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December 09, 2012

What Happened to Republican Big Ideas?

Jonathan Bernstein: "I think a large part of it is that there's very little incentive from conservative audiences or conservative voters for policy; what gets them excited (and reaching for their wallets, in many cases) is partisan rhetoric, not policy. For the last several years, the way to get a big reaction in conservative circles is to make a teleprompter or a birther joke, not to bring up unsolved problems in the nation. Just as Swift boats and flip-flop jokes were all the rage before that, and Whitewater, Travelgate and the rest of the nonsense they threw at Bill Clinton was popular in the 1990s."

"Of course, attack politics is always popular with partisans; Democrats certainly had their share of fun with Mitt Romney's 47 percent, and earlier generations of Republicans enjoyed attacking Walter Mondale or Jimmy Carter (and certainly enjoyed attacking Ted Kennedy). But Republicans then (like Democrats now) also attempted to find real solutions to real problems."


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