The Right Wing Strategy

Sat, 15 Nov 2008 21:09:35 +0000

I suspect it will take months or even years for those on the political and ideological Right to map out a strategy to compete in national elections after two sound defeats in 2006 and 2008.

The first step has been to assign blame for these defeats, to anyone who will listen. This op-ed by Governor Christie Todd Whitman in yesterday's Washington Post lays the blame on "social fundamentalists." I don't know how constructive that is -- each Party has a base, and if you alienate the base, you have to make inroads substantially across the political center to make up for it. The most liberal Republican he could have picked for his running mate would have been Whitman herself. I don't think that ticket would have run any better against Obama-Biden this year.

The next step is to figure out the strategy going forward. Whitman laid hers out in the column -- campaign less on positions that are against abortion, gay rights, and stem cell research, and more on economic conservatism. An alternative is provided by John O'Sullivan in his column, "A Future for U.S. Conservatives." It is a combination of waiting for the Democrats, now in power from 2006 - 2010, to have to own a track record that can be campaigned against and then laying out conservative principles as the alternative.