Archive for the ‘gop’ tag
On the topic of equality in America… Ross Douthat, on the heels of McCain’s attacking Obama for trying to speard the wealth around, agrues that it’s silly for conservatives to oppose all redistribution.
In other words, a conservative welfare state would eliminate our current network of universal entitlement programs, and replace them with cheaper, means-tested programs that, well, spread the wealth - that spend your tax dollars to provide temporary assistance to the unemployed, underwrite health care costs for the aged and very poor, set an income floor underneath American seniors, and so forth, rather than taking money from the middle class with one hand and giving it back to them with the other.
While Democrats can always threaten to flee to Canada in the event of an election loss, where can conservatives flee to?
The GOP Is Dead
House Republicans led the way and will get most of the blame. It has been interesting to watch them on their single-minded mission to destroy the Republican Party. Not long ago, they led an anti-immigration crusade that drove away Hispanic support. Then, too, they listened to the loudest and angriest voices in their party, oblivious to the complicated anxieties that lurk in most American minds.
Now they have once again confused talk radio with reality. If this economy slides, they will go down in history as the Smoot-Hawleys of the 21st century. With this vote, they’ve taken responsibility for this economy, and they will be held accountable. The short-term blows will fall on John McCain, the long-term stress on the existence of the G.O.P. as we know it.
Andrew Ferguson, of The Weekly Standard, does something I’ve always been curious to do — watch a party platform in progress — and comes to, among others, this conclusion:
“Republicans,” the platform says, “will attack wasteful Washington spending immediately,” even though they can’t. They can’t impose anything on anybody, either, but nevertheless “we will impose an immediate moratorium on the earmarking system.”
Powerlessness opens up a limitless future. It has the fierce urgency of not right now.
Though I question the statistical value of these numbers, Mother Jones’s list of party identification by occupation is full of interesting thoughts. Consider, for example, that 65% of plastic surgeons identified as Republicans, but only 28% of pediatricians.
(via Boing Boing)
Mark Goldberg and Ed Morrisey have a useful and interesting discussion about why so many American conservatives dislike the United Nations. Though I generally share Mr. Goldberg’s views on the UN, Mr. Morrisey makes some worthwhile points.
Ross Douthat engages in what I must admit is one of my favorite acts: attacking out of touch political elites. Although he may not be completely correct, this does resonate:
The failure of conservative voters to fall in line behind Mr. Limbaugh, Laura Ingraham and Sean Hannity, among others, reflects a deeper problem for the movement’s leadership. With their inflexibility, grudge-holding and eagerness to evict heretics rather than seek converts, too many of conservatism’s leaders sound like the custodians of a dwindling religious denomination or a politically correct English department at a fading liberal-arts college.
Or like yesterday’s Democratic Party. The tribunes of the American right have fallen into the same bad habits that doomed their liberal rivals to years of political failure.
David Brooks has some interesting and important things to say (as usual) about what McCain has to do to win the support of his party and the country come November.
Finally, McCain is going to have to beef up his domestic policy offerings. He has some excellent ideas, like his plan to control health care costs, which he doesn’t explain well. But he has not yet focused sufficiently on the group that is always the key to Republican success or failure — the suburban working class.
Picture a suburban townhouse community filled with families making $40,000 to $60,000 a year. Maybe there’s a single mother in one unit who hates her job but needs the benefits. Maybe there are immigrant parents with associate degrees watching their son drop out of school in another. The definition of being middle class has changed, as many have noticed. It used to be a destination. Now it’s an uncertain place. It’s a struggle just to stay there. Any candidate who can’t talk specifically to these concerns is doomed.
I wasn’t going to link to anything about Florida, as it’s a pretty straightforward story: Giuliani’s done and McCain’s win (and possible Giuliani endorsement) gives him a rather clear path to the Republican nomination. But then John Dickerson’s first sentence was an odd anecdote which became a useful — if still decidedly odd — analogy:
As a fighter pilot in Pensacola, Fla., 30 years ago, McCain and his exotic-dancer girlfriend dropped by the dinner party of some married ensigns and were greeted with “disbelief and alarm.” They left quickly. This week as he tried to crash his way into the nomination of a party from which he has often broken, his mother predicted Republicans would have to “hold their nose” to vote for her son.