How the Republicans can lose by underestimating their strength.
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The morning the Iranians test their first nuclear weapon, perhaps with Obama’s prized UN inspectors there to watch, will not be a good day politically for Democrats. Neither will the next day when the mullahs begin issuing nuclear ultimatums to Israel. Or the day Putin invades Ukraine, recognizing that Obama can and will do nothing. Or the day the Taliban returns to power in Afghanistan.
But the biggest problem for President Obama and the Democrats, absent another terrorist attack, will be the day they violate their campaign pledge with a tax increase on Americans earning less than $250,000 per year. There is already the individual mandate in the health care bills, enforced by the IRS and constitutionally justified under the power to tax, and the new tax on health insurance. Then there are the price increases under cap and trade and other global warming nonsense. Worst of all, on the horizon, right after the mid-terms, is the Washington establishment hue and cry for a new value added tax to counter unmanageable, exploding deficits and debt.
The emerging, defining characteristic of the Democrat Party is that it refuses to listen to the people. Its leaders already know everything, on health care, global warming, the economy, tax policy. Even the French royalty couldn’t survive with this attitude.
No, there is only one thing that can save the Democrats: the Republicans.
There are two wings of the Republican Party right now. One wing wants to give up on the Republicans and create a third party. The other wing, led by Sen. McCain, David Brooks, and David Frum, wants the Republicans to be the Democrat party. No one except me, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and a few smart pols, such as Newt Gingrich and Sarah Palin, wants what would really sweep all before it, a Reagan Republican Party.
John McCain was such an incompetent presidential candidate last year that he lost to an unelectably left-wing extremist, enabling a Far Left takeover of America. It is amazing that his campaign advisors like Steve Schmidt even have the gall to show their face in Republican circles after that miserable, brain dead performance, let alone lay a claim to party leadership. John McCain is not the head of the Republican Party. He is the great mistake of 2008, whose policy and political insights led the party to its worst defeat since 1932.
The problem and the opportunity now for Republicans is shown by the New Jersey Governor’s race next month. New Jersey is on the road to becoming a failed state politically, sort of like Somalia, Afghanistan, and Michigan. The state features record taxes and spending, naturally accompanied by a declining, failing, economy, and widespread corruption. The incumbent Democrat Jon Corzine has presided over this developing failure for years, with no prospect or even hope of a new idea.
The Republican nominee Chris Christie has run a content-free campaign emphasizing that he is a Bruce Springsteen fan. So he has watched his lead shrink from 14 points down to 4. Republicans whine about a third party candidate, Chris Daggett, as a spoiler. But as the Wall Street Journal explains, “Mr. Daggett’s appeal has grown because he’s offering voters precisely what Mr. Christie isn’t: a specific plan for controlling runaway taxes and spending.”
Reagan faced a third party spoiler candidate in 1980. He swept the field in a landslide by offering a pragmatic conservatism solving problems through free market solutions that the public can understand and support, along with proven pragmatic traditional values. Chris Christie needs to prove now that he can do the same. It is his responsibility to win voters away from the third party candidate, not cry foul.
Christie and too many others underestimate the strength of Republicans and their practical ideas in the age of Obama. He should propose a specific plan to cut and then cap state property taxes, now averaging more than $7,000 per year, highest in the nation. He should ask Steve Forbes for an overnight dynamically scored income tax reform plan that would slash the absurd top rate of 11%. He should propose financing these by slowing the growth of state spending to the rate of population growth plus inflation. Republican state legislative candidates should stand with him in endorsing these ideas.
If Christie takes this advice, he will win in a landslide, and probably carry several Republicans to victory as well. If he doesn’t, current trends suggest he will lose, and deservedly so. The race is already close enough for the Democrats to steal, as they did their 60-vote U.S. Senate majority. Republican victories in this fall’s races in New Jersey and Virginia will start the panic of Congressional Democrats, and President Obama’s power to dominate Washington will already be gone. But Christie is frittering away this crucial opportunity to save America with his brain dead campaign.
The Journal further explains the problem, “Even if Mr. Christie ekes out a win because Mr. Corzine is so unpopular, the Republican will arrive in Trenton with a mandate to do what he campaigned on — nothing.” Worse than that, if he governs like an establishment, McCain Republican, negotiating tax increase deals to “balance the budget,” he will discredit the Republican Party, and encourage even more third party spoilers across the country.
A man of faith in a godless age is hitting Americans where it hurts.
Mr. and Mrs. American Spectator Reader, let P.J. O’Rourke talk sense to your kids.
In Britain, defending your property can get you life.
The debacle of this president’s administration is both a cause and a symptom of the decline of American values. Unless Congress impeaches him, that decline will go on unchecked. An eminent jurist surveys the damage and assesses the chances for the recovery of our culture.
It won’t take long for conservatives to scratch this presidential wannabe off their 2008 scorecard.
The American Christmas, like the songs that celebrate it, makes room for everybody under the rainbow. Is that why so many people seem to be hostile to it?
Was the President done in by the economy, or by the politics of the economy?