Tuesday, March 14, 2006

How compassionate conservatism works

Bruce Reed sums up the fix that Republicans have gotten themselves into for the 2008 election. This is not to say that they're going to lose - Democrats are pretty good at getting themselves into even bigger pickles than their opponents - but he does make a good argument.
Once again, Republicans seem to have doubled back on their contradictions. In the 1980s and again in the 1990s, party strategists discovered a serious design flaw in conservatism: the country wouldn't let Republicans cut government spending anywhere near as much as Republicans wanted to cut taxes. Compassionate conservatism was concocted to correct that glitch by just cutting taxes and letting government spending soar. The new design flaw: voters don't like that, either.

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