Carol Platt Liebau
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. 

Carol Platt Liebau

Carol Platt Liebau is an attorney, political commentator and guest radio talk show host based near New York. Learn more about her new book, "Prude: How the Sex-Obsessed Culture Hurts Young Women (and America, Too!)" here.