Momentum shifting to economic populism in the GOP?

posted at 2:41 pm on April 15, 2014 by Ed Morrissey

In the wake of the disappointing 2012 election cycle, the Republican Party did an extensive amount of soul-searching, and not just on tactics. Bobby Jindal warned that the GOP had to stop being “the stupid party” in its messaging, but Jindal and others argued that the problem ran much deeper, in losing touch with the majority of Americans on economic policy. “We are a populist party,” Jindal declared in January 2013, “and need to make that clear.”

The Daily Beast’s Patricia Murphy says the message has been assimilated, and that the younger generation of Republican leaders are advancing conservative populism in the 2014 cycle:

While all of the speakers came armed with their own plans for how the GOP can win over Americans and retake the White House in 2016, Cruz and Paul in particular took noticeably populist paths to get there. Cruz argued that the wildly wealthy have thrived during the Obama years, while the people suffering the most have been a collection of groups that elected the president in the first place.

“It’s young people. It’s Hispanics. It’s African-Americans. It’s single moms,” Cruz said, listing the victims he sees in the Obama economy. “The rich and powerful, those who walk the corridors of power, are getting fat and happy under the Obama economic agenda.  The top 1%, the millionaires and billionaires who the president loves to demagogue, they earn a higher share of our national income than any time since 1928.”

Cruz called for a “growth and opportunity” agenda that would help people like his own father, who came to the United States from Cuba to flee the Castro regime, and finally took a job washing dishes to support his family.

Rand Paul’s brand of populism went deeper than Cruz’s opportunity pitch, wrapping in quotes from Martin Luther King, calling for justice in mandatory minimum sentences and laying out a strategy to win voters over from the Democrats by talking to people Republicans usually talk past—the unemployed, disadvantaged and struggling.

Conservative populism isn’t really all that new, and it wasn’t invisible in the 2012 cycle either. Murphy recalls that Rick Santorum talked about blue-collar economics in his 2012 campaign book Blue Collar Conservatives, and campaigned on that theme, warning about being too associated with Wall Street in his primary fight with Mitt Romney. Tim Pawlenty didn’t make it out of Ames, but he also aimed at Main Street with his talk about “Sam’s Club Republicans” and the need to craft an economic agenda that addressed them directly rather than relying entirely on trickle-down theories.

Instead, the party chose Romney and his track record of executive success, believing that voters would see Romney as a steady hand at the rudder who would encourage investment that would benefit everyone through rapid economic growth. While that’s a fair estimation of Romney’s actual economic approach, it got buried under Romney’s “47 percent” remarks that tended to validate all of the suspicions laid out by Team Obama over Romney’s wealth.

Others who attended the New Hampshire conference, sponsored by Citizens United and Americans for Prosperity, saw the narrative somewhat differently. Both Chris Moody from Yahoo and McKay Coppins from Buzzfeed believe that economic populism will crowd out social conservatism in 2016, if not 2014. Coppins thinks that social conservatism has been marginalized already:

At a conservative conference Saturday billed as the“unofficial start” to the 2016 Republican primaries, right-wing heroes Ted Cruz, Rand Paul, and Mike Huckabee competed for activists’ attention with ready-made messages for the movement, replete with Obamacare-bashing, foreign policy tough talk, and more than a few NSA phone-hacking jokes.

Conspicuously missing from their pitches: social issues.

In a sign of just how marginalized the religious right has become within the Republican Party, not one of the Great Right Hopes positioning themselves for presidential bids at the New Hampshire Freedom Summit — an event sponsored by Citizens United and the Koch-funded Americans For Prosperity — tried to rally the crowd with condemnations of same-sex marriage, or abortion. And when reporters asked the prospective candidates about these issues, the replies that came back were feeble and vague, and studded with rhetoric about the importance of big-tent Republicanism.

Coppins notes that the most prominent of the Republican social conservatives, Mike Huckabee, kept downplaying the agenda in favor of unity on economic policy. In my column for The Week, though, I point out that this is what’s known as tailoring a message for an audience — and that Huckabee had a different message just a few days earlier:

Well, don’t necessarily call social conservatism dead on these counts. First, the conference took place in New Hampshire, not exactly a hotbed for social conservatism in the best of times for the Right, and its sponsors tend to favor economic issues over social ones anyway. Furthermore, Huckabee’s argument doesn’t go as far as either Coppins or Moody suggest. Huckabee didn’t argue to put social conservatism on ice as much as he urged the GOP to prioritize economics. It wasn’t that long ago that Huckabee argued that “our greatest trouble will be if we turn our backs on God” rather than on taxes or corruption.

In fact, it was just a week ago — at the Iowa Faith & Freedom Coalition Spring Kickoff in Waukee. At this event in another critical 2016 primary state, the former Arkansas governor did emphasize a need to oppose “cronyism that exists between the powers of Washington and the powers of Wall Street,” but didn’t exactly stay silent on same-sex marriage either. Rejecting calls that momentum on this issue had eluded the GOP, Huckabee insisted that Republicans still needed to stick to their guns despite criticisms that they were on the wrong side of history. “This is the right side of the Bible,” Huckabee said, “and unless God rewrites it, edits it and sends it down with his signature on it, it’s not my book to change.”

Much of the pivot away from social conservatism in New Hampshire comes from tailoring a message to a specific audience. Republican candidates won’t campaign in Iowa the way they do in New Hampshire, and will emphasize different parts of the GOP platform depending on whether they are speaking to a fiscal-policy conference or the Values Voters Summit. …

Parties do not win elections through subtraction and division. And by rejecting its energetic social-conservative base, the GOP would be doing just that.

I’ll be discussing this with Chris Moody on today’s Ed Morrissey Show, which starts at 4 ET. Be sure to tune in!


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When asked about social policy, Republicans running for national office should have a pat answer: I believe the tenth amendment pushes such issues down to the state level. Congress has no business creating a one-size-fits-all policy and I will vote against any legislation on this subject unless its aim is to push it out of DC and back to the states where it belongs.

Occams Stubble on April 15, 2014 at 2:53 PM

the conference took place in New Hampshire, not exactly a hotbed for social conservatism in the best of times for the Right, and its sponsors tend to favor economic issues over social ones anyway.

Worth noting

jake-the-goose on April 15, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Republicans should have long time ago waged war against Wall Street bankers because most of them are crony capitalists and most of them are limousine liberals… Wall Street is now anti-Capitalist and under the control of super hypocrite limousine liberals who are making incredible amount of money by threatening the destruction of the markets if the Federal Reserves do not keep printing trillions of dollars to buy their toxic assets and keep lending them money at zero interest so they lend it to their customers at much higher interests…

mnjg on April 15, 2014 at 2:54 PM

Congress has no business creating a one-size-fits-all policy

Occams Stubble on April 15, 2014 at 2:53 PM

This – many times this

jake-the-goose on April 15, 2014 at 2:54 PM

I’d like to see a good working, widely accepted and understood definition of populism. Or is it just another political buzzword of the day?

Also, I recommend this excellent post by Bryan Preston:

Rebuttal to Another ‘Why Won’t the Social Conservatives Just Shut Up?’ Post

The First Amendment is already under assault, by the way, via Obamacare. And it’s under threat in the marriage issue too. So surrendering on that issue threatens to gut our fundamental rights as Americans. Beware of ripple effects….

Let’s take but one issue that’s before the courts right now. Who is challenging Obamacare and on what grounds? Are the libertarians waging lawfare against it? Not effectively, but the Green family and the Catholic Church are. Who are they? Social conservatives. They’re fighting one of the most egregious assaults on personal liberty in a century, on religious freedom grounds. And they have the best standing chance of at least rolling back Obamacare’s attack on religious conscience — an attack, by the way, that libertarians mostly ignore. If they win, though, some measure of liberty will be restored — without the help of libertarians. Hm.

INC on April 15, 2014 at 2:54 PM

How does Rand Paul’s so-called populism fit in with his pro-amnesty position?

VIDEO: Pro-illegal alien amnesty Rand Paul shows his utter contempt for those who want immigration laws enforced:
http://youtu.be/pxQjlS7JwMo

bluegill on April 15, 2014 at 2:54 PM

After five years of Obama recovery it is not surprising to see them focus on economics. I can’t think of much else, these days.

jffree1 on April 15, 2014 at 2:55 PM

the conference took place in New Hampshire, not exactly a hotbed for social conservatism in the best of times for the Right, and its sponsors tend to favor economic issues over social ones anyway.

Worth noting

jake-the-goose on April 15, 2014 at 2:53 PM

The biggest lie is that Republicans are running on social issues… They did not do so since in 2008, 2010, and 2012… The only people running on social issues such as homosexual marriage and abortion are liberals…

mnjg on April 15, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Good luck building a strong and healthy country without strong and healthy families. It won’t happen. What are called social conservative issues are conservative issues and they are foundational to the health of our Republic.

INC on April 15, 2014 at 2:56 PM

Conservative populism isn’t really all that new, and it wasn’t invisible in the 2012 cycle either.

Oh yeah, that was the thing HotAir was ragging on over and over.

vlad martel on April 15, 2014 at 2:56 PM

If I lived in Kentucky-I’d vote for his reelection as senator,but as far as Rand’s presidential aspirations go-he’s on my ‘If he’s the nominee I’m skipping the top of the ticket and only voting the down ticket’ list.
He starting to show ‘colors’ that are way too similar to Herr Dokctor’s.

annoyinglittletwerp on April 15, 2014 at 2:59 PM

When asked about social policy, Republicans running for national office should have a pat answer: I believe the tenth amendment pushes such issues down to the state level. Congress has no business creating a one-size-fits-all policy and I will vote against any legislation on this subject unless its aim is to push it out of DC and back to the states where it belongs.

Occams Stubble on April 15, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Amen

Roy Rogers on April 15, 2014 at 3:03 PM

When asked about social policy, Republicans running for national office should have a pat answer: I believe the tenth amendment pushes such issues down to the state level. Congress has no business creating a one-size-fits-all policy and I will vote against any legislation on this subject unless its aim is to push it out of DC and back to the states where it belongs.

Occams Stubble on April 15, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Exactly! I’ve been saying this for years.

Good luck building a strong and healthy country without strong and healthy families. It won’t happen. What are called social conservative issues are conservative issues and they are foundational to the health of our Republic.

INC on April 15, 2014 at 2:56 PM

I agree, to a point. Strong, healthy families are important but where social conservatives lose me is when they insist that “strong, healthy” families mean “heterosexual, Christian” families. I completely disagree. You can have a strong, healthy family with two moms or two dads, and you can have truly awful heterosexual Christian families. I don’t begrudge anyone their religious beliefs, but when you start trying to push them on me, or people who don’t want them, I don’t see any difference between that and the “tolerance” gestapo pushing their morality on other people.

Cyhort on April 15, 2014 at 3:03 PM

That’s not “economic populism” that’s going after minorities and immigrants at the cost of abandoning your own base. Because all the white guys in the GOP think that Obama’s message and DNC policy was the reason he was re-elected. Selling the base the same snake oil as the DNC and thinking they’ll win like Obama is… Stupid.

The federal government cannot fix minority issues which are local and inevitably caused by chokehold DNC control of city governments. The GOP MUST win minority communities inside of states first edits they can ever hope of trying to “buy” them at the federal level and I dot see that happening.

I just see my viewpoints being waylaid because my opinion doesn’t count… And trust me… I’ll keep that in mind next election.

Skywise on April 15, 2014 at 3:06 PM

Occams Stubble on April 15, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Bravo!

bazil9 on April 15, 2014 at 3:07 PM

Cyhort on April 15, 2014 at 3:03 PM

2 daddies or 2 mommies is a deviant family that is not healthy for children-it’s certainly NOT a strong family!

annoyinglittletwerp on April 15, 2014 at 3:08 PM

“It’s the economy, stupid!”

WaldoTJ on April 15, 2014 at 3:14 PM

There was nothing wrong with the Conservative position in the first place. Why all this “soul searching” was necessary is a mystery to me. The only “soul searching” that needs to be done is to get rid of false Conservatives.

WhatSlushfund on April 15, 2014 at 3:14 PM

What are called social conservative issues are conservative issues and they are foundational to the health of our Republic.

INC on April 15, 2014 at 2:56 PM

That^

Mimzey on April 15, 2014 at 3:18 PM

It’s not the GOP or even Social Conservatives who bring up the social issues at election time. It’s the Democrats and you can be sure that questions about the social issues will be at the very top of their list in 2016. All candidates better figure out how they are going to handle those questions. It’s not in their power to avoid them.

rhombus on April 15, 2014 at 3:19 PM

How does Rand Paul’s so-called populism fit in with his pro-amnesty position?

bluegill on April 15, 2014 at 2:54 PM

The New York City cab driver explained that quite well when he said, “You can’t get there from here”.

VorDaj on April 15, 2014 at 3:20 PM

I completely disagree. You can have a strong, healthy family with two moms or two dads

I will agree with you when you can tell me how the above can procreate through a natural biological process found in nature.

Otherwise the above is an abomination not found in nature, meaning even evolution has not found a way around the one man and one woman requirement for homo sapien-sapien reproduction.

Skwor on April 15, 2014 at 3:22 PM

The answer isn’t found in Washington DC

workingclass artist on April 15, 2014 at 3:23 PM

Cyhort on April 15, 2014 at 3:03 PM

I’m with you that they don’t necessarily have to be Christian or even religious but the studies show over and over that you’ve gotta have a mom and a dad if you want your kids to turn out right.

Occams Stubble on April 15, 2014 at 3:24 PM

Instead, the party chose Romney and his track record of executive success, believing that voters would see Romney as a steady hand at the rudder who would encourage investment that would benefit everyone through rapid economic growth. While that’s a fair estimation of Romney’s actual economic approach, it got buried under Romney’s “47 percent” remarks that tended to validate all of the suspicions laid out by Team Obama over Romney’s wealth.

Unfortunately, too many equate a belief in a free market with a belief in big business. Big business, on the other hand, is not necessarily in favor of free markets. And those in big corporations often have no particular appreciation for the economics that matter to most people, being perfectly comfortable with simply accommodating the demands of big government.

And so we have Romney’s executive success in a huge investment firm being misinterpreted as a sign of conservatism. While he was certainly more conservative than Obama, who isn’t? He proved completely incapable of asserting economic principles that appeal to the majority of the country.

For all that Santorum was attacked as a ‘so-con,’ the fact remains that he had a superior view of the economy and ability to articulate it than the icon of business, Mitt Romney.

It’s almost like social conservatives are more fiscally conservative than fiscal conservatives, and better on national security than national security conservatives.

There Goes the Neighborhood on April 15, 2014 at 3:25 PM

The one thing that hardly gets mentioned with social issues is that SSM and abortion are very different politically. I support SSM, but even if I didn’t, that wouldn’t change the fact that the ground has majorly shifted on the issue and that an outspokenly anti-SSM GOP would suffer more and more for such a position with each new election cycle. On the other hand, pro-life is not a liability to the GOP, esp when communicated in the right way. I don’t think the GOP should stress the abortion issue, but there’s no reason to run from it either. Just be economic conservatives who happen to be proudly pro-life.

MinnesotaSlinger on April 15, 2014 at 3:28 PM

The Democrats must be made to be the party of big government, big labor, and big business; in other words, the status quo party, the party which protects entrenched interests at the expense of the average American.

In Europe, every ‘mainstream’ party is a status quo party insofar as they never challenge the basic political/economic superstructure of their nation and are bought and paid for by those who benefit from it: union bosses and members, government bureaucrats and functionaries, and the leadership of major corporations. This is what has been happening in America as the government has grown; from it springs the power and privilege of the other status quo groups. The interests of the government, the unions, and the largest corporations have become paramount, mainly with the Dems but in many ways among Republicans in recent years. Everything else which Dems run on: womens issues, immigration, racism, social programs, etc. is window dressing to fool the idiot masses into ignoring those who truly control and benefit from the party(at their expense).

Republicans simply cannot compete in this cynical game any longer due to shifting demographic and cultural realities and must therefore extricate themselves from it, instead positioning themselves as the party which challenges this atrocious state of affairs. Tell the sheeple what is actually happening and enough of them will come to their senses to ensure an R win in 2016.

Republicans for their part must also make a clear distinction between support for free markets and support for big business, as the conflation of the two has been hurting the party’s credibility on economic issues among the working class which it now needs to win national elections. One could easily say that in today’s crony capitalist world, to be pro big-business is to be against free markets, as big business’s chief desire is to maintain its privileged position of wealth, power, and influence at the expense of its smaller competition.

If this strategy is pursued correctly it would lead not only to a Republican election victory but a fracturing of the Democrat coalition as its constituent parts become disillusioned with their party. Of all the Republican candidates, I feel that Paul is the best positioned to exploit this potential chink in the left’s electoral armor.

Cornell Conservative on April 15, 2014 at 3:51 PM

I’m with you that they don’t necessarily have to be Christian or even religious but the studies show over and over that you’ve gotta have a mom and a dad if you want your kids to turn out right.

Occams Stubble on April 15, 2014 at 3:24 PM

That’s still no reason to outlaw gay adoption or deny marriage benefits to same-sex couples. If there’s no mother figure or father figure in the family, you can stress the need for positive role models for the gender in question.

Bottom line is: we have to win votes. And in the modern real world, we’re gonna have to win them by being more inclusive and offering inclusive policies (that still shrink government). If you think that millions of young voters are gonna suddenly have a change of heart and either leave their same-sex relationships or shun their gay friends, and thus be attracted to the social conservative status quo, you better get used to the wilderness.

TMOverbeck on April 15, 2014 at 4:01 PM

… and we walk right into the trap again…..yes, a mom and a dad who are loving and supportive may be better than two mommies or two daddies. However, two mommies or two daddies who love each other would seem to trump a mom a dad from a dysfunctional or abusive family… and who decides what’s deviant? As soon as you start pushing your moral code that is based on religion, we are headed down the infighting path that the left loves so much to see us headed towards. Leave most social issues to the states. Leave it out of the discussion. We can win on economics.

argusx2002 on April 15, 2014 at 4:02 PM

When asked about social policy, Republicans running for national office should have a pat answer: I believe the tenth amendment pushes such issues down to the state level. Congress has no business creating a one-size-fits-all policy and I will vote against any legislation on this subject unless its aim is to push it out of DC and back to the states where it belongs.

Occams Stubble on April 15, 2014 at 2:53 PM

Hear hear!!

JohnGalt23 on April 15, 2014 at 4:03 PM

There was nothing wrong with the Conservative position in the first place. Why all this “soul searching” was necessary is a mystery to me.

WhatSlushfund on April 15, 2014 at 3:14 PM

I’m guessing you gazed over the two national elections where the GOP lost to a socialist/corporatist candidate by fairly large margins, resulting in a policy that put control of 1/6 more of our national economy under control of the USG.

What? Newspapers weren’t delivered those days…?

JohnGalt23 on April 15, 2014 at 4:09 PM

When asked about social policy, Republicans running for national office should have a pat answer: I believe the tenth amendment pushes such issues down to the state level. Congress has no business creating a one-size-fits-all policy and I will vote against any legislation on this subject unless its aim is to push it out of DC and back to the states where it belongs.

This is well and good with most of the social issues. However, just like with slavery, abortion is a grave abomination perpetrated on human beings, and there should be a federal constitutional amendment prohibiting it. And if that kills us on election day, so be it.

bossmanham on April 15, 2014 at 4:10 PM

I’m guessing you gazed over the two national elections where the GOP lost to a socialist/corporatist candidate by fairly large margins, resulting in a policy that put control of 1/6 more of our national economy under control of the USG.

I think this has more to do with party affiliation and the fact that people were sick of George Bush. The ignorant reactionary masses wanted anything bun a rebub in office after that. I don’t think most people are thoughtful enough to give much energy toward which economic policy actually works best.

bossmanham on April 15, 2014 at 4:12 PM

Wow, Patricia Murphy, Chris Moody, and McKay Coppins say social conservatives will be marginalized?

Stop the presses! We have an EXTRA!

These hacks hate social conservatives. Their words aren’t analysis of anything real. They are merely putting their hopes and wishes down and imagining them true. Imagine there’s no heaven, it’s easy if you try . . .

Republicans have never stopped running on “economic populism” since at least Nixon’s “Silent Majority.” It’s the Democrats who falsely paint us as “the party of the rich.” And the new “frontrunner” for 2016 is evangelical fave Mike Huckabee. Which primary challenger to Lindsey Graham in SC is actually raising some money? The preacher from Upstate.

Only blithering morons take “analysis” from the likes of Murphy, Moody, and McCoppin seriously. You’ll have better results, if you must read their drivel, of just believing the exact opposite of what they believe and predict.

Adjoran on April 15, 2014 at 4:13 PM

The GOP needs other words besides growth, opportunity and free markets to win elections. Most people don’t want to open their own business. Most people see “free markets” as shipping jobs off to China. And “opportunity” for most people means getting promoted. As for “growth,” for the average voter, it means having a strong economy so you can get a better job and negotiate for a better raise.

We already have the self-starters worried about overbearing business regulations. We need to recapture the average working American. Social values can be useful, but we need to be smart about this. Most Americans are put off by the violence in video games, comedy TV shows at 8:30 PM that joke about anal sex, and the general level of nastiness of the urban culture that is so prized by liberals. The average voter is a lot less enthusiastic about being lectured about birth control.

bobs1196 on April 15, 2014 at 4:48 PM

The federal government cannot fix minority issues which are local and inevitably caused by chokehold DNC control of city governments. The GOP MUST win minority communities inside of states first edits they can ever hope of trying to “buy” them at the federal level and I dot see that happening.

Skywise on April 15, 2014 at 3:06 PM

One way that Republicans can win “minority” voters is by promoting school choice, allowing low-income parents to receive vouchers which they can use to send their children to private or charter schools, the way Governor Bobby Jindal did in Louisiana. Democrats oppose school vouchers because they have been bought by the public school teachers’ unions, who demand to continue throwing money at failing public schools, and an electorate full of uneducated adults will continue to vote Democrat. If Republicans offer a way for low-income children to get a good education and escape from poverty, their parents might decide to give them a try in the short-term, and their grateful children will vote Republican when they become old enough to vote.

We don’t need all the “minority” votes to win elections, or even a majority of them. We only need about 40% of them, so that we need to appeal to those intelligent enough to think beyond racism, Obamaphones and free goodies, and think about well-paying jobs for themselves and their children.

Steve Z on April 15, 2014 at 5:02 PM

The reason the GOPe lost in 08 and 12 was because of GOPe RINO candidates. How many times does the Repub party have to be told that 4 million of the Repub base stayed home in 12 because they wouldn’t vote for another squish? The problem with the GOPe is the GOPe.

neyney on April 15, 2014 at 5:14 PM

You can have a strong, healthy family with two moms or two dads, and you can have truly awful heterosexual Christian families. I don’t begrudge anyone their religious beliefs, but when you start trying to push them on me, or people who don’t want them, I don’t see any difference between that and the “tolerance” gestapo pushing their morality on other people.

Cyhort on April 15, 2014 at 3:03 PM

No, two moms or two dads is literally impossible. That’s nothing but the triumph of fantasy over reality. Children are the product of a father and mother, not of two fathers or of two mothers.

All you really wind up with in such a case is a father — and Father’s “partner.” Or a mother — and mother’s “partner.”

If you don’t have a man and a woman, you don’t have a marriage. All the wishful thinking in the world won’t change that.

And by the the way, that’s not even a religious statement. It’s just a reflection of basic biology. Two men cannot sexually reproduce. Two women cannot sexually reproduce.

Which is why Scripture refers to such relationships as ‘unnatural.’ It’s more than just contrary to Christian doctrine. It’s contrary to the way we are made.

There Goes the Neighborhood on April 15, 2014 at 5:41 PM

I agree, to a point. Strong, healthy families are important but where social conservatives lose me is when they insist that “strong, healthy” families mean “heterosexual, Christian” families. I completely disagree. You can have a strong, healthy family with two moms or two dads, and you can have truly awful heterosexual Christian families. I don’t begrudge anyone their religious beliefs, but when you start trying to push them on me, or people who don’t want them, I don’t see any difference between that and the “tolerance” gestapo pushing their morality on other people.

Cyhort on April 15, 2014 at 3:03 PM

Children could possibly grow up normal and healthy with two homosexual parents, but it’s not an optimal arrangement and pretending that it is, is foolish. This is especially the case with a boy with two female parents, or a girl with two male parents. Those are recipes for disaster. Young boys in our country have enough of a problem with the lack of males in schools, having no male parent at home for a role model practically guarantees the child will have development problems.

This is no different from the accepted argument that a single-parent family is not optimal, and this is not about religion. I believe this and am not a religious person, only a common-sense person.

slickwillie2001 on April 15, 2014 at 5:42 PM

There was nothing wrong with the Conservative position in the first place. Why all this “soul searching” was necessary is a mystery to me.

WhatSlushfund on April 15, 2014 at 3:14 PM

I’m guessing you gazed over the two national elections where the GOP lost to a socialist/corporatist candidate by fairly large margins, resulting in a policy that put control of 1/6 more of our national economy under control of the USG.

What? Newspapers weren’t delivered those days…?

JohnGalt23 on April 15, 2014 at 4:09 PM

So you pour contempt over the idea that conservatives can win by pointing two … John McCain and Mitt Romney?

Go back to the drawing board and find a couple of conservatives, first.

McCain was such a bad campaigner that he had to campaign with his VP pick in order to not be embarrassed by how much bigger her support was.

And Romney was called an Etch-a-Sketch for very good reason.

If you want to prove that conservatives lose, you have to at least have a couple of conservative examples. What McCain and Romney prove is that you can’t win election as a Republican if you’re not conservative.

There Goes the Neighborhood on April 15, 2014 at 5:48 PM

I’m with you that they don’t necessarily have to be Christian or even religious but the studies show over and over that you’ve gotta have a mom and a dad if you want your kids to turn out right.

Occams Stubble on April 15, 2014 at 3:24 PM

That’s still no reason to outlaw gay adoption or deny marriage benefits to same-sex couples. If there’s no mother figure or father figure in the family, you can stress the need for positive role models for the gender in question.

Bottom line is: we have to win votes. And in the modern real world, we’re gonna have to win them by being more inclusive and offering inclusive policies (that still shrink government). If you think that millions of young voters are gonna suddenly have a change of heart and either leave their same-sex relationships or shun their gay friends, and thus be attracted to the social conservative status quo, you better get used to the wilderness.

TMOverbeck on April 15, 2014 at 4:01 PM

Wow, that’s delusional.

There Goes the Neighborhood on April 15, 2014 at 5:59 PM

I’m guessing you gazed over the two national elections where the GOP lost to a socialist/corporatist candidate by fairly large margins, resulting in a policy that put control of 1/6 more of our national economy under control of the USG.

JohnGalt23 on April 15, 2014 at 4:09 PM

I’m guessing you glazed over the two national elections where the socialist/corporatist GOP candidate lost to an even more socialist/corporatist Democrat candidate by fairly large margins.

The GOP strategy for the last ten years has been to be more like the democrats in hopes to win some democrat votes. They have not pushed a conservative message at the national level since at least the mid-90s.

jya lai on April 15, 2014 at 7:11 PM

Leave it out of the discussion. We can win on economics.

argusx2002 on April 15, 2014 at 4:02 PM

Win what, exactly?

A country where Christians are shoved into the closet, sued out of business, and prevented from preaching what they believe on moral issues, is not a country I want to be a part of. I don’t care if the economy is booming.

Whether you want to admit it, or even see it yet, you will. The liberal left will not be content with ghey marriage. They will not be content with gender-neutral bathrooms and sex education for infants. They will not be content. Period. They will keep pushing you further and further and further into tyranny. The fact that you don’t value moral issues and think you can work a way to protect your economic principles while ignoring their assault on everyone else’s moral principles is self-delusion at its finest.

One comfort however, is that this artificial system will not last forever. Just look at France, which passed ghey marriage last year but it teetering on the edge economically and demographically thanks to the influx of Moslems, who are not amused by it. I hate to be alarmist, but ghey marriage is on borrowed time in France, thanks to the fact that the very people who pushed for it there refuse to have an effective immigration policy to protect their own selves. The same thing will repeat here.

JoseQuinones on April 15, 2014 at 8:19 PM

Politics is downstream from culture.

Social Cons lost the culture war before I was born, and have been waging a prolonged retreat ever since.

Why did they lose? For the same reason that the grandchildren of 1st generation wealth tend to squander that birthright. Shirtsleeves to shirtsleeves in 3 generations. So it is with America on a mass scale.

In the case of America, we are victims of our own success. When the consequences of being wrong are not sufficient to discourage someone from actually being wrong, well then people go around being wrong. And doing wrong, and living wrong, and all the rest, which the left continually encourages people do to and be.

The bill does come due eventually however, in the form of mass illegitimacy, destruction of the family, ignorance of the past, and no hope for the future. Welcome to America 2025.

Economic populism isn’t going to save us because it cannot address that which ails us. We’re not poor, we’re spiritually broken.

Worst of all, most damning in fact, Social Cons don’t actually have anything to offer that will change this. They’re too fixated on red herrings (abortion, gays) that the left created to distract them.

Congratulations social cons, the ship sank while you were busy arguing about the color of the curtains on deck, never giving the proper attention to the leftists in the bowels of the ship, drilling holes in the hull.

leereyno on April 16, 2014 at 5:55 AM

The Republican party is playing with fire if they think they do not need us who believe social issues are important…. Stupid leaders. WE vote Most young people do not…

Bullhead on April 16, 2014 at 12:09 PM