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In a sign of bad news for both political parties, a new Rasmussen Reports “generic ballot” poll shows “Democrats attracting 36% of the vote. The Tea Party candidate picks up 23%, and Republicans finish third at 18%. Another 22% are undecided.”
At the same time, the generic ballot question without the “Tea Party” option continues to show a substantial GOP advantage.
These reports, in combination with other data such as an October poll showing the vast majority of Republicans believing that GOP politicians are out of touch with the GOP base, are sending a none-too-subtle message to Republican leadership:
The Democrats’ overreaching is offering Republicans an enormous electoral opportunity. But so far, the Republicans are not even reaching for the brass ring, leaving conservative and libertarian-leaning voters hungry for a party we can affirmatively support rather than asking us to hold our noses and vote for the lesser of two evils, a strategy which failed spectacularly in the 2008 elections.
Let’s be clear about something: No third party is going to make any headway in this country anytime soon. There will not be a successful “Tea Party", at least not on a national level. This is about getting liberty-minded Americans excited about the Republican Party. And that won’t happen until the Republican Party gets back to supporting liberty without apologies.
There is always some Republican, whether Snowe, Collins, McCain, or Graham, trying to “work with” Democrats, to “make the bill better", to “reach across the aisle", or some other nice-sounding excuse to abandon principles in an effort to make personal headlines or to take credit for “getting something done". But what use is getting something done when the outcome in any case is disastrous for the American people?
It’s as if these senators are working to have the mugger use a knife instead of a gun when robbing and assaulting his victim. The victim has still be stolen from and, more importantly, has nearly as large a chance of ending up dead. Yippee. We “got something done"!
Erick Erickson of RedState.com has been pounding this drum for several days, excoriating Senate Republicans for not using the few tools available to them to try to kill the Democrats’ disastrous health care “reform". Erickson argues that Republicans are effectively giving Democrats political cover – something that can’t work out well for anybody but Reid-Pelosi-Obama.
Investors Business Daily agrees, saying “What’s needed, plain and simple, is opposition.”
Pro-capitalist and pro-liberty Americans, whether Republicans or not, want to see the GOP leadership show some backbone, not “go along to get along." Sure, the Republicans are mostly holding together in rhetorical opposition to current Democrat plans, but their actions are far less convincing.
The Rasmussen polls should tell Republicans and Democrats in Congress that the mood is fiercely against them, fiercely anti-incumbent.
And while the momentum is clearly for the GOP, the polls are also clear that the Republican Party is not doing enough to stand up for what Americans care about. Offering modest opposition to Democratic takeovers of health care, energy, and everything else is not enough. And “modest” is all the opposition is as long as their actions don’t match their words, as long as they don’t do everything possible to kill this health care “reform", cap-and-trade, and every other leftist idiocy being foisted upon us by the union-owned leadership of the Democratic Party.
It might be that anti-Democrat fervor will be enough for Republican victories in 2010. But even if that’s the case, it won’t last long. At some point, the Democrats will moderate their behavior (but only when they have to) and at that point, unless the GOP has given the “Tea Party” crowd something they can really support, the Republican party will remain, if not in the wilderness, at least unable to gain or maintain any significant majority.
Michael Steele and Mitch McConnell, are you listening?