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'Today's Conservatism Should Be Reasonably Populist'

5:52 PM, Apr 7, 2014 • By DANIEL HALPER
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A taste of the boss's newsletter (which is sent out every Monday):

Today's conservatism should be reasonably populist. A populist conservatism is right for the times—the people are in many ways healthier than our elites. A reasonably and reasonable populist conservatism is also a winning conservatism in today's America.

So I'm happy to see a new $3 million ad campaign from the Koch-affiliated Freedom Partners highlighting how several Democratic Senate candidates claim to stand up to health insurance companies, but then take those companies’ campaign donations and support Obamacare—a law that greatly benefits those companies’ bottom lines. Here are the versions of the ads that will run in Iowa and Colorado beginning tomorrow.

It's good to take on the Democrats' crony capitalism. It's especially important because, with the failures of Obamacare, the last two talking points of the Democrats who voted for it are1) the Republicans just want to go back to the status quo ante, and 2) the Republicans are apologists for the insurance companies, while Democrats are standing up to them (this is the message of ads from Harry Reid's super PAC.) The first charge can be answered by embracing a better alternative to Obamacare that's also a big improvement on the pre-Obamacare situation. The second attack can be handled, at least in part, by pointing out the extent to which the insurance companies are in bed with the Democrats. But to really flip the argument and make the Democrats the party of Big Government and Big Business, Republicans in Congress should move on legislation proposed by Sen. Marco Rubio to remove the possible bailout for the insurance companies now in Obamacare. Let the Democrats defend an Obamacare taxpayer bailout for the insurance companies who worked hand-in-hand with the Obama Administration as they crafted Obamacare and its provisions that include billions of dollars in taxpayer subsidies and built-in protections to ensure health insurance companies are reimbursed for losses.

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