My Plea to Republicans: It's Time for Real Change to Avoid Real Disaster

Chris, I won't sign on this year 'till I see most of these 9 points implemented. I hope Rush will put the pressure on McCain now.

My Plea to Republicans: It's Time for Real Change to Avoid Real Disaster
by Newt Gingrich

The Republican loss in the special election for Louisiana's Sixth Congressional District last Saturday should be a sharp wake up call for Republicans: Either Congressional Republicans are going to chart a bold course of real change or they are going to suffer decisive losses this November.

The facts are clear and compelling.

Saturday's loss was in a district that President Bush carried by 19 percentage points in 2004 and that the Republicans have held since 1975.

This defeat follows on the loss of Speaker Hastert's seat in Illinois. That seat had been held by a Republican for 76 years with the single exception of the 1974 Watergate election when the Democrats held it for one term. That same seat had been carried by President Bush 55-44% in 2004.

Two GOP Losses That Validate a National Pattern

These two special elections validate a national polling pattern that is bad news for Republicans. According to a New York Times/CBS Poll, Americans disapprove of the President's job performance by 63 to 28 (and he has been below 40% job approval since December 2006, the longest such period for any president in the history of polling).

A separate New York Times/CBS Poll shows that a full 81 percent of Americans believe the economy is on the wrong track.

The current generic ballot for Congress according to the NY Times/CBS poll is 50 to 32 in favor of the Democrats. That is an 18-point margin, reminiscent of the depths of the Watergate disaster.

Congressional Republicans Can't Take Comfort in McCain's Poll Numbers
Senator McCain is currently running ahead of the Republican congressional ballot by about 16 percentage points. But there are two reasons that this extraordinary personal achievement should not comfort congressional Republicans.

First, McCain's lead is a sign of the gap between the McCain brand of independence and the GOP brand. No regular Republican would be tying or slightly beating the Democratic candidates in this atmosphere. It is a sign of how much McCain is a non-traditional Republican that he is sustaining his personal popularity despite his party's collapse.

Second, there is a grave danger for the McCain campaign that if the generic ballot stays at only 32 % for the GOP it will ultimately outweigh McCain's personal appeal and drag his candidacy into defeat.

The Anti-Obama, Anti-Wright, and Anti-Clinton GOP Model Has Been Tested -- And It Failed
The Republican brand has been so badly damaged that if Republicans try to run an anti-Obama, anti- Reverend Wright, or (if Senator Clinton wins), anti-Clinton campaign, they are simply going to fail.

This model has already been tested with disastrous results.
In 2006, there were six incumbent Republican Senators who had plenty of money, the advantage of incumbency, and traditionally successful consultants.

But the voters in all six states had adopted a simple position: "Not you." No matter what the GOP Senators attacked their opponents with, the voters shrugged off the attacks and returned to, "Not you."

The danger for House and Senate Republicans in 2008 is that the voters will say, "Not the Republicans."

Republicans Have Lost the Advantage on Every Single-Issue Poll
A February Washington Post poll shows that Republicans have lost the advantage to the Democrats on which party can handle an issue better -- on every single topic.

Americans now believe that Democrats can handle the deficit better (52 to 31), taxes better (48 to 40) and even terrorism better (44 to 37).

This is a catastrophic collapse of trust in Republicans built up over three generations on the deficit, two generations on taxes, and two generations on national security.

House Republicans Should Call an Emergency, Members-Only Conference
Faced with these election results, the House Republicans should hold an emergency members-only meeting. At the meeting, they should pose this stark choice: Real change or certain defeat.

If a majority of the House Republicans vote for real change, they should instruct Republican Leader John Boehner and his team to come back with a new plan by the Wednesday before the Memorial Day recess. This plan should involve real change in legislative, communications, and campaign strategy and involve immediate, real action, including a complete overhaul of the Congressional Campaign Committee. The House Republican Conference would then vote for the plan or insist on its revision.

If a majority of the House Republicans are opposed to acting then the minority who are activists should establish a parallel organization dedicated to real change. This group should focus its energies on creating the changes necessary to survive despite a conference with a minority mindset that accepts defeat rather than fights for real change (which is what we had when I entered Congress in 1978).

Nine Acts of Real Change That Could Restore the GOP Brand
Here are nine acts of real change that would begin to rebuild the American people's confidence that Republicans share their values, understand their worries, and are prepared to act instead of just talk. The Republicans in Congress could get a start on all nine this week if they had the will to do so.

Repeal the gas tax for the summer, and pay for the repeal by cutting domestic discretionary spending so that the transportation infrastructure trust fund would not be hurt. At a time when, according to The Hill newspaper, Senator Clinton is asking for $2.3billion in earmarks, it should be possible for Republicans to establish a "government spending versus your pocketbook" fight over cutting the gas tax that would resonate with most Americans. Lower taxes and less government spending should be a battle cry most taxpayers and all conservatives could rally behind.

Redirect the oil being put into the national petroleum reserve onto the open market. That oil would lower the price of gasoline an extra 5 to 6 cents per gallon, and its sale would lower the deficit.

Introduce a "more energy at lower cost with less environmental damage and greater national security bill" as a replacement for the Warner-Lieberman "tax and trade" bill which is coming to the floor of the Senate in the next few weeks (see my newsletter next week for an outline of a solid pro-economy, pro-national security, pro-environment energy bill). When the American people realize how much the current energy prices are actually a "politicians' energy crisis" they will demand real change in our policies.

Establish an earmark moratorium for one year and pledge to uphold the presidential veto of bills with earmarks through the end of 2009. The American people are fed up with politicians spending their money. They currently believe both parties are equally bad. This is a real opportunity to show the difference.

Overhaul the census and cut its budget radically. The recent announcement that the Census Bureau could not build an effective hand-held computer for $1.3 billion and is turning instead to 600,000 temporary workers to do a paper and pencil census in 2010 is an opportunity to slash its budget, shrink its bureaucracy, and turn to entrepreneurial internet-based companies to build an information-age census. This is an absurdity that cries out for bold, decisive reform (see my YouTube video "FedEx versus federal bureaucracy" for an example of what I mean).

Implement a space-based, GPS-style air traffic control system. The problems of the Federal Aviation Administration are symptoms of a union-dominated bureaucracy resisting change. If we implemented a space-based GPS-style air traffic system we would get 40% more air travel with one-half the bureaucrats. The union has stopped 200,000,000 passengers from enjoying more reliable air travel to protect 7,000 obsolete jobs. This real change would allow the millions of frustrated travelers to have champions in congress trying to help them get places better, safer, faster.

Declare English the official language of government. This real change is supported by 87% of the American people including a majority of Democrats, Republicans, Independents, and Latinos. It is an issue of national unity that brings Americans together in a red, white, and blue majority.

Protect the workers' right to a secret ballot. The vast majority (around 81%) of Americans believe that American workers have a right to have a secret ballot election before they are forced to join a union. Last year the House Democrats passed a bill that would strip American workers of the secret ballot. A new bill should be introduced reaffirming that right, and it should be brought up again and again until marginal Democrats are forced to vote with the American people against the union power structure.

Remind Americans that judges matter. Senate Republicans should mount an ongoing fight (including a filibuster of other activities if necessary) to get the American people to realize that liberals want to block all current judicial appointments in order to maximize the number of left wing radical judges they can appoint if they win the White House. This issue has three advantages. It reminds people that judges matter and that a leftwing radical Supreme Court would be bad for the values of most (70 to 90 percent, depending on the issue) Americans. It shows the Democrats are not engaged in fair play. It arouses the activism of those who have been disappointed by Republicans and have forgotten how bad a liberal Democratic Presidency would be.

No votes yet

I will pass the message on :)

Don't despair, you still have operation chaos....

Pink Slip

he is so weak , and Rush will need to pound him to drag him into the conservative camp

as such a staunch Christian conservative (judging from your posts; maybe I have you confused with Kooz) I'm surprised you lend such credence to the positions of Newt Gingrich in leading the Republicans out of the deep dark woods:

Here's the section from Wikipedia concerning his personal/married life:

Newt Gingrich has been married three times. He married Jackie Battley, his former high school geometry teacher, when he was 19 years old (she was seven years his senior at 26 years old).[5][6] After an alleged affair with Ann Manning in 1977, Gingrich sought a divorce from Battley. That was finalized in 1981.[7] In 1981, Gingrich wed Marianne Ginther,[8] to whom he remained married until 2000, the same year Gingrich had an affair with a then 33-year-old Congressional staffer, Callista Bisek. He and Bisek were married in 2000 and currently reside in Virginia. Gingrich has two daughters, Kathy and Jackie from his marriage to Jackie Battley, two sons-in-law and two grandchildren.[9]
Although college peers noted Gingrich's preference to discuss politics more than his personal life,[10] Gingrich’s personal life has been the subject of much attention from both the media and his political opponents over the years. In 1992, his Democratic opponent, Tony Center, ran an ad claiming that Gingrich had "delivered divorce papers to his wife the day after her cancer operation," which was not strictly true, although friends have acknowledged that he discussed divorce terms with his estranged wife while visiting her in the hospital.[11]

Actually, a good read of the entire entry reveals Gingrich to be just another conservative hypocrite. I refer to sections dealing with government shutdown and ethics sanctions:

or even babysit the grandkid. You are right, he is a big sinner for sure , though sometimes nowadays that is a badge of honor. Good thing there is forgiveness for our sins, I have been thru a divorce too. Of course all the outsiders try to figure out whose fault it is , our job is just to forgive one another , and realize that on this earth these things do happen, in heaven they won't.
Newt is a sharp guy , his Amercan Enterprise Institue has some good ideas . I think his 9 points are good ones for the Repubs.

Leaders of political parties always get their underwear in a bundle when there is a significant change in the dominant political party. Yet life goes on for the rest of the country and the planet, and the only people who face a real "disaster" are the political operatives and lobbyists who had lucrative careers while their party was in the majority.

I know that this will not sit well with diehard GOP types, but the word "disaster" is just a rhetorical trick to get loyalists fired up. While there have certainly been presidencies that have been relative failures, forces much larger than the changes in fortunes of political parties are what really matter.

Globalization. Climate change. War. Commodity shortages. Natural disasters. Epidemic disease.

That sort of stuff.

For example: despite all the hand-wringing by environmentalists, politicians, and forward-looking thinkers, the only factor that matters in getting human beings to seriously consider alternative forms of energy has been the skyrocketing price of oil. Until most people start to feel real economic pain, they will not change their behaviors, no matter how lofty the rhetoric of the pundits.

Anyways, if this really is a shift to the Democrats, people like Mailmanchuck will be just fine. As I look back on so-called realignments over the past 100 years in American politics, substantive change only occurred when forces larger than the political swept through the world.

Besides, if you hold your breath long enough, the weighty problems facing the Democrats will probably still be there for the Republicans in 10-20 years. Heck, energy has been a thorny issue since the 1970s, and neither Democrats nor Republicans have bothered to "solve" the problems related to energy. Either affordable alternatives will come on line, or there will be an escalation in global wars over oil.

Either way, politicians can breathe easier, since they won't have to make tough decisions.


Anyways, if this really is a shift to the Democrats, people like Mailmanchuck will be just fine

I dare say that Mailmanchuck, as well as the rest of us would be better off with a Democratic president. GDP growth under Democratic administrations since 1930 is 5.4%. Under Republicans, it's 1.6%. (source)

Pink Slip

I would bet that if McCain becomes president, we'll easily be looking at the war in Iraq to be going for another 10 years more, at least.

and mailman - I think there's a huge difference between people who 'sin' now & then, and people who have been shown to be completely corrupt, and absent of any real moral character. Those things are NOT sins - they are just people who are bankrupt morally & ethically & who think they're above everybody else. (technically, I realize religious people would call those things sins as well, but I think the 'sin & be forgiven' cuts them entirely too much slack. Especially when nothing much changes with how they treat other people.

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