After one week of President Barack Hussein Obama, conservatives are divided over how to take him on. Forget him. He’s not the issue. America is.
The best strategy for those constitutionalists to pursue is what it was in the beginning of this republic, is now, and forever shall be. It is multifold, yet clear as a crystal bell and easy for all to understand: Champion policies that are true to America’s traditional principles. Don’t fixate on what this new president does or doesn’t represent. That’s his worry. Let him be the one whose knee-jerk response comes to be perceived as perpetually in the negative. Cheerfully let him inherit the role of grumpy spokesman for the new reactionaries. Make America’s conservative and constitutional values the subject of every sentence in primary proposals you put before the nation. Make those proposals, not his, the focal point of national debate. Think through those options carefully and articulate them so Americans can visualize how they affect them and their loved ones in their daily lives. Their views, not his, are the ones that matter. Foreswear trying to curry favor with him and his party in Congress by being suckered into the tar pit of phony bipartisanship in an effort to appear reasonable and loveable. Better to stand as the sole proprietors of ideas that make sense and actually work. Let him and his crowd go their own way, prancing into failure unabetted.
Throughout Obama’s campaign for the presidency, it worked as long as he focused on himself. Each time he made the mistake of veering off that theme and into substance, he wound up stumbling, fumbling, mumbling and redefining himself even as he repeated, “As I’ve always said . . . ” It’s a habit he’s not shaken off.
A candidate can more or less get away with that. Presidents can’t. His every utterance, gaffe, including those of his vice president, and political misstep is certain to be recorded and replayed over and over.
Every new president tends to underestimate the baronial fiefdoms that control Congress. This president is a long way from being an exception.
The pathway of those out of power rarely is strewn with palm fronds and rose petals, but it’s a lot more navigable than the Beltway back alleys littered with special-interest potholes and ethical dead cats a president has to dodge around.
That advantage, contrary to popular malarkey, lies with the “outs.” Yet, it has a way of evaporating if not exercised rather firmly in the early going.
It may shock this president to discover that the left-wing press is anything but faithful, especially the digital branch of the species. Without its unprofessional sycophancy and shameless cheerleading, he still would be bartering political favors in the shadows of Chicago’s South Side. However, the fickle side will emerge soon. Indeed, it already is presenting with preliminary symptoms.
The lesson for conservatives and other constitutionalists is neither to head-butt the president nor to spread their cloaks atop every puddle he steps toward. They should grant the new fellow plenty of room to trip over his own doings. Suffer him to rebuke them for his failures. Voters will catch on.
Conservatives and other constitutionalists should do their homework diligently, advance public policies early, accept applause and catcalls with equal grace and, above all, remember the overriding issue now facing this country is not about him. And it’s surely not about them.
What it is about is how the conservative, constitutional values that the Founding Fathers jotted down are still the best common-sense advice the American people have ever received.
Let that new fellow take on the job of saying that’s not so, that Karl Marx’s long-discredited ideas were a lot better.
John L. Perry, a prize-winning newspaper editor and writer who served on White House staffs of two presidents, is a regular columnist for Newsmax.com. Read John Perry's columns here.
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