- - Monday, January 18, 2021

You are at a gas station and have inadvertently let your tank overfill. You are standing in a pool of gasoline; what do you do? How about lighting a cigarette while considering your situation? That is exactly what congressional Democrats — and some Republicans — are doing with impeachment proceedings in the wake of the Jan. 6 riots on Capitol Hill.

Democrats should not forget that almost half of the electorate voted against Joe Biden, and many in the opposition are in a mutinous mood. Democratic congressmen are pursuing victor’s justice in prematurely ousting their opponent with days left in his term. Nancy Pelosi has ensured that President Biden will have virtually no honeymoon at all. This will not end happily.

How then do Republicans respond now that Pelosi-led Democrats — and their Republican lackeys — are burning down the gas station? I would suggest that aspiring future leaders of the Republican Party and conservative movement take the long view and begin working toward 2022 and 2024. The Democratic Party is not monolithic, and its progressive wing has an agenda that is anathema to middle-class Americans — many of whom voted against Donald Trump because they did not like him. But they will soon find out that they have climbed into bed with people who are not acting in their best interests.

The Republicans need to reach out and create alliances to reject the worst that the progressives want to do. I have provided a short list of issues that may provide common ground for conservatives, libertarians and those Democrats who have not yet drunk the progressive Kool Aid. Some talk show conservatives would disagree with me and claim that all is lost. They remind me of the French “surrender monkeys” of World War II.

• Rejecting decreases in defense spending. Radical progressives have made no secret of the fact that they view national security as a piggy bank for their agenda. China, Russia, Iran and North Korea are building up their arms budgets exponentially. The 2020 election was virtually silent on national defense because the Trump administration invested heavily in that area. This is not the time to throttle back.

• Rejecting an increase in entitlement programs. Medicare for all, free college tuition for all and a total forgiveness of college debt are cherished progressive goals that the nation cannot afford. We are already drowning in national debt. Sane politicians on both sides of the aisle should ask why we continue to encourage students to go to second-rate liberal arts schools where they earn useless degrees that put them into debt in perpetuity. Perhaps Republicans should lead the charge in helping students economically enroll in training in trade and get jobs that would allow them to stay out of mom’s basement.

• Resist economy destroying climate change initiatives. Mr. Biden has promised to rejoin the Paris Climate Accords which China and many emerging nations will never honor. Any initiative that puts the United States at an economic disadvantage should be resisted. If we believe that there is more carbon in the atmosphere than is good for us, there are potential carbon scrubbing solutions, but they are not yet economically practical.

Sponsoring a competition that would give a substantial cash award for a viable and affordable carbon scrubbing technology that would not destroy the economy would be useful. The present plan to dismantle coal and oil-based industries leaves us no hedge against a super volcano or other global cooling event. Current climate change plans make no contingency if global warming suddenly becomes global cooling.

• Controlling immigration. I was never a fan of Mr. Trump’s wall. Like Gen. Patton, I believe that fixed fortifications are a testament to the folly of man. That said, President Trump’s insistence that we gain control of our national borders is critical to our survival of the nation. Many illegal immigrants have become law abiding and tax paying citizens. We should find some way to send them home, while allowing them to come back legally and quickly if they have a job and sponsor. Nevertheless, we need to create a layered and flexible system of preventing further illegal immigration. We have the technology, but we need to develop the will to make our borders secure.

My father’s advice to me as a young man considering marriage was, “don’t invite your mother-in-law along on the honeymoon.” With a razor thin majority in both houses of Congress, President Biden will have a miserable honeymoon at best. Nancy Pelosi could well be the Mother-in-Law from Hell.

• Gary Anderson lectures on Alternative Analysis at the graduate level.

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