"The Crisis of 'Sam's Club' Republicans"

From Sully stand-in Reihan Salam in the LAT:

...What Pawlenty realized - and what President Bush apparently fails to grasp - is that the Republican Party has changed. The rich still vote for Republicans in large numbers, but they're not the party's heart and soul. To win elections, the GOP increasingly relies on socially conservative voters of modest means.

Which is why Bush's second-term agenda is so spectacularly wrongheaded. Social Security privatization (a good idea whose time hasn't come) and tax cuts for the rich (cast as "tax reform," of course) are on the front burner, and an amnesty for illegal immigrants (which would put even more pressure on native-born workers without college degrees) isn't far behind. The Freedom Club GOP is riding high - and the Sam's Club crowd is left in the dust...