Right track revitalization
By Carol Devine-Molin
The GOP is not in its death throes. That's the type of prattle being advanced by some among the chattering class, most notably journalist Peggy Noonan. I enjoy Peggy Noonan's columns, but to say that the Republican Party is "busy dying" is a bit over-the-top. That's not to say that the GOP doesn't have myriad reasons to be demoralized.
The GOP continues to take a drubbing, having lost three Republican-held House seats in a row in special elections. Oddly, the party is operating in a trance, when, in fact, it really should be vigorously reacting to the wake-up call, and making a concerted effort to overcome inertia. The Republican Party elites are failing to enact necessary change in a timely manner because they've become entrenched in the political culture of Big Government, special interests, and over-spending, with earmarks now epitomizing the "currency of corruption."
Congressional earmark spending in the 2008 fiscal year demonstrates a 23 percent decline from the 2005 all time high. That's a start, but not nearly enough to turn the corner on conservative discontent with the GOP's systemic problems. Well, where's the cause for optimism? The GOP will undergo vital change in the coming years. Out with the old politicos, and in with the new ones that return to core values. Essentially, there will be a paving of the way for new blood to revitalize the party.
In efforts to get the GOP back on track, some pundits and politicos are suggesting that the party requires a re-branding, as if conservative values and ideas are obsolete. That's pure poppycock. There is an ebb and flow to politics, and frankly, the pendulum is swinging to the Democrat Party because the Republican politicos have abandoned their conservative principles. Not surprisingly, the GOP is quickly losing conservative voters who formerly considered themselves party stalwarts. Republican elites must accept this simple fact: Conservatives are disillusioned and it's going to take hard work, new leadership and a return to conservative values on the part of the GOP to woo them back. That's the obvious dynamic in play, and for some pundits to think that the GOP requires a retooling and a move to the political Left in a "Third Way" sort of mold is preposterous.
In 2006, the Republican Party lost control of both houses of Congress, and the majority of the governorships and state legislatures, and it continues to struggle. Conservatives have indicated that they want a party that limits the size of government, demonstrates fiscal responsibility with requisite spending and tax cuts, and offers-up creative conservative solutions to our myriad problems. That's nothing new, but the fact that Republican office holders have been slow to make necessary adjustments tells us that the shake-out of GOP politicos will continue, and it will largely fall upon a new generation of Republican candidates to breathe life back into the party
This is still a center-right nation politically, a truth recently reiterated by GOP candidate John McCain, and few conservatives would quibble with that assessment. The correct conclusion to draw from the GOP free-fall is not that the electorate is endorsing Leftist values, but it's rebuking the GOP for losing its conservative bearings. Until the Republican Party returns to its conservative values, it will continue to hemorrhage voters. The one candidate that could be a transitional figure in this wave of GOP change is John McCain.
The conundrum for conservative voters is whether to vote for John McCain in the general election, since he's conservative on some issues, albeit vital issues, and rather Left-leaning on others. Clearly, America doesn't need liberal immigration reform and the "man-made global warming" hoax - that's more pretext for redistribution of wealth – foisted upon it by both parties. My hunch is that conservatives will realize that this is a high stakes election [in this era of Islamo-fascism and global Jihad] and that John McCain is far better equipped to deal with national security and foreign policy issues than presumptive Democrat nominee Barack Obama.
Obama recently stated that Iran is "tiny" as compared to the former Soviet Union, and it doesn't pose a serious threat to us as the Soviet Union once did. Obama is a charismatic, likeable guy, but for heaven's sake, he exhibits a naiveté that we haven't seen since Jimmy Carter. Apparently, Obama doesn't grasp the profound danger posed by Iran - the globe's premier terror state – which is eager to attain nuclear weaponry. Just listen to the hateful rantings of the Iranian leadership! There's no question that Iran will provide its terror surrogates with nukes to attack the US and Israel. Moreover, Obama is oblivious to key points: During the cold war, Mutually Assured Destruction, a vital deterrence mechanism, was in place. The US was essentially in a Mexican standoff with the former Soviet Union that clearly wanted to survive and thrive. In contrast, the Iranian leadership is both suicidal and homicidal. Once the electorate really focuses upon Obama's less-than-stellar judgment, McCain is going to look a heck of a lot better.
Carol Devine-Molin is a regular contributor to several online magazines.