Why a young Republican could mark the fall of old Democrats
The Hill is alive with murmurings as the first day of session, after the long summer break, rapidly approaches. When Congressmen and Senators return to their duties today it will not be without the heavy knowledge that many of them will not have this experience again. The midterms, which have historically been a barometer of the public’s contentment with the current President, are expected to see the battering of a Democratic party that, despite good aims, good politicians and genuine will, have failed to deliver on its defining policies.
However, there was, until recently, a saving grace for the Democrats; the Republicans have really failed in providing any sort of viable alternative. They had fallen into the trap that every party out of government does. They had become too reliant on simply opposing the proposers. Rather that developing policy, they have dismantled the government’s.
I recognize that this is an important role, but as elections loom, I can’t help but feel that a heavily criticized policy will beat the shadow of a heavily criticized policy every time.
But that seems to be changing thanks to a previously unremarkable Congressman from the first district of Wisconsin. Paul Ryan, who assumed office in 1999, has been a strong local politician for the past decade and has now made a bold move, in the hope of making the GOP a party ready to govern. The publishing of his 87 page, 75 year Roadmap for America’s Future has seen Ryan become the banner boy for a more progressive opposition that may one day be able to undercut the seemingly lofty clams of the Democrats.
The problem Democrats now face though doesn’t come from the actual content of Ryan’s roadmap, which can be dismissed fairly easily as the overly traditionalist approach it is. The Wisconsin Representative actually admits himself that were his plans introduced, taxes would have to be increased to fix a shortfall in revenue.
No, the problem is not what Ryan is doing, but how he is doing it. The departing from usual opposition politics to an overt willingness to offer compromise on policy and to debate rather than destruct, will see a far less impotent GOP that the Democrats will not easily shake-off in November.Tagged in: Americas, Democrats, economics, GOP, Midterms, Paul Ryan, republicans, Roadmap, washington
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