The Future of the republican party is a hot media topic these days. Who is the leader of the GOP? Should they present themselves as more moderate or more conservative? This type of media template is nothing new, it was also applied to the Dems until they won back the congress in 06.
The Republicans do have a real problem, and it is not’ that they have moved to far right. The fact is polls among the party base shows just the opposite and further polling of a wider cross section of voters show that Obama’s big government policies are not that popular, and this is in direct conflict with his Personal poll numbers.
The Republican party however has been irritatingly inept and downright mute in leveling criticism toward the President. This is incredibly vexatious since Obama hands fresh ammunition to the republican opposition on an almost daily basis, and these are not just opportunities to reject administration policy out of hand, but to mount substantial & intellectual contrasts, shining light on the long term damage that Obama’s policies will have. The question is, why? The answer is the GOP leadership is infected with John McCain types. These big government republicans are not really all that upset with President Obama’s power grabbing policies, they’re just mad it’s not them grabbing the power.
The other truth of the matter is that the republican party really began alienating its own base shortly after the election of George W Bush; putting his compassionate conservative nonsense aside, Bush portrayed himself as a republican in the mold of Reagan, But tax cuts do not a conservative make, and he soon revealed himself to be quite the opposite. Government expanded drastically under President Bush, entitlement spending rose by 25% he nearly doubled education spending and created the massively expensive prescription drug program. The base however wasn’t willing to bail on the guy while the Iraq war was raging. After losing congress Bush settled all too comfortably into the role of lame duck, he put forth his own stimulus package, remember those groovy $600 dollar checks.
Well at least we got a check out of it. He then set the table for Obama’s scourge of nationalization with his signing of TARP and using it to fund the auto bailout after the American people overwhelmingly rejected the idea. Combine that with the fact that Bush lost his veto pen early in his presidency, therefore allowed an undisciplined GOP to spend themselves into the minority.
What republicans should learn from this is conservatives have far fewer patients with unprincipled leadership then do our ends justify the means driven liberal counterparts. This manifested itself again in the failed McCain presidential bid. McCain fractured his own base with his staunch support of Illegal immigration and cap & trade. This kept a lot of conservatives away from the polls or forced them to cast third party ballots. The problem the McCain types face is that the big government approach has been a historically proven loser for republicans, sure it might get them some accolades in the press and a pat on the back from across the isle but it never translates at the ballot box.
The answer is not to become more like McCain, or to somehow reinvent the wheel but just the opposite. Voters remember that Ronald Reagan crushed the opposition twice and many republicans in office now made it to D.C. on his coat tails. The reason Reagan won by such large margins is because he wonderfully articulated the American spirit; individual liberty, freedom of self determination, low taxation and limited government is a time tested winning formula.
One thing the republicans should pluck from the democrat play book is their talent for not only being the loyal opposition but a noisy one. That means connecting Obama with his policies and not mincing words about what they are, and what they are is Marxist. The Nomination of Sonia Sotomayor is a perfect opportunity to take a stand and expose this dangerous agenda. This will of course draw the ire of the Obama adoring media, But so what, the national media will attack them no mater what they do, so they might as well go in swinging.
Anthony D Dolpies
Phila, PA 19148
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