Republicans do conservatism a disservice by running on nothing

disserviceFrom the Washington Examiner, By Philip Klein | September 29, 2014 –

If history has taught conservatives anything, it is that having Republicans in power is a necessary but by no means sufficient condition to advance a conservative agenda.

During the George W. Bush era, for instance, Republicans controlled the White House and both chambers of Congress. Spending soared, the federal role in education grew, and entitlements underwent their most significant expansion since Lyndon Johnson’s Great Society.

Republicans claim to have rediscovered their commitment to limited government principles as a reaction to President Obama. But with the possibility of retaking control of the Senate within their grasp, Republicans have decided to pursue a strategy of playing it safe.

The thinking among many Republican strategists is that with Obama’s popularity in the toilet, it’s better to make the 2014 election a referendum on him rather than running on specific policies that could leave the GOP open to attack.

This is not an isolated example of Republicans undercutting conservative principles when it comes to entitlements.

Crossroads GPS, an arm of the Karl Rove-founded political action committee American Crossroads, has produced ads attacking Democrats for backing changes to entitlements — programs conservatives know are unsustainable and desperately in need of reform.

“Arkansas seniors depend on Social Security and Medicare,” a narrator says in a Crossroads ad attacking Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor. “It’s troubling that Senator Pryor said we should overhaul Social Security and Medicare.”

On the House side, Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, has declined to offer any sort of document along the lines of the 1994 Contract with America or the 2010 Pledge to America, choosing instead to speak in broad strokes at a speech to the American Enterprise Institute.

If conservatives had reason to be confident that a Republican Senate majority (and eventually a GOP White House) would govern conservatively, perhaps there would be a better case for waiting until after the heat of an election season to lay out policy details.

The problem is that it’s always election season — meaning there’s always an available excuse. As soon as the midterms are over, the focus of the political world will turn immediately to the 2016 presidential election. There will be voices warning that a Republican Senate shouldn’t be too bold in passing legislation in 2015 or 2016 because it could undercut the presidential nominee. Conservatives will be told that retaking the White House is the only way to implement conservative reforms. By 2017, the excuse may be that Republicans don’t want to fall into the same political trap as Obama and “overreach” on policy, risking a backlash in the 2018 midterms. And so on.

To be sure, some Republicans understand that merely skating by isn’t good enough. Nebraska U.S. Senate candidate Ben Sasse, for instance, has actually proposed an alternative to Obamacare.

Louisiana Gov. Bobby Jindal, a likely presidential candidate, has spent this year rolling out national policy proposals on energy and healthcare.

Sens. Mike Lee and Marco Rubio have also articulated policies aimed at reforming the tax code and improving opportunity for lower- and middle-income Americans.

When I interviewed House Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan, R-Wis., he criticized Republicans who believed in playing it safe.

“This idea of running as a referendum, assuming a wave, assuming you’ve got the wind at your back, assuming with an unpopular president we therefore by default will win, I don’t buy that,” he told me. “I think you gotta give people a reason to vote for you.”

Given Obama’s unpopularity, Republicans could still have a politically successful election season without a clear agenda. But they will never win the policy debate if they run away from it.

2 responses

  1. The reason that RepubliCONs “run on nothing” is because they have no core beliefs as an organization…or if they do way down deep in the recesses of their cult’s narcissistic collective-personality disorder (same as Dim-ocrats)…they suppress them in order to accomplish “Job 1″…”get re-elected”. “Promise the moon” if you must…but, “get re-elected”…keep those 6-figure salaries and lifetime pensions and health benefits rolling…”got to get re-elected”.

    Even as the once-Republic is getting flushed down the proverbial toilet as we speak as a direct result of their gross sins of commission and omission as elected officials…and their progeny have no future because they spent it and then some (gross understatement)…”get re-elected”.

    The disappointing result of the entire two-party paradigm is akin to parents who make their young children go to church…3x a week or more…rain, sleet, or snow…only to discover years later when their children are grown that they have no deep-seated core religious values. We, the voters, are the parents…and the politicians are the children. The majority of the sheep do the mindless “straight ticket” insanity at the polling places and send the same selfish and power-hungry psychopaths back to that satanic church we call “CONgress” so that they can continue looting us, lying to us, and worse.

    But, even if the duped sheeple were to get it right at the polls for a change, the CIA and Diebold will be there to get it wrong again. Gotta keep the ‘Merican plane on autopilot. The flight plan’s destination was filed a long time ago.

    After decades of rewarding gross incompetence by our ADHD-riddled politicians by allowing these grown children to run wild in the candy store and gorge on chocolate, we throw our hands up in the air with feigned confusion and a few crocodile tears for good measure and wail, “Where did we go wrong?!?”, as we survey the wreckage.

    Yes, CONgressman Bill and CONgresswoman Jill have had quite the party with the parents’ checkbook for quite a while now…untold numbers of high-dollar hot checks have been written ($100 – $200 Trillion in “unfunded obligations” depending on which bill collector you believe). But, the pols invited all their friends…and they all gorged on the finest gourmet foods, wine, and cigars. Party’s almost over at the “Animal House” and the bills are coming due. The fine china is broken and the silverware is missing. But, we keep sending them back to finish the grand bank heist.

    I spoke with an elected county official (not Parker County) recently and opined about the publicly-acknowledged projection that Social Security Disability will be broke by 2017. This RepubliCON stated that he preferred to “think positive”…which is the Achilles heel of the two-headed political duopoly in Amerika…ignore the massive tumors that are metastasizing and sit around holding hands and singing “Kum Ba Yah”.

    Party’s almost over folks. You weren’t invited, but you and yours get to clean it up. The global creditors will have closed your lines of credit…and you’ll “wake up homeless on the continent (your) fathers conquered” as Thomas Jefferson famously warned.

    Don’t forget to vote “straight ticket”. It don’t matter which wing of the bird of prey you vote for…the end result is the same…more rancid dark meat.

    “The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result.”
    – Albert Einstein

    1. Senator_Blutarsky

      You mean ” keep Texas Red ” is not gonna help much? Darn – i just knew I could finally sit on my butt after 50 years of activism, and just punch an electronic voting machine to fix things…. dang.

      Truth is, of course, that the Repugs were taken over by the Rockefeller Eastern globalists, as soon as Goldwater conceded in 1964. They already had the Dem machine, so the task of a 1-party with different facades scam , marched (goose-stepped) forward. And they tossed dead bodies left and right to achieve this facade.

      Anyone who dare stand up and become a significant threat got a bullet or got neutralized – 2 Kennedys’, MLK, George Wallace….Reagan….Larry McDonald, Ross Perot, Paul Wellstone, Ron Paul to name just the more public names

      “The best way to control the opposition is to lead it.” – Lenin

      Texas..Red !…..Blue! – the globalists win either way, with the ilk of professional gangsters in Austin with an R after their name.

      DC is hopelessly in the clutches of the invisible empire and any 10th Amendment or Secession movements in the states will be neutralized and controlled by ” Christian(!) CONservatives”

      Frank Zappa once said, “Politics is the entertainment division of the military industrial complex”.

      So true…

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