Vol. 44, No. 4

Editor’s Note: In This Edition


Ripon Society Holds Post-Election Briefing to Review Mid-Term Results

WASHINGTON, DC — The Ripon Society hosted a breakfast briefing on Thursday, November 4th to review the results of the mid-term elections and discuss the reasons Republicans had, electorally speaking, one of the most successful years in the history of the GOP. The breakfast featured some of the leading political minds in Washington, including: Congressman […]

“What Do We Do Now?”

“Simple, unadorned ‘opposition’ is mistaken, from both the policy and political perspectives.”

“What Do We Do Now?”

“Stop this spending spree.”

“What Do We Do Now?”

“Extending tax cuts isn’t a political slogan – it’s an economic necessity to our country.”

“What Do We Do Now?”

“We expect Republicans to be focused on the People’s agenda, not the party’s agenda.”

“What Do We Do Now?”

“Be Brave.”

“What Do We Do Now?”

“This is the moment for Republicans to define our party once again…”

On This, We Can Agree

After a divisive election, the Maine Senator argues that Republicans must focus on the many issues that unite the party.

Working Together in a Partisan World

With Washington divided by the political extremes, the former New Jersey Governor makes the case for across-the-isle problem-solving.

A Recovery Shipwreck: Can it be avoided?

At one level, the politics and the economics of 2010 appear daunting. Pundits claim that the recent election will only divide government, the two major political parties can’t get along, and government shutdown will be the only real issue discussed.

Divorce and the Deficit Commission

Stacy relates the reasoning behind why voters divorced from the Democratic party to that of a marriage; “They divorced the Democratic Party over more than money. It was also the uncertainty caused by intrusive, coercive fiscal policies.”

The Case for Michigan

Sandy discusses the underrated importance of the state of Michigan, pointing out a correlation between the state and the country as a whole saying, ” The challenges faced by this great American city and this storied state are the precursor to the challenges of our nation. As goes Michigan goes America.”

A Lesson in Job Creation from the Hoosier State

Jay discusses the success of Governor Daniels, and brings up the question of whether or not he will throw his hat in the ring of the 2012 Presidential elections. “During the last decade, Tommy Thompson and a crop of innovative GOP governors proved that some of the nation’s best policy innovation comes from the states.”

Republican Heart and Soul: The Definitional Battle for the 2012 Presidential Nomination

“In recent history, presidential aspirants win by leading ideological factions to dominate their party, while simultaneously attracting independents to their candidacies.”

The Coming Generational Shift on Capitol Hill

“When Republicans won control of the House of Representatives on November 2nd, it represented not just a partisan shift on Capitol Hill, but a generational shift, as well.”

Ripon Profile of Tim Scott

“I believe that the people should control their own destinies, not the federal government, and I will fight for the fundamental values and rights on which our country was founded.”

Editor’s Note: In This Edition

THE RIPON FORUM began the year by focusing on The New Horizon facing Republicans as they entered 2010. In light of the party’s historic victory in the mid-term elections, we found it only fitting to end the year by focusing on what the GOP will wake up to as it begins 2011:

A New Day.

Over 80 freshmen Republican Congressman and Senators will take the oath of office when the new Congress is sworn in on January 5. As of this writing, the GOP will hold a 240-seat majority in the House of Representatives, and went from holding only 41 seats in the Senate to being just four seats shy of holding a majority. Republicans also picked up five governorships, and won control of 19 state legislatives chambers, as well.

It’s not your uncle’s Republican Party that has made these gains. Across the country, the candidates who were on the ballot were the most diverse in the party’s history. As veteran pollster Linda DiVall said at a post-election briefing that was sponsored by The Ripon Society and is reported on in this edition, the GOP candidates this year were “younger, more diverse and less likely to be, frankly, political hacks. They come from different stripes of life, representing their communities and their neighborhoods much better. And that helped to change the perception of the party.”

Perhaps no one symbolizes this change more than Tim Scott, who was elected to the House from South Carolina’s 1st Congressional District. The first African American Republican elected to Congress since 2002, Scott is a common sense conservative who won his election with both Tea Party and centrist Republican support. We feature Scott in our latest Ripon Profile, in which he explains, among other things, why he ran for Congress and what he plans to do when he finally gets a day off.

This edition of the FORUM also attempts to answer a question that many Republicans are asking in the wake of the party regaining control of the House — “What do we do now?” To help us answer this question, we have tapped an equally diverse roster of GOP leaders and grassroots activists, from Senator Dick Lugar of Indiana to Amy Kremer, the Chairman of the Tea Party Express.

This edition also examines the issues that unite the Republican Party with Maine Senator Susan Collins, and features an op-ed by former New Jersey Governor Christine Todd Whitman that looks at the rise of extremism in Washington, the growth of centrism across the country, and the importance of “Working Together in a Partisan World.”

To the extent that Republicans will need ideas as it attempts to hold and expand its new majority, we offer a number of them in this issue as well, including: the Urban Institute’s Gene Steuerle’s prescription for budgetary reform; the Sagamore Institute’s Jay Hein’s explanation of why Indiana leads the nation in job growth; and former SBA head Sandy Baruah discussing his new job as CEO of the Detroit Chamber of Commerce and why the Motor City — and the State of Michigan — are critical to our Nation’s economic future.

With the 2010 election behind us, we also take a look at the election of 2012 with author and Villanova political science professor Lara Brown, who looks at — and handicaps — the prospective candidates for President on the Republican side.

The mid-terms are over. A new day has begun. We hope you enjoy reading about it in this edition of the FORUM, and encourage you to contact us at editor@riponsociety.org with any comments or questions you may have.

Lou Zickar