No, those aren't scare quotes, they're to denote that the word "Liberty" should be featured in Republican talking points.
People more in tune with such things than me have been digesting the election return numbers, but I think a couple of things are clear. First, too many people that Republicans thought would be voting didn't. Second, the margin of loss, while painful, was actually less than in 2008- that indicates we made up ground. Third, the Republican Message is scary to people who live on Government Cheese.
For an example of that, go check out this post from Ace. This isn't the only story I've heard of this kind. When one party is offering free stuff, and the other is offering responsibility, people who are dependent upon (or believe they are dependent upon) that free stuff will vote for the free stuff.
While it is actually true that Romney's plan would be better for them, they never heard that; or if they did, they didn't believe it. What they heard was that Romney wanted to end their entitlements to "pay for" tax cuts "for the rich."
So it's time to change the messaging. I noted in this space last week that part of what we need to do is infiltrate popular culture. Movies, TV, and music should all be things on which we focus. But our politicians need to fine tune the message, too.
With respect to Mark Davis, I suggest we become the "Liberty" Party. We're not for tax cuts, we're for "Economic Liberty." We're not for school choice we're for "Education Liberty." We're not against unions, we're for "Labor Liberty."
Liberty should be the national message, and it can be adapted to anything- including social issues.
Homosexual Marriage: "I'm neither for nor against same-sex marriage. However, I believe in Moral Liberty and vehemently oppose anything that would restrict churches, organizations, or even employers from having their own rules regarding who they employee or what benefits they provide based on such issues. I believe that, where it becomes a public policy issue, Liberty is better protected by the States exercising their authority than by the Federal Government making one-size-fits-all laws."
Abortion: "As a matter of official national policy, I do not have a specific stance regarding abortion. I do believe that the States should have their just Liberty, under the 10th Amendment, to make whatever laws their People see fit regarding the availability of abortions. Roe v Wade is not bad because it made abortions more easily available, but because it simultaneously usurped the role of the Congress as the Legislative branch, and violated the 10th Amendment Rights of the States."
It is important to remember that these are national stances. At the State and Local levels, you have much more room to fit yourself to your direct constituents. That also means that Republicans in Texas and Republicans in Massachusetts might take different State stances on same-sex marriage or abortion, but would take a single, unified stance at the national level.
There are probably others who are even better at this phrasing than I am, but I believe this is the message we need to be broadcasting: Liberty.