Grand Nixonian Party?

R&R try to net the upper middle class for the Republicans:

The challenge for Republicans is to find a set of wedge issues that will enable them to do the same thing with the upper middle class issues that convince proto-Bobos in Northern Virginia or suburban New Jersey that they have more in common with Sam’s Club conservatism than with the silk-stocking liberalism that they’re increasingly embracing.

Wedge issues? I'm working on a few posts on the many merits of Ross' and Reihan's book, but I should say by far the least appealing aspect of it is the lip-curling contempt the book often shows toward the prosperous middle and upper middle classes. "Silk-stocking liberalism" and "proto-bobos" and "lifetyle liberalism" are phrases and attitudes that don't exactly help appeal to the very people the GOP has lost.

You'd think the successful, educated inhabitants of the newly prosperous cities might evince some kind of respect, especially since many are exhibiting the 1950s virtues R&R admire and want the Sam's Club demographic to embrace. But no: the book sometimes crackles with contempt for these people. And after the horrors of Rove, is it really necessary to use expressions like "wedge issues" to advance your case? Either the proposals are worthy on their merits, or they are not.

R&R talk of some of Nixon's virtues. But they also sometimes give in to Nixon's fatal flaw: his deep resentment of educated elites, contempt and loathing for yuppie liberals and a great deal of animus toward the cool kids in class. This can undermine otherwise worthwhile ideas. It alienates unnecessarily.

2006-2011 archives for The Daily Dish, featuring Andrew Sullivan

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