John Fund in OpinionJournal today joins the lament about the implosion of the congressional GOP, as earlier discussed in this post. He, too, is correct. And Rich Lowry at NRO makes some good suggestions on the subject. But what it really comes down to is, as Morton Blackwell often argues, good principles ARE good politics. If we fight for our principles and explain them well, we win. All too often, elected officials spend so much time trying to figure out HOW to be popular, and what positions to take and how to spin those positions, that they don’t realize that the public A) tends to agree, more often than not, with conservative principles and B) tends to respect officials more if they (the public) sense that the officials are acting out of conviction, even if they disagree with their stance, than if they think the officials are pandering.
E.g., on spending and on keeping the debt low, Republicans actually WON the battle with Clinton in 1995 and 1996, even while utterly blowing the tactics. The public generically supports less government, not more.
On judges, conservatives win, because we win on the related issues of law and order, partial birth abortion, reasonable nods to faith in the public square, eminent domain, the Pledge of Allegiance, etc.
On defense in general, Americans choose conservative strength and pride to liberal weakness and blame-America-firstism.
And so on.
Ronald Reagan understood this. He wasn’t just a “great communicator,” he was a firm believer that standing on principle was also good politics. And he proved it again and again. Since at least 1998, the congressional GOP leadership has forgotten Reagan’s simple lessons. They can still salvage their majority if they start applying those lessons again.
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?