With a Democratic President and United States Senate, gains contrary to the liberal doctrine are difficult to come by. With a Democratic legislature, any hope Governor Paul LePage has of major policy pushes are met with significant resistance.
Is this an affirmation of Democratic policies being positive? Hardly, because they’re not. The tax and spend party that would have had Robin Hood rounded up under the National Defense Authorization Act is not helping Middle Class America.
So why do Democrats keep winning? The answer is a real lack of credible opposition.
President Barack Obama’s major policy victory was the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, a healthcare measure labeled by Republicans as a “takeover.” Almost every Republican running for office has noted the negative effects of this legislation. Government cannot manage healthcare, and the veterans’ healthcare scandal should have silenced any dispute on the topic.
Many Republicans in Washington D.C., however, believe that President Obama should be increasing bureaucracy to combat a media-manufactured “crisis.” Of these many Republicans is the President’s original opponent, Senator John McCain. Create an Ebola Czar? Apparently everyone is having second-thoughts on the President’s inability to manage healthcare.
Here in Maine, many grassroots Republicans believe in the right to gun ownership. From hunters to believers in self-defense, the right to bear arms is popular. This belief is universal enough to have been included in the Maine Republican Party platform.
But when a consultant carries a holstered firearm in a non-threatening manner to an event, the Republican Party caves to pressure. Communications Director David Sorensen responded to the criticism by stating that this individual’s exercising of his rights is not an official position of the Republican Party.
Is this to mean that Republicans agree with Democrats on gun ownership? It might explain why Gabrielle Gifford’s gun-control organization is supporting Senator Susan Collins, despite the Party’s best efforts to label her as a conservative.
Senators John McCain and Susan Collins both have something in common. When running in critical elections, their best defense is not related to policies or principles. It is instead “[insert opponent] is worse.”
The boogeyman defense needs to be tossed out the window and the Republican Party needs to start taking a serious look in the mirror. The Democratic Party isn’t winning the principles war, but at least they stand for something. And though their principles are going to be what sinks Maine and the rest of America, the Republican Party doesn’t stand for anything at all.
If the Republican Party can’t step up to the plate, it may be time for self-respecting conservatives and libertarians to begin constructing an alternate, viable operation that can take down the big government machine.