Channeling Charlie
For some time now, I have argued against the idea that what Republicans need to be competitive going forward is a more purified version of conservatism, complete with a litmus test on social issues. That may lead to a highly motivated base of party activists, but it won’t necessarily result in a winning electoral coalition on Election Day. This is especially true if you look at the political demographics of areas outside of the South.
It turns out that former New Hampshire Representative Charlie Bass has some similar ideas on the subject. Earlier today, First Read picked up on a recent Bass opinion piece, in which he addresses the issue of the Republican Party’s shrinking base of homogenous social conservatives in a way that is guaranteed not to endear him with the right wing intelligentsia on cable news and talk radio.
As I noted recently, the flexible “big tent” approach to GOP coalition-building espoused by Bass is a virtual necessity for him to be competitive in attempting to reclaim his seat in New Hampshire’s second district. But if you spend any time listening to the internal debate within the Republican Party over how to prepare for the 2010 midterm elections, there is no political strategy that is more vilified by conservatives. This is why some of the most intense political battles of the election season are likely to take place in the Republican primaries to be held around the country next year.

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