John Feehery, who served House Speaker Hastert and several other Republicans on the Hill, had this to say about the GOP party today. Like Feehery, “I am a Republican and have been all of my life.” And, I agree that “for the Republican Party to prosper, it must appeal to the close to 40 percent who think of themselves as independent and who are personally centrist in their politics.”
In my first post here at Donklephant last night, I wrote about how the GOP has lost its way – effectively marginalizing these moderates Feehery believes are crucial to the party’s prosperity. While Michael Steele, the party chairman, has tried to bridge the gap to the more moderate members of the party, he does not have the support needed to do so effectively and isn’t, in my opinion, likely to last long as Chairman. At the same time, conservatives like former Vice President Cheney and Rush Limbaugh enjoy remarkably high approval ratings within the party and are playing critical roles in shaping the party’s agenda moving forward. In short, I’d expect Steele to become increasingly marginalized and the party to continue to move further to the right.
We may have already seen a major realignment of national partisanship with young moderate voters flocking into the Democratic Party to support the candidacy of President Obama. If the GOP is to prevent the Democrats from dominating national elections for the next decade, it must change its course quickly.