The GOP is in trouble.
Yeah, I know, what's new? Aside from stating the obvious, the GOP is not the "party of tomorrow." It hasn't been for a long time. It has been so focused on trying to raise Ronald Reagan from the dead, that it has forgotten that times have changed.
Take tax cuts. When Reagan came into office in the 80s, the tax rates were crazy. Over time, they have come down considerably. The fact is, Republicans were sucessful. The problem is, conservatives started seeing tax cuts as the answer to all that ails us. But times have changed. People are no longer worried about Washington grabbing more and more money from us, they are concerned about health care and rising gas prices- and they know a simple tax cut isn't going to solve it.
Then there is the shrinking GOP base. Reagan was willing to open the door to a whole bunch of people who had never thought about being Republican. Not many changed, but I would gather that his message attracted many an independent and Democrat which is why he served two terms. Today, the party seems to think the GOP can win on the backs of the religious right and the Club for Growth crowd. The rise of "Tancredoism" has alienated Hispanic voters. If elections are won and lost by creating coalitions, then the GOP is making sure it won't win the next few elections.
The GOP needs to change. It has to provide an competent asnswer to pressing issues and so far, they haven't bothered to do that, except a few people...among them, John McCain.
I've supported McCain in the past, and then fell out of "love" with him for some of his social stands. But as time went on, I have come to seem him, not only as the one who can be a credible candidate for President, but one that could help expand the GOP and being about needed change in the party. As one writer notes, McCain seems to be the only GOP candidate that is courting Independents, while the others try to please the ever-shrinking GOP base.
The Republican party isn't headed for extinction, but if it doesn't really take on economic issues, if it doesn't care about expanding it's base, we can get used to Democratic dominance for quite some time.