Archive for the 'Who are we?' Category


Tolerating Democrats’ Spending

The Republican National Committee will be electing a new Chairman as early as January 29, 2009. 

Bloomberg has an interesting story.  The author, Heidi Przybyla, comments on the state of the Republican Party in the northeast, particularly New England by stating:

The hard line taken by the leaders has already cost the party, which has become increasingly rural and Southern. With the defeat last year of Representative Chris Shays in Connecticut, Republicans no longer hold any House seats in socially moderate New England. The party also lost three House seats in New York, one in New Jersey and one in Pennsylvania, making Republicans an endangered species in the Northeast.

Here is a question: where is the “hard line”?  Was it on spending?  Before losing power, Republicans exercised little, if any fiscal responsibility.

Is this just about social issues?  Maybe.

One problem that the Republican Party is facing is that we are too defensive against charges that are nothing more than labels.  These labels are thrown at us to prevent any meaningful discussion on issues.

Take issues of spending.  Is it “hard line” to say that we need to cut spending because we cannot resort to confiscatory taxation to support it?  Many Americans would say, “no,” but Republicans cannot get into this issue if they let themselves be put on the defensive with words like “hardline,” which carry a “guilty until proven innocent” connotation.

So what do we do?  We do need to broaden our base.  How do we go about doing that?  Former RNC Chairman Rich Bond thinks:

“We need a great deal more tolerance for the other guy’s point of view,” Bond said. “Not everybody comes from the same constituency as a majority-white homogenous district in the South where all people care about is keeping their guns and taxes.”

Putting the social issue of guns and the right to self-defense aside, what does this mean?  Do only white Southerners care about keeping what they earn?

This points to an ugly truth about Democrats that Republicans not only have failed to expose, but too many have gone along with: Democrats divide Americans based on race, class and gender.

Democrats divide Americans by telling:

  1. black Americans that they have been historically wronged and that you need Democrats in power to enact compensation through government
  2. poor Americans that you are at the mercy of the rich and that you need Democrats in power to oversee the spreading of Americans’ wealth, from rich to poor, through government
  3. women that they are not on an equal footing with men and that you need Democrats in power to engineer equality through government

By doing so, Democrats deny any of these groups their natural right of self-determination because confiscatory taxation in necessary for Democrats to right these purported wrongs through more government spending.  Confiscatory taxation robs Americans of their self determination which is their right to pursue happiness.  Confiscatory taxation is a veritable form of slavery.

Do Republicans need to ” tolera[te] … the other guy’s point of view” when the “other guy” is pushing confiscatory taxation on the American people?  Do Americans, regardless of race, class or gender want the majority of the proceeds of their labor going to government?  If anyone thinks they are getting valuable services in exchange for their confiscated wealth, can we get into the issue of government waste and how this waste cripples our economy?  Are we going to go in depth in what we mean by “low taxes” or are we going to cower when the word “hardline” is thrown at us?


War Heroes

Too often in recent history, Republicans have run war heroes under the false notion that their exemplary character allows them to deflect substantive policy accusations.  The pattern goes like this:

  • CANDIDATE: I’m _____________, I’m running for _______________, and I served __ years in the ___<<military branch>>___ (and fought in the _______war[s]).
  • OPPONENT: I respect Mr. _______’s service   The problem is, Mr. ______ supports ___<<ridiculously wasteful government expenditure>>___ and we just cannot afford it without wrecking our economy because…..
  • CANDIDATE: I have fought for this country for ___years proving that I love this country and that’s why you have to believe me when I say we need ___<<ridiculously wasteful government expenditure>>___.

What a great way to engage in a substantive policy debate?  Sound familiar?

This is how we get Presidential candidates making careers on opposing wasteful pork barrel spending only to support $150 billion of pork on top of $700 billion to address a perceived credit crisis.  That’s right, no talk of economic pros or cons, just: “I fought for this country and I am doing what’s best regardless of politics.”  So much for fighting for a country where we can have opposition politics over critical matters such as these.

This is not to say that we have no respect for war heroes.  We love our veterans.  We certainly respect their service, but if we expect to have strong candidates we must not let our candidates use military records as an excuse to disengage from substantive policy debates.   This tactic does the country a great disservice.

Finally, it must be noted that most Americans under 50 did not live through a draft (yet).  In light of the volunteer military, these Americans have a different view of the military and military serviceman than Americans over the age of 50.  These younger Americans view all politicians (former servicemen or not) with the same degree of skepticism and demand substantive arguments, not argumenta ad hominem.


The 11th Commandment

Commonly attributed to former President Reagan, the eleventh commandment was stated by California GOP Chairman, Gaylord Parkinson in 1966 as:

“Thou shalt not speak ill of any fellow Republican.”

In its historical context, it was a plea by conservatives to find common ground with Rockefeller Republicans.

Today, however, it is used as an insidious means to stifle debate.  This ploy usually rears its head during Republican primaries.


Reagan challenged a sitting Republican incumbant President.  It is time to stop using the eleventh commandment as a ploy to stifle substantive debate on the direction of the Republican Party.

The Republican Party is at a crossroads and is struggling to define itself.  Do not fear this struggle because it is vital that we all engage in this struggle so that we can share ideas and forge a strong Party.  There is no other group to which this is more applicable than Republicans under the age of 50 whom:

  • will continue the fight against Islamic fascist terror;
  • will continue to pay for failing government social programs; AND
  • will bear the burden of liabilities imposed by trillion dollar bailouts.

The choice is clear: tuck your head in the sand while whining about the unpleasantness of internal Republican politics OR engage in the debate on the future of the Republican Party and your future as an American.  What’s it going to be?


Over the Horizon

What does the future hold for the Republicans Party as the minority party in the federal government?  JR Hoeft of Bearing Drift suggests an approach signified by this revised Republican standard:


All kidding aside, we need to answer:

Who are we?  What are our issues?  What exactly are our principles?

What are our goals on the federal, state and local level?  Are these goals part of an integrated platform?

What is the state of our coalition?  Who is in it?  Has anyone left?  What is the continuum of commonalities and differences amongst the members of our coalition?

Let this be a proposed framework for discussion.  In the coming months, let us try to answer these questions; discover new questions; and forge a path to our Party and our Nation’s future.