2012 Election Richard Falknor on 11 Apr 2012 01:59 pm
“. . . Obama is throwing the country off a cliff and when you’re plunging into a bottomless chasm, you can’t get too picky about which branch you grab on the way down.” –-John Hawkins (via The Transom)
Here is a bright side of the conclusion of the GOP presidential nomination race and its media hype: the conservative base and the Tea Partiers can now pay more attention to the composition of the next Congress and, equally important, to the need to improve its Republican leadership.
Conservatives and Tea Partiers need to develop ways to hold members of the Congress who sail under the conservative flag to account – not just on legislation, but also on oversight, and on failure to act when national concerns are threatened.
Almost all the media reported the GOP nomination contest as a kind of national horse race pivoting on personality and money. We suspect that this kind of political theater was particularly congenial to the Beltway GOP.
Conservatives – with their grasp of our history and constitution –understand that the November 6, 2012 presidential election is about confronting the grave danger president Barack Obama represents.
Mr. Obama is not just a misguided fellow in ‘over his head’, but a serious and to-date-effective revolutionary politician.
And this danger comes not just from the president himself, but from the strong, sophisticated movement he represents: a movement now embedded in our government and in the media, the professions, and in our schools from K through Ph.D.
This movement long ago began its work of ‘transforming America.’ It now continues its long march using the powers and the “bully pulpit” of the presidency, and the skill of the “permanent government” of the senior civil service.
We don’t know who will win on November 6 partly because that will depend on a number of contingencies.
Consider the bailout of September 2008 — which arguably took much of the wind out of Senator John McCain’s presidential effort.
Last Friday, Scott Rasmussen wrote —
“The bailouts remain the most hated pieces of legislation in recent American history. They spurred both the tea party and the Occupy movements and convinced millions that a corrupt relationship exists between big government and big business. But both Romney and Obama are supporters of the bailouts. Given the public mood, it is almost beyond comprehension that neither party could come up with a presidential candidate opposed to the bailouts. Looking ahead, most voters hear a lot of rhetoric about deficit reduction but don’t believe either party has proposed a serious plan to stop ever-increasing government spending. Most don’t even believe that the budget cuts agreed to during the debt ceiling debacle will ever be implemented.”
(Whether or not the public is wholly or partly right about the bailouts, the public is certainly on target when they believe there is a far too intimate connection between the interests of favored businesses and powerful Federal politicians.)
Our point is that unexpected events (or manufactured crises) between now and November 6 demanding quick, clear positions from the president and his challenger can decisively shape November’s election outcome in these very dangerous times.
If president Obama edges out reelection, we shall need a strong principled GOP leadership in both houses of the Congress to limit further damage.
If governor Mitt Romney is elected, we shall also need such a strong principled leadership to ensure we begin to roll back the Left’s already-begun “transformation of America.”
As we and many others have written and detailed, the record of the Senate GOP leadership from 2009 onward has been lamentable. The record of the House GOP leadership in the current Congress has been, charitably put, ineffective and likely will continue on that path.
It won’t do just to finally have 51 GOP senators or to keep the House GOP majority.
If conservatives want conservative outcomes from the next Congress, they will have to do better in finding ways to hold GOP members accountable.
We all saw the many disappointments from the House of Representatives GOP after the November 2, 2010 election gave the Republicans an historic victory in that chamber.
And we’ll be looking at some of these essential conservative goals shortly.
Our Political Class Is Incapable of Changing Course — The Responsibility for Right Action is Ours
But keep in mind, we are aiming to elect a replacement for president Obama. We are not electing a “Republican Caesar” with plenary powers to set America right. The hard, careful, and detailed work of setting America right must continue from the grass roots informed by the many independent conservative analysts. And it must be accelerated now.