Tuesday, December 09, 2008

Time to stop whining and get back to basics

Republicans have spent too much time whining about Democrats, and it's a losing strategy. And when I say basics, I mean Republican principles that a majority of Americans can get behind and support. And what principles might those be? Gov. Tim Pawlenty explains:

Cut up the credit card
It doesn’t take a rocket scientist — or even a political scientist — to understand the steps the Republican Party must do to again become the national majority party.

The 2006 and 2008 election results are warning signs for the GOP. The good news is our party’s future is brighter than many think. Newsweek’s recent cover story makes it clear America leans more right than left.

The Republican Party’s conservative values — freedom, personal and moral responsibility, the power of capitalism and a limited accountable government — are as important as ever. The GOP should build on its core principles by making its case with common sense ideas that are better than our competitors.

Our approach on issues like security, energy independence, free market solutions for better health care and education with a focus on accountability for results instead of just increased spending are ideas that will do just that.

But it all starts by putting first things first. A cornerstone of the Republican Party must be fiscal responsibility — living within our means like most Americans do. Wall Street and the federal government chronically disregard this principle and have substantially contributed to our current economic mess.

Albert Einstein famously defined insanity as doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result. Americans don’t need a Nobel Prize winner to understand we can’t solve a crisis caused by the reckless issuance of debt by then recklessly issuing even more debt.

Remarkably, we have now entered the second or third round of bailouts for some companies and industries. But bailing out the bailouts is like using credit cards to pay off credit cards. It’s a strategy that would have made even Charles Ponzi blush.

He goes on to make some good points, about the weak spots in the Democrat's plans. But he says above, "A cornerstone of the Republican Party must be fiscal responsibility — living within our means like most Americans do." But DO they? I'd like to think so, but it seems a shocking amount of people are living beyond their means, and they are doing it on credit.

I was going to add, "... and that's why they've elected a Democrat government that wants to keep spending". But we've just had 8 years of Republican government that did that! Republicans have lost credibility on that issue.

The Democrats may blow it too, as Pawlenty points out, but it remains to be seen just what they will do. It would be ironic if the Democrats were to lead us into fiscal responsibility. I'm not saying they can or will, but stranger things have happened.

Every government screws up some things, they are only human. But the question is, how much, how fast, and what the damage is. The answers to those questions will determine who becomes (or stays) the dominant power. We shall see how the Democrats do. Then next four years certainly won't be boring.

No comments: