Double-Minded Republicans [or why Obama wins by a nose this November]
As he describes in greater detail in an excellent article over at NRO, “Obama is awful—no really, he is really really awful, read this here and see just how bad he is, he’s really bad” is not a good winning strategy—and unfortunately the Republicans don’t appear to offer much beyond that. Make certain you read the entire piece:
Certainly, the media, the academy, and most of our society’s major institutions are heavily influenced by progressives, if not outright controlled by them. It is therefore a given that elite opinion will portray Republicans as villains. Yet, that longstanding challenge for Republicans has never before been an insuperable one. In America, at least until now, the avant-garde has never been able to tame the public. It has always been possible to run against elite opinion and win — if you make a compelling counter-case.
Today’s Republicans do not. Indeed, they cannot, because they have accepted the progressive framework. Their argument is not that the welfare state, deficit spending, federalized education, sharia-democracy promotion, and the rest are bad policies. Their argument is not that Washington needs to be dramatically downsized. It is that progressive governance is fine but needs to be better executed.
Ain’t that something to rally around! The counter-case is supposed to demonstrate why the other guys are deeply wrong. You’re not going to get very far with “We’re not as bad as they say we are.”
It is hard to complain about Obama’s $5 trillion in new debt when you added $5 trillion just before he did. “Well, we took eight years and he took only four” is not exactly a response that stirs the soul — particularly when the country took two centuries to amass the first $5 trillion.
Then there’s Medicare, which the GOP has made a pivotal election issue. The problem with Medicare is not just that its current formula is unsustainable, or that Obama diverted a staggering amount of projected future spending on it into yet another bank-breaking entitlement. It is that the national government is innately incapable of running an entitlement program. Is the election about the side that grasps this versus the side for which enough is never enough? Surely you jest.
As constituted, our government offered two visions of “providing for the general welfare.” First is the Madisonian principle that Congress’s capacity to tax and spend is strictly limited to its enumerated powers — which do not include running social-welfare programs. The second is a Hamiltonian gloss, giving Congress additional latitude, provided that its schemes benefit all Americans equally — which would preclude welfare programs that take from A for the benefit of B.
Once you abandon these moorings, once you accept a wealth-redistribution system in which government becomes the arbiter of “social justice,” the ball game is over. If government is given license to even the scales between the have-nots and the haves, the political incentive to even them will be constant and overpowering: Enough will never be enough. If the rationale for giving government this power is that the asset in question is corporate property, not private, what is to be the limiting principle? Why health care but not housing or income? And when it comes to providing for the truly needy among 310 million people, central-government planners will simply never be as good at it as decent societies and their local governments. And so the allocation of burdens and benefits in federal entitlement programs is guaranteed to be warped, wasteful, and ultimately unsustainable.
Yet, no political party is making that case.
Share this story:
Recent Related Posts
- More from the IX Commandment beat
- Gay Marriage is to Govt. as is Study Hall to Academics
- Hey Anglicans, hearing the Benghazi testimony, how ‘bout that IX Commandment?
- Better headgear or wii to prevent terrorism
- Gay marriage ‘key factor’ in Tory Eastleigh defeat
- An Interesting Theory on Political Engagement from an SF Commenter
- Gentry Liberals and Brass Knuckles: The Case of Maureen Dowd
Are you reading this?
Advertising on Stand Firm works!
Click here for details.