The GOP needs direction for 2010, but the rudders should only lean to the right.
2010 could very well be 1994 all over again. 2010 could very well be 1994 all over again. I’ve written that sentence so many times here at America’s Right that, if my name were Dorothy and I owned a pair of ruby slippers, it probably would have happened by now.
So, for all my talk of history repeating itself, I should be happy that people are talking about the sequel to 1994′s Contract with America, right? For all my talk of the GOP needing to return to first principles, I should be thrilled, right?
I would be. Except that the people talking about those things are NY-23′s own Tweedledee and TweedleRINO, RNC Chairman Michael Steele and former House Speaker–and architect of the first Contract with America–Newt Gingrich.
Frankly, it’s a credibility problem. I may be a little pudgy around the middle, but I wouldn’t buy a diet and exercise video made by Rosie O’Donnell and Michael Moore. Why? No, not because they’re both on the far left. No, not because they’re both a few entrees short of a smorgasbord in the intelligence department. I’d leave that hypothetical movie–Sweatin’ to the Donuts II?–on the shelf because of the credibility gap.
Similarly, when it comes to people choosing to remake the Republican Party, the last people I go to at this moment are Steele and Gingrich. Steele has been out and about doing his best Al Sharpton impression and playing the race card. Gingrich has been spending more time on a love seat talking climate change with Nancy Pelosi than Al Gore spends laughing at tree-huggers and their spartan lives from his multi-million dollar, energy-Lewinskying Tennessee mansion. And both championed Dede Scozzafava in the aforementioned congressional race, a liberal Republican at best who dropped out and endorsed the Democrat.
I’d rather have Billy Joel give me a driving lesson than Steele and Gingrich instruct me on how to remake the Republican Party. I’d rather get parenting tips from Britney Spears. Or dancing instruction from Stephen Hawking. In other words, when it comes to the best direction for the GOP to ensure a return to growth, prosperity and security in America, these particular guys have worn out their welcome.
Of course, the idea that the GOP needs direction is nothing groundbreaking. The party absolutely does. But that new Contract with America, or Plan for America, or Recipe for Prosperity or whatever you want to call it should start first by addressing the proper size, scope, role, reach and function of the federal government.
Every issue should be addressed by looking at that argument first. We can create jobs by getting government out of the way and reducing the tax and regulatory burden on American businesses small and large. We can become truly energy independent by lifting government restrictions on drilling offshore and in Alaska and employ an all-of-the-above policy approach. We can reduce health care costs and increase access by kicking government to the back burner and harnessing the power of the free market by opening up interstate competition and allowing small businesses to pool employees. And we can best address education by eliminating the Department of Education and returning discretion to each of the individual states.
People are mad. And while I’m sure that Michael Steele and Newt Gingrich have noticed, I’m not sure they truly understand why. In this era of trillion-dollar entitlement programs and more interference from Washington, D.C. in every aspect of our lives, people want less government, not more. They want sustainability or, even better, prosperity. Steele and Gingrich may talk the talk from time to time, but every chance they’ve been given to walk the walk, they’ve stumbled.
Now is not the time for stumbling. 2010 can be 1994 all over again. But we need direction. And that direction absolutely must come from people who have learned from the mistakes made by a Republican Party moving to the center, not from entrenched Capitol Hill stalwarts who only seem to lean right after they’ve been caught jumping left.