“It’s the economy, stupid”–attributed to James Carville
In the the The Atlantic, Peter Beinhart writes:
If you look closely at the current crop of Republican candidates, you can see the beginnings of a similar (to the 2000 campaign) fracturing of the GOP message. Mike Huckabee looks determined to run on cultural decline. Jeb Bush and even Mitt Romney want to focus on using government to help the poor. Every potential candidate except Rand Paul will likely promise defense hikes and a more aggressive, militaristic foreign policy. And every potential GOP candidate, including Rand Paul, will likely unveil a big tax cut, probably unmatched by real reductions in spending.
Even Tom Reed, in his statement on President Obama’s 2015 State of the Union message to Congress, didn’t mention debt or deficit even once.
Addressing the Iowa Freedom Summit, Senator Mike Lee (R-UT) reportedly said the GOP needs to nominate a principled conservative, one who is “conservative every day and not just during the campaign.”
However, Lee also reportedly said he is concerned about an “opportunity deficit” that is “trapping poor families in poverty while rigging the system to benefit political and economic elites” while “squeezing America’s middle class.”
More and more Republicans, like Senator Lee, are recognizing the need to do something to help the many Americans struggling to join or stay in the middle class–Romney, Bush, Rubio, Cruz, Paul. But like Senator Lee, they face a dilemma–there is no way to promote economic justice while fastidiously promoting the interests of the wealthy. They are still trying to do that–at the Koch conference candidates continued to promise potential donors no tax increases for the wealthy. Republicans clearly need to abandon their long standing dogma–welfare for corporations and low taxes for the rich.
© William Hungerford – January 2015