June 4, 2013 | 112 comments
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Cowardice and appeasement won’t save the Republicans or the economy.
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In the meantime, in this world of Republican weakness, some of us wonder from where will come the next Barry Goldwater, whose many fundamentally American pronouncements include this:
I have little interest in streamlining government or in making it more efficient, for I mean to reduce its size. I do not undertake to promote welfare, for I propose to extend freedom. My aim is not to pass laws, but to repeal them. It is not to inaugurate new programs, but to cancel old ones that do violence to the Constitution, or that have failed their purpose, or that impose on the people an unwarranted financial burden. I will not attempt to discover whether legislation is “needed” before I have first determined whether it is constitutionally permissible. And if I should later be attacked for neglecting my constituents’ “interests,” I shall reply that I was informed that their main interest is liberty and that in that cause I am doing the very best I can.
Few members of today’s Congress could summon up this level of moral courage and fewer still the rhetoric with which to express it — although this judgment may incorrectly presuppose that the American people still hold dear the values of our Founding.
For those Republicans who fear a similar impact to their political careers as Barry Goldwater suffered in 1964, I hope, though without much optimism, that they will remind themselves of the success of Ronald Reagan who knew how to make conservative policy a political asset. As a wise friend put it, “If chicken Republican pols have learned nothing from their party’s history of the last half-century they’re not likely to have much of history in the coming half-century.”
It may well be that the political situation requires “putting revenue on the table.” The source of that revenue should be pro-growth tax reform which, as Cato Institute economist Dan Mitchell has shown repeatedly, can be a panacea to our fiscal ills if combined with restraining the growth of government.
But given the likelihood that Republicans will indeed cave in to media-magnified pressure to make a deal, any deal, just for the sake of a deal, they should at least negotiate real, immediate, and substantial cuts to the cost and growth of entitlement programs. The nation can no longer afford politicians whose role model seems not to be Barry Goldwater but rather Wimpy, of Popeye cartoon fame, who suckered his friends repeatedly with the promise “I will gladly pay you Tuesday for a hamburger today.”
If I may close with one last quote, this from the late columnist Robert Novak: “God put the Republican Party on earth to cut taxes. If they don’t do that, they have no useful function.” Thank goodness we have Grover Norquist keeping many Republican politicians focused on doing the right things. No doubt his effectiveness in doing so — or embarrassing those who stray — is precisely why Democrats and RINOs alike are demonizing him daily.
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?