This is a response to a post written by ED Kain at Frum Forum. He was responding a post I wrote at Frum Forum as well.
E.D. : You are correct that any Republican revival is not going to come by simply accepting moderates into the GOP coalition. While we have an important heritage in the GOP, simply having more Scott Browns is not going to make the Republicans a competitive party. Republicans not only need to have a Big Tent of political views, but also a Big Tent of political ideas that will make people take notice.
Paul Ryan's alternative budget is a good idea and starting point on asking how a conservative party should govern now. He has taken the time to come up with ideas for health care reform and entitlement reform. Ryan is not a moderate, but he has an idea that might well appeal to moderates and it takes the GOP beyond it's "party of no" image.
While many have talked about the shrinking Republican tent when it comes to how it treats moderates, there is also a shrinking tent of ideas. As much as we might want to make fun of Democrats for employing 1970s ideas to solve current issues, many in the GOP act like it's 1980 all over again. We think that tax cuts are the answer for any problem, even when they might not work in this situation. We need new ideas for a new era. What does it mean to be a Republican or a conservative in the 21st century?
Which brings me back to the original statement by David Frum: the need for a CPAC of the center-right. We need to have a place, an event that welcomes all sorts of people: libertarians, crunchy cons, moderates and the rest and also welcomes all sorts of new ideas on how to govern. In a way, it's trying to do what Ronald Reagan did in the 70s: create a new Republican party that welcomed moderates, but also was a breeding ground for new conservative ideas.
So, I'm all for a new CPAC or CENPAC or whatever you call it and E.D, I like you to be a part of it. Maybe the way to rebuild the GOP is by moderates like myself working with wonkish conservatives like yourself, E.D.
It's worth a shot.