The AP has an article warning Republicans across the country that there might be a backlash if they pursue social issues. I guess the warning isn’t technically from the AP; the author stuck the fact in someone’s mouth when writing the article, so I guess that makes it a news piece. But, I have a hard time believing the author couldn’t have found a person willing to say there would be a backlash if they didn’t pursue social issues.
Anyway, the premise of the article is that voters voted for Republicans because of economic issues and they pursue social issues at their own peril. That might be true. In fact, I suspect it is true, but the article seems weird as a news piece instead of an opinion piece.
Anyway, I expect the temptation to go to the social legislation bag of tricks will prove irresistable. Economic solutions are difficult, painful, complicated, and unlikely to be rewarded by voters. Social issues are emotional and immediate, even if divisive. Social issue solutions don’t need to be effective to be popular in some quarters. (See, e.g., ‘abstinence only’ education’s ineffectiveness.) And they’re easy to talk about on the campaign trail. Try talking about homestead replacement credits, and watch eyes glaze over. Talk about how They are taking away Our country and how it’s time to Fight Back, and suddenly you’re William Wallace in Braveheart.