Mon Nov 19, 2012, 11:43 AM
DonViejo (17,531 posts)
Republican Underground Emerges From The Shadows
EVAN MCMORRIS-SANTORO NOVEMBER 19, 2012, 5:53 AM
They are few, but they are vocal: the pro-same-sex marriage, pro-choice, pro-tax Republican activists. For years, these groups have labored off the radar, trying to convince a party unwilling to listen that it needs to moderate on issues from social to fiscal. But after the Democrats’ decisive victories on Nov. 6, the Republican Underground says its finally time to go mainstream.
In the days since the election, TPM has talked with what one could call fringe Republican activists from across the issue spectrum. Like most in the GOP since the election returns that “shellshocked” the top of the ticket came in, they’re eager to see the Republican Party become more appealing to the national electorate. Unlike many Republican leaders, however, these activists say they actually know how to make the substantive changes to make that happen.
Republicans everywhere talk about a change in tone — rejecting divisive language like Mitt Romney’s post-election “gifts” comment has become the national pastime for the GOP in recent days. But even the most vocal Romney critics in the Republican mainstream have repeatedly said the party doesn’t need to change substantively. It just needs a new sales pitch.
The only real policy shift to come out of the election so far is a return to support for comprehensive immigration reform that was a central plank of many Republican campaign platforms in the cycles before 2012. On other issues, there are plenty of Republican leaders who say the GOP can hold the conservative line and still win.
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