Sunday, January 20, 2013

Sunday Question for Conservatives

Here's one for inaugural weekend...what, if any, lessons -- positive and negative -- do you think Republicans should learn from the way Barack Obama has conducted his presidency? Has the Obama presidency affected what experience or qualities you would look for in the next Republican nominee?

11 comments:

  1. It makes me want someone with a record of actually making tough decisions on behalf of personal freedom. (Obama talked a good game, but has been no better than Bush on these issues.)

    So I'd be more interested in Senator Paul or Senator Wyden rather than some Governor who just says the right thing.

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    1. Wyden, certainly, Paul not so much. Paul's always been on the wrong side of civil rights protections - be it race, gender, or whatnot.

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    2. Crissa, I’ve got some issues with Paul on the fourteenth amendment and Wyden is terrible on the second. But they’re both miles ahead of other potential candidates, and they have the voting records to prove it.

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  2. Question for Couves:

    Do you think there's actually any possibility the Republican Party (or for that matter, the Democratic Party)nominates someone who you view as having "a record of actually making tough decisions on behalf of personal freedom?"

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    1. The chances are not great, but the political prospects for personal freedom can improve with even a losing campaign. For example, Ron Paul at least showed that these issues can get fundraising and volunteers for a candidate, which encourages other candidates. Civil libertarians have been emboldened and organized by the campaign. The campaign also gave them political experience they wouldn't otherwise have. All of this has raised Rand Paul’s chances to something greater than zero.

      The most important thing about political action is not always winning, especially when the goal is big change that first requires major political shifts and mobilization of voters outside of a party system that resists them.

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  3. What Obama has shown is that a Democrat who is excellent at arousing enthusiasm among the Democratic base can win an election despite limited popularity among independents and being extremely unpopular with those who identify with the opposite party. That characterized his successful re-election campaign in 2012, though not his first election in 2008, during which he was fairly popular among independents. I do not really think that a Republican candidate can win that way in 2016, although that also characterizes Bush's re-election victory in 2004. Since Republicans are now less numerous than Democrats, unlike in 2004, when the two parties had approximately equal numbers, we have to find a candidate who can both energize the Republican base and attract swing voters, which is a difficult combination to pull off. Perhaps Jeb Bush would have the best chance to do that. I fear Chris Christie (the governor of my state) can do only of those two things: he can appear to swing voters, but he would likely have difficulty arousing enthusiasm and thus getting a large turnout among core Republican constituencies. His recent attack on the NRA helps him win re-election in New Jersey, but hurts among rural and small town Republicans in the rest of the country.

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    1. Bush roughly split independents with Kerry, if memory serves.

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  4. I agree with the 6:12 comment.

    To answer the original question: Obama only made a big push on legislation which had the firm support of Dems in Congress and let them work the details. Contrast with Bush on social security privatization and immigration.

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    1. Those were big pushes? Bush said alot of things, like going to the mars or the moon, but neither of those went anywhere, either.

      You don't think independents have changed in the intervening four years?

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  5. Somewhat similar to Couves above, I think Republicans should learn from Obama not to be afraid to swing for the fences. Folks talk a lot, here and elsewhere, about how the Republicans are either in a box or all bollixed up, depending on your view I guess. Per that great recent thread, you're only in a box until you're not, at which point its often hard to remember you ever were.

    Obama illustrates this not only from his unconventional demographic but also willingness to break equity and CW in the WH (the gun orders the latest example of same).

    The machine that stands athwart progress for the Republicans is like a really vicious guard dog, who barks and snarls at you as you walk up to the gate, but once you enter is your new BFF. We shouldn't fear it at all.

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  6. The establishment GOP has to be made to understand that they can’t win without a strong Libertarian wing.

    Mark Willis for GOP Chair 2013!

    StepDownNow.com

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