10 Reasons the GOP Is Really Messed Up -- According to Republicans
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SEN. GRAHAM: We’re in a big hole. We’re not getting out of it by comments like that. When you’re in a hole, stop digging. He keeps digging. The Hispanic community, 71 percent voted for President Obama, and they’re all disappointed in President Obama. There’s high unemployment among the Hispanic community. President Obama did not embrace comprehensive immigration reform like he promised. But they voted for him because he’s a lesser of two evils. Self-deportation being pushed by Mitt Romney hurt our chances. We’re in a death spiral with Hispanic voters because of rhetoric around immigration.
Earlier this week, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., made a trip to Iowa, home of the infamous caucuses that kick off the presidential campaign season, to lay down his marker on what will likely become the G.O.P. position on immigration reform. “People understand that we need to do something to address these issues, and we need to do it in a reasonable and responsible way,” Rubio t old Politico.
But Graham’s critique of Romney and the G.O.P. agenda didn’t end with the DREAM Act or border security. Graham went on to slam the party for targeting the poor. He said:
You know, people can be on public assistance and scheme the system. That’s real. And these programs are teetering on bankruptcy. But most people…on public assistance don’t have a character flaw. They just have a tough life. I want to create more jobs and the focus should be on how to create more jobs, not demonize those who find themselves in hard times. Our party can adjust. Conservatism is an asset. But rhetoric like this keeps digging a hole for the Republican Party and if we don’t stop digging, we’re never going to get out of it.
But, as Michael Tomasky points out at the Daily Beast, it's hard to see how any truly "conservative" proposal could help those struggling to stay economically afloat. From voucherizing Medicare to privatizing Social Security, the G.O.P. agenda adds up to a life on the economic margins for all but the well-off, and any philosophical retreat from such plans leaves Republicans with little to distinguish them from conservative Democrats.
3. Bill Kristol: “We have a huge middle class problem.”
The Weekly Standard editor and opinionator got himself into some hot water with fellow right-wingers on November 11 when, in that earlier appearance on Fox News Sunday, he suggested that Republicans needed to accept that Obama had something of a mandate, and that maybe the world wouldn’t end if millionaires were made to pay a higher tax rate than they currently do.
A week later, Kristol showed no sign of backing down, though he did suggest that a minor increase on tax rates for millionaires should be part of a small, stop-gap deal to avoid the automatic spending cuts set to go into effect January 1 if Congress doesn’t act, and then negotiate a larger tax-reform deal later on. From the FNS transcript for the November 11 show:
I think we have a huge middle class problem. There, the particular nominee Republicans had was, you know, unfortunate in that respect. Four years after a huge Wall Street crisis, you nominate someone from Wall Street.
But I think honest debate, fresh thinking -- leadership in the Republican Party and the leadership in the conservative movement has to pull back, let people float new ideas. Let's have a serious debate. Don't scream and yell what one person says. You know what? It won't kill the country if we raise taxes a little bit on millionaires. It really won't, I don't think.
I don't really understand why Republicans don't take Obama's offer to raise taxes for everyone below $250,000...