Friday, July 11, 2008

Republicans--winning "Sam's Club" voters?

I think this is a good analysis, having to do with a recent book on how the Republican Party can reinvent itself:

"White working-class voters typically aren’t in vogue, with the political chatter tending to revolve around “soccer moms,” the “youth vote,” or other boutique demographic groups of the moment. But the late charge of Hillary Clinton’s doomed presidential campaign made white working-class voters surprisingly fashionable. They’ll stay that way if the important new book Grand New Party, by two young writers for The Atlantic, Ross Douthat and Reihan Salam, has the impact on the political debate that it should. In an incisive analysis of the past 30 years of our politics, Douthat and Salam puncture self-comforting delusions of both the Right and the Left, and persuasively advocate a reorientation of the GOP to address working-class concerns....these voters have a keen self-interest in arresting social breakdown: “Safe streets, successful marriages, cultural solidarity, and vibrant religious and civic institutions make working-class Americans more likely to be wealthy, healthy, and upwardly mobile.” Marriage in particular is key. The rise in illegitimacy blights the prospects of the working class, even as the college-educated upper-middle class disproportionately benefits from the social and economic rewards of stable family life."

Exactly. Working-class voters don't hold these views out of "frustration" (as Barack Obama and other liberals mistakenly argue). They hold them because they know these underlying pillars of society are key for them, and their children, to make it.

The question, now, is what policies to Republicans espouse to fit within these principles? Just fiddling with the tax code might not be enough.