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I’m still away from home and still having my linking issues, so here is the link for a Wall Street Journal article on attempts by the Republican establishment to strengthen its position within the party.

Read it and come back to me.  I’ll wait.

Some thoughts:

1.  Karl Rove spent $300 million dollars trying to beat Obama.  Maybe rather than trying to boss around Republican primary voters, Rove should spend more time trying to figure out how to win over our current population of persuadable general election voters.

2.  As Ramesh Ponnuru pointed out, 2012 was a bloodbath for Republican senatorial candidates of all factions.  Virginia’s George Allen and Wisconsin’s Tommy Thompson were both establishment favorites who went down to defeat.  The problem for all Republican factions is in the mirror.

3.  The WSJ article mentions that Republican leaders want to push child tax credits and flex time for workers.  Those ideas have been championed by Tea Party Senator Mike Lee.  I’m glad that the Republican establishment is focusing on middle-class concerns, but it was also the Republican establishment that spent the 2012 campaign focusing on the “you built that” valorization of high-earners (and so did the Tea Party - the problem is in the mirror).

4.  If the Republican establishment were interested in recruiting more Mike Lees (from the populist side) and Mitch Danielses (from the establishment side), then their current intervention might make sense.  My sense is that they are more interested in Chamber of Commerce stooges like this guy:

5.  If the Republican establishment really wants to be helpful, they could do something about the GOP’s huge disadvantage in field staffing.

Or the Republican establishment could invest in better understanding public opinion and finding more efficient ways to communicate with persuadable voters.

I suspect the first seems too much like work, and the second might yield uncongenial results for the current crop of establishment staffers and consultants (like hitting Democrats on late-term abortion is a more effective strategy than agitating for low-skill guest worker programs)


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