Tuesday, May 27, 2008


As many of you know myself, Greg Kline, and others have spent a significant amount of time talking about GOP branding and how the Republican Party needs to right the ship in order to achieve electoral sustainability in 2008 and beyond. And nowhere has the argument for such a necessary rededication to principles has been found than today's Wall Street Journal piece penned by Oklahoma Senator Tom Coburn:

Many Republicans are waiting for a consultant or party elder to come down from the mountain and, in Moses-like fashion, deliver an agenda and talking points on stone tablets. But the burning bush, so to speak, is delivering a blindingly simple message: Behave like Republicans.

Unfortunately, too many in our party are not yet ready to return to the path of limited government. Instead, we are being told our message must be deficient because, after all, we should be winning in certain areas just by being Republicans. Yet being a Republican isn't good enough anymore. Voters are tired of buying a GOP package and finding a big-government liberal agenda inside. What we need is not new advertising, but truth in advertising.

And if that doesn't cut to the teeth of the argument, nothing will. Make sure to read the whole thing.

One of the points that Coburn mentions time and again is the need for Republicans to start acting like Republicans again. And that is something that all Republicans need to embrace. Furthermore, this is not a problem just at the Federal level, either. We have seen time and time and time again where Republican elected officials even here at the state and local level have gone to unprecedented lengths to aid and abet Democratic efforts to raise taxes, increase the size of government, or support Democratic programs for pet issues.

Unfortunately, friends, this is where the rubber is meeting the road for our Republican future. Our "farm team" both here and across the nation are being weaned on "compassionate conservatism" and running and governing on ideals that are anathema to the conservatism that endeared our party and our leaders to the electorate. These candidates and elected officials are being sold a bill of goods that puts greater importance on the next election than the next generation.

Connecticut GOP Executive Director Heath Fahle also makes solid points on The Everyday Republican and on his blog at The Next Right:
It falls on us to not be distracted by talk of a ‘new and improved brand’, and instead focus on promoting our values, especially those that we forgot about when Republicans were in power - a smaller government that cuts up the national ‘credit card’ and starts reducing the national debt, a simpler government that requires less red tape and agita to get things done, and a more fair government that does not favor one set of lobbyists over another - rather favoring sensible policy over foolish ones.
There is no silver bullet that will return Republicans and conservatives to ascendancy. But it will take Republicans from the grassroots level on up to stand up to big government Republicans, stand up to these liberals who wish to lead the party astray, and to reclaim the Republican Party for what it is. As Senator Coburn concludes:
Regaining our brand is not about "messaging." It's about action. It's about courage. It's about priorities. Most of all, it's about being willing to give up our political careers so our grandkids don't have to grow up in a debtor's prison, or a world in which other nations can tell a weakened and bankrupt America where we can and can't defend liberty, pursue terrorists, or show compassion.
The responsibility, friends, is ours.



A Life Well Lived said...

Coburns an interesting guy and give him props for sticking to his principles to the point of making members of his own party angry - much like John McCain.

But all is not silky smooth for even Coburn's so-called principles.


For Coburn, it seems all pork is bad, unless it's his or his state's.

That's a big part of the problem for Republicans who claim principle, is it not? You have to do more than talk.

But as you'll see, he's willing to partner across party lines with his good friend Barack Obama on some issues.

Two men acting on principle? I wonder if Obama wins GOP praise for it from the people you think need to act on pricple rather than politics?

So when the Connecticut GOP ran to help Lieberman win as an independent who now votes 90% with the Democrats except when it comes to Bush's War, were they operating on principle?

Looks like GOP self-rescue after-the-fact is a little late for 2008.
It will take more than words, this time. On that Coburn is right. He's seen action and inaction bury Bush's party of failure.

Like Marylnd Republicans, it might be easier to shout principles from the "minority" bench. They have to avoid ACTING like our Republicans though. It's a little embarassing for them when the facts show their hypocricy in the end.

Roger B said...

It all sounds good but the recent vote on the Farm bill shows that they just don’t get it. The party has been taken over by a bunch of J. McCain types. That is why we will lose even more seats at the federal level this year. What’s worse, what it not the State Senate Minority leader that stood and said they agreed with the governors budget in principle? I must ask what principle is that. Uncontrolled spending and he is for it. This is why we will lose, and will continue to do so until we have leaders who will stand and fight the good fight on every occasion.