Many readers have urged that we integrate reader comments - and replies to reader comments - more formally into the main body of the blog. Here's a first attempt. Each day, we'll choose one provocative comment. We'll feature it here at the top of the blog rail, and I'll do my best to answer. The first comment comes from "Beleg," who asked a question in the comments section for the post "Why Let Obama Define the Election?"
Why are you so adamant that the GOP should be talking economics? You've written at length about how wrong the current Republican answer to the economic situation is. Economics is good politics for the GOP right now, but only by encouraging the ignorance of the public. Since 2008 Obama has not pushed for strong enough action, but the Republican alternative would have been worse than inaction. Running on economics pushes that to the front. Romney might win that way, but if so it's going to come at a huge cost to the country as voters embrace ignorance of basic economics and encourage policies that will make things worse instead of better.
The point is that the Obama remedy has not succeeded - anyway, not to the extent required - and the country desperately needs an argument over how to do better. In the short term, we need a better answer to housing debt. In the medium term (and here's where Paul Ryan points us in the right direction) we need a better policy for fiscal balance. In the long term, we need a human capital policy better than the slow slide to amnesty for a dozen million low-skilled illegal immigrants.
America needs a better alternative. It's the job of the out-of-power party to articulate alternatives. When the out-party does not do its job, those of us who adhere to the out-party's principles and ideals - even if we dissent from its current messages and practices - have a duty to summon it to better ways.