Saturday, November 17, 2012

The Republican Problem

While I'm not a dedicated reader of right-wing site National Review Online*( sites like NRO and Daily Kos seem to me to favour light-weight propaganda) Ramesh Ponnuru's piece, "The Party's Problem" is well worth a read for anyone, left, right or centre, who believes the Republican party needs to modernize.

The Republican story about how societies prosper — not just the Romney story — dwelt on the heroic entrepreneur stifled by taxes and regulations: an important story with which most people do not identify. The ordinary person does not see himself as a great innovator. He, or she, is trying to make a living and support or maybe start a family. A conservative reform of our health-care system and tax code, among other institutions, might help with these goals. About this person, however, Republicans have had little to say.

I certainly don't agree with all of what Ponnuru has to say but I think he is courageous for saying it.

On similar lines Forbes Magazine has published a highly-readable-if-occasionally-glib piece by Timothy B. Lee called "Conservatives' Reality Problem" that argues since the nineties there has been a reverse of fealty-to-facts between liberals and conservatives.  

 I don’t think it’s a coincidence that Team Romney’s polling cluelessness comes after years of conservatives demonizing pointy-headed academics, including scientists. On subjects like evolution, global warming, the biology of human conception, and even macroeconomics, conservatives have been increasingly bold about rejecting the consensus of scientific experts in favor of ideologically self-serving pronouncements. That attitude may have contributed to their loss of the White House in 2012.

Again, not someone with whom I entirely agree with but who's points are well-made.

* For anyone who wants to know just how weak NRO can be, check out this post-election Romney spin job that is so disingenuous that Jennifer Rubin would recoil in horror from it.


  1. The problem with the great innovator/job creator narrative is the Republicans have drank all the Randite Kool-Aid available and are spewing it on everyone who doesn't agree with them. Talents are like opportunities-they are not equitably distributed. Not everyone wants to start a small business, but they may dabble with one as a hobby. Not everyone has the 'big idea' which will change everything. Government is not evil for expecting some responsibility from the citizens.

    If there were justice (which the malefactors of great wealth are contemptuous of) we would have bankers and asset fund managers in prison from the 2008 meltdown. Also their monies made from their 'hard work' and theft would be taxed at a more realistic rate than 1$%.

    I am getting concerned that Obama's negotiation skills are still sub-par and he will surrender to the Republican leadership on things like medicare, medicaid and social security. He was re-elected to protect these things, he is the heir of Lincoln and FDR and all the progressive elements of the past 100 years. If he contributes to shredding the social safety net, he is no better than Romney or Ryan who certainly sounded like they would eliminate as much as possible of the Democratic programs Republicans have historically been hostile to.

    1. Changes are coming, it's true. I only hope is that whatever deal Obama makes puts the funds for those programs on a good footing.

  2. Politics ruined your blog

    1. And that got you to leave a comment?


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