If you needed
any evidence that the demise
of McCainite Conservative Reformism is a bad thing -- long-term at least -- for the Republican party you need only have looked at the recent Wall Street Journal
editorial decrying the fact that the very low-income, those who make well below $20,000 a year, don't pay enough taxes. If you missed it, E.J. Dionne has a good column
on the issue today. The argument the Journal
advanced was that by cutting so many low-income earners out of the income tax system altogether you create a whole class of voters who simply can't relate to the anguished lash of taxation the super-rich have to suffer under. As is often the case in these sorts of arguments, the grinding weight of payroll taxes are more or less entirely ignored. More broadly though it's just a sign of how much the conservative movement -- once the home of some exquisitely sharp thinking -- has degraded to the point of being little more than an instrument of politically-organized money.