The Republican Main Street Partnership yesterday removed the word “Republican” from its title. But “we have not changed our values or our mission, “ said its president, former Congressman Steven LaTourette (R-OH), “ We will continue to . . . represent the governing wing of the Republican Party." This might be a good place for the GOP to focus its frenzied efforts at self-analysis in the wake of its election losses. Its nominee had spent hundreds of millions polishing the very presidential bona fides (business executive, governor, Olympics guru) with which his primary opponents filleted him (vulture capitalist, Massachusetts moderate). Romney could have stood out from the crowd by standing up for his carefully created image. True, he might have lost, but it’s hard to imagine one of his primary opponents as an actual presidential candidate (Santorum? Herman Cain? Newt?). But Romney caved to the party's know-nothings . . . and then was required to execute another about-face in the summer. No wonder people were incredulous. The Obama team didn’t come up with the term “Etch-A-Sketch;” Romney’s top adviser did.
As the election showed, the “social issues” do matter. Our core beliefs are the heart and soul of our identities as people and as political parties, and while we don’t seem to think much of our politicians right now, we do expect them to stand for something. What stronger signal could a party send of its current hollowness than to have the group that claims to represent its governing wing remove Republican from its name?