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Is the GOP Worthy of Governance? January 19, 2010

Posted by seeineye in : Politics , trackback

by Michael S. Rulle Jr.

The Democrat Party’s “40 year majority” will come to a close 38 years early. The unbearable trinity of Pelosi, Reid, and Obama has managed to alienate a nation desperate to support new leadership. They accomplished this by an insistence on unwanted quasi-Socialist policies and an irritating propensity to lead with their chin in foreign policy. The era of Obama is over, even as his Health Care proposal will likely pass. But does this mean a new era of Republican leadership is about to begin? This remains to be seen.

Peggy Noonan, a former Reagan speechwriter who supported Obama, has views similar to many who consider themselves centrist. She now realizes her support for Barack Obama was misguided. Yet she is tempted to take a “pox on both your houses” approach. She remains skeptical of the Republican Party, as I imagine many voters do. In her recent opinion essay in the Wall Street Journal she states:

“The question isn’t whether they’ll win seats in the House and Senate this year, and the question isn’t even how many. The question is whether the party will be worthy of victory, whether it learned from its losses in 2006 and ‘08, whether it deserves leadership. Whether Republicans are a worthy alternative. Whether, in short, they are serious.”

I had grown weary of many of Ms. Noonan’s commentaries. Her support for Obama was predicated on an obvious misunderstanding of his politics, nature, and ideology. But her implicit challenge to the GOP is spot on. While the critique premised in her comment is not completely fair, without question Republicans are viewed with skepticism. After all, it was a Republican administration which brought us bailouts, supported expansionary and unsustainable housing policies, expanded domestic spending, proposed an immigration policy as unpopular as the Democrat’s current Health Care Bill and made “earmarks” a household name. Worst of all, the party seemed to lose any sense of foundational principles. Just what do Republicans stand for?


The Republican Policy Committee has attempted to answer that question. The Committee is chaired by Michigan Congressman Thaddeus McCotter and consists of the ranking members of the five congressional committee chairs and other key members of the Republican caucus. In a clearly written 20 page pamphlet authored by McCotter, the Republicans list five foundational principles and derive from these principles policies which the Republican Party affirmatively supports. These principles, which I see as reminiscent of the stated and implied principles in the Declaration of Independence, are coherent, un-cynical, and necessary.  They are:

1. Our liberty is from God not government. (“all men…. are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights”);

2) Our Sovereignty is in our souls not soil. (“…to secure these rights governments are instituted among men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed”);

3) Our security is in strength not surrender. (The Declaration itself was a document asserting the Colonies right to use its military might in support of its principles);

4) Our prosperity is from the private sector not the public sector. (“that {among these} unalienable rights are Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Happiness”); and

5) Our truths are self evident not relative. (“….we hold these truths to be self evident”).

It is obvious that our nation has faced serious challenges to the above stated principles. The first challenge was in not rejecting slavery at our nation’s inception. But this was corrected through the horror of the Civil War. The Republican Party and Lincoln’s presidency itself was founded in reaction to the permanent rejection of these principles by the Southern secessionists.


Today’s so called progressive movement and various left wing manifestations thereof particularly tend to attack points one and five. The first amendment of the Bill of Rights states in part; “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof”. But the left has interpreted this to mean Government has the affirmative obligation to prohibit all forms religion in the public arena, itself a definition that has become so absurdly broad as to include eliminating roadside crosses to commemorate a state troopers death.

Why does the first principle of a policy document by a political party reference God as the source of our liberty? Well, for one, our nation’s document of political independence was founded on this principle and it is not insignificant that 80% of Americans believe in God. But the fundamental reason is regardless of what your view of God may be, or even your belief in God per se, it excludes other men from inventing “greater goods” designed to limit your liberty. Government does not provide us with the right to liberty; man comes pre-born with those rights. At least that is the founding principle of our nation. Nazism and Communism, the two greatest forces for totalitarian evil in the 20th century, were explicitly atheistic and limited or even outlawed the practice of religion. That is not a coincidence.

Point five states that certain truths are self evident. Why is this necessary? It is necessary because relativism permits all forms of injustice. So prohibition of murder cannot be considered a restraint of liberty, though such arguments are implicitly and explicitly made today by Islamic terrorists. Certain forms of government are self evidently better than others. If one class of humans (for example, women) are explicitly second-class citizens in Saudi Arabia, it is self evident such a system is inferior to ours, even if their rationale is “religious” in origin. When Obama advisor Cass Sunstein supports legal rights for animals, he is self evidently absurd. Humans are superior to animals. Moral relativism is the doorway to hell. The gradual erosion of the founding principles of our nation is the direct result of moral relativism.

Noonan is correct in her analysis of the public’s mood. Voters will be judging if the Republicans are worthy successors. First principles matter. From them are derived policies. I recommend reading McCotter’s short pamphlet. He is a serious guy and this is a necessary document. I don’t expect perfection from politicians or political parties. But one should demand an attempt at honest and coherent government consistent with the principles that have sustained this nation for over 200 years.


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