Conservative columnist Matt Lewis doesn’t sound inebriated as he assesses the staggered state of the GOP.
“The Republican Party is sort of like a drunk that needs to hit rock bottom,” he tells me in a video interview.
A columnist for the Daily Caller and The Week, Lewis agrees with Joe Scarborough and Bill Kristol that there is a conservative “racket,” which includes “the same old guys” who keep getting hired as political consultants.
But there is also “a media racket where the people who scream the loudest get the most attention, get the most page views, but there are consequences to that. I think the Republican Party at the ballot box has paid a price for that.”
While Rush Limbaugh “did a lot of good” for the GOP over the years, says Lewis, “he basically made Sandra Fluke” by calling the law student a slut, “really played into the whole war-on-women narrative” pushed by the Democrats.
The Republicans, Lewis tells me, “are in an incredibly vulnerable position” because of the fiscal cliff negotiations, “really a no-win situation.” Either they agree to raise taxes on the wealthy and are viewed as “pledge-breakers,” or they block action and are viewed as “obstructionists.”
In the long run, he says, younger leaders like Marco Rubio and Bobby Jindal need to lead the party in a fresh direction.