Have you ever noticed that when Republicans get spanked in an election, the media and moderate Republicans tell them the party needs to move to the mushy middle, but when Republicans win an election those same oracles never seem to advise the party to double-down on being conservative?
Now consider this:
When Republicans lost the House in 2006 after a decade of spending taxpayer money like drunken Kennedys, the know-it-alls in the media and moderate Republicans declared that the GOP had to move to the center or risk becoming a permanent minority. Remember that? It was in all the papers.
Instead, thanks enormously to the rise of the tea party movement, Republicans in the House moved decidedly back to the right, especially on economic issues. Result: Republicans won a huge majority in the House in 2010; a majority they retained in 2012.
In fact, Republicans retained that majority this week despite losing the popular vote nationally. And not just any majority. As Aaron Blake of Politico notes, “Republicans are set to have their second-biggest House majority in 60 years and their third-biggest since the Great Depression.”
So tell me again why Republicans need to move to the center to win?