What?! “So the GOP stayed with business as usual, conservatives had plenty of practical problems to organize around and deal with — and the rethinking of policy and politics was less bold, less comprehensive, and less heterodox than it might have been. Fresh thinking took a back seat. The critiques of big government liberalism in 1994 and 2010 weren’t followed by equally compelling articulations of the major elements of a governing conservatism.” Perhaps Rep. Paul Ryan’s efforts went unnoticed.
When? Time to get moving. “I think the obvious place to start is with immigration reform. Increase the number of visas available. Explore guest-worker programs. Establish a path to citizenship for illegal immigrants who were brought here as children and have never known any other home. This not only gives the GOP a shot at the Latino vote, but also softens their image in the eyes of the professional class, who might be willing to give the party another look if it didn’t seem so committed to deporting poorer, darker skinned people who just want a shot at picking fruit, trimming lawns, and cleaning houses.” Yes, she has tongue firmly in cheek but there’s wisdom there.
Why was the FBI snooping in CIA chief David Petraeus’s e-mails? This is downright bizarre. “The FBI had no comment, and Gen. Petraeus’ email message dealt solely with the [extramarital] affair itself, without identifying the other party.”
Where are the jobs? “Since the recession ended in June 2009, almost three out of every four jobs added to U.S. payrolls have been in Right to Work states (1.86 million out of 2.59 million), even though those 22 states represent only 38.8% of the U.S. population (120 million). In contrast, only about one of every four new jobs were created in forced-unionism states (730,000), even though more than 61% of Americans live in those 28 states (189 million) . . . . Adjusting for differences in population, Right to Work states created four new jobs for every one job added in forced union states, because those 21 RTW states created 2.54 times more jobs even though forced union states have 1.6 times as many people.”
How did these guys wind up running a presidential campaign? “[Neil] Newhouse said his team was anticipating a D+3 electorate in November. This seemed entirely reasonable to me, based on evidence from 2004, 2008 and 2010, but it turned out to be incorrect. The actual electorate this year was D+6. Post-election news reports reveal that Mitt Romney was “shell-shocked” by his loss, an outcome that can only be explained by shockingly flawed internal polling. Was that polling predicated on a D+3 model? If so, that would explain the huge disconnect between Boston’s expectations and the final results. I’ll reiterate that although the D+3 model seemed sensible on its face, it was the campaign pollsters’ job to figure out if their assumptions comported with reality. In retrospect, their failure to do so looms very, very large.” Read the whole thing.
Who will talk sense on this? “On the question of Hispanic immigration, the GOP has to rediscover its soul. It has to return to the party of Ronald Reagan and Jack Kemp, which is inclusive and full of opportunities for everybody. Worker ID cards and a path to citizenship must be included in the Republican thinking. Otherwise they’re not going to win another presidential election in my lifetime. Get this: A whopping 65 percent of exit-poll respondents believe illegal immigrants working in the U.S. should be offered a chance to apply for legal status. Only 28 percent favor deportation. Can the Republican party get that through its thick skull?”
Which mandate? Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) and House Republicans have their own mandate. “And what if the president insists on raising tax rates? Expect a principled stand by the minority leader and his fellow Republicans: ‘He’s got to understand he doesn’t fully control the Senate. He doesn’t control the House at all. In order to accomplish things for the country he will need to work with us.’ As Mr. McConnell walks me to the door, he adds: ‘You know, he doesn’t own the place.’ ”