The GOP Needs a Makeover

D. Lindley Young

The Democratic Party has a big tent policy which welcomes everyone.  The GOP doesn’t.  In fact, it may be preventing certain segments from coming in.

This week the Republicans announced the chair person for every committee in Congress. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) announced who will chair all of the major House committees in the next Congress. It will be all white males. No woman. No minorities. These appointments provide a stark reminder of why the GOP lost the presidency and Democrats increased their numbers in the House. The GOP, whether rightly or wrongly, has an image of being for big business and are proving they have a small narrow tent filled largely with white males. Are we being told that there are no qualified women or minority member in the whole of the House that could Chair any committee?   

There were 74 women in the 112th Congress with a minority being Republicans. Some women have served multiple terms, yet, not one is qualified to chair any committee in the House.  According to Wikipedia, “Committee chairmanship in the House is often associated with seniority, especially in the Democratic Caucus. The Republican leadership has a stronger hand in choosing chairmen and ranking minority members, and does so based on voting records and campaign fundraising. However, party leadership is not strictly associated with seniority.” Surely, at least one woman meets these criteria.

In any event, by not appointing a single woman or any minority to chair any committee the GOP is perpetuating a small tent image. Many experts say that the lack of support by women, Hispanics and the support of other minorities was a substantial, if not definitive, reason that Obama beat Romney.  The loss by Romney doesn’t mean that he was necessarily a bad candidate, but, it may mean his party doesn’t reach out enough to women or welcome minorities. Moreover, based upon the fact that the GOP selected all-white males to chair all committees it may be argued that more effort should be exerted to attract more women and more minorities if the GOP is going to be relevant in the future.

By D. Lindley Young

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