I have read numerous articles over the past eight years by neo-conservative commentators like Bill Kristol and David Brooks offering their unsolicited advice to the Democratic Party about what it "must" do to move forward in the Bush era. So I thought it might be a good time for me to offer my own unsolicited advice to the Republican Party about what it "must" do to win the presidential election of 2012. Below are my suggestions:
1). The Republican Party must nominate Alaska Governor Sarah Palin in 2012. As John McCain said repeatedly during the campaign, Palin "has inspired Americans" and energized the GOP's base. Newt Gingrich and Sean Hannity pointed out that she has more executive experience than Barack Obama and Joe Biden combined. The McCain-Palin campaign highlighted that experience by enumerating her many accomplishments such as negotiating a $40 billion gas pipeline and overseeing a $6 billion state budget and 24,000 employees. She is a reformer who took on her own party and she understands the challenges of families with special-needs children. Clearly, like a mighty Alaskan Sitka Spruce tree, Governor Palin is cut from presidential timber. What's more, she is cost effective because the Republican National Committee has already purchased her haute couture wardrobe for a presidential run (although she'll doubtless need the 2012 fall collection Christian Louboutin pumps to stay current).
2). The Republicans must call for much tougher, draconian immigration laws. It is a sure vote getter. The GOP shouldn't be calling for a measly 700-mile fence on the Mexican border, but a 2,000-mile fence. They should follow Lou Dobbs's lead on CNN, along with the Minutemen, and call for deporting the 12 million illegal aliens currently residing in our land and taking advantage of our generous social services. This tough stance would be a great seller in the border states as well as elsewhere in America, especially Colorado, Nevada, and Florida. The Republicans should also call for an end to remittances going back to Mexico and to other countries south of the border that drain cash from good Americans. I even have a slogan for them to use: "No Se Puede!"
3). The 2008 Republican platform calls for privatizing Social Security but it doesn't go nearly far enough. The GOP must take advantage of the good will American voters are now showing toward Wall Street. (Why else would they generously offer up $1 trillion of their hard-earned money?) The Republican Party must push hard not for the milquetoast "partial" privatizing of Social Security but for dismantling the entire entitlement program. What better time? Stock prices are low and they can only go up from here, which will give Republicans the opportunity to finally usher in George W. Bush's "Ownership Society." This policy prescription is a sure vote getter among younger Americans, as well as those facing retirement who value personal freedom.
4). Republicans must stop all this talk about "pulling out" of Iraq and make the case for staying in Iraq for 100, 200, or even 300 years. This powerful stand will show voters the Republicans have courage and resolve and are not a bunch of weak-kneed "cut and runners." This clear and forceful policy will put the naysayers and left-wing rock stars on the defensive and galvanize support among voters who know we got it right when we went into Iraq to disarm Saddam of his weapons of mass destruction and break his ties to Al Qaeda. All the peaceniks and communists will be hiding under their beds if Sarah Palin makes this case over and over again, and it is sure to play well in Red states as well as Blue states. Republicans must make the case that $12 billion a month spent on Iraq is a small price to pay for freedom.
5). The Republicans' hero Margaret Thatcher famously said "Don't Go Wobbly" and that is my advice to the GOP: The Republican Party must redouble its brass-tacks campaign tactics and step up the smearing and sliming and hit their opponent with everything including the kitchen sink. Bring back Bill Ayers and Reverend Wright and Rashid Khalidi and start assassinating Obama's character early -- I mean starting today -- and don't let up! Get Minnesota Representative Michelle Bachmann on the stump to call for investigating "anti-Americans" in Congress, and get Sean Hannity and Rush Limbaugh to pump up the volume of their attacks (they were far too timid in 2008). Also, the RNC should hire Brad Blakeman again to go out on a 50-state speaking tour and repeat his charge of October 24, 2008 when he said: "You know what the outrage is today? [It] is Barack Obama taking a 767 campaign plane to go visit his grandma. Forget about the energy that is wasted, what about the hundreds of thousands of dollars to take a private trip when this guy should be humping his bags on a commercial plane or taking a smaller plane?" This kind of no-holds-barred campaigning is popular among voters and cuts the Republicans' way because it will remind Americans that the Republican Party means business. It is a sure winner with blue-collar voters, women, and especially with that sizeable and coveted chunk of the electorate: those who hate their own grandmothers.
6). The Republicans must stay on message that anyone who disagrees with them about de-regulating the economy, privatizing government services, and outsourcing jobs to low-wage countries are, as McCain's top economic adviser Phil Gramm put it, nothing but a bunch of "whiners." The RNC must invest heavily in television advertising time driving home the point that Gramm (who holds a Ph.D. in economics) so eloquently articulated: Any "recession" Americans think they are in is nothing more than a figment of their imaginations. The GOP must constantly and repeatedly denounce this "mental recession" that seems to plague American voters (that is, when they're not "whining" about the economy). Buck Up America! This stance is a sure vote getter because it plays to Americans' strong sense of rugged individualism and stoic toughness.
7). The Republicans must always blame the liberal media for any and all bad publicity their nominee for president, hopefully Sarah Palin, might receive. This anti-Big Liberal Media strategy is a winner because it reminds voters who the real enemies are. The RNC could put to great use Samuel "Joe the Plumber" Wurzelbacher who so captured the hearts and imaginations of legions of adoring American voters. Wurzelbacher can make the rounds and become the public face for the Republican counter attack against the liberal media. As such an endearing and sympathetic figure, "Joe the Plumber" no doubt will win the hearts -- as he already has -- of millions of ordinary "Joe and Jane Sixpacks" out there in the "real America." Joe can put to use his cunning intellect and verbal gifts to speak for the Republicans about the issues free of the filter of the liberal media rock stars. (And don't forget to constantly call working people "Joe and Jane Sixpack" -- they love being called that!)
8). Finally, the Republican Party must step up and own its true legacy. President George W. Bush is a formidable force to be reckoned with out on the stump. The RNC should send him out on a 50-state tour to remind voters of the two-terms of peace and prosperity he brought to America. With the right talking points he must own up to his administration's record without apologies and give them nostalgic reasons to vote for Sarah Palin for president. It will be a return to normalcy and American greatness, he must say. As the only two-term Republican president since Ronald Reagan, George W. Bush will be passing the torch of the party's leadership to the able hands of Sarah Palin. The symbolism is sure to resonate with voters and Bush will be the Republican Party's secret weapon for victory in 2012!
So there you have it. The above are my expert suggestions (from an Ivy League Ph.D. no less) to the Republican Party as it seeks to retool and hone its message to reclaim the White House in 2012. I'm confident that if Republican strategists have the good sense to heed my advice the next presidential election will usher in another long period of Republican dominance of our nation's political discourse, and along with it, pull together a popular mandate to set our country's agenda for decades to come.