Tuesday, February 03, 2009

Steele answers

Thanks to the Tennessee Eagle Forum for posting some great resources about the new RNC Chair Michael Steele. I'm not very confident that having a black man as national chair will make any serious dent in the assumption by so many that the Democrat party is the only place for blacks. For years we've pointed to black, Hispanic, and women appointees who are actually qualified and working in Republican administrations and the evidence falls on numbed brains. There are still too many who are distracted by shallow rhetoric and seem unable to recognize walking the talk. So now we have at the top of both the Democrat party and the Republican party two articulate, 'clean' and passionate black men. Maybe that's exactly what it will take to finally take race off of the table. From Steele:

"One way we can regain credibility is to break down the negative stereotypes. We must demonstrate that we're not a party for the white, rich and the powerful. We must hold up the GOP mirror and let them see message of our party reflected in their lives." --Steele
Some other snips from Steele's answers:
"Key to our Republican ideals is the notion of fiscal restraint and limited government. In recent years, however, Republicans in leadership have violated these principals. Unless we restore our credibility as the Party best equipped to reduce spending, constrain government growth, and cut taxes, we will continue to lose elections.

Some have claimed it's not the role of the RNC to determine the Republican policy message. They say such things are better left to Republican leaders in Congress. I disagree."
So do I. We have a PARTY platform that should be our rudder. I'm hoping he weeds out the squishy and the RINO's. I'm tired of the Olympia Snowe's and the Kent Williams' sitting in Republican seats to the detriment of conservatives. There are a couple of Tennessee Senators that need to get the word too.
"I have always been, and will always be, pro-life. I oppose abortion, period. I defended that position as Lieutenant Governor and as a candidate for the United States Senate in Maryland in 2006. I support the pro-life position in the platform and am committed to keeping it. "
Questions #8 contrasted the liberal view of two current votes. If 52% was a 'mandate' for Obama why is that same 52% in California's Proposition 8 then described as a squeaker that can be overcome? The truth is neither is a mandate. They're both squeakers.
"The College Republican National Committee is a vast and un-tapped resource. Sadly, they are used for Volunteer Deployment and not much more. This must change. Not only are CR's the future of our party, they are the current foot-soldiers and leaders of our Party and we must keep them mobilized and engaged."
This has got to be welcome news to some hard working young folks who have expended so much effort against huge liberal forces on our college campuses.
"First Message: We are the Conservative Party. Traditional Republican principles provide a popular perspective for policy engagement.

For example, I coined the phrase "Drill, baby drill" at the RNC convention in 2008, not as the entire solution to our energy problem but to get people listening to a clear example of how Republicans should be distinguished from Democrats on one important aspect of the energy issue
But energy is only one example. On any issue -- healthcare, education, infrastructure improvement, economic growth and new job creation, small business growth, urban development and renewal, tax fairness and simplification, and every other issue -- Republicans can beat Democrats simply by articulating innovative policy proposals based on time-tested, free-market, pro-family Republican principals."
He's got a point. People have short attention spans now days. For all the talk in education circles for years about ensuring children learn critical thinking skills it's absolutely clear that too many made it out of school without them. American voters don't have the patience for much more than a slogan. That's a sad commentary on their condition but it's obviously a fact. You start sounding like the adults in a Charlie Brown cartoon after about two minutes. They've already tuned you out. So, for a season, catchy phrases are going to be necessary.
"In a post-election survey I asked the Tarrance Group to conduct on GOPAC's behalf, we found some interesting things. 69% of Americans consider themselves fiscal conservatives; 53%, social conservatives; and, 55% of Americans still perceive Ronald Reagan as best example of Republican principles at work. And, yet, a majority of Americans don't feel the Republican Party has been standing up for its ideals."
And so we're back to holding up that mirror and showing them that the GOP is very much like average Americans. Every time Republican congressmen compromise the party platform that mirror gets foggy and American's don't see themselves and their conservative beliefs, financial supporters close their wallets and usually reliable Republican voters stay home. Here's hoping Steele succeeds.


N.S. Allen said...

On the topic of RINOs...would you rather have Democrats in those seats?

When you look at someone like Olympia Snowe, a Republican coming out of a state that has been reliably blue in presidential elections for a while and, indeed, sends only Dems to the House of Representatives, it makes very little sense to get angry at her for flouting the party line in many instances.

Whether her beliefs happen to sync up with her votes or not, a Republican in the model that you're hoping for probably wouldn't get re-elected in her state. So, you have to ask whether you would rather have someone who counts towards your party having a majority and who votes with you at least some of the time or a north-eastern Dem who might never vote with you at all.

Obviously, I'd prefer the latter, but Republicans, one would think, would see the issue the other way around.

Kay Brooks said...

I'm tired of not being able to trust Republicans to be conservative. I'd rather have a solid R than a squishy one any day. As folks in Tennessee know all too well right now, having a majority R's doesn't mean you get to run things.