blueollie

Reform Republicans and the Democratic primary

Reform Republicans: Paul Krugman recommended Ross Douthat’s rebuke to a column which argued that the Republcians ought to resist reforms that might make them more palatible to the working class.

Krugman writes:

After all, what is the modern GOP? A simple model that accounts for just about everything you see is that it’s an engine designed to harness white resentment on behalf of higher incomes for the donor class.

What we call the Republican establishment is really a network of organizations that represent donor interests because they’re supported by donor money. These organizations impose ideological purity with a combination of carrots and sticks: assured support for politicians and pundits who toe the line, sanctions against anyone who veers from orthodoxy — excommunication if you’re an independent thinking pundit, a primary challenge from the Club for Growth if you’re an imperfectly reliable politician.

To a very casual observer, it may look as if this movement infrastructure engages in actual policy analysis and discussion, but that’s only a show put on for the media. Can you even imagine being unsure how a Heritage Foundation study on any significant issue will come out? The truth is that the right’s policy ideas haven’t changed in decades. Paul Ryan’s innovative idea on Medicare — let’s replace it with vouchers! — is the same proposal Newt Gingrich offered in 1995.

So why are we seeing a crackup of this system now? It’s not because events have called the orthodoxy into question; that has never mattered in the past. On the contrary, failed predictions have never caused even the slightest change in claims: the same people who predicted that Bill Clinton’s 1993 tax hike would kill jobs and that Obamacare would be an economic disaster are making confident predictions about the salutary effects of tax cuts now.

The problem, instead, seems to be demography — an increasingly diverse population means that the party needs to go beyond white resentment, but the resentful whites are having none of it. Oh, and the base never cared about the ideology.

Krugman does take shots at the Democrats, but at least the Democrats acknowledge that we really are a lose confederation of interest groups, and the various interest groups ARE interested in serious policy analysis, at least as far as it concerns the group in question.

Read Douthat’s article; at least the snark is amusing:

What it says is that the Journal has its eyes on the real enemy here. Say what you will about Trump’s protectionist “Bush lied, people died” white identity politics, at least he didn’t endorse a larger child tax credit:

Democrats Yeah, we are seeing an insane “Bernie or bust” faction among some of the liberals. And let’s face reality: he might well win Wisconsin but his path to winning a majority of pledged delegates is very, very narrow.

April 1, 2016 - Posted by | political/social, politics, politics/social, republicans, republicans politics | ,

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