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August 31, 2009
The Leaderless ‘Party of No’ Is On the Rise
Since November, we have heard it from political “strategists” on TV and
read it in online commentary: The Republican Party is in trouble. The
Republican Party cannot win if it remains the “Party of No.” The
Republican Party is “leaderless,” and absolutely must figure out who its
“leader” is. The Republican Party must “moderate” its views in order to
stand a chance in future elections.
Well, it has been only eight months since the inauguration of the
unequivocal “leader” of the “Party of Yes” and his enormous
congressional majorities, and, well, he’s not doing so hot. The
half-deity at the Democratic Party’s head has seemingly made an
impressively concerted effort to force a collapse in his numbers in
every single poll, some of which have shown his approval ratings fall
below 50 percent and his disapproval ratings in majority territory.
Despite a silver tongue, zombified supporters and propaganda signs at
every roadwork site reminding the populace of how The One is
benevolently and generously rebuilding their roads via his “stimulus”
package, Barack Obama is already on the verge of objectively becoming an
Yet in the meantime, the leaderless Party of No has been advancing at a
pretty satisfactory pace, thank you very much. While on November 2, the
GOP trailed the Democrats by six points in the Rasmussen poll’s generic
congressional ballot, Republicans are now ahead by five points in the
most recent ballot. Rasmussen also shows that Republicans have become
more trusted on eight of 10 political issues that mostly saw a
Democratic advantage only months ago – national security, health care,
the economy, Social Security, education, abortion, taxes and education.
The two parties are tied on a ninth issue, and the Democrats lead on
And all of this is happening while the Republican Party has been nothing
other than the Party of No, has agreed on no leader and has stuck to
conservative principles more than it did in its last few years in the
majority. And on top of it all, Republicans are so much on the rise that
they are managing to block Democratic legislation that should be easily
passed by a comfortable House majority and a filibuster-proof monopoly
in the Senate.
Contrary to the insistence of political commentators, being the Party of
No is actually quite effective when what you are saying “no” to is
expanded government, increased taxes and violation of individual
Now of course, opposition has been led by grassroots conservatives, and
not the GOP leadership that has supported reshaping the party into the
likes of Arlen Specter and Charlie Crist. But congressional Republicans
have now caught on, and have been unabashed in opposing
government-aggrandizing legislation such as the “stimulus.” This
confrontation has put the Democrats on the defensive, and has forced
those representing the least liberal districts to become accountable to their constituents –
which explains the Blue Dog resistance to ObamaCare. Obama now knows
that he cannot push left-wing legislation without being called on it by
The conventional wisdom also deemed it necessary for Republicans to
select a “leader” for their cause. Little did the promoters of such an
idea realize how contradictory the idea of a personal leader was to a
movement that prided itself on dedication to a fixed set of principles,
and not on a cult of personality. Conservatives know what they want, and
then look for fellow citizens who are willing to push their cause in
government. This reality presents a striking parallel to the Democrats
first selecting Barack Obama without knowing what he stood for, and
trusting him to lead them whichever way he wanted.
Republicans cannot and should not entrust their entire cause to a single
“leader” whose personal imperfections and inevitable mood swings could
single-handedly bring about, say, the fall of small government
principles or the discrediting of traditional values. Republicans cannot
package their hopes into a single individual, then offer him on a silver
platter for vitriolic attacks of personal destruction by the other side
of the aisle. Principles are bigger than that.
Republicans have been playing their cards right, and have been doing it
in complete inconsistency with the prevailing conventional wisdom. Times
like these require a principled movement that stands up against what is
wrong, and does so without reliance on the whims of any individual. As
we have seen thus far, success awaits at the end of this tunnel.
© 2009 North Star
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