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Defying the Odds

Defying the Odds
New book about the 2016 election.

Monday, August 5, 2013

Republicans and Spending

At The Daily Beast, Lloyd Green writes that if the Rand Paul faction cannot reach an entente with Chris Christie and Republican moderates,  "the 2016 Republican presidential nomination will be little more than a soap box to channel the ghosts of 1964 Republican nominee Sen. Barry Goldwater and the Confederacy’s long dead president, Jefferson Davis."
Much as libertarian purists may wish to believe—that welfare and Social Security are the same, they are not. One is viewed by voters a benefit earned after a lifetime of labor, while the other is a matter of the taxpayers’ grace. The bottom line is that the GOP can no longer afford scorn all spending, or to treat checks issued by Treasury alike.

To that end, the GOP must make common cause with more than just the wealthy or the worshipful, and if it is unable to tell friend and foe apart, it will be consigned to the role of the not-so-loyal opposition for a long time. AARP doesn’t have to be an enemy. If Richard Nixon and Ronald Reagan could talk to the Teamsters, then the Republicans can surely speak to seniors.

Take disaster relief: as the Washington Post’s Chris Cillizza and Sean Sullivan describe it, “the American public wants money spent on disasters—cost be damned.” Parsing the numbers, Cillizza and Sullivan report, “fifty-nine percent of all respondents say federal emergency aid need not be offset by cuts in other parts of the budget, “ a number that includes a majority (52 percent) of self-identified Republicans.” To be sure, Christie is not alone. Other Republicans “get it,” too.