September 9th, 2012


Jonathan Bernstein has a posse.

"If we think about what could change the current GOP antipathy to policy, facts, and the rest of it, the most likely answer would be that they could have a successful president who sets a different example. In part, that would take staring down Rush Limbaugh and the rest of his crowd - something that neither Bush had any interest in. But in part, it would just be by example. Bill Clinton taught lots of young Democrats that his way of doing politics was the right way to do it. A successful Republican president could teach a generation of Republicans that lesson.

"However, it doesn't seem possible to get to be a successful Republican president in the first place by acting like that. So, Catch-22. Especially since, in my view, the kinds of things that make it difficult for Republicans to speak sensibly about policy make it equally difficult for Republicans to develop and implement good public policy. Which means that even a stealth policy wonk Republican who managed to win the nomination and get elected would have some difficulty becoming a successful enough president to be the one who sets the better example. Granted, it doesn't have to be as bad as George W. Bush. But it really is quite the problem for them."