 22, 2013
Dennis Prager

The 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.

Monday, April 1, 2013
Seth McLaughlin

Slamming 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.

Wednesday, November 7, 2012
Seth McLaughlin

Evangelical leaders and conservative activists have a simple message for establishment Republicans about Mitt Romney’s failed presidential bid: We told you so.

Monday, November 19, 2012
Paul Kane and Rosalind S. Helderman

Leading 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.

Monday, April 1, 2013
Jonathan Martin

The 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?

Thursday, November 15, 2012
Kristen Soltis Anderson

I 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.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
David Limbaugh

The Republican Civil War can be broken down into three categories: heavily religious Republicans who care about social issues, establishment conservatives who still believe in compromise, and limited-government Republicans who want to shrink the federal government and cut public spending to the bone.

Friday, March 29, 2013
Laura Matthews
Growth & Opportunity Project

Recommendations and a plan to grow the Party and improve Republican campaigns.

Friday, March 1, 2013
Henry Barbour

Evidently, it takes four months and 100 pages for the RNC to figure out why the party lost the 2012 presidential election and how to fix it. Most of conservatives could tell you in three paragraphs.

Friday, March 22, 2013
Crystal Wright

On Monday a Republican task force released a remarkably hard-headed diagnosis of the party’s many liabilities: its ideological rigidity, its preference for the rich over workers, its alienation of minorities, its reactionary social policies and its institutionalized repression of dissent and innovation.

Wednesday, March 20, 2013
Thomas Edsall

The campaign autopsy suggests the party thinks its problems are in marketing and sales rather than in its core product.

Monday, March 18, 2013
John Tozzi

The solution to the party's 2012 woes may be in taking a cue from its ascendant state executives.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012
Josh Kraushaar

The GOP has one thing Democrats don't: State leaders getting things done.

Wednesday, March 27, 2013
Mary Kate Cary

All Republican success at the gubernatorial level really tells us is that the party is doing fine in red states and did well in 2009–10.

Monday, March 18, 2013
Ramesh Ponnuru
Governors & Medicare Expansion

A new ‘no, but ...’ approach is spreading among GOP states in which officials are still publicly condemning the Democratic president's Medicaid expansion yet floating alternatives that could provide health coverage to millions of low-income adults while potentially tapping into billions of federal dollars that are to start flowing in 2014.

Sunday, March 24, 2013
David Lieb

In the span of a month, some of Obamacare’s most ardent opponents have come to embrace one of the law’s most crucial programs: The Medicaid expansion.

Thursday, February 21, 2013
Sarah Kliff

All over the country, state governors and legislatures have been wrestling with the decision of whether or not to sign up for Obamacare’s significant expansion of Medicaid, but, as Wisconsin governor Scott Walker now shows, there is a far better path forward, one that reduces the footprint of Medicaid while providing coverage to the uninsured.

Friday, February 15, 2013
Avik Roy

Gov. Rick Perry and Republicans on Monday repeated that they would not expand Medicaid, while Democrats lamented turning down billions that could help cover the uninsured.

Monday, April 1, 2013
Robert Garrett

As dire as things look now for the Republican Party they can get better if it is willing to make the necessary adjustments.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Jonathan Capehart

Underlying Mitt Romney’s defeat in the presidential election are some unsettling demographic trends for the Grand Old Party.

Thursday, November 8, 2012
Brian C. Mooney

To be competitive nationally in the future, Republicans must do better among non-white Americans, especially Hispanics and Asians. If Republicans achieve 40 percent or more of Hispanics nationally, they can elect conservative Republicans to national office.

Wednesday, December 12, 2012
Resurgent Republic and Hispanic Leadership Network

Generations, like people, have personalities, and Millennials — the American teens and twenty-somethings who are making the passage into adulthood at the start of a new millennium — have begun to forge theirs: confident, self-expressive, liberal, upbeat and open to change.

Wednesday, February 24, 2010
Pew Research Social & Demographic Trends

For decades, Democrats shaped their policies around fears of the culturally conservative white voters to the GOP. But Obama’s winning coalition has altered that calculus.

Monday, February 4, 2013
Ronald Brownstein
Immigration Policy

Immigration reform is alive and kicking because Sen. Marco Rubio was there at conception. It will likely die if Rubio bolts in the end.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013
Mike Allen and Jim Vandehei

With momentum building toward the completion of a draft immigration bill, Republican lawmakers -- even one at the center of the talks -- are urging Senate leaders to slow the process down to avoid making "fatal" mistakes.

Monday, April 1, 2013

Republican opposition to legalizing the status of millions of illegal immigrants is crumbling in the nation’s capital as leading lawmakers in the party scramble to halt eroding support among Hispanic voters — a shift that is providing strong momentum for an overhaul of immigration laws.

Tuesday, March 19, 2013
Ashley Parker and Michael Shear

Immigrant rights groups and some top Hispanic Republicans argue that the GOP’s only hope of winning over Hispanic voters is to legalize illegal immigrants — but an academic report being released Wednesday that studied the 2006 election suggests that Hispanics don’t reward pro-immigration Republicans.

Wednesday, February 27, 2013
Stephen Dinan

Make the GOP more welcoming to the nation's swelling—and decisively Democratic—Hispanic population and risk the ire of a chunk of its most fervent supporters; don't and watch Democrats keep winning elections on the strength of Latino votes.

Monday, February 25, 2013
Laura Meckler

As Republican leaders openly scrutinize their party after a 2012 election that was disappointing for them, rank-and-file Republicans, independents, and Democrats voice the same primary criticism of the GOP: it is ‘too inflexible’ or ‘unwilling to compromise.’ The most common Republican attributes Americans cite for why they like the Republican Party are its ‘better fiscal management’ or budget cuts and, broadly, its conservative views.

Monday, April 1, 2013
Lydia Saad

At a time when the Republican Party’s image is at a historic low, 62% of the public says the GOP is out of touch with the American people, 56% think it is not open to change and 52% say the party is too extreme.

Tuesday, February 26, 2013
Pew Research Center for the People & the Press

More than six-in-ten (63%) say the Republican Party favors the rich over the middle and lower classes. About one-in-four (23%) say the GOP favors the middle class, and a mere 3% say the GOP favors the poor.

Thursday, September 20, 2012
Kim Parker

Though years in the brewing, the internal fight over the direction of the Republican Party exploded after strategist Karl Rove announced the formation of a new political action committee designed to promote more electable candidates.

Sunday, February 24, 2013
Seth McLaughlin

The Conservative Victory Project, the new spin-off from Rove’s Crossroads groups, is the GOP establishment’s attempt to make candidates for Republican nominations prove themselves before blowing winnable elections like Todd Akin and Christine O’Donnell.

Thursday, February 7, 2013
Kenneth Vogel

The anti-tax advocacy group Club for Growth, an unapologetic purveyor of in-your-face fiscal conservatism, has no time for the Republican hand-wringing that followed November's bitter election loss.

Wednesday, March 13, 2013

Summing up the possibilities across all 35 Senate races yields a net gain of four to five seats for Republicans, just short of the six they would need to win back the majority.

Wednesday, February 20, 2013
Nate Silver

Herbert Stein, chief economic adviser during the administrations of Nixon and Gerald Ford, once remarked: ‘Probably more new regulation was imposed on the economy during the Nixon administration than in any other presidency since the New Deal.’

Tuesday, September 4, 2012
Eduardo Porter