- The Washington Times - Tuesday, April 13, 2010

ANALYSIS/OPINION:

As President Obama and the Democratic Party continue to sink in national opinion polls, they have begun to lash out at

the Republicans as “the party of no.” But they have tried this tactic before and failed miserably.

The “Party of No” slogan has fared poorly for Democrats for years. It was famously used by then-Vice President Al Gore in 1994 during an unsuccessful bid to stave off the electoral tsunami that inundated 52 House and eight Senate Democrats and swept Republicans into power on Capitol Hill for the first time in over 40 years. If Democrats want to repeat these results, they should follow Mr. Gore’s example.

Republicans are divided over whether to fight the “no” brand or embrace it. Sarah Palin says there is no shame in opposing bad ideas. “What’s wrong with being the Party of No when you consider what it is that Obama, Pelosi and Reid are trying to do to our country?” she said last week. “So be it!”

Surely someone has to say “no” to Mr. Obama’s party, which gives an enthusiastic thumbs up to any idea that grows government, increases debt and weakens the country. The “hope and change” mantra has saddled the United States with record budget deficits and ruinous levels of debt stretching for as far as projections can be made. The country teeters on the edge of bankruptcy, and grows weaker while facing an increasingly dangerous international environment. Opposing misguided policies like these is like taking the car keys from an inebriated friend to keep him from driving, or taking credit cards away from someone who can’t control the urge to go on senseless shopping sprees.

All that said, the Republican Party has always done better by offering positive alternatives. In Ronald Reagan’s last public appearance in 1992, he said he wanted to be remembered as someone who “appealed to your greatest hopes, not your worst fears, to your confidence rather than your doubts.” Mr. Reagan’s brand of happy warrior conservatism combined a fundamental faith in the American people and values-based policies that kicked off the largest peacetime economic expansion in American history. Mr. Reagan was an optimist with an unflagging belief in the righteousness of the human spirit.

The Democrats, by contrast, are a decidedly pessimistic party. They thrive on sowing class and ethnic divisions and promoting jealously, resentment and a sense of entitlement. For every issue on which Republicans say yes, the Democrats stand in the way.

Democrats say no to balanced budgets. They say no to lower taxes. They say no to smaller government. They say no to states’ rights. They say no to gun rights. They say no to the rights of the unborn. They say no to sensible immigration laws. They say no to policies that would encourage private-sector job growth. They say no to tort reform. They say no to sensible, targeted health care reform. They say no to pro-growth environmental regulations. They say no to education reform that rewards results instead of teachers’ unions. They say no to bipartisanship. They say no to moderate nominees for federal courts. They say no to ending affirmative-action handouts, preferences and quotas. They say no to welfare reform. They say no to tough laws for criminals. They say no to a strong national defense. They say no to families. They say no to faith.

By putting faith in government above all else, Mr. Obama’s Democrats say no to American values. They say no to the American dream.

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