The Next Right Policy: Where do we go?


An open question to readers and other bloggers: What policy should Republicans be advocating and pursuing to limit government and regain popular support?

Bear in mind, I'm not asking what pie-in-the-sky policies you would like to see, or what "principle" you would love to see enacted.  I am asking for policy proposals that would be...

  • Electorally viable (i.e., it would help win elections)
  • Relevant to current issues (i.e., the electorate and public officials would prioritize it)
  • Focused on fixing the structural problems that create bigger and more costly government

So, what policies should Republicans begin advocating and pursuing? 

Your rating: None Average: 4.5 (2 votes)


I actually don't think policy proposals

are what we need to be pushing down Obama and the dems right now considering that Obama has been anything but clear what it is that he hopes to do policy-wise.  That Zogby poll showed that most of his supporters have no idea what Obama stands for and perhaps, we should just wait for them to find out what exactly it is that they voted for.

There's a reason why McCain was popular among independents, despite some of his conservative viewpoints (foreign policy and abortion).  He did things that were non-idealogical in nature such as challenging that coward Barack "race card" Obama to ten townhall debates and didn't lie about public financing like Obama.  These things may seem like stunts and gimmicks but swing, indies are not idealogues.  We need to regain some of our credibility with them before we start pushing the idea that our policies are superior to their policies.

My first stop would be this pay raise that the dem-controlled Congress will receive.  No one believes that a body with a 9% approval should receive higher pay.  Nepotism with respect to the New York Senate seat is another issue we can push.  Mitch Daniels and Sarah Palin both refused pay increases recently; we can draw the contrast between two of our top dogs and make it an issue as to the Congressional pay raise.  Start small, regain credibility, and then push policy: that's my strategy.

"I'm not asking...what

"I'm not asking...what "principle" you would love to see enacted."

No offense, but this is kind of a false dichotomy. Principle has always informed the policy prescriptions which conservatives make, though other considerations have worked their way in.

However, I'll bite: One thing I think  conservatives really ought to focus on is reviving the "Brilliant Pebbles" program that we lost in the 90's, with the justification that Iran has been testing weapons for the purpose of creating an EMP, which is a threat only space-based interceptors can counter. Congress had this threat investigated four years ago and is only now having hearings on the topic, and it's unknown enough that it would be surprising and new for the media and for the American people. Besides, that whole, "talk to Iran and they like us. We promise," line would look pretty hollow at the point where Iran is trying to set us back to the early 19th century technologically.

EDIT: One other thing - just developing the space-based program would actually be cheaper than what we have going now. Our current Ballistic Missile Defense program costs about $9 billion a year. Brilliant Pebbles was projected to cost about $7 billion/a year, and to finish at a final cost of about $60 billion, and that was assuming a program that could shoot down about 200 missiles. With Iran, we're dealing with a much smaller number.

Also, given how angry everyone is over the bailouts and over the massive mortgage on our  future, I think reviving the Balanced Budget amendment idea could potentially be useful. Mind you, it would have to be a long-term project, but as a conversational issue it would give us some rhetorical weight in attacking the bloated government and in distancing ourselves from the elements of it that we created.

Republicans used to have the mantle of national security experts and fiscal responsibility under their wing. Let's get it back, even if we have to do it slowly.

No offense, but this is kind

No offense, but this is kind of a false dichotomy. Principle has always informed the policy prescriptions which conservatives make...

Principle is just the ideals to which you subscribe.  Policy involves the ideals, sure, but also the strategy for how to get there.  The Right has talked about "principles" all day long; what we've lost is any viable strategy for achieving them. That's why we have to talk about policy.  That is where we've fallen far, far short.

Granted. That's why I gave

Granted. That's why I gave you ideas. I'm just pointing out that the two aren't necessarily divorced and, if you ask me, the Right needs to put its theoretical house in order just as much as it needs policy.

Bizare. concerned about Iran when the likelihood of

a nuclear war is steadily rising?

I'm not sure that there is a way for the military to produce anything under budget, and we've already been working on the Star Wars stuff for a long time now...

Actually, if you're willing to forgoe the starwars crap, i'll be willing to nod gently along with whatever you say.

Because I'd really rather not have a war with Russia right now, thankyouverymuch.

"we've already been working

"we've already been working on the Star Wars stuff for a long time now..."

Incorrect. We have been working on the ground based component. Clinton junked the space-based interceptors in the early nineties.

And I'd much rather have to sit and tensely twiddle our thumbs around Putin than have all our electricity wiped out.

R&D for everything that leads to energy independence

R&D for everything that leads to energy independence, becasue if we can achieve that status we will stop shipping a goodly portion of our wealth overseas and can also spend less on defense, since we will have strategic interests in fewer places.

Drill Here, Drill Now, Pay Less!!!

It was our strongest issue during the campaign to the point that the Dems quietly caved to us on it while the bailout was getting passed.

Also, we can do more for broader energy secuirty by making the current R&D tax credit permanent than by spending more money on ethanol.

So much more than drilling

Focusing on drilling it the least useful way to go about it.

Dont Put His Argument In A Box..

Clearly describing the benefits of drilling for our own oil is only the beginning. 

Conservatives have the wide open opportunity to show that we can be the party of energy independence through a comprehensive energy plan that involves not only drilling for oil off of Virginia or inside the ANWR province, but through energy tax credits to encourage investment, litigation reform to curb environmental extremists, and expansion into alternative energies.  We can show  that Conservatives care as much about the environment as everyone else, but we are not willing to compromise our economic future to a small group of tree huggers with no plan.  Also, with strict regulations we have proven methods to tap our own resources in an environmentally friendly way.

I'm Scared By The First Bullet...

Any time I see electability mentioned as a primary concern, i.e.,

Electorally viable (i.e., it would help win elections)

I have visions of discarding conservative principles one by one and ending up being unelectable.


I might suggest the New Federalist Platform as a guideline, however.


Yeah, well...

Any time I see electability mentioned as a primary concern ... I have visions of discarding conservative principles one by one and ending up being unelectable.

Anytime I see people dismissing electoral viability, I have visions of the Libertarian Party.  How's that working out for them?

Nice riposte there

Poor Libertarian party. If anyone is a good example of being too ideologically rigid/inflexible, I think the Libertarian party is it. (Green party could go here too, but I don't count them as a 'real' party.)

In Some Ways Yes, In Some, Not So Much

The Libertarian Party, it seems to me, is sometimes too ideologically fixed but, more often than not, it is their utter lack of understanding of political reality that causes their problems.

I have never seen a bigger bunch of put-their-foot-in-their-mouths-at-every-given-opportunity folks than these guys.  (Which SUCKS because I like a LOT of what libertairnaism (small "l") stands for.)

Hey Libertarian (Big "L") Party --> next time you're given a national stage upon which to espouse your views, try NOT leading off with "All drugs should be legalized!"

If you really want that to be your main point, come at it from the "We believe in personal freedom and responsibility" angle and then, sloooowly, make your way over to legalizng drugs.  That way you won't have 90% your audience stop listening as they think to themselves, "Oh, it's those nutballs who want kids on heroin" again.

they're the fratboy party

what did you expect?

seriously, it would be better if they could come off as something, anything other than that.


The problem is that the Libertarian Party always goes a step too far. They start off by saying, "We get taxed far too much!" and the crowd cheers. Then, sensing blood, they say, "We shouldn't be taxed at all!" Then murmurs from the crowd, confusion. Desperate to win them all over, the Libertarian Party doubles up with, "In fact, taxation should be made illegal!" Then everyone laughs, shakes their head and walks away.

I Wasn't Thinking LP...

Remember late January when McCain was the "electable" candidate? He really wasn't.

Adding Palin got him back some he'd lost, while losing some others of course. But without Palin, I think it would have been an Obama landslide.

I see 2008 as the example of what "electability" buys. I'd really rather not repeat it.

National Market for Medical Insurance

Currently, Medical Insurance is regulated by individual states.  If we instead created a national market, people who live in high-mandate states (eg. New York and California) can purchase medical insurance in low-mandate states (eg. Texas).  It's the single step that wil do the most to make medical care more affordable.

how will this fix the 40 cents on a dollar

we spend in denying people health care?

crediblity also counts

The Republicans can only discuss issues and policy initiatives where they have crediblity.  Taking about fiscal restraint, balanced budgets, or lower spending will not affect a single election after the incomptence of the Bush Admnistraiton and the Republicans in Congress.


Common Sense with Principled Policies

Legislative policies must resonate with the average person, which the bailout is perpendicular to any common sense after the fiasco the TARP funds have become.

Ballot Integrity:  Photo identification for voting.  The details are not insurmontable.  Citizens seem to function quite well in check cashing, buying alcohol and tobacco, renting video games and boarding airplanes using a photo ID.  Common sense says, "Yep. Required to elect our government's leaders!"

Balanced Budget...Required!:  Budgeting on a bi-annual basis is likely to assist on a basis that matches Congressional election cycles.  States that operate under balanced budget requirements are forced to control spending and deal with the lack thereof.  Having the ability to pass along perpetual spending for special, personal interests is unhealthy and leads to the role of government overreaching its Constitutional intent.  Common Sense says, "I balance my budget and have serious consequences for failing to do so...the government should do the same."

Legal Immigration:  Complete birth of a new system to track and process applicants becoming citizens.  Layering "fixes" on an already broken system is unacceptable and inefficient.  Common Sense says, "It should be easier for a U.S. citizen to navigate airport security to legally board an airplane than for individuals to access our borders."  

Health Care:  The system has to remain private with individuals serving as the decision-makers, customers, not an employer or an insurance company.  Health Savings Accounts are the best of all worlds because they're personal regarding choice of services and portable, not tied to a job.  Small businesses should be able to pool their purchasing power to achieve lower insurance plan rates, should medical insurance remain the desired vehicle for paying for health care.  Common Sense says, "I only want to pay for services that I use, so an HSA seems reasonable.  I also don't want to be a socialized patient in a socialized system."

These are a few issues that scratch the surface of options but reflect common sense solutions with an emphasis on a mixture of personal responsibility and effective government.  Common Sense says....


photo id doesn't fix JACK.

and it creates more problems than it solves, unless you're going to pay your own money to drive Mrs. Jenkins from her nursing home to the DOT.

MOST of America doesn't balance it's DEBT. Consumer debt is close to 100% of GDP. Please try again when you can teach Americans common sense.

a few Deep Thoughts

Why are you against Ballot Integrity?  Of course a photo id requirement makes sense, BUT would definitely have its problems.. Doesnt mean its not a good idea.  And PS, if Mrs Jenkins is in a nursing home, shes probably getting help getting to the polling location or sending in her absentee, So she will probably have help getting her new and improved voter id card.

Two, Most American's not balancing their debt is not a reason for not having a Balanced Budget.  So you point to one bad behavior with another.....

3, all you seem to do on this site is refute others' ideas while never providing ideas of your own.  This thread was raised to discuss ideas for future republican policies and to expound on them, not to cut them down regardless of the narrow minded liberal prism you may look through or whether or not they may be valid. 

i am definitely wrong a lot, and there are a million things that i dont know or understand, but if you cannot provide any ideas on the topic presented, please get off the thread as no one likes flippant arrogance.

I know these are hard to read...

i wish they'd improve this system. My suggestion was to get back on the same side as mainstream science and stop falling into the Dover Trap.

Oregon votes by mail -- how does that work with a photo id anyway? I'm pro ballot integrity, but I'm more interested in fixing "XXX is registered in four states, because he moves around" than "Person Y may be claiming to be Person Z" -- which is what I assume photo Id solves. In my state, you're required to show some proof of residence, which is something like a utility bill. People have those, just lying around. If not that, then a lease.

Then again, I'm for giving a full day off every four years, just so that more people can show up to vote. That is partially my partisanship speaking.

I agree with the idea of a balanced budget in principle. Maybe not right right now(keynesian desu), but in principle. Just trying to point out that it might be a harder sell.


I agree that the pay raise is

I agree that the pay raise is an issue, although I also feel that lawmakers should make enough money to keep them out of financial difficulty. 

I think the people of this country want a vibrant economy, but they also want Washington DC to leave them alone ("stop changing the laws just because you can't find something better to do with your time"), e.g. stop running deficits that will cost taxpayers. 


1.  Immigration:  Secure the Borders

2.  Government:  That Goverment is best which governs least.

3.  Fiscal Conservatism:  Begin by demanding Pork Barrel Spending has to go.

4.  Family Values:  Without Social Conservatism on board, the GOP is going nowhere.

5.  National Security: Without National Security, this country is going nowhere.

6.  Liberal Activist Judges must not be allowed to control the Courts for generations.

7.  Free Market Capitalism and Deregulation:  The time-tested answer to new jobs creation and prosperity for all

Here's one... stop using the term

"Activist judges."

Look, I don't agree with judges essentially 'creating' rights where they are not there. I don't think many people do. But obviously we must apply the Constiution to real-life events, and so some rules must be interpreted.

For instance, what about the "free speech zones" that the President uses at rallies? Should we argue that "activist" judges have made them legal, when there should be no law preventing freedom of speech?

What about the rules regarding "no-knock" raids? Isn't this a violation of our right to be free from unreasonable search and seizure?

Using 'boogeyman' code words like "activist judges" will not help win over anyone that isn't already on your side.

No Policies For Now - Work On The Message.

For the first time in 28 years, we are not going to have powerful republican influence in federal government.

Ronald Reagan: 1981 - 1989:  The great communicator

George Herbert Walker Bush: 1989 - 1993:  War in Iraq gave us the power

Bill Clinton: 1993 - 2001:  Newt Gingrach And The Contract With America

George Bush: 2001 - 2009:  War In Iraq, 9/11, Afghanistan let us mold the discussion.

The above items let us control the discussion.  For the last 28 years, the democrats did not have the power....even if they controlled specific branches.  In thirty days, this won't be the case.  For the first time, we are marginalized.

Better to spend the next year crafting the message.  Wait for the screw ups, alienations, and the in-fighting.  Then, with reference to the well crafted message, adapt and gain momentum based upon issues.  We now are forced to be reactive.

To be successful in reactionary activity, we need the concrete, agreed upon fundamentals.  One voice, One solution.  Put it in writing.  Keep it simple. 

Remember, many of us don't know (at least I don't know) how it is to be the minority left on the outside looking in. 

one voice one solution is why you're in the minority

people don't like it when their congressmen don't represent them.

with that logic

the entire democratic house should be removed. 

I definitely don't know what you're talking about.

surely you've hear dof the progressive caucus and the blue dogs?????? really, the democrats do vote differently, and most of the time representatively. FISA excluded, fo course.


both recent bailouts.  Listen to anything Debbie Stabenow ever says.

now I know you're joking!

she's not even IN the house!

Besides, the autobailout was split, unlike some of the shit that's been passed (Patriot Act)


you "educated" libs just like to argue semantics.  you know what i am referring to, the house passed both bailouts against the will of the people, Stabenow is a blind partisan in the Senate.

King Henry gave your money away!

nyaaah! guess who appointed him! He'd been working on that three page blank check for MONTHS!

And you want to blame CONGRESS for NOT giving us martial law?????? 

t'hell with you! Congress did it's job. That's to make decisions that plebes like you don't have full info about.

When King Henry goes white as a sheet, you know someone's up shit creek. (whee! this liberal likes slant rhyme. actually I hate it. but I felt like making you look up Emily)

Don't Feed the Troll

You know it only encourages him (RT), MacGregor.

No need to do that.  He talks enough as it is.


Merry Christmas.

I believe

RisingTide is a 'she'.


 in both the Federal Government and Indistries that we are bailing out. Push hard for all sorts of information, money transactions, and procedures to become public domain information. Not just a one-time release, but as ongoing laws. This is the onlt kind of "regulation" that we need - forcing information to be free and public, not forcing auto manufacturers to stop making trucks and other big cars, forcing banks to not invest money in certain ways, or any other heavy-handed "can't do this" laws. Only "you can do this, but you have to disclose *everything* about it first" laws.

Calle & Company

Is your only hope. Now go do your homework and call us back in eight years.



I'd say "Legalize marijuana"

But I know that would never pass on your side.

I'd Support That!!!


Where do we go?


I will tell you where we go....








Before it's too late -- if it's not already too late.


ex animo



The parent post asks us to come up with ideas of limiting gov't.

Ideas of limiting gov't that would have appeal and help the conservative movement win elections.

Almost every response was 180 degrees from that, they all propose new gov't initiatives, they don't suggest ways of limiting gov't.

The only one that really does is the idea of a balanced budget amendment.  This would limit gov't severely (at this point, catastrophically) but has such innate appeal that it might have a chance of bringing people to your side.

Can you imagine what the debate about the bank bailout would have been if giving them money simply wasn't an option?  If that $700B had to be funded or offset immediately?

Tax cuts are always popular, too, but haven't led to actual reduction of gov't spending or influence, as we have seen over the last 8 years.  As you've no doubt noticed.



I beg to differ...

I have already pointed the way we must go.





It will be up to all of us to get there in the end.



ex animo





the 'debate' on the bailout would have been

"how can we afford more soldiers to quiet our streets"

oh, and we wouldn't be in iraq, at all.

Take the center on immigration

Offer a several-point plan on comprehensive immigration reform.

1. Acknowledge why people immigrate here and encourage it. A Republican statement along the lines of  "Our ancestors have moved here for the promise of a better life, and we have helped make this country great. We would like to let those people who want to be a part of that know that we respect that, and we'd be proud to call them "My Fellow Americans" someday".

2. Stress and encourage the "legally" part. Make a clear distinction between legal immigration and illegal immigration, letting Americans know that we are not anti-immigrant or anti-minority, just pro-law and order. Raise the quotas and the amount of visas issued, especially to Latin American countries, but also increase the number of Border Patrol agents and have a modern police computer system to let agents know which immigrants have been arrested for drug trafficking or felonies, based on fingerprints, etc.

3. Do not grant the illegal immigrants living here amnesty or citizenship, andmake it so that there are clear benefits to moving here legally. With the implementation of these policies, the amount of illegal immigrants should go down over time, making enforcement viable. Keep the illegal immigrants living here in the sort of legal limbo they are now.

The Democrats have had electoral successes in taking the center from us. Obama got elected largely by promising a middle-class tax cut and leaving Iraq to win in Afghanistan. Immigration is an area that they have not co-opted yet, and it is a topic that will be increasingly important in the future, especially considering that the GOP cannot rely on white votes forever.

I think Schwarzenegger said once that he saw Nixon on TV once and heard him talk about personal responsiblity, free enterprise, and being in charge of your own life. He asked a bystander what Nixon was, and when the bystander answered "a Republican", then Arnie said "Then I am a Republican".

Here's the issue

1) How much do you want them to pay to become legal?

2) Would you be willing to make it harder or easier to get into the country?

I met my wife while she was here on a VISA, and then worked with her to get a green card. It requires huge amounts of information. tax records, letters from family and friends, history of your relationship, medical exam... they cover alot of avenues.

I do think increasing the amount of VISAs issued is a good idea, but others disagree for various reasons.

a regular Emma Lazarus!

Seriously, these ideas sound really good.

Fix the American Dream

The one factor that has many social and fiscal conservatives voting for the Democrats is the Big Government big corporation mandates which have produced this failing fiscal foundation we have.  The list of platform planks submitted by Jim Dandy to the Rescue on Sun, 12/21/2008 - 21:09, are very good, but the one needed and it must be the top priority is fixing the Tax Structure. 

Our jobs are near gone.  YOu cannot tell a mother to not abort her baby and then tell her that the best policy for your economic wealfare is fend for yourself, when the system you are allowing to exist does not support free enterprise.  The manufacturing of goods in this Country must compete with foreign production with a 40% tax built into the American product .  How does one find a job with that handicap on our own business?  Go to a consumption tax and tax all product equally and fairly making for true free trade and for American Prosperity. 

American Corporations, such as Mitt Romney's have taken the american manufacturing out of this country and took it overseas, creating a huge mark up on product, but low enough to keep the product still very competative with domestic procution, thus elliminating the American job and producing the need to be a slave of Government. 

The most essential need for Americ is "Change the Tax Structure"!  It will reduce fiscal crisis and eliminate it.  It will remove power abuse in Washington and put the congress to centering on the People rather then on their own carreers and money to do so.  It will bring true conservatives back from the left and center on the moral issues rather then on the fiscal failings.