Focused on the Present, the GOP Has No Future

From Obamacare to immigration to women’s issues, the party is dooming itself.

By Peter FennMay 23, 2014604 Comments SHARE—-USNews & World Report, Thomas Jefferson Street Blog

The vast majority of Republicans have bought into the quick hit, short-term strategy and catered to the right wing. Maybe they believe that Republicans can do a quick pivot, plug in the smoke machine and gloss over the actions of the party after November.

But, right now, Republicans believe that deep-sixing immigration reform, decrying climate change, angering women by ignoring equal pay for equal work and keeping the tea party happy by fighting equal rights for gays and lesbians, will all be forgotten in the coming years. Instead, they believe that by focusing on high profile hearings on Benghazi and the IRS they can motivate their base, ride to victory in November and not pay the consequences down the road.

[SEE: Cartoons about the Republican Party]

Their biggest ploy, of course, is the ideologically rigid opposition to the Affordable Care Act. Many Republicans believe that this law will actually work in the long run, be tweaked and improved, and widely accepted by Americans – not unlike Medicare, which was initially opposed, and then became one of the most important and popular reforms of the 20th century. It is my view that Republicans will rue the day when they termed ACA Obamacare. Can you imagine if the Republicans had called Medicare, Johnsoncare? What a boon for Lyndon Johnson that would have been! The difference, of course, was that by 1965 many Republicans had come to their senses and supported Medicare.

My basic point is that the short-term strategy of the Republican Party is going to harm them in the long run, particularly by 2016. They have succeeded over the last three elections at being perceived as anti-black, anti-Hispanic, anti-gay, anti-women, anti-young people. Not to mention anti-middle class. By allowing the extreme right to make their political tent smaller and smaller they risk being a serious minority party in future elections, especially in presidential years.

[GALLERY: Cartoons on the tea party]

The simple demographics should allow reasonable Republicans to convince their party that this strategy is short-sighted and will come back to bite them. When President Clinton was elected in 1992, the electorate was 87 percent white, in 2012 the electorate was 72 percent white. States like Texas will be in play in the future unless Republicans change their tune. Young people, women, the LGBT community, as well as minorities, who have been voting overwhelmingly Democratic, will continue to do so because of Republicans’ positions on the issues and their seeming insensitivity to their concerns.

I hate to give advice to my Republican friends but their current strategy may sound good for a few months but you will pay the price big time down the road. The sooner you break with the Limbaughs and the Coulters the better off you will be.