A Smart Republican Roadmap

Carol Platt Liebau
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Posted: Jun 02, 2011 10:59 PM
The always interesting Dorothy Rabinowitz has a piece that's a must-read for every conservative and every Republican presidential candidate.

Chief among the many takeaways is a valuable reminder that not all Americans -- indeed, relatively few -- are ideologues who care more about abstractions like "big government" than they do about employment levels and jobs.

I care deeply about those abstractions.  So do most of this blog's readers.  But regular, every day, not-overly-political Americans?  Not so much.

If the "stimulus" had worked, many Americans wouldn't necessarily be opposed to it.  The problem isn't that it was a big government boondoggle, from this perspective -- it's that it didn't do what it was supposed to do. 

Most Americans care more about results than political theories.  Ms. Rabinowitz is right -- any successful challenger is going to have to speak calmly and sensibly about structural changes to our government and entitlement systems without sounding like a scary, heavy-breathing ideologue.  Otherwise, in the public mind, our candidate will run the risk of becoming the mirror image of the Obamaniacs -- who refused to let the last crisis "go to waste" and used it to shove ideology down a reluctant public's throat -- and President Obama's cynical "status quo" approach will prevail.