Whatever happened to hope and change?
The Republican budget may or may not be the way forward, and there is doubtless much to criticize within it. Yet Obama’s response hardly advances the debate, reading as it does like a laundry-list of blue dream ideas that have dominated Democratic thinking for decades. Rather than proposing an alternative model for the future to compete with the GOP’s, the President appears content to run on what is essentially a stand pat program: the only thing wrong with the blue social model is that it is underfunded.
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And he remains a distinctly darker shade of blue than the “New Democrats” of the 1990s for whom reform was more important than shoring up the old ways of life. Yet it remains interesting to see that even President Obama has (particularly on educational issues) been forced by reality in the direction of reform. Beyond the public sector union movement, where all anybody can think about is how to get more funds to shovel into the machine, even the staunchest defenders of the blue social model must these days pay some attention to the need for results.
Via Instapundit. No wonder Obama in 2012 is “a brand in search of a slogan” (also via Instapundit). Guess that means that Republicans are now the party of change? Running on reform alone, Mead writes further, won’t be enough for Republicans to win in November:
His opponents will have to make the contrary cases: that the need for reform is urgent, and that the reforms they have in mind are well thought out, no harsher or rasher than they need to be, and likely to achieve key goals of blue programs (like helping the poor, educating the young, caring for the old and the sick) but in a more sustainable way. So far, Republicans have almost entirely depended on the first of these three arguments: that reform is urgently needed. They have done considerably less well convincing voters that they have a balanced, sensible, small ‘c’ conservative plan that will do what blue programs want to do, but at less cost.