As Republicans gather at their convention in Tampa, they’ve turned a new leaf, and it’s bright green, according to a Wall Street Journal
“[This] is not your father's GOP, or even George W. Bush's,” Journal editors write. “Four years in the wilderness seem to have had the salutary effect of returning the Party of Lincoln to a focus on government reform and economic revival.”
Republicans looked all tired out four years ago, the editors say. But, “the reform momentum has since gained speed as a reaction to the Obama Presidency,” they maintain. “First in 2009 with Chris Christie in New Jersey and Bob McDonnell in Virginia, governors from the East across the Midwest and through the Southwest have won on reform agendas that they have been able to implement to varying degrees.”
What these governors have been able to do is curb governments “that were growing far more rapidly than the private economy's ability to finance them,” the editorial states. “The contrast of these GOP states couldn't be greater with the union-dominated Democratic governments of Illinois, California and Connecticut, which resist reform and simply default to ever-higher taxes.”
The reform ethos has spread to Congress, and “much of the credit here goes to the tea party,” the editors state. “Tea partyers have made their share of tactical mistakes. . . . But by and large they have been constructive in pushing the GOP to address our real fiscal and economic problems.”
The party’s biggest risk now is “its failure to reach out to minority voters, especially Hispanics” the editorial states. “Republicans won't retain a governing majority for long unless they find a way to appeal to minority voters who are growing as a share of the electorate.”
But aside from that, “the Tampa Republicans are a party in better shape than they might have expected after 2008, and one with a new reform mission,” the editors write.
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