It’s A Trap!

6 comments October 2nd, 2007at 11:26pm Posted by Eli

Okay, maybe I’m exaggerating, but I always have mixed feelings when I read stories like this:

New evidence suggests a potentially historic shift in the Republican Party’s identity — what strategists call its “brand.” The votes of many disgruntled fiscal conservatives and other lapsed Republicans are now up for grabs, which could alter U.S. politics in the 2008 elections and beyond.

Some business leaders are drifting away from the party because of the war in Iraq, the growing federal debt and a conservative social agenda they don’t share. In manufacturing sectors such as the auto industry, some Republicans want direct government help with soaring health-care costs, which Republicans in Washington have been reluctant to provide. And some business people want more government action on global warming, arguing that a bolder plan is not only inevitable, but could spur new industries.

Already, economic conservatives who favor balanced federal budgets have become a much smaller part of the party’s base. That’s partly because other groups, especially social conservatives, have grown more dominant. But it’s also the result of defections by other fiscal conservatives angered by the growth of government spending during the six years that Republicans controlled both the White House and Congress.

(…)

[P]olling data confirm business support for Republicans is eroding. In the Wall Street Journal/NBC News poll in September, 37% of professionals and managers identify themselves as Republican or leaning Republican, down from 44% three years ago.

Richard Clinch, a 69-year-old New York native, illustrates the party’s plight. The retired Westinghouse manager and mechanical engineer says he has been “a lifelong Republican.” As a young fiscal conservative, he was attracted by the party’s reputation for frugal and competent governance, he says. The Democratic Party left him cold, he says, because of its social spending and ties to the unions that exasperated him at work. As a retiree in Annapolis, Md., he became a local Republican officer.

Yet next year, for the first time since he began voting in 1960, Mr. Clinch won’t support the Republican presidential nominee, he says. He only “very reluctantly” voted for Mr. Bush’s re-election in 2004. “Like many Republicans, I am frustrated,” he says. “We’ve lost control of spending,” and the administration’s execution of the Iraq war has been “incompetent.” Mr. Clinch says he is liberal about rights for women and gays, and vexed that “we [Republicans] get sidetracked on these issues like gay marriage.”

On the one hand, I always like to hear about Republicans seeing the light and realizing that the GOP has no plan for actual governance. On the other hand, I think stories like this prop up the DLC, allowing them to entice Democrats with visions of low-hanging fiscal conservative fruit just ripe for the plucking… for a sufficiently pro-corporate candidate. In truth, I’m not convinced that there are that many such votes up for grabs; I’m guessing a lot of them will return the GOP at election time (“It’s okay; it’s not Dubya!”) or simply not vote at all.

Any candidate weighing a pro-corporate (or pro-war, or pro-“moral values”) centrist approach should always ask themselves whether they’ll pick up enough moderate/independent/ex-Republican votes to offset the progressive base votes they’ll lose. They should also ask themselves which kinds of voter typically turn out more.

I’m not asking Democrats to be rabidly, implacably anti-business, but they need to at least strike a balance between business and labor, business and consumer, business and stockholders. Right now it’s all business.

(h/t Bonddad)

Entry Filed under: Democrats,Economy,Elections,Politics,Polls,Republicans

6 Comments

  • 1. PoliShifter  |  October 3rd, 2007 at 1:14 am

    I’m hoping for the the Fundi third party run. Agitprop suggested a Haggard/Craig ’08 ticket.

  • 2. Ruth  |  October 3rd, 2007 at 5:45 am

    That most of the GoPerv stance is totally fictitious propaganda, it would be idiotic of the Dems to take it up. Love Meyerson this a.m. in WaPo noting that if the private sector could have handled our health care problems, it would have, and that hasn’t happened. So hush, let them dig their own grave.

  • 3. Eli  |  October 3rd, 2007 at 9:29 am

    Iím hoping for the the Fundi third party run. Agitprop suggested a Haggard/Craig Ď08 ticket.

    Nothing would make me happier. Doesn’t even have to be disgraced fundies; actually, I would prefer that it not be, so they can take more votes away from Rudy or Mitt.

    On the other hand… what if they win?

    That most of the GoPerv stance is totally fictitious propaganda, it would be idiotic of the Dems to take it up. Love Meyerson this a.m. in WaPo noting that if the private sector could have handled our health care problems, it would have, and that hasnít happened. So hush, let them dig their own grave.

    The thing is, the DLC and their followers don’t actually adopt pro-corporate positions because they’re political winners; they just pretend to think they’re political winners to mask the fact that they’re pro-corporate by nature.

    Instead of appealing to what voters actually want, the DLC strategy is to rake in big corporate bucks to try to *buy* elections. Of course, the Republicans are much better at this, and their base doesn’t mind it as much.

  • 4. Charles  |  October 3rd, 2007 at 9:38 pm

    Most Democrats are incredibly ignorant about issues relating to business. I did a piece on immigration visas in which I recounted a contact I had from a senior Senate staffer in ca. 1999 which he asked me whether I thought the H1-B visa program was being abused. I wasn’t sure whether to laugh or moan.

    There is low-lying fruit to be picked, but a lot of Dems are trying to use their toes.

  • 5. Eli  |  October 3rd, 2007 at 11:55 pm

    I think they know that if they just keep doing what the DLC tells them, the corporate money will keep flowing in.

    This financial stuff isn’t so complicated after all.

  • 6. Charles  |  October 4th, 2007 at 12:44 pm

    Heh indeedy, Eli.


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