Sunday, February 1, 2009

Two Signs of Life in the GOP

House Republicans Vote “No” on Stimulus; RNC Votes “Yes” on Steele

When House Republicans united to vote unanimously against the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009 (Read H.R. 1), downtrodden conservatives everywhere rejoiced. The legislation, all 647 pages, is purportedly an economic stimulus package. Dubbed “Porkulus” by Rush (read here) and “The Generational Theft Act of 2009” by Michelle Malkin (read here), this bill will, according to 200 top economists (read here), do almost nothing to stimulate the economy. H.R. 1 would create over 30 new government agencies. It is the worst kind of wasteful spending bill, loaded with goodies for special interest groups such as ACORN, National Endowment for the Arts, and Planned Parenthood. Congressional Republicans, going on the offensive, countered with their own plan, and even ran it through the simulation of the Obama Administration’s model to prove that the Republican proposal would create more jobs than the Pelosi/Reid/Obama plan. Republicans are back!

The GOP has had so little to celebrate lately that the simple act of our elected officials actually sticking to principle and exhibiting unity in their opposition to this ridiculous proposal gave us all a much-needed morale boost. Our Senators need to know that we expect the same from them this week. Rumor has it that the Democrats in the Senate plan on bribing Republicans by allowing some GOP wish list items into the legislation to gain votes. But making minor changes to this trillion dollar monstrosity does not change the fact that it should go down in flames. This “we’re-from-the-government-and-we’re-here-to-help” mentality is dangerous. Democrats are fostering an atmosphere of panic to push H.R. 1 through on an emergency basis, capitalizing on the perception that the government must do something immediately, and just as the hasty financial bailout last September has turned out to be a mistake, so would the passage of this wasteful and ill-conceived spending bill.

In my recent blog posting , The Republican Party Needs a Champion, I lamented the fact that the GOP has lacked a strong leader who can communicate our message. Last week, as the RNC held its winter meeting in D.C., I believe they finally found that Champion when they elected former Lieutenant Governor Michael Steele as the new RNC Chair. In a grueling election that lasted through six ballots with five candidates, Steele emerged the winner, despite anonymous attacks and charges that he is too moderate. While the other four candidates each brought different qualities to the table, Michael Steele is, in my opinion, the very best man for the job of RNC Chairman. In his address to the Republican Congressional delegation on Saturday, he congratulated the GOP leaders for the “beautiful goose egg” (read here) which they handed to President Obama last week with their unanimous opposition to H.R. 1. In Chairman Steele’s appearance on Fox News Sunday with Chris Wallace, he articulated our principles, argued our cause, and was charming and charismatic. He exhibits the same quality of good-humored advocacy which characterized Ronald Reagan. Steele is exactly the kind of leader that the GOP has been lacking. His election and the newfound unity in our House GOP should give us hope that we can once again articulate our principles and demonstrate to the voters that we are Republican for a Reason, and that we have returned to our first principles.

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