Now here‘s something to chew on, something to make you think and go hmmm.
Byron York put up a column earlier this week blaming Republicans for the excesses of the democrat party. Much of it filters through the lens of the fact that democrats currently enjoy a filibuster-proof majority in the Senate. It’s a critique that the Republicans need to fight just a teensy bit harder. Had just 157 Minnesotans voted differently, Al Franken would not be in that august body and we would not have this albatross of a health care bill.
SusanAnne Hiller takes this one down. I am not entirely sure these two disagree with one another, when I read things like this…
The GOP’s white flag allowed the left to gain momentum, until it was unstoppable. So much so that the McCain campaign wouldn’t even touch Obama’s associations or Rev. Wright’s anti-American sermons. I think this was due to fear of what the left would do to them with their compliant and obedient MSM ready to report. The Obama campaign said repeatedly that their intentions were to transform America. The MSM never called them out on what that transformation was going to look like. And when McCain started to gain momentum, he would pull back and actually give kudos to Obama and his campaign. With such a non-strategic campaign, circling the wagons and shooting in, and the wrong presidential candidate, the GOP met its doom.
The democrat party wanted to choose, during the campaign, what subjects would be “on the table” for discussion. Each and every single minute of each and every single day. And the Republican party let them go ahead and do it. We don’t want to talk about Jeremiah Wright! Um, alright then…after all, this isn’t an argument about who associates with the most decent friends. Yeah, but we want it to be an argument about who’s most decent, and you John McCain are indecent! Um, alright, okay…we’ll talk about that then. And we won’t mention Jeremiah Wright because you don’t want us to.
Obama talked about McCain’s flawed policies. McCain talked some about Obama’s flawed policies…but made sure for every minute of that, there were two more minutes about Obama’s noble intentions. Intentions didn’t enter into it when it came time for Obama to criticize McCain. McCain was just Bush’s third term, the doddering old fool didn’t know how many houses he had, and that was the end of it.
Obama fought, McCain did not, and Americans love a winner.
But there is cause for optimism here. It is quite silly and absurd to insist the democrat party will enjoy a filibuster-proof majority in the 112th Senate. Nobody’s predicting that. In fact, it is reckless to suppose Republicans will gain seats in only one of the chambers, as opposed to both. It isn’t even a safe bet to predict the democrats will come through it retaining control of Congress.
The big question is this: Can we keep the grown-ups in charge for more than eight years? More than twelve? When the democrat party first got started, this country said “no” to it quite regularly. Lincoln to Arthur — that’s 24 years. Disregard Cleveland and the trend extends to Taft, 52 years. Disregard Wilson and it goes to Hoover, 72 years.
This is the one place on the globe that rejects the “trickle-up-poverty” of socialism. That really needs to be the platform. And if that means the platform is more about rejecting things than accepting things, then so be it. Smitty speaks wisdom when he takes on Dan Riehl:
But other than some scolding for what has long been known and already widely discussed, I’m not sure York’s item says much at all. Net net, the GOP has to find a way to bond with the base and the American people as a whole. They shouldn’t think they’re going to win any election prizes simply for not being Democrats.
I’m not sure, Dan. Didn’t BHO win by saying he would not be Bush? You know Progressivism is killing the country. The real danger would seem to be fragmentation, as voting for 20 different “not being Democrats” effectively elects the Democrat. So the principles should always trump the personality, in a thinking electorate. Oops.
There is going to have to be some revulsion here. Some anti-democrats are going to have to be made miserable by their tethering to some personality who is opposed to them on some secondary issue. They are going to have to be tortured with avoidance-avoidance-conflict, holding their nose while they punch the chad, muttering something about “well, if it’s an asshole/jerk/big ol’ dummy against Obama, I can’t vote for Obama.” One man’s fine dessert is another man’s sewage. Personally, I think the best scenario would be to hand the plate-of-poop over to the “conservative” Palin-bashers…the Rick Moran, David Frum types. That would be my ideal scenario, because if we embrace what they want — “let’s be intellectuals, and let’s define intellectualism according to the whims and dictates of whoever talks the loudest” — the democrats will be back in charge in a heartbeat. So let them be he ones tortured with avoidance-avoidance conflict. It makes sense.
First and foremost, the grown-ups have to fight their way back to the front of the bus, and the steering wheel. And it needs to be presented to the electorate not in terms of who’s going to do the driving, but in terms of who’s driving right now, and shouldn’t be. Because that’s what’s really important.
On climate change —
WRONG: “I cannot back the cap and trade legislation being proposed right now, although I do acknowledge it is a serious issue and we definitely should look into it.”
RIGHT: “This is an enormous, unprecedented, global scam being put on the American people and I’m not going to stand for it.”
On Al Qaeda —
WRONG: “My administration will not rest until these bad men are brought to justice. And they will be treated humanely and given every protection we offer to all the other accused persons in our great justice system.”
RIGHT: “Some say this enemy knows no nation and no uniform, and can therefore never be defeated. I’ll tell you how we defeat them. With steadfast loyalty to those who stand with us, and swift retribution against those who attack us. Under my administration, America will become the most valued ally the world has ever known, and the most frightening nightmare our enemies have ever seen or imagined.”
On offshore drilling —
WRONG: “My administration will not be responsible for importing one drop of crude oil from overseas than is absolutely necessary; we will work vigorously to bring the technology to the forefront that will make the best use of alternative fuels, and we will leave our arctic reserve the beautiful pristine wilderness that it is.”
RIGHT: “For too long, our antiquated laws have kept our own natural resources out of our reach. This is absurd. We will use whatever means is at our disposal to restore our nation’s energy independence, and all other goals are secondary.”
Stimulus spending —
WRONG: “Of course, it has to be about creating and saving jobs…”
RIGHT: “Keynesian economic theory has been shown repeatedly to be flawed, ineffective, unworkable and damaging. My administration will not tolerate this in any form. Give the money back to the people who made it in the first place, so they can spend it as they see fit. To those who say the tax rates need to be raised, I say you are free to send your own surplus taxes to the U.S. Treasury any time you want to.”
Airport screening —
WRONG: “My Transportation Security Administration is going to be the most non-denominational, non-discriminatory, non-profiling, non-judgmental Transportation Security Administration ever!”
RIGHT: “My Transportation Security Administration is going to make transportation secure. That will be its prime directive and that will be its only directive.”
Conflict in general —
WRONG: “We will do anything we have to, to avoid a bloodbath.”
RIGHT: “If there’s gotta be a bloodbath, let’s get it over with.”
On political attacks —
WRONG: “My friends, I would like to assure you, I am not what my opponent said I am.”
RIGHT: “On this occasion, I invoke the Morgan Freeberg Rule Number One: ‘If I’m gonna be accused, I wanna be guilty.'”
A war against Muslims —
WRONG: “This is a war against terror, and a war against bad men. It is not a war against Islam! It’s not! It’s not! It’s not!”
RIGHT: “A fireball burning at 3,000 degrees Celcius knows nothing of race, creed or sexual preference. You want non-discrimination? Make a move against some of my fellow citizens. Harm them or threaten them, and I will bring you some non-discrimination.”
And then you go right on like that, all the way down the line, issue by issue. You see the pattern? You do things the wrong way, you set up some glimmering feature about yourself, and then you have to follow that up by proving it. You start with few goals and then task yourself with many goals to show off what a broad, complex, Picard-like thinker you are. You appeal toward those who become quivering, neurotic and frightened whenever anybody acts on something. This was given a fair try in ’08 and it didn’t work…which means it won’t. You do things the right way, you identify an enemy and offer some reasons why that enemy must be defeated, gelded…something about the consequences involved in leaving that enemy influential. And then, to prove that, all you have to do is recite some facts. You remain concentrated on few goals, and your promise is action. Action…not to build, or to destroy, for that is what the private sector does. To protect. Protect within a narrow field of constitutional jurisdiction.
Let the other guys assume the defensive position. Stay focused. Stay on target. Unidirectionalism. Clarity and transparency — through simplicity. Show yourself equal to the task of guiding a small government. It takes a big man to do that. Any ol’ fool can “rule over” an omnipresent, omnipowerful government. Show yourself equal to the task of…guarding something. Single-mindedly, simple-mindedly. More watch-dogging. Less dissembling, obfuscating, equivocating.
In other words, you fight. That’s the right way.