Strengthening Constitutional Self-Government

No Left Turns

Is the Reagan Coalition Dead?

Well, that question is the basis of an NRO Symposium. I’m not sure how reasonable the question is, given that Reagan’s victories depended upon anti-communism, distaste for McGovernism/Carterism, and the Gipper’s admirable and quite singular personal qualities. Today, the point is rightly made, the foreign policy issue is less toughness than competence, and whatever Hillary is, she’s no McGovernite or Carterite. (Her political correctness might turn out to be worse than McGovernism, but that’s something that more clear to us academics than to ordinary guys, and it probably won’t extend to her foriegn policy.) When Republicans win, I agree, it’s because they capture the swing voters who are to the left of the party economically, but to its right culturally. (The point of the Huck campaign, despite its strangeness [which may culminate with the proably hugely ill-advised Leno appearance], is to remind us of that fact.) I really do disagree that Hillary-hatred, by itself, can reunite the coalition, and, in any case, it’s not at all clear today that Hillary will be the nominee. (And Pelosi has been around long enough and has laid low enough that the swing voters won’t be animated by her repulsiveness.) And the slogan "No more Clintons or Bushes!" would resonate with lots of Americans only if used by a real outsider. Sadly enough, that would be Obama.

Discussions - 2 Comments

That all sounds reasonable to me but Obama will need more than rhetorcial acrobatics, however impressive, and anti-establishment sentiment to win a general election. So far, he's been very sucessful at presenting his inexperience as evidence of his lack of corruption and his authentic desire to be an agent of change; eventually, he will have to demonstrate competence without recourse to credentialed experience and explain the fact that his voting record reveals him to be a pretty conventional democratic senator.I wonder if McCain would be best positioned to run against him since he has both lots of experience and some claim to the outsider label.

I agree that HRC is the most beatable of the Democratic nominees, so long as the Republican nominee is sufficiently "manly." Obama and Edwards pose different challenges. Like Ivan, I'd be tempted to run McCain against Obama. Against Edwards, I'd almost favor Huckabee, with a suitable running mate.

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