Senate Republican Leader Mitch McConnell delivered a strong political message to his fellow Republicans today in a speech where he warned them that they are becoming a regional party.
According to the WSJ Washington Wire blog, McConnell warned that many groups have stopped paying attention to the GOP, “We’re all concerned about the fact that the very wealthy and the very poor, the most and least educated, and a majority of minority voters, seem to have more or less stopped paying attention to us. And we should be concerned that, as a result of all this, the Republican Party seems to be slipping into a position of being more of a regional party than a national one.”
He said that the party needs to reexamine itself, “In politics, there’s a name for a regional party: it’s called a minority party. And I didn’t sign up to be a member of a regional party. I know no one in this room did either. As Republicans, we know that commonsense conservative principles aren’t regional. But I think we have to admit that our sales job has been. And in my view, that needs to change. Every so often, there comes a time when a political party has to reexamine itself. For Republicans, now is such a time.”
McConnell said that his party needs to be more open to diverse viewpoints, “We need to show … that our policies are developed with a human being in view, not just an abstract principle. As we do this, we should avoid the false choice of being a party of moderates or conservatives. America is diverse. The two major parties should be too. But this doesn’t mean turning our backs on commonsense conservatism, or tailoring our positions to suit particular groups. Our principles are universal. They apply to everyone.”
For almost two decades the Republican Party has been becoming more regionalized. The problem for the GOP is that their region of influence has been consistently shrinking over the last 5 years. McConnell seems to grasp the fact that Republicans also have a fresh start right now. They should not agree with Obama on everything, but becoming the party of no is the sure way to regionalize the GOP.