The American Interest
Analysis by Walter Russell Mead & Staff
BuzzFeed on the Blue Social Model

Over at BuzzFeed Politics, columnist John Ellis has penned a provocative column about the collapse of the blue social model and the failure of both President Obama and Mitt Romney to face up to it:

In a speech to the nation’s newspaper editors this morning, President Obama announced that he was running for re-election to preserve the Blue Social Model; pretending that it can be kept afloat long into the future and pledging to protect it from the dastardly designs of, among others, Paul Ryan, House GOP Budget Chairman and author of the so-called Ryan plan for addressing America’s fiscal emergency. . . .

Mitt Romney has finally secured the 2012 GOP presidential nomination . . . But he did so without sketching out any design of what a new social model might look like. Indeed, Mr. Romney seemed to stand aside from the most urgent political and policy question of our time—what comes next—and instead bored us to tears with reassurances that America would be great again if only we elected him to its highest office.

The key to a Romney victory is not to defeat President Obama; that would be a byproduct. The key is to make the case that the Blue Social Model is truly dead, that a new model is urgently needed and to present the first rough draft of what the new model might look like.

Via Meadia is glad to see our arguments continuing to foster this kind of robust and frank discussion.

Published on April 4, 2012 5:00 pm
  • http://facingzionwards.blogspot.com/ Luke Lea

    “about the collapse of the blue social model and the failure of both President Obama and Mitt Romney to face up to it:”

    They won’t face up to the fact that mass immigration and unrestricted trade with China are, in large measure, causing it either. It’s one thing to bewail the short-comings and inefficiencies of government employees, or of our healthcare system. Another to undermine a people’s whole standard of living.

  • ms

    Instapundit linked to this BuzzFeed post this morning. I agree in principle, but I think the case Ellis wants Romney to make is a bit too complicated and intellectual to work in a campaign. Beyond this, none of us really know exactly what is coming–it’s a developing story–so how is he supposed to tell that story before it happens? Anyway,I don’t think he needs to scare people in this way because it is not like everything is going to be entirely different. That’s not how history works. Finding solutions is a process that takes from the past along with innovating new approaches for the future. We have a strong heritage in this country that can help us innovate, but I don’t think a message that everything you have known all your life is going to be radically different is a winner. Part of the message surely should be that some blue policies don’t work, but since Obama is already trying to paint Romney as radical, it doesn’t seem like it is in the interests of the nation for him to be too strident about the level of change that is perhaps coming.

  • Jacksonian Libertarian

    I agree, Via Meadia is the Bleeding Edge, where Mankind’s Cultural Rangers, Blaze a Trail of Light into the Future. Where’s our Nobel Prize? LOL

  • Anthony

    President Obama spoke to House budget legislation – unless John Ellis means by implication – not blue model per WRM. As argued by WRM, some American core institutions need recasting however the President in speech referenced by Ellis was providing partisan context to health of American social institutions (as he sees them). Neither party nor their representatives are frankly grappling with transitioning social arrangements (cf. Simpson-Bowles).

  • Jim.

    Also gratifying is to see Prof. Mead’s phrase gaining currency.

  • Walter Sobchak

    His political advice should be disregarded. Professors want systems. Citizens want competent executives.

    Romney’s sale is very simple and he should keep it that way: “Obama is a very poor leader, who has done a bad job. The ship of state is drifting toward the rocks. I will provide leadership, and I will keep the ship of state off of the rocks and sail it into calm waters.”

    Anything more risks MEGO, a massive tune out, and a loss.

  • http://facingzionwards.blogspot.com/ Luke Lea

    I am certainly glad WRM is raising the issue, and drawing tons of attention in the mainstream media. Not bad for a late starter in the blog world. And a testament to his talent and insight.

    Of course I disagree with much of his analysis. But it is raising the right questions that is crucial.