Here are a gathering of quotes from various columns that have caught my eye over the last few days:
“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.” — Fred Barnes
“Instead of continuing to complain, here’s a better idea. Why don’t conservatives do opposition research on the journalists endlessly running stories about Bristol Palin and Joe the Plumber? Have they ever been arrested? Whom do they own property with? Have they ever been paid to do a speech for someone and then run a favorable news story about him? Certainly Keith Olbermann’s personal life is just as newsworthy as Joe the Plumber’s, and the details of Maureen Dowd’s life are just as noteworthy as those of Bristol Palin — are they not?” — John Hawkins
“Smart people like Newt Gingrich, Dick Morris and Karl Rove are noticing the chinks in the Democrats’ armor. They look formidable with huge margins in the House and Senate and a popular president at the other end of Pennsylvania Ave. Still, they’re pushing stunningly unpopular legislation that’s giving the Republicans something to exploit.”– Let Freedom Ring
“Democrats have nothing to fear from today’s Republican Party leaders. That’s why Democrats have taken to targeting Rush Limbaugh and others who aren’t in formal leadership positions in the GOP but who forcefully articulate a conservative vision.” — American Power
“I’m tired of Mike Huckabee, John McCain, Mitt Romney, Tom Ridge, and the rest of them. I’m tired of the pontificating. I’m tired of the holier-than-thou bearing. I’m tired of the self-important smugness. Most of all, I’m tired of losing big elections and being lectured by the losers about how to win. And I’d just like to say this to moderates feelings tweaked in the current Grand Old Party: get over it.” — Melissa Clouthier
These quotes are reflective of a groundswell of anger. Label it as you will, but the call among the GOP rank and file to take the gloves off and hit back at the Democrats and the supposedly “moderate” Republican leadership is getting louder. And the desire to take back the Republican Party from those who have so compromised it is growing to the point where even the pundits are starting to echo the call. These calls for going to battle against the Democrats aren’t viewed as a threat by only the current GOP leadership, who have been conducting open warfare on the GOP grassroots. The Democrats, as noted in the American Power link above, also view them as a threat. The Democrats aren’t going after the Republican leadership; they’re going after the GOP grassroots and the values they espouse. The purpose, apparently, is to keep the Republican Party from actually returning to its roots and becoming a real threat to the Democrat party.
The Democrats sure know the value of going to the base of the party. You might have noticed that the Democrats have tapped into their base over the last few years to win elections, and that is exactly what they’d like to prevent the Republicans from doing.
For eight years, every single time the Republicans made any kind of a move, it was reason enough for the Democrats to hold a press conference. They would scream and gnash their teeth over whatever the news of the day happened to be. In so doing, they managed to cast anything even remotely Republican to be bad or evil. They used these occasions to push their leftist core values, thus pleasing their base and strengthening their electoral position.
As for their moderates, they were pushed out. Witness, as a prime example, Joe Lieberman. For all of the calls from the left for bipartisanship in government, the biggest lesson the Democrats have given us is how they treat their own people who actually act in a bipartisan manner.
The peak of course was seeing John McCain, as centrist and bipartisan an individual as you’ll find, bending over backwards to accommodate the left and then being defeated by the left. These are clues that have been overlooked for too long by the GOP leadership.
The result of ignoring those clues is that Republicans have lost the last two elections. The call that we’ve seen growing so dramatically over the last several months is for the Republicans to actually stand up for conservative principles. In other words, it’s time for the Republicans to return to their core values. If that means replacing some of the standing GOP leadership, so much the better.