Monday, December 10, 2012

Michael Tomasky is skeptical of the GOP's ability to follow the softer rhetoric of Ryan and Rubio with actual policy changes on The Daily Beast.

Republicans aren’t anywhere near to exposing themselves to the kind of self-examination and intra-party debate the Democrats undertook after Reagan’s second win. Despite upholstering their speeches with ample liberal rhetoric, and in Rubio’s case those aforementioned quasi-proposals, Rubio and Ryan both stuck hard to current-day GOP gospel. Raising tax rates isn’t an option. Relying on government isn’t the answer, and all the rest. When I read the Ryan remarks I quoted above, as I first started reading those words, I thought to myself, “Ah, might I encounter here an actual nugget of self-criticism?” It came. But it was only about messaging. The substance of their positions, to them, is fine and dandy.

As I said, the mainstream media will fall for this gibberish. Just hearing Republicans say that they care, they really care, makes their knees go wobbly. But rhetoric does not signify actual change. That requires searing internal debate and some new policies—new policies that carry the implicit or even explicit acknowledgment that the party has been wrong about some things. Until we see all that, it’s the Same Old Party.

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