Laura Ingraham: Should the GOP risk offending social conservatives?

By Laura Ingraham

Today, on the "New York Times" Web page, Tom Edsall, who has spent most of the last 30 years covering politics for the "The Washington Post" and "The New Republic", has some advice for the GOP. He draws upon some recent polling data to argue that, quote, "The Republican Party can afford to marginalize Christian right leaders because Evangelical/social conservatives are not going to vote Democratic.

Thus, Republicans can, as he puts it, concede defeat in the culture war in the hopes of picking up some more socially liberal voters. Mr. Edsall might want to check with Governor Mike Huckabee who knows a thing or two about evangelical voters. Huckabee suggested that evangelicals will, quote, "Take a walk from the GOP if the party ends up supporting gay marriage."

He might also want to consider the 1996 presidential election when Bill Clinton carried red states such as Kentucky, Tennessee, West Virginia, Missouri and of course, Louisiana. President Clinton's wife is going to be probably the likely nominee in 2016. And I think it's safe to say that the Clintons with their deep roots and understanding in Arkansas know how to reach evangelical voters especially if the GOP acts like it doesn't want them.

I would also note that in both 2008 and 2012, the GOP did nominate presidential candidates who weren't really at all that popular with social conservatives and those candidates fared poorly in their fall campaigns. Next time around conservative voters might just stay home or even throw their support to a Democrat who they think is more sympathetic to the middle class.

But of course, the question of what sort of culture our children are going to inherit is a lot more important than the results of any one election. The social issues aren't merely a political football to be used by grasping politicians seeking to win power. They really do establish the framework for many aspects of American life from our schools to our churches and of course, to our families. These are very serious matters. They should be taken seriously.

So instead of worrying so much about political tactics, Republicans might want to consider focusing on what they truly believe in. And what type of country they want to have.

The time has come for a serious debate within the GOP over all of the social issues with all sides making the best case for what they think is right. Only then can the GOP reach a new consensus and then maybe move forward in a united effort to reach the rest of America.

And by the way, back to Tom Edsall, a little research here. Interestingly, just before the 2006 elections, he wrote a book arguing that the GOP will, quote, "Maintain over the long run, a thin, but durable margin of victory", close quote. The GOP lost both the House and the Senate in the 2006 midterm election, Tom. And the GOP is supposed to take political advice from this guy?

And that's "The Memo."