Skip to comments.Yes Rush, itís true: RNC chief rejects GOP traditions (follow-up Union Leader editorial)
Posted on 09/03/2003 4:08:24 AM PDT by GraniteStateConservative
RUSH LIMBAUGH read from one of our editorials yesterday, and a lot of people have asked if what he said was true. It is.
The editorial was titled GOP, MIA and it was printed in last weekends New Hampshire Sunday News. Because of all the interest, we have reposted it on the Web site.
We wanted to take this opportunity to assure Rush and everyone else that the editorial was and is 100 percent true. Over the course of an hour-long meeting with Ed Gillespie, the chairman of the Republican National Committee, we took great care to give him every opportunity to explain himself fully so that nothing could be misunderstood. The result was a surprisingly frank admission that the Republican Party defines fiscal responsibility as increasing the federal budget at a slower rate of growth than the Democrats (his words).
We asked him three times to explain why President Bush and the Republican Congress have increased discretionary non-defense spending at such an alarming rate, and why the party has embraced the expansion of the federal governments roles in education, agriculture and Great Society-era entitlement programs.
Those questions have been decided, was his response. The public wants an expanded federal role in those areas, and the Republican Party at the highest levels has decided to give the public what it wants.
We were fully aware that publishing those comments all made on the record would mean we would never be invited to any $1,000-a-plate Republican dinners in Washington. But the rank-and-file Republicans, the men and women who vote GOP because they believe in federalism and limited government, deserved to know what we knew. Now they do. And they can use the information as they see fit.
We’re more like the Democrats now than 3 years ago.
What prompted me to bump this was that I was reading the final pages today of Craig Shirley's marvelous account of Ronald Reagan's 1980 campaign: Rendezvous with Destiny: Ronald Reagan and the Campaign That Changed America.
In the epilogue, Shirley blasts the modern-day GOP as having completely lost its way from the path that Reagan envisioned for it. He referenced this Manchester Union-Leader interview with Ed Gillespie discussed on this thread and quotes from Ed Crane's 2003 Cato article on the subject, "The Rise and Fall of the GOP". Here is the passage from pgs. 597 and 598 of Shirley's book:
"In 2003 George W. Bush's handpicked chairman of the Republican National Committee, Ed Gillespie, attended an editorial meeting of the Manchester Union-Leader. Afterward, the paper wrote that Gillespie 'said in no uncertain terms that the days of Reaganesque Republican railings against the expansion of the federal government are over...Today the Republican Party stands for giving the American people whatever the polls say they want...The people want expanded entitlement programs and a federal government that attends to their every desire, no matter how frivolous? Then that's what the Republican Party wants, too.'The question is still on the table as we approach what is hopefully a watershed election in Nov., 2010.
Was Gillespie right? Is it all over? Reagan populism as a force inside the Republican Party has been replaced by a belief that America needs two big-government parties. Whether the GOP ever returns to its pro-freedom, smaller-government roots is open to question."
BC, FYI. You might find that Cato article interesting. They don't have much use for Bob McConnell's campaign manager.
Ha! Are you trying to make us feel better about Steele?
Thanks, Al. I maintain that we had the White House for 8 years from 1981-89. Reagan, controlling only one hous of Congress, slashed it from 70 to 28% (and revenues poured in from the economic boom). After that it was 20 years of Bush Clinton. Bush 41 hiked taxes from 28 to 31%. Clinton raised them to 39.6%. Bush 43 gave back one half of the Clinton tax hike, cutting the rate to 35%, BUT ONLY TEMPORARILY (Bush 43 had control of both houses of Congress for most of his Presidency).
The Bushes (and their allies) were embarassed by Reagan as they are by Palin. They made a complete hash out of things and instead of just going away, they want to give us advice.
Palin needs to sweep them out, for good. This time choose a movement conservative, one who is reliable. No more Bushes, Romneys, Doles, etc. It has taken nearly 30 years to get over the foisting of GHW Bush onto Ronald Reagan. I am sure the Gipper would advise her, “Don’t let them sell you a bill of goods for VP this time.”
So far, Michelle Bachmann looks to me to be the only absolutely foolproof choice. There could be others, but I am leery of Pence, Ryan, Demint and most of the ones who are prominently mentioned.
Jeb Bush revealed that recently not only by his comments about the Reagan era being "over", but also in an interview he conducted with Craig Shirley for his book.
Shirley recounts that Jeb told the story of he and Reagan being at a campaign rally in North Dakota in 1980 where 8,000 rabid Reagan fans turned out to hear the Gipper. When it was Jeb's turn to talk about his father the place cleared out, leaving only about 200 to hear Bush.
The Bush family clearly has a long memory about stuff like this and what's going on with Palin and her crowds right now has got to sting.
I agree on the advice from Reagan if he were alive today. If she were to run and be nominated, the pressure from the establishment would be enormous. It would be fascinating to see what she would do. I love Bachmann, but I'm not sure two women on the ticket would be politically wise. I'd like to see someone with a strong military background. We shall see. Like you, I trust none of the other usual suspects mentioned.
The challenge to swing this party back towards the Reagan principles is a truly daunting one. Sarah Palin is the only one with a chance to pull it off.
Thanks for the anecdote about Jeb. I had never heard that one. I presume it was during the primary that it took place.
I think neither Nixon nor Bush ever got over the feeling that they were better than Reagan, smarter or whatever. Reagan was a genuinely good man, a humble man who didn’t hold grudges. He was also smarter than they were. He understood things that went right over their heads.
I think Palin is savvy like that. She is definitely a genuine, nice person with a fine character. That alone, even without the charisma and the skills, puts her head and shoulders above the rest.