Republicans Growing a Backbone?
It may be too early to tell, but the Republican Party appears to be shedding its draw-no-blood, lose-gracefully approach to campaigns that has kept conservative voters either frustrated or stubbornly at home on election days.
On May 30, former New Hampshire governor and Mitt Romney supporter John Sununu sparred with CNN’s Soledad O’Brien over Romney’s association with Donald Trump, who is continuing to discuss the president’s birth certificate controversy. Sununu wasn’t interested, insisting that he would rather discuss “jobs. . . and the disastrous [economy].” O’Brien continued, snidely stating that, obviously, Republicans consider the birther issue important. Sununu wrote off the topic as “CNN’s fixation” and deftly highlighted the network’s blatant support of the president. Though not exactly a knockdown-dragout, is was certainly rousing, refreshing and long overdue. Way to go!
On the June 1 O’Reilly Factor, Illinois Congressman Joe Walsh (Chicago area, American Conservative Union score of 94 percent) appeared, who recently told his constituents that the Democrats are actively seeking to buy votes and promote dependency. “They’re trying to do it with Hispanics, just like they’ve done it with African Americans. . . Without government dependency, Jesse Jackson wouldn’t have a job.” Walsh stood behind his words in a live interview with O’Reilly, who, though he sided with Walsh’s sentiments, thought the congressman’s rhetoric might be insulting to some. “I was trying to be insulting to the Democratic Party,” Walsh replied.
“What if Jackson were sitting here?” O’Reilly continued. “Would you say that he doesn’t want the best for his community?” Ah, yes, the mantra of liberal good intentions, always used to stifle conservative passions. Didn’t work on Walsh who replied “Baloney. . . Jackson stands in the way of school choice” and other proposals that could strengthen the black community. He further referred to Jackson as a “race hustler.”
Yes! Meanwhile, Mitt Romney recently spoke outside the vacant Solyndra office building in California and has not allowed himself to be distracted by such controversies as Sandra Fluke, Bain Capital, etc.
A recent Democratic ad praised candidate John McCain for, in 2008, steering clear of questioning Barack Obama’s early years and associations. “Why won’t Mitt Romney do the same?” the ad asked in conclusion.
At question is, again, the governor’s relationship with Donald Trump and the birther issue. In truth, Romney has steered clear, preferring to highlight the president’s failed record. But whatever one thinks of Trump, why is he any more politically toxic than any of Obama’s lapdogs in entertainment and the mainstream media, including MSNBC’s Al Sharpton, whose ring (and I’m being nice here) all Democratic presidential candidates have to kiss at some point in the election cycle? Trump has supported Romney thus far, and a true leader does not turn his back on his friends in deference to the school-girl snippiness of a media campaign turning from desperation to panic mode (and rising unemployment numbers will only turn up the bile).
Not to say that Mitt Romney is a great leader. Nothing written here should be construed as an endorsement. Still, the passion of a party fighting for the highest ideals of the American people appears to be emerging — somewhat.
The epic determination of Wisconsin governor Scott Walker merits a volume unto itself, and even the limp leadership of House Speaker John Boehner has shown a few rhetorical signs of life. Republicans may well know that the stakes have never been higher, and after the uninspiring campaigns of Bob Dole and John McCain and the “kinder, gentler, new tone” administrations of both Presidents Bush, the freedom-loving American can only hope that the GOP’s backbone wasn’t found too late.
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