The Republicans in the House have a real opportunity to channel one of the greatest Conservative leaders of all time. But they won’t.
While privately wishing for a GOP presidential candidate to materialize out of thin air that would be another Reagan, the established, moderate, old-guard GOP is failing to grab hold of the opportunity to channel him.
The country yearns for another Reagan and it needs one badly. Many Conservatives identify themselves as “Reagan Conservatives”, but the right can’t seem to accept the Gipper as not just a man, but an idea.
Reagan was a small government Conservative and now, just like then, the establishment GOP does not seem to appreciate those kind of Republicans. Party leaders are doing everything possible to distance themselves from the Conservative caucus – exactly what Harry Reid and the progressives need in order to move their progressive agenda ahead.
The media is trying hard to paint all Conservatives as near-psychotic, right-wing extremists, why would the Republicans in the House follow along? The Tea Party is not a social Conservative idea. It is a fiscally-Conservative group focusing on controlling spending and reducing the size of government. Why is that an extremist idea? Why can’t Republicans lock arms with Conservatives and take on that cause?
The unfortunate answer is that the GOP leadership is so invested in making sure that the blame for the sour debt negotiations isn’t on them that they aren’t able to stand on principle. While asking Conservatives to get their “asses in line” and vote with the Speaker, the GOP is trying to win favor with Democrats at the cost of Conservatives. The Republican leadership seems to think that if they don’t create a really crappy budget arrangement with Democrats that they will get slaughtered in the 2012 elections. Reagan saw it differently.
President Ronald Reagan did not toe the line. He wasn’t even well-liked among the establishment GOPers. But, his message of small government and American exceptionalism reverberated with an American electorate that had endured a terrible economy under an awful Democrat president. That is the message of the Tea Party Conservatives.
We have a terrible President. The first quarter GDP numbers for 2011 were revised down to .4% .. less than half of one percent growth. Groceries and gas are getting expensive and government has doubled in size in the last decade. We need another small government, Conservative leader. That leadership need not come from a person – it could be a group. The Republicans could have their next Reagan, without another Reagan.
If the Republican party could embrace the Conservative caucus instead of running away from it, they would begin to sound and act more like Ronald Reagan – albeit without the sharp comedic wit.