Support First Things by turning your adblocker off or by making a  donation. Thanks!

1. I don’t know how to write a book, but if I were to write a book on the 2012 primary season, it would argue something like this: Critics of the Republican “base” considered Republicans to be invincibly ignorant, easily manipulated  yokels and many of the candidates for the Republican presidential nomination seemed to agree. The difference was that the liberal critics used their “analysis” of Republican primary voters as a jumping off point to insult and dismiss them. The Republican candidates used that analysis to run campaigns to flatter the Republican base while insulting the intelligence of the Republican primary voter. But it turned out that Republican primary and caucus voters (as distinct from poll respondents) were much more thoughtful and responsible than either their attackers or flatters supposed. If the Republican primaries produced a suboptimal result (and I think it did), the fault lies with the party leadership rather than the followership. Republican primary voters listened closely to what the candidates had to say and did very well with the choices they were given.

2. I don’t think Romney’s proposal to cut income taxes by 20% across the board is good policy or even good politics. I don’t think Romney proposed this policy in earnest. But since the Obama campaign and its media allies have been accusing Romney of lying about his tax cut, and that Romney’s tax cut plan would either require increasing the deficit or raising taxes on the middle-class. Well, it turns out that the Obama is lying and that is allies are either lying with him or ignorant. Now I think that a serious analysis of all the “base broadening” it would take to make Romney tax cut plan revenue neutral is the real political weakness of the plan. How much is Romney planning to cut the deductions for health insurance, mortgage interest and municipal bonds and what would be the impact of such base broadening on lots of people? there are solid political (if not always economic or moral) reasons the tax codes looks the way it does. Just the same, I hope Ryan shoves the Princeton study down Biden’s throat later this week.

More on: Politics

Comments are visible to subscribers only. Log in or subscribe to join the conversation.



Filter First Thoughts Posts

Related Articles