Tom Davis, a former GOP Congressman from Virginia, had some tough, but seemingly sensible, advice for his party during an appearance on "Hardball" on Wednesday night. Asked by Chris Matthews if the flood of white ex-Democrats into the Republican party who joined "because of civil rights back in the '60s" is "killing" Davis' party, the former Congressman honed in on how the politics of culture has wounded the GOP's mass appeal:
Politics has been defined by culture over the last few cycles, and we've become a rural party and a Southern party. We've been losing inner suburbs and the like. A lot of this was the policies of the Bush administration.
Another important point Davis made is that cultural politics, as perfected by Karl Rove and his disciples in the last administration, has caused a widening education gap in the makeup of the the parties:
The high education areas Obama carried - 78 of the 100 counties with the highest education. McCain carried 88 of the 100 counties with the lowest education. As we move to cultural politics, that's been the shift.
Matthews noted that during a Republican primary debate last year only three of the candidates standing on stage raised their hands when asked if they believed in evolution: "You have a party that doesn't believe what they were taught in high school."