Thursday, September 3, 2009

Republican Party Punches Grow Weaker

Editorial Submission - July 27, 2009

Trained boxers will tell you that the best punches come from the feet. A 150 pound lightweight with good footwork, can throw a 10 inch blow with more oomph than a heavyweight's haymaker. Ask any trained boxer about power and you will get the same answer - your foundation is everything.

Like a bloated former champion, the Republican Party continues to throw floundering shoulder punches at the opposition. Not surprisingly, the Democrats are dodging most of the blows and shrugging off the weak impact of the few that hit.

Without the firm footing of a principled foundation, Republican blows lack credibility. We are simply moving air and as Ernest Hemingway once noted, "confusing motion for action."

Republican leadership has recently been crying a lot of crocodile tears over Democrat spending. Those charges are easily sidestepped by noting that Republicans also spent like drunken sailors when they were in power.

Obama and his party's push on health care is certainly a back door to the stated goal of socialized medicine. What would you call the Medicare prescription benefits legislation pushed by Bush and his colleagues? The most expensive big government entitlement surge in Medicare history certainly meets the socialism smell test.

Got a problem with how Obama and the Democrats are ignoring the Constitution? Take a look at the Republican championed Patriot Act and undeclared wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and find the Constitutional authority for such.

Party politics in America today is about little more than swapping punches. The title belt may switch from election to election, but the outcome is the same - special interests continue to trample the common good.

I am a Republican in public office. I am a good one to the extent that I am familiar with my party's principles and uphold such where it counts - when I vote. I am so lonely that I have made a public offer to contribute $100 to the charity of anyone's choice who can show me another Republican elected official in my District whose walk matches their talk and votes match our party's stated priorities.

So far I have had no takers. Either my fellow Republicans are indifferent to charity (not likely as we give far more per capita than liberal Americans) or we are stuck with the truth. It is the rare Republican official whose voting record has any correlation between his or her campaign promises or our Party's principles.

So what does that mean? Simply that we continue to be a party without a foundation and that our power to fight the opposition is weakened by our refusal to stand firmly for something people can count on.

In the absence of a party of principle, people will go with the party of least principles in order to at least secure some of their selfish interests. That is why Democrats stand for and promise everything - they know that our party realistically stands for nothing and take full advantage of the vacuum.

Want to help heal the Republican Party and thus secure the future of America? Start by insisting that your local Party power structure start monitoring and rating local, state, and national elected Republicans for the match between principles and votes.

The process does not need to be adversarial, but it does need to be persistent. It is amazing what the light of day does to nudge accountability and political honesty.

Until such time as the Republican Party gets our feet firmly set on something American can count on, we will continue, like a tired old boxer, to slide into oblivion. It will not be because America is becoming more liberal - in truth the opposite is happening. It will be because we followed the course of Colin Powell, George Bush, and a host of other Republican leaders who confuse a few conservative positions and political expediency for principled driven public service.

My offer to my fellow NC 11th District Republicans remains in effect and no local charity has benefited to date. I would bet a similar offer in your District would fare no better.

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