In 1994, Republicans seized control of Congress, largely due to their Contract With America pledge which resonated with the electorate. The same concept will work for the 2010 election if Republicans have the guts and the foresight to run with it. Note I used the word "concept," because this time their pledge should center around a completely different set of promises.
To begin with, Republicans must understand that Democrats and their media lapdogs are unwittingly doing them a huge favor by referring to them as obstructionists for refusing to abide Democrats' intention to socialize America. They should take that obstructionist label and double down on it: Republicans must become the "Party of Repeal." To wit:
If Democrats pass government-run health insurance, Republicans must first tell Americans they want no part of it and them tell them that if they become a majority in 2010, they will repeal it.
Ditto for a host of other leftist agendas. Cap-and-trade passes? We'll "unpass" it. Terrorist trials in civilian courts? We'll overturn the Attorney General's decision by crafting a law stating that all non-citizen terrorists will stand before military tribunals. Democrats pass illegal immigration "reform?" We'll toss it overboard and enforce the laws already on the books and we'll also cut federal funds to all "sanctuary cities" until they comply with those laws.
Runaway government spending? We'll peg federal spending to inflation and population growth, and come up with a realistic plan to reduce federal debt including a pledge that no Republican will ever again add a single earmark to any federal bill. Democrats raise taxes? We'll lower them and get America working again.
Gutsy? Only if Republicans ignore the reality that Americans identify themselves as forty percent conservative, thirty-five percent independent and twenty-one percent liberal. Only if they have managed to miss the stunning uptick in people supportive of Tea Party Americans who have prospered despite a relentless bashing by the mainstream media and Democrats.
Only if they don't understand that one of the primal fears of most Americans is that once a government program is enacted, it is forever.
Republicans can make it crystal clear that nothing is forever, especially anything which has the capacity to undermine two hundred and thirty three years of individualism, freedom and prosperity.
If Republicans need reassurance that standing against rampant liberalism is a potential winner, perhaps they should cast their collective gaze toward Florida where their own "machine politician," Charlie Crist, has just been caught from behind by conservative upstart and virtual unknown Marco Rubio. This is happening despite Crist's huge advantage with regard to both campaign funding and name recognition. At the very least, such a startling development should tell them that Republicans are fed up with the status quo. Add the gubernatorial victory of Chris Christie in bluer-than-blue New Jersey by an "ACORN-proof" one hundred thousand vote margin and maybe Republicans might get the idea that moderates are ripe for the taking as well.
Moderates plus conservatives? Even the most math-challenged Republicans should be inspired by the possibilities.
One of the great strategies in selling anything is to turn a negative into a positive. Democrats and the media have excoriated Republicans, labeling them the "Party of No." Republicans should wear that label like a badge of honor if they truly care about the country. A sizable majority of Americans are fed up with big and getting bigger government.
If Republicans can't see that, they're comatose.
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