The left wing of the Democratic Party is in power now and it looks like they will pass their budget and their agenda for the next year or two or four. There’s every reason to think it will be a disaster for the country. It’s not looking so great so far and the disaster may arrive ahead of schedule. I’d say there’s a nontrivial chance the country will be irreparably harmed by our American mid-life crisis. It’s going to suck, big time. All Republicans can do is be the party that says, this is a bad idea and we should return to what we really believe in. We should wear the label the Party of No as a badge of honor. No to higher taxes. No to soaking the rich. No to nationalizing health care. No to abadoning Israel (just wait — that’s coming). There will be a lot to say no to. No to tyranny. This whole country is founded on a No.
Obama’s ideas are a mushy rehash of tired ideas from the 1930’s and 1960’s packaged for an era of twitter users. We don’t have to hope they will fail. They can do that all on their own. Conservatives as they are called in this country remain attached to ideas that date back to our founding, ideas of limited government, virtuous citizenship and the worthiness of commerce. We don’t have to wait for anybody because they already got here some 200 years ago. We should say No to the revolution Obama wants to lead. We can certainly hope that enough people wake up soon enough that the country is not ruined first. But our job is not to find more sellable ideas. There’s nothing wrong with the ideas.
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With all due respect, I believe it would be a big mistake to get known as The party of No. Americans want and need change, so they believe and voted. To proudly announce NO will do damage to the GOP. Rather, stand tall and announce what is positive and what conservatives do stand for–but also note that the party drifted away from its principles when they allowed a huge deficit, more govt controls, invasion of privacy, enlarged govt beyond what it had been. These are things that are on record and they must be denounced as a move in the wrong direction. Conservative (and of course the GOP) no longer has to move lockstep with Bush, who allowed these changes. Become the party of YES: these are our values; this is what we believe in; this is what we want to return to.
In sum: perception becomes reality.
The Republican Party needs a serious, deep and painful overhaul. All of those old bastards that were in power over the last ten years need to go.
They have absolutely no moral authority to complain about Obama’s spending no matter how ridiculous.
I believe it would be a big mistake to get known as The party of No.
Why not? It certainly worked for the Democrats when they tried and usually succeeded in blocking most of the reforms in the last twenty years or so.
Americans want and need change, so they believe and voted.
If they wanted “change”, why did they vote for 40 year old retreaded ideas? Nothing Obama has advocated is less than 30 years old. For example, not a single policy initiative that I can find, large or small, relies on using the power of the internet. Obama sees looks at the policies of the Rust Belt states circa 1975 and thinks that we should expand those crippling policies to the rest of the country. His slogan is “change” but his policies are “Back to the Future”. We had a chance in the 90’s to alter ourselves, to adopt new ideas in government but the Democrats shot all that down in favor of maintaining the power base they had created in the 1933-1980 era.
I’d like to think that when people heard Obama say “change” they heard something like “21st century solutions for 21st century problems” not “1935 solutions for 2009 problems.” Given the iron grip that the left has on all forms of media and education, I imagine you will succeed in convincing people that your tired reactionary ideas are new and shiny.
Wanting “change,” without specificity as to what that change might involve, is not very wise.
Let’s say we’re flying an airliner, 35000 feet above the North Atlantic. The plane has picked up a heavy load of ice and one engine has failed. Something seems to be wrong with the deicers. The plane is descending, very gradually, about 200 feet per minute.
“Good change” might be getting the deicers working properly, or getting the failed engine restarted. “Bad change” would be pulling back on the yoke, in a futile effort to make the airplane climb, ending in decreasing airspeed, an aerodynamic stall, and a spin.
Lots of Weimar-era Germans wanted change, too. They got it.
I suspect being the party of “we don’t win elections with better policy ideas” limbaugh will be a disaster for the GOP. I also suspect it is inevitable and necessary.
The GOP created something truely amazing – a populist right-wing movement. Outside of Spain and South America, a rara avis indeed. Of course, being populist, the movement got really dumbed down and developed a need for dogma and ideological purity, as such things tend to do. When the party got into power it overreached, created a mess and is currently discredited in the eyes of the public. Now it faces a struggle between the true believers and the pragmatists.
Since the true believers, by definition, are more certain and vocal, they will drown out the moderates. Conservatism, like communism, can never fail. It can only ever be failed by imperfect leaders. The solution – ideologically purer(!) conservatism. This will leave the party wandering in the wilderness for a while with ever lower levels of public support. There aren’t enough true believers to win elections no matter how angry they get. And all that spittle does nothing to attract new supporters.
Good for the democrats, perhaps good for the country in the short term. Not good in the long term. But at some point, chances are the GOP will experience a collective Sister Souljah moment, come to its senses and reform. Probably not for a while.
This has already happened in CA. Now it’s going to happen on a national level. 29 years of success is quite a streak – but nothing lasts forever.
S…I guess I did not make myself clear. Nothing wrong with voting against what the Dems propose. I simply meant they need to avoid the label and try for an image of something positive. I am not sure how this might be done, however, but a lot goes into how their point of view is presented so that the voting public views their No as a positive thing.
“Given the iron grip that the left has on all forms of media and education, I imagine you will succeed in convincing people that your tired reactionary ideas are new and shiny.”
I think the media tilts right. But partisanship aside I agree with Shannon that Obama will do well selling his plans. The reality is that everything else being equal, there is a tendency for the media to favor the party in power for many reasons. Chief among them is access – to those in power.
Bush got a free ride for much longer than he should have by utilizing this, and by wrapping himself in the flag. Obama is too shrewd not to do the same – witness the fawning New Yorker article about Rahm Emanuel in the New Yorker, presumably the first of many about Obama administration members. That article made me, despite being a fan of Rahm, feel slightly sick to my stomach. This country deserves a better press.
If you think the press is biased now, you ain’t seen nothin’ yet!
David Foster, you are on the mark.
If more people within the Weimar Republic had said NO, we wouldn’t have had the slaughter we had.
It’s time to say NO to the clueless morons in power.
The first myth to get over is that the country wanted “change” in any meaningful sense. Obama didn’t win by that much and all of it can be accounted for by 1) young voters for whom Obama was like a rock star celebrity, 2) liberal boomers suffering from white guilt and Bush Derangement Syndrome and 3)black voters pushed by ACORN in key precincts in key states.
None of those voters paid any attention to Obama’s lack of experience, dubious alliances, refusal to provide any real record of anything he’s ever done or been and his very left objectives. And none of them took the time to question what he or they meant by this “change” that he was promising.
Sure some hoped that he would give them a house and all the money they could ever spend. Some hoped that they could drink wine with their friends and brag about their ever so sexy black president. How cool are we?
But these are all kids who thought someone else would take the hit.
He’s now making that clear. Categories 1 and 2 will remain boosters because they think the government can, will, and should take care of them. Category 2 is seeing their savings in real estate and on the market dissolve. Right now they’re numb and in denial. They’re still holding on to a formula that it will come back and they’ll be ok.
The interesting question to my mind is what will happen 6 or 8 months from now when it becomes clear that it’s not coming back. Not soon enough for anyone who thought they could retire in ten years.
What will these aging white boomer elitists who think they’re so morally superior to the rest of us do when the big government they’ve spawned turns its back on them?
oops. obviously it’s 1 and 3 who will remain boosters.
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