Carol Platt Liebau: Go the <i>Right</i> Way

Wednesday, May 31, 2006

Go the Right Way

Here's Jeff Jacoby today:

If they had wanted skyrocketing budgets, new federal bureaucracies, more regulation of political speech, and stalemates on immigration, energy, and Social Security, they say, they would have voted for Democrats. Instead they voted for Republicans -- and what did they get? Skyrocketing budgets, new federal bureaucracies, more regulation of political speech, and stalemates on immigration, energy, and Social Security.

Jacoby believes that the Republicans have ignored their base, to their ever-increasing political peril.

In contrast, David Hill advocates a strategy in which the Republicans would reach out to moderates and ticket-splitters. He notes that when Dole tried to appeal to the base with a big tax cut plan in 1996, many of those who would have benefited most didn't even bother to show up to vote.

Maybe so; but couldn't that have been because the tax cut plan was all that Dole did -- and it was clear that his heart wasn't in it? How 'bout if Dole had seemed actually to care about some conservative principles? And why would anyone trust moderates and ticket-splitters to turn out with the same vigor that an energized base would?

No one (here, at least) is advocating a lurch to the far, far right. But reasserting some solid conservative principles -- strong defense, limited government, traditional values -- and actually seeming to be sincere about them is the best way for the ever-more-panicky Republican politicians to go.

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Blogger Dr Faust said...

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