The Hapless GOP: Deeper Into the Abyss


The ear-splitting silence, in the aftermath of recent election debacle, is deafening.  Where are the voices of the once self-confident, surging GOP, the party of Lincoln and Reagan, of freedom, prosperity, and American exceptionalism?  The party of the twenty first century?  Of unchallengeable military strength and economic preeminence?  Of opportunity and prosperity?  What are its thoughts about the utter rejection of the party by the American electorate, its rapid descent from the pinnacle of power a mere eight years before (when it controlled both houses of Congress and the White House) to its exile into the political wilderness today, with both the executive (soon) and legislative branches firmly in the grasp of the Democrats?  Where is the Republican leadership at this turbulent moment or have they delegated all thinking and guidance to Rush, Sean, and those others who now form what is left of the conservative movement, the remnant of a great political crusade that began in 1955 with William F. Buckley's launching of National Review, and now stands in abject ruin after eight years of George Bush and six years of a Republican held Congress?

I heard Mitch McConnell, the Republican Senate minority leader, caution President-elect Obama to govern from the center or else face the wrath of Congressional Republicans who will now hold his feet to the fire.  And somehow I didn't get the feeling that Obama was chastened by such words, nor did they inspire what was left of the conservative base who may understandably question Republican resolve based on its behavior the past eight years. 

But would there be anything else, Senator McConnell, or Congressman Boehner (House Minority Leader), or other members of the elected GOP leadership?  Any recognition, say, of what might have gone wrong these past eight years that led to the current poor standing of Republicans in the eyes of the American electorate?  Any new proposals or policies for any number of outstanding and critical issues?  The financial meltdown, for starters, or energy independence or the war on terror? 

Or is that it? 

Indeed, the utter lack of a voice or vision by the GOP, of any discussion of a return to Republican principles or an understanding of recent missteps, has, unfortunately, become the demoralizing norm for this party that seems not to know what it stands for or believes in. 

Is there, for example, no  platform of policies (a new "Contract With America," say) that would outline for the American people the direction the Republican party would want to take the country (if ever returned to power), coupled with an acknowledgment of the failures of the Bush administration?  Would there not be forthcoming some near complete rejection (as I would recommend) of his two terms, and of "compassionate conservatism" (a misnomer, for it means, simply, big government liberalism), save the two or three things he did well (and, for heaven's sake, even Bill Clinton did two or things well during his eight years), amidst a welter of misguided policies that left him with, well, approval ratings in the mid twenties and an outright repudiation of his party? 

Would any among the elected GOP leaders care to speak of the utter abandonment of conservative principles over the past eight years, of the lack of vision and will, of scandal and ear marks, fiscal recklessness, of moral Lilliputians who put parochial concerns over the good of the country, and worried more about the good opinion of media elites (who will never love them, no matter what, no matter that they abandon all pretense to conservatism, no matter that they disavow all ambition to retake power or govern the nation), over their own base.

Perhaps, it is the GOP's preference to remain as a pesky little gadfly, in permanent minority status, relieved of the burden of governance, spared the turmoil of attempting to shatter the sacred cows of government (the endless programs and entitlements that will weaken and finally undo the nation and drive it into financial insolvency), opting instead simply to "pester" the Liberal Democrat behemoth, the bloated federal bureaucracy, as it lurches leftward and brings the nation further into ruin and debt. 

Perhaps the GOP really does not aspire to leadership, to govern again, finding the experience distasteful and unpleasant, with its emboldened and power hungry Democrat foes and, of course, their media allies, endlessly nipping at their feet, condemning, slandering, raining calumny upon its head.  Perhaps it is better simply to get along and go along rather than stand up against the raging torrent and endure the slurs and contempt in one's effort to move the nation back to its conservative, free market roots, and thereby save it. 

Say what you will about the Democrats, but when they were the minority they strutted and shouted as if they still owned the place, as if they understood that power somehow still belonged to them, that ultimately they would oust the upstarts, the usurpers, the feeble pretenders, knowing that in the end, they (the Republicans) would capitulate, would self-implode, collapse under the strain of the unending censure and denunciation, recognizing finally that they lacked the fortitude to withstand the onslaught, and the will to govern, that they did not really understand the gut wrenching conflict that inevitably accompanies the pursuit and exercise of power, that their brief moment in the sun was only that, a pleasant reprieve, before power would return once again to those who nurtured an abiding lust for it, who understood it, how to grasp and keep it, to hold it securely come what may, to undermine and destroy opponents, to vilify and silence detractors, to betray and undermine as needed, and to cling finally to power as a most sacred heirloom and birthright... and govern, however calamitously. 

Yes, perhaps, it was inevitable that the liberal Democrats would return to power, emboldened by a diminished and deeply unpopular President, encouraged by a media that gave up all pretense to objectivity and openly endorsed them and their candidates, motivated by the fever pitch of their own populist rhetoric of class warfareand envy, and politics of "identity," (the politics of "division," really, of balkanizing the nation into small warring tribal groups based on race, class, and gender) against which the weak-kneed Republicans seemed, well, defenseless.  Although, they needn't have been.  In fact, quite the contrary.

And from the GOP, the "moderate" wing, the blue bloods and country clubbers, the "Rockefeller Republicans," who, after the sound defeat of Mr. Moderate himself, John McCain, still call for more "moderation."   Mr. McCain was, of course, the ultimate "maverick" who openly prided himself and indeed ran on his ability "go across the aisle," who was often times more willing to deep-six his own party than the other, often more comfortable with the other party than his own, one of the chief sponsors of a slew of "bipartisan" bills bearing his name (McCain-Feingold, McCain-Kennedy, McCain-Lieberman), the one who was supposed to attract moderates and independents (not to mention Hillary voters, women, and Hispanics), and did nothing of the sort.  And yet "moderate" Republicans still clamor for their brethren to be yet more "moderate," to reach out to Hispanics, blacks, and women (fine so long as it doesn't mean abandoning core principles), to extricate themselves from the grasp of the Christian Right and other social conservatives (whom they find disagreeable, and upon whom the party depends if it is ever to win), to spend more on popular social programs, to become, in other words, more like the other, the Democrats, basically the "Democrat-lite" party.  To become another liberal party (only a little bit less). 

It will not inspire Americans to line up around the corner on election day, unless it is for the other side, for there already is a liberal party in this country and a second is not needed. 

And isn't that exactly what they had for the last eight years from Mr. Liberal in Republican clothing, George Bush, who spent more than any Democrat President ever did, expanded government, added new unfunded federal programs, pushed as hard as any liberal Democrat for amnesty and guest worker bills, and now has become (along with his treasury secretary, Henry Paulson) the Democrat frontman for one ridiculous "stimulus" and "bailout" package after another in response to the current mortgage crisis.    

But this is what we hear from our enlightened, "moderate" elites, the beloved of the media, the Democrat-lite Republicans like Colin Powell, Arnold Schwarzenegger, Christopher Shays (the recently defeated "moderate" Congressman from Connecticut), and former New Jersey governor, Christie Todd Whitman.

Such a move would mean the end of the Republican brand for generations to come and yet further electoral demise. 

It would mean self imposed exile from power. 

It has been done. 

Eight years of Bush and now McCain.  And the Republicans have been rejected.  We have seen the results of "bipartisanship," and "moderation."  It has failed.

Try conservatism.  Try what has worked whenever it has been tried.  Try to offer an alternative to liberalism.  Try conservatism.

So allow me to offer a brief plan for the GOP going forward, a kind of updated Contract With America.

1. End the bailout/stimulus Keynsian spending mindlessness now.  No more.  Done.  None of it has helped.  It threatens the very solvency of the nation.  Offer immediate and drastic taxcuts instead to create new wealth not redistribute or transfer wealth.  Cut the marginal, corporate, and capital gains tax.  Increase the child tax deduction to five thousand per (only for those who pay taxes).  Stop printing and borrowing money by the trillions.  Let the market correct itself.  There will inevitably be an economic correction for the real estate, mortgage bubble that just burst.  More stimulus/bailouts will only prolong and slow the recovery.

2. Commit to fiscal discipline and responsibility.  Balanced budgets, decreased spending, lower taxes.  Reform entitlements that will bankrupt the nation.  Social Security, Medicare, Medicaid.  Now.

3. Energy Independence Now.  Drill her, Drill Now.  Nuclear.  Clean coal, liquid coal.  Flex Fuels.  No silly, wasteful subsidies for ethanol or wind/solar to satisfy ecomarxists who will never be appeased.  If wind or solar worked it would have taken off by now.  It doesn't, at least on an industrial level necessary for the country.  And let the markets develop new technologies that do not depend on oil, if they can be, by letting keep more of their own money through lower taxes. Energy independence will help end the transfer of incredible wealth to nations that despise us.  It will create jobs.  It will create new revenues for the nation to help mop up the mortgage mess.

4. Strong National Defense.  The final and main obligation of the Federal government is to protect and defend the nation.  Commit to the six percent GDP military spending to make sure America remains safe.  It is a dangerous world and nothing deters our enemies like the threat of overwhelming military strength.

5. Prudent and intelligent immigration reform.  End illegal immigration.  Border security.  E-verification for all jobs.  Biometric registration for those who enter the nation with tourist or other legitimate visas but then overstay (35% of illegal immigrants).  No amnesty, no guest worker.  End legal immigration based on family reunification, which includes not just spouse and children, which would be acceptable, but siblings and parents, which are not.  We must have an immigration policy that is based on serving the national interest, not as a welfare program for the world.  We should increase the h1-b visa and attract the best and the brightest from around the world.  We can not survive as a nation by absorbing the least educated, least skilled, most impoverished in the world, most of whom wind up on our nation's public programs.  Our schools, prisons, hospitals, and social programs and federal budget cannot bear the strain.  End anchor baby now.

6. Support traditional values and institutions upon which society depends to flourish and thrive: marriage, traditional, intact, nuclear families, judeo-christian values, patriotism, self reliance, personal responsibility.  Yes, we believe in all of this for without them the country will conintue spiraling downward.

7. End Gay Marriage.  Support a constitutional amendment defining marriage as a relationship between one man and one woman, period.  Because society values the traditional intact nuclear family as the fundamental unit of society, the single greatest department of health, education, and welfare, the indispensable mechanism for properly preparing and raising the next generation of engaged and productive citizens and transferring moral capital and proper social values.  Do not let radical judges impose their views upon society through judicial fiat.

8. Educational Reform: it is time for a national core curriculum.  Emphasize math and sciences.  Provide incentives for students to pursue and excell in the more difficult subjects (math/science) to create the next generation's engineer, scientists, computer specialist, and innovaters.  So we can grow our own and not depend on China and India to produce all of our scientists.  This will keep our economy vibrant and our technology cutting edge.  More jobs, more revenue, more wealth.  Also, longer school years, longer hours each day.  Emphasize learning, not sports.  School uniforms.  Foreign language beginning in the first grade.

9.  No to man made global warming, a complete and total hoax, a false science, a flawed theory based on flawed computer models that are notoriously innaccurate.  Meteorologists cannot tell the direction of a single hurricane the next two days, let alone predicting the temperature of the planet in fifty years.  Paranoia, hysteria, alarmism.  Reject the ecomarxists who despise America, capitalism, and our standard of living and seek greater and greater control over every aspect of out lives.  They are flat earth, no growth, Luddites who will destroy our economies.  Yes, we favor conservation, clean air and water, and keeping the environment safe and beautiful.  But we reject man made global warming as a farce, a political movement, not science, an attempt to bring the US and our economy under the control of transnational socialists who are anti capitalist and anti american.

10.  Take back our culture: our schools, media, universities, Hollywood are all under the control of the anti-American countercultural left.  We must take it back.  We need more conservative movie directors, professors, movie stars, screenplay writers, teachers, reporters, and journalist.  Let's take back out culture from the left.

11. Free market health care reform: end the employer based insurance system that locks people into jobs they may not like or that will leave them without insurance if they are laid off.  People should own their own insurance that is portable and affordable, like they own their own car or house insurance.  Make health insurance tax deductible so that it becomes affordable.  Or as a tax credit.  Either way.  HSAs.  Allow Americans to buy insurance across state borders so they may buy the cheapest insurance unfettered by expensive state mandates.  Create state or regional markets that can bargain with insurance companies to get cheaper rates because of large volume.  Yes, the state can play a useful role.  Subsidies for those too poor to qualify for medicaid but can't afford their own to buy private insurance or at least high deductible catastrophic insurance.  Conservatives must have a plan for the uninsured, respond to the affordability and portability issues without resorting to budget busting single payer that will lead to rationing and squealch what is still the most innovative, advanced, cutting edge health care in the world.

There it is.  Run on it.  Don't be afraid to be a conservative.

Is there a new conservative champion that will lead the Republicans back to glory and the nation to greatness? 











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