RON HART: Can Obama ‘Change’? Can the GOP?

Published: Sunday, November 11, 2012 at 11:39 AM.

If the GOP is going to have any influence, they have to stop nominating rigid, far-right nuts. Candidates who come out of the GOP primary are too oddly right-wing. They desire to make America a theocracy, governed by their Biblical interpretation, and are willing to invade and bomb any despot-led country that snarls at us.

The GOP cannot say they are for minimal government and minimal intrusion — except in areas where their interpretation of the Bible allows them to tell the rest of us what to do. The GOP cannot insist on limiting women's ability to get contraceptives by saying it goes against their interpretation of the Bible. They waste time and energy obsessing about what gays do with their lives.

All this does not work.

In large part because of this, Romney lost by 11 points with women. They want their choices left intact. And they do not want wars of "choice" that empty our treasury, bring our sons and daughters home wounded or in body bags, and which accomplish nothing.

Rigid and judgmental stances on issues are huge turn-offs for most of us. People understand that their choices are limited, but they are usually not smart enough to understand the complex costs of bad economic decisions.

Obama is the first president re-elected with a smaller percent of the vote than he won the first time. This was not a resounding mandate. It will be interesting if Obama heeds the example of Bill Clinton in his second term and moves to the right in order to solve the problems our country faces. I really hope he does. For the most part, I think Obama is right on social issues, but woefully wrong on economic ones.

This administration and its media sycophants have somehow made us numbly accept that 7.9 percent unemployment and anemic growth of 1.9 percent is OK. It might be the "new norm," where we lack economic optimism and where the Atlases of industry are shackled by regulations and taxes.

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