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Shlaes: As McCain goes, so goes the GOP

Posted by erweinstein on July 28, 2007

Economics and business journalist Amity Shlaes argues in her Bloomberg News column that John McCain is the US Republican Party’s only chance to take substantive positions on the issues for the 2008 election. Although she does not conduct an in-depth examination of the primary candidates, Shlaes concludes that the other Republican presidential front-runners represent shallow sound-bite policy proposals and the triumph of “electability” above actually thinking about the serious problems facing the nation (immigration reform, Congressional ethics, runaway federal spending, Iraq, etc.). Summary quote:

You may not agree with every one of McCain’s positions. But at least he has positions. He is the candidate who is making unpopular, and often right, choices.

Shlaes warns that a rejection of McCain by the primary voters will consign the GOP to a policyless, leaderless wilderness (perhaps one very similar to the Democratic Party’s condition over the past six years). With McCain’s campaign on the rocks and the alternatives comprising Romney’s plan (or was it a gaffe?) to “double Gitmo” and Giuliani’s desire for the authority to “infrequently” arrest and detain US citizens without judicial review, the near-term future of the Republican Party seems perplexing at best and bleak at worst.


For those uninterested in the Republican primary, Shlaes has also written a new history of the Great Depression, which was released last month to mostly positive reviews. I haven’t read it yet, but it’s on my Amazon Wishlist.

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