April 1, 2013 at 4:00 PM
Rob McKenna’s advice for Washington state Republicans
Tactics aren’t the main problem
When I saw that Rob McKenna used terms like “reset button” and “sober reflection” to introduce his recent Times guest column on the state GOP, I thought perhaps he and his fellow Republicans may be having a true awakening regarding the unfortunate path the GOP has taken in recent years, especially on the national scene. [“A reset button for Washington states’ GOP,” Opinion, March 31.]
However, it turns out that all he was referring to was the need to focus on things like “strategies and tactics” — not a fundamental re-examination of the basic principles and philosophies that are currently driving the GOP.
He expresses appreciation for the leadership of people like Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal. Here’s a reminder for McKenna: Gov. Jindal’s most-publicized quote is his admonition for Republicans to stop being the “party of stupid.”
As with Democrats and Independents, there have been Republicans who have served this state and this country well and certain principles they espouse are laudable. Unfortunately, however, the party has clearly been overtaken by the extreme right-wing component that absolutely refuses to compromise on anything, even when it makes sense to do so.
Will that ever change? Only time will tell.
– Jim Sullivan, Renton
Target audience smarter than that
I wonder if other readers were struck by the irony of the juxtaposition of Sunday’s Paul Krugman column pointing out the folly of the “deficit scolds” [“Plan B for the deficit scolds,” Opinion, March 31] with the piece by Rob McKenna on the facing page, once again blaming the deficit for our economic woes?
McKenna goes on to declare that the hope for Republicans lay in “offering bold solutions.” So, with probably more curiosity than expectation, I went on reading but found not only no new “bold solutions” but the tired old and discredited “blame the endless trillion-dollar federal deficits” for our economic woes (which even John Boehner has dismissed).
Then to cap off this nonsensical whine, McKenna declares that Republicans should “champion forward-looking polices,” offer “real alternatives” and concludes by saying, “We must improve our party’s technological efforts” and develop more “robust and personal get-out-the vote programs.”
Sorry Rob, better computer programs (robo calls) and focused ads won’t cut it. Your target market, minority communities and younger voters, are smarter than that and demand and expect real policy statements, not mere outreach proclaiming the same discredited Republican concepts born in the last century.
– Howard Phelps, Seattle
Turning a deaf ear
Rob McKenna’s guest column shows exactly why his party is scrambling for answers.
Most of McKenna’s piece focuses on getting out into ethnic and minority communities more than just around election time. He talks of reaching young voters because GOP economic policies will help them succeed.
But McKenna and his party continue to turn a deaf ear to the issues that make them anathema to women, minorities and the young. Until the GOP repudiates its radical right wing and its support for tax-coddling the rich, demeaning a woman’s right to choose abortion and gutting social services, it won’t matter how much time they spend glad-handing new (for them) communities.
– Lee Somerstein, Renton
Open your eyes
Rob McKenna’s column in Sunday’s paper has shown me once again that he still doesn’t get it, and it validates my vote in November.
Simply bemoaning a poor image among women and racial minorities and the LGBT community, and vowing better outreach and more inclusive language, isn’t going to do the trick, and frankly, never will.
Even many white, straight men such as myself think McKenna and the state and national Republican Party are simply wrong on the issues. You know, the issues, the things that are really important to us, such as affordable health care and gay rights and immigration and gun control and climate change and fair taxation and labor rights and a woman’s right to choose, and — gee, just about everything else.
Republicans need to think before they spend that $10 million to improve their image in minority communities, and first do something that’s absolutely free: open their eyes, open their ears and open their hearts.
– Lawrence Sylwester, Seattle
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