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Editorial: Republicans should listen to Judd Gregg

With disdain dripping from his words for both the press and the hard right ideologues who have branded Republicans as the party of “NO,” former New Hampshire senator Judd Gregg, writing in The Hill, called for a huddle. It could be called, Gregg said, a “Positive Purpose Convention.” The rules would be simple: Nothing in the negative, no mention of Obama, no social fratricide. Just good ideas that will cause Americans to think and maybe say, ‘You know, those Republicans have something there.’ ”

Gregg is among the small group of senior statesman who want a party that has spent six years opposing and obstructing the president’s agenda to focus on putting something positive in front of the American people. We hope its members heed his call.

The long Republican attack on big government became, under the Tea Party influence of zealots like Texas Sen. Ted Cruz, an attack on governing itself. The hyperbolic rhetoric spouted by members of Congress like wind-up dolls has exhausted the public. People believe little they hear and nothing politicians, who claim to know what the American people want, say. Progress on most fronts has been stalled by partisanship. Meanwhile, other nations move ahead.

Gregg named a few ideas his party should pursue. First among those was immigration reform. It won’t be easy. The Republican Party is split between those who believe that providing illegal immigrants with a path to citizenship is the right thing to do and those who rabidly oppose what they call amnesty for lawbreakers. But, as Gregg certainly realizes, taking a position that’s seen as hostile to immigrants and immigration is demographic suicide since within a few years half the U.S. population under age 18 will be a member of a minority.

Immigration reform is achievable. The Obama administration, to the consternation of many of the president’s supporters, has increased border security and the deportation of people found to be in the nation illegally far beyond any previous effort. But reform will not be achievable if Republicans insist that illegal residents return to their home country and then go to the back of the immigration line. Those who have paid taxes and led crime-free productive lives must be allowed to continue those lives while pursuing citizenship.

Gregg also suggests that his party adopt a new policy toward energy, but he chose an odd aspect of that policy to focus on in his piece in The Hill: a policy that opens more public lands up to drilling. Domestic oil production has increased by 60 percent under Obama and natural gas extraction promises to make the nation energy independent. What’s needed now is the means to benefit from that energy without contributing to global warming and ways to wean humanity off fossil fuels.

Gregg is right to recognize that the Republican battle against Obamacare is destined to fail and that it’s time to turn to other issues. Enrollment is increasing and expected to swell in coming months. Any plan that takes health insurance away from the millions of Americans who have finally been able to purchase it, and the party that proposes that plan, will be defeated.

Instead, those who attend Gregg’s “Positive Purpose Convention” should come up with a Republican position on poverty that doesn’t include taking emergency relief away from the long-term unemployed and cutting food stamps, a tax policy that recognizes that the enormous and growing inequality in the income of citizens weakens the republic, a policy on wages that allows anyone who works full time and find it hard to live with dignity, and a social policy that’s blind, not just to gender, but gender preference.

Now that would be progress.

Legacy Comments18

Gregg isn't too far off the target. Looking at who's been elected to Congress over the last 15 or so years what do you see??? Far right and far left. Most moderates are gone leaving no middle ground to work with. We, the people see stagnation because people in DC can't agree on anything except whether or not to raise the perks they recieve and attack retired military folks. It's about time to "throw the bums out" this coming election and get some people in their who don't always mimic the party line.

Let's face it, congress, no matter which party, is controlled by the same elites.. they work for them not us. (Witnessed by Gregg, Ayotte, Shaheen, etc) The answer is NOT two parties, that's a control mechanism. Now that Gregg has retired, he went to work for Goldman Sachs. WHAT does that tell us?

only 3% of Real Americans see immigration reform as a top issue - Gallop Poll

Many prominent Republicans recognize the demographic catastrophe confronting our party if we continue to present a hostile profile to Hispanic and other minority voters who should be in our corner. The core problem is congressmen from deep red districts with minimal minority constituencies (e.g., Rep. Steve King of NW Iowa) who suffer no consequences by railing against immigration reform, but who would be penalized big time (i.e., "primaried") if they didn't. One simple question for these hardliners: Where are the GOP votes going to come from, and what will be the long-term consequences for the Supreme Court and conservative policy agenda once the Republican well runs dry?

Confronting This RAG's Falsehoods 1) Congressional Obstructionism is 100% the fault of Democrat Harry Reid - http://washingtonexaminer.com/brookings-study-points-to-harry-reid-and-senate-democrats-as-source-of-gridlock/article/2542182?custom_click=rss 2) Gallup: Only 3% of Americans Rank Immigration Reform as a Top Reform 3) QUOTE - "Domestic oil production has increased by 60 percent" - 100% created by private enterprise - ZERO% created by Obama and big govt. 4) ObamaKare is a 100% democrat creation and 100% Obama implemented -it will die under 100% democrat and Obama weight - zero Republican influence. 5) 50 years of war on Poverty - $20 TRILLION spent - How is that working for ya? 6) FACT - the bigger the govt the greater the inequality - inequality as measured by Gini coefficient was on a downward path until Obama and it has reversed and increased due to Obama flooding equity markets with $85 Billion of Obama Monopoly money every month .

Good Rant sail!! Just oozing with vitriol! And your 100% right. Republicans shouldn't change their "party of No" ways at all. Just circle the wagons and prepare to defend against Obama's jackbooted thugs. What does Judd Gregg know anyway? I think he lost most of his elections didn't he?

One day the GOP tent is gonna be so tiny that they'll have to call it a table tent.

In the real world outside of failed academia Facts say different: "STUDY: AMERICANS IN ALL 50 STATES MORE CONSERVATIVE SINCE 1964" there has been a conservative opinion shift in every single state across the country. Most of the increases were “statistically significant”; the same held true for regions. Between 1964 and 2010, America shifted heavily conservative. Gallup Poll; Conservative still outnumber liberals 2:1.

I think it will always be a circus tent, though perhaps eventually reduced in size for a flea circus.

We spend trillions and trillions and trillions on programs for the poor and unemployed, and yet millions of good jobs go unfilled each year....90 million not looking for work, and millions of jobs go unfilled each year while we spend trillions...on what? Epic fail. And now we want to let 30 million more people into the country while 90 million stopped looking for work....????????????????

90 million? Really? No skepticism regarding that number? Believing really is "seeing", whether the claims come from climate change deniers or phony economists. Try 20--25 million. And finding sources that deal in the real world. http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/statements/2013/jul/30/blog-posting/are-90-million-americans-not-working-or-looking-wo/

Ninety million? 1/3 of the country. Are you including children in that amount of people not looking for work? At least you didn't spell anything wrong, which is more important than getting your facts straight.

LOL!!!!!!!!!!!!! Oops . . . did I spell that correctly???

yeah sorry..thats wrong...it's more like 9 million

People Not In Labor Force Soar To Record 91.8 Million; Participation Rate Plunges To 1978 Levels. 10,351,000 on unemployment assistance

You must have missed the posts above that explain why that figure is spurious. A shred of fair-mindedness would have made most anyone skeptical at first blush--save for a Carp Per Diem of course--2 bit on it. It's what they'd like to believe, and demonstrates confirmation bias. At least GWTW had the decency to acknowledge an error. Sail, on the other hand, never seems to be short of false facts he won't repost.

I am disappointed you didn't include the usual Washington Dem diatribe talking points regarding doubling the minimum wage to a livable wage which would undoubtably incentivize those who are un/under employed to become contributors in society...just like companies do in Germany or Japan. Or how the 99% are being taking advantage by the 1%. Your better than that.

Sails "facts" may bother you but they are generally right on the money. If the truth hurts, well I guess you have to learn to be a big boy and swallow it. "Fair-mindedness"? I guess that is in the eye of the person who is judging what is fair...in your case nothing is every fair.

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