The All New GOP in the Making.
And I'm actually quite happy about it. What is this new GOP? It is the GOP centered around an oft-repeated idea (at this blog and elsewhere) of National Greatness Conservatism.
Why am I happy about it? Well, because I believe this is the real GOP and always has been all along during my lifetime of 35 years and well before. It is the heart and soul of the party...and while it gave an appearance of being otherwise (libertarian, for example) from time to time, it was simply a marketing ploy to put a different spin...however incoherent...on the true driver of party ID.
I'm also happy about it on a selfish and personal level because it will continue to get easier to not be thought of and labeled superficially as a "Republican in diguise"....a label I despise and know to be blatantly false and unwarranted. As time goes on, the real GOP will continue to make this link seem as silly as it really is.
The post over at Publius Endures hits the nail on the head because it touches on an over-looked historical tension within past political groups...particularly at the founding. This classic tension formed the original political paradigm: The Hamiltonians and Jeffersonsonians. The former is the true GOP for most intents and purposes and shady, murky cousin of the modern Democratic Party. The Jeffersonian ideal is simply an abused and usurped signaling tool that has little influence in the modern arena outside libertarian-leaning subgroups scattered across the political spectrum.
I don't like Hamilton and never did. The HBO miniseries John Adams based on the same-titled book by historian David McCullough did a spectacularly stupendous job of capturing the true nature of the original political struggle and paints Hamilton vis-a-vis Jefferson and what he stood for in an incredibly accurate way that had libertarians like me enthralled and cheering as Hamilton was shown as the original National Greatness Wing Nut that we always knew him to be though you'd never see this account from school history text books that gloss over it and make it seem "good".
Says Mark from Publius Endures:
With libertarians leaving the party in droves, the remaining GOP opinion-makers are increasingly free to abandon free market rhetoric; put another way, they have become smaller and thus have to please fewer groups. The result? National Greatness Conservatism and so-called Sam’s Club Republicans, two worldviews that are 1. intellectually honest; 2. capable of appealing to the GOP base; 3. capable of eventually bringing in groups not currently in the GOP coalition; 4. are currently quite compatible with each other; and 5. are completely incompatible with any version of libertarianism.
Mark's post itself is about a NYT column by David Brooks . David Brooks is at least an honest conservative in noting this real distinction and gladly puts himself in the Hamiltonian camp. Notice Mark's use of the words "intellectually honest". This is a hint of the deep incompatability issue between social conservatism and dynamic, relatively free-breathing capitalism that I've spoken about in the past. Vibrant capitalism fosters social liberalism. THAT'S IT. No way around it. Never wonder why economically slower parts of the world are more socially tradtional and conservative. Conservatives (and liberals for their part) want part of the equation without understanding the implications of the other. So economically populist, "Red, White and Blue", family-values traditionalism with a Big beneficent government to control socio-economic forces and act as strong dad over his family is perfectly consistent.
Such moves will garner support, as Mark notes, from most of the current GOP base and other blue-collar groups and traditionally oriented groups that do not fall under the GOP fold.
On a negative side, this could cause a race between the parties to "out-Big-Brother" eachother. We'll see.
As Mark also notes:
I think we can expect a GOP in which Mike Huckabee becomes the party sage, delivering the final blow to the last vestiges of libertarianism in the GOP while at the same time stealing ever-more working class (and more importantly, populist-leaning) votes from the Dems. Naturally, this will also make the Dems increasingly less hostile to libertarianism as they trade their least libertarian supporters for libertarianish former Republicans.
We'll see if this libertarian-ISH shift to the Dems actually materializes. I remain a little skeptical. The core intent may be similar between true-blue liberals and libertarian-minded people but there remains a methodological rift how each group conceptualizes problems and hence solutions.
Obama's rhetoric has had flickers of hope but overall has been just as abysmal as McCain's. We'll see what he actually does. Unfortunately, the timing here is cruel. The financial crisis will be a pretext of his candidacy and eventual resolution will be linked, rightly or wrongly (but mainly wrongly) with whatever he tries to do since he'll happen to be in office when it happens. And since Bush was office when the crisis happened, its roots will be linked to the perception of what he stands for based on his rhetoric. This is all unfortunate. Megan McArdle (don't remember where) said that it may have been better in the long run had Gore won in 2000 or Kerry in 2004 because the perception of the crisis would have been seen through the lens of the Dems doing something wrong and better solutions would have strength right now.
Her underlying point is clear: It all would have happened anyway. But the silly way of viewing problems in real time as the extension of whoever is in the WH and the rhetoric they use would have at least shifted blame away from non-existent culprits.
PS: PLEASE note my use of links that attribute information to original source!!! You know who you are.
Thanks for noting and let's make an effort in the future. :)