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Resolved: 2009 Will Be a Better Year for the GOP

New Year's resolutions for the era of "Hope and Change."

by
Jennifer Rubin

Bio

December 31, 2008 - 12:00 am
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For the Republican governors, ignore Paul Krugman. Cut spending, balance your budgets, lure business to your state, and reform your schools and health care systems. There will be plenty of bailout money sloshing around the states, so resist the urge to try to spend your way out of a recession. Be an example for Washington, not a proponent of fiscal sloth.

For young Republicans, ignore the official Republican Party. Organize yourselves and your friends, network, run events, draft up-and-comers to run for local and state office, and ignore the ideological squabbles that transfix the national party. Talk radio and the right blogosphere want to hear from you and will give you a platform to make your case, if you can say it well. (But hint: no one over 30-years-old, which is most of the voters, understands technology so when you go out in public forget the tech-speak and tell them what you want to do, not how you’re going to do it.)

For conservatives, resist the urge to scream “But he was against that in the campaign!” each time President Obama embraces a center-right position. Yes, he swindled the left, but that’s a good thing. If you want a sane approach to the war on terror, no tax increases, free trade agreements, and a halt to the war on traditional values make it easier, not harder, for the new president to move right.

For Republican candidates, remember that media bias is a fact, not an issue. No one wants to hear you whine or complain about the skewed coverage. Deal with it. Use alternative media and don’t become unhinged even if the MSM is “150% in the tank” for the other side. Remember, Ronald Reagan won twice with no talk radio, no Internet, and no Fox News.

For the conservative base, don’t make Republican candidates crazy and boring. Winning candidates rarely please the most ideological elements in their party on all topics. Forcing contenders to get a 100%  rating on all the conservative interest group questionnaires will make for inauthentic and unelectable candidates. Interesting people with a rich life experience often adopt eclectic ideas. They need not be rudderless, but neither do they need to be pale imitations of dear-departed conservative icons. Give the gals and guys willing to seek office some running room — they are going to need it.

Just like resolutions to learn a foreign language or exercise more in the upcoming year, these faux resolutions likely won’t be kept beyond Valentine’s Day. But we can hope for the best. It is the era of hope and change, isn’t it?

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Jennifer Rubin blogs at the Washington Post.
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