Party of No….Respect
By Phil Perkins
April 12, 2010
For those who believe that Republicans have only recently been maligned in the media and entertainment industries, you need to check some history. The current trashing of everything Republican and conservative in particular is really just a natural escalation of what has transpired over a long period of time.
Not only that, it’s a pervasive thing. During the FDR years, even the slapstick Three Stooges piled on, using cracks like “last one in is a Republican (instead of rotten egg).” By the 1950s, the Republicans were defined by outwardly dour leaders like Robert Taft, Richard Nixon, and the McCarthy hearings. In the 1960’s, Barry Goldwater was marginalized by the press and Democrat leaders as a dangerous cowboy with an itchy finger on the nuclear trigger. Then came Nixon again, the anti-communist that the left loved to hate, taking over an unpopular war the purpose of which was to prevent a communist takeover of a small country halfway across the world. Although liberal media bias existed toward Republicans and conservatism prior to Nixon’s presidency, it was mostly under the radar until the Watergate scandal blew their cover sky-high. The feeding frenzy over Watergate, which made the scandal far worse in the public’s mind than it actually was, made the recent hype over Tiger Woods’ scandal and return to golf seem like a walk in the park. And since Watergate led to the resignation of a Republican president, it has cast a long shadow over Republicans ever since. Let’s face it—as attractive of a candidate as Ronald Reagan was, it still took the disastrous presidency of Jimmy Carter to get him elected.
The problem with this continued pummeling over the years is that many Republicans have bought into the Rodney Dangerfield treatment. They willingly go on the defensive when the media and other Democrat politicians put them there, and no politician who wants success over the long haul can afford to be in a constantly defensive posture. When one is playing defense most of the time, it’s very tough to convey a positive message any of the time. And that plays into exactly what the Democrats want—to portray the Republicans as simply the “party of no.”
Unfortunately, in the aftermath of the healthcare bill passage debacle, the Democrats, who should be on the defensive like never before, are still managing to take the offensive with a two-pronged approach: (1) point out over and over the so-called positive aspects of the bill, and (2) demonize any and all opponents who dare to continue their criticism of the bill and how it was passed. Equally unfortunate, many Republicans are letting them get away with it.
In a recent op-ed, World Net Daily founder Joseph Farah urges us not to give to the Republican National Committee, even as he wishes for a Republican rout this November. I couldn’t agree more.
No matter their protestations to the contrary, the RNC spends as much time co-opting the elite political machine as it does pointing out its flaws. As a result, incredibly poor judgments ensue—witness the party leadership’s support of Dee Dee Scozzafava, someone who was to the left of being even a RINO, last year in New York’s 23rd district special election. Witness the party’s support several years ago – including President Bush’s support—for the turncoat Arlen Specter instead of the true conservative Pat Toomey. Neither of these moves worked—the Democrat narrowly beat a conservative in the New York race, and although Specter won re-election, his eventual flip to the Democrat side of the aisle showed his true colors once and for all.
Farah’s point is that the Republicans can and should win big this fall with or without massive donations to the RNC. Far better for us to give our financial support to worthy local and national candidates who espouse truly conservative values. By doing so, we can have a greater degree of confidence that our type of candidate will be elected. And who knows, maybe we are on the verge of electing a new generation of Republicans who won’t know or care that they’re supposed to cower before the mighty media and Democrat machine.