What to make of the Recipe for Republican Recovery advanced today on Politico by Michael Steele, the former Maryland lieutenant governor who wants to be RNC chair? Here’s the nut:
Ronald Reagan spoke to our deepest longing as a people. He gave a voice to principles that are true for all people in all times. Retool our message, but base it on those proven conservative principles for which our party has always stood: Our freedom is from God, not government. Our prosperity comes from a free people in a free market, not overtaxing, free-spending bureaucrats. We celebrate and protect life, born and unborn. And our best hope for a brighter future is in the empowerment of individuals and families, not in the constraints imposed by a bloated bureaucracy.
Pretty vapid stuff, you say? Ah, but note there’s nary a mention of an eternal Reaganite foreign policy principle. The pitch by omission is: Theocons + Ecocons – Neocons = GOP success.
The battle for the future of the Republican Party seems to be shaping up as Ecocons vying with Neocons for the support of Theocons. Whom do the Theocons go with? I’m guessing there will be two camps–call them the Premills and the Postmills. The Premills favor that End Times apocalypticism that keeps them focused on the Middle East and draws them to the Neocons. Put Pat Robertson and Franklin Graham and Rod Parsley and John Hagee in that camp. The Postmills tend to be focused more on making America safe for God and capitalism, such that they are drawn to the Ecocons. They are the camp of James Dobson and Richard Land and, at the end of the day, Mike Huckabee. The big question: Which side wins the hand of Sarah Palin?
The McCain-Palin campaign was Neocon-Theocon. My money’s on Theocon-Ecocon next time around.