In an interview with North Dakota radio host Scott Hennen former vice president Dick Cheney said that it would be a mistake for the Republican Party to become more moderate. He said that doing so would mean changing the fundamental philosophy of the GOP. Cheney also said that the older Republicans should move on, but yet he is still here, helping the Democrats.
Cheney was asked if he thinks that the GOP should moderate. He answered, “No I don’t. I think it would be a mistake for us to moderate. This is about fundamental beliefs and values and ideas…what the role of government should be in our society, and our commitment to the Constitution and Constitutional principles. You know, when you add all those things up the idea that we ought to moderate basically means we ought to fundamentally change our philosophy. I for one am not prepared to do that, and I think most us aren’t. ”
He did mention that it was time to clean out the older members of the party, “So I think periodically we have to go through one these sessions. It helps clear away some of the underbrush…some of the older folks who’ve been around a long time (like yours truly) need to move on, and make room for that young talent that’s coming along. But I think it’s basically healthy. I don’t spend a lot of time or lose a lot of sleep over it. I just think now is the time for people who are committed to get out there and find candidates they like and go to work for them.”
I think Cheney is one for two on this one. He is correct that the Republican Party needs to clean out the old faces and move forward with some new blood. The problem that they have is that their party is seriously lacking new blood and fresh ideas. It took the Democratic Party 12 years to rebuild after they lost control of Congress in 1994, and I think it may take the GOP even longer because they lost Congress in 2006, and are still in denial.
Cheney is way off on his first point. The Republican Party will never win another election by not moving to the middle. The GOP leadership doesn’t not see that their party can move to the middle without sacrificing its values and principles, and until they figure this out, they will continue to lose elections badly. This is great news for Democrats because as long as Republicans continue to listen to Dick Cheney, they will still be stuck in the past.