From the NRO mailer that lands in my in box periodically comes this amazing bit of garbled thinking. Obama won voters that no self respecting Democrat would ever have gone for--people who love JayZ, atheists, young women, non white people, people who wouldn't know a political issue like the debt if it jumped up and bit them! That's how low Obama was willing to go--he even tried to appeal to voters who previous politicians as evil as Al Gore and John Kerry refused to appeal to. How low is that? So low that after excoriating Obama and his voters NRO decides that if you can't beat 'em you'd better join 'em.
What cultural markers is the Republican brand associated with? Two things come to mind, the aspects of life that Obama said rural Pennsylvanians cling to, guns and religion. And those are pretty good ones; the country is full of people who take religion seriously and there are a lot of people who enjoy their right to own a firearm, for reasons ranging from hunting to sport shooting to collecting to self-defense. But as we've seen, that's not enough to get a majority of the popular vote or 270 electoral votes, and there are some pretty big swaths of the country -- mostly the West Coast and Northeast -- where those indicators either don't help us or work against us.
So, thinking of new cultural traits the GOP could attempt to adopt as some of their trademarks, just off the top of my head . . . [ellipses in the original]
Foodies? There are a lot of folks who are passionately interested in food, in a way there just weren't a generation ago. (See Vic Matus's great article from a while back on the rise of celebrity chefs.) Why can't the GOP be the Foodie Party, the one that fights moronic dietary laws like Bloomberg's ban on 20 ounce sodas, California's idiotic foie gras ban, the ludicrous talk of the Food and Drug Administration putting even more stringent regulations on raw-milk cheeses on top of the existing ones. (For Pete's sake, slap a warning label on it letting people know about the risk of raw-milk cheeses.) We ought to be standing up to the Nanny State, and making the case that grown adults who we entrust with a right to vote, a right to own a gun, and a right to speak their minds ought to have the right to eat whatever they want.
College-Age Drinkers: Propose lowering the drinking age to 18, on the argument that you'll see less binge drinking on college campuses if 18-, 19-, and 20-year-olds can just go into a bar or restaurant and order a beer. If you're really worried about lowering the drinking age across the board, make it legal for those between 18 and 21 to consume alcohol in a licensed establishment, so that a bartender or server could cut them off if there are signs of dangerous intoxication.
I guarantee this would make the College Republicans a heck of a lot more popular on campus. Speaking of which . . .
The beauty of it all is that when Obama appeals to voters the NRO represents it as a bribe, when the NRO does it its merely some kind of ...inducement?