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Fred Barnes: Be the Party of No ( "It's the route to Republican landslides." )
The Weekly Standard ^ | 05/18/2009, Volume 014, Issue 33 | Fred Barnes

Posted on 05/10/2009 6:10:51 AM PDT by kellynla

Republican leaders in Congress have created something called the National Council for a New America (NCNA). It describes itself as "not a Republican-only forum" but one that seeks to "engage people in a discussion to meet common challenges and build a stronger country through common-sense ideas." The expectation--mine, anyway--is those ideas will differ from President Obama's in a way that makes Republicans look fairminded and reasonable. The council's first event at a pizza parlor in Arlington, Virginia, did just that. Mitt Romney and Jeb Bush showed up, media coverage was heavy, and the session was deemed a success.

Improving the party's image is a worthy cause, but it isn't what Republicans ought to be emphasizing right now. They have a more important mission: to be the party of no. And not just a party that bucks Obama and Democrats on easy issues like releasing Gitmo terrorists in this country, but one committed to aggressive, attention-grabbing opposition to the entire Obama agenda.

Many Republicans recoil from being combative adversaries of a popular president. They shouldn't. Opposing Obama across-the-board on his sweeping domestic initiatives makes sense on substance and politics. His policies--on spending, taxes, health care, energy, intervention in the economy, etc.--would change the country in ways most Americans don't believe in. That's the substance. And a year or 18 months from now, after those policies have been picked apart and exposed and possibly defeated, the political momentum is likely to have shifted away from Obama and Democrats.

This scenario has occurred time and again. Why do you think Democrats won the House and Senate in 2006 and bolstered their majorities in 2008? It wasn't because they were more thoughtful, offered compelling alternatives, or had improved their brand. They won because they opposed unpopular policies of President Bush and exploited Republican scandals in Congress. They were highly partisan and not very nice about it.

If Republicans scan their history, they'll discover unbridled opposition to bad Democratic policies pays off. Those two factors, unattractive policies plus strong opposition, were responsible for the Republican landslides in 1938, 1946, 1966, 1980, and 1994. A similar blowout may be beyond the reach of Republicans in 2010, but stranger things have happened in electoral politics. They'll lose nothing by trying.

Let's look at the five landslides. Republicans were crushed in three straight elections before rebounding in 1938. How come? FDR uncorked his court-packing plan, launched a jihad against disloyal Democrats, and was fairly blamed for a new economic downturn (known as "the depression within the depression"). Republicans piled on and won seven Senate and 81 House seats.

In 1946, the public was fed up with wartime regulations that many Democrats were seeking to retain. Republicans asked, "Had enough?" Voters had.

In 1966, voters reacted adversely to the vast Great Society programs enacted after the Democratic triumph in 1964. Republicans, written off as dead, gained 47 House and four Senate seats, eight governorships, and won the presidency two years later.

Ronald Reagan would, in all likelihood, have defeated President Carter in 1980 on his own merit. But public revulsion at Carter's weak foreign policy and disastrous economic record (double-digit inflation and interest rates) produced a landslide that delivered Republicans the Senate as well. Tough Republican critiques of Carterism had played an indispensable role.

Republicans still pride themselves on the Contract with America--dealing with process issues like a balanced budget amendment and term limits--adopted in the 1994 campaign. It may have helped. But the main reason for the Republican capture of the House and Senate was the agenda of President Clinton: health care, crime, guns, taxes, and a lot more. Republicans dissected Clinton's policies skillfully and relentlessly, particularly turning his health care plan, initially quite popular, into an albatross.

Obama may not be as vulnerable as Clinton was, but his policies are. There's no reason for Republicans to hold back. It's evident now that Obama and the congressional Democrats have no interest in compromise. Their intent is to push far-reaching liberal policies through Congress quickly and with minimal debate. Obama's health care scheme would bring the country one step from a single-payer system. His plan to limit carbon emissions would give the federal government unprecedented power over the economy while emasculating the investors, entrepreneurs, and practically everyone else in the business community.

The Republicans have fertile ground to plow. The public is already dubious of a government-run health insurance plan, the core of Obama-Care. And there's plenty more for Republicans to focus on, including the threat of a government panel that decides which medical practices are covered and which are ostracized. Defeating ObamaCare, given Democratic majorities on Capitol Hill, may be difficult but it's not an impossibility. If Republicans lead the charge, health care providers and consumers are likely to join the active opposition. Otherwise, they'll remain passive.

Obama says his policy to restrict greenhouse gases, known as cap and trade, is "market-based." It isn't. The cap on emissions would be imposed by a government panel. Polls show the majority of Americans disapprove of this. Worse for Obama, Frank Newport, the Gallup boss, says most Americans don't believe global warming poses a serious danger. So why choke off economic growth?

Then there are the unforced errors of the Obama administration to take advantage of. The president's decision to close Gitmo has backfired badly, leaving him with terrorists on his hands and nowhere to put them. The takeover of GM and Chrysler has raised concerns, even in Europe, over the competence and judgment of the Obama team. The American public is lopsidedly against further bailouts of the Big 2.

Republican efforts to escape being tagged the party of no are understandable. The label gives Democrats and the media echo chamber a talking point. Should the NCNA come up with new ideas that spruce up the party's image, that's helpful. The criticism of the council by social conservatives, by the way, is downright counter-productive. Their attacks merely delight Democrats and the press. But no matter how restrained and sensible Republicans sound or how many useful ideas they develop, they're probably stuck with the party of no label. They have more to gain by actually accepting the role and taking on Obama vigorously. If they come to be dubbed the party of no, no, no, a thousand times no, all the better. It will mean they're succeeding.


TOPICS: Constitution/Conservatism; Editorial; Extended News; Politics/Elections
KEYWORDS: 111th; 2010comeback; fredbarnes; gop; nonono; partyofhellno; rebuilding; republicanparty; republicans
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The Gelding Old Party just needs to get a testicle & spine implant before next year to begin to retake the Majority in the House and/or Senate. And hopefully when and if they do regain the Majority they will do a better job of LEADING than they did the last time.

HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!

Semper Fi, Kelly

1 posted on 05/10/2009 6:10:51 AM PDT by kellynla
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To: kellynla

Being the party of no is not the answer. Having principles, and being positive about what happens when party members adhere to them is what will bring the next upturn in Republican representation.


2 posted on 05/10/2009 6:14:30 AM PDT by Bernard (If you always tell the truth, you never have to remember exactly what you said.)
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To: kellynla
As I've been saying...."EMBRACE BEING THE PARTY OF "NO"!!

NO to more bailouts

NO to all this spending

NO to HOMSEXUAL MARRIAGE

No to a TON of things

Then also tell the public what you are for....better paychecks....better, less expensive health care....less Frivolous Law Suits...etc.

3 posted on 05/10/2009 6:14:33 AM PDT by Ann Archy (Abortion....the Human Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: kellynla

Republicans need to show outrage and righteous indignation against 0bama’s Big Government power grab every single day. This is where their constituents are. This is where the story is. They need to call it what it is. Fascism, gangsterism, totalitarianism. They need to LEAD, and Americans will wake from their slumber to follow.


4 posted on 05/10/2009 6:18:16 AM PDT by counterpunch (0bama can either protect terrorists or America. He made his choice.)
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To: kellynla
The Gelding Old Party just needs to get a testicle & spine implant before next year to begin to retake the Majority in the House and/or Senate.

It's not them which need these "implants" it's us out here, the electorate which needs the operation of nominating and hiring conservatives, not moderates or rino's!

5 posted on 05/10/2009 6:18:48 AM PDT by sirchtruth (Gravity Of The Situation...)
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To: kellynla

Besides being the party of “no”, they need to be the party of “no RINO”.


6 posted on 05/10/2009 6:19:43 AM PDT by bitterohiogunclinger (America held hostage - day 163)
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To: kellynla

The OP could have been the party of “no” socialism long ago but instead chose the path of incremental socialism with the big tent mentality to expand the voter base. The result is a party of “no” Conservatism. Suddenly trying to improve their image by going to a pizza parlor couldn’t be more disingenuous. It’s tantamount to the socialist RATS in the past trying to reshape their image.


7 posted on 05/10/2009 6:21:11 AM PDT by Man50D (Fair Tax, you earn it, you keep it!)
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To: kellynla

What has gotten into Fred? He’s making sense.


8 posted on 05/10/2009 6:24:47 AM PDT by Buckeye Battle Cry (Hey Obama, spread my work ethic, not my wealth!)
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To: kellynla
The label gives Democrats and the media echo chamber a talking point. Should the NCNA come up with new ideas that spruce up the party's image, that's helpful. The criticism of the council by social conservatives, by the way, is downright counter-productive.

This Beltway elitist Republican had to get in his dig about social conservatives, and he fails to remind us that he is right with Obama on the amnesty for 20 million illegals question. In that case, he wants the GOP to be the party of YES.

The GOP has nothing to gain listening to Fred Barnes. He seems confused, trying to praise this listening tour approach, and at the same time advising the party to be the party of NO. Except on amnesty for illegals, of course. - Do they need to listen first and say no later, or should we have leaders who already know when to say no?

9 posted on 05/10/2009 6:26:29 AM PDT by Will88
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To: kellynla
Nothing has fundamentally changed in the mindset of the Republican Party.


10 posted on 05/10/2009 6:27:13 AM PDT by ChildOfThe60s (If you can remember the 60s........you weren't really there)
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To: kellynla

Exactly. Know why we lost the last presidential election? Duh.....we nominated someone who “reached across the aisle”.

We allowed the mainstream media to choose our candidate. They wanted McCain...and when they got him...the media immediately turned on him.

The media is a large political player...they have NO objectivity. They turned on Hillary because they wanted Obama...and if they couldn’t have Obama, McCain was their fallback candidate.

If we had nominated a true conservative...we’d have won.


11 posted on 05/10/2009 6:28:55 AM PDT by kjo
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To: counterpunch

The GOP needs to keep things simple. They must be FOR:

The smallest possible government, the LOWEST possible taxes, CLOSED borders and only allow LEGAL immigration and a STRONG national defense.

Let families decide what goes on in THEIR own bedrooms! (trying to regulate the bedroom is not a winning issue)


12 posted on 05/10/2009 6:30:30 AM PDT by WellyP
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To: sirchtruth
“It's not them which need these “implants” it's us out here, the electorate which needs the operation of nominating and hiring conservatives, not moderates or rino’s!”

The problem is that HALF of the population is dependent on the government for their livelihood and HALF the population pays no federal income tax.

Who says "Communism is dead!"

Of course, the majority of these GOP clowns run as “conservatives” but once they are elected spend their time drinking the big government Kool-Aid and focusing on little more than just getting reelected.

TERM LIMITS is the ONLY solution!

13 posted on 05/10/2009 6:32:18 AM PDT by kellynla (Freedom of speech makes it easier to spot the idiots! Semper Fi!)
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To: kellynla

If its so obvious that Barnes gets it, perhaps some Repub will figure it out. We need a Rebel Republican movement.

Pray for America


14 posted on 05/10/2009 6:34:00 AM PDT by bray (SarDate.2012)
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To: WellyP

Common Sense ideas! Congratulations and I agree with you. This is the winning combination. I have said for sometime that social issues do not belong at the federal level but in my home, my church, and my community and on rare occasions at the State level.

Let the State’s decide on social issues and get the Federal Government back to doing what it says in the Constitution.

While we are at it, Education belongs at the State level as well.


15 posted on 05/10/2009 6:42:25 AM PDT by PhiKapMom ( BOOMER SOONER! Mary Fallin for OK Governor in 2010! Proud Member of Party of NO socialism!)
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To: kellynla
However, we should not forget about broken clock effect - e.g. Obama's foreign policy would cause US forces withdrawal from overseas: we simply could not put an American MP on the every crossroad in the world and moreover, there is no point in doing it - we should let the rest of the world burn right after the end of the FSU, they desire to fight each other let them have it.
16 posted on 05/10/2009 6:45:06 AM PDT by alex
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To: PhiKapMom

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-gop/2247994/posts

Fred Barnes is Executive Editor of The Weekly Standard


17 posted on 05/10/2009 6:45:07 AM PDT by pleikumud
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To: PhiKapMom

http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/f-gop/2247994/posts

Fred Barnes is Executive Editor of The Weekly Standard


18 posted on 05/10/2009 6:46:04 AM PDT by pleikumud
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To: kellynla
Republicans need a new ad agency slick enough to turn this "Party Of No" accusation back on the democrats.

NO! to tax increases!

NO! to budget deficits!

NO! to bailouts for millionaires!

NO! to back room billion dollar deals with banks and Wall Street!

YES! to transparency, honesty and accountability in the Federal government!

NO! to subsidies for wealthy Agri-Business to keep food prices high!

NO! To Obama's Wealth Redistribution!

NO! to open borders and handouts for illegals!

NO! to protected status for sexual perverts and child molesters!

NO! to bringing Islamic terrorist prisoners into the USA!

NO! to tax cheats in the President's cabinet!

NO! to pandering; YES! to equality and equal treatment for all!


19 posted on 05/10/2009 6:46:29 AM PDT by Iron Munro (Suppose you were a clueless idiot, and suppose you were Barack Obama; but I repeat myself)
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To: Iron Munro

AMEN!!! I PRAY that Republican LEADERS (WHO, I don;t know) pick this up!!!


20 posted on 05/10/2009 6:48:15 AM PDT by Ann Archy (Abortion....the Human Sacrifice to the god of Convenience.)
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To: kellynla

Unfortunately, today’s Republican party’s approach is to first accept the Democrat premis, on anything from Socialized Medicine to the Global Warming Hoax and then just argue that we have a slightly better idea for achieving the same policy that the loony left is putting forward.

The results are predictable. See John McLame 2008.


21 posted on 05/10/2009 6:48:39 AM PDT by NavVet ( If you don't defend Conservatism in the Primaries, you won't have it to defend in November)
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To: kellynla

Ping


22 posted on 05/10/2009 6:49:38 AM PDT by Rumplemeyer
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To: kellynla

Same old Pizza just with extra cheese (whiz).


23 posted on 05/10/2009 6:57:54 AM PDT by Don Corleone (Leave the gun..take the cannoli now reads "Oil the gun..eat the cannolis.")
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To: PhiKapMom

THANK YOU!! HAPPY MOTHERS DAY!


24 posted on 05/10/2009 7:00:23 AM PDT by WellyP
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To: WellyP

Fred Barnes is absolutely right about this! Conservatism and conservative government is the answer and solution to many of our problems as a country.


25 posted on 05/10/2009 7:05:38 AM PDT by Ev Reeman
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To: Ann Archy

I posted in on a different discussion board the same thing. NO is not a bad word. No is what adults say to whiney children who have no sense. I would like to see more people saying NO to the ridiculous spending, NO to the special interest groups, NO to the erosion of my individual rights, NO to amnesty for illegals, I could go on and on, but it is about time these liberal morons heard the word NO!!!


26 posted on 05/10/2009 7:25:03 AM PDT by panthermom
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To: kellynla
"The council's first event at a pizza parlor in Arlington, Virginia

That is so white-bread, so corporate, so RNC clueless, barely out of the beltway.

Don't any of these idiots have any street political feel?

27 posted on 05/10/2009 7:25:15 AM PDT by Leisler ("It is terrible to contemplate how few politicians are hanged."~G.K. Chesterton)
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To: kellynla

But – but JEB and MIT have a BETTER IDEA!
· By all means, let’s have the conservative movement “…leave Reagan behind…” and invent some sappy, empty phrases — like “Hope” and “Change” —
that the ACORN morons can get a grip on and they’ll flock to the GOP.
Here are some that might work:
WHAT THIS COUNTRY NEEDS IS MORE BUSH!
A CHICKEN IN EVERY POT.
2 CARS IN EVERY GARAGE.
A FREE LATE-TERM ABORTION FOR EVERY UNWANTED PREGNANCY.
A GAY BABY-SITTER OR TEACHER FOR EVERY CHILD.
FREE MONEY FOR EVERYONE.
DEFICITS ARE OUR FRIEND.
MORE LIKE THE DEMOCRATS THAN THE DEMOCRATS.
WHAT THIS COUNTRY NEEDS IS MORE MUSLIMS.
KISS A TYRANT — KICK AN ALLY.
A FREE ILLEGAL HISPANIC HOUSEBOY IN EVERY HOME.
Yeah, that’s the ticket. Let’s hurl ALL the traditional and time-tested values on which America became, in under 2 centuries, that shining city on a hill, a beacon of freedom and a world leader over the side to appeal to the ravening masses of MTV, VHI, government school indoctrinated imbiciles that ACORN inticed to the polls with a pack of smokes and a pint of Ripple.
Sounds like a HELL OF A PLAN TO ME!!!
Feel free to add YOUR suggestions.


28 posted on 05/10/2009 7:28:38 AM PDT by Dick Bachert
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To: Bernard
Being the party of no is not the answer.

Funny, it worked for the Democrats from 2004-2008.

The Republicans should be out there fulminating against Obama every single day without hesitation--and pointing out repeatedly that there's not enough of them to stop him.

The public must associate anything bad that happens between now and 2010 as Obama's fault. The current GOP strategy seems to be a la Homer Simpson: "Let's just hide under a pile of coats and hope that everything turns out ok."
29 posted on 05/10/2009 7:31:15 AM PDT by Antoninus (Now accepting apologies from repentant Mittens.)
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To: WellyP

The GOP needs to drop, as fast as possible, all of teh social issues. People have no desire to be told what they do in their homes. The country is moving libertarian and quickly.

I am happy that Arnold finally said the obvious (legalize).

The GOP should drop the gay marriage, abortion, Christian Conservative messages. Basically, be libertarians: the less government, the better.


30 posted on 05/10/2009 7:34:36 AM PDT by wireplay
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To: wireplay

Those are not bad personal standards to set for your self and your family but we are slowly learning that they do not sell and can not be sold to the general electorate.

See post #19, it outlines things well.


31 posted on 05/10/2009 7:49:27 AM PDT by WellyP
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To: Ev Reeman; kellynla
Unfortunately as we saw under Bush '43, a Republican landslide will not likely ensure any return to "Conservatism and conservative government."

Barnes is a Beltway elitist interested in party politics and party power, not We the People.

32 posted on 05/10/2009 7:49:36 AM PDT by DTogo (High time to bring back the Sons of Liberty !!)
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To: kellynla
NO?

Forget No...

Make the HELL NO!!!

33 posted on 05/10/2009 7:53:05 AM PDT by R0CK3T
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To: Buckeye Battle Cry
What has gotten into Fred? He’s making sense.

When I read this, I thought Fred must have suffered a concussion and come to his senses. Did he have some unreported head injury?

34 posted on 05/10/2009 7:53:31 AM PDT by penowa
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To: kellynla
It describes itself as "not a Republican-only forum" but one that seeks to "engage people in a discussion to meet common challenges and build a stronger country through common-sense ideas."

Any politician that uses the phase "common-sense ideas" is up to no damn good. I now write off any pol who uses that term. I mean if all these ideas are so obvious to everyone, how come we're not using them already? Hm?

35 posted on 05/10/2009 7:55:20 AM PDT by Poison Pill (The Bond Market: Doing the job the Republicans won't do.)
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To: wireplay
The GOP should drop the gay marriage, abortion, Christian Conservative messages.

GREAT idea straight out of the Democratic playbook.

The GOP should dump the handful of people who still call themselves Republicans, become exactly like the Democrats, and then they'll surely win. /s

36 posted on 05/10/2009 7:59:10 AM PDT by penowa
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To: R0CK3T

If the GOP would become “The Party of ‘Hell, No!’”, I might start thinking of myself as a Republican again. Right now they’re just “The Party of ‘Please don’t get mad at us. We like Obama too.’”.


37 posted on 05/10/2009 7:59:50 AM PDT by Redcloak ("Oh, bother!" said Pooh, as he chambered his last round.)
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To: kellynla
Have no intention of ever reading fred barnes trash, on what line does he say support amnesty???
38 posted on 05/10/2009 8:03:41 AM PDT by org.whodat (Auto unions bad: Machinists union good=Hypocrisy)
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To: DTogo
Unfortunately as we saw under Bush '43, a Republican landslide will not likely ensure any return to "Conservatism and conservative government."

Bush was a social conservative only. Knowing that, you'd think we could have picked a better candidate in 2008, instead of bickering over who is a bigger Rino while the Dems did our picking for us.

39 posted on 05/10/2009 8:12:48 AM PDT by countess
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To: countess

The only consolation prize out of 2008 was Sarah Palin.


40 posted on 05/10/2009 8:16:34 AM PDT by DTogo (High time to bring back the Sons of Liberty !!)
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To: kellynla

Yeah...its the Financiers Fallback Position...their “political hedge” if you will. When the wheels fall off the ‘Bamabus, a few good RINO’s will step up to the plate and earn their campaign finance depositors investment.


41 posted on 05/10/2009 8:18:35 AM PDT by mo
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To: kellynla

How about the GELDED OLIGARCHS PARTY?


42 posted on 05/10/2009 8:18:56 AM PDT by Dick Bachert
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To: Redcloak
For sure! You know people (us) need to look ahead into the future and imagine what questions will be asked when...

- the Bush Tax Cuts have been ended incurring huge taxation and destruction of the economy

- Cap and Trade Tax Increase scheme has been implemented incurring even more taxation and even further destruction of the economy

- the 0bama Care Single Payer Medical scheme has been enacted removing freedoms of a market type environment and ultimate depending upon rationing of health care

So, consider a point where the country asks this question -

"what were conservatives doing and saying when this egregiously dysfunctional jam down of out of control Governance was implementing these atomic weapons of the American Society?

Believe me - get on board now with HELL NO!!!

It will be somewhat like the person who was trying to prevent 911 before it happened.

43 posted on 05/10/2009 8:32:26 AM PDT by R0CK3T
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To: Dick Bachert

Can we do without all the testicle references? Cojones, grow a set, steel balls, gelding, testicular fortitude, etc. It’s crude—and tiresome.


44 posted on 05/10/2009 8:37:29 AM PDT by drubyfive
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To: drubyfive

My suggestion to you, then, is DON’T READ THEM.


45 posted on 05/10/2009 8:44:23 AM PDT by Dick Bachert
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To: kellynla

I think in the end it will be states pushing their tenth amendment rights that saves the day.


46 posted on 05/10/2009 8:53:20 AM PDT by stockpirate (The NAZI's called themselves - "The Children of the New Age of World Order")
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To: drubyfive

And these are not references TO genitalia.

They are references to the ABSENCE THEREOF within the GOP.


47 posted on 05/10/2009 8:54:14 AM PDT by Dick Bachert
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To: DTogo
Not for me.

She is Amnesty/Open borders - time to move on and find someone who believes in this country.

48 posted on 05/10/2009 9:21:13 AM PDT by investigateworld ( Abortion stops a beating heart.)
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To: investigateworld; SolidWood

Palin is for amnesty/open borders?? Really, got backup for that statement??


49 posted on 05/10/2009 9:25:03 AM PDT by DTogo (High time to bring back the Sons of Liberty !!)
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To: DTogo; Kimberly GG
Team of rivals: GOP base rips new group Thursday, May 07, 2009 7:11:45 PM · 58 of 104 Kimberly GG to investigateworld

Here’s her UNIVISION interview. She tried to Fred Thompson us with her...”not TOTAL amnesty”. But when the interviewer asked for clarification, she said: UNIVISION: To clarify, so you support a path to citizenship for undocumented immigrants? PALIN I do because I understand why people would want to be in America. http://community.adn.com/node/133209

I believe this is true - unless someone went to a lot of trouble to make this up.

Yes, I'm disappointed, but time to move on :^(

50 posted on 05/10/2009 9:33:10 AM PDT by investigateworld ( Abortion stops a beating heart.)
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