A Wisconsin Political Fix
not just another blog
August 30, 2009
By Bill Kraus
The people in charge of what remains of the Republican Party insist that they realize that as long as the party’s agenda is dominated and characterized by social issues it will not win elections. The misguided wedge era is at an end. It is time to get back to the basics of frugality, competence, and regulation-lite. Or so they say.
Their entrepreneurial candidates have not all seen the light, however.
Scott Walker, who has the most money and a head start on the GOP nomination for governor, has sent out a mailing insisting that he is the MOST pro-life candidate.
Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen has decided that his re-election candidacy will be enhanced by not doing what he was elected to do and instead is flirting with being afflicted by the kind of homophobia that is being rejected in "radical" states like Iowa and by "left wing" Republicans like Ted Olson.
And no incumbent in Congress from our state has picked up where Tommy left off on trying to get a handle on the economy/job-killing cost of our employer-based health care system. To elaborate: At one time when he was serving as Secretary of the Health and Human Services in the Bush administration, Tommy proposed a crash program to computerize the health care records of everyone in the country in 18 months. Karl Rove, the illegitimate father of wedge politics, nixed the plan. The Republican’s willingness to fix high-cost-mediocre-results health care has gone downhill from there.
The free-market ideologues in our state Legislature do not hear the GOP state chairman when he tells them that the party is losing the campaign funding battle because too many Republicans are afraid to support the kind of modest public funding that would level the fiscal playing field. Stupid.
Until and unless the Republican Party rejects the partisanization of abortion rights, civil unions, and even gun control in urban areas, and gets back to frugal fixing of the public sector operations its main contribution to elective politics will be to enhance the candidacy of unpopular Democrats who will keep the Republican radicals at bay.
The thing that made Jim Doyle unbeatable was his veto pen not his programs or his personal charm.
So the only hope for the Republicans seems to be the Democrats’ likely hubris.
One of the truest truisms of politics is that we know how to handle defeat better than victory.
I would much prefer to see the Republicans base their campaign to regain power on a return to their traditional strengths instead of waiting for their opponents to go too far with theirs.
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