Where the GOP is Headed

You know that scene in the movies where the cop is staring at the big corkboard with all of the pictures and little pieces of yarn and thumbtacks, and suddenly he recognizes the pattern? Then his eyes grow wide, he mutters, “That’s it,” and he runs off to crack the case just in time?

That’s how I feel right now. I think the time has come for [more] irresponsible speculation on the next few years in politics.

First off, who are the Republican Party’s big rising stars right now? They’re guys like Bobby Jindal, Mike Huckabee, Tim Pawlenty, and, um, Sarah Palin.

What do all of those people have in common, besides just being governors? Well, they’re all pretty Jesus-y. Pawlenty is an evangelical, Huckabee is an ordained minister, Palin pals around with known witch hunters, and Jindal himself is a genuine ghostbuster. I think it is far to say that they’ve all got that old time religion–“old time,” in some cases, meaning “Middle Ages.”

But what makes all of these guys, with the exception of Palin, interesting is that otherwise, they’re relatively moderate. Hell, Jindal even has some pretty good ideas on Medicaid.

In other words, it’s the exact opposite approach to moderate Republicanism that [pre-2008] McCain took. Although a pro-lifer, McCain’s never been the theocrat’s dream candidate; but he adhered to conservative orthodoxy on issues like small government and foreign policy matters.

Now it looks like the Republicans might go in the other direction, which looks a little bit like Grand New Party (I should note at this point that I’ve only read the review and not the actual book, but the gist of it sounds right).

Meanwhile, Palin may be the neocon wing’s last best hope.

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2 Responses

  1. I think Jindal is the most formidable candidate the GOP has because of his intelligence, a quality many GOP candidates lack these days.

    The GOP has forgotten the power of ideas and the politics of innovative policy-making. McCain and Palin ran a campaign devoid of policy alternative to the Bush Administration.

    I just don’t see candidates like Barbour, Sanford, Huckabee, or Palin breaking that mold anytime soon.

    Pawlenty and Jinal are different…Jindal more so…but the question is whether either one of them could make it out of a GOP primary.

  2. […] says that the 2012 Republican nominee will be a neocon, I’m not quite so sure. As I said earlier, the party rising star types like Jindal, Pawlenty and Huckabee don’t seem to be particularly […]

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