With post-2012 elections comes the hindsight bloviating of the political class punditry that makes its lucrative living from verbal smoke and mirrors. These spin masters inform us that if Republicans want to win elections they must be more like Democrats. How quaint. And just one problem with that advice: Republicans, by definition, can't out-Democrat the Democrats. Democrat-Light may entice some independents, but not Democrats who want the real deal, and it surely won't appeal to the much-needed Republican base.
As any 20-year old marketing student can tell you, the reason Mitt Romney lost was his failure to differentiate himself from Barack Obama, and the image with which Obama branded him. The only time that Romney substantially differentiated himself was during the first debate. It got him in the race.
Then New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie's Hurricane Sandy embrace of Obama reminded voters there is no real difference between the parties. One party is borrow and spend, the other is tax, borrow and spend. Thorough differentiation requires Republicans to bring back the small, efficient government, strong America conservatism Ronald Reagan delivered, a brand since retired by "kinder, gentler" and "compassionate" Bush Republicans. How's that working out for you, Republicans?