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  1. #471
    Sweet Ocean Cloud SD45T-2's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jonnyboy View Post
    I must not be on the left, because I think the breakdown of family and community is central to the problems we face going forward. Not only do insular lifestyles cause people to consume more resources, they also result in feelings of depression and in some cases probably contribute to these acts of violence we hear about. I also think tradition is an important aspect of a healthy society.

    Further evidence that I must not be on the left: I think that some minorities look for chances to play the race card and be offended. I also question the justification for affirmative action and promotion of "diversity."
    I've mentioned before that P. J. O'Rourke suggested a 4 party system; a party that is fiscally and socially liberal (like the Democratic Party), one that is fiscally and socially conservative (Republican), one that is fiscally conservative and socially liberal (kind of like the Libertarian Party), and one that is fiscally liberal and socially conservative.
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  2. #472
    Blah Orangey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD45T-2 View Post
    I've mentioned before that P. J. O'Rourke suggested a 4 party system; a party that is fiscally and socially liberal (like the Democratic Party), one that is fiscally and socially conservative (Republican), one that is fiscally conservative and socially liberal (kind of like the Libertarian Party), and one that is fiscally liberal and socially conservative.
    The only people in the latter party would be Lark and maybe a couple of pissed off Catholic-but-union-leaning types like you find in the Rust Belt.
    Artes, Scientia, Veritasiness

  3. #473
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    From Bloomberg:

    Blue States’ Fiscal Woes Test Obama

    The electoral map, the demographics behind President Barack Obama’s re-election and the high-end tax increases that were just wrung from the Republicans give Democrats reason to believe that long-term political trends are on their side in budget negotiations. This view, however, ignores what is happening at the state level.

    The fiscal outlook for many states is unsustainable. This eventually may influence the politics of the national budget, both directly (through battles over federal measures to help troubled states) and indirectly (through voters’ attitudes toward government).

    It may take a decade or more for this dynamic to take hold, but as leaders of both parties bargain over the debt ceiling and assess their strategies for deficit talks during Obama’s second term, they should also think about the path of state finances. The prospects should unnerve Democrats, in particular: The 26 states that Obama carried in November tended overwhelmingly to have lower credit ratings than the 24 where he lost.

    The most obvious examples are California and Illinois, two big states that are deep-blue politically and deep in the red fiscally. The pattern holds much more broadly, however, across the states that broke for Obama rather than the Republican nominee, former Massachusetts Governor Mitt Romney. To see this, imagine an electoral college in which each state’s worth, rather than being dependent on its population, was instead determined by the soundness of its Standard & Poor’s credit rating.

    Credit Ratings

    For easy comparison, the 50 states in this make-believe electoral college (which would exclude the District of Columbia) could be assigned a cumulative 538 points, equal to the total number of votes in its real-world counterpart. The 13 states with the highest rating, AAA, would get 15 points each, for example; those with the next best rating (AA+) would get 12 points each, and so on.

    Using this system, the states that Romney won would be sufficient to give him a strong victory in this imaginary electoral college: 278 to 260. A simpler system, which assigned each state from zero to five points depending on which of six S&P buckets it fell in, would also give a solid victory to Romney, 94 to 88. It would appear, then, that Obama, who won handily in both popular and electoral votes, did so largely by carrying states that are more poorly governed fiscally.

    To see the pattern another way, consider the type of state where each candidate racked up points in the real Electoral College. Romney got 73 percent of his electoral votes from 16 states that have either AAA or AA+ ratings from S&P; Obama received only 39 percent of his electoral votes from states with these two highest ratings, and those included swing states such as Florida, Ohio and Virginia. Instead, the bulk of the president’s electoral support -- 61 percent -- came from 14 financially weak states that he won handily. These states had credit ratings of AA or below and he won 13 of the 14 by at least five percentage points.

    To be sure, a few states that consistently trend Republican, such as Arizona and Kentucky, have lower credit ratings, too. Governance has also been divided in some states: as at the national level, voters will be treated to a debate in these capitals about whether high-spending Democrats or low- taxing Republicans are more to blame.

    Still, it is likely that the bluest states will disproportionately be the first to face serious fiscal stress over the next few decades. It will also be hard for high-tax states (the most Democratic ones) to solve the problem with revenue, because higher taxes could drive away companies and workers. And blaming the opposite party will be much tougher in states than at the federal level, where divided government and the swapping of party control in Congress and the White House mean both parties’ fingerprints are on the national budget.

    Permanent Majority

    Democrats will probably bear the brunt politically, therefore, as the public becomes increasingly concerned about widespread fiscal problems in many states. The credit-strained blue states thus represent a long-term threat to the permanent national majority that many Democrats believe they see emerging from the past two presidential elections. Both parties are likely to clash over state-budget issues at the national level, no matter what happens to federal taxes or health-care spending.

    One potential battle, as with the federal budget, is over how to measure the size of the mess. Many of these states have gotten into trouble using flawed accounting for public-sector pensions, a problem that Joshua Rauh, of Stanford University’s business school, has highlighted. This gimmick has allowed state politicians to make long-term promises to public-sector unions without having to admit that they are taking on huge liabilities through these spending commitments. Any federal effort to push states to account for these liabilities correctly would entail a political battle.

    Debates over limiting federal income-tax deductions also could involve state-budget politics, because taxpayers now get a federal break for state and local taxes. A provision in the new tax rules that Congress just passed reduces deductions for high- income households. This affects top earners in high-tax states, which tend to be Democratic, more than their counterparts in low-tax states. Efforts to eliminate or further restrict the tax break for states would also hurt the bluest ones disproportionately.

    Finally, because the most troubled states have unsustainable budgets, they will eventually face sharp spending cuts and tax increases if they don’t address their difficulties soon. This long-term problem will await them even if their budgets begin to look a little better in the short-term than they did at the depth of the recession. In 2009, the states’ budget crunch was so severe that the federal government chose to help them as part of the stimulus package. If continuing state-budget neglect leads to heavy austerity later on, the resulting economic pain may create strong political pressure for some type of federal bailout.

    As Congress and the president clash over the nation’s fiscal sustainability, they should be thinking clearly about how wayward states will affect the long-term federal budget. Voters could use a much better debate over state finances.
    Can't beat arithmetic.

  4. #474
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    Quote Originally Posted by SD45T-2 View Post
    I've mentioned before that P. J. O'Rourke suggested a 4 party system; a party that is fiscally and socially liberal (like the Democratic Party), one that is fiscally and socially conservative (Republican), one that is fiscally conservative and socially liberal (kind of like the Libertarian Party), and one that is fiscally liberal and socially conservative.
    That's just the two-axis political spectrum.



    It is a good/useful model.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    The only people in the latter party would be Lark and maybe a couple of pissed off Catholic-but-union-leaning types like you find in the Rust Belt.
    And George (W.) Bush.

    And Huckabee.

    And Hitler.


  5. #475
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    From a comment I made earlier today on a politico article:

    On a more serious note, the fiscal dilemmas facing the country as well as the much ballyhooed demographic shifts are already acting as a crucible by which the fat currently weighing down the Republican party is being cut (see Palin etc.). Given the needs of the moment, and changes in the emerging electorate, the Republican party that emerges from this period of soul searching will espouse the kind of principled rational conservatism (in the Burkean sense of the word) that keeps intelligent Liberals awake at night.

    The 2010's will be an exciting decade for politics, and I for one am excited for the future, in spite of or more appropriately because of the fact that I am a Republican.

    Obama's real mission this term, if he chooses not to, or can't deal with the unsustainable growth of spending, will be to push the consequences of not dealing with those problems beyond 2016.

    While the vast majority of the liberal commentariat on this site will whoop and holler in the afterglow of their electoral victory, and claim the war is over, smart conservatives like myself, are following the numbers, and sharpening our rhetorical skills.

    Enjoy your victory lap....

    Because on it's completion you will face a leaner meaner Republican party with a host of substantive economic arguments for which you will have no rejoinder.

  6. #476
    Senior Member KDude's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    And George (W.) Bush.

    And Huckabee.

    And Hitler.

    I'd compare it more to New Deal era America. Even if FDR wasn't Catholic. Or if you watch the West Wing, Pres Bartlett (a catholic FDR, played by a catholic actor with similar politics);

    GW Bush isn't fiscally liberal, domestically speaking. Which is what many of the Catholics @Orangey mentioned fall under. Bush just liked to waste a lot of money on wars foreign policy .

    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit View Post
    From a comment I made earlier today on a politico article:
    Getting rid of Palin and Rove are only the obvious things to do. It isn't much of a rebirth. And it won't be for some time because the base doesn't have a clue what's wrong beyond the obvious. And those who do know risk going elsewhere or being independent. I don't think there's going to be much "reinvention" from the inside, from soul searching, like you think. The base will stay in tact, and live in a bubble. Inside the bubble is some otherworldly hell where everyone eats Freedom Fries, where children worship GW Bush shrines at Jesus Camp, where even basic science and reality don't apply. Lewis Carroll couldn't even write this shit. You think it's going to change overnight?

  7. #477
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zarathustra View Post
    That's just the two-axis political spectrum.



    It is a good/useful model.



    And George (W.) Bush.

    And Huckabee.

    And Hitler.

    Quote Originally Posted by Orangey View Post
    The only people in the latter party would be Lark and maybe a couple of pissed off Catholic-but-union-leaning types like you find in the Rust Belt.
    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    I'd compare it more to New Deal era America. Even if FDR wasn't Catholic. Or if you watch the West Wing, Pres Bartlett (a catholic FDR, played by a catholic actor with similar politics);

    GW Bush isn't fiscally liberal, domestically speaking. Which is what many of the Catholics @Orangey mentioned fall under. Bush just liked to waste a lot of money on wars foreign policy .



    Getting rid of Palin and Rove are only the obvious things to do. It isn't much of a rebirth. And it won't be for some time because the base doesn't have a clue what's wrong beyond the obvious. And those who do know risk going elsewhere or being independent. I don't think there's going to be much "reinvention" from the inside, from soul searching, like you think. The base will stay in tact, and live in a bubble. Inside the bubble is some otherworldly hell where everyone eats Freedom Fries, where children worship GW Bush shrines at Jesus Camp, where even basic science and reality don't apply. Lewis Carroll couldn't even write this shit. You think it's going to change overnight?
    And Pat Buchanan. You can love him or hate him but he's an honest guy.

    The trouble is not just in the USA but in the whole world, those genuine patriotic folk, tend to get used in opposition by the traditional neoliberal/neo-con pro-oligopoly politicians (maybe the wrong term to use), and then spat out once the latter get into power.

  8. #478
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    Getting rid of Palin and Rove are only the obvious things to do. It isn't much of a rebirth.
    Really?

    Going from a place of, there is nothing wrong to, not only is something wrong but here are several people who exemplify the worst of our parties mistakes that we should exile from the party is a huge step. Many would like to paint this as mere window washing, but then again doing so supports their narrative of the unassailable rightness of the left, and more specifically, the lack value on the right.

    And it won't be for some time because the base doesn't have a clue what's wrong beyond the obvious.
    The base on both sides believe what they are told to believe by their echo chamber. Any real shift in the popular opinion of the base on either side, must take into account the fact that opinions change slowly (especially when you've been told one thing for years and years). Counteracting that kind of inertia within the opinions of the base is going to take more than a five minute meeting of the minds after an electoral defeat.

    And those who do know risk going elsewhere or being independent.
    The way Obama has been branding himself since the election hasn't really been the middle of the road strategy likely to attract independents.

    He doesn't have to worry about another election, and the Democrats don't have to face Republican opposition in a presidential race for another 4 years, so he's going to pull to the left and strike while the irons hot before we get close enough to 2016 for his liberal positions be hung like an albatross around the neck of the Democratic party generally.

    Lastly, I've found the election results to reflect a lack of enthusiasm for the Republican party rather than the klaxon call of a new Democratic era.

    We did more to lose the race, than the left did to win.

    I don't think there's going to be much "reinvention" from the inside, from soul searching, like you think.
    The fact that we've moved this far already doesn't really support your claim.

    The base will stay in tact, and live in a bubble. Inside the bubble is some otherworldly hell where everyone eats Freedom Fries, where children worship GW Bush shrines at Jesus Camp, where even basic science and reality don't apply. Lewis Carroll couldn't even write this shit. You think it's going to change overnight
    Like the way science doesn't apply to those who oppose nuclear energy?

    As I stated above I don't think its going to change overnight.

    Politics is a slow business measured in decades.

  9. #479
    IRL is not real Cimarron's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by KDude View Post
    GW Bush isn't fiscally liberal, domestically speaking.
    I think he would have been, if it were a mainstream ideology/party in the United States. It's just not part of the national political and social environment of the current U.S., and that lack of presence in discussion leads to it never congealing in many people's minds, nor making it an acceptable choice for a major politician.

    Also this is my opinion, too:
    Quote Originally Posted by DiscoBiscuit
    The base on both sides believe what they are told to believe by their echo chamber. Any real shift in the popular opinion of the base on either side, must take into account the fact that opinions change slowly (especially when you've been told one thing for years and years). Counteracting that kind of inertia within the opinions of the base is going to take more than a five minute meeting of the minds after an electoral defeat.
    The thing about a democratic society is that your political opponents number not in the dozens, but the millions. Most people believe in the cause they've constructed, and have helped each other believe in that cause.
    Last edited by Cimarron; 02-16-2013 at 07:47 PM. Reason: agreeing with an opinion
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  10. #480
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    An article on Republican Renewal by my favorite political writer Yuval Levin in The National Review:

    Republican Renewal

    Recent days have seen a spate of enlightening and encouraging writings about the direction that Republican domestic policy ought to take. They all share a crucial insight in common: that conservatives need to more carefully distinguish the means from the ends of their agenda to better apply their timeless principles and enduring goals to today’s and tomorrow’s policy challenges.

    In a superb essay in the latest issue of Commentary, Peter Wehner and Michael Gerson consider how Republicans have found themselves in their current predicament and suggest a path back to majority status that involves a combination of policy proposals and refinements of tone and emphasis. Both their diagnosis and their cure are well worth your while.

    In yesterday’s New York Times, Ramesh laid out the case for modernizing the right’s understanding of the country’s key economic challenges, and showed how enduring economic principles applied to new problems would result in new policy proposals and priorities rather than the same ones that worked in the 1980s. I long ago set up a keyboard shortcut on my computer for “I agree with Ramesh.” It saves a lot of time. But I think this op-ed is a particularly helpful encapsulation of the case for applying to new problems a set of ideas and ideals that have helped the country address some old problems but that conservatives have not sufficiently put to use because we have not sufficiently grappled with how America’s global position, cultural predicaments, tax policies, monetary policies, and economic arrangements have changed since the last major revolution in conservative policy thinking. I very much concur with his four specific examples of what a new reform agenda could involve—pro-family tax reform, consumer-driven health reform, monetary policy targeted to stable NGDP growth, and patent reform. (The list led me to conclude that National Affairs needs to publish an essay on intellectual-property reform, since we have published extensive and detailed discussions of what the other three could look like, e.g. here, here, and here, and of course Ramesh himself has written a great deal about them before too.)

    And here at NRO over the weekend, AEI’s James Pethokoukis had a piece about a few familiar conservative policy proposals—the flat tax, the balanced budget amendment, and the gold standard—that he believes might, at best, make much more sense in principle than in practice today, and that stand in the way of more practical and politically appealing reforms just now.

    Particularly in his discussion of how to think about the budget question, Pethokoukis gets at a key set of issues that the others generally didn’t take up: the immense fiscal imbalance of the federal budget, driven especially by the health-entitlement programs and calling for an intelligent mix of policy and political creativity. The relative dearth of discussion of that subject in these most welcome calls for renewal highlights another point to which I think they paid too little heed: the increasing presence in the Republican legislative agenda—at both the state and federal levels—of just the type of thinking they all hope to see.

    If you were writing a call for a revival of conservative policy thinking just two years ago, you probably would have started with the need for plausible and sophisticated health-entitlement reform. But in the intervening two years, thanks very largely to Paul Ryan and the House Republican budgets, congressional Republicans have backed a very plausible and sophisticated Medicare reform idea—a transformation of the system into a hybrid of defined-benefit and defined-contribution insurance that guarantees seniors comprehensive coverage (and even gives them the option of staying in a fee-for-service system) while trying out the most plausible path for the kind of major cost savings and productivity improvements that American health care will require in the coming years. They have endorsed (and essentially all voted for, rather amazingly) the best version of this approach—a premium-support system governed by a competitive bidding process—and have mounted a smart and effective political case in its defense. It’s not a perfect proposal, to be sure (most notably, we shouldn’t wait ten years to start it), but it’s an excellent one.

    That’s a very large change in the right direction in just the last two years. And the House budgets have included other important, if less prominent, changes too: in their general approach to tax reform, in their proposed transformation of the federal anti-poverty programs, and more. Those budgets have laid out in broad outlines a vision of conservative governance that speaks to some of today’s most significant economic problems. It hasn’t carried with it a corresponding transformation of Republican rhetoric around those issues, but it’s a serious start. Meanwhile, Republican governors have been advancing very promising ideas in education reform, tax reform, pension reform, tort reform, health care, and the relationships of states with public-sector unions. All of this is only a start too, to be sure, but it is a start, and it has happened in a very short time.

    This isn’t really to disagree with what Gerson, Wehner, Ponnuru, and Pethokoukis are proposing, of course, but it’s to suggest that the premise of their proposals is a bit too grim. There is a huge amount of work to be done to modernize the Republican domestic policy agenda, but that work is not simply pushing against decades of standing inertia: It certainly has some such pushing to do, but it can also build on several years of incremental but very encouraging progress among the politicians and on even more years of substantive and sophisticated laying of the ground by assorted experts, wonks, legislative staffs, and right-leaning academics around the country.

    Connecting that work to more concrete legislative proposals and backing it with political capital and engaging rhetoric in a way that will move the country will be no simple matter. It will above all require prominent champions, and especially a Republican presidential candidate—which is really what today’s advocates of a revival are trying to pave the way for, I would think. But it is a plausible and achievable task, and success is readily imaginable. The next Republican presidential candidate would probably have trouble finding policy advisors who won’t be on board with much of this kind of agenda.

    And that candidate will also find arrayed against him a Democratic Party far less capable of a similar essential retooling. The nature of their coalition and the costs of the ways they have chosen to wield their power in the age of Obama mean that the Democrats are unable to offer much of a growth agenda to the middle class. It’s certainly true that Republicans are clinging to some worn out ideas, but the Democrats suffer from a far worse version of the same problem. Addressing today’s slow growth would require modernizing our entitlement system and equipping the economy for vastly improved productivity and effectiveness, especially in energy, health-care, and education, and the Democrats just can’t go there. Modern is the last thing you’d call their agenda. They have just enacted a health-policy reform that is the epitome of the Great Society’s mid-1960s managerial mindset, and their solution to today’s slow growth roughly amounts to public works projects. They are surely better at talking about the plight of the modern middle class, and they try to throw various benefits at it and to tax the wealthy to soothe their consciences, but they stand opposed to the modernization that yesterday’s ill-designed public programs and tomorrow’s global economy call for. Indeed, on every one of these fronts they are actually far worse prepared for the policy challenges of the 21st century than the Democrats of the 1990s were.

    All of which is simultaneously encouraging and depressing. But I think it’s more of the former, and public arguments like those from Gerson, Wehner, Ponnuru, and Pethokoukis are high among the reasons.

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