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What If Conservatives Have Lost the Argument?

What If Conservatives Have Lost the Argument? | Coffee Party Election Coverage |
by PETER WHENER, Commentary Magazine

The debate over the “fiscal cliff” is an important tactical one and could have widespread political ramifications. There are complicated issues to consider. Should the Republicans give in to Mr. Obama’s demand that we raise the top tax rates? If so, what should they demand in return? If they don’t get it, is it more prudent to retreat in order to fight another day on more advantageous ground for the GOP? Or should Republicans be willing to go cliff diving with the president, confident that in the end Obama will own any future recession?
Eric Byler's insight:

Also from the Dec. 10, 2012 opinion column What If Conservatives Have Lost the Argument? by PETER WEHNER who worked in the administrations of Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush, and George W. Bush.

It may be that a majority of the public, having heard both sides of the argument, believes that upper-income people are under-taxed. If that’s the case, it would be a significant error for conservatives to assume we simply need to make the same arguments, only louder, with more passion, and with more charts and graphs. It may be that we have to reframe the issue. Or it may be that we have to accept that waging the fight on this ground is injurious to the larger conservative cause. This is a discussion conservatives need to have in a calm, empirical way, resisting the impulse (on all sides) to either purge or impugn motivations — and to bear in mind that if conservatives give in to Obama’s demands, it may be a mistake but it wouldn’t be a violation of a high principle. Deciding on whether the top tax rate should be 35 percent or 39.6 percent, or somewhere in between, is a prudential, not  quasi-theological, argument.

A final, related point: Conservatives have to be alert to shifting circumstances. Today we face challenges – including wage stagnation, lack of social mobility, globalization, income inequality, fracturing families, and an entitlement crisis — that are in some respects quite different, or at least more acute, than the ones we faced in 1980, when the threats we faced included soaring interest rates, high inflation, and a top marginal rate of 70 percent. This doesn’t mean that the arguments about tax rates and the size of government are passé. But it does mean conservatism has to take into account a realistic assessment of the sentiments of the public – not in order to bow before them, but to be better able to shape them.

This is not, as some might suggest, an argument to abandon conservatism. It’s rather an argument to revivify it. [Read full article]

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Gingrich hints he may quit race

Gingrich hints he may quit race | Coffee Party Election Coverage |
Newt Gingrich suggested Monday that the end may be near for his struggling presidential campaign.

In an interview with NBC News, the former House speaker acknowledged that he would have to "reassess" his bid if he fares poorly in Tuesday's Republican primary in Delaware, a state where he has spent considerable time campaigning.


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Scooped by Michael Charney!

Political views are reflected in brain structure

Political views are reflected in brain structure | Coffee Party Election Coverage |

Individuals who call themselves liberal tend to have larger anterior cingulate cortexes, while those who call themselves conservative have larger amygdalas. Based on what is known about the functions of those two brain regions, the structural differences are consistent with reports showing a greater ability of liberals to cope with conflicting information and a greater ability of conservatives to recognize a threat, the researchers say.

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