“Well, we lost,” said Republican strategist Dick Morris as he took the stage at the Conservative Political Action Conference outside of suburban Washington, D.C., on Thursday. And in order to win the next election, Morris delivered some bad news to Republicans: They need to change.
Morris laid out a number of issues that are currently preventing Republicans from appealing to the minority and women voters necessary to win national elections again, including immigration and abortion. He also broke the tough news to the GOP faithful that the House Republicans’ budget released this week is misguided.
“We lost because of demographic mathematics,” said Morris, who famously predicted days before the November 2012 election that Mitt Romney would win in a landslide. Morris appeared before a room of at least 50 people at CPAC, one of the biggest annual conservative political gatherings, hosted by American Conservative Union.
To fix this problem, Morris urged Republicans to pass immigration reform immediately. Once the immigration issue is out of the way, he argued, Latinos would embrace the conservative values, switch sides and ultimately become “the salvation of the Republican Party.”
But immigration reform, even with a path to citizenship that Morris supports, is not the tough sell to conservatives that it once was.
The harder sell came in his next prescription: Give up on Roe v. Wade.
OK, so Dick’s wrong about immigration reform. Yes, most Latinos want it. But no, it’s not the only goddam thing Latinos ever think about. And no, reversing years of immigrant-bashing isn’t going to instantly bring all those people with the latin-sounding names into the GOP. It doesn’t work like that. And he went on to make the same stupid mistake with Roe v. Wade and then with Republican attacks on entitlements. Just because you stop being a dick about things (no pun intended, Mr. Morris), it doesn’t mean that those who hated you will automatically love you. In fact, it probably won’t make much difference at all. The GOP is the crazy neighbor on the block who shrieks at passing schoolchildren out of boarded up windows. Getting people to change their opinion of them is going to take a while.
Still, it’s all pretty decent advice; the longest journey beginning with a single step and all. Unfortunately, it comes from one of the easiest to dismiss people in all the world — Dick “Landslide” Morris, clown, hack, and huckster.