President Obama laid it out for Republicans. If the GOP doesn’t move to the center, they will never win the presidency again.
Transcript from President Obama’s interview with Marketplace:
Ryssdal: Another culture question — the culture of this town. Your mantra this year has been “pen and phone,” right? “I am going to do whatever it takes with executive order to govern,” basically. And you have done that on immigration, you have done it on the minimum wage for new federal contract workers — all kinds of things. The question, though, is — and I understand your frustration with the Republican majority in the House of Representatives — is that where we are now? That it’s one guy with a pen in this town, who is running the American economy?
President Obama: Well, unfortunately, we have a Congress that’s broken down. And I know that a lot of times people who are watching what’s happening in Washington sort of feel like, “You know, a plague on both their houses. Democrats, Republicans, they’re all the same. None of them care about us.” But the truth is that we have a very specific problem. We have a House of Representatives that is so ideologically driven at this point that they are not able to carry out basic functions of government. So we saw this during the government shutdown. The idea that we would shut down the government based on a notion that we’ve got to drastically cut the basic safety net — despite the fact that the deficit has come down by more than half during my presidency — is not based on common sense, it’s not based on any sound economic theories. It’s based on the ideological predispositions of a handful of folks who are currently calling the shots in the House of Representatives. The same is true, we just recently saw, with immigration reform; we have bipartisan support for immigration reform. We know that the economy would grow faster, that we would end up seeing $1.4 trillion in additional growth in the United States if in fact we passed immigration reform. We know that there are companies across the country, particularly in the high-tech sector, that are begging to have highly skilled immigrants — who we’ve trained, we’ve paid for and are now going back to their home countries to start businesses — stay here in the United States. Despite all that, we still couldn’t get the House of Representatives to act, primarily because of politics, primarily because they’re captive of a small ideological band inside their caucus. And so, I don’t think this is a permanent state of affairs; I think over time the Republican Party will move back to the center, mainly because if they don’t, they’ll never win the presidency again.
Obama was right. Republicans have no choice, but to move back to the center. Republicans haven’t even begun that process. In fact, they have responded for calls to move to the center by moving harder to the right. This isn’t rocket science. Since the Great Recession, the country has been moving more to the left. The GOP has responded to this shift by resisting all change and purging their party of anyone who isn’t a far right ideologue.
The Republican Party continues to try to fool voters into supporting their agenda. They like to disguise their extremist agenda with moderate sounding people and language, but voters aren’t buying. Eventually, Republicans are going to get sick of losing presidential elections, and decide to move to the middle. After they move back to the middle, Congress will start functioning and things will get done.
The president laid out the reason why it doesn’t matter who Republicans nominate in 2016. As long as they insist on running to the far right in a center-left country, Democrats will remain in the White House.