Essential Pawlenty: Ya, I Got Nothin'

>> Wednesday, April 15, 2009

If the Tea Bagging parties didnt tip you off the GOP is grasping for whatever they can find to return to relevance. Enter Tim Pawlenty "moderate" Republican governor of Minnesota. Pawlenty is a rumored pretender to the GOP throne. Given this its not surprising to see him giving an interview to the NYT about how Republicans are going to make a stunning comeback and return to power. The problem? He has no fucking clue.

One of the clear problems that the Republicans have is that they havent come to the table with anything that resembles new ideas. They rely on the old Reagan trope of tax cuts, spending, cuts, god, gays, guns. We should expect that a future leader of the republican party like Pawlenty pretends to should be someone with new ideas. Pawlenty should bring new policy focuses that enable him to persuade a public still wary of republicans and their policies. From the interview here is what Pawlenty says about his vision for getting the GOP back on top,

“Some of it will be the inevitable pendulum swinging back,” he said. “The Democrats, being in full control of the White House and Congress, will inevitably overplay their hands. It is the predictable thing that happens when you have total power. They will go too far, and there will be an inevitable reaction to that.”

“Feeding off what they do wrong is not a strategy,” he said. “We may get some tailwind from that, but it can’t be the central tenet of our strategy.”

But he said he was concerned with “the utter lack of concern they seem to have for the deficit and debt — and I don’t point my finger just at President Obama,” noting the steadily escalating deficits during the years of Republican government as well. He said Mr. Obama has offered the country a “very expansive view of government that I don’t agree with.”

And he said that Mr. Obama had failed to take advantage of his political capital to force Congress, for example, to cut back on earmarks. “He can get almost anything he wants out of this Congress,” Mr. Pawlenty said.

“My prediction is you’re going to see some near-term uptick in the economy — regardless of these policies, just because it’s the nature of these things,” he said. “But the thing to keep an eye on is the boomerang effect of this massive infusion of money. I’m not just talking about the stimulus bill and the spending bill, but what’s coming. The Big Kahuna health bill. The Big Kahuna energy bill.”

“Our strategy can’t be just pointing out the negatives of President Obama’s agenda,” he said. “We have to have our own agenda and our own ideas. I think the party has done an okay — but not great — job of responding to the president.”

“You are going to have a second round of problems,” he said, “and those problems are going to be directly attributable to the misguided and over-baked fiscal policies that you are seeing right now.”

Earmarks, Deficits, Liberal-Over Reach, Some Sort of Problem because of energy and health care reform. If those sound vaguely familiar they are. Pawlenty says that the republican strategy cannot be to simply sit back and wait for time but really thats all these topics point to as a strategy. No where in this article is the hint of something new in policy terms from Pawlenty. Instead we see the same thing every other conservative has offered from the days of reagan--and for good reason.

“I think, for Republicans, it has to be about staying true to our values and principles, but more effectively applying those to the emerging issues of our time,” he said. “I know that sounds simplistic, but it is the blocking and tackling of how you get things done.”

If only we could talk more effectively and sell it better conservatism would succeed. Maybe its not fair to be so hard on Pawlenty. He doesnt seem to understand that the central idea of Conservatism is a counter reaction to progress and change. Conservatives look to the past, yes that includes fiscal conservatives. They all want to go back to pre New Deal america with the freedom of contract and no safety net. Pawlenty is not the future of the Republican part because he simply lacks innovation. To lead a political party out of the wilderness requires new thinking and Pawlenty just isnt providing it.

Pawlenty said some of the right things but when provided with the opportunity to show off some real policy innovations Pawlenty had nothing. So if your looking for Pawlenty to ride to the rescue of the GOP it doesnt look like its going to happen. His only prescription for getting the GOP back is, time.


O-le,O-le, O-le, O-le! O-le, O-le!

  © Blogger template Sunset by 2008

Back to TOP