Whither the GOP?
Mike Murphy in this Time article talks about the future of the GOP:
Despairing Republican friends have been asking me what I think we should do to rebuild the GOP and begin our certain and inevitable comeback. My answer disappoints them: "Build an ark."
He goes on to state what he thinks are two key areas: the rising Hispanic vote and the GOP stance on abortion and gay marriage. His analysis is superficial at best, and he's also rather dismissive in tone, but as a springboard for discussion it's not a bad place to start.
First, I agree with him completely about the social issues aspect. The GOP must recognize that abortion is legal and here to stay. It's fine and entirely proper to prefer that all mothers both feel and actually be valued as mothers, and to support efforts to create a society in which all babies are welcomed and cared for. But today, too many people understand federal prohibitions on abortion as the arm of the law reaching into someone's body, and rightly reject that. (As an aside, dKos recently had a diary asking women who've had abortions to tell their tales. Read some of them. These are real people facing real choices, not some abstract "women" objects.)
Gay marriage is similar. Can we stop arguing over a word, and address the underlying civil issues?
Murphy's Hispanic analysis seems the weakest to me. He makes a sweeping generalization that immigration is THE issue for Hispanic voters. Based on my experience, that's a stereotypical categorization that borders on racism; Hispanics, especially the first generation American ones who are now at voting age (at least here in my state) are just as multidimensional as any other American voter. But Murphy is right in that the GOP has been ineffective in divising a workable immigration policy.
A party that pushes for a less-powerful federal government and fiscal sanity while supporting private business as the driver of our economic success is desperately needed. Will that party be the GOP?
Personally, I'm hoping for the rise of a new party. I don't know if we have the time for that, though, so it would be nice if the GOP could get its act together and step up to the plate.