Mickey Edwards had the best line that I heard in a clip from this debate late last night or early this morning. Depending on your perspective and Mickey Edwards who served in the U.S. House of Representatives from 1977-93. Said that when he was in Congress he had one of the most Conservative voting records in Congress. Rep. Edwards is a Reagan Republican but that if he were in Congress today he would have one of the most Liberal voting records in the Republican Conference today. Rep. Edwards is from Oklahoma and represented one of the most reddest states in the union. He was not some Centrist-Republican who was vulnerable and represented a Blue-State and had to look Liberal. In order to get elected and reelected but someone from one of the most reddest states in the union. If Congressional Republicans had more Mickey Edwards today, we would have both a Republican House and a. Republican Senate today and as I’ve blogged before it’s not that the GOP is too Conservative but that they aren’t Conservative enough.
We don’t need a new Republican Party but we need the old Republican Party to come back as far as where they were ideologically and philosophically. That just didn’t dominate the center-right but was the center-right and where the religious-right and Neoconservatives in the party look like. Nuts instead of the Ann Coulter’s and Rick Santorum’s of the world looking like the base of the GOP instead of the fringe. The Goldwater-Reagan GOP was the big government out of our wallets, homes, classrooms and boardrooms party. And not the party that thought they knew better how Americans should live their own lives and what it meant to be an American. But that being an American was about having both personal and economic-freedom not government telling people how to live their. Own lives which is the point that Mickey Edwards was making. That the Republican Party that he represented is no longer there and the GOP has become something else ideologically.
I do not believe what the Republicans need to do to save the GOP is to seize the center. The center is where you go when you’ve given up and no longer have a message of your own to share with the. Country but they can’t seize the far-right either and be a long-term competitive party. But the need to occupy the center-right again in America and be that Conservative-Republican Party. That’s is position to compete against Democrats across the country.