Friday, July 17, 2009

Putting the 'Grand' back in 'Grand Old Party'

a onblur="try {parent.deselectBloggerImageGracefully();} catch(e) {}" href=",+Sarah.jpg"img style="margin: 0pt 0pt 10px 10px; float: right; cursor: pointer; width: 120px; height: 160px;" src=",+Sarah.jpg" alt="" id="BLOGGER_PHOTO_ID_5358084070221234178" border="0" //ap style="font-style: italic;" class="MsoNormal"Meet this site’s newest columnist. She plans to write a weekly column about a timely topic: redefining the Republican Party. /p p style="font-weight: bold;" class="MsoNormal"By Sarah Lenti/p p class="MsoNormal"When Heath and I discussed the possibility of me blogging on his site, I knew immediately what I wanted to kibitz about -- redefining the Republican Party. No, the subject matter is hardly original. And, yes, it is actually probably a bit predictable for someone who has worked on several Republican presidential campaigns and then worked in a policy position for four-plus years./p p class="MsoNormal"As a still youngish, fiscally-conservative female who was born in the North but (mostly) raised in the South; who was a Russian-studies major, but can’t actually stand Moscow; who doesn’t devour meat, but takes great delight in dining at up-scale steakhouses; I have my own strong opinions regarding the Grand Old Party. Go ahead, mock me -- I am a Republican and I actually care about America, its greatness and our place in the world. And, yes, I have a lot of ideas as to the Who, What Where, When and How the Republican Party needs to rebrand and repackage itself./p p class="MsoNormal"While I will be the first to admit that our current party status is not so ‘Grand,’ I refuse to sit along the sidelines with slumped shoulders as a href="" target="_blank"MSNBC/a (and the likes) rip the party into oblivion. There are extremely thoughtful, conservative leaders out there who have real ideas and a real vision -- if people would just take the time to listen (and, no, I am not talking about a href="" target="_blank"Sarah Palin/a). span style="" /spanOver the next few months, I will highlight some of these people, and equally as important, their ideas./p p class="MsoNormal"In Sunday’s a href="" target="_blank"New York Times/a, Adam Nagourney wrote about the “art” of the political comeback, which is timely. He wrote:/p p class="MsoNormal"“Political comebacks tend to come in two forms. The first is when a party stumbles back into power because of the mistakes by the other side. A classic instance came in 1976, when Watergate enabled a href="" target="_blank"Jimmy Carter/a to win the presidency./p p class="MsoNormal"“The second kind of march back to power, which takes longer but is more enduring, reflects a party’s success in coming to grips with changing conditions -- demographic, ideological or both -- and in finding a leader who has mastered the new political terrain. Mr. a href="" target="_blank"Nixon/a did this in 1968, and a href="" target="_blank"Bill Clinton/a did it in 1992./p p class="MsoNormal"“Republicans today seem to be fixated on the first form of comeback. Many in the party appear to be biding their time, waiting for Mr. a href="" target="_blank"Obama/a to stumble in one or another of his ambitious plans.”/p p style="font-weight: bold;" class="MsoNormal"span style="font-size:130%;"On the march back to power/span/p p class="MsoNormal"As to Nagourney’s assessment, I could not disagree more. No truly thoughtful person I know -- and let’s leave all politics aside -- wants President Obama to fail. This goes against the grain of being an American, respecting the democratic system, and embracing our struggle for excellence as a nation through hard work and the gift of unprecedented opportunity./p p class="MsoNormal"I believe our party is, indeed, on the march back to power and to redefining itself along the way. No, we are not sitting and waiting for others to fall down -- but quietly and slowly building from the inside out. And who is leading the march, you ask?/p p class="MsoNormal"Well, in time, you will come to recognize us. We are savvy, even thoughtful people. We are educated, even worldly. We are hardworking and not looking for a hand-out. We are green and, yet, still corporate-friendly. We are a href="" target="_blank"pescetarians/a and vegetarians -- and, all the while, happy to be affiliated with the a href="" target="_blank"NRA/a. We are single, married, divorced and gay -- and all of this is ok. We believe in a strong defense and will never apologize for it. We believe in individual rights, yet can still be champions of a happy family life. We are who we are, and it might surprise you./p p class="MsoNormal"Read on in the days to come and feel free to agree or disagree. It’s just one point of view./p p style="font-style: italic;" class="MsoNormal"Lenti currently works as a policy consultant and advisor to Republican Party leaders, executives and candidates. She has worked in New Mexico and other states on presidential and congressional races and has a background in national security./pdiv class="blogger-post-footer"img width='1' height='1' src=''//div

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