The GOP Establishment is moving at warp speed to reload itself to attract a more liberal voter than what was once considered its base.
The term “libertarian” is being bandied about, but perhaps “liberal-tarian” is more accurate.
Establishment Republicans don’t want to appear liberal. Seeming openly socialist is the last thing they want – at least until the 2014 midterm results are tallied.
That’s why so many warm to libertarianism, at least on social issues like gay marriage and drug legalization, where they feel they can woo away Obama voters.
They fear the president’s two victories presage a post- modern, Roosevelt-style coalition that will have Democrats in the White House for generations.
The irony is while socially liberal, libertarians are frighteningly anti-government by progressive and even mainstream conservative standards. They make Newt Gingrich and Paul Ryan look like Hippies on fiscal matters.
I guess the Republican establishment wants liberal-tarian street cred on social issues while stuffing the more fiscally unpleasant aspects of libertarianism in their proverbial back pockets.
How or if this 21st Century version of 1960s fusionism (traditionalism plus laissez-faire economics) can happen is a magic trick to test the legerdemain of David Copperfield.
What worries GOP purists and pragmatists alike is whether an internet edition of Roosevelt-era “Me Too” Republicanism will save a nation they feel has abandoned all that made it great.
In their minds (mine included) is the sinking suspicion that the GOP has morphed from meaning “Grand Old Party” to “Genuflecting Ourselves Party,” before the altar of political expediency.
(Originally published in The Bold Pursuit)
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