John Feehery: Speaking Engagements


Move to the Middle?

Posted on November 9, 2012

The talk about the GOP moving to the middle is non-sense.

It is not going to happen in a mid-term election.

Republicans represent red districts.  They are not going to get themselves re-elected in primaries if they decide that they are better off becoming mushy moderate.

But that doesn’t mean that Republicans should suddenly become idiots.

The GOP doesn’t need to follow the Michele Bachmann model of saying insanely idiotic things in order to capture the political base.

The Republican political base is not full of idiots.  They are actually a pretty well-informed, smart group of voters.  They know when they are getting played and they know when they are getting lied to.

Republicans voters usually vote for the most conservative candidate because they are sick and tired of incompetent government and they figure that the most conservative candidate will vote against more government.

But Republicans need to invest more resources into developing smarter candidates.  The Todd Akins and Richard Mourdocks of the world may be principled and good men, but they proved to be disastrous Senate candidates, and by disastrous, I mean disastrous.

Mike Pence, the Congressman from Indiana who just won his bid to become the Governor of Indiana, is as conservative as anybody in the country, both socially and fiscally.  He never ever would have said the things that Akin or Mourdock, mostly because he is a seasoned politician who has a good head on his shoulders.

You can argue almost any position effectively as long as you have facts to back up your argument, a logical approach that holds water, and language that informs rather than inflames.

There are plenty of conservative Senators who do that very well.  Dan Coats is a good example.   Richard Burr is another one.  Saxby Chambliss gets the job done without inflaming people.  And Tom Coburn, who used to be a firebrand, now is a senior statesman.  His views haven’t changed.  His approach has changed and the country is better off for his leadership.

Republicans don’t need to become more moderate.  They do need to communicate better.  They need to come up with better policy prescriptions.  They need better facts to back up their assertions.  And they need to inform rather than inflame.

Leave that kind of non-sense to Rush Limbaugh and Mark Levin.  They are in the inflaming business, not the informing business.