Thomas Frank: The Republicans Aren’t Dead Yet

One of my favorite intellectuals.

Thomas Frank writes about how Republicans may gain power again: conservative anti-elitism.

In that situation, Republicans may well decide to press their offensive against the elite by depicting the Democrats as the party of Wall Street. I know this sounds counterintuitive, possibly even hypocritical. And yet, if they choose to take that route, Republicans will have a lot to go on. Mr. Obama’s great success in reaping campaign money from Wall Street, to begin with. Or his mystifying tendency to give important economic oversight jobs to former hedge fund managers and investment bankers — rather than, say, regulators or experts in corporate crime.

He may be right, but a lot of it depends on health care. If health care passes, it marks the end of the Republican party, and inevitable left-ward shift in American politics.

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2 comments on “Thomas Frank: The Republicans Aren’t Dead Yet

  1. Jim Willis says:

    If health care passes and it marks the end of the Republican party, then I eagerly anticipate the emergence of a new, competent, conservative party dedicated to reversing the damage inflicted by socialist statism through Obama’s policies. It is time for the organization of an individualist-minded political party. Statist policies kill the human spirit.

  2. padremambo says:

    There may be a competent conservative party, but it would have to be interested in governing rather than destroying the government. It would have to understand competence, rather than ideology, is crucial to management.

    This used to be a conservative perspective. Ideology and utopianism were left to the Marxists.

    A conservatism that stemmed from Adam Smith and Edmund Burke – or even GK Chesterton – would have some worth. As it is, the conservatives are trapped by the geographic location and their unfortunate history with race.

    It happens that the current president, regardless of what ideology he possesses, is a remarkable leader and governor.

    He also prioritizes high quality leadership in the Republican Party. For example, several of the Republicans he has selected for his own administration (Huntsman and Gates) have demonstrated leadership capabilities.

    Although I am sympathetic to some aspects of libertarianism, to find libertarians who are effective managers and bureaucrats is challenging.

    I also think that the “socialist statism” will demonstrate to be ineffective rhetoric because we aren’t fighting the cold war. By and large, capitalism won the battle. The challenge is what kind of capitalism will it be. Given Obama’s choices of economists, considering him a socialist doesn’t hold much weight, unless we are comparing him to the Dutch.

    I think conservatives have it wrong by insinuating Obama is tyrannical. Compared to the IMF in other countries, he has been cautious.

    I also think that he is pragmatic. He has only worked through existing institutions; he has not tried to overhaul them in a serious way.

    But he knows that health care is what changes the game in this country. It can liberate small businesses, raise living standards, and by and large help the economy for the better. When 46 million people become insured, he has created the strongest voting block for a health care party.

    It is, in part, inevitable. The primary reason it wasn’t passed in the 1950’s had to do with southern senators didn’t want integrated hospitals. As civil rights was won, and capitalism defeated communism, the main reasons universal health care did not come to being have been dismissed.

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