THE SAPIENT SPARROW: conservatism for commoners

"What has always made the State a hell on earth has been precisely that man has tried to make it his heaven."–Holderlin


The State of the Union address will be given on Wednesday, January 27, 2010.  I really am not looking forward to it.  Sitting through yet another speech by Mr. Obama takes not only self-discipline, but also intestinal fortitude.  After all, I am fairly certain about what the POTUS will say.  So, to make this event a bit more palatable, I have been listing those catchy phrases that I think we are bound to hear, as well as the topics he is sure to cover.  I plan to listen to the State of the Union address with my list, ready to check it against the actual speech.  It will be fun to see how well I can predict what Mr. Obama says.  Here are some of the things I believe we will hear:

1) Bush bashing: failed policies of the past, we inherited, etc., etc.

2)Let me be clear (followed by a vague statement, or a complete falsehood).

3)This will not be easy, or this will be hard, or this will take time, or it took a long time and change will not happen overnight.

4)Fighting for you, i.e., little guy, middle class, working people, etc.

5)Fighting against special interests, Wall Street, banks, rich people, etc.

6)Green jobs.

7)Energy independence.

8)Living our values has made us safer in the “Homeland”.

9)It would have been worse had we done nothing.

10)So that this will never happen again.

11)Explaining the focus of popular anger and frustration.

12)Explaining what the “people” want.

Gee, watching the State of the Union address may not be so bad after all.  (I am really looking forward to the White House spin on items #11 and #12).

The Republican response to the State of the Union address will be as important, if not more important.  It could set the tone for the time leading up to the November 2010 elections.  A response that conveys a strong, positive, pro-growth message, not unlike Scott Brown used in his successful Senate campaign, would be welcome.  Not so long ago, even John McCain, (during the 2008 Presidential campaign), stated that we needed to “grow the economy” out of the economic downturn.  Perhaps this would be a good occasion to reiterate that to the American people.

During the Saturday, January 23rd, broadcast of “The Larry Kudlow Show, Jerry Boyer stated that Republicans “need to fight with both a sword and a shield”.  I agree.  It is not enough to play defense by simply critiquing Democrat policies.  Most Americans are so steeped in the Keynsian view that increased Government, increased spending, increased regulations and decreased risk in the business sector is the answer to economic woes that they do not properly understand that history disproves the success of such policies.  Republicans need to educate Americans in the successful strategies of lower taxes, less regulation, freer trade and smaller more local government in wealth creation in a free market.  Even President JFK knew that “a rising tide lifts all boats”.  It would be delicious for the Republicans to quote this well-beloved Democrat to the Democrats.  It seemed to work for Scott Brown.

Maybe the Republican response could also include the wonderful graph that Larry Kudlow has on his NRO blog, “Kudlow’s Money Politic$”, reproduced below along with his words:

Take a look at the following chart. It looks more complicated than it really is. What it shows is job losses during all the post-WWII recessions, two years after the jobs peak.”

You’ll see that all the post-war cycles had employment rising by now. But, as this chart clearly shows, it’s still falling. That’s the issue for America right now.

Will someone please explain to me how raising taxes on banks — or anybody else for that matter: rich people, capital gains, whatever — will make the jobs line go up instead of down? Someone please explain to me how we’re going to tax our way out of this jobs decline?

Bank taxes? What a terrible idea. Raising personal income taxes, health-care related taxes, capital-gains taxes? All terrible ideas. It’s totally nuts. These tax hikes are not going to create jobs here in America, they will take jobs away.

Mr. Kudlow is absolutely right, and the Republicans need to shout that from the rooftops.  On Wednesday, I  am fairly sure what we will hear from the POTUS.  I am less sure about how the Republicans will respond.  I hope that the Republicans will recognize, as did Edmund Burke that, “There is, however, a limit at which forbearance ceases to be a virtue.”  Now is the time for Republicans to step outside their comfort zone, to take up the sword and to lead an attack against the destructive plans of the Left.  The time for forbearance is long past.

The Republicans would do well to be informed by other words of Edmund Burke, “When bad men combine, the good must associate; else they will fall one by one, an unpitied sacrifice in a contemptible struggle.”  Be assured, the Republicans must continue to stand together, or they too will fall.  With one voice, they need to loudly offer conservative solutions, explain in simple terms how these solutions will work and pledge their unwavering support to implementing these.  To be sure, this struggle can be won, but only if those with superior ideas act in concert with strength and certainty.


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