Saturday, August 23, 2014

Chait Responds to Frum

Jonathan Chait responds to David Frum's comments on the Republican Party in New York magazine.

The Republican Party constructed a geriatric trap for itself. Just how it will escape is hard to see. It is a small-government party whose base is wedded to the programs that constitute a large and growing share of government. The inability to touch the benefits of any old person, in combination with its still-extant support for defense and fanatical opposition to tax hikes in any form, have driven Republicans to propose massive cuts to the small share of government that benefits struggling workers. This priority has, in turn, saddled the GOP with the (correct) image of hostility toward the unfortunate.

Frum, interestingly, identifies another side effect of the geriatric trap: It infuses the party and its public spokesmen with mournful sensibility. “It is overwhelmingly tempting to people contemplating mortality,” he writes, “to infer that what holds true for them must also hold true for the nation.” Republicans may one day in the future look back with uncomprehending regret on their refusal to strike a fiscal deal with the rare figure (Obama) who was eager to compromise with them and able to deliver liberal support. But a party fixated on visions of imminent mortality is not very suited to thinking about the future.

1 comment:

superdestroyer said...

the question is not how the demand for growing government spending will affect the irrelevant Republicans. The real question is what are the long term effects of everyone from the demand to grow entitlements, to increase taxes to pay for the entitlements, and to grow the government in order to collect the taxes and operate the welfare state.