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A Couple of Good Weeks for Republicans

Jennifer Rubin remarks that the Republicans are on a roll (albeit a roll that would only be recognizable to the base).

Notably, Republicans retained Chambliss' Senate seat in Georgia, captured Jefferson's House seat in Louisiana, have successfully transferred the "Culture of Corruption" moniker back to the Democrats (where it properly belongs and with an assist from Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich), and successfully blocked the UAW from rolling taxpayers with a bailout of the most lopsided wage and benefit package in big industry.

Core conservatives (like me) more likely would characterize the above events as a failure to fail and not the result of some policy debate that was convincingly turned into good legislation. David Keene, Chairman of the American Conservative Union, observed that in the last few years Republicans have done much to destroy the traditional Republican brand. He's right.

Here are some issues Republicans can advocate to restore the brand.

1) No more bailouts.

2) Regulate Wall Street. Here's the dirty little secret Democrats don't want on the news; they are more beholden to Wall Street than Republicans. Here are some questions that require answers: Which hedge funds were conducting naked shorting of bank and financial institution stocks last fall? Who were the investors in these hedge funds? Subpoena the records from domestic futures markets and determine who was driving up the price of crude oil last summer and fall? (Prediction: It wasn't Exxon).

3) Stop Card Check even if it requires a filibuster. Predictably misnamed the Employee Free Choice Act it is in reality the Democrat Campaign Finance Act and its passage will further ensure that worker wages go to funding the campaigns of politicians that curry favor with Democrats and not Republicans.

4) No Defense cuts.

5) No more earmarks

6) Make the Bush tax cuts permanent.

This abridged list can be turned into a platform in 2010. The Republican Congress can redeem the good name of drunken sailors by refusing to spend and behave worse than them after the Obama inauguration. It will be a long road back to power but it has been done before.


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Comments (15)

I suspect the vast majority... (Below threshold)

I suspect the vast majority of Republican voters agree with your platform. Now if we could get our elected officials on board. For example, one reason why McCain is a "warm corpse" of a candidate (his term on TV Sunday) and Obama is measuring the White House drapes is because J. Sydney voted the same way as B. Hussein on the bank bailout. Had he taken a principled stand against it (as were the vast majority of Americans), he might have gotten another 3.5% of the vote.

The things you list may be ... (Below threshold)
Rose Hughes:

The things you list may be pieces of a great platform, but the Republican Party still lacks the leadership to make it happen. It is still too beholden to its past on that count.

There seems to be a pattern of settling on the next obvious alternative rather than seeking out all the possible choices and developing them for the future. I supported Sarah Palin in the last election, but I don't believe her to be the best choice for the future - as it stands now.

Let's find a host of up and coming young Republicans and support their development into leaders.

Hugh, your recommended ca... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Hugh, your recommended call to regulate Wall Street now, as a pillar of the Republican platform is a bit rich considering the financial damage your party has aided and abetted, when it has been in executive power for two terms.

I don`t recall any poster on this site or Republicans saying that greater financial regulation on Wall Street was a positive step, apart from the usual obligatory lip service given for example, when Bush nominated Chris Cox (former GOP congressman) as the SEC chairman in 2005, and Bush said that Cox "will vigorously enforce the rules and laws that guarantee honesty and transparency in our markets and corporate boardrooms." Thanks George and Chris Cox even if we knew you didn't mean to really regulate Bush's home constituency.

The actual results from day one, were that Bush`s appointee, helped grease the skids for multi billion dollar frauds, swindles and a huge financial meltdown. See S.E.C No Evil. An extract..

Beginning in late 2007, the White House, which nominates S.E.C. commissioners, helped clear the way for retrenchment in enforcement by delaying the replacement of two Democratic commissioners whose terms had ended. From January through July 2008, the commission had just three members, all Republican. This gave Atkins and Kathleen Casey de facto veto power over the more moderate chairman.

The perceived absence of support for major investigations has alienated many staff members and prompted some of the enforcement division's senior officials to quit. Since Cox took office in 2005, the staff count in the division has dropped 9 percent, to 1,124 people this year. His predecessor, William Donaldson--like Cox, a Republican--long declined to speak publicly about changes at the S.E.C. He told me recently, though, that he was aware of a "high degree of frustration" among the staff. "With the kind of problems we have now," he said, "any attempt to reduce the effective role of the S.E.C. as a policeman has been a mistake."

Now you blame the financial malfeasance on the Democrats typically after all the mediocre and horrible appointments made by Bush, most of them of the order of the foxes guarding the hen house. No wonder hedge fund officials, and practically everyone else in the country were giving Obama campaign contributions..that is a talisman of wide public discontent with the ruling party, more than anything else, not that many people in some corners have noticed.

No wonder hedge fund... (Below threshold)

No wonder hedge fund officials, and practically everyone else in the country were giving Obama campaign contributions..


If you think hedge fund contributions to Democrats were some tacit request for more regulation then go ahead and smoke that stuff....no one on the Street with a brain would believe it.

You need to remember that for every Chris Cox in this debacle there is another Chris.....Dodd (D-Countrywide)... and Barney Frank (D-FNMA), and Franklin Raines and Jim Johnson (all Obama supporters).

Follow the money Steve....that's what Woodward and Bernstein did. It still works.

Jeez, Steve, your BDS reall... (Below threshold)
Les Nessman:

Jeez, Steve, your BDS really caused you to miss the point of Hugh's post. He's talking about what Conservative Republicans can do to lead the party. Not what Bush Republicans can do.

According to industr... (Below threshold)

According to industry rumour, it was BP and Goldman who were in the thick of things during the run up of oil prices.

And as for no more bailouts, consider:


Ed Wallace makes some good points. As information, Wallace is NOT a died in the wool liberal. He tends to be Liberterian and is opposed to ethanol among other things. I used the Business Week article link in MSNBC as a convenience - the original is in Business Week where Wallace is a regular.

Les..Yes I realize that was... (Below threshold)
Steve Crickmore:

Les..Yes I realize that was the main thrust of Hugh`s post..I was just speculating that you can`t have a lot of regulation without jettisoning all the `let the markets work, high praise of capitalism`, that seems to pepper the speeches, remarks at a Republican Convention, without accepting that government has a strong role to play. We have seen how ineffective and naive self-regulation and self-policing is. These investment bank CEOs were not even very interested in their share- holders just their huge salaries and bonuses even if the companies were losing money. And coporate welfare is proving with the bailout(s), just as outrageous and more expensive than regular welfare.

Yes, many Democrats were involved in hedge funds, Chelsea Clinton, John Edwards to name two..The latter was one reason along with his clearcut mansion and his 'conservative Senate voting record why he never passed the smell test, for me.

Yes, Hugh agreed suspicious short selling broke Bear Stearns for one.

But wern`t the investment banks and all their influence the major problem with the financial meltdown not hedge funds, which was a lesser evil?
There is alot of overlap naturally between those two and the main political parties, but it seems to me those Democrats and the ones who profitted from Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae were trying to be deal makers.

One reason for the BDS is that Bush is so captive of big corporate interests, always has been.. never in environmental, geo-political, immigration, tax/financial issues ever bucked them. When he was on the Board of Directors, Harken Energy Corporation formed an offshore subsidiary in September 1989 in the Cayman Islands, as a tax haven. It is almost as his whole life has been a lens or caricature for often myopic multinational capitalism. Unfortunately as President he never chose the public interest over his corporate class crony interests.

This is an interesting read... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:

This is an interesting read regarding "Bush the deregulator". The facts say quite the opposite. Do the names Sarbannes and Oxley ring a bell?


Steve,You might fi... (Below threshold)
Baron Von Ottomatic:


You might find this interesting as well:

Senator Schumer plays an unrivaled role in Washington as beneficiary, advocate and overseer of an industry that is his hometown's most important business.


Other lawmakers took the lead on efforts like deregulating the complicated financial instruments called derivatives, which are widely seen as catalysts to the crisis.

But Mr. Schumer, a member of the Banking and Finance Committees, repeatedly took other steps to protect industry players from government oversight and tougher rules, a review of his record shows. Over the years, he has also helped save financial institutions billions of dollars in higher taxes or fees.

He succeeded in limiting efforts to regulate credit-rating agencies, for example, sponsored legislation that cut fees paid by Wall Street firms to finance government oversight, pushed to allow banks to have lower capital reserves and called for the revision of regulations to make corporations' balance sheets more transparent.

"Since the financial meltdown, people have been asking, 'Where was Congress? Why didn't they see this coming? Why didn't they provide better oversight?' " said Barbara Roper, director of investor protection for the Consumer Federation of America. "And the answer for some, including Senator Schumer, is that they were actually too busy pursuing a deregulatory agenda. Their focus was on how we have to lighten up regulation on Wall Street.

Always choosing the public interest over his corporate class crony interests, Schumer is.


I think another two conserv... (Below threshold)

I think another two conservative ideas, which strongly resonate with the base, and will help this country in numerous ways are: Energy Independence (drill here/now, explore OCS, recover oil shale, build more nuclear reactors while exploring more alternative energy means) and Border security/illegal immigration enforcement. Neither have a chance of happening during an Obama admin (quite the opposite, actually, especially if Sen. Salazar, D-Moonbat gets the nod for Sec. Interior) but whoever steps up in '10 for Congress and again in '12 for Pres can harp both of these and gain much from the base.

I guess you folks must have... (Below threshold)

I guess you folks must have forgotten you lost the last election. Good luck with that rightwing agenda.

Those issues you mention do... (Below threshold)

Those issues you mention don't resonate with the average middle class person. Most people don't know what EFCA is. Most people aren't familiar with earmarks. Most people don't know that the Bush tax cuts will expire.

The Repub brand is in the toilet because your party can't govern effectively. Katrina, Iraq and the theatrics on the bailout bills are good examples of this. Your dogma gets in the way of effective governance.

We are in the beginning stages of a bad recession. I don't think people want the party that embarrassed the whole country during Katrina to be making decisions during such times.

Blue and JFO, you guys are ... (Below threshold)

Blue and JFO, you guys are one trick ponies. One of these days you might even add something to the debate.

The republicans have effectively took the "culture of corruption" mantra from the dems. Obama is mired in Blagogate. Rahm is going down before he goes in. Probably Axlerod, as he is already on record for lying about Blago. Obama sure did bring change. ww

weewilliwe....that's a good... (Below threshold)

weewilliwe....that's a good one coming from you. Care to share your factual support for "Obama is mired in Blagogate"?

And I do agree the republicans have taken the corruption mantra - been the most corrupt party since US Grant held office. Glad you finally admitted it. idiot.

ww, jfo and other partisans... (Below threshold)

ww, jfo and other partisans; both parties are corrupt. Rather, both parties have corrupt people, those who take bribes and otherwise break the law.

Some get caught, others don't.

Neither party has any right to a moral high ground, period.






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