GOP Struggles With Post-Blue Agenda
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  • WigWag

    “Attacks on teacher unions and bad public schools would have gone nowhere without ideas like charter schools and vouchers.” (Via Meadia)

    They’ve still gone nowhere unless you think that enacting new programs which haven’t produced successful results is going somewhere.

    Charter schools, school vouchers, longer school days, more homework, etc. has produced exactly the same results in urban districts that were achieved before. The results don’t get better because teachers unions and school choice has little to do with whether a child gets a good education.

    There’s virtually no pressure for school choice, charter schools or fewer union protections for teachers in wealthier suburban districts because in those districts people are happy with the schools. In fact, they are so happy that parents will pay dramatically inflated prices for homes just to get their kids into schools in these suburban districts.

    The only thing that really matters is the quality of the parents, their values and their income levels.

    If you don’t believe it; read Charles Murray’s new book.

  • Kenny

    Wrong take, Mr. Mead.

    Every where the unions are on the defensive. Yes, they block some shots here and there but other connect like Indiana becoming a Right-to-Work state.

    For the public sector unionists, their objective is clear. It’s to keep the gravy train going long enough for them to retire and get their bloated pensions. They could care less what comes after.

    It will be up to the voters to cut them off.

  • Charles R. Williams

    Private sector unionism is rapidly disappearing on its own. The focus in the midwest needs to be on lower government spending, business friendly tax laws and regulations and environmental policies designed to expedite development. The key to cutting spending is compensation and benefits in the big and mid-sized cities. This is what Kasich and the Republican legislature tried to do in Ohio in a ham-fisted way with Senate Bill 5, with politically catastrophic results. It requires political skill and perseverance to get a state like Ohio to where a similar state – Indiana – is today.

    How can you do what needs to be done and what you very much want to do while avoiding political suicide?

    There are small but important victories. Ohio had an onerous estate tax that raised little revenue. An Ohioan on a pension could move to Florida to die – unless, of course, you built a business in Ohio and put people to work and increased the tax base – in which case there was no escape. That tax is now gone.

  • Kenny

    CRW says, “This is what Kasich and the Republican legislature tried to do in Ohio in a ham-fisted way with Senate Bill 5, with politically catastrophic results.”

    What ‘politically catastrophic results?’

    What happened in Ohio is that after spending tens of millions of dollars, the unions merely blocked SB5. They gained NOTHING; they merely avoided a knockout blow.

    As a result of defeating SB5 in a statewide referendum, public sector unionists on the municipal dole throughout Ohio are being laid off.

    In 2011, John Kasich closed the $8 billion deficit he inherited from Democrat Ted Strickland without raising taxes. Among other good things, this has forced spending decisions down to the local levels and this is adding to shrinking those budgets too via layoffs and staff reductions by other means.

    The GOP in Columbus also redrew congressional and state district lines so they’d be, shall we say, more amenable to Republicans in 2012 and beyond.

    There is no GOP catastrophe in Ohio — and November will prove it.

    The is no catastrophe in Wisconsin or in RTW Indiana, either.

    Where there is a catastrophe in the Midwest is in Illinois where the Democrats raised taxes, has a lower credit rating, and is losing business left-and-right.

    Even Michigan is curbing union power; the state will no longer collect union due for the teachers union. Saints be praised!

  • I am taking up Prof. Mead on his challenge at my new website, Private Citizen Media.

  • Corlyss

    “This timidity is more than a symptom of union bullying; it points to the larger problem that the Republican Party, especially in the Midwest, still hasn’t figured out how to turn voters’ urgent concerns about the blue model into a politically sustainable program for deep change.”

    This phenomenon is the product of 70 or so years of Republicans wandering in the electoral wilderness, holding their seats by presenting themselves as Democrats-lite. Those years have left their imprint in timid tacit endorsements of the Dems’ fashioned big government status quo. Republicans lost their ideological souls a long time ago. Ain’t gonna get ’em back with the likes of Santorum or Gingrich or Romney because they can’t explain why independence and self-reliance are preferable to endless government handouts. They take their pensions, don’t they?

  • Toni

    Prof. Mead, you write as if a successful Republican Party would agree on all issues across all state lines. That’s no more true than if you claimed the same about Democrats.

    The Midwestern GOP has changed the terms of debate. It’s no longer about how to fund generous union contracts; it’s about how to curb unions’ drain on the public purse. It’s no longer about funneling more money to poorly performing schools; it’s about how to force the schools to perform. It’s no longer about ever more powerful state government; it’s about how best to make room for and encourage the private sector to grow.

    The blue model was for government to control swaths of society, funded by however much taxes it took, and the private sector was expected to thrive no matter how much government taxed or regulated it. Now the post-blue realization has emerged that the government can’t deliver everything it has promised; what it delivers is often expensive; and the well-being of the private sector is essential to the state and its citizens.

    I don’t think that can be summed up, Ho-hum, the GOP can’t get its act together.

  • Jim.

    It will fly everywhere soon, because nothing else will.

    WRM, if you’d like to come up with an alternative where Blue services will be provided despite large budget cuts and no budget deficits, that’s laudable. But to say that these cuts “won’t fly” is to wage war on arithmetic. Remember that.

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