The leading members of the Republican Party have a lot of thinking to do.
What they’ve been doing lately hasn’t been working out very well for them. They can’t just be the “We’ll spend almost as much as the Democrats!” party. They have to decide what kind of a genuine alternative they can present. One way to go is the Mike Huckabee route, and be more socially conservative, and economically populist. I think that would be a disaster for everyone. The other day, Jeff Flake (probably the best member of congress) wrote a great op-ed that they should consider seriously.
I suggest that we return to first principles. At the top of that list has to be a recommitment to limited government. After eight years of profligate spending and soaring deficits, voters can be forgiven for not knowing that limited government has long been the first article of faith for Republicans.
Second, we need to recommit to our belief in economic freedom. Adam Smith’s “The Wealth of Nations” may be on the discount rack this year, but the free market is still the most efficient means to allocate capital and human resources in an economy, and Americans know it. Now that we’ve inserted government deeply into the private sector by bailing out banks and businesses, the temptation will be for government to overstay its welcome and force the distribution of resources to serve political ends. Substituting political for economic incentives is not the recipe for economic recovery.
As they say, read the whole thing.
I think the Republicans would be wise to appoint Flake House Minority Leader (or at least, Whip), and to follow his advice.