A Way Out of the Wilderness
We've been walloped in consecutive elections, but we can't just dwell on the past. The future is already here
By Karl Rove (excerpts)
Yes, we lost the election. But in a year when all currents were running against Republicans and our campaign was lackluster and erratic, Barack Obama received only 3.1 points more than Al Gore in 2000 and only 4.6 points more than John Kerry in 2004. The Democratic victory becomes durable only if Republicans make it so with the wrong moves.
Losing the election has led to a debate about whether the GOP should return to its Reaganite tradition or embark on a new reform course. This pundit-driven shoutfest presents a sterile, unnecessary choice. The party should embrace both tradition and reform; grass-roots Republicans want to apply timeless conservative principles to the new circumstances facing America.
In the coming year, we will be defined more by what we oppose than what we are for; the president-elect and the Democrats in Congress will control the agenda. We must pick fights carefully and center them around principle. The goal is to have the sharp differences that emerge make the GOP look like the more reasonable, hopeful and inviting party-which is easier said than done. A road map:
1. Avoid mindless opposition. We should support President Obama when he is right (Afghanistan), persuade him when his mind appears open (trade) and oppose him when he is wrong (taxes). It is the Republican Party's job to hold him accountable on the merits only.
2. Be as comfortable talking about health care and education as national security and taxes. Republican health-care proposals are strong; they can trump the Democrats' big-government ideas, but only if we advocate them with clarity, passion and conviction.
We must stress that the GOP wants families to be able to save, tax-free, for out-of-pocket medical expenses. People should be able to take their insurance from job to job. Small businesses should be able to pool risk to get the same discounts that big companies get. You can buy auto insurance from anywhere in America, even from a lizard, so why not health insurance? A national market would mean that health coverage for a 25-year-old New Yorker wouldn't cost four times what it does in Pennsylvania. Individuals and families, not just companies, should get a tax break for buying health insurance. And we must stop junk lawsuits that drive up everybody's health-care bills.
3. Winning the war on terror is a matter of national survival. Republicans must be President Obama's best allies in waging unrelenting war against terrorists, and prod him sharply if he weakens or wavers.........
This is a long to-do list. But parties that have just been trashed in consecutive elections always have a lot of work to do. Yet Republicans, in recognizing the size of the challenge ahead, shouldn't despair: President Obama and the Democrats in Congress will, fairly or not, own every problem that emerges. We remain a center-right nation, and the GOP will remain a center-right party based on an optimistic conservatism.
And political fortunes can change quickly. In 1992, Bill Clinton stood atop the political world; in 1994, he stood defeated after Republicans took control of the House. We can't count on a replay of 1994, but we can take steps that will make 2010 a good year-and, with a bit of luck and skill, a very good year. Democrats control the levers of power, but Republicans still control their own fate.
Now that they control the White House and Congress, will Democrats usher in a new "progressive" era?
The last "Progressive" era produced the Great Depression so the question is of grave concern. "Progressivism" can be enormously destructive
Not likely. At first glance, the numbers do look encouraging for proponents of a new New Deal era in government: Obama claimed at least 364 electoral votes and more than 52.5 percent of the overall popular vote, while Democrats now control at least 57 seats in the Senate and 255 in the House.
But look more closely, and you see a heavy influx of moderate to conservative members in the incoming freshman Democratic class, particularly in the House. Of the 24 Republican-held districts that Democrats won in 2008, Kerry carried just three in 2004. Democratic victories on Nov. 4 included Alabama's 2nd district (where Kerry took 33 percent of the vote) and Idaho's at-large seat (where Kerry won just 30 percent). In fact, according to tabulations by National Journal's Richard E. Cohen, 81 House Democrats in the 111th Congress will represent districts that Bush carried in 2004.
The fact that roughly a third of the Democratic House majority sits in seats with Republican underpinnings (at least at the presidential level) is almost certain to keep a liberal dream agenda from moving through Congress. The first rule of politics is survival, and if these new arrivals to Washington want to stick around, they are likely to build centrist voting records between now and 2010.
Racism is dead . . . and we killed it!
I think that the article below is a bit optimistic but one hopes that the constant Leftist accusations of racism do die down a bit
Yep, you heard me right. Racism in America is dead. Allegations about inequality of opportunity have been smashed. Deader than a bug on the windshield. You and I killed it. Over 66 million voters waited in line to deliver the coup de grace. Many of them were proud blacks who've lived long enough to know what I'm saying. You gotta' feel good about that. Most, however, were guilty whites who queued up to the voting booth to get shed of an ugly stigma. As for the other 57 million voters, they already knew that racism was dead and decided to vote on principle. Well . . . okay . . . that last statement was tongue-in-cheek, but not as much as you think.
So join me, please, as we collectively stab our fingers at the rotting corpse of racism and - in unison with Robert DeNiro's character Al Capone in The Untouchables - shout our eulogy to America's great sin: Black inferiority: DEAD! White guilt: DEAD! Race-baiting: Dead! The U.S. of KKK: Dead! The politics of victimhood: Dead! On November 4, America took a baseball bat to those notions and knocked them out of the park. It was a grand slam of epic proportions.
Will diehards continue to preach that America is a horridly racist country? Of course they will. Jessie Jackson and Al Sharpton still aim to make a living. The New York Times hasn't yet shut its doors. And pseudo-intellectual multiculturalists still have tenure in our colleges because . . . well, you know why. But the rest of us in America - red and yellow, black and white - have stopped listening to them.
Actually, racism in America died several decades ago, but the memo got lost. Last year I read with amusement about a black college student who traveled to Jena, Louisiana with a busload of other protestors - all going to support the "Jena 6" thugs - because she wanted to see what racism looked like. The irony of her comment is an epitaph in itself.
Racism died in America after decades of legislation and hundreds of billions in taxpayer reparations. Professional sports and the entertainment industry also helped. Oprah is one of the richest women in the world - and a former Miss America. And college athletic departments have produced far more black millionaires than white ones over the past thirty years. No one had to cross a picket line to get there.
Rahm Emanuel sorry he is not an Arab: "Obama chief of staff's father is a very right-wing Jew, a former member of Irgun. In the interview to Maariv, he wrongly surmised that Rahm will be very pro-Israel because "he is not an Arab." (Never mind Jimmy Carter also was not an Arab.) Rahm apologized to American Arabs for his father's remark."
Does anyone care about economic common sense?: "A bailout won't fix GM. It will only prop it up. And given it's situation, that won't last long either. So it most likely would mean a further --investment' would be necessary later -- the AIG model if you will. Bankruptcy is not only the smarter choice, it avoids the moral hazard inherent in government bailouts as well as avoiding throwing good money after bad."
Surprising sense from a Leftist: "Gordon Brown tonight called on the world's most powerful industrial nations to agree a programme of immediate and coordinated tax cuts to prevent the global economy sliding deeper into recession. Arriving in New York for this weekend's unprecedented gathering of the leaders of the world's leading 20 economies, the prime minister said the need for a "fiscal stimulus" both for the UK economy and the world had increased after an autumn in which accelerating job losses had intensified fears of a deep and lasting slump."
Wayne Lusvardi has an article up on California's latest "sustainable growth" legislation -- pointing out that it will require irrational use of one of California's scarcest resources, water.
For more postings from me, see TONGUE-TIED, EDUCATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, GREENIE WATCH, POLITICAL CORRECTNESS WATCH, GUN WATCH, SOCIALIZED MEDICINE, FOOD & HEALTH SKEPTIC, AUSTRALIAN POLITICS, IMMIGRATION WATCH INTERNATIONAL, EYE ON BRITAIN and Paralipomena
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The Big Lie of the late 20th century was that Nazism was Rightist. It was in fact typical of the Leftism of its day. It was only to the Right of Stalin's Communism. The very word "Nazi" is a German abbreviation for "National Socialist" (Nationalsozialist) and the full name of Hitler's political party (translated) was "The National Socialist German Workers' Party" (In German: Nationalsozialistische Deutsche Arbeiterpartei)