The problem with Republicans today on public policy isn’t that they’re stuck in the 1980s; it’s that they’ve given up entirely. More often than not, what passes for Republican “policy” is just symbolic, not substantive...But lets take it a step further and understand WHY they don't have an substantive policy ideas.
The first step out of the policy wilderness for Republicans, then, is for them to decide that developing substantive public policy ideas is a good idea at all.
Remember a few weeks ago when several Republicans and conservative commentators were suggesting that President Obama was trying to destroy the Republican Party. Well, they had a point.
If you look at what the President has embraced in terms of policy - he's stolen all the good ideas the Republicans had and turned them into pragmatic solutions. For example:
- On national security - he targeted al Qaeda, killed bin Laden and negotiated an agreement with the rest of the world on tough sanctions against Iran
- On immigration - he secured our borders while working towards a pathway to citizenship for those who are undocumented
- On gun control - he embraced the 2nd amendment and proposed common sense gun control
- On the federal deficit - he cut spending and called for a balanced approach to deficit reduction
- On energy - he increased oil drilling while calling for an "all of the above" approach to energy independence
Tell me where he's left room for the Republicans to develop any meaningful alternative. As I've said many times, their choice has always been to either work with him or paint themselves into a marginalized extremist corner.
We see this playing out right now as Sen. Rubio works desperately to both embrace meaningful immigration reform AND tries to pick a battle with the President. He's having one hell of a time trying to find some real estate not already covered by President Obama on which to make a stand.
While the extremes on both the right and left continue to fight their battles, President Obama has turned all of their ideas into pragmatic solutions to actual problems. That leaves both groups with the choice of either fighting for ideological purity or getting to work with him on finding real policy solutions. With the American people behind him now, those who choose the former are seen to not be terribly interested in the latter. That's why they're losing.