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Conservative soul-searching
Should Republicans recover by playing to the base, or moving to the center?
 

Conservatives will have to do some soul-searching after election day, said Peter Wehner, a former deputy assistant to President Bush, in The Washington Post. No matter who wins the White House, Democrats should increase their margins in the House and Senate. But if Republicans use the "wilderness years" ahead to "become champions of an ambitious conservative reform agenda, they will begin the road back to political dominance."

That's "absurd," said David Sirota in Blog for our Future. The Republicans made this election "an ideological contest between Reagan conservatism and supposed wild-eyed liberalism/socialism," and a Democratic landslide would be "a huge repudiation of conservative ideology." The Right can't just erase what will be a huge progressive mandate by telling voters "nah nah nah can't hear you!"

Some conservatives believe that shoring up the base is the first step toward a comeback, said Sean J. Miller in National Review online. But Canada's conservatives moved to the center after a near-death experience 15 years ago, emphasizing economic issues over social ones. And Prime Minister Stephen Harper's conservatives "are now in the ascendency, having won back-to-back elections," so Republicans might want to look "look north."

 

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