Don't let Michigan's recent spate of bluer-than-blue-collar election returns fool you; we invented the Reagan Democrat here. We know a principled conservative when we see one. Trouble is, we haven't seen very many lately. Our national leadership (and I use that term loosely) has defaulted on principle and integrity, governed as Democrat-lite spendthrifts and wilted like week-old lettuce every time someone called them a name. Is it any wonder the American people lost faith in our ability to do much of anything well?
Unfortunately, some really good people got swept away with the chaff in the last two election cycles. Saul has a few ideas on how we might remedy the situation:
The Republican Party must shift toward the center say some pundits. Others urge a tilt to the right. The right answer is that our party must move forward as a party of ideas, innovation, and – yes – conservatism.Thus begins an op-ed Saul published at Politico.com. He's right. Our ideas didn't lose - we didn't use them! He proposes a 3-step strategy for building a comeback: One idea at a time, one neighborhood at a time, one e-mail at a time.
The first step is admitting that we were "thumped" in two straight elections not because of ideology but because of hypocrisy. What had been a party dedicated to the power of the American dream and individual freedom lost its way, mired in pork barrel spending and Wall Street bailouts. Barack Obama seized on this opportunity and won many Americans to his side by promising to deliver on our broken promises.
What's next? Right now, voters don’t quite know what to expect from the Republican Party. But we do know what they expect from President Obama. Voters expect tax cuts, spending restraint, secure borders and strong national security. They also expect Obama to respect our nation's values and traditions and to restore our economic strength, not strangle it with excessive regulations and government intervention. Republicans must support President Obama when he meets those expectations, and we must oppose him vigorously when he doesn't.He also endorses the plan developed by the GOP activists at rebuildtheparty.com. I join him in that endorsement and add one of my own; I endorse Saul for chairman of the RNC. There are a number of fine candidates, but Saul's experience and ability to use technology to its full potential put him ahead of the pack. We have not been tech-savvy, and that must change. I remind you that aggressive and innovative use of technology helped another guy with a funny-sounding name win the Presidency.
But to be successful, our party must be more than a loyal opposition. Simply opposing the Democrats will guarantee another four years in the wilderness after Obama's re-election in 2012. We can build our new majority one idea at a time, one neighborhood at a time, and one email at a time. By sticking to our core values and focusing on delivering results, we can start our comeback and show America that Republicans are once again a party that keeps its promises and solves problems.