May 25 2011
Lots of good comments on the previous post on the NY-26 elevtion, but I would suggest the path forward is still clear and immutable. The GOP lost NY-26, but not by that much. And we really can’t unravel candidate issues from the quirks of special elections in general – not to mention the faux Tea Party candidate. I should note that while the wave was building across the nation in 2009 and 2010, the GOP lost a special election in NY in a similar manner. So a local exception to a massive realignment is not new. But there are legitimate concerns..
It is clear the GOP has not won back the respect and confidence of the American voter – not yet. The two parties could once again vie for ‘least despicable’ every other cycle, as they have been for decades. For all we know, a new status quo may have been established with one more form of divided government that seems to be the preferred norm at times. But that does not mean the voters are not open to reasonable conservative options. They just cannot be fringe conservative options. The far right still has to be muted and the center respected – or else all those gains from 2010 can evaporate by 2012.
Voters want libertarian solutions to government waste and abuse – that is the immutable bottom line.. They want the deficit spending ended. They want reasonable and temporary safety net programs for all but the most challenged. Permanent support is only going to be for those truly in need of it. But it is HOW we get to these goals that is creating the hesitation. Not to mention the lack of trust, even when the path promoted is sound. Too many false promises by pols for too long for words alone to be taken on faith.
The people want an end to the DC-Knows-Best nonsense. Which means proposals from DC begin as just more nonsense. The people want lower taxes, want their lives back and the return of a good economy. They know these are not achievable (in reality) from the left. The left has lost (and is still losing) credibility. But the GOP has not earned their credibility back yet either. It is a gap that can be bridged, between what the people want and the GOP proposes.
And there is plenty of time for the 2012 election cycle. But be fore warned, there is a need to NOT kowtow to easy votes and stupid slogans. No back sliding. No running away. Paul Ryan has a good solution in general, it needs a combination of refinements and explanation.
More importantly, Every conservative not talking about reigning in DC is off message and not helping the cause. Obama’s birth certificate idiocy was an obvious cause of the rot which ate into GOP credibility. We also don’t need any social issues at this time, simply because politics is not considered a respected source of anything associated with morality. No one can preach to others about how to live a good life from the sewer of corruption and arrogance.
It is not the politicians job to tell us how to live our lives – left or right. It is the job of government to ensure the national defense, establish laws of criminal and economic nature to protect the individual’s rights, and to otherwise get out of the way of people and let them live their lives. Anyone trying to be superior is off track from the start. Runaway government is the prime problem.
If the GOP backs off from the Ryan Plan they lose. If they soldier forward and spend all their energy and time focused on shrinking government safely and without hurting those already in its clutches, they can win a big victory – over time. Over a long time.
This is not a one or two election cycle effort. There is no instant gratification here. Leave the juvenile promises of instant Nirvanan to the lunatics on the left. We need Churchill, not Obama. We need to understand our challenges and feel honor in taking them on. We need shared sacrifice, which is why the power has to be pulled from the bureaucracy FIRST, before the people are asked to sacrifice. What we need is humble dedication, not arrogant grand standing.
This is not complicated, but it is radically different from anything the DC elite have had to do for decades. They will not only be uncomfortable switching gears late in their careers, they will be awkward as well. And too many will resist – on all sides. They have grown up believing some government is required when in most cases none is, and it would be better if none was. Those cannot be salvaged, they must be dumped.
Don’t wilt, don’t lower our sites, and don’t get distracted on issues not important to the American voter in the center. You must win the center to make progress. Yes, it is slower than desired, but look at what winning the center did in 2010. Imagine what it could be like if the center was willing, en masse, to make measured steps for a decade or more in one direction – leaving the idea of government as the answer to all solutions in its wake. Imagine what slow and steady progress could lead to, and learn to work with the center instead of the lazy and useless backstabbing so common to so called patriots. Seasaws go nowhere, they just appear to have a lot of motion.
It is time to stop seasawing between the fringes and for someone to make a lasting alliance with the center.