So yesterday, Newt Gingrich unveiled his 12-step plan to make a permanent Republican majority. You can read or watch his speech here, but the gist of it involves fighting federal expansion at a state level. Most of his ideas involve either reforming education or stopping Obama's health care plan. He saves the real Republican red meat for the very end of the plan:
12. Insist on reasserting American Exceptionalism by having every student in taxpayer-financed schools, whether K through 12 or in the state college and university systems, have a brief course annually on the Declaration of Independence, its assertion of self-evident truths, and its declaration that we are endowed by our Creator with certain unalienable rights, among which are life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The time has come to reassert that we are Americans, and America is a learned civilization.
I think going the state's rights route is probably a smart way to go about making a permanent Republican government. By making a sturdy foothold in a number of states, they'd be able to launch a national platform, and since Republicans have been about state's rights for a long time now (though obviously not for the entire history of the Republican party), it wouldn't require a serious rejiggering of their message. Like most of Gingrich's ideas, there are some solid, workable concepts for Republicans to act on, here, even if Democrats would disagree ideologically with all of them.
But I think this again underlines why Gingrich won't be able to capture the 2012 Republican presidential nomination. Even Democrats stopped having multi-point plans a long time ago; the media—especially Fox News—is way past the point where they can successfully communicate a complex message to their viewers. Gingrich is still stuck in the 90s, trying to relive the Contract with America. He's a fossil, calling back to a better nature—of his voters and the media—that doesn't exist anymore. It would take a dramatic shift on a number of different fronts for Gingrich's intellectualism to catch on with a majority of the Republican voting base, and I just don't think that kind of a massive shift is possible.