Thomas Sowell
Many ideas presented as "new" are just rehashes of old ideas that have been tried before -- and have failed before. So it is no surprise that the recent "Growth and Opportunity Project" report to the Republican National Committee is a classic example of what previous generations called "Me too" Republicanism.

These are Republicans who think that the key to winning elections is to do more of what the Democrats are doing. In effect, they say "me too" on issues such as immigration, in hopes of gaining more new votes than they lose by betraying their existing supporters.

In the wake of last year's presidential election debacle for the Republicans, the explanation preferred by "moderate" Republicans has been that the GOP has been too narrowly ideological, and needs to reach out to minorities, women and young people, rather than just to conservatives.

In the words of the "Growth and Opportunity Project," the problem is that conservative Republican candidates have been "driving around in circles on an ideological cul-de-sac."

But the report itself says that the Republicans' election problems have been at the national level, not at the state level, where a majority of the governors are Republicans. Are the Republican moderates suggesting that the reason Mitt Romney lost in 2012 is that he was driving around in a conservative cul-de-sac? Romney was as mushy a moderate as Senator John McCain was before him -- and as many other Republican losers in presidential elections have been, going all the way back to the 1940s. The only Republican candidate who might fit the charge of being a complete conservative was Ronald Reagan, who won two landslide elections.

The report to the Republican National Committee is on firmer ground when it says that national Republican candidates have not articulated their case very well -- that "we too often sound like bookkeepers." Republican candidates "need to do a better job talking in normal, people-oriented terms."

Absolutely. It doesn't matter how good your case is, if you don't bother to articulate it so that voters understand you.

The heart of the report, however, is the argument that Republicans need to reach out to minorities, women and young people. With Hispanics and blacks becoming a growing proportion of the American population -- and both groups voting overwhelmingly for Democrats -- the Republicans are obviously in big trouble in future elections if they don't do something.

But if they do what this report advocates, they could be in even bigger trouble. Here again, facts seem to mean nothing to those who wrote this report.


Thomas Sowell

Thomas Sowell is a senior fellow at the Hoover Institute and author of The Housing Boom and Bust.

Creators Syndicate