Saturday, June 28, 2008

Doing the opposite

Good post in TNR today by Noam Scheiber, who discusses the GOP's odds of survival. Specifically, he discusses the new book Grand New Party by Republican authors Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam. To cure what ails the party, Douthat and Salam recommend a turn toward what they call "Sam's Club Republicanism," which essentially is a mix of two parts social conservatism with a dollop of economic liberalism. It's a good idea, Scheiber says--and it will never happen. Why?
The people who fund and run the GOP are simply too committed to the idea of cutting taxes for affluent people and reducing government spending--basically the opposite of what Ross and Reihan propose. In fact, even saying the GOP establishment is "committed" to these things understates the grip of economic libertarianism over the party. It suggests a worldview that's the product of some reflection, when in fact the economic libertarianism of big GOP donors is mostly an expression of their self-interest--i.e., they want to keep their own taxes low. The idea that a party structured this way would embrace policies directly at odds with this mission is really tough to imagine. Which is why, for example, Mike Huckabee's candidacy was doomed the second he started attacking the "Wall Street-Washington axis."

Exactly. The GOP has turned greed and selfishness into a quasi-philosophy/religion from which no member may stray. How fitting that, in the end, it may be precisely their own hoggish sense of self-interest that becomes their undoing.

You can read the entire post here.

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