Following on the previous post, let's return for a moment to the "Movement 2.0" conversation. Consider these two points from Soren Dayton's post about possible ways forward for the GOP coalition:
Another option would be to continue to play for the working class, as Bush so incredibly succeeded in 2004, with "the party of capital" winning the white working class vote by 23%. The problem is that we lost a bunch in 2006, and we are unlikely to succeed in 2008. However, that would be the strategy of the Sams Club Republican advocates....Dayton says he favors the latter approach, though he concedes it may be "too post-partisan" for many conservative activists. He also hints at melding a reformist politics onto a redoubled pro-war line.
Another option would be the resurgence of a reformist movement in the GOP. This would be a strategy for holding on to the upper-middle class and appealing to students. There would be process reforms like earmark reform, which is clearly a Republican issue, and ethics reform, which could be. There are more complicated parts like redistricting, which is a Republican issue in California, but Democratic in places where GOPers lose from it. There’s actually a natural technological niche here with things like the Sunlight Foundation, Ruffini’s open API stuff, etc. There is a historical antecedent in the TR Progressive movement, and it doesn’t damage the existing coalition too much. Right now, this is a post-partisan issue rather than a partisan one. But once the Democrats take charge, it will quickly become a partisan one. It is already starting. In fact, we could use the cover of a Hillary Clinton presidency to co-opt the anti-Hillary anger into a constructive direction.
[T]he deeper problem is that we need to re-evaluate and re-configure our core issues so that they appeal to 60-70% of the American people. After all, and as I have noted, you cannot win elections without independents. Right now the Dems are winning because the GOP is not competing. "You can’t beat something with nothing."The problem is how to get to that 60-70%. It seems that, among the brighter young conservative activists, two broad approaches are emerging, and right now they are competing against each other.
I see two ways to do this: a moralistic domestic reformism that ties together the applied neoconservatism of welfare reform and crime-fighting, the social conservatism of moving to reduce the number of abortions (through restrictions or abortion alternatives) and income-splitting and other marriage-friendly and family-friendly measures, and a civic nationalism that emphasizes America's common culture and the central importance of assimilation and integration....Dayton essentially makes the contrasting case in a series of posts criticizing Mike Huckabee for the candidate's nativism, economic populism, and isolationism. If Dayton seems to favor a combination of "post-partisan" reformism, libertarian-esque economic policies, and something like the "war on terror nationalism" Salam identifies, Huckabee apparently represents the specter of "Buchanan/McGovern Republican[ism]," which would amount to "isolationism, protectionism, and "'culture war.'"
Or War on Terror nationalism, which focuses on the defeat of America's enemies to the exclusion of domestic issues.
Right now, WOT nationalism is surprisingly potent, certainly in the Republican primary race. In part, this is a function of the collapse of the GOP's big tent. My sense is that the shelf-life of War on Terror politics is limited. Over the long term, I think a commitment to WOT nationalism will shrink the Republican Party.