How the GOP Got Here

Understanding and recriminating.

An NRO Symposium

Well that wasn't good news for the Right, last night! National Review Online asked some regulars to address: “What happened to the Republican party Tuesday? Who’s to blame?”

L. Brent Bozell
The election of Barak Obama will go down as one of the greatest political sleights of hands of all time. Obama campaigned on the empty rhetoric of change and hope and will instead deliver socialism, something too many of his supporters never saw coming. The leftist so-called “news” media was complicit in this charade, refusing to tell the truth about this man’s agenda. Their reputation is finished.

The liberal wing of the GOP has caused the collapse of the Republican party. It is no longer a viable player in the political conversation, and deservedly so: For a decade it has spat on the values of Ronald Reagan. Conservatives let it be known on Tuesday in races all over the country that it has had enough with the betrayal.

We conservatives need to face the new political reality soberly — we are out — but we can also face the future with optimism. Our principles were embraced by every single GOP primary candidate, even President-Elect Obama, who spent half his time championing tax cuts, fiscal discipline and a strong national defense, all promises we know he’ll break, but promises he needed to make to win the election.

Our principles continue to be embraced by the American people. It is our movement that needs rebuilding. That begins today. It’s time for conservatives to roll up their sleeves, strap on their boots, and get to work.

— L. Brent Bozell is president of the Conservative Victory Committee and chairman, Media Research Center.

Alvin S. Felzenberg
In this election, given that so much was running in the Democrats' favor, the Republican party nominated the only candidate with a ghost of a chance of winning. Still, the GOP came up short. Historically, that's no surprise, as only one time has a party won the presidency three times in a row since World War II (the Republicans with Bush I).

So, the three strands of conservatism in the house Reagan built would do well not to blame each other for taking the GOP down. They would do better to ask themselves whether, in their quests to enact their agendas, they relied too much on raw exertions of power and too little on the power of persuasion. For it is in defending ideas that unforeseen weaknesses are revealed and public support built.

This is an excerpt, read the rest here.


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