Brian Gongol Show on WHO Radio - November 9, 2014

Brian Gongol

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Please note: These show notes may be in various stages of completion -- ranging from brainstormed notes through to well-polished monologues. Please excuse anything that may seem rough around the edges, as it may only be a first draft of a thought and not be fully representative of what was said on the air.

Reform Republicans

I think there's a reason reform movements show up from time to time in politics (Teddy Roosevelt may be the most famous of the reformers, but there are and have been others). Occasionally, the people get fed up with the level of nonsense they're taking from the government (while paying for the privilege) and reach the point where enough is enough and they demand that the institutions of government fix themselves before anything else gets done.

I think it's more often a center-right thing than a center-left thing, but it's way less ideological than most causes. And for now, a lot of voters (not to mention cable TV and talk radio) reward the ideological nonsense.

But when you tally up the government's offenses in law enforcement, the way they've botched pretty much everything in foreign policy, and the ham-handed way they approach anything Internet-related, I think there are lots of people who are quite ready to demand a change. The Republicans dipped their toes in the waters of this with the push to paint the Obama administration as incompetent right towards the end of the election cycle (and it wasn't much of a stretch to reach that characterization), but they didn't really go at it full-bore like they should have. It sure didn't hurt their results on Tuesday night, though.

The GOP, if it's smart, will put up a reform-minded nominee in 2016 who has a track record as a governor somewhere, and that might actually do some good. John Kasich and Rick Snyder both come prominently to mind, and Susana Martinez would be another strong option. None are ideological firebrands; all are GOP governors who can point to technocratic success fixing government in left-wing or centrist states. That's where the Republicans win, and fortunately, it's what we actually need in this country anyway. It's the only thing that will stop a Hillary Clinton juggernaut, too.

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