If you really want to engage in a serious debate about how to implement free market conservative policy solutions with a practical eye on messaging and political coalition building, then you ought to be reading what Jon Henke has to say. Be prepared: you won’t get a rosy-eyed view or a mealy-mouthed answer.
I appreciated what Jon wrote yesterday about a Republican response to the growing push toward government-sponsored universal health care (Tom Daschle’s distracting tax problems aside).
I’m not interested in the particularities of the health care debate right now, but if you are, might I recommend you check out the following:
However, it’s Henke’s conclusion that struck me as rather insightful and worth sharing with readers here:
Over the next four years, Republicans would do well to remember one more thing: Democrats are not The Problem. Nor are Republicans. The Problem is structural, and the only way Republicans can actually move the ideological ball forward is by limiting Republicans and Democrats alike. Republicans can rise again, but they will have to persuasively argue that they can limit themselves.
In other words, it’s fun to pick on Democrats from time to time. But that’s not where the heavy lifting is at. And it’s not where we’re going to find either long-term solutions or long-term political success.
The two-party system is a reality. But any new emerging GOP coalition that might be worthy of support is one that acts in the service of limited government. We’ve seen what happens when the Republicans became the party of somewhat more slowly implemented big government – aka Democrat Party lite. I have no interest in going down that road again, because it’s both wrong on principle and ultimately futile.
Okay, rise up in response now.