Author William Voegli said Friday that 2010 will not be the election that establishes long-term conservative dominance for Republicans in politics. Voegli spoke at a Hillsdale College First Principles on First Fridays lecture in Washington, D.C.
Voegli, who is a visiting scholar at Claremont McKenna College and wrote Never Enough: America's Limitless Welfare State, dissected several of the challenges facing both parties in the upcoming elections. Voegli said the GOP must commit to limited government in a way they haven't since 1994 and even 1964, while Democrats are still vulnerable to the charge of being the party of “unlimited” government. Voegli also said that the GOP must find a way to translate their general principles into specific actions.
Voegli also observed that President Obama, unlike Democrat presidents Bill Clinton and Jimmy Carter (who came from southern states), has no practice placating conservative voters, simply by nature of his political background. He predicted Obama must take the GOP more seriously after the 2010 midterms but that even a decisive victory for Republicans in 2010 won’t set up a long-term conservative dominance like the Democrats enjoyed in the mid-1900s.
Voegli said he believes swing voters are experiencing “buyers’ remorse” after 2008. He compared the current political climate to NFL gambling advice, where the common sense prescription is to pick the team with the better record and, if their record is the same, go with the home team.
“It’s not clear whether the red team or the blue team has the better record,” Voegli said.