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Chuck Muth is President and CEO of Citizen Outreach and a professional political consultant. Mr. Muth is a professional campaign trainer, a newsletter publisher and talk-show host who regularly appears on political TV and radio programs.

Sunday

Muth's Truths, 11/7/04


REPUBLICANS HAVE NO MORE EXCUSES


Conservative grassroots activists have a lot in common with Boston Red Sox fans: Both have suffered immeasurable levels of disappointment for a long time. At least for Sox fans, that suffering is now over.

Year after year, fans at Fenway Park heard one excuse after another for why their team failed to win the World Series. One season it was, “If only we could get some pitching.” So the team went out and got players who could sling the rawhide. The next season it was, “If only we got some hitting.” So they went out and got guys who could put wood on the seams. Then it was, “If only we had a decent manager.” So they went out and got a new dugout skipper.

Finally, they put it all together and ended up winning the big one.

Conservatives have been hearing similar excuses from Republicans for a long time, as well.

Let’s start with Barry Goldwater, whose 1964 campaign ignited the modern-day limited-government conservative movement. For the next 16 years, the excuse for not rolling back FDR’s New Deal and LBJ’s Great Society was Republicans didn’t have a conservative president...unless you consider Nixon’s government-imposed wage and price controls conservative.

Finally...Reagan. Alas, the Promised Land, right? Hallelujah and pass the meat cleaver.

Well, not quite. Much of the Gipper’s limited-government agenda never made it into law. The excuse, legitimately, was that Democrats controlled Congress and were blocking conservative legislation. The Great Society marched on.

But in 1994, THAT excuse was wiped out with the GOP “Contract With America” and the takeover of both houses of Congress. Vunderbar! Let the rollback begin, right?

Wrong. While Republicans DID gain control of Congress, they no longer had the White House. So the new excuse was that any significant conservative legislation Congress could pass, the president would veto (welfare reform being one rare exception). So for the next six years conservatives were told the revolution would have to wait until 2000, when Republicans would have a chance to win the Triple Crown: Both houses of Congress AND the White House.

So along comes 2000. Republicans get the House, the Senate and the Oval Office. The brass ring was finally within reach. But before you could say “Bill Buckner Booted the Ball,” Jumping Jim Jeffords bolted the GOP and gave Democrats control of the Senate...again.

Heartbreak Hotel, boys and girls.

We then get to 2002. Republicans regain control of the Senate. But the new excuse is that the majority is too slim. And anyway, since Al Gore won the popular vote in 2000, they tell us, President Bush doesn’t have a sufficient “mandate” to pursue a true, limited-government conservative agenda.

Good grief.

That brings us to Election 2004. Let’s review the results, shall we?

Republicans kept the White House. And the president not only won the popular vote, he won a clear MAJORITY of the popular vote. And he did it with the overwhelming support of CONSERVATIVES, not “moderates.”

Republicans not only retained control of the House of Representatives, they INCREASED their majority.

Republicans not only retained control of the Senate, they INCREASED their majority.

So, Republicans now have the manager they need in President Bush. They have the pitching they need in the House. They have the hitting they need in the Senate. And they have the enthusiastic support of the hometown conservative fans.

In the immortal words of Ronald Reagan, “If not now, when?”

No more excuses, Republicans. This is it. Cut spending. Cut government. Reverse this liberal curse. Or be prepared to have conservatives burn down the GOP tent in the next election in order to save it...and the nation. As Larry the Cable Guy would say: “Git ‘er done.”

# # #

Chuck Muth is president of Citizen Outreach, a non-profit public policy advocacy organization in Washington, D.C. The views expressed are his own and do not necessarily reflect the views of Citizen Outreach. He may be reached at chuck@citizenoutreach.com


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