America has always had a great tradition, one mature for it’s age and true at birth, of the peaceful turnover of power from one faction to another. Never have Americans rioted when a president of another party took his seat in the White House, never has the military been called in and never has government been wholly shut down during the turnover of power because of political strife and unrest. This is, it cannot be denied, a good thing. It is one of the things that makes the USA's unique among the history of nations. But, does this relative good sense include the necessity of one party giving the new president of the opposing party "a chance" once he takes office? As Republicans, are we obliged to sit back and allow a new president we opposed -- in this case Barack Obama -- the opportunity to do anything and everything he so pleases? Is this what is meant by "giving him a chance"?
I'll have to politely say "no" is the answer to that question. Republicans are under no obligation to chuck all principles to the four winds in some mistaken notion of giving Barack Obama "a chance" to do whatever it is he wants to do in office. We have no reason to sit back and do nothing just because "the people have spoken." To that, it must be pointed out that none of our members of "the people" spoke in Obama's favor.
Further, let's face history, here. No party after having lost the majority has ever just sat back and ceased all forms of resistance in the face of what amounts to the enemy taking power. In fact, no party should ever do so. Why have more than one party in the first place if no resistance is the goal? Why not just manufacture a permanent "era of good feelings" in that case? No, the concept is more properly one of settling in as the "loyal opposition," not that of rolling over and playing dead.
Who can doubt that the Democrat Party has never obligated itself to be under any such restriction? Who doubts that the Democrat Party never gave George W. Bush a single second's rest from the day he ran for the White House despite that he offered them his hand in friendship at the outset -- and had a history back in Texas of doing so? Similarly, the Democrat Party did its level best to destroy Ronald Reagan at every opportunity from day one quite despite the landslide victory he won. And Nixon? Please.
In fact, we are already seeing the way the left plans to treat all things Republican before Obama has even fairly taken the oath of office. For instance, Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi is trying to re-write House rules to take as much influence as possible away from House minority Republicans, even though the Republicans are the ones responsible for creating the rules that offered the other side a modicum of influence on debate in the first place. So much for common decency there!
Even Obama's own gegaw website operations are indulging in immature, hateful, anti-Republican efforts. On Obama's USAService.org site, an entry for a public event is listed as an opportunity for fans of Obama to "celebrate" his ascendancy by having a "Bush Shoe Toss." Now, this USAService website is supposed to be one where average, everyday Americans can find local opportunities to give "service" to the community. How a partisan hate event like a "Bush shoe toss" lends service to the community is anyone's guess. But, here is Obama's own little jimjack of a website lending its name to this childish hatemongering just the same.
Very grown up of you, Barack.
Now as David Oatney, a friend of mine from Tennessee, argued on a recent podcast on which I was invited to participate, that the argument might be made that, as adults raised to be courteous, we are obligated out of mere good manners alone to “give Obama a chance."
I replied to the concept that I was not so obligated. On the podcast, I was not able to explain in much depth why I felt that way and I would like to remedy that here.
First we can begin with Obama's own actions. Obama has built a mythic reputation -- and I say mythic in the sense of a tale built on falsehood -- of being one that will, and/or has, "reached across the aisle" to "get things done." In actual truth, Obama has little reaching across the aisle in evidence during his career. He has never compromised on any of his ideas, has never leaned toward the middle to work with Republicans, and he has never initiated any reaching across the aisle on any substantive issue that Republicans already didn't wholly agree with what he wanted done (in other words, their coming HIS way, not him leaning theirs). In short, his reputation of "reaching across the aisle" is a fantasy.
Obama has even shown that he isn't too interested in the opinions of his own comrades in Congress if his surprise pick of the experience-free Leon Panetta for head of the CIA is any evidence.
Additionally, we cannot even rely enough on what Obama claims are his political principles to consider allowing him a free hand. For instance, Obama based his entire campaign on the "change we need" often defined as the end of the influence of lobbyists in Washington. Yet, since winning office, Obama has thrown that aversion to lobbyists out the window, signaling to them that he is now open to their cash-laden entreaties.
In fact, he is also installing them in both low and high positions in his administration. Just this week Obama announced that he has picked William Lynn for the position of deputy defense secretary despite that the man has been a lobbyist for the military industrial complex as a senior vp for defense contractor Raytheon Industries.
From his current actions and his actions historically, we can see that Obama feels it is his way or the highway and if Republicans sit back to give Obama "a chance" they will quickly find him stepping on their faces as opposed to walking beside them. He is simply not a man to be trusted to rule unopposed.
There is a second point here that I alluded to above, as well. It is the one called principles. We opposed Obama's election not just because he was not from our party. We opposed him because we stand wholly against the very ideas and principles that he holds dear. We are against socialism, against the elimination of free trade, and against turning the fight against terror into a police action. We do not agree with Obama's concept that everyone on the planet should be covered under the U.S. Constitution nor are we enamored with allowing the UN to program our foreign policy. We hate the idea of abortion on demand and the sort of infanticide that Barack Obama has himself repeatedly voted for. We stand foursquare against further bloating our government as well as his plans of eliminating our Second Amendment rights. We agree with almost nothing that Barack Obama wants to impose on this country.
All that being true, why in God's name would we be so foolish as to sit back and allow him free reign in some misbegotten sense of "fairness"?
And, in truth, it isn't "fairness" to allow him to run rough shod over every ideal we have simply because he won the office. It is neither "fair" to the nearly 50% of the American electorate that did not vote for the man, nor is it "fair" to the principles and ideals of the Founding Fathers to allow him to wipe out their hard won victories. It also isn't "fair" to those Republicans currently in office that have their own plans and ideas to implement as representatives of their districts back home.
In the end, there is no reason to sit idly by and give Obama "a chance" to destroy everything we hold dear. We should oppose every move he makes with which we do not agree. Certainly there is no reason not to seek consensus when we can, compromise if we must. And absolutely we have no need to be uncivil at debate. But we are under no obligation to roll over and play dead for him.
After all, he never has.
So, let's be done with this gauzy talk of "giving Obama a chance." Let us proudly accept the mantle of the party of no. To mangle Buckley, let us resolve to stand athwart the Obama juggernaut, yelling STOP!