Republican lameness

Not generally a big fan of Fred Hiatt, and I’m not even sure he’s right on this, but I was kind of intrigued by his theory of why the Republican field of nominees this year is so exceptionally lame.  I also like that he hearkens back to poor Tim Pawlenty who dropped out too early if ever a candidate did:

 But why have visionary Republicans shied away?

The nearly forgotten candidacy of Tim Pawlenty offers a clue. Once upon a time a conservative governor from a swing region with a record of working across the aisle might have gained traction.

But in a party that has come to loathe compromise, Pawlenty didn’t have the gumption to run on his record, and he couldn’t sell himself as less nice and more ideologically pure than he really was. When he couldn’t bring himself to be mean to Romney in an early New Hampshire debate, he was finished.

The Republican ideology of no new taxes, ever, is a straitjacket. But even more dispositive is the conviction that reaching across the aisle is weak and treasonous.

Until that conviction fades, politicians who want to get things done, and would know how to strike deals in the nation’s interest, may stay on the sidelines.

In other words, forget about seeing any seriously capable Republican politicians so long as the party is in thrall to it’s no taxes ever, take no prisoners ideology.

About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

One Response to Republican lameness

  1. itchy says:

    Funny how the “nearly forgotten” campaign of Pawlenty is still somehow remembered more than the completely forgotten, just ended, campaign of Jon Huntsman.

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