Republicans need new ideas - for the sake of the economy, and the country
Apr 29th 2009 4:30PM
Updated Dec 4th 2009 11:24AM
America needs two healthy political parties to work. With Senator Arlen Specter's (D-PA) decision yesterday, however, one of those parties, the Republican one, is in serious danger -- particularly if former SNL funny man, Al Franken is seated from Minnesota. It turns out that you can't pull together enough people through an agenda that's evangelical, pro-gun, anti-immigrant, anti-government spending and anti-tax to maintain even a filibuster-capable minority in the Senate.
This is not to say that such an agenda can't pull together enough people to get meaningful traffic for one media company. But this raises an important political question: Is what's good for News Corp (NWS) good for America? Let's face it, this month's teabagging ceremony reportedly pulled in as many as a hundred thousand people around the country provided a few good interviews for Fox News anchors.
At one of those teabagging ceremonies in Austin, governor Rick Perry mentioned that Texas should secede from the USA. I think that -- and the failure of the Republican party's ideas -- are both bad for America. Without competition, companies get complacent and they stop innovating. The same is true for political parties. And if our politicians stop coming up with better solutions to our challenges, then all our citizens suffer.
So I don't think that the Republican party should move to Texas and secede. Still, if it doesn't start to come up with better ideas than the ones that the Democratic party is providing, then the Republican party will shrink to the point where -- to paraphrase Republican think tanker Grover Norquist -- we can drown it in the bathtub.
Peter Cohan is president of Peter S. Cohan & Associates. He also teaches management at Babson College. His eighth book is You Can't Order Change: Lessons from Jim McNerney's Turnaround at Boeing. He has consulted to News Corp.'s CEO and has no financial interest in its securities.