Post by Gregory of Yardale
Forbes columnist Reihan Selem thinks the key to a Republican victory in 2012 is to nominate liberal Republican Obama supporter Colin Powell.
Setting aside the fact that General Powell (wisely) has no interest in elective politics, this theory if Republicans nominate a socially liberal, fiscally conservative “war hero” who will work with Democrats, then moderates will flock to them was tried in 2008 with John “Landslide” McCain. How well did that work out?
Here’s the thing; a lot of Republican elites despise the socially conservative base; the “oogedy boogedy” people. They share the opinion of left-wing elites that people who are Christian, pro-life, pro-secondment are trailer park trash and it’s embarrassing to them to have these people in the party.
But Christian Evangelicals are 40% of the population and Pro-Lifers make up 51% of the population. How do Republicans win after telling these voters to go pound sand? Pro-abortion folk, gun control folk, Christian-haters all have a warm home in the Democrat Party. Why would they leave it? Fiscal responsibility? Neither party has any credibility on that issue. And these “socially liberal fiscal conservatives” invariably turn out to be big spenders… like Arnold in Gullyfoohnyuh jacking up state spending 32%, and Olympia Snowe voted for the $787 Billion spendulus.
Social and economic conservatism are, for the most part, joined at the hip. Both spring from the common belief that an individual is largely responsible for his own circumstances and his own destiny. Social liberalism is built on the idea that an individual is just one member of a collective political society, and invariably leads to more spending on the idea of “improving” that political society; and by “improving,” I mean bringing society in line with the goals of the liberal elite.
Anyway, Colin Powell would be, at best, slightly less of a disaster than Landslide McCain. The debate would be like:
Colin Powell: My opponent’s massive deficits, that were Bush’s fault, may have gone somewhat too far.
Obama: My massive deficits, that were Bush’s fault, may not have gone somewhat too far enough.