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Le Figaro, France

After Defeat,
a Republican Spring?

By Jean-Sébastien Stehli

Translated By Lindsey Cambridge

1 December 2012

Edited by Natalie Clager

France - Le Figaro - Original Article (French)

The upheavals that can provoke an electoral trouncing like the one that was inflicted on the Republicans can feel crazy. The Republicans believed they would take back Senate seats from the Democrats, but they lost two. They thought they would grow stronger in the House of Representatives, but eight seats were weakened. But the defeat freed them. Even though the party was in the hands of the tea party for nearly four years, it is in the process of an awakening. It may be the beginning of a “Republican Spring.”

The best evidence of this awakening after the long tea party nightmare is the Republican attitude on the current tax reduction debate. Not only are the strongest supporters of no tax increases, the usually unwavering supporters of the implausible Grover Nordquist, ducking out, but the Republicans are beginning to observe serious fissures in their ranks.

Nordquist presented a commitment to elected members, local or federal, to never raise the tax rate, of which the peak rate since Ronald Reagan has been 28 percent. Those who didn’t sign it suffered the consequences during the elections, especially when Speaker of the House John Boehner confirmed not wanting to compromise with Barack Obama on the renewal of tax reduction. The infantry are in the process of moving. If the White House and the Republicans don’t agree here by December 31, the nation’s tax reductions, including those for the richest (those earning at least $250,000), will be abolished.

The Republicans seem stringent, but behind the scenes they play something else. It’s necessary that 25 Republicans align with the Democrats in the House of Representatives so that the White House can renew the fiscal reductions. All observers have noted that the Republican leadership didn’t do anything when some of the more conservative Republicans made it known on television, and repeated, that they agreed with the president. Everyone understood the message: Republicans seem stringent at first glance, but underneath, they encourage dissent in their own ranks.

As long as conservatives refuse to reform their own ranks, they will continue to lose elections and party activists.



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