Wednesday, March 16, 2016

Marco Rubio Tried To Sell George Bush's Synthesis And Failed

Ross Douthat is one of the NYT conservative opinion writers.  In this article he describes George Bush's political synthesis and he argues that Marco Rubio duplicated that synthesis.  That made Rubio the favorite candidate of many Republican leaders.  The Bush synthesis failed because it no longer reflects the needs and concerns of Republican primary voters.  Trump offers them a very different synthesis.  He promises even more tax cuts for the wealthy as Bush had done but he offers a more aggressive foreign policy than Bush.  He does not want to use force in order to build more friendly states in the Mid-East; Trump wants to stamp use military force to obliterate those who he perceives as threats.  Trump also deviates from the Bush synthesis on free trade.  He tells voters that he will do what is necessary to reduce our trade deficit.  He also promises to maintain funding for Social Security even as he cuts taxes. Bush tried to privatize Social Security and failed.  The other GOP candidates stress the need to reduce funding for entitlements.  Trump sounds more like a Democrat on trade and on entitlements.

Douthat sees the need to create a new Republican synthesis that better reflects the change in voter concerns.  However, he is not optimistic about the prospect of uniting the Republican Party on a new synthesis.  Trump has exposed the real divisions that exist in the Party.  The GOP electorate may not be interested in policy debates according to other GOP leaders.  Trump did not bore them with policy Proposals.  He channeled the anger that he sensed in the GOP base by showing voters that he shared their anger and that he was more likely to do something about it than the other candidates.

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