Please, Please, Please Let Them Get What They Want

In the days after yet another major defeat for Republicans, there will be a lot of soul-searching within the party's leadership and I, for one, am content in knowing that they will probably take away all the wrong lessons from this momentous occasion. I'm just pleased-as-punch to see social conservatives looking for every chance to get in front of the television cameras to gloat about how their party dropped the ball by ignoring traditional values. I can barely suppress a grin when they trot out the line that we're still a "center-right" country.

I feel a little greedy making more requests, given how well we did, but I have a few things to ask from the conservative leaders going into surprisingly well-publicized "secret" meetings. Having already been handed a larger Democratic majority in the House of Representatives and Senate, as well as a few more governorships, there are a few things the Republican Party can do to make this the best Christmas ever. Even better, these gifts don't cost anything. Having ruined the country's economy and spent all that money defending historically Republican areas, you'll probably have to get used to thrifty giving.

Please Re-engage in the Immigration Debate
What's Tom Tancredo doing? Can you give him a leadership role of some kind and put him on the television as much as possible? It's been really great having that firewall in the Western United States, and it would be fantastic if you all could continue to make demonizing a rapidly growing demographic a cornerstone of your philosophy. According to CNN Exit Polling, Barack Obama won Latinos aged 18-29 by 87 percent to 13. That's against John McCain, an individual who has a stance toward immigration that is more liberal than that of the party as whole.

Please Continue to Call Broader Healthcare Proposals ‘Socialism’
Exit polling from Florida shows that those that considered healthcare their most important issue favored Barack Obama 3-to-1 over John McCain. It may have been possible in the past to compare our future healthcare system to programs in Canada and Britain in order to scare people. You used to tell people that they'd have to wait in line for hours to see a doctor and, perhaps, that worked.

Thankfully, you seem unable to realize that people are waiting hours in line to see a doctor right now because, without health insurance, they're having to go to emergency rooms for primary care. Your party is ignoring the fact that it's people with jobs who don't have healthcare. Call it socialism. Call it a handout for people too lazy or too stupid to get employer-provided healthcare. Give us a chance to run a version of this ad in every competitive congressional district in the country.

Please Embrace the Idea of Being a Small Town/Small Ideas Party
We have you guys to thank for reintroducing the idea of "real America" to the political lexicon. There was all sorts of liberal outrage at this idea from the usual corners, but I didn't mind at all. You defined "real America" as the parts of the country where, increasingly, no one lives anymore. According to this map from The New York Times that Matthew Yglesias posted on Wednesday, the 22 percent of the nation's counties that were more Republican than four years ago include such heavily populated and growing regions as Appalachia, the Ozarks and Southern Louisiana!

In concert with this "real America" movement, please do all you can to not only de-fund higher education but also to make it seem like it's a bad thing. Take a long hard look at this map of county performance in Indiana, put together by MSNBC. What's in St. Joseph County? Notre Dame University. Counties with major universities in swing states ran up the score for our party: Dane County, Wisconsin and Centre County, Pa., just to name two.

And, just for fun, how did the county in North Carolina that Sarah Palin called "real America" do for the McCain-Palin ticket? According to the Guilford County Board of Elections, it went for Obama-Biden by a large margin (via Andrew Sullivan).

Please Make Sarah Palin Your Standard-Bearer
There are many, many intelligent leaders within the Republican Party who maintain a world-class understanding of policy and can articulate positive steps forward for the country that would be appealing to the majority of the electorate. Please continue to ignore them. Please continue to drive the Chuck Hagels, Richard Lugars and John Warners out of your party.

You know who should replace them? Gov. Sarah Palin. You betcha. Sure, she may not know that Africa is a continent instead of one large country, but when has Africa ever been a troubled region? She may not understand how to balance the budget, but boy, can she run up a balance at Neiman Marcus. If she's busy, try Eric Cantor.

Please Continue to Be Yourselves
Just keep doing what you're doing. It seems to be working. I remember debating with smart, savvy and annoyingly quick-witted Republicans while I was in college. I remember being challenged by my conservative peers. Where are they now? They're either running away from their party or running up against an angry, socially conservative and isolated rural base that is fighting for, and maybe winning, the soul of this once-grand old party.

Of course, you could be the party that represents intelligent, thoughtful people with disagreements over the role and the extent of government. You could be the party that fights for a government that's small, and not just when you're out of government. You could represent liberty, conscience and values. You could, but, honestly, it doesn't look like that’s what you want to be.

Have fun at Brent Bozell's house. I hear Tony Perkins does a great Sarah Palin impression.