Jamelle Bouie thinks Republicans won't need new ideas to triumph in 2016:
Writing at Rolling Stone, Matt Taibbi ... make[s] a smart point about where the Republican Party currently stands, it where it could go:But even if you agree that Obama in '08 was warmed-over '04 Kerry (I don't), here's the big difference: by 2008, most Americans hated the Republicans. They loathed Bush. They couldn't believe the multiple disasters he'd led us into.
... just like the Republicans after Romney, the Democrats after the Kerry loss felt hopeless, depressed and self-hating -- you heard a lot of "Screw it, I'm moving to Iceland" talk. Four years later, the party sold the identical Kerry policy package in an exciting new Obama wrapper, and suddenly people were partying in the streets. You just never know how these things will turn out.I'm not sure that Barack Obama offered a package identical to the one presented by John Kerry ... but the basic point is correct: Substantive reform isn't necessary to the GOP’s future chances.
... As long as the GOP can offer the appearance reform -- by placing the same ideas in new, multicultural packaging (see: Marco Rubio) -- it can likely convince the public -- to say nothing of key elites -- that it deserves power.
It seems to be true that Americans like to give a new party a chance after an eight-year presidency -- but is it true? Poppy Bush won after eight years of Reagan. Al Gore won the popular vote after eight years of Clinton. The desire for a party switch wasn't knee-jerk.
McCain couldn't win in 2008 because W had stunk up the joint. And yes, Al Gore lost the Electoral College, at least once we'd done all the vote-counting we were allowed to do, but that was the result of Clinton's tarnished personal reputation and a relentless campaign to turn Gore into a laughingstock.
The point is that Republicans have a good shot to win in 2016 if Barack Obama is loathed by the general public then, if the Democratic nominee is loathed, or both.
Now, the GOP, of course, is going to do everything in its power to make sure that happens. Republicans want to sustain the economic struggle of ordinary Americans by any means necessary, and to make Obamacare (and anything else the president attempts to do) fail, whatever that takes.
The joke after this year's election was that Mitch McConnell's new top priority was to make sure Obama didn't become a three-term president. In a way, that actually is the GOP's goal. Hut if Obama has a successful second term, there's a fairly good chance Republicans won't be able to prevent a third straight Democratic term.