This past November as newly elected chair of the Republican National Committee Michael Steele campaigned for his position, he said the GOP “has to realize that there are constituencies in the body politic that have no interest in conservative litmus tests based on same-sex marriage and abortion.” His prescription was that the party should broaden its reach. Such a philosophy was consistent with that of the Republican Leadership Council of which he was co-founder and which supported gay rights and abortion. Yet, in a radio interview in February 2009, Mr. Steele was asked about Republican support for civil unions and replied, “No, no, no.” He continued his answer saying, “What would we do that for? What are you, crazy?” And there we have it, the Republican Party of 2009: Different but not different at all.
The original draft of this article offered a detailed prescription to the Republican Party on how they could work to regain power. While it would seem useful to recommend a course of action that might restore the party and make it competitive again, such advice seems pointless. This is a party content with being stuck in the past. Just look at the evidence.