[...] The message is clear: Republicans need to work hard on a reform platform that attracts both conservative and moderate voters.
Armey and his friends have a reason to feel comfortable sticking to their conservative line. Gallup just announced a survey that showed that conservatives make up the largest voting bloc in the country, 40 percent.
But, and I hate to break this to my conservative friends, in America, 40 percent of the country is not enough to gain a working majority in Congress. Without the help of moderate and independent voters, conservatives will stay in the minority, keeping the reins of power in the hands of liberals like Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid.
Conservatives seem to be mystified that these liberals hold the reins of power even though they make up a small minority of the country. Most polls show that only about 20 percent of the American people consider themselves to be liberal.
But it shouldn't be any mystery. It is all about building a majority coalition, and the Democrats for the last two elections have been better at it than Republicans.
In order to build a governing coalition, the Republican Party must exhibit one over-riding philosophical trait: flexibility. What makes sense in New York and New England may not make as much sense in South Carolina and Texas. I know this is blasphemy to hard-right activists. But it shouldn't be. Building coalitions is an essential party of any democracy.
Having political flexibility doesn't mean becoming a sell-out or a squish. It does, however, mean having an understanding of our unique political system, where sometimes it is better to vote with the head and the heart rather than just the heart. [...]
That 40 percent of people who call themselves conservative, includes a lot of libertarian minded people who are fiscally conservative, but more moderate, not rigid, on social issues. But as the article points out, even 40 percent is not enough to win.
The Dems made a coalition. Where is ours? Where is it?
The return of the angry independent