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Administration to GOP: Stop Saying No   April 19th, 2009
Chief of staff says GOP can't be "party of no"       

 
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White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel said he is eager to hear GOP proposals on health care and energy, but that the GOP has to stop being the party of "no."

Rahm Emanuel said he's hopeful that Congress this year will pass major legislation on those big issues. But he says Republicans in the Democratic-controlled Congress have to stop being what he calls "the party of no," "the party of never" and "the party of no new ideas.


It should be noted that we don't necessarily need new ideas. The idea that an idea has to be new to have merit is absolutely without merit.

It also should be noted that socialized medicine isn't a new idea--it's been tried in many countries around the world and I'm not aware of any cases where it's fulfilled expectations. The options are cheap, quality, and short wait times--and you can only pick two out of those three.

And, actually, we don't need to have an alternative idea in order to reject and oppose a bad idea. It's like being stuck on a desert island in the Pacific and being opposed to trying to swim to Los Angeles. One might not have a better idea but one can definitely be opposed to the suicide plan of trying to swim thousands of miles.

Things aren't so bad today that they can't be made worse by a bad plan.

As for energy, there's not an immediate solution. But we could start by allowing the drilling that the Democrats (both in Congress and Obama as a candidate) supposedly accepted last summer but, having won the election, have now flip-flopped on. We can move forward with nuclear energy which Obama has effectively killed by defunding the nuclear waste storage facility. And, over time, hopefully alternative energy will be ready for prime time.

But the Democrats are putting all our energy eggs in the alternative energy basket, hoping that pumping billions of dollars into R&D will produce a quick solution. We might get lucky and it might. But it might not. Science is not just a matter of "just add money" and you automatically get a solution. It doesn't work that way. Science is based on other science and other studies which build on previous science and studies over time. Funding a million scientists for a year probably will probably produce worse results than funding a hundred thousand scientists for ten years because they'll all be working on their own project without an opportunity to see what the other million scientists have produced and how that might apply to what they have been investigating.

It's also ironic to hear the Democrats call the Republicans the "party of no" when they were nothing more than the "party of no more Bush" for about the previous six years. They weren't even "no" to ideas, they were "no" to anything Bush supported. I wrote about that back in September 2006. They really offered no plans of their own in 2006, and even after they took control of Congress they offered no real alternative to Bush's plans in Iraq. And now that they have Congress and the presidency, their Iraq plans and massive deficit spending are basically a continuation of Bush-era policies.

Democrats said "no" to Bush for six years and now they're going to try to criticize us for saying "no" to bad policy decisions?

I don't think so.

Conservatives believe in less government. Obviously that flies in the face of liberals' belief that bigger and more expansive government can reduce poverty, solve our energy problems, and defy economic reality to give health care to everyone. But that's never worked in the past. That's why they need new ideas because their old ones haven't worked.

Conservatives, on the other hand, don't need new ideas. We need to stand firm on our principles of less government and individual liberty. We can't compromise those principles under the false hope that proposing some watered-down liberalism will help us win elections.

And we can't buy into Emanuel's rhetoric that we have to come up with some different way that government can solve the problem--that is accepting the liberal premise that government is the solution. But it very seldom is.

We are conservatives and we don't need new ideas--we especially don't need to come up with new ideas to expand government. We need to be conservatives.

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