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Saturday, June 7, 2008

Whatever Happened to "Small Government Republicans"?

Ah, the sweet, sweet Clinton years. I yearn for them even now. Don't get me wrong-- I despised Clinton himself. However, Republicanism hit its zenith in that era. Newt Gingrich was himself back then. None of this global warming nonsense he's spouting now, he was all about minimizing the size and scope of the federal behemoth. The Dittohead Caucus (remember those guys?) started fulfilling its historic Contract with America, a list of promises designed to trim the fat from Uncle Sam's waistline. Once in office, they actually did most of it, an amazing thing if you stop to think about it. Most politicians get into office, then whine about how it was just too hard to enact any of their promises.

Over the next decade, however, the gains, which came to include even the Senate, began to wane. Republicans were uncomfortable wielding the reins of power. When Democrats complained, they actually let this impede legislation. What a bunch of nincompoops! When have Democrats ever allowed Republican complaints count for anything? Then came the issue of the filibuster. It seems to me that it should only take a majority of the Senate to pass something. That's what the Constitution says about it, anyway. The filibuster is just a way for the minority to stymie any attempt at meaningful change. If the change is seen as too drastic (translated: significant), the filibuster is used as a roadblock. The Republicans should have taken that weapon away years ago. They seldom use it themselves. Yet they allowed the Democrats to impede everything from nominations to important bills.

As a result of getting nothing in return for having voted Republican, the nation voted Democrat, and in 2006, the walls came crashing down. Did the Republican party learn anything from this? No, they elected John McCain, the same boob who brokered the deal keeping filibusters on the table, as their presidential nominee, the same John McCain who represents everything the Republicans in the Senate did to lose big in 2006. The Republicans in office (as opposed to those of us in the real world) began to talk about having an image problem, about improperly marketing themselves. Frankly, I agree with them on this one. The problem is that they marketed themselves as Republicans, when, by their actions, we can clearly see that they're really asses in elephants' clothing.

Being a Republican needs to stand for something. It needs to stand for faith in the ability and judgment of the common man. It needs to stand for a culture in which the value of innocent life is appreciated. It needs to stand for a patriotism that isn't afraid to call itself nationalism. (A man who calls himself a patriot but not a nationalist is neither; he is a liar.)

Being a Republican needs to stand for a disdain for government handouts of all kinds, and a yearning for fiscal discipline. Being a Republican needs to stand for not being afraid of censoring what needs to be censored, Hollywood and the pervert crowd be damned! Being a Republican should stand for secure borders (meaning an actual wall, not just a "fence") and tough, rigid immigration enforcement. If your visa is expired, you're gone. Period.

If Republicanism really pushed this agenda, really made a wholehearted attempt to enact it, it would be alive and healthy today. It's current state of malaise is a testament to the fact that it has ignored its mandate. When we elect Republicans, we expect them to be tough and miserly. What we got was a bunch of spendthrift wusses. Damn straight we were disappointed!

Hopefully, if enough of the old guard lose their posts, we'll be able to replace them with fresh new soldiers, loyal to their mission. Some fresh blood is sorely needed to reinvigorate the party. The tired old men have simply lost the will to fight. Since they couldn't beat them, they became them.

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