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WASHINGTON – Just one day after tax activist Grover Norquist warned Democrats are coming after the middle class for $3 trillion in tax hikes, another conservative leader says it appears the big GOP strategy is to figure out how to surrender.
Bozell, founder of the Media Research Center, told WND today that the Republican leadership is lacking vision, resents its own conservative base and needs to refocus.
“If the Republicans continue a campaign of presenting themselves as Democrat-lite, they are going to see the losses increase. It will not be long before the Democrats are in complete control,” he told WND in an interview.
The issue isn’t that Republicans are losing but that Republicans are not being Republican – and that’s why they’re losing.
“Whenever a Republican distinguishes himself from a Democrat, he wins,” he said. “Whenever he acts like a Democrat, he loses. … You cannot out-Democrat a Democrat.”
He cited GOP presidential candidate Mitt Romney as an example.
Romney was ill-prepared to tackle Barack Obama, as the former venture capitalist epitomized the stereotypical rich, elitist Republican that does not connect with the average person, he said.
And he didn’t make sure voters knew he was different. Bozell said the way Republicans win is when they don’t campaign like Democrats.
That, after all, Bozell said, is what Ronald Reagan did. Romney did it only once, he said.
“There was one day in the entire general election when he distinguished himself from Obama, and that was the first debate,” he said.
At that point, the GOP base was active and enthused. But it wasn’t sustained, he said.
He said the Republican Party also must reach out to its own base again.
“The left has a record of failure that they are doubling down on. The right has a record of success that it should double down on. The Democrats have embraced these liberal policies that have been proven failures. It amazes me how difficult it is to get Republicans to embrace the conservative values that have been proven successes,” he said.
In history, when the GOP has won significantly, he said, it was because the Republican Party campaigned with confidence to its conservative base, as in 1994 when it captured an astonishing victory. That contrasts with the GOP’s lackluster performance in 1992, when it did not address the issues of social conservatives.
He said Democrats simply told Americans that their “negatives” were “positives.”
In one case, Democrats marketed Planned Parenthood and its support for the abortion industry as simply providing mammograms. Obamacare was marketed as a humble means of providing universal coverage and contraceptives, instead of a massive government takeover of health-care decision-making for Americans, he said.
Additionally, the Democrats demonized “the rich” and convinced Americans to tax them more, he said.
“Romney lost by not appealing to social conservatives. What did Romney do to bring out the Catholics? Nothing. What did he do to bring out the Hispanics or blacks? Nothing,” he said.
Bozell said it is the social issues that drive the very socially conservative minorities to the Republican Party. He made specific reference to Proposition 8, the bill to ban same-sex marriage in California in 2010. Blacks, he pointed out, turned out in huge numbers to vote against the new definition of marriage.
The social conservatives and tea party advocates in the GOP are not the problem, he said, as some GOP leaders have suggested.
“They want the money from social conservatives, they want the votes from social conservatives and the want the activism from social conservatives … but they will not stand up for social conservatives,” he said.
He said many in the GOP simply want to pursue a “consensus.” But that approach, in Washington politics, is tantamount to surrender.
And now, as the nation approaches a “fiscal cliff” set up by Obama’s spending and White House and Democrat decisions not to address the looming financial deadlines, Bozell said the GOP is arguing over how much to surrender, not against the Democrat plan altogether.
The GOP, he said, should be “standing by their principles” and refusing to play Obama’s game.
Norquist’s warned a day ago that the Democrats’ demand to raise taxed on “the rich” is just their first act of a two- or three-act play, not the ultimate end.
Norquist, president and founder of Americans for Tax Reform, said the first act “is to get congressional Republicans to put their fingerprints on what amounts to a minor tax increase.”
“After raising taxes on the rich a little bit, the Democrats will come back for serious tax revenue,” he said.
“In acts two and three, the Democrats will come back for the real money – an energy tax and a value-added tax that will impact everybody, especially the middle class.”
Norquist insisted Democrats in Congress and the establishment press are playing an elaborate game designed to blame Republicans for budget deficits and keep serious discussion of spending cuts and entitlement reform off the table.
“Congressional Democrats know raising taxes on the rich will not produce enough tax revenue to reduce significantly the trillion-dollar annual budget deficits being run by the Obama White House,” he said.
“The reason the Democrats scream ‘tax the rich, tax the rich,’ is because they are going to pivot very soon to place a $3 trillion tax increase on the middle class, and they want ringing in the public’s ears that they wouldn’t have had to do this if the Republicans in Congress had acted right away to place a decent size tax on the rich.”