“There are a lot of folks out here, though, who are much more anxious about the Republic than they are about the success of the Republican Party.”[read_more]
When the final commercials sputter out a few weeks from now, we’ll hopefully have a Republican controlled Senate as a bookend to the Republican House.
The prospect pleases many of us, and offers the possibility that some of the 300 plus bills that the House passed and that Harry Reid has blocked from coming to the Senate floor for debate, may be revisited. And, of course, anything that keeps Harry and Nancy Pelosi out of majority leadership is good for the country even if it’s a loss for late night comedians and grammarians.
The fly in the ointment, however, is what will a Republican led Congress do with its majority status if it does win the Senate back? Like the proverbial dog catching the car; now what? Since many Republican candidates have decided to run vague, issue-lite campaigns – in an era of super-sized issues – it’s a critical question.
While the ship of state is being tossed around like a canoe in a hurricane, we’ve been told by the wise and wily professionals that make up the official political class that not engaging in serious issues or in-depth policy ideas is the safe course for the 2014 elections; get out of the way and let President Obama and his crazies defend themselves seems to be the theory.
Okay, so if now’s not the time for serious issues to be discussed, just when is that time? There are some disquieting early signs that what the political class means by “now is not the time,” really means, “don’t call us, we’ll call you.”
If a new Republican Congress takes office in January and merely codifies the nation’s implosion – then what?
Does that mean we accept the last decade as the new standard of how we shall be governed and live? As an example of what many of us fear in the new Congress, last week Senator Susan Collins (R-Maine) was asked about repealing Obamacare and she candidly responded, “You know at this point, I think we’re past that.”
Really – we’re past all “that” now? Is she saying that a new Congress can’t or won’t repeal this deathtrap legislation designed and passed by insane people, who knowingly told the American people lie after lie about the consequences of the legislation? Do we have to live with it even if it completely destroys the nation’s health care system and bankrupts the country; we simply have to accept it? Is this what our party establishment thinks governing looks like?
Equally disturbing are recent articles, including Fortune Magazine, stating that the Party leadership is anxious for the business community, among others, to know that the right wing “nuts” will be contained in the new Congress with a larger working majority of “safe” Republicans (and Democrats?), who presumably will be not do anything rash, like actually being the conservatives they said they were on the campaign trail. They will be pragmatic custodians of the Federal pig trough.
Beyond 2014, exactly how does that set up the Party for victory in the 2016 presidential elections?
There are a lot of folks out here, though, who are much more anxious about the Republic than they are about the success of the Republican Party. They want to hear our leaders talk about how to save liberty and human freedom; about how to build prosperity and serve posterity; about the safety of the American way of life, especially from radical Islam; and about how to reinforce our unique civil society nurtured under the wing of the Judeo-Christian ethic of millennia past.
Is it simply hyperbole and hysteria to suggest that all of these treasured concepts are now “in play?” They may not survive this generation? If the timidity of the organized Republican Party over the past six years, and the bewildering shallowness of this campaign season is any indication, we already have the answer, heard in the endless political slogans and jingoist catch-phrases (“I’m a small government conservative”) and ambiguities (“Reform the tax code!”); but precious little in-depth discussion or debate.
Nation-changing major issues are begging for attention; repealing Obamacare, obviously; illegal immigration; a stagnating blob of an economy; massive unemployment and underemployment; growing poverty and dropping real incomes; a radical Islamist threat at home and abroad; and a out-of-control unelected judiciary legislating social change from the bench that poses an enormous threat to both freedom of speech and freedom of religion – just to name a few.
It doesn’t have to be this way – it shouldn’t be this way.
At the risk of upsetting the “get over Reagan” crowd, his example is still the most instructive for conservatives. (He is the only genuinely successful national Republican politician in 50 years and that should be qualification by itself.) Reagan was the leader who built the conservative movement almost by himself, through extolling, educating and confronting the most contentious issues of his time over many years – not ignoring them. He built an army of new conservatives as interested in core issues as he was and most of them were young people.
Reagan’s vision and his genius was that he knew what the ultra radical leftists, like Obama, were up to; he knew that they traded in emotionalist utopianism, un-connected to the real world of work and family, and he knew that their collectivism always brought great suffering through the suffocation of the human enterprise, and finally death, literally and figuratively, to its subjects. He didn’t ignore them, he fought them in public.
Reagan spent his last decades connecting the dots for the American public and pushing down into the culture the core concepts that freedom without the freedom of expression, religion and property was no freedom at all; that constitutional government was the only device that could preserve liberty if used; free economies demonstrably provided the most benefit for the most people; and human dignity was God-given, and always non-negotiable.
What is so hard about this message? What is so hard about explaining, educating and defending the core issues of who we are? Why wouldn’t we want to run on those issues? Most importantly, why wouldn’t Republicans and conservatives fight for these issues and values while they can do it with words and elections, instead of the dark and grim alternative?