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What’s Next for the GOP?

The GOP civil war this election year has been brutal, but the bloodletting is likely to intensify in the (likely) event of a Trump defeat on November 8, with various factions insisting that the drama of 2016 proved the soundness of their own view of what America’s right-of-center party should stand for.

In a book review of “The Upside of Inequality,” a supply-side economics polemic, TAI staff writer Jason Willick wades into this debate by cautioning against the GOP’s impulse to jettison economic populism altogether and return to the cut-taxes-for-the-wealthy-at-all-costs economics favored by the donor class. A taste, from the just released-issue of National Review (paywalled):

In this new book, Edward Conard — Romney’s longtime friend, business associate, and high-dollar fundraiser — has produced an extended defense of the economic philosophy that drove the Romney-Ryan campaign. And while the thrust of his argument — that inequality is a necessary condition for and by-product of economic growth in the 21st century — is correct, the book also serves as an inadvertent reminder of the profound flaws in the donor-class economic ideology that was a more significant force in pre-Trump Republican politics than we nostalgists sometimes remember. […]

This book is useful for displaying what Conard, despite his obvious intelligence and business acumen, fails to grasp: that attention to middle-class priorities is not optional in politics, that the GOP’s supply-side shibboleths can easily veer into self-serving moralism, and that, as journalist Michael Brendan Dougherty has said, “the market was made for man, and not man for the market.” In other words, if and when the Republican party recovers from crude Trumpian populism, it must be careful not to succumb to the plutocratic temptation that afflicted the last GOP campaign.

Read the whole thing.

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  • Anthony

    “The Republican establishment is by no means dead, but whatever comeback it stages in the 2020 election will depend…on finding a way to make what’s still, in terms of its organization and funding sources, the party of business a lot more appealing to the employee class.” http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-long-decline-of-the-republican-establishment

    And, “the 2016 election season is certain to launch a plethora of books explaining how Donald J. Trump won the Republican Party nomination for the presidency. They will be written by analysts and academics, sorting through data and trends that explain how a black swan candidacy could prove so successful.” https://home.isi.org/we-cant-go-home-again

  • Andrew Allison

    I suppose, since those on the left usually refer to anybody who has the temerity to question its shibboleths as a racist, we deplorables should be grateful that TAI merely considers us to be crude populists. This elitist claptrap is becoming tedious.

  • Tom

    The problem, to put it plainly, is this:
    The GOP does not seem to care about the poor, while the Democrats seem determined to enact policies that will keep the poor in that condition. The donor classes of both parties neither understand nor care to understand those below them, and are bent on maintaining their perks at the expense of others.
    This can be seen most clearly in the fact that the rhetoric of the high-end members of the left and right on immigration is the exact same–those opposed to mass immigration or amnesty for illegals are lazy bums who aren’t willing to work hard and are probably racist. While in some cases this is almost certainly true, this is almost certainly not true in the majority of cases, and dismissing the concerns of the displaced is the height of folly. Due to the fact that the most visible of these people were rural, white, and male, the news media largely, and unintentionally, ignored them. The only good thing about the Trump campaign has been that it has drawn attention to the problems of America’s rural population.

    • QET

      In the immortal words of Frank Zappa:

      “Republicans is fine if you’re a multi-millionaire
      Democrats is fine if all you own is what you wear
      But neither of ’em’s really right cuz neither of ’em care
      ‘Bout that hot plate heaven, cuz they ain’t been there.”

  • Anthony

    Here’s another take on what’s next for the GOP: “And for those Republicans who don’t want Trump or Trumpism? It may be too late. The thing about a lilly-white Republican Party is that it doesn’t have the diversity it needs to resist white resentment and white rage. Republicans crossed a point of no return. Raw ethnonationalism is their future, even if they don’t want it.” http://www.slate.com/articles/news_and_political/cover_story/2016/10/trump_and_the_gop_are_alienating_latinos_the_way_they_once_alienated_black.html

    • FluffyFooFoo

      I am pretty sure Jamelle Bouie is a partisan hack who has no idea what he’s talking about. Surely he understands that black America is headed towards irrelevancy in a more multicultural America. Just look at how Democrats manage to ignore the root causes of cultural failure in poor black America.

      • Anthony

        You may think of both Bouie and so-called black America as you choose but information about current and historical GOP trend lines as cited here http://www.newyorker.com/news/news-desk/the-long-decline-of-the-republican-establishment, here https://home.isi.org/we-cant-go-home-again, and here http://www.slate.com (What’s left….) inform despite your biases (whether Democrat, Republic, Libertarian, Independent, Racialist, you name it).

        • FluffyFooFoo

          Oh yes! The New Yorker and Slate say so despite their biases. No thanks for that balderdash.

          • Anthony

            Information, nevertheless, remains instructive when you account for the “blind spots” (delivery mechanism or biases as you refer). We’re done here, thanks.

          • FluffyFooFoo

            “Information” that is hackish nonsense. Now, I am done.

          • Anthony

            Because one calls something nonsense (or hackish) does not make it so (information may not always harmonize with what we believe to be the “subjective” case). But, at least you’re (we’re) done!

          • FluffyFooFoo

            And the same logic applies to what you call “information”. However, Jamelle Bouie, the Slate, and the New Yorker are undeniably partisan and therefore hackish.

          • Anthony

            OK, got it, move on!

          • FluffyFooFoo

            If you want to move on you just move on. Stop telling other people what to do.

          • Anthony

            I’m not telling you (not people plural) anything; before your initial reply, I was unaware of you. So move on!

      • Ellen

        Right, that has been going on for awhile now. Any subgroup of a population that has 72% of its children born out of wedlock in the modern age of TV and a gutter-like mass culture, is never going to do well in a competitive global (or even national) economy. What allowed white liberals to claim that the problems were all due to racial discrimination for a long while was the absence of a productive, well-educated, middle class population “of color” (as they like to put it) in America. Several groups of people now qualify in that category, most importantly Asian Americans and West Indian blacks. The skin color excuse no longer washes, and everyone knows it. That explains the need for deafening political correctness explanations to cover up the false theories of white liberals and black demagogues. Trump is the only one courageous enough to call this out.

        Unfortunately, the GOP has done little or nothing to attract the Asian and middle class black/hispanic vote, which should naturally support a pro-family party. This explains the demographic predicament of the Republican Party at this point in history.

        • Jim__L

          Mostly it’s the steady stream of BS “racistracistracist!” accusations coming from the Democrats.

        • Anthony

          So, now what was an article on GOP becomes convenient vehicle to insert your racial bias (under cultural auspices) but if one were to compare Palestine and Israel contretemps you blow a casket – people and groups (generally referencing) have a habit of hating everyone’s nationalism but their own (all groups strive for survival and identity but certain groups…) If you’re really concerned about America, less critiquing and more involvement where it matters.

  • Angel Martin

    I recall similar written pieces on the UK Conservative Party’s “bleak future” before their “inevitable” defeat in the 2015 election.

    • Pait

      Let’s wait and see what the election result is. Amen to that.

  • Pait

    I’m sorry, but is this not obvious? Perhaps more to the point, is anyone who doesn’t see that the “the cut-taxes-for-the-wealthy-at-all-costs economics favored by the donor class” leads to bad results for party and country part of the reality-based community?

    • JR

      I don’t see anyone proposing cuts to the wealthy. I see our presumptive future President peddling fiction that getting the rich to pay “their fair share” will pay for all sorts of goodies.

      • Pait

        I suppose you have the right to claim you only see whatever you want to claim you see.

        • JR

          You don’t think she is saying it or you don’t think it is fiction?
          While you are at it, can you point me to the website of the candidate proposing tax cuts for the wealthy. I can’t seem to find it. Thanks much.

          • Pait

            Google seems to find it alright. The candidates’ sites tend to be incomplete and tendentious on the effects of their proposals, so it’s healthier to look at a 2nd opinion.

            http://www.taxpolicycenter.org/taxvox/trump-would-slash-taxes-top-01-percent-average-13-million-add-nearly-10-trillion-debt

          • JR

            no. no. no, I didn’t mean a left-wing think tank trashing Trump. that I can find myself.

          • Pait

            I suppose that if you discount anyone analyzing Trump’s program as left-wing, you’ll have to wade through his supporters’ talk to see the trash. Have fun!

          • JR

            Tax policy center has been described as Leftwing by numerous sources. Since it feeds your confirmation bias you believe it. Not sure how that makes it credible.

          • Pait

            Check other sources then. Google is your friend.

          • Ben

            Donald Trump, who you are not voting for, is cutting taxes for the wealthy

          • Jim__L

            Er, no.

            Trump’s willingness to ignore this aspect of GOP orthodoxy is pretty well known.

          • Ben

            Haha, his willingness to say this is very well-known. Outside of whatever bubble you’re in, basically every independent, non-partisan tax organization and non-profit has said that his plan would be a boon for the wealthy and would significantly worsen the deficit.

  • Anthony

    But, but, you just told me?? So again, “move on” and keep your advise to yourself (which may be the only human you can give a directive too). Meanwhile, I’ll continue to do and tell as I please.

    • FluffyFooFoo

      No you want. And no one will respect your arguments if you’re going to quote an ignorant hack like Jamelle Bouie. He’s a journalist; he’s expert in nothing.

      • Anthony

        Two items and then perhaps we can conclude this 24 hrs. of writing “pass” the other: 1) there is no argument and quote comes from article on GOP which is topic of Post above; 2) I reiterate information (objective) may not confirm to your inclination but that does not preclude its relevance for other readers to judge merits by their lights (despite your view on author and delivery mechanism). So, FluffyFooFoo, let’s not waste time or project a wish beyond ability to execute. Thanks for the time.

  • QET

    It’s either “weighs in on” or “wades into,” not “weighs into.”

    Literacy is important even in a policy blog.

    • Daniel Kennelly

      Agreed…and fixed.

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