Thursday, January 15, 2009

Social Conservatives and the Ohio GOP

I’m not sure that I buy the premise that social conservatism is a net vote loser, or that it played that big a role in the Republican’s Hindenburg-like performance last November.

Bush’s administration generally governed from the center left on domestic issues (immigration, Medicare drug plans, increasing federal control over schools, ‘compassionate conservatism’, etc.) The few areas where they did take a “social conservative” approach was on pro life issues, but that was never a focus of the administration.

One thing the Bush Administration and the national party haven’t stood for is limited government and economic liberty. Bringing those issue to the fore – and serious work will have to be done before anyone believes that the Republicans are a party of low taxes, limited government, and liberty – isn’t the worst idea in the world.

Certainly, McCain didn’t run on any hot button “social conservative” issues. Palin did to some extent, and was certainly painted by the Obama campaign and their MSM allies as a right wing, book burning, neo nazi nut, but her debut was so poorly handled that she never really got on track.

With the additional issue of Bush fatigue and the MSM swoon over Obama, there wasn’t a lot of room for error, and the McCain candidacy made many.

That said, a good chunk of the Ohio meltdown can also be tied to those issues as well.

I’m not sure that a return to the permanent minority mindset of Bob Michael Republicanism is quite what the doctor ordered.