Tiger Woods

The GOP can learn a few lessons from Tiger Woods.

Tiger is good because he intimidates his opponents even when he is off his game. But he is great because he is willing to make fundamental changes to his swing, even when he is playing pretty well — a long and arduous process.

The Republican Party is by no stretch playing well right now, but they are still intimidating their opponents, and the Democrats are making a lot of mistakes because of that intimidation factor.

There is an interesting story in a rival newspaper about how leading Democratic strategists are worried about how they will blow their current lead in the polls. James Carville, Mario Cuomo and Stan Greenberg are all quoted. Carville points out that the Democrats could “become what they typically do, a collection of interest groups as opposed to a national message.”

An example of a glaring mistake is the introduction of the so-called “war tax." While House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) did their best to try to kill it, the “war tax” is an unforced error by key Democratic leaders, such as Reps. David Obey (Wis.) and John Murtha (Pa.). It gives Republicans something to talk about, and there is no better issue than Democrats raising taxes.

Another mistake was the ill-advised attack on Rush Limbaugh by Harry Reid. Note to Sen. Reid: You just increased Rush’s listeners by the thousands. It used to be said that you don’t get into a fight with someone who buys his ink by the barrel. The modern corollary is that you don’t get into a fight with someone who talks into a mic for a living.

But as the Democrats continue to make unforced errors, the Republicans need to revamp their swing. It is time to update the message to make it square with the concerns of voters today.

Ronald Reagan was a great president, but his last day in office was 19 years ago. Let’s talk about getting more value out of the government, better customer service, more competence, more flexibility, less bureaucracy, et cetera.

We can’t just rely on social conservatives. We have to expand our base. We have to have a message that resonates in all parts of the country, in all segments of society, with all races and all incomes.

Tiger Woods is the greatest golfer in history because he has the courage to innovate. Republicans should take a page out his book and do the same thing.