When are they going to learn?
This ties in to my post here regarding the spine (and the lack thereof) of the Republican leadership in Washington DC.
Newsmax is reporting (today) on this Cato Institute report on Presidential spending. The report focuses on discretionary spending (non-entitlement spending). The increase in discretionary spending rose 48.5% in the first term of President Bush's tenure! In each of his first three submitted budgets, President Bush requested increases in non defense spending well above baseline levels. According to this Cato Institute report, President Bush's non-defense discretionary spending increased 20.8% in his first three years in office. This data belies the claims of the administrations critics that say that President Bush has "gutted" spending....
Which leads to this wonderful piece in today's Wall Street Journal. Dick Armey (former House Majority leader) writes what should be required reading for every elected Republican official. He writes about the palpable disatisfaction that the Republican base has with the elected leadership - from the President on down!
"In all my years in politics, I've never sensed such anger and frustration from our volunteers--those who do the hard work of door-to-door mobilization that Republican candidates depend on to get elected. Across the nation, wherever I go to speak with them, their refrain is the same: "I can't tell a dime's worth of difference between Republicans and Democrats."
It is refreshing to see that some Republicans are seeing this! I mean the base has been screaming about this for the last 3 years now!
"Our base rightly expects Republicans to govern by the principles--lower taxes, less government and more freedom--that got them elected. "
Another "well DUH" moment!!!!! But here is the money quote:
"What will happen to Republicans if these freedom-loving, grassroots activists don't show up for work next fall?"
This is a question that Ken Mehlman and every state GOP chair across the natioin needs to ask themselves. Then once they answer, they need to start hammering those candidates that are running for election or re-election! The base will NOT support candidates that do not live (and vote) by the basic tenants of the Republican Party platform. Compromise is one thing, capitulation is another. The party faithful will not abide capitulation.
Candidates - ignore the base at your peril. For if you are not there for the base, the base will not be there for you!