Due to the weather, some customers may experience late delivery of The Roanoke Times. We apologize for the delay.
Retired Sens. John Warner and Bob Dole are advising their party to do some soul-searching.
Wednesday, May 29, 2013
Last year, the Republican Party suffered a rebuke by America’s increasingly diverse electorate. Female, black, Hispanic and young voters rejected the GOP, in large part because they felt the party has rejected them.
In the past week, the party attracted new criticism from a core demographic: octogenarian white guys. Specifically, two retired Republican congressmen with three decades of service apiece at the U.S. Capitol.
“The strength of America’s political system rests in the strength of having two viable, strong parties in stiff competition,” former U.S. Sen. John Warner told the Richmond Times-Dispatch last week. Retired Senate Majority Leader Bob Dole took a more biting tone on “Fox News Sunday.”
“I think they ought to put a sign on the national committee doors that says closed for repairs until New Year’s Day next year and spend that time going over ideas and positive agendas,” he said, adding that he would no longer be welcome in his party. “Reagan couldn’t have made it. Certainly, Nixon could not have made it because he had ideas.”
The two men have cause for alarm. Petty partisanship over the past four years has undermined the credibility of Republican leaders in Washington at a time when a legitimate opposition party is needed to confront genuine abuses of power by the Obama administration.
Here in Virginia, the source of Warner’s anxieties, Gov. Bob McDonnell made himself scarce recently as his party nominated a statewide ticket that promises to continue his pursuit of job creation even as the three candidates refuse to support the transportation funding legislation that serves as the centerpiece of his economic legacy. Rather than wrestling with that inherent contradiction, convention-goers entertained themselves by nominating a candidate for lieutenant governor experienced only in hurtling insults at gay Virginians.
Warner is correct that a two-party political system cannot spare one. We wonder how many of the hormone-hyped ideologues now in control of the GOP will pause to ponder his warning, and how many even recognize his name.
Weather JournalNew batch of moisture for PM