The cheerful, jaded, sneering question de jour from liberal journalists and Democratic Party commentators (I know, there’s a pretty fine distinction) is, “What will the Republican Party do if it gets back the House?” The question is phrased along the line of what a car-chasing dog would do if it caught the car.
As a conservative Tea Party Republican, I am not particularly worried about that eventuality. Despite itself, a majority GOP, driven powerfully by the unambiguous vox populi of such an election, almost certainly would go about trying to repeal Obamacare and put serious, current-fiscal-year spending cuts into place - necessarily including “entitlements.” Republicans would try to reduce some taxes and start serious oversight of federal regulatory intrusions into traditional American freedoms - including a powerful push-back on administration regulatory efforts on climate change, illegal immigration and other left-wing agenda items. With sufficient votes in the Senate, they would block future liberal judicial appointments - from the trial court to the Supreme Court.
If they didn’t go all-out for such a basic conservative agenda in 2011 after such an election as is possible, Republican Party leaders would know that across the nation, even 50-year party regulars such as I would walk out and seek a third party to carry out the people’s business.
No, what worries me is a scenario in which the GOP does not take back the House and at least make major gains in the Senate, or takes it back but fails to find the power to begin having a serious check on administration policies and actions. I don’t say that with a mere partisan, boostering mentality.
Rather, if the upcoming election results fail for any reason (including GOP campaign incompetence) to empower the public’s overwhelming desire to stop and reverse the “fundamental transformation” of the United States - I suspect the country will be rocked to its core within the following months and few years.
A foul and dangerous brew is heating up that is composed of: (1) The economic collapse that started in 2008; (2) the radical, “fundamentally transforming” left-wing agenda of the government; and, (3) the thwarting of the public will - with glee - by the entrenched, non-elected powers (in the courts, media, colleges and government bureaucracies) as they get into the face and under the skin of the cultural and political majority.
It is insufferable (and will not long be suffered) to be lectured to and imposed upon by a ruling class that loathes our nation’s history, values and accomplishments; by those who are not, in fact, our genuine betters. They are neither better educated nor more profoundly morally versed.
In fact, they are our intellectual and moral inferiors - not superiors. Constantly grinning Supreme Court Justice Elena Kagan didn’t think the Declaration of Independence’s proclamation that human beings “are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights” should in any way affect her understanding of our constitutional rights - presumably, if any.
Part of the building danger derives from the fact that Americans now tend to self-select our news, opinion and entertainment sources based on our political beliefs and cultural and religious preferences. As a result, the nation no longer shares a common database of civic reality. Many liberals have no sense of how deep and roiling this no-longer-just-conservative passion is. Or they assume it involves some small, mendacious, ideological faction rather than a broad-based, nonideological, building national majority, which it does.
Just one trivial example of the disconnection between the elites and the nation was the Newsweek headline “We Are All Socialists Now,” published last year (before the magazine was sold for $1 to the billionaire husband of a leading Democratic congresswoman). Two months ago, though, a poll by the Democracy Corps, a polling group run by Democratic operative James Carville and Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg, asked how well the term “socialist” fit President Obama. Fifty-five percent of all Americans said “well” or “very well.” In that same month, the Gallup poll reported that Americans self-identify themselves as 42 percent conservative (a historic high), 35 percent moderate and 20 percent liberal. That would seem to leave 3 percent for socialists, communists, anarchists, fascists, monarchists, Nazis, ultramontanists, Falangists, klansmen, etc.)
I guess that Newsweek headline’s meaning depends on what the definition of “we” is. As military experts would say, the upcoming struggle for America’s future between the socialist powers and the rest of us would seem to be “asymmetrical.”
Much more profoundly, the gap between the consciousness of “we socialists” and “we the people” can be seen in the assertion by some liberals recently that the president’s collapse in the polls is part of this current reaction to events is but a passing thing. If they think that, they understand nothing of the forces they have unleashed by their tragically imprudent effort to fundamentally transform our country.
In 1856, Frenchman Alexis de Tocqueville, in analyzing the causes of his country’s revolution, observed, “Evils which are patiently endured when they seem inevitable become intolerable when once the idea of escape from them is suggested.”
A year ago, it seemed possible that a majority of Americans - rattled by economic collapse and under the sway of a popular, charismatic president - might buy in to plans to fundamentally transform America away from liberty, prosperity and greatness and toward security and a massive, protective state. At first, many of us were hesitant to speak out when we thought we might be but a few. (Of course, some of us saw what was coming and spoke out before the 2008 election. See my columns from the spring, summer and fall of ‘08.)
But as the first details of the transformation were revealed to the nation - in Obamacare, the stimulus, bailouts, nationalizations and running roughshod over the Constitution - it became clear that the price for security turned out to be our birthright of liberty. Americans were not that rattled.
Now that we who cling to our liberty know we are a majority - and potentially a very large majority - we are aroused to the defense of our ancient rights - and we will not slacken in our efforts until that repulsive plan for transformation has been expurgated from the body politic - to quote Franklin D. Roosevelt - “so help us God.”
Tony Blankley is the author of “American Grit: What It Will Take to Survive and Win in the 21st Century” (Regnery, 2009) and vice president of the Edelman public relations firm in Washington.