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View Diary: Daily Kos Elections Live Digest: 12/5 (510 comments)

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  •  Rubio, Ryan, and Income Inequality (5+ / 0-)

    Apparently, there are some Rs who realize that they need to make changes on how Rs address income inequality to stay viable electorally on a national level.

    This would be serious -- but I'll believe it when I see it, ref

    Drilling down into a source article, ref

    This is an example of what I said two weeks ago: Conservatives do not have economic ideas that are good for the middle class. Since the 1970s, wage gains have decoupled from productivity gains and the median family has therefore reaped a disproportionately small share of the benefits of growth. Conservatives are left without anything to say about this problem.
    snip bolding mine
    If conservatives made peace with the need for more redistributive economic policy, they could fight to make sure it is pro-growth. For example, they could focus on minimizing poverty traps created by means-tested entitlements, and making sure the tax base is broad so progressivity can be achieved with relatively low tax rates.
    Roughly, this is what right-of-center political parties in Europe do.

    I hope; therefore, I can live.

    by tietack on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 06:19:02 AM PST

    •  There was an old (7+ / 0-)

      Matt Yglesias post that I am too lazy to dig up right now (but will if anyone really, really wants to see it) where he featured a clip of Ronald Reagan talking about the Earned Income Tax Credit. Yglesias mentioned how stuff like that used to be a point of conservative pride, because it essentially helped people helped themselves. I believe Reagan called it the best pro-family, anti-poverty program in existence. (There's also a more technical reason for why many economists prefer this over raising the minimum wage, but that's a different topic.)

      It actually dates back to Nixon, I believe, at least as far as implementation. (If not him, then Ford.) But while it used to be a Republican proposal, Democrats wisely adopted it. Pretty much every Democrat running for president talks about using it, as do many candidates for congress--Shelli Yoder this past year, for instance.

      But whether it was a sincere proposal to help or simply a counter offer to void off something worse, it's now seem as something awful by many Republican politicians. (If I recall correctly, it was only included in the 2001 tax changes at the insistence of Democrats.) I believe every one of the clowns running this past cycle proposed to eliminate them; hence the fact that many wanted to raise the burden on those at the bottom. It's certainly part, although definitely not the only part, of the claim that a big chunk of society is mooching off the rest.

      I mention this because, if they are against stuff like this now, just how do they plan to get around the poverty trap problem? (For those of you who don't remember, this is essentially where it becomes better for people financially to stay on government programs rather than earning more money.) Not to turn this into a policy discussion, but the solution, to me at least, seems like we should be working furiously to institute a more broad minimum standard of living--some sort of minimum national income and/or set of benefits that pretty much everyone gets. As a fairly liberal Democrat, I think this would be a great thing (and, if anyone wants, I will explain why over a private message; it's actually kind of Libertarian in nature, believe it or not), but then, I'm a fairly liberal Democrat, not a supposedly conservative Republican. Leaving aside the fact that some seem to believe the public as a whole isn't ready for a change that radical, how is the Republican leadership supposed to sell that to its base?

      I'm a corporatist McGovernite Atari Democrat...I think.

      by bjssp on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 08:14:12 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

    •  It's all lip service (10+ / 0-)

      All these guys are learning is what kinds of rhetoric are damaging.  They don't really believe they need to do anything differently on policy than what they've always wanted.

      Four years is a long time, there's no way to guess what voters will care about, and candidates in turn will have to respond to, in 2015-16.

      But these guys really are just reacting rhetorically, not substantively, to priorities today of voters they need but aren't getting.  I'm guessing they will flail for 4 years and offer only lip service and window dressing, nothing real.

      And the truth is people of color are becoming hardened against the GOP, as are at least 35% of white voters.  The "white-total" Democratic gap that comes from the difference between what percentage of white voters a Democrat gets compared to the total percentage a Democrat gets, is up to 12...that is, Obama got 39% of white votes compared to 51% of the total, after a 10-point gap in '08.  If the gap grows by even just a point like I suspect in 2016, we're looking at a Democrat needing a measley 37% of the white vote to win the election.

      What will Rubio or Ryan or Walker or whoever else offer to Obama voters and rising new voters in 2016 that is different from before?  They're going to be hard-pressed.

      A lot depends on how intransigent rank-and-file GOP primary voters remain.  If they soften, that gives their candidates room to maneuver.  But if they don't, then Democrats will dominate general elections.

      44, male, Indian-American, married and proud father of a girl and 2 boys, Democrat, VA-10

      by DCCyclone on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 11:11:51 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

      •  the future (4+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        DCCyclone, LordMike, lordpet8, MichaelNY

        Barring a disaster of some sort for Dems, I think the GOP is probably 2 or 3 cycles away from being able to go toe to toe with the Dems as the presidential level.

        One likely scenario is that in 2016 they continue along the path they seem to be headed on and change their rhetoric but not much of the substance. This will probably stop their slide among Hispanic voters in particular and might even get them back up a point or two, but probably not even back to the level McCain got--I agree that a number of voters who were still in play in 2008 are probably out of reach now for a few decades. Anyway they'll lose again in 2016, and then it will sink in that they will need to move back to the center (basically where the midpoint of the party was before about 1994), and in 2020 they will find their Bill Clinton/David Cameron figure and run on a more moderate agenda.

        Another possibility is that even the current lip service generates enough backlash among the Fox/talk radio addicted GOP base to get a real bombthrower nominated in 2016 who then loses big, in 2020 they moderate on tone but not on substance and lose again, and in 2024 they finally moderate on substance. I think this is more likely if 2016 looks unwinnable for them in any case, say if Obama is popular, the economy is strong, and Hillary clears the Dem field.

        The "moderates" might not even regain control of the party if they tone down their rhetoric in 2016 but still lose. The more moderate wing of the GOP is far weaker now than the Dems' moderate wing was after 1988, and their intraparty squabbling will probably be a lot worse than the Dems' was.

        SSP poster. 43, new CA-6, -0.25/-3.90

        by sacman701 on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 11:41:00 AM PST

        [ Parent ]

      •  Even if it's "just lip service" (2+ / 0-)
        Recommended by:
        James Allen, MichaelNY

        As I think bjssp implied, the Reagan level of lip service was pretty effective, electorally for a time. In the R "ideal" world, they'd get to Reagan '84 levels of the white vote (65%?), which would get them to maybe a 54-45 victory in 2016, enhanced by so-called "Reagan Democrats".

        But as you and Skaje implied/noted, it is -- at best -- a difficult sell to the current R base voter. As suggested by others, I don't see any way such R "moderates" get there by 2016. Of course, 4 years is a long time from now in politics.

        If Rubio pushes further, and the behavior of the R electorate does not change, Rubio could very well be the Jon Huntsman of 2016.

        I hope; therefore, I can live.

        by tietack on Wed Dec 05, 2012 at 05:20:52 PM PST

        [ Parent ]

    •  Changing rhetoric is all good and well (3+ / 0-)
      Recommended by:
      jncca, MichaelNY, askew

      but a few party leaders can't force a change in policy down on their members.  The Republicans in Congress continue to lose the moderates it would depend upon to pass these kinds of policies.  The past election, they said goodbye to Senators Brown and Snowe, and Rep. Dold, Biggert, Bass, Hayworth, LaTourette, and Bono Mack.  Yet they didn't add any other moderates to replace them (and I even hesitate to use the word "moderate" to describe fairly orthodox Republicans like LaTourette and Bono Mack).  Every single freshman Republican in the House and Senate is uniformly conservative.  It's a sad day when I think that out of the lot, Chris Collins may well turn out to be the least right-wing.

      If you want to see it laid out pretty clearly, you only need to check one of the vote ranking websites for the year before each election, and see the cluster of moderates in the middle getting wiped out each time.

      This is only going to continue in the near future at least.

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