Bringing Down The House - Part Two
Last week, time was taken to write about the contract for America because of its focus and scope on new and innovative ideas that brought voters together to usher in political change. As a modern conservative Republican, one can see a valid and present reason to point out the nature of the contract's rendezvous with destiny.
The Republican success of the Contract with America in 1994 was made predicated upon the return to an idea focus in a campaign geared toward common sense policy positions. President Bill Clinton was able to rebrand himself as a New Democrat and then back Republican efforts to implement welfare reform as part of the Contract with America.
President Clinton understood that Republicans tapped into issues like welfare reform and that those issues crossed party lines. Clinton was able to find a role and an essential part of the political reset that was mandated when the Republicans ended 40 years of Democrat control in the House of Representatives. A skill that seems lost in Washington D.C. today.
The art of political persuasion that led to the Contract with America has taken a nose dive since the presidential election of President Barack Obama. Why is that? The answer is an awkward one if Republicans can dare be honest with themselves. The answer in its simplest form is the political weaponization of wedge issues that were used to defeat Vice President Al Gore.
Karl Rove was the celebrated architect of the wedge issue campaign that pole vaulted George W. Bush into the oval office. The "Neo Conservative" movement was dusted off and rebranded as "Compassionate Conservatism". Remember that? The souls of the Republican rank and file were crushed as the George W. Bush years were squandered with out of control domestic spending despite Republican control of both the House and Senate.
As the Bush era closed on a recession, the Republican party was dubbed irrelevant by Time Magazine. The Republican elephant appeared on Time's cover with the caption "endangered species". The Bush legacy was one where the definition of what a Republican was seemed murky at best. The same Republican elites sought to minimize the impact the abysmal approval rating during Senator John McCain's attempt to triumph over Senator Barack Obama in the 2008 Presidential election.
The election of President Obama and the way Democrats flat out ignored Republicans in the creation of Obamacare caused a schism in the old order. Republican party activists were fed up with the lackluster opposition to Obama's policies. A created group that was once an acronym for the fed up took to acting independently of Republican party officials.
The Taxed Enough Already (TEA) movement became a grassroots political wildfire. The tea party became the fuel for the 2010 midterm election that the Contract with America was for the midterm election in 1994. The group then imploded on itself as it too devolved into a faction based power struggle.
The recent Republican embrace of identity politics has shackled the Republican party to the same albatross that created a political victory for Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and created the socialist schism in the Democrat Party.
Read the conclusion of Bringing Down the House in tomorrow’s edition.