November 12, 2012 9:44AM

Of Messages, Messengers, and the GOP

Today POLITICO Arena asks:

Does the GOP need to loosen ties with Fox? Limbaugh?

My response:

One could as easily ask, “Does the Democratic Party need to loosen ties with the mainstream media?” But that’s not asked because the denizens of that media who live in the very cocoon POLITICO notes today on the GOP side are the dominant cocoon, where insularity is every bit as real as at Fox News — no, more so, because of that dominance.

Thus, the counsel coming from folks like David Brooks and Ross Douthat — New York Times “House Republicans” — is hardly surprising. We’re invited to believe that if Republicans only become a bit more like Democrats — “Democrat lite” — they’d win more elections. Why? If voters want what Democrats are peddling, they’ll buy the real thing. Republicans took that course in the 1970s. They became “the permanent minority.”

There were many reasons Republicans lost (though not by much), but with some exceptions (immigration), it was less the message than the messengers. Let’s face it, given the alternatives, the party “settled” on Romney: However decent and accomplished a man, he was never at ease with his message. And down ticket there were some real losers. But the tactical mistakes were greater: the endless primary debates, the unanswered attacks last summer, and the reliance on “old media” are just a few.

But change the message? To what? Tax the rich? Pretend that entitlements aren’t bankrupting us? Or that Obamacare will succeed? If we’re going to hell in a hand basket, let’s have one party explaining why. At least that gives us a chance that eventually enough Americans will wake up and have a real choice, not an echo.