For January 2, 2013
A New Agenda
As we start the new year, it is sad to see so many Republicans patting themselves on the back, Grover Norquist included it seems, saying, “It’s ok, it really was a tax decrease because it is Tuesday.”
The one pledge to rule them all got obfuscated away conveniently and it is time to move on to a new agenda for the Republican Party. We are now in the era of the McConnell Tax Hike of 2013, which raises taxes on 80% of Americans making between $50,000.00 and $200,000.00.
I wanted to go over the fiscal cliff, in part, because it would give the GOP the best opportunity to change the subject. They were always going to lose playing Barack Obama’s game. They were always going to lose playing Obama’s game because he has the Republican playbook memorized and can best the GOP at its own plays.
Ben Domenech, in his excellent Transom, concluded 2012 with the breakdown of where the camps are within the GOP’s need for reform. In short, Domenech says there are five camps:
- The people who think the problem is social conservatism
- The people who think the problem is economic conservatism
- The people who think the problem is bad Republican candidates
- The people who think the problem with the candidates is that they were Republicans
- The people who think this was a purely technological failure and does not demand a shift in ideology, policy, candidates, message, or anything else
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In 2012, I think we had some bad Republican candidates, I think we had some terrible ID wrapped up in the GOP, and at the national level I do actually think a lot of Romney’s collapse came from failures at the political technology level, not to be confused with technology bells and whistles.
But I think the problem of bad Republican candidates and candidates losing because they are Republicans is wrapped up in a bigger issue related to the second grouping — economic conservatism. This is not to say that the GOP should abandon small government conservatism. Rather, they should get back to it.
But in doing so, they need to move economic conservatism away from just tired old 20th century rhetoric into the twenty-first century.
The only way to win is to change the game and reshape the agenda of fiscal conservatism. The fight in the next four years will be on fiscal issues, not social issues. We must be ready on that front.
The GOP needs a new agenda.
While I don’t believe we can find a new agenda for economic conservatism from the man who uttered these words, I do think the GOP can find a new agenda in these words:
The bottom line is we have a problem in this country, and the family is fracturing.
Over 40 percent of children born in America are born out of wedlock. How can a country survive if children are being raised in homes where it’s so much harder to succeed economically? It’s five times the rate of poverty in single-parent households than it is in two-parent homes. We can have limited government, lower tax — we hear this all the time, cut spending, limit the government, everything will be fine. No, everything’s not going to be fine.
There are bigger problems at stake in America. And someone has got to go out there — I will — and talk about the things.
And you know what? Here’s the difference.
The left gets all upset. “Oh, look at him talking about these things.” You know, here’s the difference between me and the left, and they don’t get this. Just because I’m talking about it doesn’t mean I want a government program to fix it.
That’s what they do. That’s not what we do.
The words were spoken by Rick Santorum at the February 22, 2012, CNN Debate in Arizona. I’m not enamored with Rick Santorum as a candidate for President. He is not an economic or a fiscal conservative. But he did focus on something the Republicans should turn their attention toward — family.
The GOP should spend 2013 rebuilding an agenda based on a defense of family. . . . please click here for the rest of the post →
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