Wednesday, October 24, 2007

The GOP’s only hope: real reform

By Rick Morris

A recent post taking the Ohio Republican Party to task for burying Democratic state officeholders under a mountain of public records requests also advocated a better path for the GOP, one that demonstrates the superiority of a conservative public policy path. If any politicians end up being wise enough to heed the advice, there are now two different examples of how it can be done.

These possibilities come from two states very different from each other and very different from Ohio, proving that sound public policies can work anywhere. In Alaska, Sarah Palin kicked the crooked Old Boys Club right in the gonads en route to seizing the mantle of America’s best governor. The rancid mix of pork and crony capitalism that RINOs in the country’s northernmost state have foisted on the public for decades crumbled at the feet of a real reformer from within their own party. While insiders decreed her unwillingness to turn her back on wrongdoing within her own party, she has been rewarded with insanely high poll ratings and has become the first elected official from Alaska to be mentioned as a viable future candidate for national office. If the Republicans end up looking for a way to take down a President Hillary in 2012 by eviscerating her advantage among women voters without having to compromise any principles whatsoever, we could see a Palin presidency that rallies the American people by dumping the deadwood of both political parties right in the Potomac.

Now, in Louisiana, Palin finds her first real competitor for the mantle of America’s finest state executive. Bobby Jindal, an amazingly talented wunderkind with a breathtaking grasp of sound policy and unassailable reform credentials, cruised to victory Saturday after state voters had an understandable case of buyers’ remorse at passing him over for the incompetent Kathleen Blanco four years ago. Like Palin, Jindal doesn’t try to get ahead with cheap political maneuverings that are the Ohio GOP default mode. These young and aggressive leaders are not inclined to leave their libertarian principles at the door – their intent is always to examine with a critical eye government’s role in every situation that it has wormed its way into, then to weed out unnecessary government intervention and to make the state work more efficiently where it must be involved. They also prove solidly and definitively that a libertarian approach to operating state government is not at all inconsistent with upholding the public policy imperatives of social conservatism. Plus, for a pandering political party oversensitive to the notion that it is not diverse enough, the notion of the most qualified people being a woman and an Indian-American on a national ticket would be pure gold. The Republican Party has done much worse, and Reagan aside, always has. In whatever order, these two aces should constitute the ticket in 2012 if the GOP predictably loses next year.

Sadly, the Ohio Republican Party mirrors in many ways the national apparatus, which is similarly outclassed in public relations every time they try to compete on the Democrat turf of cheap politics. If the Machiavellis calling the shots actually had a clue that idealism and good government actually pays a lot more politically than transparent “politics as usual” gaga, Ohio wouldn’t be in the toilet in so many national rankings of quality of life.

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