Can the GOP reshape its identity?

U.S. Sen. Arlen Specter (D-PA) speaks during a news conference on Capitol Hill, announcing his switch from Republican to Democrat -- April 28, 2009

TEXT OF STORY

Steve Chiotakis: There's that whole thing about elephants never forgetting. But Republicans have been trying to put the past two years behind them. What with losing Congress in 2006, losing the White House back in November. And just yesterday, they lost Arlen Specter, the senior Senator from Pennsylvania. All to Democrats.

So on this 100th day of President Barack Obama's administration, and amidst their complaints that there isn't much bipartisanship from the other side, let's talk a moment about the Grand Old Party, and its identity going forward.
Will it be as loyal opposition, or as the Party of "No?" From Washington, here's Marketplace's John Dimsdale.


John Dimsdale: From the budget to health care to equal pay, Republicans have mostly rejected Democrats' ideas this year.

But Tom Gallagher at the research group ISI says the GOP is out of step with voters and facing a tough decision:

Tom Gallagher: Do you return to your roots, the small government roots of the party? Or do you seek somebody who can accommodate the public's desire for more activist policies on things like the environment or health care?

Meantime, Republicans and Democrats aren't working together. And the result, says Greg Casey of the Business Industry Political Action Committee, will be more stalemate unless others step into the breach.

Greg Casey: For instance, the business community gets the fact that we have to resolve the issue of health care. People are going to step up and try to come up with some plan that does that. It's not going to be to the liking of the conservatives or the liberals.

But Casey says it might be something that works.

In Washington, I'm John Dimsdale for Marketplace.

About the author

As head of Marketplace’s Washington, D.C. bureau, John Dimsdale provides insightful commentary on the intersection of government and money for the entire Marketplace portfolio.

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