Thursday, June 17, 2010

The Party of No Canard

Our Democratic friends are really keen on the idea that the Republican Party is the Party of No. They think that this is a devastating critique of the party that is currently in opposition.

Earth to Democrats: that's what an opposition party does. Say "No!"

Even Democratic pollsters Doug Schoen and Pat Caddell in the Wall Street Journal piece can't resist the meme.

It may be a partisan cliché, but the GOP is increasingly seen as the "Party of No"... Republicans must offer a clear set of core principles, if not a comprehensive set of bold new ideas. If they do not, their hopes for winning both houses of Congress come November—a goal that is well within reach—could be dashed.

This is rubbish. Republicans don't need to do anything but yell bloody murder right now. That's all they need to do to rally people uncomfortable with Obama and Pelosi.

Let's rewind a little and look at the recent past so we can see how the Party of No tactic works in practice.

From January 2001 to July 2008 the United States had a real Party of No. Its name was the Democratic Party, and the No strategy came right from the top.

  • Democrats said No to Bush's "selection."
  • Democrats said No to recession-fighting tax rate cuts.
  • Democrats said No to school choice.
  • Democrats said No to the war in Iraq.
  • Democrats said No to Social Security reform.
  • Democrats said No to Fannie Freddie reform.
  • Democrats said No to a corrupt Congress.
  • Democrats said No to corporate lobbyists.
  • Democrats said No to ineffective disaster response.

Yeah. All that negativity really messed the Dems up when they tried to capture the Congress in 2006 and the White House in 2008.

Of course, strategically, the Party of No business has really screwed the Democrats. The American people didn't think they were voting for a left-liberal president and Congress in 2008. They didn't think they were voting for the Cornhusker Kickback. They thought they were voting for Change You Can Believe In.

So now the 80 percent of the American people that are not liberal are looking at a government that is completely out of touch with their hopes and fears.

And it looks more and more likely that they are going to do something about it in November.

But forget about mindless opposition. Let's talk about Core Principles. I just looked at the Amazon product page for Hayek's Road to Serfdom. As of Thursday, June 17, 2010, the the rank for this 66 year-old book is #2. Why? Because Glenn Beck featured the book on his TV show a week ago.

Imagine that. Conservative TV watchers that read books about core principles!

So how does your Party of No look now?

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