Republicans are facing a crisis of identity. When Lee Atwater coined the "Big Tent" perspective for the future
of the party, he was lauded as a visionary. Conservatism as the all inclusive welcome wagon for the populace! Or was
it about making room in the party for people of all views? Depending on your viewpoint and objective, its meaning would shift.
But what is the nature of this awning that promised us shelter and protection from the political storms?
On rare occasions, a politician strikes the nail squarely as they raise the canopy on insight. California
State Senator Ray Haynes has it right:
"Tents are by definition collapsible structures designed for temporary residence. They are typically anchored
with poles and ropes, and staked into the dirt or grass. This leaves them vulnerable to being battered by the wind and a storm
can send one tumbling into oblivion. Much like the foolish man in the Bible who built his house on the sandy ground, a tent
staked to the dirt is a disaster waiting to happen . . .
A serious party requires a serious building. Just as the wise man built his house upon the rocks in the
parable mentioned earlier, so must we build our party on a solid foundation. It must reflect a permanence that comes from
being grounded in bedrock principles that will stand the tests of time and the transient winds of fluid public opinion . .
Our party must not compromise its principles in the process of reaching out. Even though recent candidates
have been unwilling or unable to defend our principles against the barbarians at the gate, there is no reason to desert our
posts and surrender. We have lost because we have allowed the opposition to define us. We have fought the battle on their
turf and lost. To win, we must frame the debate in our own terms and be consistent."
No doubt that the demographic and cultural outlook of America is in constant flux. Shifts in complexion, circumstance
and condition is a natural consequence of change. American citizens of all backgrounds are invested in the prospect of the
general society. Equality has never been a guaranteed right, but has the promise of balanced access to opportunity. Political
parties are organizations that seek power to promote policies and philosophies. So what does the GOP means today - and what
will it become tomorrow?
The Republican Contract With America brought majority rule to the People's House, back in 1994. It was no simple feat to wrestle control away from
the Socialist Statists, that dupe the public with promises of government favors. Do you recall what the revolution was all
FIRST, require all laws that apply to the rest of the country also apply equally to the Congress;
SECOND, select a major, independent auditing firm to conduct a comprehensive audit of Congress for waste,
fraud or abuse;
THIRD, cut the number of House committees, and cut committee staff by one-third;
FOURTH, limit the terms of all committee chairs;
FIFTH, ban the casting of proxy votes in committee;
SIXTH, require committee meetings to be open to the public;
SEVENTH, require a three-fifths majority vote to pass a tax increase;
EIGHTH, guarantee an honest accounting of our Federal Budget by implementing zero base-line budgeting.
In addition, within 100 days there were ten specific bills that would codify reforms. Most initiatives were
successful. Hope and genuine progress was restored to the political landscape. Eight years later - the dreams of a nation,
or her loyal citizens and of the Grand Old Party are mere apparitions of the promise. Why did the revolution fail?
All you need to do is look at the acts that perform in the three ring circus under that "Big Tent" . . . It's
not the audience that clamored for a different show. It was the cast of characters that changed the substance of the performance.
The abandonment of principles and reform policy is at the core of the demise of the "Greatest Show On Earth". You can't blame
the competition on TV apathy, or the mix of varied groups and cultures among the fans. It is the feud within the thespian
political community that earns the censure.
Republicanism once stood for sound principles of character, accountability, responsibility and America First
policies. The Neocons faked their resumes and dressed up in false costumes and perfected their act of deceit and deception.
Folks, they are the magicians of transparency. Their goal has been to hijack the party. Their background and outlook is no
different from the Liberals - the fraud of government benevolence. Would anyone be surprised to see Senator Joe Liberman's
face on the next GOP clown? Those flips and flops jump back and forth between the two parties. Both provide the same entertainment
- written from the same script, spoken with the identical diction that offers policies and programs of indistinguishable failures.