Couple of good pieces up today about where the GOP went wrong, and how it needs to change. First, here’s TAC’s Wick Allison, telling the Republican Party that it should get over its tax-cuts-for-millionaires shibboleth. Excerpt:
A capital gains tax rate (making money off money) that is lower than the earned income rate (making money off work) is just not fair. Bestowing that rate on hedge-fund managers through a specially designed loophole is just not fair. Allowing the rich to take mortgage deductions for second and third homes, or for homes worth over $1 million, is just not fair. Allowing business owners like me to take myriad deductions that our employees cannot take is just not fair. But, most of all, allowing the wealthy to pay very low tax rates while interest on the war debt accumulates, deficits continue, and middle-class incomes deteriorate is just not fair.
Ross Douthat made related points in his great column yesterday, the discussion of which on this site got lost in whether or not my businessman friend was being fair, truthful, or merely Satanic. Excerpt from Douthat’s:
At the same time, a Republican Party that moves too far leftward on immigration risks alienating its white working-class supporters, an easily disillusioned constituency whose support the party cannot take for granted. These voters already suspect that Republican elites don’t have their interests at heart: Mitt Romney lost last week because he underperformed among minority voters, but also because a large number of working-class whites apparently stayed home. If the party’s only post-2012 adjustment is to embrace amnesty, they aren’t likely to turn out in 2016 either.
What the party really needs, much more than a better identity-politics pitch, is an economic message that would appeal across demographic lines — reaching both downscale white voters turned off by Romney’s Bain Capital background and upwardly mobile Latino voters who don’t relate to the current G.O.P. fixation on upper-bracket tax cuts.
Over at theocon flagship First Things, R.R. Reno’s post-election musings contains this:
Warmed over New Deal “solutions” to the economic pressures and suffering caused by globalization won’t work. In fact, they’ll make the situation worse, because market interventions, protectionism, and social spending garble the market signals that we all need to hear in order to make the sorts of decisions necessary to navigate successfully through the process of globalization.
But all that is very academic when you go to the voting booth. If I were a high school-educated male who has recently lost his job at manufacturing plant, I’d roll my eyes at promises about how the free market, if given a chance, will heal itself and resume it’s job-creating function. Whose to say those jobs will be in Youngstown, or suitable for me? Social issues aside, I’d vote for Obama.
Yes, yes, his promises are probably empty (green jobs?). But if I’m about to be executed, I’d vote for the guy who promises a stay, even if I suspect that he’s probably not able to deliver. Who knows, he might. The guy who says that we need executions in order to have a vibrant, market-oriented economy? (That’s what “creative destruction” means when we come down from 30,000 feet and actually look at communities and individuals.) Are you kidding?
Reno says that the Republican Party lacks an ethic of “solidarity,” and that Catholic social thought can help them think through this.