March 23, 2015

Reformicon

I found the following, from Jim Geraphy of NRO, interesting. Particularly the idea that having ideas makes you suspect. And how the emotions of revenge can block performance (sin makes you stupid?):
"Yes, it’s usually a mistake to read the comments under any article.

But I’m struck by the amount of skepticism and animosity that greets a mention of the word “reformicon.”...The “reformicon” agenda -- to the extent it can be boiled down -- is to find conservative reforms of existing local, state, and federal laws to help the middle class. Start with the problem facing the middle class -- high tuition, high tuition, high health-care costs, high cost of living, slow wage growth -- and come up with ways to get government out of the way as a driver of costs, or figure out how to get the government to achieve the required goals more efficiently and with more choice for individuals.

The reformicon agenda offers problem-solving . . . at a moment that a big chunk of the conservative base wants vengeance for the progressive stinkbombs laid upon this country by a runaway administration: Obamacare and its sales pitch full of lies; a partisan IRS; de facto amnesty by executive order; an enormously wasteful un-stimulative stimulus full of Solyndra-style pork and payoffs; a Dodd-Frank “reform” that turned “too big to fail” into “even bigger and more risky”; shipping guns to Mexican drug cartels in “Fast and Furious”; destructive race-baiting; a retreat from war against radical Islam; a reset button to an ambitious, duplicitous Putin; lying about the cause of the Benghazi attack; skipping Paris rallies for free expression to watch football; and giving away the store to Iranian mullahs.

The reformicon agenda is important, meat-and-potatoes governing issues, but that’s not what gets conservatives’ blood pumping at the moment – and there’s a sense that somebody really focused on the former is giving a pass to the latter. I think that sense is erroneous, but it’s out there.
The other element in there is those who suspect that “reform conservatism” seeks to reform conservatism itself, something that every reformicon insists isn’t true. But while conservatism doesn’t need updating, maybe the particular policy goals do.

There are, in some circles, this insistence that “if we Republicans want to win again, we just need to do what Ronald Reagan did” as if 30 years hadn’t passed since Reagan’s last electoral victory. (If you plug Reagan’s winning percentages among various demographics into the 2012 electorate, Reagan loses.) It’s not 1979 anymore; we don’t have a 1979-style economy, tax rate, education system, health-care system, workforce, and so on; why would it be controversial to take the concepts of limited government, free enterprise, and individual liberty and apply them to the concerns of today’s middle-class Americans?" 
Why indeed.

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