Wednesday, November 05, 2008

Whither GOP?

Thinking about the future of the defeated Republican Party makes the SWNIDish head hurt. But we're trying to do it as a public service.

First, we affirm all that is affirmed by the founder of Crunchy Conservatism, Rod Dreher. His commentary on NPR today says just about all that SWNID would say, with two exceptions.

Exception One: The GOP must also stop doing things that antagonize the growing number of voters who aren't persons of pallor. Hammering on immigration, legal or otherwise, is wrong on many counts, including informed self interest and basic human morality, in our view. But it's also killing the Rs at the ballot box. The same may be said for the kind of subtle racism that still infects Republican rhetoric forty years after Nixon invented the Southern Strategy. No more talk about "real Americans," OK?

Exception Two: Dubya has been a massive drag on the party politically for the last three years. But it's time, or it will be eventually, to recognize him not as an inept president but as a president who presided with an impressive record of successes in extremely difficult times.

We're thinking about this Future of Republicanism thing. We ruminate on expressions like "opportunity," "responsibility," "self-determination," "economic enfranchisement," "environmental realism," "efficiency," "human dignity," "global democracy," and "international vigilance" as objects of hope versus fear. Governor Jindal will need a thoughtful platform and a clear way to speak about it when he runs against President Obama in 2012.


Anonymous said...

The "extremely difficult time" is easy to describe... Just to name the ones that come to mind:

A stream of corporate scandals, the implosion of Nasdaq, the Al Qaeda attacks, the 12th security council resolution defied by Saddam, oil prices surging due to OPEC & increased demand in emerging markets, the trade deficit exacerbated by Chinese currency manipulation & our own labor unions who make US companies less competitive, New Orleans’ precarious location + inadequate infrastructure & mayor, and finally, a credit crisis & housing bubble stimulated by pre-W subprime “affordable housing” mandates + Fannie/Freddie's foolishness & disregard for financial transparency & reformlessness, thanks to Frank/Dodd + the ingenuity of Bear Stearn types + the Fed’s poor handling of interest rates.

But the successes? The ones that come to mind are: thwarted terrorist attacks, and a free and mostly peaceful, if still unstable, Iraq. But social security reform went nowhere and the unsustainable prescription drug benefit has only added trillions in obligations to the tens of trillions we already have no plan to cover in a few decades. North Korea and Iran are much closer to their goals. Neither “No Child” nor DHS is, to my knowledge, a resounding success.

BrianBop said...

Not to be pedantic, but shouldn't this title actually be "Whither GOP?" If not, why not?

Jon A. Alfred E. Michael J. Wile E. SWNID said...

It's ok to be pendantic when you're right. And you are. We will correct our barbaric usage forthwith.

JB in CA said...

Given last night's performance, I'd say "Wither the GOP" is a more accurate title.

Bryan D said...

ditto jb—I actually thought SWNID was being punny.

JB in CA said...

Or maybe he was being Freudian and let one slip.