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Tuesday, October 22, 2013

Growing Pains

  There is an old saying, that the only constant is change. Most things, be they animal, vegetable, or mineral, or even politicians, must change in order to grow and remain viable and successful. Change is not always pretty. In fact, in most cases, it is down right messy.
  Perhaps nothing on Earth illustrates that more than the current state of the Republican Party. In light of last week's latest cave-in to Democrats during the government shutdown debacle, it has become clear that some serious "growing" needs to happen.
  We have seen it happen before. After the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in 1963, Democrats were suddenly flapping in the breeze. A young, good looking, vibrant, dynamic President was cut down in his prime. As the sixties wore on, the Democratic Party seemed to come perilously close to splitting in two. On one side were the Kennedy loyalists. Democrats who, by today's standards were quite Conservative. Many of them were staunch Union members, but strong on defense, and strong on lower taxes. On the other, the emerging counter-culture. Hippies who believed in things like, "make love not war", and were so virulently anti-war, they spit on American soldiers coming home from Vietnam. The culmination of this perfect storm being the riot at the 1968 Democratic Convention. It pitted the anti-war Eugene McCarthy-ites vs. the establishment Hubert Humphrey wing.
  Fast forward to today's Republican Party. With the Tea Party sweep in 2010, many of the old guard, the "establishment" Republicans were voted out of office. A new wave of new blood rode into town. Guys like Rand Paul, Mike Lee, and Ted Cruz. These were guys who were sent to Washington by ordinary Americans, tired of the go along to get along back slapping of the establishment. It's guys like Ted Cruz who are not afraid to rock the boat, and name names. And it's got the John McCains, the Lindsey Grahams, and the Karl Roves scared out of their minds. For the first time in a long time, possibly since Ronald Reagan, the status quo is being seriously challenged.
This means that the 2014 mid-term elections will truly be a defining moment for Republicans. There is a choice to be made. If rank and file Republicans choose to back the establishment, and believe them when they say things like the Tea Party is dangerous, they will not win another election for a long time. True Conservatives will not tolerate the same old tactics, and it will be time for principled Conservative candidates who will not back down from what they believe, who will not be threatened by Party bosses, and will stand up for their constituents, and Constitutional principles.
  True, the government shutdown would have been bad for Republicans had election day been in the midst of it. But by this time next year, Americans will be deep in the those of Obama care. The Democrats will own it, and election day 2014 could be bright and sunny, not just for Republicans, but Conservatives as well. For it is becoming more apparent, they are not necessarily one and the same.
  There is a song from those turbulent times in the sixties that says,"the times they are a changin". It could be change that Republicans can't afford to ignore.              

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