Remaking the GOP
The country is more than just more multiracial, it has shifted fundamentally in its practice of tolerance.
While white Americans may lament the challenges of coping in a much more diverse society, they recognize the entire economy is dependent on Hispanic and Asian immigrants. And by winning 70% of their votes, President Obama demonstrated the GOP's anti-immigration makes it unelectable, even among socially conservative and more prosperous Hispanics and Asians.
Gay bashing and ending funding for Planned Parenthood are for GOP politicians aspiring to perpetual minority status.
While downplaying GOP positions on "core pro-family issues" would soften GOP support among southern protestant conservatives, those folks are a dwindling share of the electorate.
In the last election, social issues got trumped by immigration reform among generally Catholic Hispanics and economic issues among blue-collar northern whites. And most white professionals, who may live according to those values, increasingly are disinclined to support the regulation of private lives or deny others' legal protections and full access to reproductive choices.
On the economy, the GOP should offer attractive alternatives to the liberal agenda, not where it has succeeded, but where it has failed -- on growth and jobs.
Favoring tax cuts for the wealthy is a proven loser and personal income tax reform is a political dead end.
The Bush cuts were proportionately more generous to low and middle income folks -- it was those that created an America where 50% pay little or no taxes. Obama's recent victories merely enshrined that and jacked up taxes for the well off.
The new tax law makes deductions benefiting most ordinary folks -- like mortgage interest, state taxes and charitable contributions -- only marginally valuable to families earning over $400,000. Tightening up the personal income tax code would overwhelmingly raise low- and middle-class taxes, and that's a nonstarter.
The corporate tax code needs fixing. Many businesses -- especially, domestic manufacturers and small businesses -- are often more heavily taxed than competitors abroad, while large multinationals and some other players get off easily. That bias exports middle-class jobs and linking tax equity to growth should be the GOP stalking cry.
More fundamentally, though, Obama has fallen victim to fallacies in conventional wisdom on free trade, energy independence and the environment, and those slow the recovery. Early in the tenures of Presidents Reagan and Obama, unemployment reached double digits, but at this point in his presidency the Gipper had the economy growing at a 6.3 percent annual pace.
The $500 billion dollar trade deficit is a huge drain on growth. China accounts for the lion share of that gap and oil imports the rest, despite recent surges in oil and gas production from on-shore fracking.