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December 10, 2008
Republicans and the Power of No
If this is to be
their end, then I would have it be such an end as to be worthy of
King Theoden, at the Battle of
Helm's Deep, Lord Of The Rings: The Two Towers
The above is what
should be in the minds of those Republicans who remain when Congress
re-convenes in Washington in January. If, after all that has happened,
they still cannot find the spine to fight then the Republican Party will
deserve its fate to go the way of the Whigs and die.
There is no one more
free than one with nothing left to lose. And lose repeatedly by
running to the mushy middle and preemptively conceding every liberal
precept, is precisely what the GOP has done. If the supposed opposition
party cannot find it within themselves even now to come out fighting for
conservatism and go down, if that be their fate, at least having done
everything in their power to actually oppose that which would destroy
what they purport to hold dear, then they are truly contemptible
There is a simple way
to begin this by discovering the power of saying No. Not angrily or
spitefully, but firmly, calmly and as often as is necessary. And often
will be necessary, if Republicans are to ever regain the mantle of
fiscal responsibility they've so utterly squandered over the last eight
It takes a long time to
rebuild credibility and trust once it's been lost. Only over time, by
repeatedly standing against inevitable, frequent Democratic attempts to
stage government takeovers of large sectors of the economy credit,
auto industry and health care for starters will this begin to occur.
Building a record of standing against never-ending bailouts and favoring
spending cuts over tax increases to close massive deficits is the only
way the GOP can go to voters in 2010 and credibly claim that they've
learned their lesson.
And explanations need
to be kept short, simple and the same throughout the caucus. A unified
message is the only way to cut through the media fog. For example, you
oppose the auto industry bailout because taxpayers aren't responsible
for the bad decisions of auto executives and the greed of the UAW. You
can't demand and receive a raise because you spent recklessly, so why
should they? No more detail than that is needed.
Also, this is one of
those instances where good policy is good politics. Forcing the
Democrats to pass everything they want entirely on their own puts all
the responsibility for the deleterious consequences on their shoulders.
The GOP should not be foolish enough to sign on to Democratic bills when
all the left really wants is a fall guy, allowing them to disingenuously
say See? If only we hadn't had to water it down for the Republicans, it
If the Democrats
actually think their ideas will work, they shouldn't hesitate to pass
them alone and take all the credit. But as we've already seen with the
auto industry bailout, they're not ready to accept that risk. And that
in itself is a telling sign.
Finally, this holding
firm will serve one more purpose to identify the dead weight, and to
separate the wheat from the chaff.
Who will stand up for a
cause bigger than themselves and the next re-election? Who is willing to
put it all on the line for principle and who is willing to throw
principle away for self-preservation? Is the GOP still the main home for
conservatism, or has it become the We're Just Like The Democrats, Only
Not Quite As Much Party? And which members subscribe to which line of
No longer will there be
a soft middle in which liberal RINOs can hide. The Democrats mean to
yank America hard to the left and have the numbers to do it. Supposed
Republicans like Sen. Olympia Snowe, Sen. Susan Collins and even Sen.
John McCain, who have spent their careers aiding and abetting this, will
have to show once and for all where they really stand. Join the
filibuster or be votes 58, 59, and 60 to knock down the last remaining
defensive fortification. No more Gang of (Insert Number Here)
grandstanding for centrism, because most of the members have been
defeated and replaced by liberals.
I submit that if the
above senators and others like them still refuse to get on board, then
we should at least remove from them the label they've been allowed to
hide behind for far too long. They'll have shown where they've really
stood all along, and there won't be a substantive change so much as one
But tactics, strategy
and analysis aside, it all comes back to having the will to just say no.
Without that, the rest is all academic.
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