The Republican Party, and the conservative movement, are “in the wilderness” at the moment. They may be there for quite a while.
Their resuscitation depends on two factors:
A) The success or failure of The Obama Program
B) And the ability of the GOP/conservatives to present a new and winnable face to a country sick of the Bushes and the perceived nastiness, dishonesty, and incompetence of the Republican Reign since 2001.
These two factors have nothing to do with each other — and, in an odd way, everything to do with each other. Let’s explore:
President Obama has a total stranglehold on the federal government. He can do virtually anything he chooses. And, with Nancy Pelosi and Harry Reid riding shotgun for him, there is no one to check the Democrats and keep them from going too far.
The House Republicans cannot stop Pelosi and her forces. Period. They have tried — and failed — on the stimulus. And since then more and more GOP Congressmen have thrown in the towel and supported Obama bills.
There is always the rare filibuster on a matter of principle in the U.S. Senate, but other than that, the Senate is made to compromise — and most of the senators will end up going along with a president who is sporting a 66 percent approval rating.
What always happens when one party has total control?
It goes too far and begins to alienate the all-vital, all-important center of the political spectrum.
Obama and the Democrats have control of that center, but the seeds of trouble have been planted. Their massive government spending is looked upon with a skeptical eye by independents and moderates - and, of course, conservatives - and might turn out to be Obama’s biggest problem.
And if inflation, a political killer of the first degree, comes, it will be pinned directly on Obama and the Democrats. Republicans, because of the obvious fact that they are totally out of power, can escape blame for that economic pandemic that hurts us all, especially the poor and the middle class.
Potential minefields such as the bailouts, the move to give amnesty to illegals who cut the immigration line, the looming federal meddling in healthcare, and the takeover of parts of corporate America could trip up the Democrats — and give the Republicans/conservatives an opening to stage a comeback.
Not to mention the whole range of foreign policy nightmares that may rattle Team Obama — from Iran and Pakistan to Russia, China, and the always-unforeseen "event" that personifies an administration’s character. For Carter, it was his naiveté and weakness as seen in the hostage crisis; for Reagan, it was the steady weakening of the Soviet Union and the ultimate vindication of decades of lonely crusading against the evils of Moscow.
However, the Republicans and conservatives have to do much to take advantage of a Democratic slip-up: The Republicans/conservatives need a new persona, a new face on their message. They need pleasantness, not meanness; they need smiles, not sneers; they need to project credibility not duplicity. And they need a new leader - someone not tainted by the last decade of Republicans failures.
In short, they need their own version of Obama!
A rock star. Someone brand new. Someone seen as above party.
And someone who can unite the various factions of the Republican and conservative movement, then move into the center and get those vital voters back.
And, like Obama and Howard Dean in 2004, this new leader needs to be able to harness the Internet for fund-raising and organization. (So far the GOP is a generation behind when it comes to using a medium that actually more friendly to the right than it is to the left.)
Who is this person? This savior? This new Obama?
We do not know - yet - nor do we need to.
We need not worry about it either.
First we need to re-dedicate ourselves to what used to distinguish us from the left: fiscal responsibility and a smart foreign policy based on superior strength.
Everything we do on a federal level should be to support these two basic principles. Campaign on these in the 2010 mid-term elections.
The savior? He’ll show up. So, too, will some pseudo-saviors.
Our job will be to sort them out and find the right new leader of the Republicans and conservatives, who then can be the right leader for our country.
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