The Corner

Liberal Advice

From a reader:

As a liberal I appreciate your efforts and those of other conservatives to keep things clear in the aftermath of the Republican defeat. As a political scientist, I think “reformist” Republicans are generally not developing a very sound analysis of their party’s problems. Any party, left, right, or anything else, would have been seriously affected by the economic crisis of today if it had a president in office at the time. There was really no way McCain could avoid being lumped together with Bush, and thus get tarred with the same brush.

As for social conservatism as a problem, I think just the opposite is true. Social conservatives are the core of the party and the party’s strategists and professional chatterers should never get too far from that core.

My advice to the Republicans is this: Now is the time to cull insufficiently conservative politicians and opinion leaders from the party. The party needs to become much more self-consciously right-wing and ideologically intransigent. Between now and the next presidential election, conservatives need to complete their full take-over of the party and need to do everything they can to mobilize Americans in the name of conservatism.

By 2012, party strategists should have a very clear idea about what they want to do. They should have several right-wing potential candidates willing and able to broaden the appeal of the party. But the appeal of the party should be understood as the appeal of conservatism, not some opportunistic set of compromises with the left. Such an approach won’t work.

While I certainly do not wish conservatives or Republicans well, I want them to stand for what they truly believe, and make their appeal to the American voting public on that basis. Think right, run right, govern right. Anything less will only disappoint all of you.

Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

Most Popular

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More

The Pollster Who Thinks Trump Is Ahead

The polling aggregator on the website RealClearPolitics shows the margin in polls led by Joe Biden in a blue font and the ones led by Donald Trump in red. For a while, the battleground states have tended to be uniformly blue, except for polls conducted by the Trafalgar Group. If you are a firm believer only in ... Read More
Media

The Media’s Shameful Hunter Biden Abdication

In an interview with National Public Radio’s public editor today, Terence Samuel, managing editor for news, explained why readers haven’t seen any stories about the New York Post’s Hunter Biden email scoop. “We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want ... Read More
Media

The Media’s Shameful Hunter Biden Abdication

In an interview with National Public Radio’s public editor today, Terence Samuel, managing editor for news, explained why readers haven’t seen any stories about the New York Post’s Hunter Biden email scoop. “We don’t want to waste our time on stories that are not really stories, and we don’t want ... Read More

Biden Can’t Tax the Rich

Joe Biden’s tax plan is based on a deathless myth: that taxes are actually paid in economic terms by those upon whom they legally fall. The obviousness of this nonsense is clear enough if you put the proposition into plain English: “Don’t you worry, now, we’re not going to raise taxes on you, Bubba — ... Read More

Biden Can’t Tax the Rich

Joe Biden’s tax plan is based on a deathless myth: that taxes are actually paid in economic terms by those upon whom they legally fall. The obviousness of this nonsense is clear enough if you put the proposition into plain English: “Don’t you worry, now, we’re not going to raise taxes on you, Bubba — ... Read More