A political post to start off the week.......... please note that for this I'm not talking as an econ person - just as someone who is interested in our nations politics.............
Last week at the GOP presidential candidate debates Regan's name was uttered some 19 times - it was a big Reagan suck-up fest largely because Republicans adored his charisma and wanted to evoke it (and they recognize that many others did too) .... oh and also because Mrs. Reagan was in the audience.
But a few of them mentioned Reagan as the last true conservative - I find that ironic since, in my view, he was the first real neocon!
The man loved deficits - Goldwater he was not.
But perhaps that is what the candidates meant - that Reagan was the first real 'national' social conservative. That is, he made being socially conservative a key point to winning national elections. Well on that point I tend to agree. But social conservatism as a political movement is dying now in my view - as any extreme ideology would after being taken to its edge. After all the scandals, and the half-truths, and the coverups, I think more moderates are getting fed up with the situation (like me). Republicans will be making a big mistake this election cycle if they continue to pander to their evangelical constinuents (and continue to ignore the middle).
By the way, I think it's pretty clear that Mitt Romney is going to win the Republican primary - McCain has completely lost his edge and that comment he made about following Bin Laden to the gates of hell as he broke into a Grinch-like smile was just creepy. Giulliani I actually like alot but I think the other candiates will end up being successful in painting him and his views as wishy-washy. Also, he supports the "stay the course" mentality and that doesn't help any. Mitt is above the fray at this point and he just "sounds" presidential.
I think Obama will probably win the Democratic nomination. I think people will, in the end, skip Hillary because she is so polarizing. Obama represents youth and the future to alot of Democrats.
So, it is Romney v. Obama. Who wins that? That's a tough one. I would say Obama would easily win (from my first point about social conservatism and the war just not appealing anymore on a grand scale). To the point, Obama is not afraid of loosly talking about his spirituality and thereby cutting off the evangelical rhetoric of his opponent. But there are two things working against Obama - inexperience and race. There will be those that won't vote for him because he lacks political experience, and there will be those that don't because he's black. The latter isn't a big deal since those that wouldn't vote for him cause he's black probably wouldn't have voted Democrat anyway. The former issue of experience is a much larger problem....