As usual, the LATimes article "GOP Sees Outreach Potential in Agenda" is about 90% garbage GOP spin, but about 10% noteworthy information. As we move forward, we need to improve our ability to monitor and track conservative political strategy, including which demographic groups they are actually targeting (as opposed to who they merely wish they could target). Knowing this, we need to preserve our base by countering their message. Jesse over at Pandagon has already dissected Ken Mehlman's LAT comments, but there's more in there:
President Bush's plans to overhaul Social Security and enact other sweeping policy changes are making some Republican lawmakers uneasy about the political risks. But the party's new chairman said Wednesday that the White House agenda actually could 'broaden and deepen' the GOP's dominance by attracting new voters, including young people and African Americans.Abolition of social security is apparently targeted toward young voters; base issues are aimed at sporadic voters; the "faith" claptrap is also a bas reduction strategy, aimed at African American Democrats; and tort reform will be part of a bizarre outreach campaign targeting Latinos. None of this makes any sense, but if the GOP sends its message into a vacuum, it will fill the void.
The comments by new Republican National Committee Chairman Ken Mehlman on the eve of Bush's second inauguration marked a rare acknowledgment that the president's objectives came with a political goal: GOP control in Washington for years after Bush leaves.
'When we push to save Social Security, we have an historic opportunity to bring more young Americans into our party,' Mehlman said, referring to Bush's proposal to let workers put some payroll taxes into private accounts. 'If you're 30 years old or younger and you care about a secure retirement, the Republican Party has a plan for you.'
Mehlman also told party leaders that debates over nominating judges, funding faith-based groups, offering school choice and limiting lawsuits added up to potential gains for GOP candidates in the future.
'When we debate who should sit on the judiciary, we have an opportunity to deepen the GOP by registering to vote men and women who attend church every week but aren't yet registered voters,' he said. 'We can bring new African American faces and voices into our party when we debate whether faith-based organizations should have a seat at the table and whether public schools need to be more accountable and parents need more choices.'
"We can deepen the GOP by identifying and turning out Americans who vote for president but miss off-year elections and agree with our work for a culture of life, promotion of marriage, and belief in our 2nd Amendment heritage.
"And," he concluded, "we can bring new Latino doctors, accountants and teachers tired of frivolous lawsuits into our party as we debate lawsuit reform.