March 4, 2015

HELPS THAT HE ALREADY GOVERNED AS A COMPASSIONATE CONSERVATIVE:

How Jeb Bush is tweaking his brother's brand of 'compassionate conservatism' (Michael Brendan Dougherty, March 3, 2015, The Week)

 "Compassionate" implied that George would be solicitous of the economic interests of the working class and the poor. He even said that as president he would be the leading lobbyist on behalf of the poor. It was a concession that the chief problem for the Republican Party was that it was seen as the party of big business and the wealthy, not the little guy.

This perception still holds. A recent Pew survey found that 60 percent of respondents said the Democratic Party "cares about the middle class." Forty-three percent of respondents said the same of Republicans, a 17-point gap.

But the same Pew survey found that 59 percent of respondents said that Democrats are "tolerant and open to all groups of people," and only 35 percent said the same of Republicans, a 29-point gap.

"Inclusive" is a word that says much less about economics. It's a cultural word, the kind used in college campus orientation literature. It is also corporate-speak, usually swiftly preceded or followed by phrases like "commitment to diversity." Intentional or not, Jeb's tweak of a re-brand gets at this larger partisan gap.

The compassion part is policy, the inclusive bit is politics.

Posted by at March 4, 2015 5:13 PM
  

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