Isn’t it ironic that Republicans keep receiving advice to be more conciliatory and work with President Obama while President Obama not only is receiving the opposite advice but fully intends to be even more divisive in his second term?
On “Meet the Press” last week, former Secretary of State Colin Powell said: “There’s also a dark vein of intolerance in some parts of the (Republican) party. What do I mean by that? What I mean by that is they still sort of look down on minorities.”
That is outrageously false, but lest you think hypersensitivity to race is all that’s bothering Powell, he made clear that he also has a problem with the GOP’s policies. He said: “In recent years, there’s been a significant shift to the right, and we have seen what that shift has produced: two losing presidential campaigns.” A shift to the right? You’ve got to be kidding. Why isn’t Powell concerned about Obama’s uber-leftism?
“Republican” Powell also said that the GOP has become the party of the rich and that it needs to address the issues of education, immigration and climate change before the next election — you know, to imitate Barack Obama’s party of moderation. Here again, it’s disgraceful that Powell has endorsed Obama’s class warfare slander.
This past Sunday, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, on “Face the Nation,” was only slightly more charitable toward her own party. She said, “The Republican Party certainly has to stop turning off large segments of the population.”
But if “turning off segments of society” is bad politics, how do these long-respected Republican figures explain away the fact that President Obama won re-election with precisely that strategy? Why are they not directing their advice toward him, as well, saying that if he wants to have a successful second term, he should work with Republicans instead of relentlessly demonizing them?
The liberal media also give Obama a pass for his partisanship — and go further. They’re encouraging him to be even more divisive and combative.
Slate magazine recently advised: “Go for the Throat! Why if he wants to transform American politics, Obama must declare war on the Republican Party.” The article said: “Obama’s only remaining option is to pulverize. Whether he succeeds in passing legislation or not, given his ambitions, his goal should be to delegitimize his opponents.”
“That’s just a progressive publication,” you say. “Obama is not about to pursue such a militant course.”
Oh? Well, I guess you missed it when major media figures Bob Schieffer, host of CBS’ “Face the Nation,” and John Dickerson, CBS’ political director, recommended, according to The Daily Caller, “an aggressive political strategy in dealing with Republicans.”
You also must not have seen Obama’s top political aide, David Plouffe, on CNN’s “State of the Union,” say that the only way to move forward is to split the Republican Party into factions in time to impact the 2014 midterm elections.
Meanwhile, the reputedly hyper-partisan GOP House members met in Williamsburg, Va., to discuss political policy and strategy. But did they live up to their reputation as truculent meanies? Did they scheme to reciprocate Obama’s partisan hostility and his obvious strategy to pick fights on the budget, guns, immigration and Cabinet nominees?
Apparently not. The Daily Caller reports the Republicans “agreed to back away from a looming debt-ceiling clash with Obama. Instead, they … decided to emphasize a cautious strategy that scaled back their goals to ensure they keep their House majority in 2014.” Just swell.
Personally, I don’t understand how it makes sense to conclude that Republicans lost the presidential election because they were too partisan and too extreme, when Obama won while being conspicuously partisan and quite extreme. Conservatives, contrary to Powell’s assertion, didn’t even present an unambiguously conservative message and bent over backward to play nice, whereas Obama’s message was unapologetically leftist, and his (and Biden’s) personal approach was anything but nice. (Remember the debates?)
Likewise, I don’t understand the argument that the Republicans’ path to future victory is to move to the center, whereas Obama’s is to be as far left as his leftist heart desires. Besides, conservative ideas are anything but extreme, especially when viewed through the prism of America’s founding principles.
While I flat out reject the spurious charge that the Republican Party or its policies are racist, I’m all for Republicans reaching out to minorities, as long as it doesn’t involve phony pandering or abandoning their free market principles and their commitment to fiscal solvency, equal opportunity and equal protection under the law. Such outreach is easier said than done, however, given a president and an unfriendly media who are continually misrepresenting the GOP as racist. At the very least, the party must become more adept at combating Democratic racial and class warfare.
Despite all the “well-meaning” advice from disaffected former GOP leaders and an unloving media, Republicans should honor their conservative party platform as if they believe in it rather than become timid mini-statists as their well-wishers are urging.