Tuesday, January 12, 2010
Writing for the Wall Street Journal, Clark S. Judge offers some surprisingly sound advice for the Republican Party in the form of a ten point plan for the 2010 mid-term elections, although it does not go far enough. My favorite item, because it reintroduces a much-needed idea into the mainstream political debate is his Item 6:
6) For the midterm election, unite around a clear agenda of repeal. The party should give its candidates a list of programs and spending that will be up for cancellation the hour a Republican Congress is sworn in. At the top of the list should be the Troubled Asset Relief Program, unspent stimulus funds, and the health-care overhaul.I've long said that the voting public and politicians alike should become reacquainted with the "r-word."
Although the above suggestion is a good place to start, it is too bad that Judge didn't make a more principled case that recommended a "clear agenda of repeal" extending well beyond the next election and did not stop at only the newest incursions against individual rights foisted on us by Bush and Obama-Pelosi.
For instance, why focus on penny-ante earmarks...
The House and Senate GOP caucuses should walk away from earmarks, leaving Democrats alone to defend this symbol of D.C.'s degeneracy.... or stop at mere "reform" of social programs that are inherently corrupt, rather than formulating a strategy to phase them out?
3) Start talking about the need to reform Social Security and Medicare. Swing voters know these programs could devastate federal finances. They want assurance that politicians know this, too, and are committed to fixing them. Talk of reforming these programs is no longer the third rail of politics. It will win the swing voters' respect.The fact that Judge does not go quite far enough in his suggestions to the Republicans should serve notice on all who favor individual rights. The kind of substantive, principled reform of which Judge's suggestions can really only be a first baby step will never occur unless we renounce all party loyalty and treat every election as an auction with the winning bidder being the politician who believably (preferably via a solid track record) pledges to increase government protection for individual rights at every opportunity.