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Races To the Bottom

In news and views from my blogging post at the Washington Monthly:

While there's been plenty of progressive coverage of the "right-to-work" coup in Michigan, some observers may be missing the big picture beyond Republican legislators on the brink of losing seats following big-money orders to rush through some obnoxious legislation. Along with other anti-union measures in the Midwest, the outrage in Lansing represents the conversion of the entire GOP to a southern-fried theory of economic development whereby anything that reduces business costs is a "pro-growth measure," even if it helps promote lower living standards. And while Michigan GOPers did quite literally "race to the bottom" in enacting these laws, it's the marathon race to "low road" economic strategies infecting Republicans in nearly every state and in Washington that's the more alarming trend.

Meanwhile, national Republicans continue their own internal "race to the bottom" in ruling out any significant ideological explanation for their 2012 electoral defeat. A new RNC-created panel charged to look high and low at every conceivable party problem like an "octopus with a thousand tentacles" is focused on money and mechanics instead of the GOP's rotten core ideology.