Sunday, August 23, 2009

What Now?

Posted by BigDog

Victor Davis Hanson is one of the authors and scholars I respect the most. In his latest column he takes apart Obama's major weaknesses and gives him sage advice on how to change course. Well and good, but I am interested in his advice for Republicans:

And the Republicans?

1) Mea Culpa. At some point the opposition will have to offer counterproposals that are the opposite of the financial recklessness of 2001-06. On health care reform, they could offer tax incentives for private health care accounts, craft subsidies for the poor to purchase private catastrophic plans, and insist on tort reform. It won’t do any good to blast Obama for bankrupting the treasury if conservatives still vote in multi-billion-dollar agriculture subsidies, expand earmarks, and dream up new programs like No Child Left Behind and Prescription Drug expanded benefits. The Republicans gain from the Obama meltdown, but will be embarrassed when voters turn and ask , “And you? What have you got for us that is any better?” and they have no detailed reply.

2) Clean House. If opponents are to emphasize the Democratic sleaze—Rangel, Dodd, Murtha, the Obama Cabinet tax-cheaters, Axelrod, etc—then they must pledge no more Tom Delays, Duke Cunningham’s, Mark Foleys, and Jack Abramoffs. Parts of the success of the old Contract with America were provisions about congressional behavior.

3) Something Different This Time. Conservatives must appreciate that Obamism transcends the usual liberal challenge posed by past Democrats. For a variety of reasons, the liberal agenda this time is much more far-reaching and systematic. Obama proposes not just to grow government and absorb much more of the nation’s GDP into the state, but to create a lasting legacy of statism.

Emphasis mine. Politically, I think the Democrats will be in big trouble in 2010. But Republicans need to recognize that they are the minority because Republicans screwed up badly when they had the majority. They need a whole new class of Republicans candidates (like the Dems found Bluedogs to run against Republicans in 2006) and leaders who can articulate a viable message that is an alternative to the Democrats. I fear our political class is simply not up to the task. Democrats are criminal and ideological Leftists bent on destruction, and Republicans are shiftless and want to be liked by the Beltway denizens.