Free Markets, Free People


GOP Should Embrace “Party Of ‘No’”

In the ’60s and ’70s when leftist anti-war protesters began calling the police “pigs”, police forces turned the tables and defined the epithet as “Pride, Integrity, Guts” thereby taking ownership of it. The GOP should take ownership of the “Party of ‘No’”.

Why? Because sometimes – in fact, many times – saying “no” to the opposition is not only responsible, it is an absolute necessity. In many cases, given what the ideological opposition attempts to pass into law, it is the job of the minority to say “no”. Bi-partisanship for bi-partisanship’s sake is nonsense. There’s a reason we have competing parties and have a system that grants the minority a form of power. It is so we don’t fall under the oppressive rule of the majority. And that requires the minority at times to say “no”.

“No”, of course, doesn’t mean the minority must oppose everything. But it does mean that it should oppose those issues and policies which are incompatible with its ideology. In the case of the GOP, those issues and policies consist of those which expand government control, spending, taxation and intrusion.

There’s a building narrative, however, which is designed to cast any opposition in a negative light. The President mentioned it in his State of the Union address and reiterated in his speech to the Republican caucus. The essence of the message is “opposition is bad, bi-partisan cooperation is good – so be good and cooperate with us”.

Of course, bi-partisanship only became “good” and something to be sought when the Democratic Senate lost its 60th vote. Until then it wasn’t necessary and the GOP was irrelevant. Republicans couldn’t have stopped anything from passing Congress if they tried. But now, because they can, they’re suddenly cast as the “Party of ‘No’”.

Thomas Friedman gets into the act with a whine about how the world is talking about us now. Apparently, in Davos during the World Economic Forum, he’s hearing people say things he’s never heard previously. They’re using the words “political instability” to describe our situation. Apparently they just don’t understand why a supposedly popular president swept in by a solid majority can’t seem to get what he wants passed into law.

Of course “political instability” is just another way to say “ungovernable”, the new cool term used to describe those who don’t agree with the political majority’s goals. The elites apparently cannot fathom opposition to government expansion, huge spending increases and intrusion to a level never before seen in this country. I can only attribute that to a lack of understanding of America’s foundational beliefs and how resistance to government intrusion and expansion is a veritable part of our DNA.

But because the left’s agenda is now in even more jeopardy with the election of Scott Brown to the Senate, a counterattack against those in opposition is called for. Friedman picks up the President’s meme and runs with it:

It was hard to read President Obama’s eloquent State of the Union address and not feel torn between his vision for the coming years and the awareness that the forces of inertia and special interests blocking him — not to mention the whole Republican Party — make the chances of his implementing that vision highly unlikely. That is the definition of “stuck.” And right now we are stuck.

The sad and frustrating thing is, we are so close to being unstuck. If there were just six or eight Republican senators — a few more Judd Greggs and Lindsey Grahams — ready to meet Obama somewhere in the middle on deficit reduction, energy, health care and banking reform, I believe that in the wake of the Massachusetts wake-up call the president would indeed meet them in that middle ground to forge not just incremental compromises, but substantial ones on these key issues. But so far, the Republicans are having a good year politically by just being the Party of No.

He’s right – the GOP is having a good year being the “Party of ‘No’”, mainly because that’s what the public demands of them. But there’s been no risk to being the “Party of ‘No’” to this point. They could yell “no” to the top of their lungs but had no power to stop anything. Nothing. Nada. Zip. Zero.

And now the left intends to shame them into passing their agenda. Friedman doesn’t mention certain GOP Senators by name without reason. The entire purpose behind this “Party of ‘No’” silliness is to guilt trip a few Republicans into reaching across the aisle on key issues. The idea is to shame them into being bi-partisan when being bi-partisan is actually not in their best interest. Democrats were as much the “Party of No” as the GOP when they held those unassailable majorities for this past year – the party of “no Republicans allowed”.

Hopefully one of the things the GOP talked about at their retreat was why their opposition – saying “no” – is critical to the functioning of this Republic. Majority rule is tyranny, because it runs roughshod over the minority.  The founders of this country designed a system of government that protects minority rights.  So it is critical that one side – the minority side – assume the mantle of the “Party of ‘No’”, embrace it and work it. That’s how the system should work. And the Republicans should remember that the only time such words and phrases as “political instability” and “ungovernable” seem to find their way into the talking points and the press is when the GOP is saying “no”, and not the Democrats.

It is high time for Congressional Republicans to grow a thick skin and a spine, quit worrying about what Democrats and the media will say about them and embrace the “No”. Sack up, guys.  Be proud to be that party. It’s your job, one which is critical to the survival of this nation as the land of the free.  And remember, it is a role the Democrats will happily assume, with no apologies, when their time comes – you can count on it.

~McQ


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48 Responses to GOP Should Embrace “Party Of ‘No’”

  • Absolutely.

    There is nothing wrong with “No,” when you look at what “Yes” has done to us.

    “No” is at the fundamental foundation of freedom itself. It’s not the whole of freedom, but it’s one of its most essential components.

    “No” to the Stamp Act is why America exists in the first place.

  • Forget ‘no’; the bigger question is why the small font?

  • I don’t see any problem being the “principled party of no” but it requires that the Republican Party makes it clear (over and over again) that that they are saying “no” for a principled reason and not just to say “no.”
    A look at the other side of this came up yesterday at Washington Monthly, where this distinction was lost on the Progressives there with lines like ..

    “There aren’t that many places where [the two parties] can come together”? Well, no, of course not.

    “No” for the sake of polarization is not going to sell with the electorate.

  • The view in Europe is that the US as a declining superpower is in denial, and thus politically unable to make necessary corrections.   Many have already written us off as “yesterday’s power,” recognizing the rise of China, India and a bi-polar world.   They are sympathetic to Obama (who is seen as rather conservative in Europe), but believe that we’re stuck with problems so great that the solutions are politically untenable.  A crisis will ultimately force us to change, but the US is not seen as the great power it used to be.   This view goes back to 2003, when Russia, Germany and France formed an alliance to block the US from getting UN approval for Iraq.
    China and Russia, it seems, disagree about how to deal with us.  The Russians would prefer that the Chinese stick an economic daggar into our system and force a collapse here similar to what they experienced.  The Chinese want to make sure they’re diversified and can lead the US to a “soft fall” so that it doesn’t impact their economy as much.   In geopolitical terms, the 21st century will be very different than the last one.  I think we can still bounce back, but only if people get out of parochial “them vs. us” mentalities and recognize that the very future of the country is at stake.

    • Erb: “The view in Europe is that the US as a declining superpower is in denial, and thus politically unable to make necessary corrections.   Many have already written us off as “yesterday’s power,”

      That’s been your view, and your wish, for years. Why attribute it to the Europeans, who were “yesterday’s power” sixty years ago?

      Do you think that attributing something to Europe lends it a certain cachet, Scott?

      Well, don’t gag on your croissant waiting for that effect.

    • But I thought the election of Obama changed all of that?

    • De Spiegel has already declared the Obama Presidency over.
      Their pages to God’s eyes.

    • The view in Europe is that the US as a declining superpower is in denial, and thus politically unable to make necessary corrections. And it’s self evident that the Europeans are smarter, slimmer, more experienced, and better looking than Americans, especially dense righties.

      And don’t start up with how we had to rescue them from tyranny three times in the last 100 years, just don’t start! That experience was invaluable for them in understanding just how important peace is, and how icky war is. My German friends (I’ve written a book on German foreign policy, you know, and it’s not either a pile of dreck from a vanity press, so stop saying that) all understand how icky war is, and how we Americans with our primitive concepts such as “honor” and “defending against enemies” are just all wet.

      Many have already written us off as “yesterday’s power,” recognizing the rise of China, India and a bi-polar world. So don’t start up with how our military power is bigger than all of those combined, just don’t start. When we wise leftists get through indoctrinating teaching our youth about how icky war is, that power will never, ever be used. It certainly won’t under a wise, tolerant figure with a Christlike visage such as Obama. The Europeans are sympathetic to Obama (who is seen as rather conservative in Europe, which tells you just how far they’ve gone towards completely converting their societies to wise leftism), but believe that we’re stuck with problems so great that the solutions are politically untenable.

      And their own problems are certainly not untenable, so don’t start up about breakup of the Eurozone or their aging populations or their rising Muslim unrest, just don’t start! I’m an expert on European stuff, and I tell you, none of that is relevant. This demographic demogogeury put up by thick righties with math and stuff in it is just beside the point. The Europeans are wise and smart. They understand exactly how to wield the power of wise leftism, and they’re going to be fine, and we ought to listen to everything they say and watch everything they do and emulate it.

      A crisis will ultimately force us to change, and that crisis certainly won’t be debt brought on by Democrats creating deficits ten times larger than in the past, so stop saying that. I worry about the debt, as I’ve said many times, but I’m confident Obama is going to cut spending, as I’ve also said. Why just this last week, he announced $20 billion in cuts. See! That’s a big number! And you grunt engineer types don’t start up with the math stuff comparing that to the overall deficit, just don’t start! It will all just work out! Obama says so, and he thinks like me. He’s a wise pragmatist, so he’s going to make everything work out right. And that’s not either a religious, faith-based position, so you dense righties with your invisible friend just better stop saying that!

      The US is not seen as the great power it used to be. It just isn’t. The fact that our military now has more actual combat experience and better technology than anyone else in the world by a large margin just doesn’t count. This view goes back to 2003, when Russia, Germany and France formed an alliance to block the US from getting UN approval for Iraq. And the fact that we went in anyway without their permission doesn’t either show that we don’t need it now! We do! Obama would never do anything without UN approval, and that’s not either a silly self-imposed limit that doesn’t really mean anything in a crisis! Besides, Iraq was the biggest foreign policy mistake in US history, and Sadr won over Maliki, and the violence is going to get completely out of control any day now, and Iran is going to be the winner!

      See, I have always understood Iraq so much better than you dense righties, especially the ex-military basket cases who write most of the posts here. So don’t start up about protests in Iran or any of that stuff. I’m right about Iraq. I’ve always been right about everything I’ve ever said about it. I decree it. Yes, even the Sadr thing! Juan Cole said so! Don’t you think he knows better what happened than stupid righties like Yon and Totten, and no I don’t care that they actually visited the area for months to see what’s going on, they’re ex-military basket cases! They can’t possibly understand the nuances, and how icky war is!

      China and Russia, it seems, disagree about how to deal with us. The Russians would prefer that the Chinese stick an economic daggar into our system and force a collapse here similar to what they experienced. And the resulting collapse has absolutely nothing to do with Democratic programs that built up the debt that made us vulnerable, so stop saying that.

      The Chinese want to make sure they’re diversified and can lead the US to a “soft fall” so that it doesn’t impact their economy as much. See, the Chinese are smart and run their society so, so effectively and efficiently. As Tom Friedman has said, it would be nice if we were more like them, because then we could just ram through our plans for a leftist earthly utopia and pay no attention to ignorant thick righties.

      In geopolitical terms, the 21st century will be very different than the last one. And that’s not either a stupid, trite observation because every century has been very different from the last for the last 500 years! It’s not! I decree it! It’s a nuanced, wise observation from someone trained with godlike powers of political science!

      I think we can still bounce back, but only if people get out of parochial “them vs. us” mentalities and recognize that the very future of the country is at stake. In other words, just give the wise leftists power to remake society however they want, and stop with this silly stuff about keeping your own money. You’d probably just spend it on X-Box games instead of healthcare, because you’re dense righties who need to be guided by wise leftists. You’re so out of touch that you actually like Sarah Palin, who is so corrupt that there are rumors she got free kitchen remodeling. Besides, anyone with such full lips and ample bosom can’t possibly be informed or intelligent, even if she does sport those naughty librarian glasses.

    •  

      As a political barometer, the Davos World Economic Forum usually offers up some revealing indicators of the global mood, and this year is no exception. I heard of a phrase being bandied about here by non-Americans — about the United States — that I can honestly say I’ve never heard before: “political instability.”
      “Political instability” was a phrase normally reserved for countries like Russia or Iran or Honduras. But now, an American businessman here remarked to me, “people ask me about ‘political instability’ in the U.S. We’ve become unpredictable to the world.”

      So much for restoring Americas’ image

  • Well, to coin a phrase . . . NO. WE are the “party of YES.”
    Those advocating bigger government are the true Party of No.  No, you can’t keep your property.  No, you can’t keep your health care coverage.  No, you can’t keep what you earned.  No, you can’t live your life the way you want to, as long as you leave other people alone.  No, you’re really not capable of living your life at all, without the gentle, loving guidance of We, The All-Knowing Government.  When they say “Yes You Can” they mean “Yes You Can If We Let You.”
    When we say “Yes You Can” there are no strings attached.
    The whole “Party of No” concept needs to be attacked mercilessly and relentlessly, until the left regrets the day they brought it up.  THEY are the ones saying “no” to the American people–not us.

  • I love it. The Dems – with SUPERMAJORITIES – couldn’t get their agenda passed. Now these pieces of garbage are whining about the need to be “bipartisian”.

    Again, here’s my response to Baracky, Nancy and Harry if I’m the GOP:  Go eff yourselves.

    And to the idiot pundits crying about the need to “meet in the middle” – where was this duing the Bush years? Where was this hue and cry in the wake of “I won. I will trump you on that?”

    Eff all of them. I pray the GOP shows some rare brains and destroys the Dem agenda. After the way they acted during the Bush years, I’ll laugh at the wreckage of their hopes and dreams, and the deathblow to healthcare coming from Teddy’s replacement has already given me endless amusement.

    Cry b*tches. I said it over the Bush years – hate gets repaid in kind.

    Hope they like it.

    • Nice attitude.   They took their ball and went home when we wanted to play, so now we’ll take ours too!   The trouble is, the country is in severe crisis and only by finding a way to compromise and work together will our children have anything close to the lives we’ve had.  But hey, you prefer politics to be blood sport right.  “Cry b*itches” it’s emotion, it’s a game, it’s getting even with the other side.   Worry about what’s good for the country, nah, that’s not as emotionally satisfying as treating this as a game.
      I don’t think you realize just how weakened this country has become, and how dangerous the attitudes, shown often by both sides, are.   I welcomed Scott Brown’s election because he’s talking about cooperation, and I can see him along with Snowe, Collins and others in the GOP working with moderate Democrats and gaining Obama’s confidence.   But if you want to continue the slide downhill, I hope you love living in a country in decline — that’s what you have now, and you want the politicians to throw away any chance of saving it.

      • You don’t quite get it that no one outside of San Francisco now wants anything to do with Pelosi and Reid, and those willing to have anything to do with Obama are evaporating.

        That’s not to say that they won’t try to draw in a GOP senator or two to help them do more damage to the economy and national security and the culture, but almost everyone who faces a tough election is running away from these three slobs as fast as they can.

        No doubt, though, they remain very dangerous. 

      • Nice attitude.

        >>> Yup. And I hope they choke on it.  Consider it a teachable moment.

      • “But hey, you prefer politics to be blood sport right. “Cry b*itches” it’s emotion, it’s a game, it’s getting even with the other side. Worry about what’s good for the country, nah, that’s not as emotionally satisfying as treating this as a game.”

        Sure, because we all know that libertarians put winning elections ahead of everything else!

        This is just stupid, Erb. It’s standard lefty, political science BS boilerplate.

        Libertarians are most notable for NOT treating it all as a game, and having consistent principles in politics. The most important of which is minimal government. Which Obama and the Democrats are violating worse than anyone since FDR, at least.

        But no, opposing them can’t possibly be because of principle, can it? Must be blood sport. You pathetic little man. I’m sorry that the idea of principles is so far beyond you that you must take refuge in mindless “why can’t we all get along” rhetoric.

        Yes, we’re in trouble! But doing the same creeping collectivism of the last seventy years is the cause! It’s not going to get us out of trouble by creeping along some more in the same direction, no matter how d-mned “bipartisan” the collectivist programs are. Our only hope – our ONLY hope – is to reverse direction, cut spending, reduce size and influence of government, slash laws holding back the private sector in a zillion ways, and start winding down programs that are going to bankrupt the entire society if they stand. Adding more stupid government programs the way Obama wants is going to speed up the bankruptcy, not head it off.

        • “But hey, you prefer politics to be blood sport right”

          >> After the past 9 years?  You better believe it.

          Again, consider it a teachable moment. And if you don’t, then just consider it payback.

          So yes, cry b*tches. Cry me a river. Your tears are my nectar.  :)

          • Well, Shark, you now it’s going to turn around again, perhaps within a year, and the Democrats will be laughing at you.  Your game has no final winner, the pendulum just swings.   But hey, if that’s more important to you then the country, that’s your choice.  You prefer to fantasize that those who you  disagree with are crying then to solve the country’s problems.   Your anti-Americanism shines forth.

          •  Your game has no final winner, the pendulum just swings.

            Untrue. When I engage in payback, I win because it makes me feel good while making those feel bad who deserve it.

            And maybe I teach a lesson to someone, then we all win a little.

          • Your anti-Americanism shines forth.
            >>

            One day, please say that to me in person.

        • Libertarians err by having real simplistic theories about how politics works, and then self-righteously interpreting everything through their ideology and pretend they are resting on superior principles.  It may make you feel good, and even feel superior, but in the real world, complex problems need solutions.  Vague theories of “let the market do it” and meaningless condemnations of “collectivism” evoke a yawn and a roll of the eyes.  Yet, somehow, I think you’ve really convinced yourself that it’s that easy, and that your principles are superior.  Oh well.

          • Vague theories of “let the market do it”  so-called ‘pragmatism’ and meaningless condemnations of “collectivism” ‘ideology’ evoke a yawn and a roll of the eyes.  Yet, somehow, I think you’ve really convinced yourself that it’s that easy, and that your principles are superior.  Oh well.

            There, that’s more accurate.

          • %&&^&**

            That dadgummed strikethrough thingee don’t work for me!

          • Erb: “Vague theories of “let the market do it” and meaningless condemnations of “collectivism” evoke a yawn and a roll of the eyes.”

            Economic lesson number one of 20th Century: Markets are infinitely complex buy-sell mechanisms that are based on an immediate position of the most adequate knowledge available. That vast network cannot be replicated or even approached by centralized decision making and never matched in its efficiency at allocating resources.

            Shorter version: Governments are almost always wasting your money.

          • Not to mention they’re only vague theories to those who have never bothered to study or understand them, which understandably would “evoke a yawn and a roll of the eyes”. Those are always the reactions of the ignorant.

  • McQIt is high time for Congressional Republicans to grow a thick skin and a spine, quit worrying about what Democrats and the media will say about them and embrace the “No”. Sack up, guys.  Be proud to be that party.

    Problems:

    1.  RINO’s who don’t fundamentally disagree with what the dems want to do, but either

         (A) Think the dems are going too far, too fast, or;

         (B) Know that their more conservative voters will not reward them for being democrat-lite

    3.  MiniTru’s influence (Lindsey Graham, for example, would vote to sell his own children into slavery in exchange for a fawning interview on one of the Sunday morning shows).

    4.  Lack of vision in the GOP.  What DOES the party stand for these days??? 

    • Problems:
      1.  RINO’s who don’t fundamentally disagree with what the dems want to do, but either
      (A) Think the dems are going too far, too fast, or;

      I submit that such has been the problem of the Republicans for over 50 years.
      From Eisenhower on Social Security, to Bush o the welfare state, the difference has primarily been that the Dems want to grow government, Republicans was to grow it more slowly. Republicans take on capitalism is not so much that it is a moral system of arms-length trade, but that it provides more money for government coffers if we can just slow down the spending binge.

  • Quite so.  We should be proud to be the party that says “Hell NO!” to statists that want to take away our freedoms.

  • “I welcomed Scott Brown’s election because he’s talking about cooperation . . . ”

    BS!  Brown ran on being the 41st Vote Against ObamaCare.  And as far as bi-partisanship from your Mainiacs, Olympia Snow has already announced to the world that ObamaCare should be canned and started over.  So much for the moderation from your two Maine favorites.

    Truth be told, there is far greater risk holding the line against the Democrats that bending to their will.   It takes far more intestinal fortitude to stand against the tide and the Democrats, since WWII, have not had that kind of guts.  The guts to stand up and tell the opposition, “You’re Wrong!”  Not for political purposes but for the real reason that they are wrong!  The ?Democrats have never had that kind of guts – remember all off the political nmaeuvering the Dems took trying to defund the war and how foolish the GOP made them look time and time again – especially when the gop called their bluff and called for the vote only to watch the Dems vote aqgainst their OWn proposal 99%-1%. LOL!

    The Democrats would have no problems ruling, except for one thing – the Democrats themselves.  One RINO crosses the line and the Democrats scream bi-partisanship.  And with that one RINO, the Dems paint the entire GOP Caucus with the fault, sharing the blame, when it all goes to sh*t.

    The Democrats have always had 0ne singular major failing – they cannot handle being in charge.  They are scared of being the only one to hold the bag.  The GOP, even when they should hve been a whole lot more careful in the steps they took, had no problem stepping out and taking charge of a program, of a bill or series of bills.  The Democrats couldn’t help but jump on board, afraid the GOP would grab all the glory and the Dems would be left out in the cold holding an empty bag.  But they are the first to cut & run when heat builds – remember Iraq?

    The real question here is not when is the GOP going to be ready to negotiate but when are the Dems ready?

    • Psst – to you guys Scott Brown is a RINO.   He’s more like Olympia Snowe than Sarah Palin.  I like him.   Oh, and Snowe is in negotiations with Baucus, and says she wants something passed.   I still have faith that the centrists in both parties will manage to come up with deals that will actually try to solve problems — and that could serve Obama quite well.

  • But so far, the Republicans are having a good year politically by just being the Party of No.

    And Democrats are having a miserable year politically by being the Party of Entitlement.  Maybe it’s time they took a good look at the national mood and stepped back from the edge of that cliff.

  • And remember, it is a role the Democrats will happily assume, with no apologies, when their time comes – you can count on it.

    And remember, when the Democrats were doing just that from ’00 to ’08, you guys here derided them as “obstructionists.”  And you’ll do it again – you can count on it.

    Cheers.

    • THEY proudly called themselves obstructionists and their aim was to obstruct the prosecution of the war in Iraq. I know it’s been more than a month, but surely you have at least a faint memory of that?

    • Let’s see what elese they obstructed:
      1) Reform of Fannie/Freddie (more so, they want to go back to LiarLoans, etc)
      2) Reform of intelligence gathering
      3) Prosecution of terrorists at Gitmo
      4) Reform of Social Security (not to mention their <shock> booing Bush’s 2005 SOTU speech when he called for reforms).
      Those are just ta few I thought of off the top of my head.
      Pogue, are leftists incredibly stupid with short memories, or are they just funnin’ us?

  • During the campaign, I heard many older Americans say, “Oh well, the president doesn’t have that much power anyway.”  It was their way of justifying what they were doing. They knew he wasn’t up to the challenge, but they wanted to be part of the excitement. They had the liberal media putting them down every night if they didn’t see the “VISION”.  Make no mistake it was an ingenious plan. In our age of political correctness they knew that anyone who said anything detrimental about Obama could be called a racist – end of discussion!  The Obama people used this consistently and very effectively.  They had plenty of help from the academics who were there to point out our failings in this area.  This worked because this new history would somehow assuage the collective guilt of slavery.  How smart did these academics turn out to be?  They will get, in part, what they wanted, and that is that it will be a significant page in the history books.  The only problem is that history will portray Obama as the most egotistical, incompetent president in our history.  If we continue to let him “reign“, he may also go down in history as the president who turned the most powerful nation in the world into a 3rd world country.    

    • Obama is, however, a hundred times more competent and effective than the last President.  You’re personal attacks are just silly, and grounded in political bias, not reality.

      • If only Obama were merely incompetent.

        His hatred of the country he leads, its principles and history, is so obvious that even an academic who shares those views should be able to see it.

  • This post has been linked for the HOT5 Daily 2/2/2010, at The Unreligious Right

  • And in early November House Republican Leader John Boehner offered an amendment to the Democrat bill, titled the “Common Sense Health Care Reform and Affordability Act,” which stated: “The purpose of this Act is to take meaningful steps to lower health care costs and increase access to health insurance coverage (especially for individuals with preexisting conditions) without: (1) raising taxes; (2) cutting Medicare benefits for seniors; (3) adding to the national deficit; (4) intervening in the doctor-patient relationship; or (5) instituting a government takeover of health care.”

    The Democrats said NO

  • Except, Shark, you’re not getting any payback.  You’re just sounding a little childish and silly.  And the “say that to me in person” stuff is a bit pathetic.   You’re trying too hard.