… surrounded himself with in the White House, it was congressional Democrats who paid the price on November 2.
Unfortunately, given the quality of Republican leadership in the years since the departure of Newt Gingrich, we have no guarantee that Republicans will take full advantage of the coming shift in the political balance of power. The uncertainty evidenced by their handling of issues in the recent lame-duck session leaves us to wonder whether the male-dominated House and Senate leadership won’t once again snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
On the Republican side of the aisle in Congress we find few truly courageous and outspoken members. Senators Tom Coburn and Jim Inhofe of Oklahoma, Jeff Sessions of Alabama, and Jim DeMint of South Carolina are notable exceptions. When asked why they are not more aggressive in their response to Democrats and their policies, Senate Republicans would likely murmur something about the Senate being the world’s foremost “gentlemen’s club.” A “gentlemen’s club,” indeed… run by the likes of Harry Reid and Dick Durbin? Not!
As matters now stand, the shortage of testosterone among conservative and Republican men has become so critical that, as Republicans move to capture the ground that Democrats have relinquished, the strongest leadership potential in the Republican ranks is to be found among women and minorities.
Among the most effective and outspoken conservative elected officials, dubbed “Mama Grizzlies” by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin are Senator-elect Kelly Ayotte (R-NH); Rep. Michelle Bachman (R-MN); Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-TN); Attorney General-elect Pam Bondi (R-FL); Governor Jan Brewer (R-AZ); Governor-elect Mary Fallin (R-OK); Governor-elect Nikki Haley (R-SC); Governor-elect Susana Martinez (R-NM); and Congresswoman-elect Kristi Noem (R-SD).
Outside the realm of elective office, we have an equally impressive cadre of strong conservative female writers and thought-leaders, including Tammy Bruce, Amanda Carpenter, Mona Charen, Linda Chavez, Liz Cheney, Ann Coulter, Monica Crowley, Mary Katharine Ham, Laura Ingraham, Michelle Malkin, K.T. McFarland, Kate Obenshain, Dana Perino, Phyllis Schlafly, and Teri Thompson… to name just a few.
They are joined by a growing number of strong and eloquent black conservatives, including former corporate CEO Herman Cain; Republican political strategist Angela McGlowan; Lincoln Institute President Jay Parker; conservative columnist Star Parker; conservative author, Rev. Wayne Perryman; National Black Republicans President Frances Rice; Congressman-elect Tim Scott (R-SC); Congressman-elect Allen West (R-FL); and economics professor Walter Williams.
Deborah Blum, author of Sex on the Brain, tells us that, “Feminists become understandably annoyed by the oversimplified, back-to-the-kitchen notion that women don’t have the hormonal underpinnings for competition. And plenty of men… are equally annoyed at being dismissed as a bunch of naturally bad-tempered apes.”
Clearly, Ms. Blum has not spent a great deal of time around conservatives and Republicans in recent times. At a time in our history when events call for conservative leaders to be “naturally bad-tempered apes,” almost to a man, the best-known conservatives and Republicans tend to be milquetoast wimps. It’s hard to imagine the likes of Tim Pawlenty, Mitt Romney, Mike Huckabee, Mitch McConnell, or the weepy John Boehner in the role of “naturally bad-tempered apes,” a personality type that will be absolutely essential in dealing with badly-wounded House and Senate Democrats and a “shellacked” Obama armed with a veto pen.
Because liberals and Democrats are what they are, the last thing the country needs is wimpish “nice guy” Republicans in the Oval Office and in the congressional leadership. Other than Newt Gingrich, the only man in the ranks of Republican leaders who appears to have what it takes to go toe-to-toe with liberals, Democrats, and their bought-and-paid-for special interests, is Governor Chris Christie, the “fat guy” from New Jersey.
In a recent Trenton press conference, Christie chastised a columnist for the Newark Star-Ledger. When the columnist questioned whether the governor had adopted a “confrontational tone” with legislative Democrats and the politically powerful teachers' unions, Christie replied, “You should see me when I'm really pissed. I love when people say they don’t want to have argument. That's what we were sent here for.” Holding up a Democratic press release, Christie said, “Here it is: Bigger government, higher taxes, more spending. I believe in less government, lower taxes and in empowering local officials who are elected by their citizens to be able to fix their problems…”
He continued, “This is who I am. Like it or not, you guys are stuck with me for four years and I’m going to say things directly. When you ask me questions, I’m going to answer them directly, straightly, bluntly, and nobody in New Jersey is going to have to wonder where I am on an issue… and I think they’ve had enough of politicians who make them wonder. I came here to govern, not to worry about re-election. I came here to do what people sent me here to do, and so, ‘blunt?’ ‘direct?’ Maybe you might say ‘honest and refreshing.’ Maybe we could see that in your paper tomorrow.”
It is the kind of straightforward, and unambiguous leadership that Republicans at all levels will have to display in the years ahead if the elections of November 2 are to have any meaning at all.
In 1994, Newt Gingrich and other Republicans signed a hard-nosed “Contract with America,” promising much-needed reform in Congress. The voters responded positively and Republicans experienced four productive years between January 1995 and January 1999, conducting themselves as we would expect them to. But then, when Gingrich chose not to seek reelection in 1998, House leadership fell to Dennis Hastert (R-IL) and Tom Delay (R-TX)… both of whom set about organizing a Republican majority that was indistinguishable from Democrats.
Hastert and Delay were still there when George W. Bush arrived in 2001, claiming to be a “compassionate” conservative… which proved only that he hadn’t the foggiest notion of what a conservative was. By failing to exercise any party discipline over a free-spending Republican Congress, all Bush did was to make it impossible for lifelong rank-and-file Republicans to defend the party they had always thought of as the last best hope for America.
Who can deny that the ultimate fate of our country was set in concrete during the Roosevelt Administration when New Deal Democrats decided that political power could be solidified by purchasing the allegiance of special interests… interest groups and individuals who wanted something from government… and using other people’s money to do it?
The complete socialization of America and the destruction of the capitalist system has been the sole raison d’être of the Democratic Party for more than seventy-five years, and were it possible to paint a picture of what party leaders have seen as their ultimate dream during all those years, the Obama Administration and the Pelosi-Reid Congress would be their ideal. The current crop of Democrats in the White House and in Congress are simply the most evil and corrupt group of politicians ever to set foot in Washington. It is Chicago-San Francisco-Las Vegas social and political morality transported to Washington and tailored to engulf the entire nation.
Liberals and Democrats have not failed to notice the power (and danger) of feminist gains on the right. In an August 28, 2010 New York Times editorial by Anna Holmes and Rebecca Traister titled, “A Palin of Our Own,” they wrote, “An older generation of female Democrats, including Mrs. Clinton and Ms. Pelosi, are about as eager to mount a Palin-style girl-powered campaign as they are to wear a miniskirt on the House floor…
“But as women of a different generation – of, gulp, Sarah Palin’s generation – we wonder if Democrats shouldn’t look to her for twisted inspiration, and recognize that the future of women in politics will be about coming to terms with (and inventing) new models… If Sarah Palin and her acolytes successfully redefine what it means to be a groundbreaking political woman, it will be because progressives let it happen – and in doing so, ensured that when it comes to making history, there will be no one but Mama Grizzlies to do the job.”
On February 28, 1854, some thirty devout abolitionists, opponents of the Kansas-Nebraska Act, met in a small one-room schoolhouse in Ripon, Wisconsin to create a new political party… the Republican Party. And if a lack of strong leadership and a departure from Republican principles demands that we do it all over again we have a good beginning. We have ten Mama Grizzles and a fat guy from New Jersey to build on.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Authors Note ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
In the weeks ahead we will begin to learn exactly what congressional Republicans have learned while wandering in the political wilderness for the past four years. Are they smart enough to understand that, to once again abandon core party principles as they did during the Hastert-Delay era, will be to invite a repeat? And if Tea Party activists have learned anything about the exercise of political power, do they understand that their job over the next two years will be to jam the waiting rooms and the switchboards of Senate Democrats who must stand for reelection in 2012… to make themselves appear like a mass movement a hundred times their actual size?
The 13 Senate Democrats most vulnerable to a daily pounding by Tea Party activists are: Mark Begich (D-AK), Michael Bennet (D-CO), Sherrod Brown (D-OH), Kent Conrad (D-ND), Herb Kohl (D-WI), Mary Landrieu (D-LA), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), Robert Menendez (D-NJ), Ben Nelson (D-NE), Bill Nelson (D-FL), Debbie Stabenow (D-MI), John Tester (D-MT), and Jim Webb (D-VA). If Tea Party activists in those 13 states can regularly deliver eight or ten Democrats to vote with Senate Republicans, Harry Reid will be the unhappiest man in Washington over the next two years and Obama will be the loneliest.