• By Laura Ingraham

    Many Republicans believe the President has the upper hand in the fiscal cliff negotiations. If we go over cliff Republicans think that they are going to get most of the blame. Yet if they give in to tax hikes conservatives believe that they will just infuriate their base.

    Senator Rand Paul even believes that since they have such little leverage in the talks of President Obama. Well, Republicans should just get out of the way and let the Democrats raise taxes as much as they want. And then let the President take responsibility for heading up the party of high taxes.

    Now I can understand Senator Paul's thinking especially given the fact that the President has already announced ahead of his mano-to-mano meeting with John Boehner that he won't concede an inch on tax cuts. This Republican defeatism was only exacerbated when news broke of Jim DeMint's departure from the Senate yesterday.

    He's a Tea Party warrior and DeMint is a hero to those who are part of the GOP's 2010 midterm route. Now he's off to head up a prominent conservative think tank, the Heritage Foundation. But let's face it the GOP needs new energy. It needs branding help. Heck, we have a lot of issues to resolve amongst ourselves before we even have a hope of rebuilding the movement to appeal to new generations of voters.

    Of course, libertarians and social conservatives are probably never going to agree on issues like abortion or gay marriage. But they must find a way to agree on other critical issues. Today there's no conservative Republican consensus on globalization, immigration reform, the China threat or on our Middle East policy. Conservatives couldn't even agree on sensible steps on healthcare reform other than to repeal Obama care.

    The Republican Party will continue to be adrift unless conservatives, still the most influential group within the party, have a clear sense of what they stand for and what policies will best serve their cause and the nation's. So beyond the fiscal cliff resolution, we need to find better messengers, better candidates who are also media and tech savvy.

    Whatever our differences, we can all agree as conservatives on a philosophy grounded in limited government, the free market and the Judeo- Christian tradition and this should be attractive to young and old, black and white male or female voters.

    The most important thing is that we not despair. The problems we face today are no worse than the ones conservatives faced in the 1970's when remember they had to deal with a weak economy, an aggressive Soviet Union and the fallout from Vietnam. They overcame those problems and they changed the world for the better. We can do the same.

    And that's "The Memo."

    - You can catch Bill O'Reilly's "Talking Points Memo" weeknights at 8 and 11 p.m. ET on the Fox News Channel and any time on foxnews.com/oreilly. Send your comments to: oreilly@foxnews.com.